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What’s the Game?

[ 116 ] October 31, 2012 |

In the face of polls that increasingly suggest that Obama will win at least the electoral vote, major right bloggers (not just those connected with the Romney campaign) continue to voice confidence in Romney’s chances. This trend has been developing for some time, and has manifested in the War of the Skew, the War on Nate Silver, the War on the Central Limit Theorem, the War on Averages, all of which are part of a broader War on Numbers.

Mitt Romney may win, either because the polls turn at the last moment, or because the polls are wrong.  Every day, something happens that has never happened before.  Nevertheless, I’m curious about how guarantees of victory seem to become increasingly shrill as objective measures show Romney’s chances fading.  Possibilities:

  1. Conservatives genuinely believe that the polling is wrong, that only Rasmussen and Gallup have it right, and that Romney will win 300+ electoral votes.
  2. Conservatives don’t genuinely believe Romney will win, but continue to think that he can win, and  believe that putting an extremely positive spin on bad numbers helps enthusiasm, turnout, etc.
  3. Displays of confidence in Romney are part of intra-movement political posturing; allowing that Obama may win indicates lack of faith, commitment, enthusiasm, et al. In the post-2012 conservative movement landscape, having a reputation as a loyal soldier (even in a lost cause) is seen as a positive good.

Of the three I’m certain there’s some of #1; motivated bias is a strong thing.  I’m curious about the balance of 1 with 2 and 3, however.  Broadly speaking, both 2 and 3 are quite reasonable.  Indeed, conservative optimism in the face of adversity is, in some cases, arguably more sensible than progressive despair. Romney can win,  and its unclear that public recognition of the magnitude of the obstacles to victory is helpful to his cause. And given that the marketplace of conservative thought continues to generously reward a select number of opinion leaders, #3 is also altogether reasonable.

Thoughts?

Comments (116)

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  1. SlothropRedux says:

    There is always the possibility that they genuinely believe that the polling is not wrong, but fixed by the nefarious anti-conservative forces that dog their every effort to return America to the idyllic Nirvana it never wasn’t (apologies to Stephen Colbert)

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      Numerals are ARABIC, you know.

      That’s how Barak HUSSEIN Obama is planning to win: by harnessing the Global Math Jihad.

      By contrast, Dubya got in the Whitehouse by V to IV.

  2. Right now I’d say it’s a combination of 2 & 3. And in No. 3, I suggest that you change “post 2012″ to “post 1994.”

    At this point, the people working on the Romney campaign cannot be relied upon for anything close to objective reality. They’ve spent several years working toward this moment. They are like the NFL team down two scores in the last two minutes, holding onto their time outs, thinking “we score quickly, then onside kick, we have a chance.”

    Republicans not working on the Romney campaign know that if they will pay for it if they do not sing the company song, loudly and with enthusiasm. And the right-wing base will never forgive Christie for this week. Never.

    • Cheap Wino says:

      And the right-wing base will never forgive Christie for this week. Never.

      Listened to Limbaugh for about a minute in the car yesterday and heard him excusing Christie saying he’s Governor and as so deeply cares about his state. He then quickly turned to disparaging Obama by saying Obama’s got the money, which he quickly realized flew against the whole crushing debt is going to kill the country thing so he started to backtrack on letting that little secret out. Hilarious, then I switched the station.

  3. rm says:

    Also, these claims provide a pretext for claiming that ACORN and the New Black Panthers stole the election. Thus we are having a fascist communist dictatorship shoved down our throats, etc. and so on.

    • Wido Incognitus says:

      This seems plausible. I don’t know whether it should be called #4 or #1a in the list Farley gives in his post.

      • Vir Modestus says:

        This is my choice. Like all the cases of projection where the right wing is claiming that liberals will riot of Romney wins, I think that the right is piling lots and lots of fuel up so that, should Obama win, the violent cries of theft of the election will ignite on all that fuel showing that Romney was winning up until the election itself.

  4. CaptBackslap says:

    Or they could be expecting Obama to be reelected, and they think fomenting belief in his illegitimacy as President could be helpful in battling his agenda. I’d write that off as too cynical, but it’s not like it’d be the first time.

    On the other hand, it would require a certain amount of forethought, and a realistic evaluation of facts. This objection is harder to refute.

    • bph says:

      This is a key part of it.

      I have already heard

      1) people will be “fed up” if Obama is re-elected
      2) Benghazi is Obama’s “Watergate”

      Loudly proclaiming that the polls (when cherry-picked) show that Romney is winning and Silver is a partisan hack is all part of setting the stage for post-election politics.

    • ajs says:

      Sadly, I think this is right. The current bugbear regarding Obama’s college transcripts (that the guy who ran the Harvard Law Review somehow cheated to get into college in the first place) is part of the search for a new reason to deny him legitimacy.

      Can’t wait for the Galtians to abandon their capital strike, though.

    • DrDick says:

      I would not disagree with this. They have actively worked to delegitimize Obama since he was elected, so they may be working to turn it up to 11. While I am not predicting it, I would not be surprised by substantial violence following an Obama win.

      • peakwingnut says:

        To the nutosphere all Democratic presidents are illegitimate. With Obama they went racist since a large portion of that group think all ‘not white’ people are not American.

        Under Clinton, the worst violence was the year before the election and the hatred was then channeled into the impeachment. Maybe the House will do us all a favor and try to impeach Obama over Libya, broccoli or math.

      • rea says:

        I semi-expect a concerted effort by Republicans in states where they control the Legislature but Obama wins the popular vote to award the state electoral votes to Romney. Calling the reported resutls of the popular vote into question of course helps set this up.

  5. Henry says:

    Under normal circumstances I would think 2) and 3) would be the rational reasons.

    But the reality is that the conservatives are not in their right mind (ODS*) and believe the “lamestream media” is out to re-elect obama. If you read the comment section at “hot air” or “redstate” there is no question 1) is the reason.

    *ODS – Obama Derangement Syndrome. It’s real, a workmate has a picture of the Obama family in his cube, another workmate came in, saw it, and tried to say something but he literally could not speak because of the rage.

  6. bob mcmanus says:

    Answer is No. 4

    We’ll see Wednesday morning.

    • What I want to see Wednesday morning is whether you start pushing the voter fraud storyline.

      • RedSquareBear says:

        What I want to see Wednesday morning is a heartfelt apology from every half-wit rightist troll that pollutes this site.

        And while I’m at it, I’d like a damn pony.

      • bob mcmanus says:

        If Romney wins, I will be all over the Internet Tuesday night trying to get people out in the streets. And especially telling them to ignore Obama’s concession speech. It won’t be his call, or his right. People paid to much attention to Gore in 2000 and Kerrey in 2004.

        If Obama wins, relieved, I will go to bed. I have never said I wanted Romney to win, just that I won’t vote for the other slightly lesser evil son of a bitch.

        • GeoX says:

          You seriously think you can root for Obama to win and yet remain somehow unimplicated in any bad thing he does because you didn’t cast a vote for him?

          Whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

        • NonyNony says:

          If Obama wins, relieved, I will go to bed. I have never said I wanted Romney to win, just that I won’t vote for the other slightly lesser evil son of a bitch.

          Jeebus Farking Keerist.

          This isn’t the stupidest fucking thing ever written on the Internet. But only because the Internet is just so goddamn chock full of stupid.

        • Rhino says:

          Note that bob won’t take to the streets himself. But he will be all over the Internet! ALL OVER!!!1!!!

          Pathetic bob. Just go away.

  7. SP says:

    4. Setting up claims of We Wuz Robbed! Do you have any doubt that Congressional Republicans would call the Unskewed guy to testify?

    • Malaclypse says:

      Are you implying Darrell Issa makes Ken Starr look reasonable?

    • bob mcmanus says:

      No, that’s No 5, and the Certification of Electors in the Republican House comes before Congressional Hearings.

      What Party controls the Ohio State Legislature?

      • djw says:

        All this reminds me of 2007-2008, when bob ran around the internets offering ominous predictions that the Bush administration had no intention of leaving power.

        • bob mcmanus says:

          Hey, it makes sense to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

          And I wish people would link, cut and paste. I try not to “quote” someone without verification.

          Did I actually predict a Bush coup, or did I say something like “what if…?”

          Part of the reason I have become loose is that I know people will distort or remember as they wish. It doesn’t pay to be careful with language.

          All tribal. If they don’t like you, they feel they can lie.

          • ajay says:

            Did I actually predict a Bush coup, or did I say something like “what if…?”

            You predicted that Obama would have changed parties and would be running as a Republican, I know that much.

  8. arguingwithsignposts says:

    the WarBattle of the Skew, the War on the Siege of Nate Silver, the War on theAttack on Central Limit Theorem, the War onBattle of Averages, all of which are part of a broader War on Numbers.

    Better.

  9. jedgar mihelic says:

    Planned red-shift, perhaps. Republicans just have to get close to win.

  10. About #2: Romney can win, and its unclear that public recognition of the magnitude of the obstacles to victory is helpful to his cause.

    This is where Hillary Clinton was in the spring of 2008.

    In the post-2012 conservative movement landscape, having a reputation as a loyal soldier (even in a lost cause) is seen as a positive good.

    As far as that goes, being a loyal soldier over a lost cause is even better than a good cause. Anyone can stand up for themselves vigorously if they truly believe they are right, but it takes a real trouper to go out there and eff that chicken for all the world to see.

  11. Brett Turner says:

    The evidence points to a variant of #2. “We are afraid that honest analysis of the polls, and even honest reporting of the polls, will depress GOP turnout, so everyone must now stop talking about polls (except for select cherry-picked polls favoring Romney) until the election is over.”

    See this piece from Matt Lewis, which makes the point pretty much in the above terms, specifically accusing Silver of a diabolical plan to destroy GOP turnout.

    Chris Christie actually impressed me yesterday and today, and reading the hard right’s reaction to this has reminded me of all the reasons why I am not a Republican.

    • timb says:

      Matt Lewis is 10 pounds of stupid shoved into a five pound bag

    • Green Caboose says:

      While it may be #2 on Romney’s team’s beliefs and amongst the GOP elite for the GOP rank-and-file it’s very much #1. We’re talking about people who really believe that Obama caused the economic slump (aided by Barney Frank), that their taxes have gone up, that spending has skyrocketed, that Obamacare is dictatorial, and that he has a secret plan to destory America. Of COURSE they believe that Romney is leading by a landslide and that the liberal media is covering it up. And when Obama wins they will act in the only logical manner for people who believe what they do … violence.

    • Random says:

      Here’s another pleasant example: http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/31/on-polling-models-skewed-unskewed/

      Count the number ways he comes up with for denying the relevance of an aggregate of polls. They range from undermining the very concept of statistical model-fitting, all the way to cherry-picking past an undesirable topline to find some constituency in the crosstabs of the poll that favors your candidate. This speaks of a combination of #1 and #2 to me.

    • Joseph Slater says:

      I agree with Brett. Not to say there isn’t a lot of genuine denial / disbelief, but Republicans are better than Democrats about staying on message and trying to sell a product.

  12. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    The human mind has an amazing ability to not only ignore data, but take data that suggests one thing and believe that it actually suggests the exact opposite. You can see it alot with religion. You would think that every time Jesus doesn’t return or the apocalypse doesn’t come would serve as negative data points. But usually the response is to simply double down with even more certainty that this time/year will be different.

  13. CONservatives says:

    Romney headed to victory is the short con that will be used to revitalize ongoing voter fraud long con.

  14. This is the third comment on the “Landslide Watch” story:

    #3 October 31, 2012 at 10:44 am
    Bob commented:

    This is all great news but make sure you vote and get your friends to vote. We don’t want people staying home because they think it is already over.

    I have to wonder: as stupid as that sounds, could this guy be right? Could there be communities of right-wingers so deluded that they think Romney has this in the bag? So in the bag that they might as well not even vote? Maybe.

    We’re talking about people who look at the available evidence in order to find something they can use to allow them to believe what they want to believe. They’re looking for something that sounds authoritative-enough to give them permission to believe, and the preponderance of evidence against just doesn’t come into it.

    It’s like they watched what the Bush administration did with the Iraq WMD/bin Laden intelligence, and used it to model their approach to political science. Wicked smaht.

    • Green Caboose says:

      Living in a community of wingnuts I can tell you that they have already started the victory laps. We literally have every house on some streets with Romney and FIRE OBAMA signs.

      At the health club TVs are all tuned to Fox News. At local restaurants the clientele ask to have Fox News on all the time. When you get only one source of info it’s what you believe.

      I am very fearful of the reaction to this election, either way. If Romney somehow wins the voter surpression will be a huge issue for the left. But if Obama wins, as seems highly likely given current polls, trends, and the optics of Sandy, the Romney supporters will be close to open revolution.

  15. mark f says:

    Following the whole Silver vs the innumerate hordes thing on Twitter, I took notice for the first time the commentary of John Podhoretz. Holy shit is he fucking stupid.

    I don’t have an example handy. Just, wow, he is legitimately stupid.

  16. RedSquareBear says:

    Displays of confidence in Romney are part of intra-movement political posturing; allowing that Obama may win indicates lack of faith, commitment, enthusiasm, et al. In the post-2012 conservative movement landscape, having a reputation as a loyal soldier (even in a lost cause) is seen as a positive good.

    Excepting the important bit:

    a the “lost cause”

    Same as it ever was. The Spirit of ’61 burns inside these insurrectionists.

  17. Davis X. Machina says:

    Ruben Bolling tweet, via Brad DeLong:

    @RubenBolling: @fivethirtyeight I don’t get it. What are all those numbers? WHAT ARE YOU HEARING ON THE GROUND??

  18. greylocks says:

    The True Believers really do believe that the majority of Americans are Just Like Them, and their only explanation for why this isn’t translating to landslide victories for every elected office in the country is that they’re being cheated.

    They’ve always been that was (“Kennedy stole the election from Nixon!”) but their lunacy has been amplified and given a legitimacy of sorts within the echo chamber.

    • Green Caboose says:

      Yes they believe that, but they also believe that they are a persecuted minority.

      I know that is mutually contradictory, but this is the wingnut brain, after all.

  19. Dan Nexon says:

    It would be nice if they recognized that 25% are very good odds for beating an incumbent, especially when (1) the country is not in recession and (2) your field was composed of one second-string candidate and a bunch of lunatics. But, no, instead we get treated to demonstrations of complete innumeracy. It’s like the left blogsphere in 2004, but without the math skills.

  20. Jesse Ewiak says:

    I think your average idiot conservative idiot pundit on NRO or the Daily Caller is a mix of 2) and 3) while the average conservative idiot in the comment section of those same websites is mostly 1).

    In other words, Jonah Goldberg and Matt Lewis thinks Romney can win and the momentum is on their side while Shazbot86 thinks the polls are skewed and it’s all a massive conspiracy thanks to articles from Goldberg and Lewis.

  21. LosGatosCA says:

    It really doesn’t matter what the rationale for writing, saying, shouting Rmoney will win despite any or all evidence – because there is simply no downside within the Conservative Republican TeaBagger universe.

    You can’t tell what will happen on Election Day, just like Judgment Day, and covering all options works:

    1. We won – I knew it all along.
    2. We wuz robbed – you can’t trust those cheating, lying election fraud bastard Demo-Rats
    3. We definitely won – Obama used Kenyan witchcraft and voodoo to corrupt the purity of the American republic essence.
    4. We should have won – but the negativity of the press and the non-conservatives betrayed us and cost us the election.
    5. etc.

    In no possible outcome or planing for possible outcomes does ‘We lost and we deserved to lose based on our crappy candidate and rejection of our policy proposals’ enter the picture, before or after the election.

    These folks fall into two groups:

    1. Those on a mission from their god to restore American exceptionalism and believe failure is not an option nor a possibility. These people work for free with enthusiasm and gusto.

    or

    2. The mercenary minions who know who signs the checks they hope to receive on wingnut welfare and what it takes to ingratiate themselves onto the perpetual payroll. These people work for the money they know the Republicans have or can get access to.

    Being reality based does nothing for either groups self esteem or self interest.

  22. MAJeff says:

    As to #1, see this email at TPM: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/10/emails_get_weird_around_this_time.php?ref=fpblg

    I think that all three, and perhaps more, are in play. Some folks are trying to set up a narrative that will delegitimize an Obama election, while others are playing the confidence game and others are just bugfucking nuts. Depends on which wingnuts you’re talking about.

  23. Corey says:

    It’s really strange to see Silver’s model called “objective”. Reasonably accurate given limited sample size? Sure. “Objective”? I don’t know about that, exactly.

    • Green Caboose says:

      The main justification for that is that the model was set up early in the year and not altered – as the poll results are published they are fed into the model but there is no subjective judgment that is applied at that time.

      Now, defining the model requires subjective judgment, and some of those judgments could be influenced by expectations of what the data will look like, but that’s minor compared to other models that are tweaked throughout the campaign.

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      I do not think that word “objective” means what you think it means.

  24. Domino says:

    Does any FPer want to tackle the latest from the website of Breitbat cultists who don’t know what to do since their leader died from cocaine usage:

    (no link) ZOMG BARACK OBAMA MAY BE LOSING THE INNER CITY BLACK VOTE

    I kid you not, that is their “big lead.”

  25. Jim says:

    Robert,
    It’s simple: Republicans know something Democrats are in denial about: They are going to steal enough votes to make the difference in enough swing states that Romney will win. It’s that simple. There are so many different vote suppression techniques that have been utilized, and many more that will be utilized on election day, that we can be sure the polls are not a perfect reflection of reality. I’m sure this is why Republicans (and Romeny’s team) are so confident. Between the real votes they’ll earn and the ones they’ll steal, they stand a good chance of “winning” this election.

  26. handy says:

    You linked to Dim Hoft, I clicked on it, and now I have to go take a shower. Thanks Robert.

  27. DocAmazing says:

    As much as I am prone to go for a “planned electoral theft” scenario, ask yourself: What else are these clowns going to do? Admit defeat?

    • “Romney had all the momentum until Sandy froze the campaign in place. It took an act of God to get Obama reelected.”

      • frogs says:

        God is a giant prick. First he causes the economic collapse in order to prevent McCain from winning and then he destroys a bunch of the east coast to stymy Romney. Dude is using Genesis level wrath because s/he is apparently too lazy to go with a more tactical retribution. Hey Yahweh how ’bout in 2016 you just turn the Republican into a pillar of salt and leave the rest of us alone?

  28. wengler says:

    The Republicans need white people to turn against Obama by margins that haven’t been seen in the last 7 cycles.

    That’s the long and the short of it.

  29. guthrie says:

    What about all the polling machines? Are you sure they are counting honestly?

  30. DivGuy says:

    In the face of polls that increasingly suggest that Obama will win at least the electoral vote

    This is not a good summary of the polling picture. As has been shown by Silver and others in the last few days, the national polling and the state-by-state polling are not easily harmonized. There is no evidence of Romney overperformance in safe states which could allow Obama to win the electoral vote handily while drawing the national popular vote.

    Instead, the national popular vote polls suggest a tied race, and the state-by-state polls suggest a race in which Obama leads by 2-3 points nationally. These are incommensurate.

    Now, what Silver’s model (properly) does is to add up the state and national polling into one aggregate. That gives him the 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 odds of a Romney win. and seriously, while I’m happy to make any even-money bets you want on 3-to-1 or 4-to-1, those are not odds that make me blissfully confident in victory. I just flipped a coin and it came up heads twice. Romney’s president. Aaarrrggggh.

    And, as Silver has acknowledged, when you have a discrepancy like this between state and national polling, there is a significant chance that the national polls are right and the state polls are wrong. (That’s what happened in 1992, for instance.)

    For me, I think the race is a little closer to a toss-up than Silver’s numbers suggest. More in the space around 2-to-1 or even 3-to-2. Obama’s a favorite, but I’m not anywhere close to confident.

    • DivGuy says:

      What this reminds me of, more than anything else, is the horror of the sports stat nerd. An example from American football, because it seems the most dramatic:

      Football coaches punt way too often. There is excellent data showing that most punts in the opponent half decrease win probability. Not by a lot, by a percentage point or two in most cases, but they are negative-expectation plays. So when a coach goes for it on 4th-and-2 on the opponent 42, you cheer. And then the pass sails incomplete, the other team takes over and marches down the field for the decisive score.

      And all the innumerates in the press crow about the risk the coach took, how you have to win the field position battle, and on and on. Of course, the coach was right, the numbers were on his side, but only a percentage point or two. The right call in the aggregate often doesn’t pay off in the moment. And people who don’t understand numbers will say they were right based on one data point.

      The models all project a highly significant chance of a Romney win. I can’t help but feel – maybe I’m just too much of a New England sports fan – that this is going to be one of those moments where you make the right call and then you still lose.

      • Cody says:

        If anything, we just have to hope Peyton Manning is a Democrat and not a Republican.

      • Bill Murray says:

        Football coaches punt way too often. There is excellent data showing that most punts in the opponent half decrease win probability. Not by a lot, by a percentage point or two in most cases, but they are negative-expectation plays.

        You have to be pretty careful about this though. Using mean values without consideration of the variation and whether the variation is symmetric can have pretty bad consequences

    • DivGuy says:

      Replying to yourself twice is dumb.

      But you can take all this as me saying I think it’s 95-99% (1), a combination of motivated bias, innumeracy, and hatred of expertise leading to an entirely real belief that the coin’s going to come up heads twice.

      If a majority of sports fans still want to see their team punt from the opposing 40, and still want to see more sac bunts and see Raul Ibanez intentionally walked and see the closer wait for a save situation, then by gum it’s not going to be a hard for a majority of base Republicans, steeped in a rich anti-intellectualism, to dismiss method and evidence in favor of traditional and what their guts tell them.

    • NonyNony says:

      , while I’m happy to make any even-money bets you want on 3-to-1 or 4-to-1, those are not odds that make me blissfully confident in victory. I just flipped a coin and it came up heads twice. Romney’s president. Aaarrrggggh.

      I think the race is a little closer to a toss-up than Silver’s numbers suggest. More in the space around 2-to-1 or even 3-to-2. Obama’s a favorite, but I’m not anywhere close to confident.

      These two statements are incongruous. Your first statement is absolutely correct – Romney’s chances of winning are the same as getting heads to come up twice on two coin flips. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE FREAKING TIME. 75% chance to win is a fairly decent bet to make for a low stakes game but I wouldn’t want to stake my life on it.

      3/4 odds ARE toss-up odds. There’s an advantage to Obama, but it’s a small one. People think that’s huge, but that’s because they want “toss up” to mean “50-50″. But if we truly were in 50-50 territory for Obama then he’d lose – a sitting incumbent President in the midst of a recovery with no major scandals during his tenure going into an election with 50-50 odds to win? He’d be toast – even Carter might very well have had a better than 50% chance to win his election 6 days out. (Though that’s talking out my ass – I have no idea what the state level polling looked like in the 1980 election.)

      • MattT says:

        But if we truly were in 50-50 territory for Obama then he’d lose – a sitting incumbent President in the midst of a recovery with no major scandals during his tenure going into an election with 50-50 odds to win? He’d be toast

        This makes no sense at all. If the odds were “truly” 50/50, he’d win 50% of the time. If it was the case historically that with the polls exactly tied, the incumbent almost always lost, a good model should predict the incumbent to lose. But that’s not the case. And Carter was not going into the final week of 1980 at “50/50″, he’d been polling behind most of the year.

        • This makes no sense at all. If the odds were “truly” 50/50, he’d win 50% of the time.

          Right. He’s conflating % of the vote with chance of victory.

          And 3/4 odds are not toss-up odds. 3/4 odds means that Obama is three times as likely as Romney to win.

      • catclub says:

        You can look at the economy and know that Carter was going to lose. Down about 5% on the year. The Iran hostages just made it worse.

  31. Rarely Posts says:

    Everyone’s identified the main motivations, but here’s another:

    They just enjoy lying.

    Seriously. Most human beings have at least a little evil/sadistic/spiteful/hateful streak through them, and the right-wing nurses and feeds that streak to the point where it dominates the personalities of some of them.

    Lying, particularly open and flagrant lying, is an assertion of power. It dominates the other person, particularly if they don’t push back (which all too often, liberals don’t (though thankfully not in this instance)). It humiliates and degrades the other person – you don’t respect them enough to tell them the truth or even suspect they’ll see through your bullshit. At a minimum, it enrages them and hurts them – they start worrying that they’re crazy, or screaming with frustration that they have to deal with a child.

    A lot of right-wing and conservative actions can’t be justified just by rational selfishness — all too often, they’re openly destructive and self-destructive. We need to remember that some of them are, at least to some extent, motivated by hate and spite. Some of them just enjoy lying.

  32. isaiah says:

    My impression is that before the first debate, the Republican pundits were mostly acknowledging Romney was in trouble and busy finding fault with his campaign. So you can’t say that Republicans are not capable of going sour on their guy, but they (like everyone else) tend to get caught up in the mood of their fellow thinkers.

    • RedSquareBear says:

      Sharpening the knives to eat their own isn’t the same as doing serious analysis of a failed/failing campaign.

      Because the GOP never comes to anything other than the conclusion that their candidate wasn’t pure enough (and with Mittens that’s a pretty easy charge to prove, at least for the true-believers).

      Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. This is why the GOP cannot do serious analysis during or after a failed election. At least no public face of the GOP can. Maybe they have serious analysis going on below the surface, but it would have to be pretty damn deep, far enough underwater to raise no waves and (seemingly) have no effect.

      Although, I suppose looked at a certain way, Romney (and his false but much-vaunted recent “tack to the center”) *is* an attempt to respond to serious analysis of past campaigns, it’s just that the GOP is largely (and increasingly) held captive by their own true-believer base.

    • Ed says:

      My impression is that before the first debate, the Republican pundits were mostly acknowledging Romney was in trouble and busy finding fault with his campaign.

      That was my impression as well, and it wasn’t only the hardcore righties who were audibly unhappy with Romney.

  33. rm says:

    Just noticed the post title. It may be the nature of their game that is puzzling you, and they also may be men of wealth, but you can’t say they have taste.

  34. Dave says:

    At times like this, one should console oneself with the thought that the politics of the USA have always been conducted at a shrill, whining pitch, and the country has always been, in the minds of some or all of its electors, poised at the brink of collapse/dissolution/civil war. Yet still you fuckers refuse to die. It’s stupid, but it’s the historical record.

  35. C’mon, Occam’s Razor, here

    The background rumble grew to a full cacophony a couple of weeks ago, which is when they started running ads for the Red Dawn remake on the TV

    Their blood is all up and the only real-world substitute they have for shouting “Wolverines” is “POLLS ARE BIASED!”

  36. Barry says:

    Robert, in addition it’s important that none of these pundits will suffer in even the slightest way, no matter how wrong they are.

    Expecting them to pay attention to the truth is just as silly as expecting the writers of Pravda to speak the truth.

    • Cody says:

      I found this immensely amusing. A piece up thread here stated “Those most troubling thing about Nate Silver he won’t suffer if he is right or wrong. He has already said a 75% chance doesn’t mean his model was wrong if Romney wins!”

      Yes, because the pundit would lose his job if he’s wrong!

  37. [...] Rob Farley (at LGM) discusses the right-wing blogsphere’s “War on Math.” [...]

  38. ponce says:

    I think the idea is to keep the funding coming from billionaire boobs like Sheldon Adelson right up until election day.

    You gotta wonder how much of that wingnut PAC money people like Karl Rove have tucked away in their super secret private offshore bank accounts, because the ad campaigns they mounted sure looks like low budget amateur stuff.

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