Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic on the Tea Party playing into its stereotype. "Tea Partiers should ... understand that, fairly or unfairly, they're saddled with a reputation for unusual recklessness. Voters aren't sure whether they can be trusted to govern," Friedersdorf writes. "That's why their behavior in the debt ceiling standoff is so idiotic." He admires the ideas of Sen. Rand Paul and others, but "pursuing a liberty-minded, small government agenda need not involve reckless standoffs that risk America's credit, but you'd never know it from the last few weeks." Further, "It's frustrating as hell for those of us hungering for a credible Republican alternative to K Street, warmongering, and a liberty destroying national security state." Bruce Bartlett, a liberal former GOP operative, tweets, "Tea Party members debt limit tactics play into every stereotype of them as irresponsible morons."
Chris Cilliza and Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post on why Republicans are losing the shutdown. "The answer is simple: The American public views the Republican party’s motives in the shutdown as overwhelmingly political," Cilliza and Sullivan argue. The public will never respond positively to political maneuvering: "Just ask the White House, which did everything it could to run like hell from a blind quote from a 'senior administration official' in the Wall Street Journal who asserted that the shutdown could keep going because 'we are winning.'" Bottom line? Everyone maneuvers, but "the trick ... is to make the other side look like they are on a political mission while you are acting out of some combination of principle and pragmatism." Suzy Khimm, a national reporter at MSNBC, quickly answers the "why are Republicans losing" question: "Bc they shut down the govt over Obamacare?"
Ezra Klein at Bloomberg View questions whether the political bubble is about to burst. In a column recommended by Canadian political columnist Andrew Coyne, Klein writes, "The markets’ faith in the U.S. is long-standing and not easily dislodged." But stable markets come from "a deep confidence that the U.S. political system will make sound decisions — a confidence, at this point, that few of the system’s participants share and one that’s hard to square with the evidence of the past few years." Markets aren't freaking out about the debt ceiling yet because unfortunately, "the brinkmanship is simply considered part of the grand show that is American politics." Klein concludes that "the wait may not be long" to see the markets spook.
Dani Rodrik at Project Syndicate explains the danger of deindustrializing too soon. Rodrik, a professor of social sciences at Princeton, begins, "Most of today’s advanced economies became what they are by traveling the well-worn path of industrialization." However, "the developing world’s pattern of industrialization has been different. Not only has the process been slow, but deindustrialization has begun to set in much sooner." Brazil and India are both currently in the process of deindustrialization, but it's "not clear why developing countries are deindustrializing so early in their growth trajectories." These countries are then turned to "service economies" with lower levels of income. Matt Yglesias, the economics writer at Slate, tweets, "Fascinating @rodrikdani column on 'premature de-industrialization' in the developing world."
Sarah Stillman at The New Yorker on the Lampedusa migrant tragedy. Last week, a boat carrying migrants from Africa caught fire, capsized, and sank near the Italian island of Lampedusa. Over 300 people have died. Stillman explains, "alongside this cartoon-simple narrative — a lit match, a fire, and then, one of the single deadliest migrant-ship disasters on record — there is also a messier hypothesis for what’s behind Lampedusa’s tragedy: not a burning blanket but an incendiary debate about European immigration policy." Stillman continues, "Step back for the longitudinal view, and the numbers are numbing: last year, according to human-rights groups, some fifteen hundred migrants — often North Africans — perished in the Mediterranean Sea." There are many African and Middle Eastern refugees attempting to make it to Europe, and border militarization is making the passage more dangerous. Jamie Fuller, an editor at The American Prospect, notes this chilling quote from one of the Lampedusa survivors: “For five hours we were floating, using the dead bodies of our companions. There is nothing worse than this."