Blinded With (Political) Science

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Jane Hamsher wonders if Karl Rove's pending resignation mightn't have been prompted by one of several legal investigations that seem to have been lingering in his neighborhood for some time now. Maybe it was thought important to get Rove out of the West Wing before the cops come? And perhaps so. But perhaps the president just finished reading Josh Green's Rove takedown in The Atlantic and came to the conclusion that the Architect wasn't that smart after all.

At any rate, you need to subscribe to The Atlantic to read the story and you really should. I will, however, note that what I found most fascinating about it was Josh's evidence that Rove's talk of masterminding an electoral realignment wasn't just bluster, but played an actual causal role in his thinking about the administration's political and policy choices. Maybe, then, Rove will be able to take advantage of his new, more relaxed schedule, to sit down and digest David Mayhew's Electoral Realignments: A Critique of an American Genre which argues convincingly that so-called realignments are a product of statistical naiveté and the human penchant for hyperactive pattern detection rather than a real phenomenon of American politics.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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