Media Report: New York Mag, Frontline

By James Fallows

1) Late yesterday I typed my way for about an hour through an online exchange with Bloomberg's Josh Barro, as part of New York magazine's "Instant Politics" series. We started out talking about the current state of the presidential race, but pretty soon we got into the implications for the GOP, in particular, if current projections hold and Mitt Romney does not end up as our 45th president. The transcript is here, and it includes this line-for-the-ages from Barro:

And when you meet with people in the legislature in Sacramento, the most striking thing is how stupid everybody is.

In context, he explains why he is making that point, and why it matters. Short version: I wonder whether the national GOP could be moving itself toward permanent-minority status, in the way the California GOP has done to itself in the post-Prop 187 years. This will be especially so if the reaction to a (hypothesized) Romney-Ryan loss is to say that a "real" conservative, not some Massachusetts "Obamneycare" RINO, would have done much better. Barro is arguing that California is its own unique mess and that the national party is more likely to self-correct and move back toward the center.

2) Frontline is hosting an online discussion leading up to its broadcast of "The Choice 2012," a documentary about the two presidential candidates. The discussion is based on interesting "artifacts" about Obama and Romney, eg an old video of Romney making a pitch as a venture capitalists. The discussion includes a number of experts on both men, plus me. I will be weighing in through the afternoon. FYI.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/media-report-new-york-mag-frontline/262682/