« Nate Silver, Debate Rehash, and Open Thread | Main | A Party of Sociopaths »

October 08, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Andrew is back to having the vapors. Honestly, if voters in this country can't assess matters over time, then we are all deservedly fuct. Andrew needs to chill. Got too many readers to write childishly like this.

Son called after reading Andrew and the polls, ready to slit his wrists. Ayyy. Volatile poll does not take into account all of the people like him with a cell phone only.

kathy a.

sir charles -- pull it together already. when scotus came up with bush v. gore, we had already been sweating the RESULTS of the actual ELECTION for weeks.

and really, any article blithering about testosterone levels of losing parties has to be a joke, right? although, whatever, if that is what it takes to get disengaged voters to the polls; somehow, this strikes me as less of a selling point than protecting the middle class and preserving safety nets, instead of eviscerating those for the sake of making the wealthy even more so. and etc.

I have a hard time believing that large numbers of Obama supporters are deserting him for a lackluster debate.

What, you don't think Buzz Bissinger represents the typical Obama base?!?!?

But seriously, you're on point re: Pew Poll, not to mention Gallup and even that POS Rasmussen has Romney http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2012/10/im-less-impressed-by-new-pew-poll-than.html#links>giving up the ghost.

Bill H

Seems to me a lot of Democrats have very little faith in the strength and resiliance of the United States of America. All of this alarm about doom and destruction and the catastrophe if Obama loses and we are stuck with Romney.

Really, this country is a lot stronger than that. We withstood Nixon, Bush, WW2, and the Civil War. You really think an asshole like Romney can do that much damage to us in four years? Sure, it wouldn't be good, but get a grip.

This is a stronger nation than to think that I would lose my testorone levels if the wrong guy gets elected President. I have more faith in my nation than that. Romney wins and I'm disappointed, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.


The internals of the Pew Poll are available, and Digby (among others) has analyzed them (Here).

For starters, a full two-thirds of the respondents were over 50 years old. Is that likely to be the shape of the electorate? Very likely not. A full 77% of the respondents were white. That is almost certainly not going to reflect the final electorate. A large preponderance of the respondents were from the South (449), with the next highest total from the Midwest (294), and only 219 from the Northeast and 239 from the West. There will not be twice as many voters from the South in the election as from the Northeast or the West. Finally, more respondents claimed to be Republicans than Democrats, which would destroy the President's chances in November automatically. It's possible for the final electorate to resemble that Party ID, but unlikely.
The tables are at the link.

Sullivan goeth beyond understanding.


The rage is hard to live with. If we can help win the election for Obama (and really for ourselves), we won't have to -- at least at the 2000 and 2004 level.

The changes signaled by 2006 and 2008 are real. That's why the old white men's party treats this election as a matter of life and death. Their world is dying. They don't like it. We don't like it when we're on the death end either.

But the world that is signaled, however dimly, by the Obama presidency and the emerging diverse electorate is the future. It has its own challenges, but its coming is inexorable.


Historically speaking even should Obama win reëlection the next president after is more likely to be a Republican than a Democrat.

Sir Charles


That is certainly true, although I can easily see a scenario in which the economy really picks up over the next four years and Hillary Clinton decides to run and essentially receives the nomination by acclimation -- which I am pretty sure would be the case in 2016. The Republicans, on the other hand, would likely have a very competitive primary.

If that is the case, given the continued demographic changes the country is going through, I think the Dems could beat the odds and take another term -- it would be akin to George H. W. Bush's win in 1988.

There are a lot of contingencies in such a scenario, but I don't think it is by any means out of the question.

Sir Charles


I think you missed my point or I was less than clear. It's not that I don't think the country will survive. I was writing about my personal reaction to such an event, about the personal rage that I feel toward our Republican brethren, and how distressing it can be to actually feel that way about politics -- to really hate your opponents with every fiber of your being, which is pretty much the place I find myself in.

I find myself less and less philosophical about my differences with them. I simply hate these people and deeply dislike occupying the same planet as them.

And that's not really a good place to be.

Bill H

No, Sir Charles, it's not, and I'm not being reactionary or snarky when I suggest that you should get some help for that. Democracy is about differences. It's not about requiring everyone to be on my side, it's about expressing my opinion and then accepting the majority rule. The other side is not evil merely because they disagree with me. They simply have different ideas.

I served in the Cold War, and we had to discard the "Evil Empire" theme. In the Arctic off the north coast of Russia, we had to be objective, not clouded by emotion and ideaology. Those guys out there in that destroyer that was hunting us did not hate us any more than we hated them, they were just different.

Democrats say that Republicans want poor people to starve. Republicans believe that their policies will create prosperity to a degree that private charities will be able to take care of the few poor people that will result. They are wrong. You and I know that they are wrong and we need to assure that they don't put their wrong theories into effect. But don't hate them for being wrong. They don't want poor people to starve. That is fiction. They want to create prosperity and have mistaken ideas as to how to go about it.

Four years is not a long time, even eight years is not that long. If the wrong guy gets in we have another chance down the road, and in the meantime we rebuild our case. The world doesn end in 2012. Balance in all things. It matters, sure it matters, but one's own mental, emotional and spiritual health are far more important. The damage to politics is four years. The damage that you are doing to yourself can last a lifetime.


I know a few who do want poor people to starve.

They are mistaken in basic facts. They make up things. And then they don't care when they're proven wrong when their actions provide the opposite effect than they intend.

A friend recently had this conversation with a conservative

Conservative: "I don't see how it's bigotry to say that Muslims want to take over the world when Islamist leaders have openly said so."

Friend: "While it's true there are Muslim leaders that have said this, it is bigotry in the same sense that it would be bigotry to say that Christians want all homosexuals executed because there are some Christian leaders who have openly said so."

Conservative: "So you cannot deny my truth then? And you are saying two wrongs equal a right. WRONG. Two wrongs do NOT equal a right."

Friend: "I'll try to explain this in words you understand. I was not saying two wrongs equal a right. I was saying that not all leaders of some particular religion speak for all members of that religion, or even a majority of them. Not all Muslim leaders speak for all Muslims, just as not all Christian leaders speak for all Christians."

Conservative: "Well Obamamamama is a whiny faggot who is ruining our country and that is why he is not my president."

Friend: "Interesting non-sequitur considering nobody was even talking about the elections in the first place."

kathy a.

bill h. -- i hear what you are saying, but i don't agree. there are republicans who don't care if poor people lack food, as they consider it their own damned fault for not having jobs. (nevermind the lack of jobs.) there are republicans who think lack of food is a myth, because surely someone will come along and help the truly needy. neither of these sets tend to understand that there are actual families in need of food. it is hypothetical to them -- as non-personal as the cold war was to you.

the lack of food on a particular day matters to the people affected -- and it matters a lot if it happens persistently. the lack of adequate housing matters. and so on; it is not just a matter of budgeting or cutting corners when even the basics are missing.

my family did not have a lot of extras; but i was still very fortunate because we were reasonably stable as to the basics. and many families are not -- i have known a number of them, heard and verified really gut-wrenching stories. where families cannot find employment and stability, and cannot have reliable food/shelter/clothing, there are bad outcomes all around. kids who grow up in those grossly inadequate settings? they grow up to feed our enormous prisons, which are far more costly than providing the basics to keep families stable in the first place.

look, i'll be OK in 4 years whichever way this election goes; or at least, i think so, barring catastrophe. but a great many others will fall into the abyss, joining those already there. and with a catastrophe, yes, i could join them. romney/ryan frightens the heck out of me. their plans are completely heartless and terribly short-sighted, except as to those who need never worry anyway. in my opinion.


Translation of Conservative's comments:


Paula B

For open thread----I am mesmerized by the story of the 14 year old Pakistani girl who took a Taliban bullet for standing up for the right to an education. A Joan of Arc for our day?


When I read about her before, I thought she was incredibly brave. But people like that exist, and what happened to her is regrettable.

Sounds like she'll survive. How many times did Bhutto escape assassination attempts?

It's just amazing to me that the Taliban - or elements of it - think this will help them.


If your goal is to rule through fear and brutality I think it could work, at least for a while.

In the long run history will place you alongside luminaries like Hitler and Staline for doing it.


I am wrong about cell-phone only participants not being included in the Pew polling data. However, I have to wonder if that data wouldn't be skewed. We have two cell phone users in the family (not me) neither of whom would take an incoming call from an unidentified out-of-area number. I'm wondering if a lot of folks, tech-savvy young people especially, would have *self-deported* (:)) from the polling sample.

Bill H -- The Republicans with whom I'm familiar in my part of the country -- the inland PNW but not far from the Rocky Mountain West -- don't want poor people to starve. Many of them however accept, indeed insist on, a certain amount of suffering and deprivation as proper punishment for situational poverty. "Consequences" is a favorite term to be flung around cavalierly with contemptuous ease. Single mothers, no matter how or why they are single, are particularly the recipients of easy dismissal. One can see the *think cloud* overhead -- "You made your bed, now lie in it. Slattern. The urchins are your problem. Best of luck. You'll need it." Or, why the contraception, reproductive rights wars, intensified of late, are disgusting, insideous and mean-spirited. Transvaginal ultrasound indeed. [Show-and-tell last spring at the statehouse in Boise!]

I don't see this as being about holding different ideas, as you put it. To my mind it's more a proud absence of empathy on the right. I just wonder how we got here.

kathy a.

i'm not helping teh polling, because i cut pollsters off immediately. even if they are calling for one of the other 2 adults in the house (one of whom is generally asleep; the other of whom is generally at work; neither of whom will talk to strangers like that voluntarily).

for some reason, my young adult daughter is on everybody's list. she has taken the calls a few times -- but seriously, a couple/few calls a week for months? i'd be more sympathetic if i wasn't also handling all the robocalls and cold-calls-despite-do-not-call-listing.

Sir Charles


I'm not really advocating this as an approach to politics, just discussing my state of mind -- which has not been helped by the Romney lie fest, the Paul Broun "science is from the pits of hell" fest, the Jon Hubbard "slavery was a blessing" spiel, and the "pro-life" clown from Arkansas who was advocating the death penalty for rebellious children.

It is a month in which the right wingers pretended that the polls were fixed (until they started going in their guy's favor) and then heaped calumnies upon the folks at BLS because they didn't like the positive jobs numbers -- numbers with which they had been perfectly happy to hang Obama with for the last couple of years.

It is impossible to have a dialogue with people who are unwilling to even acknowledge notions of truth, empiricism, and objectivity, people whose political beliefs supersede any notions of truth in fact. And their cowardly supporters -- people like David Brooks -- who know better but nonetheless make common cause with this madness.

paula b

Sir C---Amen!


(Bill H expressed that concern, not me.)


Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts just six years ago. Today he’s so unpopular here he’s barely bothering to campaign in the state. There are reasons for that—and they could spell doom for his presidential campaign....

For those of you who didn't live through Mitt Romney's governorship I highly recommend you read this article in the most recent issue of Boston Magazine. I read it yesterday and it does an excellent job of illustrating why his governorship shows Romney, as a politician, is unfit to be president.

Eric Wilde

Just back from the Far East and suffering jet lag, so commenting in the middle of the night, PST.

Sir C, I have to admit the same belligerence when dealing with current Republicans. It boggles the mind to imagine anyone supporting the extreme statements to which you referred in your post. My hatred seems to be limited, though, to the abstract Republican and their representatives in Congress. When meeting an R who is a friend (luckily, my extended family have all come to their senses by now), I still find myself enjoying his company and overlooking his more odious aspects.

I may feel differently if I lived outside the sanctuary of the SF Bay Area and encountered a wider variety of Republicans. The bigots of my Bible Belt youth still rankle when I remember them (as individuals, not so much in the abstract.)

Just don't start throwing punches and we should be able to live through it all.

Sir Charles


Fortunately, I am not often in the company of Republicans, so the violence remains a blessedly theoretical state.

And like you, those who I do come into contact with -- usually employers -- are people for whom I have some regard.

kathy a.

here is a post from soonergrunt at balloon juice, about losing one of his best buddies-for-life over this election. read it.

my cousin, who keeps posting "likes" for romney on FB -- we just breathe deeply and remember we do not have all that many cousins; and that she is the daughter of the Fabulous Aunt, so perhaps she will come around some day. (although probably not while she is still with King of the BBQ -- a man so full of himself that he attempted to instruct me on boiling corn at a family dinner, and i naturally took that as a joke and made him go away, and my bright perky cousin slunk off to a spare room to nurse her headache.)

i just got a pass-along email about the glories of romney, from a friend in israel -- this friend is otherwise really wonderful, she helped me through some bad stuff, but boy howdy. there is a reason i do not talk politics with her much. and yet, she wonders at the lack of universal health care in the US, and what the big deal is about abortions....


I take it the friend is Israeli and hasn't ever lived (or lived for very long) in the USA?

kathy a.

yes, israeli friend; no, she hasn't lived here. one of her kids now lives in florida; she gets her political news from dubious sources. mostly right-wing email pass-alongs, so far as i can tell.

Sir Charles

I have found that most people, regardless of political persuasion, who come from other industrialized nations are absolutely baffled by our health care system. They cannot fathom why we would want to have such a system.


If we ever get to a sane place with it future generations of Americans will also be baffled as to why so many of our fellow citizens thought wasting money on multiple insurance corporate bureaucracies was so much better than relying on one for everyone when one for everyone is the only thing that truly drives health costs down.

Sir Charles


Not to mention the absurdity of having employment based insurance for people who become too sick to work.

No one would ever draw up a system like we have as a means of delivering good or efficient health care.


oddjob -- Wish people like my elderly aunt, gushing over Romney's debate performance, would read the Boston Magazine piece. Aunt -- Childhood in poverty Appalachia-style, now retired in middle-class suburban security. Medicare, SS, small lakeside second-home owner, her mother's nursing home care borne by Medicaid, she and my mother are barely speaking over this election. Over this guy:

Romney was equally closed off on Beacon Hill. He rankled his fellow State House politicians by designating the elevator near his office as exclusively for his use. “We couldn’t even walk near the governor’s office—we were stopped,” says Jason Aluia, then a top aide to former Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, a Democrat. “He came in with a lot of red carpets. He didn’t have relationships in the building whatsoever. I just don’t think he tried to build them.” Though Romney maintained cordial and productive relationships with former Senate President Robert Travaglini and former Speakers of the House Thomas Finneran and DiMasi, other legislators complained that Romney was aloof—that he didn’t know their names or seem to care to.

The royal we. What's the deal with Mitt and elevators anyway.


nancy, please feel free to share that article with anyone who will read it.

kathy a.

oddjob, the link is priceless.


Please spread it around!


Oh, by the way, in case anyone's curious about the office arrangements on Beacon Hill, the reason closing off an elevator near the governor's office would rankle legislators is because the Massachusetts state capitol building houses all three branches of government under one roof. It's a large roof, but nonetheless.


I nearly never answer polls... But mostly because none of them actually say who they are in the call. I'm not waiting through false caller ID, empty lines, and stupid sales pitches about cruises to do it.


I once shared a dinner with some vacationers from Israel... Asked them if they talked about politics, and they said back home, that's the last thing anyone ever wants to think about.

The comments to this entry are closed.