Early Returns

Why Watching Debates Is Worth It

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. John Sides at the Monkey Cage lays out the basics: Yes, perceived ideological extremism hurts general election candidates. 

2. Mischiefs of Faction's Julia Azari on why watching debates is worth it.

3. Excellent item from Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker about how the Benghazi Committee's partisan bungling cost it a chance to score legitimate political points (and make a useful contribution to public policy). 

4. At the Atlantic, James Fallows: There is something wrong with the Republican Party, and it's the job of the press to understand it and report it. He gets it right; the problem isn't that Republicans are "too conservative." Radicalism is the problem.

5. See also Greg Sargent on the radicals as "frauds."

6. Sarah Posner defends Ben Carson on Carson's answer to "end times" questions.

7. And everything Vox's Matt Yglesias says here about the rise of "liberal" self-identification is exactly correct. Just remember: It's not at all clear anything has changed except how people (well, how liberals) feel about using the word "liberal." 

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