Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson

Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing

Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing….We want to first thank Kevin for giving us access to this terrific forum. We emerge with some good new ideas, a great deal of helpful feedback, and a huge amount of new respect (and we already had a lot) for the efforts of serious bloggers. The two objections Kevin… Read more »

Is there a puzzle?

Is there a puzzle?….Kevin raises some important issues in his last, agreeably skeptical post. And, ironically?given that he?s the political commentator and we?re the political scientists?he mounts a spirited and thoughtful defense of the traditional political science view: namely, that pushing politics and policy off center for any length of time inevitably creates gridlock and… Read more »

The Road Back, Part II

The Road Back, Part II…We wrote Off Center to try and understand not just why the GOP has risen to power, but also why a very conservative elite has been able to advance its radical agenda while so effectively evading political accountability. (Note that we say ?advance a radical agenda,? not fulfill it. As we… Read more »

The Road Back….The 2006 elections are shaping up as a potential watershed. We know, every election feels that way nowadays, but this time it?s true?really. Since January, Republicans have staged a dismally instructive clinic on how not to govern (Social Security, Schiavo, Katrina). These missteps have coincided with the arrival of ?political payment overdue? slips… Read more »

A Surprising Fact

A Surprising Fact…As we were going back to the National Election Studies data to clarify the “mystery graph,” we came across a simple table that cannot help but surprise those who have watched American politics shift steadily to the hard right. The table on the National Election studies website (reprinted below) tracks the “liberal-conservative index”… Read more »