Submitted Without Comment

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.]


…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.

130 comments on this post.
  1. Davis X. Machina:

    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:


    That’s all that matters, anyway.

  3. ʾAbū l-Walīd Muḥammad bin ʾAḥmad bin Rušd:

    I did my best to preserve knowledge for you crackers.

  4. Anonymous:

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

  5. howard:

    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.

  6. Craigo:

    Dude, there’s these states called Colorado and Nevada. It’s over.

  7. J.W. Hamner:

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

  8. Joseph Slater:

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

  9. zombie rotten mcdonald (unashamed Knack fan):

    Yeah, I have fond memeories of the triumphant Gore administration, elected when he bravely refused to concede Florida….

  10. Malaclypse:

    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?

  11. zombie rotten mcdonald (unashamed Knack fan):

    …and vibrations.

  12. SEK:

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

  13. Both Sides Do It:

    This seems like the most important media project in the wake of the election: shaming pundits who spouted nonsense in the face of data and sound analysis.

    It won’t come to much but it’ll do something. The arc of public discourse is long but it bends towards honesty.

  14. Both Sides Do It:

    Whoops, not meant as a reply to Mal. Alcohol’s a hell of a drug.

  15. commie atheist:

    Sadly, no. I have resigned myself to second-class status for the foreseeable future.

  16. Tracy:


  17. dan:

    Mickey Kaus is still alive?

  18. Hogan:

    Taken care of, apparently.

  19. Jameson Quinn:

    Wait a minute. That was you????

    – not not nate

  20. Jameson Quinn:

    All 30 pieces of him?

  21. Jameson Quinn:


  22. DocAmazing:

    I have heard the idiots spinning, each to each.

  23. wjts:

    Hodor hodor.

  24. John:

    They will certainly need a replacement for Priebus.

  25. CaptBackslap:

    I think “undeath” is a more appropriate word than “life” for his career, at least.

  26. wjts:

    Despite MSM lies, the swing state of Connecticut remains too close to call.

  27. Warren Terra:

    See also Florida.

  28. Joshua:

    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.

  29. Joseph Slater:

    Yes, and, one can only hope, the end of “here’s what I heard from a cab driver or at the Appleby’s salad bar.”

  30. wengler:

    Does he pay a price for being wrong?


    George Will don’t give a shit.

  31. Ed Marshall:

    I haven’t laughed this much in years.

  32. Anonymous:

    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.

  33. wengler:

    The troll philosopher spouts bullshit so ably!

  34. rea:

    Being wrong on TV is his job

  35. Pinko Punko:

    Like Egypt, we shall fall and Pharoah’s power crumble!

  36. wengler:

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

  37. dlankerlanger:

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

    nice to see the troll being honest about how much he hates black people

  38. CashandCable:

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

  39. janastas359:

    Oh boy, could I ever live with not winning the house if we could get rid of those two.

  40. wjts:

    O tempora! O morons!

  41. Anticorium:

    For future historians: twenty-seven minutes after this post, Romney conceded America.

  42. Karl Rove’s memorable moment - TV Guidance -

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

  43. Fighting Words:

    Man, that’s like some troll Yoda sh!t there…

  44. parrot:

    cloud atlas … won’t fold back up correctly …

  45. Walt:

    See, this is why you lose. You’re so out of touch of reality that you think any of this applies. “Voting largesse out of the Treasury?” WTF?

  46. CD:

    I’ve gone form nervousness to delight to drunkenness to fatigue in just a few hours. Time to collapse!

  47. owlbear1:

    I agree, Wall Street should have never been bailed out.

  48. StevenAttewell:

    I picked 332-206.

    Obama needs to pick up a point in the popular vote, and I seriously under-counted Obama’s lead in MA at 18 vs. 24.

  49. herr doktor bimler:

    Here and at Sadly,No!
    Nothing so persuasive as copypasta.

  50. herr doktor bimler:

    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.

  51. Grant:

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

  52. ADM:

    It kinda sounds like the inescapable implication of your sentiments is that the GOP are band of tight-fisted dictators. Is that what you’re saying? That when democracy fails, it’ll be the GOP lording over the resulting hellscape?

  53. RhZ:

    That’s exactly right. Therefore, we must take this mandate and end the outrageous tax breaks and corporate welfare for Big Oil, Big Sugar, Big Agra…

  54. Bruce Baugh:

    That is not dead which can in punditry lie
    And with strange aeons, even death may diddle goats

  55. Bruce Baugh:

    Burma Shave.

  56. rea:

    A quote from . . . the Daily Oklahoman, 1951

  57. Jameson Quinn:






  58. Jameson Quinn:

    I think I beat you. But we’ll see.

  59. rea:

    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.

  60. Chester Allman:

    Well this is excellent.

  61. Cody:

    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.

  62. jefft452:

    “It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury”

    Why do voters have to “discover” this. Dont the voters know this from the beginning of the Republic?

  63. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    + eleventymillion

  64. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    That’s some overcooked copypasta!

  65. Lee:

    And thus America entered into golden age of abundant wing-nut paranoia. Well, even more abundant than that of years past.

  66. Lee:

    Yes but his Kaus an easily turnable zombie or skeleton or something more difficult like a vampire or lich.

  67. Kurzleg:

    Don’t worry. It’ll only be a matter of time before the wingers get their own statisticians on TV and in the paper to muddy the empirical waters.

  68. Scott Lemieux:

    And even had Republicans eked out control of the Senate, do you think Kimball understands that you need 2/3rds to convict? Wait, what am I saying, of course he doesn’t.

  69. Aaron Baker:

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

  70. Kurzleg:

    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.

  71. Kurzleg:

    Right, which is why I think it’s wishful thinking that Silver being proved right won’t have much of an impact on the state of political punditry. At least not in the short term.

  72. John Protevi:

    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.”

  73. Colin Day:

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

  74. JKTHs:

    Dean Chambers just won himself a Fox News contributor spot

  75. DrDick:

    It can only exist until the voters plutocrats discover that they can vote buy themselves elections and largesse from the public treasury.

    FTFY. We solved that problem by beating them back.

  76. Kurzleg:


  77. A Turd Blossom’s Desparation is a Wonderful Thing - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money:

    [...] 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” [...]

  78. Rich Puchalsky:

    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?

  79. Anonymous:

    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.

  80. spencer:

    Looks like you get half your wish – West is out, apparently.

  81. Gus:

    The term is chupacabra.

  82. Gus:

    And Minnesota (10, not 16). Where did this guy get a reputation as anything but a toe sucker?

  83. Gus:

    Let us enjoy the schaudenfreude for a day, first.

  84. catclub:

    I’m talking about good vibrations.

  85. Marc:

    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.

  86. catclub:

    “… bends toward honesty.”

    I disagree. Romney lied like a rug the entire campaign and was called on it, momentarily, two or three times, so overall, lying is ok, and will become worse in the next campaign. Todd Akin knows what happens when they tell the truth.

    The lesson will be, do not even release one year of tax returns. Do not release any details of any plans. The bad pundits problem is lesser than the non-reporting problem.

  87. JL:

    I assume that at least some people here have seen this:

  88. GeoX:


  89. Gingrich:

    He turned me into a Newt!

  90. Tom:

    The age of reporting fact-based information has long expired; the age of “he said, she said” stenograhy is upon us in full force!

  91. joe from Lowell:

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

  92. Tom:

    Yes, but on the Mitt Romney model of vulture capitalism only the financial elite get to ride on the elevators while the rest of the population get the shaft!

  93. rea:

    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?

  94. joe from Lowell:

    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!

  95. joe from Lowell:

    Why does A imply B?

    Perhaps because changing the subject from the Republicans’ failures and the reason for those failures is the goal, and criticism (allegedly) from Obama’s left is a means to that end.

  96. Rich Puchalsky:

    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.

  97. joe from Lowell:

    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.

  98. bob mcmanus:

    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.

  99. joe from Lowell:

    Piss off, Republican troll.

    The question for the actual liberals here is whether you’re going to go along with this ratfucker’s efforts to sow dissent in the ranks, or not.

  100. rea:

    These are the people who had hysterics when Obama got an extension of unemployment benefits, ratification of an arms treaty with Russia, and DADT repeal for a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts

  101. joe from Lowell:

    …while simultaneously bashing him for not being as committed to Keynesian stimulus as they are.

  102. bob mcmanus:

    “Dissent in the ranks” cannot be permitted. It’s the “liberal” way.

    Puchalsky is answered. I already knew.

  103. joe from Lowell:

    Read bob’s replies carefully, everyone, so you can recognize this strategy when you see it.

  104. Scott Lemieux:

    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.

  105. rea:

    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.

  106. Colin Day:

    Did you get better?

  107. Colin Day:

    Honey pundit don’t care!!

  108. Cody:

    To be fair, I’m still angry we extended the Bush Cuts.

    But I’m also aware politics is going to piss me off. That’s why I’m not a politician (that coupled with an unattractive face and voice), I’d be angry all the time. I’m more upset at all the people who voted the Republican majority into the House. I’d like to blame them, instead of the person forced to negotiate with them.

  109. Rich Puchalsky:

    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?

  110. Scott Lemieux:

    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.

  111. Paula:

    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.)

  112. Njorl:

    Lots of civilizations have collapsed, so there should be no problem finding some that collapsed via this mechanism. Oh look. There aren’t any.

  113. Election Day 2012 Losers:

    [...] 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 [...]

  114. Anonymous:

    I’m sorry dude, but where I come from “MSM” does not mean mainstream media. It means men who have sex with men. Anyone in a medical or social research field will find your post confusing and/or hilarious.

  115. Rich Puchalsky:

    “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

    “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 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?

  116. joe from Lowell:

    That’s your definition of ambitious?

    The Keystone pipeline?

  117. Rich Puchalsky:

    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.

  118. joe from Lowell:

    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.

  119. Scott Lemieux:

    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.

  120. Full Metal Wingnut:

    You’re a fucking retard.

  121. Scott Lemieux:

    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.

  122. Matthew:

    Ably refuted elsewhere:

    All through the 1990s, Bill Clinton allied himself with fiscal moderates of both parties to stave off efforts by the supply-siders to raid the budget surplus and give it all — not to the People — but to the rich. Clinton and Senators Tsongas (D) and Rudman (R) and others in the moderate middle were able to accomplish that because they were backed up by the public! By opinion polls showing that the middle class overwhelmingly wanted the budget surplus spent on paying down debt. And not on tax cuts for themselves.

    And so on.

  123. Matthew:

    One also purveys whores, I think.

  124. Paula:

    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.

  125. Paula:

    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?

  126. Rich Puchalsky:

    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?

  127. Jameson Quinn:

    rhetoric about the futility of trying for anything better


  128. Rich Puchalsky:

    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.

  129. Scott Lemieux:

    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.

  130. Paula:

    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?

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