Tag Archives: 2012

Loser

Here’s why Republican pollster Glen Bolger says Mitt Romney lost the elections:

Mitt Romney put together a coalition that just eight years ago would have won the presidential election (hence the data comparisons to George W. Bush). However, instead of whites being 77% of the electorate, they were 72% of the electorate. Instead of Republicans and Democrats being equal, Democrats far outnumbered Republicans, and washed out Romney’s advantage among Independents. Bush kept it close with younger voters (under age 40), while Obama won them decisively….Underscoring that there are considerably more Democrats than Republicans, Romney was the first national candidate in exit polling history to decisively win Independents and lose the election (John Kerry won Independents, but by just one point).

Thus, to have a chance, Republicans have to appeal to Hispanics. It’s simple math, but it’s hard to do. We have to start today.

The Fix’s Chris Cillizza says he’s right. But they’re both wrong.

They’re both stuck in what I like to call “Dualistic Thinking.” Either/or. It’s doomed as an advanced society since Adam and Eve. Either Adam, or Eve.

It’s just not about demographics, which is the only thing pollsters understand, or think they understand. It’s the only thing politicians understand. Saying the right thing to get the right group of people to touch the box by your name on the electronic voting machines.

I have a better idea. How about we get our dualistic, either Republicans or Democrats to think about saying the right thing to get a human being to vote for them.

I know, I know. Wishful thinking. But focusing on demographics is so short term. What’s changing right along with the make-up of the electorate is how that electorate thinks. And THAT, my friends, is something Republicans have absolutely no clue about (and Democrats have only a slightly better clue about).

I will give you that both sides do it. But there’s a difference. Just to give you an example, here’s a little sampling of a political disagreement between a conservative and a liberal, from the comments section of an article on Politico.

E Be Rose · Top Commenter
Isn’t it interesting, how easily everyone over on Fox lies? As if people will not call them out on it, especially a real journalist like Ricks? Not an “on-air personality.” Right now, Baier, Celmente, Klinghoffer, Ailes & Murdock are all working on a response. It will be brilliant, for sure. It will somehow blame Ricks for making Fox lie in the first place. It’s never their fault.

Brett Richard · Top Commenter
ROFL! Like it’s NEVER obama’s fault!! His little, pointy blame finger must be getting worn down to a NUB by now!!!

E Be Rose · Top Commenter
People like you amuse me

Brett Richard · Top Commenter
Glad to be of service!
People like you disgust me…

Just so you know, the conversation was about a journo who was on Fox who said that Fox was an arm of the Republican Party and the Fox exec who said that said journo apologized for saying it, except the journo said he didn’t.

My point is found in the last two comments. “People like you amuse me” and “People like you disgust me.” If you see no difference in those two comments, you might be a Republican. I’m just sayin.

Or you might be like the dumbest of dumb Republicans, Erick Erickson — who runs RedState and sometimes spouts his idiocy on CNN — who wrote an entire column about how Republicans just needed to convince 6 percent or so of the population to vote for them in order to win. Of course, he used the wrong figures, beginning with the population of the United States.

Excuses, excuses. These guys all thought Mitt Romney was gonna win in a landslide. He didn’t. It wasn’t even close, and he even ended up with 47 percent of the vote. How’s that for a sign?

What these guys really need to understand is that they’re being left behind by the steady march of progress. Get on the clue bus, boys, or think long and hard about Neanderthals.

 

We’re sorry, you’ve been disconnected

At least that’s how it feels to me. Everywhere I turn, I’m hearing my colleagues talk about the momentum of Mitt Romney, up until today, that is, when Haley Barbour said that Hurricane Sandy put a stop to it.

My colleagues can’t get enough of it. The polls are getting closer. Romney’s on a roll. The race is a toss-up. Obama’s losing ground.

There’s just one problem.

I don’t see it. Not anywhere.

There’s this one crazy poll that has Romney up six points in Florida, and maybe that one’s right — but it’s the only one.

It’s like the whole “Obama hasn’t created any jobs” thing. Well, presidents don’t actually create jobs, any more than governors do. But the facts get in the way of what they mean when they say that. Somewhere around 750,000 jobs have been added to the rolls so far under Obama, compared to a loss of more than a million in the same time under George W. Bush, whose policies, by the way, Romney wants to bring back, only worse.

I can’t tell you how many conservatives I’ve seen utterly convinced Mitt Romney is gonna win this thing in a landslide, presumably because all the polls are conducted by liberals and biased toward Obama. That the polls may be biased toward Obama could be true, but not because they’re conducted by liberals. It’s all in the samples. It’s just as possible the polls are all biased toward Romney, and it’s Obama who’s gonna win in a landslide.

Frankly, that he isn’t likely to win in a landslide says nothing good about our electorate and probably is as strong an indictment of the criminal neglect given to our education system as is possible, not to mention the perfectly lousy job my colleagues do covering elections of any kind.

And that brings me to Nate Silver. Unless you’re a political junkie, you may not have heard of him. But Nate is a numbers junkie who has concocted a mathematical way of prognosticating the presidential election using all the polls and a few other things. He is a liberal, but that’s the thing about numbers — they’re not particularly political. And unless it really is true that all the polls are hopelessly biased against Romney, Obama is highly likely to win re-election.

Romney has a chance to win. About a 15 percent chance — but that is a chance. It could happen.

Right now, Nate Silver forecasts Obama will win 307 electoral college votes (270 are needed to win), and that number has gone up 11 votes in the past week. Romneymentum? Where?

The popular vote, overall, is still looking pretty close, but it’s not the national popular vote that counts, now is it? No, it’s not. It’s the vote in the states, and which states. And that, my friends, doesn’t look like a toss-up. Here’s what Nate said yesterday, when Obama was leading in 19 of 20 swing state polls and Romney still had a 16 percent chance of winning the electoral college:

My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

Yes, of course: most of the arguments that the polls are necessarily biased against Mr. Romney reflect little more than wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the leader in the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

But the state polls may not be right. They could be biased. Based on the historical reliability of polls, we put the chance that they will be biased enough to elect Mr. Romney at 16 percent.

That’s 16 percent (now less than 15 percent) likely that the polls being biased toward Obama is little more than “wishful thinking.”

But go ahead and listen to my colleagues, all of whom are pundits at election time. It’s just too close to call.

 

Shark jumping

After this week, anyone who thinks this current batch of Republicans has an ounce of legitimacy left is either a rich asshole or a damn fool. That’s it. No other choices.

I just read a tweet that says … well, here it is:

[blackbirdpie id="248511397456134144"]

Seriously? So Paul Ryan lies all through his speech at the convention, Todd Akin goes on about “legitimate rape,” and now this? “Debunked and selectively edited?”

OK, so it turns out he’s only talking about the part where he said Palestinians have no interest in peace and that peace in the Middle East is impossible. Seems Mother Jones, in its initial posting of snippets of the whole little chat Mittens had with his rich friends, left out the part where he said that peace was actually possible, but only if the United States got in there and showed those Palestinians who’s boss.

But I always keep open: the idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world. We have done that time and time and time again. It does not work. So the only answer is show them strength. American strength, American resolve, and the Palestinians will some day reach the point where they want peace more than we’re trying to force peace on them. Then it’s worth having the discussion. So until then, it’s just wistful thinking.

Yeah, Mitt always keeps open that the United States will someday have another belligerent idiot president who is ready to start Armageddon.

Oh, and Anne Romney says Mitt’s remarks about the poor are taken out of context.

Audience member: For the last three years, all everybody’s been told is, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.” How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you’ve got to take care of yourself?

Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48 — he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people — I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

Hard to figure how that’s out of context. Only people who pay no income tax vote for Obama. That’s weird. I will vote for him. I pay income tax. Then there’s the whole implication about who it is who’s dependent on the government, you know, like veterans, the elderly. And about 4,000 really rich people who don’t pay income taxes.  And never mind that there are plenty of other taxes everybody pays (including actual PAYROLL TAXES, which contrary to popular belief are not the same as taxes on income).

The New York Post had some kind of headline on this about “the truth hurts.” And in a really odd sense, this is the truth. It’s the truth about how these greedy motherfuckers really feel about the rest of us. The unvarnished truth.

And just in case, Matt Drudge dredges up a 14 year old audio of Obama saying something about believing in “redistribution,” which is conservative code for dirty commie and which Mitt himself is talking about, most likely to (a) confuse the issue and (b) make more inroads with his rich friends. I don’t need to tell you that a guy like Mitt Romney really shouldn’t be talking about what somebody else said he believed in 1998.

They’re not even pretending anymore. They’ll tell ya flat out that facts don’t matter, just the lies they keep on telling, the lies that way too many keep on believing.

But have they jumped the shark this time? And more to the point, will my beloved colleagues wake up from their stupor and realize what’s been going on?

If this election isn’t a landslide, I give up. We really are doomed.

 

It’s no use

OK, here’s the thing. It’s not gonna work. None of it. It doesn’t matter how many facts we have on our side, how much truth we have, how honest we are … it just doesn’t matter. It’s not gonna work.

We’re not gonna sway one single person to see it our way. In fact, just the opposite — we’re going to harden their positions against us. Make it worse (as if that could happen — trust me, it can).

And here’s why: The conservatives own the emotional end of this. In our dualist, either/or world, emotion trumps reason every time. They do that because only two emotions are given any credence in this world: Fear and it’s flip side, anger. And those two — need I say it? No mere proof can move ‘em.

Fear’s an old emotion. An awful lot of action is born from fear. Ack! Storm! Lightning! Rain! Find cave! Ack! Dinosaur! Make pointy stick!

Oh, sorry. That’s the conservative version. We know dinosaurs and mankind did not coexist.

There’s nothing wrong with fear and anger, of course. It’s all in what you do with ‘em. In Conservative Bizarro World, if you’re afraid (and you are because you’re leaders have made sure of it), you must have a scapegoat to blame and be angry with. Fortunately, your leaders take care of that for you too.

This makes things much easier. No thinking involved. The poor souls who have been convinced by billionaires that it is progressives who are elitists never have to make a single decision for themselves. They don’t want to do that because their conservative overlords have told them it’s a big, bad, scary and complicated world out there, but the overlords alone have those poor souls’ best interests at heart, because Socialists! Black militants! Gays! Anti-American! Traitors!

And here we sit, palms up holding our paltry “evidence” in hand as if it makes a difference. It doesn’t. They don’t care. No, they don’t. Not one iota. Because we are the enemy. The strange beings who want to destroy them and everything they know and cherish. Why, we probably have horns and tails … oh, wait. That was Jews. Well, the rest of us probably do too!

You know why Scott Walker won in Wisconsin last week? I mean, besides the billions the Koch brothers poured in. It wasn’t because they thought Walker was a great guy. It was because they didn’t think a governor should be removed from office for anything less than criminal behavior. You and I may not like what the jackass did, but it wasn’t criminal, any more than any other regular piece of political bullshit is just that. You did notice that in the exit polls, the majority backed Obama, right?

We talk a lot about the right wing echo chamber, but we fail to understand what it’s actually doing. It’s entire purpose is to reach that primal reptilian part of our brains, to stir the pot of the emotions and send their minions out torch and pitchfork in hand. In short, to create exactly what we have: Mob mentality.

Surely you’ve noticed. There’s no civility. It complete viciousness. There’s not even a pretense of honest political debate, as if there’s ever been any such thing.

And here’s the real kicker — this behavior is not limited to conservatives. I’ve seen it alive and kicking in liberals too, when their deeply held beliefs are threatened. They too turn into vicious pack animals and try to rip apart anyone who stands in their way.

It happened right here in my little liberal city, when some of us learned that our beloved mayor was stealing us blind. We had the proof. The mayor’s supporters wouldn’t even look at it. “I don’t go on facts,” one guy told me. “I go on feelings.” Hey, great, your feelings are gonna cost the city its charter when it goes bankrupt.

Almost happened. Half a million in debt, which is huge for a city with only 800 residents. We got him out of office, but at a terrible price to the peace of the city and to many friendships.

Those of us who worked to save the city were rewarded by having various county and state agencies called to investigate the most middling of things, and some serious and untrue accusations were thrown about. Ugly, very ugly. Just as ugly as what we see now in our national debate, except the lines weren’t drawn between conservative and progressive because that’s not where the real line is.

The real line is between reality and delusion.

Our current crop of conservatives deal in delusion, and they are masters at it. That’s why they name a bill that guts environmental policy the Clean Air Act.

And that’s why our attempts to fight delusion with truth aren’t going to amount to a hill of beans. Delusional people cannot be dissuaded. It’s too emotional, too raw, too primal.

Too unevolved. Really, they might as well just grunt and point, cowering in the back of a dark, dark cave. The stuff they say makes no more sense than that anyway.

Saw a Tweet tonight for a moronic woman who fancies herself a conservative journalist. She’s been hanging out a Netroots Nation tweeting inanities that she thinks make sense. They do, to her fellow delusionals. The best one was her utter incredulousness when one of the speakers mentioned Virginia’s attempt to mandate an ultrasound with a vaginal probe before a woman could have an abortion. “WTF?” she tweeted. Guess she was still under her rock when that all went down.

So what do we do, you may ask. Hell, I don’t know. Do what you think is best. But know this: We’re not gonna create an enlightened society by fighting. A violent revolution does little more than change the names of the assholes in charge. And an election in the toxic atmosphere we have here is only marginally better.

But it is better. It’s better because we can pick a rich fucker who belongs to a cult, a black guy who belongs to a different cult but doesn’t make such a big deal out of it and who probably wishes he stayed in state politics or community organizing even, or any one of a number of other folks who have zero chance of winning and every chance of throwing the election to the rich fucker if we do the wrong thing. Hell, we might get to vote for Roseanne fucking Barr for president — not that I think she’d do any worse job than any of the others, but the rich fucker will definitely finish what George W. Bush started, and I can guarantee you won’t be happy about it.

So think about it, come November. And hey, I’m all for breaking down this tendency toward tribal allegiances humanity seems reluctant to let go of. It is gonna happen. I’d just rather we chose that path rather than forced it to happen. Forcing it puts us all back at square one, and I just don’t think we have that many do-overs left.

Rick rolled

It had to happen sooner or later. Sick Rantorum made the trifecta this week, winning in three states in one day and become the latest in the GOP’s desperate attempts to find a presidential nominee who is Not Romney.

Newt Gingrich sure didn’t last long. Not a surprise. I guess the only thing worse in these bigoted bozos’ eyes than Romney is Ron Paul. Somehow I’m just not expecting a Paul surge anytime soon. Not that the Texas congressman hasn’t tried. He’s pulled out all the backwards nonsense he promoted in those newsletters he denies having any responsibility for. Funny that he still backs the concepts though.

He’s gone all anti-gay and anti-minorities of any kind. But unless he drops the anti-war stuff, he is going nowhere in this Republican Party. And if he drops the anti-war stuff, then he loses all the fake progressives who ignore his bigotry and prejudice to fall in line behind him on the peace platform.

But Sick Rantorum. I just don’t seem him as the nominee though. He’s just not … he’s not manly enough. The guy wears sweater vests, for christ’s sake! Who does that? Mr. Rogers at least wore a button up cardigan! Seriously, a sweater vest?

I think he may have gotten a pity vote in Colorado too. He tried to go all Ben Nighthorse Campbell there with a bolo tie. Took it off for the next stop, though. Guess they told him it looked stupid. But they coulda at least told him why. It looked stupid because he was wearing it with a button down Oxford.

And Minnesota? Hell, that’s Michele Bachmann’s state. He’s the only one left to the right of her both politically and mentally.

Rick’s Catholic, and unlike Newt Gingrich, who converted to try to shore up his religious cred, has always been. But he’s a Catholic of the Vatican variety and not the more liberal American variety — you know the type. No abortion, no birth control, no gay sex, no gay marriage, no masturbation. No fun.

That is one thing about the Catholics though. They’re honest about everything they don’t want, unlike American evangelicals who prefer to take it one or two issues at a time. Like abortion, they’re into that, but they haven’t gotten started on contraception yet. Don’t worry though. They will. They’re all about controlling the women. And so far they’ve stopped at making us queers second or maybe third class citizens. They’ll get to jailing us or killing us later. Well, killing us is tacitly OK, of course. I mean actually executing us, the way they’re setting up several African countries to do. It’s the evangelicals, y’know. They’re behind that.

In fact, they (and the former senator from Pennsylvania) would be delighted if we had an extremist Christian regime every bit as limiting and barbaric as the extremist Islamic regime in Iran. It’s just that Christianity is right, y’know, and Islam is wrong. At least that’s what they they. Personally, I think they’re all wrong.

But I digress. Sick Rantorum is the new belle of the ball. Will he be the Not Romney who actually wins? I kinda doubt it. Cracked me up the other day when he said that neither Newt nor Mitt could beat Barack Obama, as if he could.

Honestly, though, we live in a country that elected George W. Bush twice. Anything is possible.

So, progressives, don’t get all giddy because the GOP voters are toying with possible nominees you think are way too out there to possibly pose a challenge to Obama. Anything could happen.

And besides, there’s still all those anti-Obama “progressives” out there who are bound and determined to do what Mitch McConnell could never do on his own — prevent a second term. I understand McConnell. But the progressives? That didn’t work out so well back in 2000 as I recall.

And it’d be even worse now, because if somebody doesn’t pull away and win this thing soon, the Republicans might have themselves a brokered convention, and that could mean the whole thing’s up for grabs.

I’d really prefer not to find out who the whackadoodles at the convention might pull out of the wings to run if they can’t decide. But I can guarantee it won’t be pretty.