Still in the middle of a move but here are some of the posts I'm trying to find time for. Given the speed at which events are moving, I thought I should at least get something out in preview form.
-- The worst thing about the Tea Party from a Republican perspective is not the movement's extremism. If a (slightly modified) modified stag hunt is an appropriate analogy, players who decrease the chances of a successful hunt (by demanding you take unpopular positions) and who are disloyal (bolting to third party candidates when offended) are the worst possible allies.
-- When Straussianism makes people insufficiently cynical. Conservative thinkers may have underestimated the danger of a default crisis because they assumed the rhetoric coming out of the Republicans in the house was fodder for the masses rather than sincere statements.
-- Fox News and flawed control systems.
-- Political science models may tell us that spouses don't effect candidates' chances, but how far out of the range of data is Michelle Bachmann's husband?