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Posted at 9:34 AM ET, 12/20/2010

All politics aren't local

By Ezra Klein

Andrew Gelman has no patience for Tip O'Neill's old dictum:

Sure, all politics are local -- if you're Tip O'Neill and represent a ironclad Democratic seat in Congress. It's easy to be smug about your political skills if you're in a safe seat and have enough pull in state politics to avoid your district getting gerrymandered. Then you can sit there and sagely attribute your success to your continuing mastery of local politics rather than to whatever it took to get the seat in the first place.

It seems unlikely that the 2010 election was driven by a sudden collapse in the Democrats' constituent-service operations. And Republicans get that: Virtually the first thing they did after winning the election was renounce earmarks, which meant they considered their party's national reputation to be worth more than bringing money home to their districts.

Update: Jonathan Bernstein disagrees.

By Ezra Klein  | December 20, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
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"Renounce earmarks." Ha! Does anybody really believe that Republicans won't figure out how to bring home the bacon, even if they won't be calling it an "earmark?" That was one of the most ridiculous promises ever made by a political party. Total hypocrisy.

Posted by: AuthorEditor | December 20, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

>>Virtually the first thing they did after winning the election was renounce earmarks>>

The second thing they did was request earmarks.

Posted by: fuse | December 20, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Exactly@AuthorEditor and fuse. I thought Klein was more observant than this? Republicans will simply continue to say one thing while doing its complete opposite while the Washington Elite media (which Klein certainly seem to be a part of now) will simply be steamrolled by the PR.

Posted by: GregHao | December 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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