Obama and the Bayesians Win Out on Election Day

obama-wins-2012

The Much Lambasted Polls Were Right – For the last week, even as polls seemed to shift decisively back to President Barack Obama’s favor, the poll deniers – unskewers if you will – came out in force to argue that the baseline Party ID numbers were wrong, that there would be a tsunami of support by Republicans angry about Obama’s presidency, that the enthusiasm gap would win out.

Nate Silver -a Bayesian math geek – would somehow be one of the more reviled figures at the end of the campaign, for sticking to his mathematical formula that once again proved out, as he nailed the calls on all states despite their closeness.

Despite the venom that the Marist University pollsters received, the exit polls in Ohio showed a party breakdown that was remarkably similar to the nine percent spread their poll had showed.

By all stretches of the imagination this was a remarkable win for President Obama, in the face of what can at best be described as a disappointing economy.  But the exit polls showed some remarkable factors – most people felt that the economy was the most important issue, but by a 39-31 margin thought that the economy was improving rather than getting worse.

Moreover, about half the voters still pinned the blame on former President Bush rather than Barack Obama.

President Obama would win just 39% percent of white people – figure that mirrored the total that Michael Dukakis would receive in 1988.  But demonstrating the changing demographics, George H. W. Bush would win over 400 electoral votes with that figure; Mitt Romney would win half of that.

In part what killed Mitt Romney was his decision to move to the right of Rick Perry, his position of self-deportation, which he could never or at the very least would never back off of.  Hispanics set a record with a turnout that marked 10% of the electorate, and 70% of them backed Barack Obama, a departure from the 44% mark that backed George W. Bush just eight years ago.

For all of the bellyaching it turns out both the youth and black vote would turn out in numbers comparable to 2008.  Barack Obama’s decline in vote share is largely attributable to his drop from 44% of the white vote in 2008 to 39% in 2012.

As of now, Florida has not been called, but Obama leads and we expect him to prevail there.  Right now, Obama has a 2.5 million vote edge, 50% of the vote to 48%, mirroring the average in the last polls.

If Florida holds, Obama would have by narrower margins still held his entire coalition from 2008 except Indiana and North Carolina (narrowly), the two most conservative of his state victories from 2008.

In California, he had a stunning victory with most of the precincts reporting.  Obama led by 20 points, 58 to 38 with a 1.7 million vote margin.

Pundits will point probably to three things.  We mentioned the Hispanic vote, critical in Florida, Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and California.

There is the Sandy factor.  A large 15% said that was the most important consideration and another 25% said it was an important consideration.  Of those, 70% would go for Barack Obama.

Hurricane Sandy would illuminate leadership and bipartisanship, and the President and New Jersey Governor Christie would work together to save the ravaged state.

And then there is Ohio, which it turned out that he did not actually need to win, but was critical anyway.  What was critical to Ohio was the bailout of the auto industry and the lack of Mitt Romney compassion and attentiveness to that issue.

Mitt Romney would unleash a dishonest last-minute attack in Ohio that forced even his Republican surrogates to have to come forward to set the record straight.

But the most interesting thing is that the much-maligned polls were right on the mark, both nationally as well as at the state level.

To put this bluntly – the Bayesians were right, the pollsters were right, the conservative bloggers and pundits were completely wrong.

The biggest mistake made by these naysayers – if they were doing anything other than spin and posturing – was that they believed they could estimate what turnout should be.

The biggest point of contention was that the partisan breakdown was not going to be the same in 2012 as it was in 2008, at the height of what they called Obamamania of hope and change.

It turns out they were completely wrong on that point.  And one reason they were wrong is that they treat party ID as a static number.  Pollsters have argued that it actually floats, and that for a group of voters they may vacillate.

In fact, the final exit polls show about the same margin of Democrats to Republicans as 2008.  However, they also showed that Mitt Romney won Independents by about 4 percent.

But be careful how you read into those numbers.  What many now believe has happened is that a lot of the left-leaning independents are now identifying as Democrats.  Whereas a lot of the right-leaning independents, especially some Tea Party enthusiasts who voted for Republicans, are not identifying as Republicans.

If this analysis is correct, it may skew both party ID and what it means to be independent.  The caution is not to assume independent equals moderate, or even an undecided voter.

The biggest errors the unskewers made was to assume that polling was not sophisticated enough to capture the dynamics they claimed existed in the electorate.

It is a weird claim because the polls pretty much captured the move left in 2006 and 2008, and the move right by the electorate in 2010.

Why would a random sample not be able to capture higher Republican turnout?  Why would it not be able to capture if the Democrats were going to stay home because there was an enthusiasm gap?

The answer is that the polling both should and did capture those kinds of trends.  Polling is complex and sophisticated, but pollsters have gotten better at their craft over the years.

The answer to whether party ID should be fixed or float is that it should float.  Fixing the party ID assumes you can make an accurate prediction as to what the turnout will look like.  Allowing it to float allows the voters themselves and your sample to dictate what turnout will look like.

It turns out that those who allowed party ID to float were right.

Finally, I hope the vindication for Nate Silver – for whom many of the media and critics simply did not understand either his math or what his math was saying – is message to pundits and prognosticators to look at mathematical models rather than hunches and guesswork to make electoral predictions.

All Nate Silver did was run his numbers into a formula to determine what they meant.  It turns out that even slim margins, if they are persistent, are very predictive.

My only real criticism was that he was a bit too sanguine about the accuracy of the polling.  His model was right because the polling was accurate, but I would have upwardly revised the possibility that the polls were wrong.  As it turns out they were not, so perhaps I was wrong on that score.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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86 thoughts on “Obama and the Bayesians Win Out on Election Day”

  1. biddlin

    “Finally, I hope the vindication for Nate Silver – for whom many of the media and critics simply did not understand either his math or what his math was saying – is message to pundits and prognosticators to look at mathematical models rather than hunches and guesswork to make electoral predictions.”
    Science is treif in the dark neo-con doctrine embraced by the greedy and fed to doltish .

  2. SouthofDavis

    I think the bottom line is that the Democratic party is growing and the Republican party is shrinking (in the states with the most electoral votes) and Mitt Romney (unlike Ronald Regan) didn’t have what it took to get many Democrats to vote for him (and is such a tool that large numbers of Republicans and right leaning independents decided not to vote for him).

  3. biddlin

    Republicans need a reality check.
    Donald J. Trump “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!”(At this point the president leads by 2,666,829 in the “popular vote”)”This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!”
    Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots on Romney:“a weak moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment wing of the Republican Party. The presidential loss is unequivocally on them.”

    Grover Norquist:“To deserve to govern in 2014 Republicans should maintain their opposition to tax and spend and continue to present a vision for the future that includes tax reform and entitlement reform,”

    These folks don’t seem to be sufficiently analytical or adaptable enough to evolve .

  4. Frankly

    Dear Lefties, moochers, looters, liberals, Democrats, collectivists…

    Congratulations.

    You won it all with significant help from the media-entertainment industry. Now see what you can do.

    We conservatives won’t be helping you, because you have done nothing to earn our support, and it has been made clear that anything we do to help is used against us politically.

    We got that lesson loud and clear.

    What other lessons did we conservatives learn?

    We learned we are more divided than we previously imagined. We learned that beneath the Democrat image of a caring saver of people lurks something much more sinister than we ever imagined.

    We learned that we can’t compete at this point. Redistribution and hand-outs… the promise of an easier and richer life void of struggle and risk taking… reinforced by soft-money-wealthy elites that crave a release for their guilt over the constant nagging feeling that they didn’t do enough to earn their wealth (they generally did not)… these are insurmountable offers. Teaching the longer-term benefits of self-determination and self-discipline in a system of enterprise and free-markets… this is a much more difficult sell to a society growing in demands for instant gratification in the arms of a growing nanny state.

    We learned that we should take a more passive role and let you prove you can lead and solve our national, state and local problems.

    But we are going to shrug.

    We are going to cancel our business expansion plans. We are going to hire fewer employees (because, frankly, too many of them are a pain of joyless entitlement and victimhood). We are going to take more vacations. We are going to work less hard. We are going watch more Fox News and conservative talk radio, and boycott any media or entertainment with even a hint of liberal bias. We are going to encourage our children to seek those cushy government jobs instead of starting a business. We are going to church more, and moving away to Red states.

    We truly believe that you will continue to destroy the state and the country. Please prove us wrong, but don’t expect us to help you in doing so. If you succeed, you get all the glory. But, if you fail… we will not be involved to be your excuse and scapegoat. If you want to be the emperor, then you have to wear the clothing and fill the chair.

    Note that history and evidence is not on your side. It is clear that others societies have failed fantastically trying to do what you want to do. But, it is common for liberal elites to discount those other failures only as proof that they are more intelligent and righteous. We doubt it, but we see that we have no choice but to allow you to prove it right or wrong.

    So, have at it. Good luck.

    In the mean time we will just move out of your way, since that is what you have demanded.

  5. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff:

    I am disappointed in your comments in that I think you are better than them. I think you have the capability to analyze why the republicans were unsuccessful beyond your very narrow lenses that you use here. The republicans also seem to blame the media for their losses. Why? The media is probably more fractured than I have ever seen it.

    I flipped around last night watching various coverage and I also watched my twitter feed. I think watching Fox last night – something I rarely do, in fact I rarely watch TV news – was illuminating. At one point they were talking about how it was even possible that Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio could be even competitive for the President.

    The polling tells a different story. The voters did not believe that things were nearly as bad as Romney was trying to portray things. The Republicans are overwhelming white in a country that is increasingly multi-ethnic.

    One of the real interesting questions I have is how Democrats reconcile their support for entitlements with their base that is increasingly young.

  6. biddlin

    Ah Jeff, how did I know you’d have the lack of personal fortitude to abandon your blustering arrogance for a moment of grace . Your inability to see the irony in a banker calling anyone else in American society moochers and looters is indicative of your complete absence of humility and perspective. Your side lost, in no small part, because most people are tired of the cliche ridden rhetoric and counterproductive stalling tactics that have defined the GOP position in President Obama’s first term .
    “We conservatives won’t be helping you”
    You never have !

  7. Frankly

    [i]”I am disappointed in your comments in that I think you are better than them. I think you have the capability to analyze why the republicans were unsuccessful beyond your very narrow lenses that you use here.”[/i]

    David – all the things that you and others on the left are considering when you write things like this are false issues. You focus on the social issues which are de minimus. You focus on the social issues, and the media focuses on the social issues. It is a disingenuous negative branding effort: anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-poor. It has worked even as it is a big fat lie.

    The conservative platform has been about two things primarily: economics and safety/peace/freedom. One those things, the Democrats should not have succeeded. However, it was the social issues that were used as wedges and branding with the help of the media. Effing Romney with a dog on the car over and over again from the media liberal mouthpieces. This kind of crap got significantly more media attention than did the giant ef-up and cover-up of the killings in Benghazi. SNL skits making fun of Romney right up until days before the election… but not a thing on Obama. These things had a significant effect on the electorate. Branding is a big deal. Image is a big deal. That is why product companies spend billions on advertising campaigns. Obama got mega-positive branding help, while Romney got mega-negative branding “help”.

    The media just used the Democrat Party talking points and replayed them over and over and over again. In the end, the seething masses of minimally politically attuned just picked up this tarnished image of Romney compared to this propped up beautified image of Obama.

    Again, I don’t think you understand leadership very well. You don’t win by demonizing your opponent and using divide and conquer strategies and then expect cooperation from those you defeat with them. There is a price to pay for getting your way through these tactics… especially since it was Obama that was elected the first time promising to do just the opposite.

    Also, when you are the leader it is then your responsibility to reach out. You don’t get to sit on the throne and complain that others don’t come up to kiss your feet and do your bidding.

    But from a pragmatic viewpoint, if you think more deeply you will begin to understand the problem with your expectations. You won and you think that the other side should learn that your way is the better way and start coming over to your way of thinking. That is frankly an ignorant viewpoint. There are plenty of studies that you can access that prove people do not change their ideological viewpoints very easily if ever. There is recent science that is indicating actual physiological brain differences between liberals and conservatives.

  8. Frankly

    [i]”We conservatives won’t be helping you”
    You never have ! [/i]

    Sure we do biddlin… where do you think your public-sector paycheck and benefits come from?

  9. GreenandGolden

    (In Romney’s words) Jeff’s people are “victims” of the “liberal media mouthpieces…SNL skits…Branding…cover-up of the killings in Bengazi, focus on the social issues… etc. They are out to get you Jeff.

  10. biddlin

    “…where do you think your public-sector paycheck and benefits come from?”
    Wrong, as usual . I am currently self employed, as I have been most of my working life . As a public employee, I earned every cent I was paid, including the tens of thousands of dollars stolen from my only available deferred compensation plan, by bankers and financial “experts”!

  11. Mr.Toad

    If the numbers hold in California the Republicans will not be able to stop the Democrats from solving the structural deficit in this state through their adherence to anti-tax Grover Norquist pledges. So there will be a test to see if the Democrats can fix our problems if as Joe Biden said “You just get out of the way.”

    For too long the Republicans have blocked the Dems from fixing our problems while blaming the Dems for not fixing our problems. Now we may actually have a chance to see if majority rule in California will work. So jeff, the Republicans may have no power left at all in California; no statewide elected officers, no ability to muster even a third of the legislators in even one chamber to block addressing our problems. There is even a question to be asked if the California Republican party has any relevance at all or have you gone the way of the slide rule and the Whigs.

  12. SouthofDavis

    Jeff wrote:

    > Dear Lefties, moochers, looters, liberals, Democrats, collectivists…

    With a start to a rant like this I had a feeling that it would end with: “I’m leaving for Galt’s Gulch this weekend”…

    > reinforced by soft-money-wealthy elites that crave a release for
    > their guilt over the constant nagging feeling that they didn’t do
    > enough to earn their wealth

    I hope that Jeff (and the working class Democrats) will learn that “wealthy elites in California that mostly support Democrats may want you to think that they are out to “help people” (and maybe even do it out of guilt for having so much money) but in reality they (with rare exceptions)are just supporting the party in power so they make even more money (e.g. here is $100K to support the half cent sales tax increase campaign, when do we get the $10 million bullet train EIR contract)…

  13. Robb Davis

    Jeff – I know you are disappointed and perhaps a bit angry but I hope in time you will come to disown some of what you have written here. It is time for us (locally) to have a conversation about what a “conservative” is. Today writers over at The American Conservative wrote that whatever the outcome of this election it is time for conservatives to continue to work locally to build the kind of communities we need. This is a FAR cry from you saying when you write “We conservatives will not be helping you.”

    In saying you are going to “shrug”, in calling everyone who disagrees with you a “moocher” or a “looter” you are NOT espousing conservative values which focus on the humanity of friends and foes alike. In using those terms you are merely channeling the socially autistic views of Ayn Rand. I wish you would stop doing that.

    The conservatives I know (and in many and growing ways I am one) look at the morning after an election like this and ask: “What needs to be done here, in this place, to create safety, opportunities, accountability and sustainability? What do we need to do to make our community stronger?”

    That is what conservatives–people who want to conserve and build the fabric of a local community–are about. Withdrawing from engagement along with the cardboard cutout characters of a Rand novel is NOT conservatism–it is objectivism.

    Jeff – This community does not need or want you to withdraw but rather to be engaged in helping solve the many challenges that remain and would have remained had Romney won. Join us, do not leave us. I am not being magnanimous, I am being honest.

  14. medwoman

    “You focus on the social issues which are de minimus”

    social issues are anything but diminimus if you are a woman who wants to retain control over her own uterus, as my daughter jubilantly texted me this morning. Or a mother terrified that the end of her 23 year olds ability to be covered on her health insurance could lead their family into bankruptcy and eventually end in her daughters death anyway. Or a gay who can now openly pursue their military career have the same rights as their heterosexual married friends. I realize that as a business man you tend to see all things as analogous to business. However, there are many,many who do not share this narrow view of the world. There are many who do not believe, as you and Mitt Romney seem to believe that wealth is not in and of itself a measure of success or higher worth as a person. Some of us truly believe that other measures of worth maybe the amount of effort one puts in, their contribution to society, or simply the joy they bring others that are equally relevant markers of their “worth”.
    I believe that neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama are evil, just as I do not believe that either you or I are evil (sorry Rich, I am sure this is incorrect, but on my first day back from Haiti, have no incentive to check correct usage). I am of course deeply relieved by the results of the election, just as I know that you are deeply disappointed. I know because I remember very clearly my tears in 2000 when I realized that Gore would not be president. But for as much as you are willing to claim an intense love for this country, it is shocking to hear how you are willing to revile and express hatred for a man who the majority of voters chose to be our president.

    While reading posts in response to an opinion piece on the election this morning, I found one that made me think of you. Like you, he was expressing profound disappointment. Unlike your posts so far, he said he was concerned, but accepting, and hoped those who chose the Presidents path were correct. He was writing from Texas, so offering to communicate about finding a common path did not seem feasible.
    However, that is what I would like to focus on in our own community without vitriol and hatred but with respect for each others point of view.
    If this is impossible for you or anyone to even consider what the majority of voters felt was the best course for the country, then the right approach would be to simply step aside, not obstruct, and see what the outcome is. If we fail, we can always be voted out, just as the Republicans were in 2008. Is that not what the essence of our democracy, which we both love, is supposed to be ?

  15. Frankly

    Dow down 300 points. Time to sell?

    Medwoman, I will repeat. This “story” about the GOP wanting to retain control of a woman’s uterus is false. It is crap. There is a de minimis difference between the opinions of Republicans, Democrats and independents on the issue of abortion. That difference is hyped by the Democrat Party, repeated by the main liberal media, and folks like you apparently just believe it without digging any deeper.

    [url]http://womensenews.org/story/abortion/120827/voters-let-women-decide-in-recent-abortion-poll[/url]

    You look for the extreme wack jobs on the right, and I will look for the same on the left…. and then let’s compare.

  16. wdf1

    “re-tweeting”:source ([url]https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/266283107014025216[/url])[quote]Donald J. Trump
    ‏@realDonaldTrump

    Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.[/quote]

  17. Don Shor

    [i]”There is a de minimis difference between the opinions of Republicans, Democrats and independents on the issue of abortion.”
    [/i]
    That statement is completely false.

  18. Frankly

    [i]That statement is completely false.[/i]

    [quote]“Regardless of how you personally feel about the issue of abortion,” the polls, which surveyed 1,000 adults, asks, “who do you believe should have the right to make that decision regarding whether to have an abortion…should the woman, her family and her doctor make the decision or should the government make the decision?”

    Predictably, 89 percent of Democrats believed “strongly” that the woman should decide.

    More remarkably, 71 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of independents also believed strongly that the woman should decide. An additional 10 percent of Republicans believed “not strongly” that the woman should decide, and a total of 81 percent who identified as “pro-life” responded that the woman should decide. [/quote]

  19. Mr.Toad

    “There is a de minimis difference between the opinions of Republicans, Democrats and independents on the issue of abortion.”

    This is now true on conception as a consequence of rape. Last night it became a settled question in American politics.

    “Dow down 300 points. Time to sell? “

    Maybe or buy puts or sell before capital gains go up. Then again maybe its time to buy. If we knew for sure we would be rich.

  20. wdf1

    JB: [i]You focus on the social issues which are de minimus. You focus on the social issues, and the media focuses on the social issues. It is a disingenuous negative branding effort: anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-poor. It has worked even as it is a big fat lie.[/i]

    A lie?

    Republicans need to make some important choices in how to talk about certain issues. It helped cost them the chance to take the Senate:

    *Todd Akin & his reference to legitimate rape handed the race to Clair McCaskill in Missouri.

    *Richard Mourdock and “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen” gave that race to Joe Donnelly in Indiana.

    These two comments plus at least a couple more poorly chosen comments of a similar nature by Republicans damaged their brand at a time when it could ill afford it. I can provide video links to verify the above comments, if you think this is a lie. Why do you think social issues (in this case, women and abortion policy w/ respect to rape) are not an issue? Both of those comments were made very publicly, one in a TV interview, the other in a candidate’s debate.

  21. medwoman

    Jeff

    Again I understand your profound disappointment. but I do not have to look for wack jobs. And, no matter how many times you repeat it, it is not a lie that Republicans are attempting to control women’s reproductive rights. My evidence:

    The Republican party platform on abortion.

    “THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFEFaithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

    Mitt Romneys position: He stated officially that he supported abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
    Paul Ryan’s position: Only to save the life of the mother. He was a strong supporter of “The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life” document.
    Murdoch: Four arrests for attempting to illegally disrupt activities at legal Family Planning clinics
    Akin: with his belief that women’s bodies can block conception in the case of “legitimate rape” whatever that might be.

    Unless you are including all of these individuals along with all of those who accepted the platform with the definition of “baby” being “at conception”, in your definition of “wack jobs” then you are failing to appreciate that the party you favored has decided that the government should be in control, literally, of the uteri of women.

    You may not feel that this is a major issue, probably because you do not have any exposure to the issue. I give decisions about ones medical care a great deal of significance. I am genuinely curious about whether or not you would favor a party that declared that men could not have vasectomies because passages, Leviticus 18:22-23, Genesis 38 8-10 as well as several others condemn contraception.

  22. SouthofDavis

    medwoman wrote:

    > social issues are anything but diminimus if you are a woman
    > who wants to retain control over her own uterus, as my daughter
    > jubilantly texted me this morning.

    Did your daughter really think that Mitt Romney (a guy who has been openly “pro-choice” his entire life that threw a bone to the bible thumping “pro-lifers” in the GOP to get the nomination) would do anything to take away her control of her uterus (even after Regan, GHWB and even GWB made no real effort to do anything)?

    I didn’t vote for Romney, but I honestly think that he would have been more interested in (and a better chance with) a nationwide alcohol ban (FYI Mormons don’t drink) than a nationwide abortion ban…

    > Or a mother terrified that the end of her 23 year olds ability to be
    > covered on her health insurance could lead their family into
    > bankruptcy and eventually end in her daughters death anyway.

    Any mother that is worried that paying ~$100 a month for basic health insurance will put her in bankruptcy should step back and realize that she has made a lot of real bad work/education and/or financial decisions and work to get to a better place . Telling the 23 year old adult daughter that she needs to get a part time job that pays ~$100 a month to basic health insurance may allow her to learn about business (she might be able to get a part time job at the Davis ACE) so she is not worried about bankruptcy years from now.

  23. medwoman

    SOD

    With regard to Romney’s position on women’s reproductive rights, one has to look no further than the Supreme Court to know that those rights were indeed threatened by a Romney presidency. On this issue, as a gynecologist, I could not agree more with my daughter’s concerns.

    With regard to the 23 year old, sure SOD, I guess one could tell a 23 year old who has been diagnosed with a life threatening, chronic recurring condition, hospitalization for which costs in the vicinity of $150,000 per month typically requiring multiple hospitalizations to ” just get a job”.
    So if you would not mind forwarding the names to me of insurance companies that would ensure a woman with this preexisting condition at an affordable rate, I would be happy to pass on the information. Or maybe you think she should “just get a loan from her parents”.

  24. Frankly

    [i]You may not feel that this is a major issue, probably because you do not have any exposure to the issue.[/i]

    I have exposure to the issue.

    I support a woman’s right to choose.

    I was not worried about it being damaged or reduce by a Romney Presidency.

    It is a red herring emotive gender-war false social issue perpetrated by the left and left media.

    Move on.

  25. Frankly

    By the way medwoman, do you support late-term abortions when the woman’s life is not in danger?

    Or, is it your medical and/or moral opinion that life should only be recognized and protected outside of the womb?

    The reason I ask… it would seem that some debate about the morality of abortion is justified.

    I support that debate, do you?

  26. SouthofDavis

    The majority of the Supreme Court at the time of Roe vs. Wade was nominated by GOP Presidents (and Justice Roberts who just wrote the opinion that Obamacare can go forward was nominated by a GOP president). I’m probably more pro-choice than medwoman and her daughter and I did not worry for even a second that Romney would have done anything (except maybe talk about it when running for re-election to get the bible thumper vote like Regan did) to end reproductive rights.

    I’m hoping that medwoman and her daughter will take a breath and realize that the far left that keeps trying to scare them about reproductive rights is the same as the far right that tries to scare Christians by telling them that Obama is a secrete Muslim and plans to close the Christian churches when he imposes Sharia law.

  27. Don Shor

    The Muslim/Sharia beliefs are complete nonsense. There was a very real threat to both the ACA and Roe v. Wade from a Romney presidency. There is simply no comparison.
    Seriously: unless Republicans recognize how their beliefs and policies have alienated women and minorities, their party will shrink. This election was a solid rejection of the hard right of the Republican Party. As the headline said on Politico today: “Too Old, Too White, Too Male?”
    At the rate they’re going, Texas could be a battleground state in a few years, and Arizona. Obama’s share of the Latino vote increased. Minorities turned out at higher, not lower, rates. The gender gap is very real, and it is based on revulsion about policies and attitudes expressed in the Republican primary and various Senate campaigns.
    Until Republicans and conservatives understand why they lost, they’re going to keep losing.

  28. Jim Frame

    [quote]The conservative platform has been about two things primarily: economics and safety/peace/freedom.[/quote]

    Unfortunately for conservatives, they don’t have their own party, at least not one with any significant level of membership. Most of them identify as Republicans, and in the last 20 years the GOP has become a haven for extremists of various stripes, notably the evangelical Christians and the government-is-bad crowd. Toss in the fact that the Republican Party has been relying on support from a shrinking demographic — white males — and it’s not hard to see why the American electorate didn’t take the bait.

    Attributed to Alec Baldwin: “You know your party is in trouble when they ask, ‘Did the rape guy win?’ and you have to answer, ‘Which one?’.

    .

  29. rdcanning

    SOD: I think your vision of $100/month for sufficient health care is a myth. Particularly for those who may have chronic illnesses. Maybe you could provide so e references.

    Also, I guess my thought about your comment about Romney and abortion makes me ask the question about why a woman, particularly one of reproductive age,would believe the Republican’s candidate on this? It seems to me that it’s not a matter of a national ban (which probably wouldn’t happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned) but a national set of policies which discourage reproductive choice not only about abortion but also family planning, availability of inexpensive contraception, and healthcare for women in general.

  30. Frankly

    Sure Don. The Supreme Court have four rabit right wingers that will overturn Roe v Wade. They will overturn Obamacare too.

    wdf1: [i]*Todd Akin & his reference to legitimate rape handed the race to Clair McCaskill in Missouri.

    *Richard Mourdock and “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen” gave that race to Joe Donnelly in Indiana.[/i]

    This is the problem. So the GOP has a couple of extreme whack jobs in the Party.

    So, let’s see how that compares to the whack jobs in the Democrat Party:

    [quote]Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said over and over that a “source” told him Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. Now he says that he agrees with a blogger that Romney has “sullied” the Mormon faith and that the presidential nominee is “not the face of Mormonism.” [/quote]
    [quote]Vice president Biden tells an African American audience that the Republicans want to keep “y’all in chains.”[/quote]
    Wasserman Schultz at a rally at a GOP office:
    [quote]“I don’t see any swastikas or any pictures of the President in black face or burned in effigy here. The difference between the way we express our First Amendment rights and the way I’ve seen Tea Party extremists—Republican Tea Party extremists—express their right is dramatically different.”[/quote]
    Wasserman Schultz again
    [quote]When Republican Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled his sensible attempt to control government spending, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz hysterically responded by saying, “We see a clear attempt for the government to back out of its commitment to seniors. As a result, many seniors in America will be forced into poverty, and worse. Some seniors will end up dying because they are forced to put off getting that pain checked out due to huge out-of-pocket costs that will skyrocket for them. … This plan would literally be a death trap for some seniors.”[/quote]
    I have a long list of extreme quotes from Democrats. The difference is that most of these quotes are from Dem Party leadership and not some obscure Congressman from some Podunk deep red district. Oh and also, the media does not report on the comments from the Dems.

  31. Frankly

    Jim Frame – So it seems that you support a level of discrimination against white males, or did I get that wrong?

    Assuming I got it wrong, then the next conclusion would be that you think a way for the GOP to raise its profile is to start denigrating white males like the Democrat party does?

    Or, maybe not ALL white males, since the Democrat party seems to have a few.

    What is the difference between an acceptable white male and one of those bad types that create political liabilities?

    Oh, and if there is no difference, I am wondering how I go about joining a politically correct group since I am a while male. It troubles me that I was born this way. Can’t seem to find a way to change it.

    Oh, and lastly… and this is REAL important so please listen.

    There is no efing exclusion in the Republican Party for any person of any gender, of any skin color, of any ethnic background, and of any sexual orientation. We welcome ALL people to the ideas of conservatism. The only requirement is that they support the ideas. Unlike the once proud party of the left that seems to have a problem with white males.

  32. Don Shor

    [i]”The Supreme Court have four rabit right wingers that will overturn Roe v Wade.”
    [/i]
    Three for sure, one likely.
    “Justice Antonin Scalia, in a new interview, says he understands and respects Supreme Court precedent but he also says the controversial Roe v. Wade case, that allowed virtually unlimited abortions, is an example of the kind of precedent the high court can and should overturn.”
    Interview, September 2012. Alito and Thomas almost certainly agree with him.

  33. biddlin

    “This is the problem. So the GOP has a couple of extreme whack jobs in the Party. “
    No, the problem is that the GOP is controlled by the whack jobs. The problem is that Donald Trump calls for revolution and you’re gonna take your football home and pout, because you guys lost the election and the 1% may have to pay some more in taxes . The fact that you don’t recognize the vulgarity and disrespect to all the rest of us by such displays is the problem . The fact that you regularly show callous disregard for all who disagree with you, calling us moochers and looters is the problem .

  34. Frankly

    Donald Trump controls the GOP? That is news to me.

    Do you even read what you write biddlin?

    I don’t take politics personal biddlin. It is just politics. It is impossible to debate them stepping on the eggshells of those that do take it personal. So, I just write what I think. If by doing that you say I am a greedy, mean, insensitive, conservative, white male, banker… go ahead and take those shots. They don’t bother me because I know who I really am.

    And I do respect all opinions even as I strongly respond in disagreement.

  35. Jim Frame

    [quote]Jim Frame – So it seems that you support a level of discrimination against white males, or did I get that wrong?[/quote]

    I’m not a Republican — I’m only a registered Democrat because I find it the least objectionable major party — so the question isn’t germane.

    The GOP has for decades deliberately crafted its platform to appeal to white males because that’s who they represented. Their “big tent” efforts of late have been made in reluctant acknowledgment that they have to expand the party makeup or wither into irrelevance. Watching them attempt to do so without alienating their white male base has been entertaining. They’re juggling so many disparate public faces that the best they could do in the election just concluded is put up “Etch-a-Sketch” Romney as their standard bearer.

    I think the Republican Party’s best hope now is to genuinely embrace (as opposed to paying lip service to) the concerns of Hispanics. That’ll mean disgruntling a lot of white males — notably those in the south — who don’t want to see any breaks given to undocumented residents. However, if the party plans it right it might be able to make the transition in such a way that it gains more than it loses.

    I don’t think they’re going to make significant gains with female voters anytime soon, because the women’s-right-to-choose thing is just too toxic for their base. And while I think the party would love to jettison the evangelical nut cases, I don’t think they can afford to for a good while yet.

    In the mean time, I imagine that party elders are taking a good hard look at what just happened, because they got skunked way beyond their expectations (though not Nate Silver’s). Maybe they actually believed the stuff that Fox was reporting last night, right up until the “well, this is embarrassing” part.

    .

  36. Frankly

    GreenandGolden they are characters from an Ayn Rand novel.

    [quote]“Looters” confiscate others’ earnings by force, whose demands are backed by the implicit threat of force.

    “Moochers” demand others’ earnings on behalf of the needy and those unable to earn themselves; however, they curse the producers who make that help possible and are jealous and resentful of the talented upon whom they depend. They are ultimately as destructive as the looters — destroying the productive through guilt, and appealing to “moral right” while enabling the “lawful” looting performed by governments.
    [/quote]
    Note that the truly needy are not represented in either.

  37. Jim Frame

    [quote]My only real criticism was that he was a bit too sanguine about the accuracy of the polling. His model was right because the polling was accurate, but I would have upwardly revised the possibility that the polls were wrong.[/quote]

    While Silver undoubtedly has lots of customized tweaks in his analytical engine, I think the basic concept is that he doesn’t rely on one or even a handful of polls, but rather a whole bunch of them. As with any analysis of this sort, if you eliminate all the systematic errors (or at least all the significant ones) and realistically model the random error associated with each data source, you’ll come out with a reliable estimate of the most likely value. Having polls from many different pollsters, and being able to review the historical accuracy of those polls, allows him to assign realistic error values to each poll.

    Silver admitted that there might have been an uncorrected systematic error that he failed to identify, but it looks like that wasn’t the case.

    .

  38. medwoman

    Jeff

    A Supreme Court change in balance might very well render this as far from a ” red herring” as possible. I know this is not an important issue for you, but please, respect my professionalism and expertise in this area enough to at least consider that the issue may have a great deal of significance to women of reproductive age.

    As for my position on late abortion, I think that there are three situations in which I would consider it the best of very sad and unfortunate choices.
    1) To save the life of the mother.
    2) To end a pregnancy in which there is no possibility that the child will survive and for which this is the safest mode of delivery.
    3) When the mothers health ( not necessarily life )is endangered and there is no othe safe means of delivery.

    I do not personally favor abortion, but I am adamant about the unique nature of pregnancy as a condition in which one being, the fetus, is entirely dependent on another entity, the mother. Thiis is true until viability which currently could not reasonably be considered until 22 and some would say 23 weeks of pregnancy. During the first trimester, I would completely defend the right of the woman to make her decision without any statement of cause. To me, this decision lies between the woman and her doctor. I personally have much more difficulty with second trimester abortion, but recognize that this based my personal belief system and I do not believe that I have a greater right to control another woman’s body than she does.

    The question “do I support the debate” is a curious one. I not only support the debate, I live the debate. I frequently see the debate acted out in my office between the members of a family or internally within many, many ambivalent women struggling with the best choice for themselves and their families. But if by “do I support the debate” you mean do I think that this should be open to a vote. No, I do not. No more than I believe as in the question that I posed to you, that I think that there should be a “debate” about whether it is moral for a man to have a vasectomy thus removing himself from the reproductive pool. For me, this is a matter of religious belief, and as such, should never trump the bodily integrity of a viable human being.

  39. wdf1

    JB: [i]So, let’s see how that compares to the whack jobs in the Democrat Party…[/i]

    We could go back and forth on offensive quotes. But there are a couple of differences that you’re overlooking.

    1) Harry Reid was not up for re-election. (And I saw that accusation from him more as a goad to fellow Mormon, Romney, to disprove him by releasing his taxes.) Wasserman Schultz runs in a safer district. Akin and Mourdock were catering to swing state populations during an election campaign.

    2) The Republicans seem to have a bigger marketing problem than the Dems. The onus is more on the Reps to figure out how to be relevant to a majority of the voting population. Older white men giving patronizing views on how female rape victims should understand pregnancy does not appear to be a winning formula — wrong message, wrong messenger.

  40. Frankly

    Medwoman, you and I agree 100% on the abortion issue based on the previous. I think 70 percent of Republicans do too. See my previous post of a survey that is evidence of this.

    The “debate” is to allow and support differing opinions and to not demonize those that have a moral objection to abortion. There are people that believe that life begins at conception. I don’t ever want them to create laws that enforce this view on others, but I want everyone to at least understand that point of view. If I had a daughter and she had to make this difficult decision, I would want her to do it based on a full and deep analysis of all the moral, emotional and practical criteria. I know women that have had early term abortions and they later regretted not being prepared for the feeling of loss that would hang with them for a very long time.

    My conservative brother and I have been going at it over email today because we disagree on the point that the media enflames conflict of de minimis social issues (like abortion that 70% of Republicans strongly support) to tarnish the GOP brand, versus the party allowing a few idiot bible-thumper Congress people that continue to tarnish the GOP brand. My brother thinks the party needs to keep these idiots from being elected. My argument is that both parties have village idiots and it is unreasonable to expect that 100% of any politicians will not say something stupid from time to time. I say we need to go to war on the media and rat out those that are party mouthpieces and not true journalists. He says that will be impossible.

    In the end we both agreed that both impossible solutions should be pursued. But in the meantime, he agrees that the Democrats will probably trash things so bad, that the GOP will just look much better by comparison in 2016.

  41. medwoman

    Jeff

    It may be that you truly believe that the “truly needy” are not represented by either.
    That would apparently not be in agreement with Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I quote:

    “My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

    So let’s presume that you are not in strict agreement with all Randian thought. I still have difficulty with your exemption of the ” truly needy”.
    Who gets to decide who is “truly needy” ? Alll need is not readily discernible. Two illustrative situations come to mind for me. One is the common circumstance of a person who has a disabled sticker on their vehicle, but no visible disability since the condition is cardiac.
    The second is a situation with which I have direct experience. When I was attending community college, I was visiting a Vietnam Nam vet friend of mine. We were sitting at a table in his kitchen when a car backfired. The nest thing I knew, I was lying under the table with him lying on top of me to protect me. Nothing visibly wrong, but severely damaged. Who amongst us is wise enough to judge, Jeff ?

  42. Frankly

    medwoman, I don’t get your point about Rand. She does not have a problem with people helping people in need. Looter and Moocher are not terms that incorporate the needy.

    If we don’t have a way to assess and gage the truly needy, then God help us.

    People can apply for services, and then someone has to gage the true need. No way around that unless you want to just assume that everyone is truly needy.

    I think the Democrats have a stratgey to increase the rolls of needy since once hooked on those hand-outs (and I am talking about corporate welfare too) a person can’t easily kick the habit.

  43. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]Dow down 300 points. Time to sell?[/quote]

    Not surprising. There was an article this morning that Wall Street had backed Obama in 2008, then he pushed through the reforms and they backed Romney. Now they are largely locked out of power in the WH and senate, so they have no leverage and no access to Government.

  44. Frankly

    I don’t think that has as much to do with the drop as does concern over another four years of the same, with added potential for the end of the Bush tax cuts, Obamacare cost impacts and continued regulatory punishment. The market is responding to the fear of new government imposed costs that will reduce profit and impact economic growth.

    It will be real interesting to see the next jobs report. I expect unemployment to jump back up again.

    Welcome to Obamawonderland!

    There is one good Wall Street outcome… I think there will be a long-term lack of appetite for Wall Street to every support another Dem President. Boy did they screw up supportng Obama!

  45. David M. Greenwald

    “I don’t think that has as much to do with the drop as does concern over another four years of the same”

    The point is that they didn’t support him, so it’s not surprising that they would fear the future.

  46. David M. Greenwald

    Jim: I think Nate Silver got it right for the most part, but my only question is whether his high percentage 90 as opposed to 60 or 65 adequately accounted for the possibility of the unexpected.

    And I agree with his modeling. His critics didn’t understand it.

    Here’s an example:

    [quote]“If you tell me you think you can quantify an event that is about to happen that you don`t expect, like the 47 percent comment or a debate performance, I think you think you are a wizard. That`s not possible,” Times columnist David Brooks, a moderate conservative, said on PBS earlier this month. “The pollsters tell us what`s happening now. When they start projecting, they`re getting into silly land.”[/quote]

    The 47 percent comment and the debate performance are factored into uncommon events – they are rare, they only happen very infrequently. What Silver’s model tries to capture is the probably that one of those events will alter the election. It turns out that neither of those events altered the outcome in the end.

  47. Don Shor

    Jeff: [i]”(like abortion that 70% of Republicans strongly support)”[/i]
    Notwithstanding the fact that the party’s platform and public utterances completely oppose any form of abortion, even post-conception contraception, I find no support for your premise about Republican support for abortion. Here is Harris Survey, 2007-9
    [img]http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/abortion1.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/abortion2.jpg[/img]

  48. medwoman

    Jeff

    I am perplexed by your lack of understanding of my Ayn Rand quote. She clearly states that she does not consider charity a major virtue or a moral obligation.
    So, if it is neither of those, what is it. Just something for the rich to do when they are bored, tired of their toys, attempting to impress others or assuage their own conscience. Do you really believe that this kind of charity will ever approach providing for even the most obviously needy.

    Also, I am confused by your statement, ” someone has to gage the true need”. Who do you propose should be the ” true need” judge since you clearly are dissatisfied with the way it is currently being assessed ?

  49. Frankly

    Don – I will get back to you on the GOP abortion issue. I will repost the earlier survey/study I previoulsy put up, and dig up some other research on this that I have stored away. The information you provided is old and flawed.

    Medwoman – Ayn Rand has the same issue with “charity” that I do and Romney does. We consider it a privalege to help the needy, not a right to allow government to demand payments that politicians and beaurcrats can redistribute justified by some moral basis, and then claiming they are the virtuous ones. They are only giving away money that other people have earned. How impressive is that?

    It is very interesting how you assign virtue to government distribution to help the needy, but then communicate such vitriol about private citizens giving of their own free will.

    [i]Just something for the rich to do when they are bored, tired of their toys, attempting to impress others or assuage their own conscience[/i]

    Think about that for a while and then get back to me and explain why you should not join me on the blog walk of shame for name calling and demonization of a class of people.

    Charities assess need already.

  50. medwoman

    Jeff

    “It is very interesting how you assign virtue to government distribution to help the needy, but then communicate such vitriol about private citizens giving of their own free will. ”

    Where in the world in my post did you get the idea that I hold any vitriolic feelings towards those who give of their own free will ? If you are referencing my question with regard to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of charitable giving which was the context in which that was written, it was just that, a question, which by the way, you have not answered. I will repost the question, if not a virtue, or a moral obligation, what would a Randian
    believe is the motivation ? And more importantly, do you believe that private charities can provide for all the “truly needy”. If you do believe this, then please explain why we have any children living in poverty in this, the wealthiest nation ever.

  51. Frankly

    medwoman:

    [i]Where in the world in my post did you get the idea that I hold any vitriolic feelings towards those who give of their own free will ?[/i]

    Your previous quote:

    [i]Just something for the rich to do when they are bored, tired of their toys, attempting to impress others or assuage their own conscience[/i]

    I undertand that it was Bill and Melinda Gates that were responsible for the grants that allowed Davis to open Di Vinci. How might Mr. Gates feel about your opinion about him?

  52. Jim Frame

    [quote]We consider it a privalege to help the needy, not a right to allow government to demand payments that politicians and beaurcrats can redistribute justified by some moral basis, and then claiming they are the virtuous ones.[/quote]

    This characterization overlooks the fact that the government is us. It’s not a royal court; it comprises people hired, directly or indirectly, by the citizenry to do our bidding. When we, the citizens of a political subdivision (city, county, state, national), decide by means of duly enacted legislation that people meeting statutory eligibility requirement shall be provided with specified levels of support, then anyone meeting those requirements can receive that support. Eligibility requirements can be changed, but this is accomplished by means of a transparent process.

    Under a private charity system, eligibility for support is determined by a private entity that is under no obligation to disclose its criteria or the process for determining same, leaving distribution of support subject to discrimination that may not comport with majority values. That’s why charitable support via government agency is, for me, by far the more desirable approach.

    .

  53. DT Businessman

    Jeff, I’ve said it before and will say it again:

    1) weak candidate;
    2) lack of a compelling message;
    3) demographics;

    =BRUTAL ELECTION LOSS

    It’s highly ironic that a party espousing personal responsibility is blaming the presidential election loss on everyone but themselves. Espousing fiscal responsibility except when they’re in office is hardly a winning message. Refraining from foreign adventures except when they’re in office is hardly a winning message. Balancing the budget except when they want to give their buds a tax break is hardly a winning message. The Republicans have completely lost their way.

    Robb Davis has it right. Where are the conservatives advocating for building community? They sure as shit aren’t a majority in the Republican Party.

    -Michael Bisch

  54. rdcanning

    Jeff, post all the poll results you can find and then average the results. That’s the lesson of this Fall’s campaign. Better yet, build a model of attitudes and test the model in the real world. Read Nate Silver’s book.

  55. medwoman

    Jeff

    I have to apologize for creating so much misunderstanding. I had to read my initial post over and over to find the problem, which is a punctuation error. I did not see that where I had intended to place question marks, I had indeed placed periods. This gave the appearance that I was making assertions about charitable giving, I was attempting to enquire about the Randian point of view and it’s consequences. So let me try again. I have quoted my initial post below and followed it with the intended text.

    “I am perplexed by your lack of understanding of my Ayn Rand quote. She clearly states that she does not consider charity a major virtue or a moral obligation.
    So, if it is neither of those, what is it. Just something for the rich to do when they are bored, tired of their toys, attempting to impress others or assuage their own conscience. Do you really believe that this kind of charity will ever approach providing for even the most obviously needy. “

    Intended copy:

    I am perplexed by your lack of understanding of my Ayn Rand quote. She clearly states that she does not consider charity a major virtue or a moral obligation. So, if it is neither of those, what is it ? Is it just something for the rich to do when they are bored, tired of their toys, attempting to impress others or assuage their own conscience ? Do you really believe that this kind of charity will ever approach providing for even the most obviously needy ?

    At no point was I stating that I believe these are the motivating factors for charitable giving. But them I do not adhere to the principles of human virtue as articulated by Ayn Rand (and yes, I have read her novels and many interviews) . So I was posing this as a question ? If charity is not a virtue or a moral obligation, both of which I firmly believe it is, then what is, in your view, the motivation ? And how would you suggest building on that motivation significantly to support all who genuinely need help given that it has historically never been enough to do so ?

  56. Frankly

    [i]Robb Davis has it right. Where are the conservatives advocating for building community? They sure as s**t aren’t a majority in the Republican Party[/i]

    Michael – It is a fair question. As expected the soul searching in beginning in the Republican Party. Accusations are flying. Bodies are piling up under the bus.

    Here is the problem with Democrat cooperation and using this election as lesson for the GOP moving more toward the center… the center in this case being much more like European democratic socialism than ever before. If the Democrats fail – which most fiscal conservative Republicans like me believe will happen… in fact is already has – then cooperation in the game of politics only allows them to save their brand by claiming the GOP supported the same. This is one fundamental problem we face in terms of cooperation. The exploitation of any and every wedge for political power gain by one party or the other has led to a division that cannot be bridged by the actions of the minority party. There is not enough upside to that cooperation to offset the tremendous political risk. To gain cooperation, the Democrats would have to sign a pledge that goes something like this: “If you come to the table in support of some of our ideas, we will not hold you responsible if those ideas do not work”.

    You know that won’t happen. That is not in any political party’s DNA. However, if we are going to grow cooperation, it has to start from the party in power.

    Instead of pointing fingers in disgust about the GOP failing to join with their fellow Democrats to cooperate, dig a little deeper to ask yourself why. Why would so many on the right demand that their politicians continue to fight and block the party in control after getting drummed in this election? What is the motivation? It is WAY overly-simplistic to assess this motivate to money, power or political ambitions. There is something much more profound driving this. Frankly I am surprised and a bit disappointed that you do not seem to understand what it is.

    What we have now is a new tyranny of the majority. The majority of the meek and sensitive who feel disenfranchised and are waging a hostile takeover of the social and economic system primary developed by American alpha personalities. Those American alpha personalities are the makers. They are under attack. Then, after they are attacked, amazingly, the meek and sensitive complain that they don’t bow down and cooperate… even when is it completely clear that the help will cause the country to be less accommodating for alpha personalities and more accommodating to the meek and sensitive. Said another way, the US was a tough-love patriarchal system and it is moving to a nanny-state matriarchal system like all the others that are exploding and failing around us. Look around you Michael. It is politically incorrect to be ambitious and competitive. You, my friend, are the most political incorrect of Americans today… a white, male, private business owner. Welcome to the shrinking club!

    This article explains in detail what the problem is and why folks like me are not going to support cooperation as is, and why we are going to stop working as hard (note… it is a bit long). [url]http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2012&month=10[/url]

    I say let the meek and sensitive figure it out. I love this country more than politics. But, because I think Deocrats are heading in the wrong direction, I cannot help them. If they can create a better nation, then I will applaud and support them. Otherwise, let it explode quickly so we can get back to work putting all the pieces back together the right way.

  57. biddlin

    ” It is politically incorrect to be ambitious and competitive.” Do you read what you write, Boone . Cowboy up and quit whining about an election your team blew . Most American voters rejected the morally and scientifically bankrupt platform and policies of your party .

  58. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff:

    A few problems with your analysis.

    First, the European Socialism / center aspect is off. If you look at the analysis (I talked of this in August), Republicans have moved much further right over the last 30 years than Democrats left.

    That means, the skew is actually coming more from the right then the left. It also means that the Republicans are going to have to decide to cooperate. In this system, it is unfortunately on the minority to be willing to cooperate.

    Once you get that willingness, the parameters of that cooperation come through bargaining. I just don’t see them doing that.

  59. Frankly

    biddlin: you got nothing to say that I have any interest in putting an ounce of brain power in these days.

    David: I disagree with your thesis in that the Democrats have certainly moved left. The Dem party is nothing like it was say when John Kennedy was President. Government run healthcare would never have been accepted and pushed by any Democrat party that I can remember. Environmental issues, gay rights, woman’s rights (whatever that even means today), political correctness… all of these things are in hyper drive in today’s Democrat party. But more importantly, there is an anti-white and anti-white male ugliness that the Democrat party has drifted to.

    I think your thesis of a more extreme right is self-serving and misses the mark. That is the Democrat party and liberal media template, and it is a disingenuous one. And the perpetration of it has a lot to do with the lack of cooperation between parties. Those that you consider extreme right have always been there. The Tea Party is a rise of fiscal conservative extremism because of the mountain of debt that both Parties have screwed us with… but your party and the media work hard to shroud it in that disingenuous template of racist, anti-woman, anti-gay.

    I think the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with this approach. What is likely to happen… libertarians and Tea Party folk that support candidates like Ron Paul will merge to become the new face of the right. While you support all these stupid social wedge issues to retain your left party power, you will in fact create a new monster that will eventually cause you to look back with fond memories of a political right that was much more palatable for you.

  60. Don Shor

    [i]I disagree with your thesis in that the Democrats have certainly moved left….I think your thesis of a more extreme right is self-serving and misses the mark.
    [/i]
    I think, once again, you are fact-impaired.
    [img]http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/nominate-house_medians_custom.jpg[/img]

  61. David M. Greenwald

    “I disagree with your thesis in that the Democrats have certainly moved left.”

    It’s not my thesis, it’s the result of analysis by political scientists using highly sophisticate modeling of Nominate scores over time.

  62. David M. Greenwald

    “What is likely to happen… libertarians and Tea Party folk that support candidates like Ron Paul will merge to become the new face of the right. “

    The Republicans are having a demographic problem at this point that I think suggests this won’t be a viable strategy.

  63. Frankly

    Party leadership…

    [quote]check I examined the DW-NOMINATE scores of all Democratic House members in the 112th Congress. The average first-dimension score of the Democratic caucus is -.429. Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader, scores a -.533 – well to the left of average. I then took the party leadership – Minority Leader, Whip, Assistant Leader, Whips, Caucus Chair, Steering Committee and Ranking Members on major committees – and the average score across those folks was a -.496. Fewer than a third of the leadership had a DW-NOMINATE score more conservative than the caucus average.

    A study last year by Joseph Bafumi and Michael Herron found that Democrats in Congress are to the left of even the median Democratic voter in their respective states (GOP members are too the right of the median GOP voter). So essentially, in a Democratic caucus in the House that is already to the left of Democratic voters, the leadership of the party is to the left of the caucus – so do liberal activists control the Democratic party? Well yes, yes they do.
    [/quote]

  64. Frankly

    Yeah, the GOP is out of touch with the majority of America…

    This is the map of the biggest margins…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/biggestmargins.jpg[/img]

    Popular vote…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/realdifference.jpg[/img]

    You guys are real smug and smart in your success. The fact is that you were sweating bullets before the election. The fact is that the political divide is great, and the margin for winning and losing was small. The fact is that the GOP needs to tune its message, weed out the idiots, fight the left media, and wait for the inevitable failure of this President.

    I was thinking about this new found hatred of white men percolating from the same people that look to Scandinavia as the model for what they say they want the US to be like. That is a model that is 94% white. So, how does the liberal brain reconcile that?

  65. Don Shor

    [i] The fact is that you were sweating bullets before the election.
    [/i]
    I wasn’t. Remember?

    What makes you think I, or anyone, has a “hatred of white men”? Why do you always bring race into these discussions, Jeff? Over and over and over again?

  66. biddlin

    I’m an old white guy, with not an iota of self-loathing. My social contacts are ethnically, economically, philosophically and geographically broad. The GOP can cry “Big Tent” all they want, the polls , the photos and the numbers don’t lie. You accuse the winners of being”smug and smart in your success. ” Seems more rational than being so arrogant in your dismal failure ! That arrogance is a major cause of the hatred of your party, not your gender or race .

  67. David M. Greenwald

    From 1972 to 1988 (Five elections) – republicans won four times, the elections were uncompetitive three times with only 1980 marginally competitive.

    Since 1992, Democrats have won the Presidency four of six elections.

    19 states have voted Democratic in all six elections for 242 votes.

    In 1988, Bush won the states of California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine – states that Reagan also won twice. Republicans have not won any of those states since and only Pennsylvannia is really competitive since.

    You cannot argue that the Democrats have move further left based on these results.

  68. Frankly

    [i]I wasn’t. Remember?[/i]

    True… but you waffled a bit… went from absolutely sure, to less so. Rich Rifkin was on you about that.

    But, I have to give you credit for being right on this.

    After the polling following the hurricane, I also was giving it to Obama while holding out hope and fighting the hype.

    [i]My social contacts are ethnically, economically, philosophically and geographically broad.[/i]

    Good for you biddlin. So are mine. I just don’t trumpet it because I don’t think it makes a damn bit of difference. It is the left and media that are stuck in this group-ism template. Pat yourself on the back for being part of that self-congratulatory enlightened group, but your trumpeting about it does not look too impressive from my perspective.

    The GOP believes that we so far in debt from overspending and we need to reform all our entitlements and decrease government spending: Left and left media: SEE, THE GOP WANTS TO KILL OLD PEOPLE, ALLOW PEOPLE TO STARVE, AND CAUSE POOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES LIKE TEACHERS TO LOSE THEIR JOBS.

    The GOP believes in a strong military defense and to promote and protect our freedoms and interests and those of our global friends: The left and left media: SEE, THE GOP ARE JUST A BUNCH OF WAR MONGERS!

    The GOP believes in celebrating economic success and honoring self-determination and hard work. The left and left media: SEE, THE GOP HATES POOR PEOPLE AND IS STEALING ALL THE WEALTH!

    The GOP believes there is a moral issue with abortion and it needs to be included in the ongoing national social dialog. The left and left media: SEE, THE GOP HATES WOMEN!

    The GOP believes we should be a country of laws where those laws are obeyed and enforced, including our immigration laws. The left and left media: SEE, THE GOP HATES LATINOS!

    So, if the GOP stops trying to block government overspending; allows Democrats to decrease the size and scope of the military; stops demanding that we focus on growing the economy and jobs in the private sector instead of growing government and entitlements; stops any moral debates about abortion; supports amnesty and open borders… then the GOP will win the support of the electorate.

    Right.

    But then the GOP would be the same as the liberal Democrats that control the seat of government and are driving the state and the country to a great Greek-like tragedy.

    No thanks.

    I would rather get a case of objectivist shrug and start my next business in the Midwest.

  69. biddlin

    ” Pat yourself on the back for being part of that self-congratulatory enlightened group, but your trumpeting about it does not look too impressive from my perspective. ” Did you go out in the world, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, arrange meetings and fundraisers, watch someones kids so they could go to see a candidate speak, register new voters or even help someone find their polling place ? That’s what won this election . That’s what your neighbours across The United States of America did for the Obama presidency. Some of us retired, some of us unemployed, too many of us homeless, put our skin in the game . What we learned as we progressed was that most people in this country are decent and compassionate and the majority of those people rejected the GOPs values and tactics .So we’ll pat each other on the back, we’ve got plenty of hands !

  70. Robb Davis

    Jeff – I am not asking you to join the Democrats to do anything. I am asking you to roll up your sleeves and join neighbors of a variety of political persuasions to work on the challenging issues that trickle down to our community based on decisions made far away. You are needed for that work. Here and now.

    For different reasons people across the political spectrum are coming around to the notion that we need subsidiarity–more ability to make critical decisions about many things from speed limits to school policies locally. I think you can buy into that even if we may not all agree fully on what the best solutions are. At least we can look each other in the eye and try to work towards compromise with flesh and blood human beings–our neighbors.

    I am not buying this: “I would rather get a case of objectivist shrug and start my next business in the Midwest.” This is no panecea and you know it. You are needed in Davis, now. Get used to it.

  71. Jim Frame

    [quote]The GOP believes that we so far in debt from overspending and we need to reform all our entitlements and decrease government spending[/quote]

    Would this be the same GOP that enthusiastically started and waged 2 simultaneous foreign wars off-budget because it didn’t want to raise taxes to pay for them, instead running up huge deficits year after year? That GOP? Okay, just wanted to make sure.

    .

  72. Jim Frame

    [quote] You, my friend, are the most political incorrect of Americans today… a white, male, private business owner. Welcome to the shrinking club! [/quote]

    I find it interesting that, of those here in disagreement with much of the worldview Jeff is espousing, at least four of them are white male business owners, at least two of whom (Don and me) are also employers (“job creators” in Romney-speak; I believe the Randian term would be “producers”).

    .

  73. rdcanning

    Jeff – maybe you could be explicit how the map you posted above proves your point that the GOP is more in touch with the country. If I am not missing something here, it shows counties in which margins of victory was greater than 20%. I’m not sure how it follows that the GOP is more in touch with the electorate? I think it says that republicans had larger margins in most places. It doesn’t really say much about who is in touch with the electorate.

  74. Frankly

    Robb: You make the most compelling arguments so far. I appreciate your tone and message. I can learn something from you on that! My current job is in California and so I am in the state until that changes. I’m not sure if I will stay in living in Davis (don’t fret any of my employees reading this!)

    I have a product business I am starting up (actually re-starting an old family business) and my initial goal was to try to start it local to provide jobs for young people. After this political season, I am planning on starting it in Nebraska where I have relatives and that city needs jobs… and frankly, I would feel more wanted and appreciated for the work it will take. The other option is Utah where I have some relatives. Utah is a much more business-friendly state.

    In terms of participation to help improve things locally, I need to find some ways to carve out more time (maybe blogging less =)… although I type really, really fast!). However, my job is to help small business expand throughout the state. It generally feels like the right thing to do putting my time into the business. In terms of what I am doing to help people, creating jobs seems like it is right up there at the top of the list.

  75. Frankly

    Jim Frame:

    [i]Would this be the same GOP that enthusiastically started and waged 2 simultaneous foreign wars off-budget because it didn’t want to raise taxes to pay for them, instead running up huge deficits year after year? That GOP? Okay, just wanted to make sure. [/i]

    Why do you keep looking backwards?

    So, the GOP jumps in the bus and starts driving 100 MPH toward a fiscal cliff for reasons they think are justified but half turned out to be a big mistake (Iraq). Then the Democrats take the wheel and increase the speed to 180 MPH for reasons they though were justified but all turned out to be a big mistake (stimulus) and we are still talking about 100 MPH and the first half mistake?

    Come on Jim, let’s move forward like your President said he would do.

  76. Jim Frame

    [quote]Why do you keep looking backwards?[/quote]

    Because it’s often a good indicator of what’s ahead?

    [quote]but all turned out to be a big mistake (stimulus)[/quote]

    Not according to the CBO. Note also that a significant portion of the stimulus package consisted of tax cuts. Are you now going to argue that those are a bad thing?

    I agree we need to move ahead — we don’t have much choice anyway — but I’m interested in seeing whether the very carefully calibrated language coming out of Boehner and McConnell about working across the aisle is just going to result in another stonewall when Ryan and his ilk refuse to back away from the Norquist pledge. Color me skeptical.

    .

  77. Frankly

    Apparently a great number of large and small businesses are handing out pink slips to employees after the election. Boeing for example just announced a 30% cut in managerial positions with more positions to follow in anticipation of defense cuts and Obamacare.

    The good news is that this should help their stock price.

    Wall Street smiles, and workers suffer again.

  78. Don Shor

    Jeff: “in anticipation of defense cuts and Obamacare.”

    “… and Obamacare?” Fact-challenged again? This is really getting to be a problem for you.

    Boeing:[i] “Chicago-based Boeing Co. on Wednesday announced a major restructuring of its defense division that will cut 30 percent of executives from 2010 levels and calls for future cuts to middle-manager ranks.

    The job cuts are “extremely unlikely” to affect executives at Boeing’s headquarters in downtown Chicago because they are coming from firm’s defense division, not corporate operations, Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said.

    [b]Despite the timing, Wednesday’s announcement had nothing to do with the U.S. presidential election, Blecher said.
    [/b]
    “I know what it looks like, but I can tell you from having been involved in this that I never heard anybody deliberately plan around the election,” he said.

    The company has been working for months on the restructuring, and it was happenstance that the senior executive committee met on Monday to give final approval for the plan, which was announced Wednesday, he said.

    The restructuring is also not directly tied to the impending Jan. 2 “fiscal cliff,” which in part refers to huge automatic cuts in U.S. defense spending, he said.

    Instead, Boeing, the Pentagon’s second-largest supplier, said the changes were the latest step in a budget-cutting drive that has already identified cost cuts totaling $2.2 billion between 2010 and today. The firm would only give the percentage of executives cut, not raw numbers of people or positions being eliminated.

    “There’s an overall effort to reduce executive ranks across the board — we’re getting to the end of the first phase of that,” Blecher said. “Since 2010, we’ve really been on a push to reduce our operating costs within the defense business. It was in anticipation of declining defense budgets over a longer period of time than the current political situation would have you believe.”

    The company is also restructuring its defense businesses, which required moving around some executives, and it is re-examining its facilities nationwide, which will result in some consolidation, Blecher said.[/i]
    [url]http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-07[/url]

  79. Jim Frame

    I spoke yesterday with an outside salesman — an independent contractor — for a Woodland food and beverage distributor. He was asked to participate in a meeting between warehouse workers and a management team about the impact of Obamacare come January 1. Management reportedly told the warehouse guys that they were thinking about cutting the warehousemen’s weekly hours from 40 to 29.5 in order to avoid having to pay health insurance, claiming that the Obamacare rules will increase the cost of insurance over what they already pay. In the end management decided to keep the warehouse guys at 40 hours (my salesman acquaintance lobbied for full-time warehousemen to ensure that the orders got picked reliably), but the whole thing had a threatening air about it.

    I suspect that Obamacare will be used as a bludgeon — with or without any rational basis — in many upcoming labor-management negotiations. It appears already to be accommodating that role in online discussions.

    .

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