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[ 130 ] November 7, 2012 |

Person actually paid by The Hill to opine about politics Dick Morris:

Then, in October, Obama lost the Southern swing states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). He also lost Colorado (10), bringing his total to 255 votes.

And now, he faces the erosion of the northern swing states: Ohio (18), New Hampshire (4) and Iowa (6). Only in the union-anchored state of Nevada (9) does Obama still cling to a lead.

In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.

Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?

Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins:

We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.

Syndicated columnist William F. George:

Romney 321, Obama 217. “The wild card in what I’ve projected is I’m projecting Minnesota to go for Romney.” — Nov. 4, on ABC’s “This Week.”

Kaus Hackula:

Has everyone suddenly forgotten about the equally potent Bradley Effect? (With some scrolling, you can also see his instant classics “Protecting Nate Silver,” “Is welfare Romney’s clincher?” and “How Sandy hurts Obama.” But I don’t recommend it.)

Jay Cost:

So why head into Pennsylvania, a state the GOP has not won in twenty years?

Liberal proponents of the “emerging Democratic majority” love to talk about shifting demographics in their favor, but they regularly ignore the many ways in which demographics have shifted toward the GOP. For instance, Nevada and its six electoral votes tipping red to blue is all the rage, but West Virginia and its five, Kentucky and its eight, Arkansas and its five, and Missouri and its ten switching blue to red is ignored.

And so it goes with Pennsylvania, a state that has slowly been shifting toward the Republicans for the last twenty years…

Creepy Unskewed Guy:

Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats. [Projects Romney wins in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Minnesota.]

…related.

…also see Trainwreck Media passim. Pure comedy gold. It’s always nice to see Roger Kimball maintain the highest pretension-to-achievement ratio of any would-be intellectual in America.

Comments (130)

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  1. Davis X. Machina says:

    On the heels of this fiasco, I predict Reince Priebus will be replaced as RNC chair by Tertullian of Carthage, the Credo quia absurdum guy.

  2. ajs says:

    BUT DID OBAMA WIN THE WHITE MAN VOTE?

    That’s all that matters, anyway.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t over yet, socialists. Romney refuses to concede Ohio…remember 2000 and Algore…

  4. howard says:

    as krugman wrote earlier today, it’s one of the small aspects of this election, but it’s great to see the data-based modelers kick butt.

    and, of course, it’s extra-great that someone trained to the high standards of the best of sabermetrics would, in fact, demonstrate that that’s a transferable skill.

  5. J.W. Hamner says:

    Nooners if my favorite… I just can’t over her dismissal of polls in favor of yard signs.

  6. Joseph Slater says:

    I understand partisan idiots spinning. But Silver deserves a lot of credit for making that a lot harder in the future.

    • DocAmazing says:

      I have heard the idiots spinning, each to each.

    • Kurzleg says:

      I wish I could be as confident. In the end, TV needs people to argue about stuff, so why not argue about statitical predictions? Statistics is opaque enough to most people that it wouldn’t be too hard to turn that discussion into a he said/she said scenario. In the end, nobody’s really keeping a scorecard of who’s predictions were accurate. Or at least it’s not something that’s gonna be broadcast widely, although you’d think there’d be a viewship advantage to hiring the people who did.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think spinning would be OK if they had to physically spin while they did it. Each pundit could blather to his heart’s content until he became dizzy. When they fell over, it would be obvious that they were no longer balanced, and should shut up.

  7. Malaclypse says:

    To be fair to all of the idiots above, can any of them be said to be stupider or more craven than fucking Romney, who still has not fucking conceded?

  8. SEK says:

    Did I not tell you? Silver doesn’t lose. He’s incapable of it, the bastard.

  9. Tracy says:

    NATE SILVER IS MY JESUS!

  10. dan says:

    Mickey Kaus is still alive?

  11. Joshua says:

    I’m no Nate Silver but as early as January it was quite obvious that a Romney win was pretty improbable. This is not my job, I am just a bit of a politics junkie. George Will predicted as of yesterday that Romney would win 321 electoral votes including Minnesota and his fucking job is writing about politics. It is what he has been doing for longer than I have been alive.

    Oh, and is Joe Scarborough now the Joe Morgan of pundits? Joe Morgan in commentator form, of course.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Let this quote sink in as our nation descends into bankruptcy and darkness:

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

  13. wengler says:

    It’s looking like 332 is going to be the magic number. Whoever had 332 come forward and claim your prize.

  14. CashandCable says:

    Now I’m feeling greedy . . . I want to wake up tomorrow and learn that Bachmann and West have been evicted from the House.

  15. [...] of that, this liberal blog has some links to pundits who predicted the election based on their “gut feelings.” It includes George [...]

  16. herr doktor bimler says:

    Thanks (if that is the word) to Substance McG, a link to the proverbial flourish of strumpets at PJMedia.

    I particularly liked the Mrs Dr Helen’s paean of praise for epistemic closure, which saved her saved her from failing the Loyalty Test with her disturbing lack of faith, when she learned to limit her information to two sources which reliably told her only what she wanted to hear.

  17. Grant says:

    Next time lets just let Silver pick the President. We’d get the same result with much less hassle.

  18. rea says:

    Well, there is always Roger Kimball’s alternative prediction:

    even if (per impossible) Obama were reelected, he would likely face impeachment proceedings of a virulence that would make Watergate appear like a walk through the park.

    But that’s not going to work too well with this Senate.

  19. Cody says:

    You’re naming was spot-on tonight.

    Where is that pundit that said Nate Silver would have no consequences for being wrong? He picked Romney to win, so I assume he has retired from the internet.

  20. Aaron Baker says:

    It’s a victory for small, effeminate men everywhere.

  21. John Protevi says:

    I loved Roger Kimball’s self-description:

    – In addition to his work at PJ Media and The New Criterion, Roger Kimball is the publisher of Encounter Books, a purveyor of serious non-fiction titles from a broadly construed conservative perspective.

    “Purveyor” is just right, as it comes from the Latin purveyo, purveyare, a 1st conjugation verb meaning “to grind out, like sausage.”

  22. Colin Day says:

    Dick Morris botched the number of electoral votes in Colorado (9, not 10) and Nevada (6 not 9)_.

  23. [...] wasting resources in no-hope states like Pennsylvania and Minnesota to gin up confidence among particularly hapless rubes. But without inept ballot design and a third-party sabotage campaign to help him “win” [...]

  24. Rich Puchalsky says:

    So … now that people have dutifully voted for the lesser evil as you insisted that they morally had to do, and there is no election to be lost by opposing the Grand Bargain and the drone war, people can count on you to come out swinging against Obama. Right?

    • Gus says:

      Let us enjoy the schaudenfreude for a day, first.

    • Marc says:

      Why does A imply B?

      We get it that you want the glorious people’s revolution. The real problem isn’t Obama; it’s the Judean People’s Front. Defeat them first.

    • rea says:

      opposing the Grand Bargain and the drone war . . .

      . . . was and remains idiocy. Whether a “Grand Bargain” is a bad thing depends on its terms. Getting anything done is going to require a Grand Bargain. And the drone war is just a tactic–would you prefer we used F-15s? Why don’t you anti-drone people spend your efforts on getting us out of Afghanistan, instead?

      • Rich Puchalsky says:

        So, the people raving about how the left-wing case against Obama was so bad aren’t lesser-evilists at all, but actually are centrist Obama supporters? What a surprise. Hopefully people will remember that for the next election.

        • Opposing “a Grand Bargain” without bothering to put any actual intellectual content into that phrase isn’t a left-wing position, just an ignorant one.

          Disapproving of ignorance is not a centrist position, just a rational one.

    • I’ve got a crazy idea about swinging against Obama over a “Grand Bargain” – how about we wait until he actually takes some action worth swinging at him for?

      Naw, that’s no fun. Hey hey! Ho ho! The people! United!

      • bob mcmanus says:

        how about we wait until he actually takes some action worth swinging at him for?

        You mean after he signs the bill?

        It is Obama’s style to keep his council and work behind the scenes specifically to make opposition difficult. While mouthing platitudes of course.

        That’s the kind of “putting his feet to the fire” I expect around here.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      I already opposed a Grand Bargain before the election. Indeed, I’ve never felt that it was terribly difficult to see “Obama is far better than the other person who could be president” and “Obama is significantly to my right” as being discrete concepts.

      • Rich Puchalsky says:

        You said that people needed to vote for Obama because he was far better than Romney, even though Obama was further to the right than you or they would like. This is what I referred to as lesser-evilism. You asked people to give up something they’d like to do (i.e. voting for a third party candidate whose policies they actually supported) for a greater political good.

        So what are you willing to give up? Are you willing to give up saying that this is the best that we can practically do, now that there is no immediate electoral need to do so?

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          I’ve never started saying that Obama was always “the best we can practically do.” There are any of number of areas where he exercises substantial discretion and has acted badly, and I’ve crticized him for that.

          It is true that I believe that presidents should be evaluated in historical perspective and not by irrelevant standards (his legislative record has to evaluated in light of the fact that he’s dealing with two houses of Congress with median votes well to his right, not as if he was a Westminster PM with a majority.) I suspect this is really what you object to, but I have never ever said that Obama shouldn’t be crticized for stuff he’s actually responsible for.

          • Rich Puchalsky says:

            “There were some complaints about Obama not doing enough to sketch out an ambitious second-term agenda. This didn’t really bother me, because with Republican control of the House an ambitious agenda is moot. ”

            That’s not saying that his lack of an ambitious agenda is the best that we can practically do? A very strange way of saying that.

            Here, for contrast, is part of an Email that I just got from 350.org:

            “Our newly re-elected President has the opportunity to deny the permit for Keystone XL, and should do so right away. We’re not waiting to put the pressure on either — on Nov. 18th, just as we wrap our Do the Math event, we’re hitting the streets of Washington DC with thousands of our friends to show Obama that we expect him to stop the pipeline.”

            Feel free to tell us how the 350.org effort is doomed and how we shouldn’t bother. Because by your logic, of course it’s doomed — he can no more deny the permit for a pipeline without having to deal with two houses of Congress with median votes to his right any more than he can decide whether to unilaterally use drone warfare or not, or work to set up the Grand Bargain that would surely fail if he didn’t work towards it.

            I don’t think that you’re writing as a realist. I think that you’re writing as an apologist. Are you willing to give up on that now that it’s no longer immediately necessary? In other words, are you willing to do the same thing that you were demanding that other people do?

            • That’s your definition of ambitious?

              The Keystone pipeline?

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              That’s not saying that his lack of an ambitious agenda is the best that we can practically do?

              I’m saying that ambitious liberal legislation can’t pass as long as the Republicans control the House of Representatives. I believe this because I have, what you call it, “at least minimal knowledge of how American political institutions work.”

              Now, there are important things that can be done by the regulatory state and with the appointment power. But if any of it constitutes an ambitious liberal agenda, we have a very different definition of what this means.

              Obama can (and should) certainly stop a bad “grand bargain” deal, which is why I said he can play defense. This has nothing to do with pursuing an ambitious liberal agenda.


              I don’t think that you’re writing as a realist. I think that you’re writing as an apologist.

              I think you have spectacularly failed to substantiate this assertion.

  25. Nobody who predicted that the Republicans would damage Obama by attacking him for “putting entitlements on the table” should be commenting in this thread.

  26. rea says:

    There’s a battle coming up, over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the automatic spending cuts. We have more leverge than we did the last time around, because there are things at stake the Republicans seriously care about–but also some things at stake that are important to the future of the country. Obama has to use our leverage to make a good deal–but a deal must be made, or we wind up in European-style austerity. Bitching that there must be no “Grand Bargain”–what are these people–British Tories? Certainly not Democrats.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Well, “Grand Bargain” has sort of become an empty signifier, but it generally refers to some kind of long-term deal to reduce the deficit. They’re inherently stupid because even in the unlikely event that you could make a deal on favorable terms they’re completely unenforceable, and anybody who saw this play out during the Bush administration should understand that they’re being played for sucker.

      Now, saying there shouldn’t be a “grand bargain” in this sense doesn’t mean that Obama shouldn’t leverage the expiration of the Bush tax cuts into some sort of deal, but that depends on what the content is.

  27. Paula says:

    If there was some kind of incoming lefty shift, it wasn’t evident last night.

    The thing about this whole “we hold our criticism now, criticize after” parlance tends to dismiss the reality that the people doing the lefty criticizing are STILL in denial of the fact that don’t have much of a constituency to stand on. (Unless it’s election time, which is the only point where they conveniently “understand” and can absolve themselves of responsibility for stuff that happens.) They’re still holding on to the notion of the Daddy president who will do the right thing if we just remind him.

    All of those people who were justifying protest voting/3rd party at the presidential level now have a very current election in which to test their theories.

    Propositions passed at the state level indicate that some voters have gone leftward in terms of crime, drugs, and gay marriage.

    But the 3rd party candidate who ended up actually garnering enough votes to gain a noteworthy percentage in the contested states was Gary Johnson.

    If Jill Stein/Rocky Anderson types want to explain how they’re going to go about their lefty revolution with these recent results, it would go a long way to people taking them seriously.

    (Also, the reason why the suggestion of “tweaking SS” is so popular among pols on both sides is because a lot of the public actually believes it. Barack Obama did not magically create that meme from his cold, benefit-cutting heart.)

    • Rich Puchalsky says:

      If you want to defend Obama and the Democratic Party as the best we can do — if people shouldn’t hold their criticism until after the election, if they should simply never bother to criticize at all because it’s hopeless — then that’s an argument you can make. That doesn’t mean that you’re arguing for Obama as a lesser evil, though, it simply means that you’re an Obama supporter.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are, etc. But it makes the perennial lesser-evil demands so beloved at LGM a lie. If you want people to vote for Obama because you think he’s the best, fine. Don’t try to dress it up as you think that he’s the best we can do towards a left that you don’t think is possible.

      • Noting that Obama is “the best we can do” under current circumstances is not at all inconsistent with a perception of him as a lesser evil.

        I think a Democratic Party (and a Republican Party, for that matter) that are well to the left of where they are today is, indeed, possible. Possible, however, is not the same thing as existent. One can both want the political culture to shift hard to the left, and appreciate the accomplishments of someone with a significant roster of accomplishments that are within the realm of the now-possible.

        Criticizing Obama for not accomplishing single-payer health care and Dennis Kucinich’s foreign policy, in the context of contemporary American political culture, is like criticizing him for not adding 2 million jobs a year in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

      • Full Metal Wingnut says:

        You’re a fucking retard.

      • Paula says:

        I did ask something that you can attempt to answer:

        If Jill Stein/Rocky Anderson types want to explain how they’re going to go about their lefty revolution with these recent results, it would go a long way to people taking them seriously.

        But the fact that you avoided it is duly noted. Have a nice week.

        • Paula says:

          Actually, I’ll help you out by asking a leading question:

          It was argued in 2009-2010 among the “Left” that the form of health care that was best was single payer. However, the 3rd party candidate that advocates for that is beaten out by the 3rd party candidate who thinks medical care should be out of pocket for all but the most extreme cases and privatized.

          If you were an advocate for single payer, based on recent election returns where and how would you begin to pick up more support for the policy?

          • Rich Puchalsky says:

            I didn’t answer it because I’m not a Jill Stein / Rocky Anderson type. I think that third parties are futile within the American political setup because of the mechanics of how our elections are set up. I spent the last year working within an Occupy group, and I don’t expect anything from electoral politics.

            I addressed the question to Scott because he was one of the primary people among the blogs that I read morally posturing about how people had to vote Democratic or people would be hurt. Now it’s after the election, and non-electoral politics is all that’s possible (for a brief period, anyways). Is Scott willing to moderate his rhetoric about the futility of trying for anything better than what Obama can do during this period? That harms non-electoral politics about as much as someone making an argument that you shouldn’t vote for Obama did harmed left electoral politics. So is the lesser-evil morality only for us, or is it for him too?

            • Jameson Quinn says:

              rhetoric about the futility of trying for anything better

              Examples?

              • Rich Puchalsky says:

                Quoted upthread. But here’s what he said about it:

                “Now, there are important things that can be done by the regulatory state and with the appointment power. But if any of it constitutes an ambitious liberal agenda, we have a very different definition of what this means.”

                This rhetorical slippage between what’s important and what’s ambitious is typical — for the issues that Scott thought were important, they were important enough so that people had to bite the bullet and do something that they didn’t want to do. But when they’re issues that he doesn’t seem to care much about, like foreign policy and domestic civil liberties, attempting to change them just isn’t ambitious enough.

                • Scott Lemieux says:

                  This rhetorical slippage between what’s important and what’s ambitious is typical — for the issues that Scott thought were important, they were important enough so that people had to bite the bullet and do something that they didn’t want to do. But when they’re issues that he doesn’t seem to care much about, like foreign policy and domestic civil liberties, attempting to change them just isn’t ambitious enough.

                  You seem to be willfully misunderstanding what I wrote. I’m talking about his legislative agenda, which is obviously mostly DOA. Again, I have never, ever said that people shouldn’t try to push Obama to the left in civil liberties and military policy, and nor have I avoided criticism of Obama on those terms myself.

                  In addition, to conflate my opposition to third party wankery (which as you concede yourself is inherently futile) with any attempts to make things better is absurd. You may want to google anything I’ve written about, say, the LBGT movement.

            • Paula says:

              Well, you can pardon me for assuming that since you were the one who responded to my comment, that the comment had something to do with you.

              SL has spoken for himself, I suppose.

              Although, I gotta say, if you have no faith in electoral politics, why do you care whether or not anyone advocates for lesser-evils?

  28. [...] polling places. Fewer machines. …”• Beltway Republican punditry, spiritual hunches“Submitted Without Comment”“I’m just going to say bluntly, we were wrong. … Karl Rove, Michael Barone, Dick [...]

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