Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tonight's Election, part 2

Some other points, mainly in reaction to idiocy in the Press.

1. Is this a close election or not? There's been some bizarre attacks on Nate Silver of the heilige 538. Of course, I'm a supporter of rational analysis over gut-feelings, and of course the 2 parties differ on that self-same issue. The Democrats are the party of rationality, reason, facts, and science. The GOP has become the party of mysticism, magical thinking, and anti-science. It's very frustrating. So, according to Nate Silver, Obama has a 90%+ chance of winning tonight.

However, if you look at his data you'll see that the polling is still very close in each of the tossup states. Silver's main point is that the data has consistently and thus convincingly been in Obama's favor all year. My counter-point, speaking as a diploma carrying Sociologist, is that the polling data is terrible all-around. Very few polls can get people on cell-phones; we're potentially losing a huge group of people.

This isn't Silver's fault at all, and to his credit, he's been trying to deal with that bias. But it also means that I'm not popping a champagne cork until I hear the returns from Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

2. Is this the most important election of our lifetime? Yes. And, yes, so was 2004, 2008 and 2012. I've read a bunch of stuff online from people who say that this is all partisan hype; that it loses all meaning when we say each time is the most important, etc. People who say this are largely idiots (case in point, Jeff Goldberg's dude here). But there can be a context for this whinge for people who are too young to remember 2000. If you recall, 2000 was *not* called 'the most important.' It was so apathetically received that many idiots thought (a) they could throw their vote away to Nader, and (b) there was "no difference" between Bush and Gore (cough cough gag).

But guess what happened after that apathetic yawp in 2000? We elected Gore but it was chucked in the garbage and Bush was installed by his brother's state and father's Supreme Court. And Bush proceeded to destroy America and quite nearly the whole world. Jeff Goldberg above quotes some idiot Palestinian who claims: "For the rest of the world, this is the most important election of our lifetimes only if you're three years old."

It's so cute when Goldblog tries to act all worldly and smart, no? It's possible that he wanted to make his friend sound like an idiot. Score, then. Because 2000 proves the point. The USA appointed Bush in 2000 who turned out (as predicted) an unmitigated disaster. He allowed 9/11, appointed 2 cavemen to the Supreme Court, allowed New Orleans to be destroyed, gutted government regulation, commanded torture, turned Clinton's budget surplus into wholesale plunder of the treasury, and then oversaw the collapse of our economy.

That last point had worldwide consequences, no? The Great Recession of the world's largest economy echoed everywhere. And if that isn't enough for the idiots, Bush attacked Iraq under false pretenses, making Iraq no longer a firewall against Iran, thus leading directly to the current nuclear crisis.

Only a clear idiot can claim that the American election does not have worldwide consequences. Point one. Point two is that ever since Bush's near destruction of the World, every US election has become The Most Important, and will remain so, until (a) we fix what Bush broke, and (b) the GOP rejects the Bush Administration Playbook. Because McCain/Palin in '08 and Romney/Ryan now actively endorse the horrific policies of Bush.

In some way, I apologize to the political commentators who don't remember 2000, who came of age after 2004, who think these claims are hyperbole. I'm sorry that we are living in an age of crisis. But that crisis is real. As my brother stated: if someone told you that the election is the "most important" back in 1928 you would've laughed but you would take it seriously in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944. Well, that's where we are now.

3. Some comments about Romney-Ryan. I'm running out of time, but I want to quickly state that the choice of Ryan was a recognition by the GOP that the race was basically lost and they wanted to galvanize the base for the down-ticket races. The GOP will keep the House, and they could have gotten the Senate if the modern-day KKK (aka the Tea Party GOP) didn't nominate rape-enthusiasts in key races.

I'll say more about this after the returns come in. I pray to God we'll be saved from the horrors of 2000 and 2004.

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