Re: Oh, They Still Haven't Fixed This?

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I read that article. It's interesting enough, but basically ignores the high probability of, if not an Obama landslide, at least a 55-45 Obama win.

Which would obviate the need for EC analysis, but I'd be interested to see how the map would likely change. Presumably it's not just 5% more votes in every state.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:18 AM
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Which would obviate the need for EC analysis

Why?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:19 AM
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clearly, Obama needs to woo Drew Carey.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:21 AM
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Hence the term: woobama.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:22 AM
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Colorado favors McCain

I mostly ignored the polls -- come on, it's May. Instead, I looked at long-term voting trends and demographics.

The problem here is that the long-term trends ignore Bush's incompetence, war-mongering, and generally fucking everything up over the last eight years. After Clinton supporters return to the fold I think polls will pretty clearly show that McCain has a lot of work to do.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:24 AM
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If Obama's beating McCain 55-45 nationally, he's probably winning all the toss-up states, making electoral math irrelevant. While it's theoretically possible to, say, win California in a massive landslide and still lose Nevada, Oregon, Washington, it's exceptionally unlikely. Winning big probably means winning everywhere.

Except West Virginia, I guess.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:24 AM
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I think in practice decisive popular vote wins go with decisive electoral college wins. It's not mathematically impossible for Obama to win 55-45 and yet still lose the electoral college.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:24 AM
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?


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:24 AM
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It's not mathematically impossible for Obama to win 55-45 and yet still lose the electoral college.

That's what I'm worried about. He is black, you'll recall. I'm worried that he'll have huge wins in friendly states, and people elsewhere will dig in their heels.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:26 AM
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5: Right. Long term trends have GOP representatives winning Hastert's seat, and those Louisiana and Mississippi seats.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:28 AM
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6, 7 to 2. And right.

Bush in 2004 probably showed about how big a win could be and still be close electorally - over 3%, right? Flip the Ohio vote, Bush still wins the popular by 3% or so, but loses the EC decisively.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:28 AM
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Are you envisioning a situation sort of like the primaries, where he either takes the state by 20% or loses by 10% and since percentages don't matter in most states in the general, loses the electoral college while winning the popular vote?

It's possible, but his campaign has been very smart so far.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:30 AM
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9: Yeah, the electoral college looks relatively bad for Obama.

But a 55-45 win is almost certainly enough of a blowout to render the EC irrelevant. I wish I was confident that will happen.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:30 AM
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That's what I'm worried about. He is black, you'll recall. I'm worried that he'll have huge wins in friendly states, and people elsewhere will dig in their heels.

But if you look at the close states in the article, there aren't enough Appalachian toss-up states to hurt Obama. He could easily win in the west, and I doubt the pure racist vote in VA is big enough to overwhelm the black + NoVa professional vote in a Big Obama Win environment (ie, he doesn't win CA 60-40 unless he's also appealing to the NoVa folks).

If it's a close battle, then the race thing is a concern. But he should be able to trounce McCain pretty thoroughly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:32 AM
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Are you envisioning a situation sort of like the primaries, where he either takes the state by 20% or loses by 10% and since percentages don't matter in most states in the general, loses the electoral college while winning the popular vote?

Exactly. I think the electorate might be even more split than it has been, and he might win 55-45, because the big urban states are behind him, but still lose a bunch of key states.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:33 AM
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but still lose a bunch of key states.

Well, which states on the list do you think are so racist/Obama-unfriendly that - in a world where he's racking up huge wins in NY and CA, and therefore hasn't been caught on video kissing OBL - he can't win them?

CO, MS, VA, NV, NH, NM, OH


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:36 AM
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He is black, you'll recall.

You always focus on the negatives. There are positive aspects to this, you know. He might get shot on the campaign trail. His VP would win in a landslide.

He'll be fine. Absent a subterranean Clintonite campaign to undermine him, the places where race will be hardest to overcome will be in places where Dems weren't going to win anyway. People want to like Obama, and really, really hate the Republicans.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:36 AM
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So when are we going to ditch the Electoral College, already?


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:37 AM
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The general election hasn't even started, really. McCain still has his "maverick" sheen, which won't last long once Obama's campaign kicks into high gear. Obama has way more money than McCain, it's going to be really, really easy to make McCain look like an extension of Bush, and this is as unfriendly an environment for the GOP as anyone could ask for. I realize the natural Democrat instinct is to cringe and run for cover at any sign of trouble, but really, this election's already in the bag.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:37 AM
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So when are we going to ditch the Electoral College, already?

Around the same time we ditch the Senate and lifetime appointments for federal judges.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:39 AM
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I will admit that I wish he looked more solid in OH. It's been trending significantly D since '04, and it would cushion him against unexpected weakness in the West, or a flukey loss in MN or some such.

Maybe the first post-HRC concession poll will show OH solidly in the Obama column, and we can stop worrying so.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:39 AM
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the places where race will be hardest to overcome will be in places where Dems weren't going to win anyway

Dems probably weren't going to win Kentucky - not sure about West Virginia - but there are some places where Clinton polled far better than Obama (with a larger difference than places where Obama polled better than Clinton) against McCain. This doesn't make Clinton a better candidate, but it suggests that party affiliation wasn't the major thing voters were looking at.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:39 AM
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He is black, you'll recall.

Compared to the number of new voters Obama will bring to the polls, I think the number of Democrats who won't vote for Obama because he's black is tiny, really. The turnout for the Democratic primary cannot be overemphasized, especially where the Republican nominee has trouble getting portions of its base excited.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:40 AM
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which states on the list do you think are so racist/Obama-unfriendly

CO, MS, VA, NV, NH, NM, OH

Ohio.

If he runs the west, that would be great; a real shift in the coalition, and I'd be thrilled. But I think he does have to win the west.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:40 AM
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Maslin's Western option looks completely doable. New Mexico has an open Senate seat this year with a Udall as the Democratic candidate, so that's another reason for already-energized Democrats to turn out in force. I don't know much about Colorado and Nevada except that they're very much in play even in a normal year and they seem to have relatively low black/white racial polarization.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:41 AM
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So when are we going to ditch the Electoral College, already?

When hell gentrifies.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:41 AM
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So when are we going to ditch the Electoral College, already?

When state legislatures of states with electoral votes totaling 220 enact the National Popular Vote bill and it survives constitutional challenge as an interstate compact without congressional approval.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:42 AM
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but really, this election's already in the bag.

Yeah, but don't jinx it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:42 AM
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this election's already in the bag.

Wouldn't go that far.

there are some places where Clinton polled far better than Obama (with a larger difference than places where Obama polled better than Clinton) against McCain.

Some of those places are locations where Clinton locked up the better local machines, as I recall. Once our guys are going around and promising their constituents that the black guy is a good guy, his numbers will rise.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:43 AM
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I think Ohio will go to Obama. The Republicans there are really wishy-washy, and the Democrats are just beaten down. There are a lot of black Ohioans who simply haven't been going to the polls who may be motivated by Obama. It's not a strong prediction, but I think new voters will outnumber racist backlashers in the state.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:44 AM
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Want some really fun electoral college speculation? Game out scenarios where Obama wins because he snags one of the EV's of Nebraska


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:44 AM
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14- Right. The Appalachian constituency is too small to be much of a concern. This election turns on two main factors: the explosive Democratic primary turnout and McCain's age, a much bigger factor than Obama's race.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:44 AM
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26: When hell gentrifies.

Millions of boomers will be getting on this, starting real soon now. No need to thank us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:44 AM
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A Virginia Commonwealth University poll recently showed McCain leading Obama and Clinton in Virginia.

However, it is my hope and belief that exposure helps Obama and hurts McCain.

Right now, too many Virginians probably have falsely heard that Obama has the most liberal record in the Senate. As that is proven false, and as McCain is exposed as not being the same guy as in 2000, Virginia will come around.

Plus, Obama has energy. McCain people are just accepting of him.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:44 AM
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it suggests that party affiliation wasn't the major thing voters were looking at.

WV is probably the only state that HRC would likely win and BHO likely lose where race is the clear difference. Most of the other HRC-friendly states are simply older, with more low-info voters who prefer familiar names. This is why political dynasties work in America - Bob Casey is Senator because old people in PA liked his father the governor. They didn't think that Rick Santorum was black.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:45 AM
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24: So does the article. 270 is not impossible. Ohio has been trending blue. But if the article's even close to right, there's several ways for Obama to get to 270 that don't require a miracle occuring. And Obama's campaign has showed in the primaries that they're smart enough to do the math.

I don't think McCain's a weak candidate, but I also think WV with its five electoral votes should not be taken as a bellwether of the general election. (And seriously, fuck them. If you're in 2008 and can proudly say you won't vote for no black guy, you deserve the economic shithole you've got.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:47 AM
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24: That's only one. He doesn't need Ohio if he gets the rest.

I just realized that I abbreviated Missouri as MS in 23; MS is not on the list of likely Obama wins, or even tossups.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:47 AM
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So when are we going to ditch the Electoral College, already?

Around the same time we ditch the Senate and lifetime appointments for federal judges.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same, etc.

I mean, if you want to talk about 18 year Supreme Court terms with everyone limited to one term, I'm open to the idea, but I don't know why I'd want that for the lower federal courts. The crazy because not gonna happen structural forms you want to be harping on, besides the Senate and the EC, and without going all the way to "We should have a Westminster-type parliament and be running elections on the mixed list/geographic allocation model that Germany is using to boot" (which is true) are non-partisan redistricting committees in each state and a massive increase in the number of Representatives in Congress (something like 4x more for starters).


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:50 AM
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a massive increase in the number of Representatives in Congress (something like 4x more for starters).

What did D.C. do to deserve *that*?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:53 AM
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If you're in 2008 and can proudly say you won't vote for no black guy, you deserve the economic shithole you've got.)

If it's 2004 and you vote against Kerry because he's a cowardly medal-faker, you deserve ...

I guess to me that's the big question: Does America deserve Obama ? I'm hopeful ...


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:53 AM
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Sadly, Ohio is going to be a mess and I do not think you can count on it. The best hope is that the combination of McCain's lukewarm reception in the Christianist community coupled with general "Rapture Fatigue" will depress that segment of the vote there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:58 AM
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massive increase in the number of Representatives in Congress (something like 4x more for starters)

But then they'd need a new building! Or maybe the new representatives could sit in the galleries.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:58 AM
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Nah, voting against Kerry because you think he's a faker just means you bought into some dumb propaganda. Doesn't win you any medals for intelligence, but at least there was an active scam perpetuated on you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 10:58 AM
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What did D.C. do to deserve *that*?

Be the seat of government in a country which currently has an unconscionably low ratio of population to representatives in its most numerous legislative body, I guess. I don't recommend going this far, but if you stick to the ratio at the time of the founding there should be slightly over 10,000 Representatives today.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:03 AM
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there should be slightly over 10,000 Representatives today.

Wouldn't that make for fun EC math!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:04 AM
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Be the seat of government in a country which currently has an unconscionably low ratio of population to representatives in its most numerous legislative body

Yeah, I don't buy that as a particular problem, unless you're speaking about local matters that require federal intervention.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:05 AM
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It would neutralize the problem that no state can have fewer than 3 votes no matter how low it's population is, at least.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:05 AM
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I don't recommend going this far, but if you stick to the ratio at the time of the founding there should be slightly over 10,000 Representatives today.

What is the representative ratio in the countries whose systems we respect?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:06 AM
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too many Virginians probably have falsely heard that Obama has the most liberal record in the Senate

And the corollary: I've had multiple conversations with independents and weak Democrats who believe that McCain is pro-choice and really didn't believe me when I told them that he had a 0 rating from NARAL and a perfect rating from the National Right to Life Committee.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:06 AM
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But then they'd need a new building! Or maybe the new representatives could sit in the galleries.

Not necessarily: the House of Commons was deliberately built (or rather rebuilt, after it was bombed) to have too few seats for the number of MPs. When they all turn up at once, some of them have to stand in the aisles. No reserved seating, except on the front bench of each side, which is for the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:07 AM
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I'm baffled that people can simultaneously distrust Obama because of the Reverend Wright controversey and suspect him to be a Muslim. Do they think Wright is Muslim?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:07 AM
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47 to 45.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:09 AM
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I'm baffled that people can simultaneously distrust Obama because of the Reverend Wright controversy and suspect him to be a Muslim. Do they think Wright is Muslim?

Both are placeholders for "He's black", so no problem.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:11 AM
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I'm baffled that people can simultaneously distrust Obama because of the Reverend Wright controversey and suspect him to be a Muslim. Do they think Wright is Muslim?

No, they think Wright is black.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:12 AM
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What is the representative ratio in the countries whose systems we respect?

There are something like 650 MPs right? For a population of a lot less than 300 million.

There was a good discussion of this somewhere that convinced me of w/d's point, but I can't find it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:12 AM
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The fact that 54 could be pwned is the greatness of Unfogged.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:13 AM
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That's what I'm worried about. He is black, you'll recall.

I'm sympathetic to that. While I do think that Obama will win as predicted by the structural models, at the same time it seems impossible. America elect a black guy President? I expected to see it in my lifetime, but I also expected longevity treatments to extend lifespan out to 150.

I had tamped down my fears that white people would never vote for a black President, until the clips from West Virginia. I grew up with those people, and when I was a kid, they were a majority.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:14 AM
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Associate a union with WV and Kentucky: which would you pick? I'd pick this one.

My grandfather was a member. He worked as a carpenter above ground in Springhill, but the UMW was an industrial organization; it organized workplaces, not crafts.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:15 AM
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I'm baffled that people can

Many people don't have the brains God gave a rhododendron.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:16 AM
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I grew up with those people

This probably colors a lot of our gut instincts about the race. NC could conceivably have been in play this year, but I really doubt that either Obama or Clinton can pull out a win here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:18 AM
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1) Do we think that Republicans are on average more racist than Democrats?

This seems, on average, to be true. But:

2) Do we think that the racist vote was up for grabs in the first place?

This seems less than clear. If the racists are going to vote Republican anyway, then it doesn't really matter whether they have an additional reason to dislike a Democrat.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:18 AM
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Many people don't have the brains God gave a rhododendron.

Don't knock the rhododendron; they've much sounder views on foreign policy and climate change than most Americans.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:19 AM
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at the same time it seems impossible. America elect a black guy President?

See, I think racism is way more complex and gray than this. Not being willing to vote for a black guy from Harvard is really off the charts of racism, and is totally different from the racism that arises from not understanding that black culture might seem different from white culture.

Wherever Sifu's remark was, "I'll tell you why I won't vote for Obama. That rap music isn't even music, it's just shouting." is perfect, but I really do think those people would vote for Obama.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:19 AM
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And the corollary: I've had multiple conversations with independents and weak Democrats who believe that McCain is pro-choice and really didn't believe me when I told them that he had a 0 rating from NARAL and a perfect rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

I agree. Or they think that he is secretly pro-choice but just pretending to be more conservative.

In Virginia, reproductive rights will be out in full force this year as we have several very strident anti-choicers running for state-wide office.

Hopefully, Virginians will realize how bad McCain is on reproductive freedoms.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:21 AM
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Hopefully, Virginians will realize how bad McCain is on reproductive freedoms.

Hopefully, Virginians will believe that McCain is opposite to whatever they believe, regardless of what they believe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:22 AM
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Hopefully, Virginians will believe that McCain is opposite to whatever they believe, regardless of what they believe.

That's what makes him such a maverick.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:23 AM
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A person recently told me that McCain gave her the heebie-geebies. It took me a moment to realize that she meant that she didn't like him.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:24 AM
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63 is right. There's a huge difference between an America that's willing to elect Barack Obama and an America that's willing to elect Jesse Jackson (or indeed, even treat Jesse Jackson with anything approaching the dignity and respect he deserves). This is a country infected throughout with white racism, but surely part of Obama's appeal is that he's "one of the good ones," the kind of "race-transcending" black man that white racists like Andrew Sullivan can flatter themselves by voting for.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:26 AM
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I'm contagious! Or, I'm the contagion?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:26 AM
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46: Basically, more finely grained districts might mean that districts actually cohere in some way and aren't just random lines on maps, personal relationships between someone and their Rep. become more feasible, House elections become much, much cheaper to run, and partially because of the cheapness factor, Reps need to be more responsive to the needs of their lower SES constituents because, having fewer constituents, just getting the upper-SES ones won't give you an overwhelming funding advantage.

48: Germany has one Bundestag member per 134,422 people, we have one Rep. per 692,275 people, give or take a person. The last time I checked a ratio was a couple of years ago when I was reading about the Egyptian elections and noticed that they have more Reps than we do.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:27 AM
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McCain gave her a sweet booty!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:28 AM
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McCain is old. By luck or fate, we live in a country that has the decency, character, and perhaps naive idealism to hate the old.

There's a huge difference between an America that's willing to elect Barack Obama and an America that's willing to elect Jesse Jackson

It's a mistake to talk about "an America" here. We're a giant country of 300 mil. people. There are a lot of Americas in play at the moment.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:29 AM
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but the UMW was an industrial organization; it organized workplaces, not crafts

Solidarity forever, brother.

We have the UMWA to thank for the thick streak of blue through southwestern WV and eastern KY in this map.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:30 AM
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Only slightly OT: take a look at this clip of McCain answering Joe Klein's questions about who actually runs Iran. Greg Sargent interprets McCain as being merely cynical, banging the Ahmadinejad drum because Ahmadinehad has wider name recognition; I think it's pretty clear that McCain actually has no idea who runs Iran. I didn't think it was possible to find someone who was dumber and crazier than Bush, but holy fuck, here he is.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:30 AM
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If the racists are going to vote Republican anyway

I'm not sure this is true. There's lots of latent racism that working class folks can ignore when they vote for Al Gore that they can't ignore when Obama is on the ballot. But I'm just speculating.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:32 AM
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It's a mistake to talk about "an America" here. We're a giant country of 300 mil. people. There are a lot of Americas in play at the moment.

I've re-read this a couple times and I still don't know how it's a response to 68.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:32 AM
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but surely part of Obama's appeal is that he's "one of the good ones," the kind of "race-transcending" black man that white racists like Andrew Sullivan can flatter themselves by voting for.

Exactly. I'm starting to suspect that racism in America is 99% cultural prejudice, and not literally skin color.

I'd like to make this joke:
"The real glass ceiling will be broken when America elects a whigger president."
but I'm actually kind of uncomfortable with the wh-word.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:33 AM
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73: It will be fascinating to see how they trend this election, given that in some of these counties, it was on the order of 90-10 for Hillary. (The WV and KY are probably in the bag for McCain in a close race anyway.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:35 AM
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Not being willing to vote for a black guy from Harvard is really off the charts of racism

I think you have a incorrect estimation of where the median racism falls this country. That he's rich or smart or cultured is neither here nor there; they still don't want their daughter bringing him home over spring break. And even if he is one of the good ones, he'll still empower Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Plus, he only went to Harvard because of affirmative action, you know.

More to the point, though: to the part of this country that will base a vote on race, going to Harvard is more reason for distrust, not less.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:35 AM
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. There's lots of latent racism that working class folks can ignore when they vote for Al Gore that they can't ignore when Obama is on the ballot.

But, as well, there are other interests that compete with their racism--particularly these days--that those people can ignore when they vote for Clinton or any other Democrat that they cannot ignore when they vote for McCain or any other Republican.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:35 AM
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70.1: Ooh, that is a good argument.

I'm quite ambivalent about shrinking the PA House, however. It's the second-biggest in the country, and isn't run all that well (albeit better than the Senate, I think). OTOH, it approaches the model described in 70.1 - my Rep is a 40ish divorce lawyer who beat an entrenched incumbent in a primary over a pay raise controversy. That kind of responsiveness is good. But she's quitting after one term because she can't get anything done in Harrisburg, and feels that being a divorce lawyer will be more rewarding (!).

Who rides herd on 1200 Congresspersons? And if they're effectively herded, why have so many?

I suppose the counterargument is that they don't all need to be there all the time, and they only show up for votes where their party needs them and/or they themselves are knowledgeable. But we already have a problem where reps don't spend enough time in DC to build effect legislators - they're always running home to firm up their electoral base.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:35 AM
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75 is a good point -- I have relatives who are both life-long democrats and virulent racists. How this will play out in an Obama/McCain election, I don't know.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:35 AM
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There's lots of latent racism that working class folks can ignore when they vote for Al Gore that they can't ignore when Obama is on the ballot.

I really don't think latent racism works this way for most people, because of the cultural thing. People who are racist, but think they aren't, generally have "good" and "bad" categories of minorities, according to how much they align with white culture.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:36 AM
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The ultimate glass ceiling will be broken when America elects a M2F President. At least F2Ms recognize which gender is the right one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:36 AM
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The ultimate glass ceiling will be broken when America elects a M2F A2M President


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:38 AM
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That he's rich or smart or cultured is neither here nor there

It isn't? You don't think it matters that when Obama talks he sounds like a more-eloquent-than-average politician instead of a preacher or a civil rights leader - that, to put it bluntly, he can speak white? What do you think Biden meant when he called Obama "articulate"?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:39 AM
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take a look at this clip of McCain answering Joe Klein's questions about who actually runs Iran

Wow. Jesus. "I respectfully disagree." Wow.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:39 AM
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Stras is right!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:39 AM
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People who are racist, but think they aren't, generally have "good" and "bad" categories of minorities

This is true. But. They also find reasons not to vote for black candidates, regardless of which sort of minority the candidate is, that (they tell themselves) have nothing to do with race.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:40 AM
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76: Yeah, that could have been clearer. I'm not sure this is any better: it's a different thing for James Vanderthorpe III to vote for a black guy from Harvard than for Jimmy Rural to vote for a black guy from Harvard. It's not simply the candidate--Jesse Jackson vs. Obama--but also the ways in which the explicit culture in not as homogeneous across the nation.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:41 AM
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87: Yes, exactly. It's the tone of a man who's standing in the pouring rain without an umbrella and is chuckling at how stupid you are because you don't realize what a bright sunny day it is.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:41 AM
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89: Surely you've seen this sort of behavior play out in the sexism threads here, right? And this is a very liberal, high-education crowd.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:42 AM
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More to the point, though: to the part of this country that will base a vote on race, going to Harvard is more reason for distrust, not less.

This is the key point, I think. The mode of Obama's cultural whiteness actually makes him more alien to racist potential Democrats.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:44 AM
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92: Arguing with yourself?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:44 AM
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That he's rich or smart or cultured is neither here nor there.

I think you're wrong about that, but I'll agree that it depends on how the voter came to racism. I think there are some people who wouldn't want their daughter dating a black guy, but who like Cosby because he criticized all those crazy welfare moms named Shaniqua. Who think that Colin Powell is just swell. One of the good ones.

I think Obama can hit that sweet spot for a lot of people who wouldn't want to live next to a black family (not 'cause they're racist, but you know, everyone else is, and property values) but can see the guy's accomplishments and convince themselves that they don't see race.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:44 AM
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There are many apostrophers in play here.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:44 AM
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A member of my extended family directly told me: "I'm personally OK with Obama himself, but he will be 'forced' to give blacks too much power*." The only good news is that he did say he would have to "hold his nose" and vote for Obama, since doing so for McCain is like voting for Bush again. (Unsurprising anecdata that this is one meme to keep pushing.)

*Sadly, not inconsistent with other expressed views; my BIL and I call his house the [insert name here] Institute of Enlightened Race Relations ever since he gave his "the South Africans got it right" speech.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:46 AM
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82: I have relatives who are both life-long democrats and virulent racists. How this will play out in an Obama/McCain election, I don't know.

Can you ask them? Anecdatally, while I wouldn't call my mom a virulent racist at all, she "doesn't trust" Obama, is dubious that he's not really a Muslim, and so on. There's something going on there. At the moment, she chooses to stay home in an Obama/McCain race; a life-long Dem, won't vote Republican.

I wonder about the extent to which the hoardes of additional voters Obama brings to the polls will be offset by the number who will stay home rather than vote for him. It'll be an issue chiefly in those states in which Hillary ran strong in the primaries.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:46 AM
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And even if he is one of the good ones, he'll still empower Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Yup. But, again, we were probably going to lose these people anyway.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:46 AM
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They also find reasons not to vote for black candidates, regardless of which sort of minority the candidate is, that (they tell themselves) have nothing to do with race.

Mmmmaybe. But would those reasons really trump voting for 4 more years of McBush?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:47 AM
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But, again, we were probably going to lose these people anyway.

This is what's at issue. Again, I think there are plenty of racist Democrats--it's just not the case that all racists always vote Republican.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:49 AM
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90: That's true, in that there's bound to be a certain set of racist voters who aren't going to vote for any black candidate, period, regardless of whether it's Barack Obama or Jesse Jackson. I just don't think this set is large enough to swing an entire presidential election. I think most racists in most states are in the mushy middle, passing off their bigotry as a rejection of "extremism" (see various reactions to Wright, and to Jackson and Sharpton in the past), and are open to the kind of approach Obama's taken over the course of this campaign. I freely admit that I make this argument based on no hard data whatsoever.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:49 AM
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Arguing with yourself?

Agreeing with myself.

But would those reasons really trump voting for 4 more years of McBush?

We aren't talking about high-information voters here. John McCain is widely (and bizarrely) perceived as the most liberal Republican in the Senate by a lot of people. He's a maverick, dontchaknow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:50 AM
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This is what's at issue. Again, I think there are plenty of racist Democrats--it's just not the case that all racists always vote Republican.

I remember back in high school, when I first heard about Southern Democrats, I couldn't believe they still existed. And the answer was, "Well, they're becoming Republicans at a super fast rate."

I'm having this same reaction to racist Democrats who distrust the Harvard name. Who are these people, and why do they still identify with Democrats on any level?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:53 AM
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I think most racists in most states are in the mushy middle, passing off their bigotry as a rejection of "extremism"

Yep. For hard data, we could look at the number of black senators who got there by beating a white opponent, the number of black governors, and the number of black representatives that have been elected in non-minority-majority districts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:53 AM
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All those blacks are going to get uppity and want a bunch of stuff for free if Obama gets elected.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:54 AM
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It will be fascinating to see how they trend this election, given that in some of these counties, it was on the order of 90-10 for Hillary.

I made that argument once before, but I didn't win many converts in this crowd, JRoth--err--I mean, JP.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:55 AM
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why do they still identify with Democrats on any level

The correctly understand the GOP as the party of the rich, and they ain't rich.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:55 AM
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Can you ask them?

You wouldn't believe the lengths I am willing to go to avoid political discussions in my family. But, holiday weekend coming up, family function, perhaps I can drop some bait into a conversation and then duck off to listen safely from the sidelines.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:55 AM
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We aren't talking about high-information voters here.

This can't be emphasized enough. The McCain as maverick theme is really sticking, and low-information voters are unlikely to revise their early assessments no matter how much fact-slinging the Obama camp manages.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:55 AM
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We aren't talking about high-information voters here. John McCain is widely (and bizarrely) perceived as the most liberal Republican in the Senate by a lot of people. He's a maverick, dontchaknow.

Exactly.

He is perceived as being whatever people like.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:56 AM
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We aren't talking about high-information voters here. John McCain is widely (and bizarrely) perceived as the most liberal Republican in the Senate by a lot of people. He's a maverick, dontchaknow.

But again, this is because Obama has spent almost no time to date actually campaigning against McCain. Now that he doesn't have to waste much time with Clinton anymore, Obama can actually focus on McCain and start spreading the "McCain = Bush" meme spread more seriously. And given that there's a ton of material to work with, and given that Obama's got way more money than McCain, and given that Democrats are overwhelmingly preferred over Republicans in generic ballots across the country, I really think we're going to win this one, and win it big. Racism is a factor, but it's just not a big enough factor to overturn everything else Obama's got going for him. If it was, he'd already be out of the race months ago.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:56 AM
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I wonder if sexism would be more of a factor than racism in the general election. I'm not interesting in saying which is worse, but I get the sense that a lot of the sexist things that would be leveled against Clinton would be considered part of polite conversation in a way that similar racist acccusations wouldn't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:58 AM
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Again, I think there are plenty of racist Democrats--it's just not the case that all racists always vote Republican.

Agreed. (I can't decide if it's good or bad that my comments are getting lazier and shorter.) I meant that we weren't going to win those voters this cycle. Obama has done well. If catastrophe struck and Clinton got the nomination, there would be hard feelings and she--at least for this general election--would be prevented from aiming the occasional kick at African-Americans. But that's how you win those racist Democrats, particularly after the party has given them reason to fear that African-Americans might have power in today's Democratic party. Basically, it's going to be hard to Sista Souljah them prior to Dec. 2008.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:58 AM
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low-information voters are unlikely to revise their early assessments no matter how much fact-slinging the Obama camp manages.

Says who? Obama has millions to throw into ads that McCain isn't going to be able to match. Republicans used a fraction of the money Obama's raised to completely flip Kerry's image as a war hero and turn it into a liability within three or four weeks; Obama has months to work McCain.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:59 AM
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On the plus side, youtube is going to help Obama in this election.

Despite the crazy right wing radio constantly blasting Obama, youtube videos of McCain screwing up and making mistakes should level the field.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:59 AM
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I remember back in high school, when I first heard about Southern Democrats, I couldn't believe they still existed.

Yeah, I used to think the same thing about Northeastern liberal Republicans. Where I grew up, if you were a Republican, you had to be out-and-out crazy conservative (like Miss R.), because you could be plenty conservative and still feel at home amongst the Democrats.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:00 PM
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We do have some hard numbers. In Kentucky, something like 20% of Democratic primary voters said that race was "a factor" in their vote. And almost all of those people voted for Clinton. Now, Kentucky isn't representative, but 20% of Democrats is really very high.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:00 PM
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It wasn't meant that way, but this post sounds like the opening brief for a Hillary appeal. Even if Obama does take both Michigan and Pennsylvania, he still needs either Ohio or all the toss-ups plus a McCain-leaning state or two.

Still doable this year, because every intangible goes Dem, but not easy. Expect an all-out run against George Bush, because the generic Democrat beats the generic Republican so badly right now. It will help that Obama is a good campaigner, he'll need it.

Others will disagree with me, but I think Obama's novelty and foreignness are just as important as his blackness. There's a lot of the "just don't trust" stuff that Parsimon referred to going around.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:00 PM
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The other issue is that in Virginia (and the nation), a huge swath of voters still wants to the world to know that we have a leader that isn't afraid of kicking some ass.

Talk, talk, talk?!?!?!?!? How about "speak softly and carry a big stick"???

They can accept the need to talk some, but they want to know that you have a big stick. (softball for apo)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:01 PM
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He's a maverick, dontchaknow.

What is chakking, and why would I chak now?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:01 PM
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Now, Kentucky isn't representative

No, it's not. And it's also not exactly a must-win state.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:02 PM
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I wonder if sexism would be more of a factor than racism in the general election.

I don't think it would be as effective, though maybe it would vary again by region. But pretty conservative people in pretty conservative states seem comfortable voting for women for statewide office. NC is going to have two women squaring off for the Senate seat, and the incumbent is a Republican.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:02 PM
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I really think we're going to win this one, and win it big

I hope you're right. My guess is that Obama will win, but in a close one. Anyhow, I'm not talking about this election so much as about the current state of race relations. And my impressions may not generalize well beyond the mid-Atlantic south, which is the only part of the country I know well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:02 PM
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I agree with 115. The McSame meme is starting to make inroads. And the maverick thing alienates the Republican base.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:03 PM
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120 is why Webb was able to win in Virginia. You cannot be a pansy and win in Virginia. We are the place of Chuck Robb (marine), Sen John Warner (veteran of Liz Taylor wars), Governor Wilder (a pugilistic fighter), and others. (George Allen cast himself as the John Wayneish, former football player.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:04 PM
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something like 20% of Democratic primary voters said that race was "a factor" in their vote

And you can rest assured that the real number was quite a bit higher, since that's the sort of thing most people won't admit to complete strangers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:04 PM
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118: Sure. Republicans don't have a monopoly on racism, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to show. Do you think they'd be voting for Clinton in the general, or would something like 'I have no problem with women, but our enemies don't even let their women out of the house and throw them back into burning buildings if they're not veiled, better go with the man so they take us seriously' end up sticking to her, too?

I guess I'm not seeing why these assholes have suddenly become the new must-be-catered-to-base.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:06 PM
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since that's the sort of thing most people won't admit to complete strangers.

I'm always more baffled by people who don't get the social code of not admitting you're racist, than by plain old racists.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:06 PM
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Others will disagree with me, but I think Obama's novelty and foreignness are just as important as his blackness.

By which you mean Arnold Schwartznegger would have had the same problems, could he run? Doubt it. As someone said above, "foreignness" and "novelty" are covers for "black."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:08 PM
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Ogged baby, be mellow. It's Appalachia. Fuck 'em. Off to the hog farm with... oh, already there!

Yeah, ain't a problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:09 PM
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Not encouraging.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:10 PM
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I guess I'm not seeing why these assholes have suddenly become the new must-be-catered-to-base.

They're the old base.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:11 PM
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Talk, talk, talk?!?!?!?!? How about "speak softly and carry a big stick"???

How many of the statements being made in this thread are grounded in reality, and how many of them are just caricatures of the sterotypical redstater? The Iraq War is incredibly unpopular, and John McCain is married to it - on tape, and for at least a hundred years. The most important thing Democrats got with Obama, other than someone who could raise a ton of money, was someone who was opposed to the war from the beginning and who wasn't afraid to say so, and in strong terms. That really is going to make a difference. It allows Obama to make everything McCain says on foreign policy sound like the senile blusterings of a crazy old man.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:11 PM
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We're doomed. The end. I supported Edwards, so none of this is my fault.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:11 PM
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I guess I'm not seeing why these assholes have suddenly become the new must-be-catered-to-base.

Oh, I don't think we should cater to them--that's what I mean about changing the coalition--but I think the optimism about an Obama cakewalk is mistaken.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:11 PM
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I'm always more baffled by people who don't get the social code of not admitting you're racist, than by plain old racist

Me too. Hence, fuck 'em. If they haven't learned even basic manners, they can sit on their five or eight electoral votes and wonder why no one wants to invest in their little economic shithole.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:11 PM
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132: Eh, Blumenthal.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:12 PM
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137 is a bit much.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:13 PM
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132: For the third time, the campaign against McCain hasn't even started yet. And that's thanks to Blumenthal and his candidate. As for Blumenthal himself, he's been regurgitating right-wing talking points for months.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:13 PM
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137 is a bit much.

No, it's really not.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:14 PM
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137 is a bit much.

Don't kid yourself.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:14 PM
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I have a lot of faith in Obama's campaign team. He beat Team Clinton when the stars were aligned for Team Clinton. I think they're going to put a lot of smart planning into beating McCain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:17 PM
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For the third time, the campaign against McCain hasn't even started yet.

Thanks for explaining that. It remains unencouraging.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:17 PM
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By which you mean Arnold Schwartznegger would have had the same problems, could he run? Doubt it.

After two terms as California governor? Arnold has a foreign accent, but there's nothing novel about him.

As someone said above, "foreignness" and "novelty" are covers for "black."

I disagree with this. This would be a very different campaign if Colin Powell were running, or some Doug Wilder type black governor (not that there have been many).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:17 PM
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You know, Democrats really are natural-born Chicken Littles when it comes to their own electoral prospects. In any race in which the Republicans had a charismatic, forty-something black candidate raising money hand over fist, and the Democrats had a broke, decrepit 72-year-old with a foreign policy and an economic plan hated by three-quarters of the country, ogged and the rest here would be wailing and moaning about how doomed the Dems were in the general. I can promise you that if the GOP could swap candidates right now, they would, in a heartbeat.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:18 PM
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You cannot be a pansy and win in Virginia

Oh yeah? Explain this!

(In seriousness, Rep. Boucher is one of my favorite Dems in the House caucus; it's just that he strikes some people as a little, you know.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:19 PM
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I do think that Democrats are too fearful. McCain has terrible weaknesses, and not just his Bush ties. Congress looks like a rout.

I'm astonished that McCain is polling higher than 40%, but the campaign hasn't really begun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:21 PM
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139: That was the nice version. The original had 'can sit at home, screw their sisters, wonder why their bright children leave for anywhere else and no one wants to invest in their little economic shithole.' (I'm from about an hour northeast of WV. Some attitudes leak that far north, including some of my relatives. Fuck 'em. They should not be our base.)

It's a beautiful area. It's a good place to be from.

Seriously. We do not normally spend primary seasons wondering whether Kentucky and WV will turn out to be Democratic states. They're rarely in play. That they are less in play for Obama doesn't matter because it's winner-take-all.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:22 PM
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Hence, fuck 'em. If they haven't learned even basic manners, they can sit on their five or eight electoral votes and wonder why no one wants to invest in their little economic shithole.

Hey Cala: kiss my hillbilly ass.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:22 PM
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146: stras, people have said several times that they're concerned, not that they predict defeat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:22 PM
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After two terms as California governor?

I very much doubt he would have had a problem after one term. After all, he got elected for the first time to any office only about a year before Obama claimed his Senate seat.

I disagree with this. This would be a very different campaign if Colin Powell were running, or some Doug Wilder type black governor (not that there have been many).

Yeah, we really just disagree about that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:22 PM
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I have a lot of faith in Obama's campaign team.

Me too. The strategy people there have been brilliant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:22 PM
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I can't believe you people passed up an opportunity to wonk out about never-going-to-happen modifications to our system of gov't in favor of made-up stories about how other people think.

Oh, and I'll say it again because it's fun: stras is right (about November being a slam-dunk).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:23 PM
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146: Nu, so we're used to being let down.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:24 PM
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The only race that I think might not be as much of a landslide as predicted is the presidency. And I still think Obama will win. That's apparently insufficiently optimistic. I would expect a second Obama term to be an easier election (provided nothing horrible happens in the first term), since it wouldn't be a breaking barriers kind of situation.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:24 PM
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I'm astonished that McCain is polling higher than 40%

Here's your sub-40, John. Zogby, granted, but still.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:25 PM
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136: The Obama "cakewalk" projection is certainly not well grounded in reality. And I'm shocked, shocked that race is going to be a factor in this election. I guess folks are just surprised at what the ugly specificity of it looks like, everyone knew it was going to be a huge percentage of the deal with Obama, independent of anything Clinton did or didn't do and independent of the opponent. And implicit in that knowledge was that it would involve the attitudes of many Democrats.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:26 PM
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Me too. Hence, f—k 'em

Appalachia and its culture matter to me; if we hadn't been immigrants to central Ohio from Canada, so that neighbors, school friends, in-laws from Appalachia didn't on some level seem like quintessential Americans, I probably wouldn't care either.

I'd like to reach some of them, without altering the message or pandering, so that everybody knows somebody who voted cheerfully for Obama and doesn't care who knows it. I'm hopeful.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:26 PM
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We do not normally spend primary seasons wondering whether Kentucky and WV will turn out to be Democratic states. They're rarely in play.

Does your historical memory begin in 1999? Do you remember how PA voted when WV went for Dukakis in 1988? For Carter in 1980?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:27 PM
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And to add to 156, it's mainly an electoral college not being a landslide worry. Although (looking at the poll number linked in 157), if Barr gets a significant amount of votes, that could make things a lot easier.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:28 PM
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I don't think people that are willing to say to a reporter "I'm not voting for a black man' are reachable.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:29 PM
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Zogby is like porn. Not too harmful, if not taken literally.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:29 PM
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160: Has yours been erased so that we normally think that we don't decide on the nominee until we prove they can win in WV? This whole primary season is weird that way. It's usually decided well before PA runs their primary in April.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:32 PM
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How many of the statements being made in this thread are grounded in reality, and how many of them are just caricatures of the sterotypical redstater?

My comment about wanting a strong leader is based on reality.

I do not disagree with your remarks about pushing back based on the war and how McCain/Bush have screwed up.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:34 PM
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How can McCain have scarce resources? He doesn't have any primary campaigns to run.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:34 PM
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something like 20% of Democratic primary voters said that race was "a factor" in their vote. And almost all of those people voted for Clinton.

Actually, 75% - I don't know if that's supposed to be the same as "almost all." It means that 15% of the electorate was only willing to vote for a white, and 5% was only willing to vote for a black.

Just as it would be foolish to assume that none of the latter would literally only vote black, I think it's foolish to assume the reverse. Most of them, presumably, won't vote Obama, but I doubt (this year, anyway), that it's all.

Anyway, all I'm really saying is that "20% of the Dem electorate in KY is racist [against blacks]" isn't what the polls actually say.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:34 PM
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Appalachia and its culture matter to me; if we hadn't been immigrants to central Ohio from Canada, so that neighbors, school friends, in-laws from Appalachia didn't on some level seem like quintessential Americans, I probably wouldn't care either.

Look, Texans matter to me, and for that matter I'm super sentimental about parts of Appalachia, too. But politically, both are ass-backwards and not worth pandering to.

(Although Texas is enticingly within reach for Obama, in my opinion, partly because the Republicans here kind of hate McCain.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:35 PM
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How can McCain have scarce resources? He doesn't have any primary campaigns to run.

Because the Republican base doesn't like him that much. He's having tons of trouble fund-raising.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:36 PM
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I personally think that Obama is going to kick McCain's ass. In this age of video, McCain's screw ups and lack of knowledge can be documented easily.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:36 PM
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I think it's going to be close (landslides are not all that common even without getting into the specifics of this race), but winnable.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:38 PM
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164: I think the point was that Clinton won KY and WV in 92 and 96.

To those who are predicting "landslides": how many states do you think Obama will carry? Of the 'close', states, which ones?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:39 PM
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How can McCain have scarce resources? He doesn't have any primary campaigns to run.

"Primary funds" cover everything to the convention. McCain is still spending and - if the FEC rules against him, which it won't, but one can hope - he's already exceeded the maximum for public financing (which he opted for and is trying to opt out of (while claiming he's already opted out - it's complicated)).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:39 PM
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I don't think people that are willing to say to a reporter "I'm not voting for a black man' are reachable.

1. You'd be surprised. Recall that they had a choice between a black man a a white Democrat. Believe it or not, there's a non-negligible segment of the population that dislikes Blacks and Republicans nearly equally.
2. In the age of the 50-state strategy, I don't see the benefit of giving up on a state where Democrats have a better than 2-1 registration advantage, no matter how distasteful the attitudes of a minority of that state's population. To use the kind of scornful language you use is to fall into a trap set by the other side.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:39 PM
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One of the strangest things to me is the way that a lot of core Republicans bitterly hate McCain. The POW-MIA issue is one reason, and a handful of offhand comments are some more, and campaign finance reform is another, but the intensity of this is unbelievable. Live by the crazy, die by the crazy.

I think that a lot of sane Republicans (a tiny group, granted) are disillusioned, too, and the grafters and opportunists have probably seen the handwriting on the wall.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:40 PM
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To those who are predicting "landslides": how many states do you think Obama will carry? Of the 'close', states, which ones?

I think the race will radically disrupt conventional predictions. I think we have few precedents for this coming election season, and it's all reading tea leaves to speculate how it will pan out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:42 PM
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Republicans used a fraction of the money Obama's raised to completely flip Kerry's image as a war hero and turn it into a liability within three or four weeks;

Republicans had a lot of help with that. It'll be interesting to see which way the media turns this time - but Obama, unlike Clinton, definitely puts the media in play.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:42 PM
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The POW-MIA issue is one reason, and a handful of offhand comments are some more, and campaign finance reform is another, but the intensity of this is unbelievable.

And the anti-eXtreme-Christian-Nutjob comments.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:43 PM
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It wasn't meant that way, but this post sounds like the opening brief for a Hillary appeal.

PGD is the Sid Blumenthal of blog commenters. He reads the back of his cereal box and says, "I know it wasn't meant that way, but this cereal box certainly makes a strong case for Hillary."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:43 PM
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It wasn't meant that way, but this post sounds like the opening brief for a Hillary appeal. Even if Obama does take both Michigan and Pennsylvania, he still needs either Ohio or all the toss-ups plus a McCain-leaning state or two.

It's not an easier map for Clinton, just a different one. She's weaker in the West, he's weaker in the Rust Belt, but I expect both to come home for the Dems regardless of nominee. The Republicans can barely win in Mississippi this year; barring some unexpected development I don't expect the Democrats to lose Pennsylvania or Washington.

The real question is whether the Democratic officeholders that make up the superdelegate corps really want to deny the nomination to an African-American candidate who has won 31 primaries and caucuses and a majority of pledged delegates.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:44 PM
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Although Texas is enticingly within reach for Obama, in my opinion, partly because the Republicans here kind of hate McCain.

I think this will be much less of a factor than a lot of Democrats seem to think. The hard right base does in fact dislike McCain, but they're also very reliable "voters". Once someone self-identifies that way, and actually does reliably get to the polls, it tends to become for them something of a civic duty. So they won't stay home--they go to the polls because that's what they think they're supposed to do as Americans, and once they're in the booth they'll hold their noses and vote for McCain, because at least he's better than that godless Muslim.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:44 PM
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One of the strangest things to me is the way that a lot of core Republicans bitterly hate McCain.

Are they going to vote for Obama, or stay home?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:45 PM
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It means that 15% of the electorate was only willing to vote for a white, and 5% was only willing to vote for a black.

Actually, if the poll question was just "race is a factor," then "only willing to vote for" is too strong. Among that 15%, for example, might be people who considered Obama b/c race was a factor, but voted for Clinton b/c they decided gender was a bigger factor.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:46 PM
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The real question is whether the Democratic officeholders that make up the superdelegate corps really want to deny the nomination to an African-American candidate who has won 31 primaries and caucuses and a majority of pledged delegates.

Is anyone asking this question?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:46 PM
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179 wasn't meant that way, but it certainly makes a strong case for Hillary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:46 PM
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In a 55-45 Obama win, I could see him clearing over 300 EVs. That's without an big surprise states (depending how you define VA, I suppose). Unless some external factor hurts him in the fall, he should win OH; I'm just a bit nervous about it.

The biggest wildcard is how big a factor will the press be. We've all pretty much learned about the War on Gore, but the alarming thing is how late they really pressed it. He looked like he was walking away with it by October, but the press kicked it into high gear, and got Bush within stealing distance.

The press won't give up on their McCain love lightly. It may not matter, but it'll be there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:47 PM
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I think the point was that Clinton won KY and WV in 92 and 96.

Yes, but there's an asterisk: Only in '96 WV did Clinton break 50%.
1992 KY
Clinton 45
Bush 41
Perot 14

1992 WV
Clinton 48
Bush 35
Perot 16

1996 KY
Clinton 46
Bush 45
Perot 9


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:48 PM
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172.1: True, and even more germane than the examples from '88 and '80 that I cited. It's just that I wanted to rub it in to Cala that her home state gave its EV's to the GOP three elections in a row.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:48 PM
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172: One with a strong third-party candidate and one as an incumbent during an economic boom.

174: Not giving up doesn't mean not pandering or pretending they're the only real Americans.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:49 PM
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182 is the shorter 181, and the answer is "neither". McCain's problems with the base will be a huge problem for him from a fundraising perspective, but they won't significantly impact right-wing turnout on election day.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:49 PM
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188: I can be harsher about PA, O Hillbilly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:51 PM
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Only in '96 WV did Clinton break 50%.

Apo, did you trade your weed for something stronger? Clinton won 10 states by a smaller margin than WV in 1992, and 6 states by a smaller margin than KY. In 1992, Clinton broke 50% in exactly zero states (not counting D.C.).



Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:52 PM
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doesn't mean not pandering or pretending they're the only real Americans.

And I suggested that where?

OTOH, I can point the the precise links where you said "fuck 'em" and made a gratuitous incest joke.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:53 PM
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To use the kind of scornful language you use is to fall into a trap set by the other side.

Oh, please. We all love our respective racist hillbilly uncles. But "If they haven't learned even basic manners, they can sit on their five or eight electoral votes and wonder why no one wants to invest in their little economic shithole" is dead-on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:54 PM
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I believe that I do know a McCain hating, Hillary-hating Republican who will vote for Obama.

I may know several.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:55 PM
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Further to 192, Clinton outperformed his average popular vote margin in both KY and WV in '92, and in WV in '96.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:57 PM
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179: ummm, it is a post about electoral votes in the Presidential election and all.

I carefully refrained from bringing Hillary up in the female American Gladiators thread. I deserve credit for that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 12:58 PM
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Oh, please. We all love our respective racist hillbilly uncles. But "If they haven't learned even basic manners, they can sit on their five or eight electoral votes and wonder why no one wants to invest in their little economic shithole" is dead-on.

The mistake is in assuming that the whole state can be characterized with shorthand phrases like "racist hillbilly uncles". Should the Democratic party say "fuck Texas" because of the SUV-driving, endangered-species hunting, tobacco-spitting cowboys?

I for one would love to see Obama make a general election campaign appearance in Texas--and not in Austin, either, but somewhere like, say, Tarrant County, and fill up a 20,000-seat arena.

If you're going to rout the enemy, you've got to get inside his OODA loop.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:02 PM
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The problem is that I'm not speculating about the opinions of imaginary people. I'm talking about the opinions of actual people I have known, most of who were Democrats. I believe Obama is going to win, but this is because I am privileging statistical evidence over my actual experience of racism in America.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:03 PM
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Should the Democratic party say "fuck Texas" because of the SUV-driving, endangered-species hunting, tobacco-spitting cowboys?

Oh, hell yeah!

Woo! Git 'em!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:03 PM
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Should the Democratic party say "fuck Texas" because of the SUV-driving, endangered-species hunting, tobacco-spitting cowboys?

Yes.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:04 PM
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Dammit, Sifu.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:04 PM
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. To use the kind of scornful language you use is to fall into a trap set by the other side.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. It means believing that no one gets to kick you--where "you" is effete, or academic, or urban, or gay, or Northern, or what-have-you--for free. I think Obama will reach out to such people, both now and during his term(s). I hope he'll reach out to such people. He needs their votes, and we're a stronger party for their inclusion. But, at the end of the day, if cajole doesn't work, I'm fine with crush.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:05 PM
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First, I don't know what OODA means.

Second, it sounded like you were making a sentimental play for "Squeeeeal Like A Pig!" rather than just saying "It makes good campaign strategic sense to take into account the heterogeneity of big states."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:06 PM
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You don't know what OODA means? You probably think you go duck-hunting with a six-shooter.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:07 PM
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Being called a Chicken Little by stras is a Zen koan.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:08 PM
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McCain's problems with the base will be a huge problem for him from a fundraising perspective, but they won't significantly impact right-wing turnout on election day.

I think Bob Barr is a wild card in this. The Ron Paul and activist wings of the party really are purists that would pull a Nader-like protest vote to move the party in their direction. I regularly encounter on internet message boards threads with titles like "Anti-Capitalist McCain at it Again" with a link to his climate change agenda or "Juan McCain to Sell Out America" with a link to his speech at La Raza. They think of him the way the Left blogosphere thinks of Lieberman.

Even 2% going in Barr's direction could make a difference out west or in New Hampshire.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:09 PM
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PGD is the Sid Blumenthal of blog commenters.

Give me a break. He just disagrees with some of us, and can't quite get over h is Clinton-crush.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:09 PM
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198: I don't believe the Democratic general election strategy depends on winning Texas.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:10 PM
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You probably think you go duck-hunting with a six-shooter.

I think duck-hunting is the back-up game that comes on the Super Mario Brothers cartridge.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:11 PM
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Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit

Let's be clear: I've got no problem with scornful language per se, when directed against ideological opponents or opposing ideologies; sometimes I wish Obama would use a little more of it, and I suspect he will.

But when it comes to generalizing about the residents of a particular state or region, or showing distaste for red state cultural/aesthetic markers, Dems can only lose, because fracturing the country along those lines will always leave the Dems with the smaller slice. In this sense, I think Obama may have cracked the code with his awesome god in the blue states, gay friends in the red states shtick.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:11 PM
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Probably pwned forty times already, but the definition of OODA is here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:12 PM
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210 is fucking funny.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:12 PM
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can't quite get over h is Clinton-crush.

What's with these homies dissing my girl?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:13 PM
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God, now I'm ruining the whole Democratic party!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:13 PM
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Even 2% going in Barr's direction could make a difference out west or in New Hampshire.

Not if Nader cancels it out on the other side. The real question mark with Barr is his home state of Georgia. If he pulls 5-7% there, and A-A turnout really booms, that could conceivably be a bonus 15 EC votes nobody had in the blue column.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:14 PM
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I don't believe the Democratic general election strategy depends on winning Texas.

God forbid! But the Dems have an outside shot of winning a Senate seat that hasn't been held by a Democrat since 1961, so I think the party would be well advised to give the Lone Star State some love whatever the chances in the Presidential race.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:15 PM
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You haven't quite ruined the Democratic party, Cala, but if you eat arugula one more time in between now and November, I'm voting for McCain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:16 PM
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Fortunately, I am not a fan of arugula!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:19 PM
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207: definitely a third candidate could make a huge difference.


Posted by: BrockLanders | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:19 PM
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But when it comes to generalizing about the residents of a particular state or region, or showing distaste for red state cultural/aesthetic markers, Dems can only lose, because fracturing the country along those lines will always leave the Dems with the smaller slice.

Doubt it. The available markers are more varied than you seem to think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:20 PM
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The OODA loop seems to encode satanic imagery.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:23 PM
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You haven't quite ruined the Democratic party, Cala, but if you eat arugula one more time in between now and November, I'm voting for McCain.

Oooh, I just had a great idea. Anderson Cooper should do a special report on Cala's family as a microcosm of the tensions and fractures in swing state Pennsylvania. They could have footage of Cala and her sisters around the dinner table, explaining how each one of them represents one of the demographic trends that illuminate the Pennsylvania electorate. Since they are all telegenic, but not so glamourous that they can't pass for working class, they would make great television.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:24 PM
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Furthermore, they seem to be saying that Satan lives in the Orient.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:25 PM
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My youngest sister had apparently liked Ron Paul mostly because she thinks he is pro-legalization of drugs, but plans to vote for Obama in the general.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:28 PM
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they seem to be saying that Satan lives in the Orient

ergo, Obama *is* the anti-Christ!


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:30 PM
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Excuse me. Cala and her sisters are extremely glamorous.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:31 PM
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My youngest sister had apparently liked Ron Paul mostly because she thinks he is pro-legalization of drugs

Is she coming at it from the social-worker / harm-reduction angle or from the "sure would be cool if it wasn't so hard to find reefer" angle?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:31 PM
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She's nineteen. I'm guessing the latter. But she's not voting for McCain, because "all they do is screw things up."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:33 PM
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All of this "this country is too racist to elect Obama" crap is kind of irritating and more than a little self-indulgent. Reminds me of the "ZOMG all of those hick famers really voted for Obama in Iowa!!!" Obama has almost tied up the nomination in part because he has trusted that the voters are smarter than most politicians and many here give them credit for, while the Clinton people have been deploying their strategy of "pander, pander, lie, pander." Obama hasn't had a problem nationwide with white, working class voters; he began to have a problem in a specific area of the nation after Clinton (with the media's help) began a relentless campaign to paint Obama as the ultimate enemy of the working class. Aside from the "anecdata" about racism, are there any traditional election indicators that point to this being a close election? Not really. I think we're somewhere between a fairly secure Obama win and, as heebie noted, a surprising political realignment.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:33 PM
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Cala and her sisters are extremely glamorous.

They're in that sweet spot that features so prominently in the casting of female "high school sweetheart" characters in country music videos: glamourous enough to be noticeable, but not so much that they seem otherworldly to the target audience.

This is why they would work so well for a news segment about Pennsylvania.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:34 PM
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Give me a break. He just disagrees with some of us, and can't quite get over h is Clinton-crush.

I was just funnin' with PGD, and am entirely grateful to him for drawing fire away from me. Were it not for him, I might be the most reviled Obama-supporter-who-hates-Hillary-insufficiently (OSWHHI) around here.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:35 PM
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But Democrats need to be able to speak to those [Appalachian] voters, if not in order to win, then because the aspirations of those families, who have benefited least from the recent economic booms, are what the Democratic Party is about.

From a nice piece by Mark Schmitt, very appreciative of Obama, just posted here


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:38 PM
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Not if Nader cancels it out on the other side.

This is silly. In 2004 Nader got .38% of the vote - about as much as Michael Badnarik. Naderphobia is utterly irrational in 2008, and based entirely on Nader's performance in 2000, which wasn't a reflection of Nader's natural base but of left-liberal distaste for Clintonian politics.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:39 PM
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Also, the skyrocketing gas prices have her sad, too. "Will gas ever be like it was when *you* started driving?" she asks mournfully.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:41 PM
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||

Hey, let's meaninglessly prognosticate in a happier direction.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:43 PM
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61

"This seems less than clear. If the racists are going to vote Republican anyway, then it doesn't really matter whether they have an additional reason to dislike a Democrat."

This assumes racism is a binary trait, you are a racist or you aren't. This is unrealistic, racism is a continuous trait, you can be a little racist or a lot racist. If you are a little racist Obama being black is not necessarily more important than McCain being old etc. Democrats can afford to write off the most extreme racists but would be unwise to write off anybody with any racist feelings at all.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:46 PM
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This is silly.

Voting for Nader is silly, certainly. I only brought it up because he's running slightly ahead of Barr in the linked poll, at about 4%.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:46 PM
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237, in song!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:48 PM
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104

"I'm having this same reaction to racist Democrats who distrust the Harvard name. Who are these people, and why do they still identify with Democrats on any level?"

Because there are other issues that they care about more obviously. This is just the flip side of asking how poor people can vote for Republicans. As to who they are specifically perhaps old people worried about their social security or teachers who support their union.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:51 PM
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235: did you tell her no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:52 PM
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I only brought it up because he's running slightly ahead of Barr in the linked poll, at about 4%.

At 4%, with a margin of error of 3%. Throw in the "fuck, it's Zogby" factor and I'm guessing Ralph will get about twelve bored college students and a sad-looking dog come November.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:54 PM
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242: don't forget the sociopathicest asshole I've ever known!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:56 PM
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235: Point towards a bike, and then let loose a long, cruel laugh.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:57 PM
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they seem to be saying that Satan lives in the Orient

ergo, Obama *is* the anti-Christ!

No, that would be Clinton, actually. She's the one from the east coast.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:57 PM
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What'd that dog ever do to you, Sifu?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:58 PM
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I did tell her 'no.' She was sad, because as a college kid home for the summer working at slightly above minimum wage, she can't afford to drive anywhere. Gas has quadrupled in ten years, but minimum wage hasn't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:59 PM
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246: so, so unfair to dogs. You could've taken one of the dogs from Bad Newz Kennels, trained it to attack only children, and let it loose at an orphanage, and it would still be an angel of kindness and light compared to this dude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 1:59 PM
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I did tell her 'no.' She was sad, because as a college kid home for the summer working at slightly above minimum wage, she can't afford to drive anywhere. Gas has quadrupled in ten years, but minimum wage hasn't.

She should get a motorcycle!


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:00 PM
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She should get a motorcycle Vespa!

Also, to kinda twist the knife, you should totally let her know that it's a good thing gas will never be that cheap again, and it should even be a dollar or two more expensive per gallon to properly account for the carbon emission externalities.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:12 PM
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||

"Part of his duties are customer support" or "Part of his duties is customer support"?

Is or are? Is, right?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:16 PM
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"His duties include, in part, customer support."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:17 PM
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Some friends of mine from Southern California got pissed at me a couple of weeks ago when, after they spent a while lamenting the cost of gasoline, I told them the price was going nowhere but up. I hadn't thought they'd take my economic forecasting so personally.

Then they told me they opposed taxation to subsidize public transit because the government would probably just spend the money to send illegal immigrants to college. So.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:17 PM
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Among his duties are such diverse elements as customer support, etc...


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:19 PM
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IS or ARE???


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:20 PM
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250
Also, to kinda twist the knife, you should totally let her know that it's a good thing gas will never be that cheap again, and it should even be a dollar or two more expensive per gallon to properly account for the carbon emission externalities.

So we're trying to make Cala's family more right-wing, then? I mean, I wouldn't advocate lying, but no need to twist the knife either. Baby steps.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:20 PM
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Is.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:21 PM
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Also, the skyrocketing gas prices have her sad, too. "Will gas ever be like it was when *you* started driving?" she asks mournfully.

In response to the $4+ price at the pump the other night, Rory optimistically proclaimed that Obama will fix that when he's president.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:21 PM
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"is." But it still sounds awkward.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:22 PM
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Also, I think asking a direct question, and then complaining when the answers aren't helpful enough, is contrary to the spirit of the pause-play symbols.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:22 PM
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It does sound awkard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:23 PM
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Also, to kinda twist the knife, you should totally let her know that it's a good thing gas will never be that cheap again, and it should even be a dollar or two more expensive per gallon to properly account for the carbon emission externalities.

Heh. Rory also took comfort in the thought that at least $4 gas would punish the dorks who bought Hummers.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:23 PM
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I'll contrary YOUR spirit. And you'll like it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:24 PM
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Is our duties customer support?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:25 PM
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263: I don't think "contrary" can be used as a verb.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:25 PM
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So we're trying to make Cala's family more right-wing, then?

No, I just want to squeeze out all hope that gas will become cheaper and more plentiful as soon as possible, since that's when the switch to lower-energy-consumption lifestyles and purchases will begin in earnest.

Stuff like 258 worries me, since I know a lot of other people feel that way who don't have the excuse of being 8 and don't have someone as sensible as Di to gently explain why nothing will lower the price of gas.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:26 PM
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248: eventually we're going to hound you into telling this story, Sifu. Probably on the upcoming emotional scars thread.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:26 PM
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262: Your kid's 10 kinds of alright, Di.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:27 PM
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"His duties include customer support."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:27 PM
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265: I'll verb you, and you will also like it. ("Verbing weirds words.")


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:27 PM
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His duty is to support customers' pointless and empty but profitable desires, no matter how ashamed he is of the work, especially when he knows that so many children who once respected him are watching with eyes the color of bruised plums.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:28 PM
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267: maybe presidentially. Substantial risk of it being found, otherwise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:29 PM
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198: Should the Democratic party say "fuck Texas" because of the SUV-driving, endangered-species hunting, tobacco-spitting cowboys?

I'm prepared to recognize Mexicans' historical claim to Texas in exchange for their withdrawal from the other States.


Posted by: Neville Chamberlain | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:31 PM
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Naderphobia is utterly irrational in 2008, and based entirely on Nader's performance in 2000, which wasn't a reflection of Nader's natural base but of left-liberal distaste for Clintonian politics.

Also in 2000 he was the Green Party candidate, and a lot of people thought "Finally, this is the chance for the Green Party to become entrenched as the third party!!"

I am optimistic about this happening with the Libertarians this year.


Posted by: Fatrman | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:31 PM
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Gas prices are just a big conspiracy so that the Saudis and the Bush family can buy land cheaply when people move back to city living. Then, they will lower the price of gas and sell the land at enormous profits.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:43 PM
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Sifu is banned until he tells the sociopath story.

Sifu fears on individual sociopath, but not the disseminated sociopathy of Unfogged. He has misjudged. Banning is only the first step.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:46 PM
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I can't read to the end of the thread (stopped at 180), because I have to run to work, but I'm shocked nobody had mentioned Barr to that point in the comments. If Barr stays in the race, Obama will absolutely cream McCain. And even if Barr drops out, as I'm guessing he will by September, Obama still will get close to 300 electoral votes. See, I'm whirly-eyed! Actually, I just think Obama's organization is that good. And his voter registration and GOTV operation is only getting started -- more than 2 million newly registered voters so far. Imagine what it will be like in the general election. Not to mention his insane network of insane donors (How do they do it? VOLUME!).

Because of all of that, I'm pretty surprised that Apo and others think that racism will trump the number of new Democratic voters who are going to support Obama because of a variety of issues: novelty, quality of the candidate, the economy, hatred of Republicans, and, perhaps most of all, the war. Just because the MSM is erasing that last issue from their coverage doesn't mean that people don't care about it. Honestly, I'm with Stras on nearly everything he said in this thread. It's just an unimaginably bad time to be a Republican and an even worse one to be so closely tied to Bush. Plus, McCain is decrepit and proud of knowing nothing. In sum, I'm still offering 4:1 odds on the general (though I retain my major-act-of-terrorism escape clause).


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:48 PM
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268: Yes, yes she is. Thanks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:51 PM
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I'm pretty surprised that Apo and others think that racism will trump the number of new Democratic voters

I still think Obama will win; I just don't think 300 EVs are in the cards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:52 PM
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Because of all of that, I'm pretty surprised that Apo and others think that racism will trump the number of new Democratic voters who are going to support Obama because of a variety of issues: novelty, quality of the candidate, the economy, hatred of Republicans, and, perhaps most of all, the war.

This comes from a cautious approach. There's no history of "new Democratic voters" existing in an objective reality, whereas the existence of racism has been proven to the specifications of virtually every investigator.


Posted by: Fatrman | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:54 PM
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277: Hmmm... Now I'm really tempted to work out precisely what odds of terrorist attack would eliminate the arbitrage between your offered odds and the current intrade price. But I think I'm supposed to work, and a legal pad full of probabilities is more suspicious than typing on the computer.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 2:57 PM
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In support of the optimists, it should be noted that 2006 was a freakishly good election for the Dems, and political conditions have only improved since then.

Harold Ford only lost to Bob Corker by something like three percent in Tennessee - which is one of those racist states about which you liberal elitists would say "Fuck 'em."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:05 PM
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281: That's what spreadsheets are for.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:08 PM
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Harold Ford only lost to Bob Corker by something like three percent in Tennessee - which is one of those racist states about which you liberal elitists would say "Fuck 'em."

Of course, he lost because of that racist ad implying that he loves to honk the breasts of blond strippers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:11 PM
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70.2 to 48, continued: see the spreadsheet in the middle of this post. Also, the GoogleLookup function in their spreadsheets might be amazing in the future, but is right now basically useless.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:12 PM
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According to Bob Corker, it was the racist ad that almost helped Ford win, and Corker pulled out the race at the last minute because he insisted on replacing it with positive ads. Corker seems like a dumb guy but also a very nice guy, so he probably actually believes that, but I don't think it's true.


Posted by: Fatrman | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:14 PM
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Also not encouraging. I suppose in light of earlier comments in this thread I should clarify that what's not encouraging is that these are signs that the full-on campaign against McCain could keep getting pushed back.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:17 PM
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287: I liked someone's recent statement that Clinton and Obama have come to an accord: Clinton will continue to campaign for the primary, while Obama campaigns in the general.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:20 PM
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281

"277: Hmmm... Now I'm really tempted to work out precisely what odds of terrorist attack would eliminate the arbitrage between your offered odds and the current intrade price. But I think I'm supposed to work, and a legal pad full of probabilities is more suspicious than typing on the computer."

Intrade has McCain at about 40%. So if we assume McCain's chance of winning is 100% given a terrorist attack and 20% otherwise we obtain implied odds of 25% of a terrorist attack.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:23 PM
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287: If the Michigan and Florida situations still matter come convention time, it will only be because the superdelegates have fallen down on the job. That seems very unlikely to me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:23 PM
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287: Yeah, really. I don't want to start saying that this should cease to be the only issue on earth that Strasmangelo Jones isn't panicked about, but honestly, the story about how "Nobody's heard McCain criticized yet...the current polls are in an environment where the campaign against McCain hasn't even begun" does not reassure me.

When is the campaign against McCain going to begin? August? It's going to take three months just to convince the media, let alone the public, that McCain isn't the most liberal Republican in the Senate as well as the last honest man in American politics and the only politican from either party who could stand a chance of beating up Oscar De La Hoya.

Not to mention that the default narrative is still "McCain and Clinton versus Obama". How long will it take for it to be plausible again that Hillary Clinton would prefer Obama to McCain as president?


Posted by: Fatrman | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:24 PM
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So if we assume McCain's chance of winning is 100% given a terrorist attack and 20% otherwise we obtain implied odds of 25% of a terrorist attack.

I'd say the first two estimates are too high and too low, respectively.

Is there a tradesports line on whether there will be a terrorist attack? I'd look for the arbitrage opportunity between that price and the McCain future.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:27 PM
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racist ad implying that he loves to honk the breasts of blond strippers

Who doesn't love honking the breasts of blond strippers, though?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:28 PM
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And how. A-oooga!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:34 PM
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Who doesn't love honking the breasts of blond strippers, though?

The implication that Harold Ford might come by your house and help your daughter bust up that chifferobe was hard to overlook, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:35 PM
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292

"I'd say the first two estimates are too high and too low, respectively."

The 20% is Ari's number. If we reduce the 100% this will increase the implied odds of a terrorist attack. For example if McCain's winning chance after a terrorist attack is 60% then the implied odds of a terrorist attack are 50%.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:35 PM
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If we reduce the 100% this will increase the implied odds of a terrorist attack.

Don't do it! AAAAAAAUGH! *runs for cover*


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:38 PM
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Ari said it's 4:1 but he gets out of the bet if there's a terrorist attack, implying merely that the odds become less than 4:1 in that event, and probably much less.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:39 PM
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Damn and fuck Chelsea, and woo.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:40 PM
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Ignore 298, my mistake.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:40 PM
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When is the campaign against McCain going to begin?

It already has, in the form of Obama's precise counterpunching on the "appeasement" smear. With every attack, Obama looks more like the nominee, and with every reponse, Obama looks stronger and smarter than McCain. And IMO, while lowbrow America distrusts a smart weenie wonk, they can look up to someone who's both strong and smart.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:40 PM
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292: That's what I was just looking for. Nope. Best proxy I could find was the odds of us launching air raids on Iran (which you know would happen), though I'd guess that is more likely than a terrorist attack by a considerable margin.

Still, it's trading for around 25, which pretty much eliminates the chance for a total hedge in this direction


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:41 PM
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And how. A-oooga!

Two phrases that have possibly never been uttered in sequence before. Like "What am I, chopped liver? Now git 'er done."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:41 PM
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But certainly McCain's current odds aren't factoring the possibility of terrorist attack very highly, so the 'win without terrorist attack number' should be more like 40% than 20%.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:44 PM
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Wait, no, being stupid.

Ok people:

- Sell $25 worth of contracts that we'll bomb Iran by Dec 31, 2008
- Sell $40 worth of contracts that McCain will become prez
- Make the $50 bet with Ari that McCain will win, put away $49.40 in a CD to cover the potential obligation.

Instant $15.60 profit, and your later obligations are fully hedged! In the event of needless military aggression and an Obama win, you'll even get to cry for America into a pile of Ari's money.

Soo... who wants to invest in my Intrade hedge fund? I have some intriguing Vice-President opportunities that I'm considering...


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:48 PM
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305 has decorrelation risk. It's not a riskless profit.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:50 PM
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Aw crap, yeah, sorry. The Obama win with needless military aggression scenario leads to a minor loss instead of piles of money. Still, no worse than a typical hedge fund strategy (rimshot, only not really because it's sorta true).

Damn, I never mess these things up when it involves fixed-for-floating or options hedging.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 3:54 PM
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It's going to take three months just to convince the media, let alone the public, that McCain isn't the most liberal Republican in the Senate as well as the last honest man in American politics and the only politican from either party who could stand a chance of beating up Oscar De La Hoya.

That works out well; we've got 3 1/2 months before the public starts paying attention to any of this.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:00 PM
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306: decorrelation risk

I know this is shoptalk; plus I was pretty sure I knew what you were getting at, but I was surprised that when I attempted to search to confirm that apparently "decorrelation risk" is not to be found within the scope of Google search.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:08 PM
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309: I'm probably misremembering the terminology. I'm thinking of the scenario where Bush bombs Iran after the election, but before 12/31. The probabilities thought to be correlated (bomb iran, McCain wins) become uncoupled.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:17 PM
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Actually, I realized while walking to get some water that 305 is a load of crap. I was right in the first place, the price of the Iran-bombing contract is high enough to preclude even a rough arbitrage opportunity.

Basically, Ari's offer is equivalent to a $20 Intrade contract for McCain becoming President, with an out that it will pay only $20 if a terrorist attack happens. Going long in that contract is shorting terrorism risk, so you'd have to go long in the bomb Iran contract to hedge the risk. It would actually require $20 of the bomb Iran contract to do so, eliminating all profits except the interest on the $20 spread between now and election day.

This is what my brain does to me for thinking about insanely cool medical robot technology all day, it forgets finance and embarrasses me in front of what must be like 3 commenters.

(On preview, however, this setup would produce profits under the causality uncoupling that 310 addresses.)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:22 PM
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Obama actually only needs 269 electoral votes.


Posted by: Mr. F | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:43 PM
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Is the consensus opinion that a terrorist attack helps McCain? I'm not sure I buy it, since he's been such a strong advocate for our current anti-terror policies, which would then have demonstrably failed.

It would take a skilled politician to turn it against McCain, I admit (especially to prevent accusations of "politicizing" the tragedy), but Obama is skilled.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 4:52 PM
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In 2004 Nader got .38% of the vote - about as much as Michael Badnarik.

Woohoo! Both my parents voted for Badnarik!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:16 PM
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I has eeePC and I can type on it!!!!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:24 PM
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Congrats.

Did I mention I have nine-and-a-half inches?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:25 PM
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315: E-mail me if you have a minute. I want to talk Eees.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:28 PM
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Did I mention I have nine-and-a-half inches?

Sent from my iPhone


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:34 PM
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There's be a picture if that had been the case.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:36 PM
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Really? How do you turn on macro mode?

OHOHOHOHOHO!

It seems that I am bored.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:37 PM
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You're bored, I'm engorged, let's call the whole thing off.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:38 PM
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Mister blue balls on my shooouulder,
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:40 PM
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You're bored, I'm engorged, let's call the whole thing off.

So great.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:41 PM
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There's something really weird about this lyrics site.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:41 PM
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Is the consensus opinion that a terrorist attack helps McCain?

I don't know what the concensus opinion is, but I firmly believe that another attack on American soil would help McCain, or any GOP presidential candidate whatsoever. Matters of policy and issues of competence would be almost completely irrelevant, I'm afraid. The GOP could be running a candidate who had been officially pronounced brain-dead, and he would still coast (or maybe they would have to wheel him in) to victory.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:52 PM
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I do not have your e-mail address, Ari.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:57 PM
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Yup, 325's right. If there's another major attack, most Americans are going to want to kill lots of people righ quick. And John McCain will oblige -- reflexively. More than that, though, all of the tough talk/no facts positions he's taken to date will seem reasonable to a majority of the electorate.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 5:58 PM
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Cala broke the "I'm feeling lucky" rule! Cala, if I can find that for you with one google search phrase + the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, will you give me a dollar?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:01 PM
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Oh, I thought my address was linked in that comment. As usual, the internet hates me. Anyway, it's: akelman AT yooseedavis DOT eeedeeyou. If that makes any sense at all. If not, I'll send my favorite pigeon. Or an owl, if I can borrow one.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:01 PM
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Just give Jetpack the money, Cala, and ask him not to bother you again or send any literature.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:02 PM
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Maharaji talks about the need that each of us has for peace and freedom in our lives. The peace that can be felt even in the middle of a war, he says, and the freedom that can be felt even in prison - "This is what every human being on the face of this earth wants."
The Reality of You

What I say to everyone is very simple: You were born. You have come in this world. People ask, "When I leave, where will I go?" They can talk about this for hours, but no one knows.

I talk about the peace, the fulfillment that is within you now. Go wherever you want to, but know that. If you don't, an inner thirst will not be quenched. If you do not recognize yourself--the reality of you--what is there? It is because of this that you have all your friends and relationships.

That fulfillment is the same for everyone. It is not related to any religion, caste, creed. There is no difference between you and me. You are a human being; I am a human being. The human body that we have is not the gift of a government. It is the gift of the Creator, and it has been given to everyone.

Open your eyes and see. The truth is that you can fill your life with happiness now, a happiness that will not go up and down, but will always remain the same. Whenever you are thirsty, you can go within and quench your thirst.

Until we recognize that the real peace is within, we are here but don't know why. We have questions: "Why have I come here? What am I doing here? Am I doing it right?" It's like a driver who doesn't know where he is going. But you are the driver of this bus of life. You have been given the key, and you cannot give it to anyone else. You cannot even give one breath, one moment, to anyone.

What is it that can bring real happiness in your life? What is the thirst that has been there within you since childhood? I travel to different places and tell people: Try and understand yourself. Something is there within you to give you happiness. What you have always been waiting for is dancing in you. Know that. Recognize that. It came when you took your first breath, and it will be there until you take your last breath.

Look for your thirst, and when you find it, I'll give you water. Until you recognize your thirst, you won't be able to understand what water means. People who are not thirsty talk about the cost of the water, where it has come from, the bottle it comes in, and the label. When you are thirsty, nothing else is required.

I am not here to tell you what you don't have in your life. Try and know what you do have. If you want to know, it's possible. If you really have the thirst and have recognized it, then you can know. The thirst is within you, and the water is also there within you. You just need the desire for it. The day you have that, your eyes will start opening, and you will understand how fortunate you are.

Know yourself. If you want to know what is there within yourself, you can understand it. That's possible. You have the possibility for all things. You have the possibility to recognize. And you have the possibility to know yourself.

There are your responsibilities in this world, but there is also your responsibility to make your life fulfilled. You can fulfill your life. You need water. Look for it--wherever you can. If you don't find it, then come to me. If you need help, I am here. Whatever you want to do, do it now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:04 PM
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Also, we're going to have fucking awesome weather this weekend. How great is that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:06 PM
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331: When you're bored, you're insufferable. I prefer an engorged Ogged, thanks very much.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:08 PM
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Now I feel bad. Do you want to talk about history?

I'm actually trying to do understand the math I need to make my KILLER ROBOT work, but I am (per the school drugs thread) easily distracted. In lieu of focussing, I paste.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:09 PM
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You told me, "Stop crying, it makes you look fat."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:12 PM
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I didn't realize that you had a documented ("per the school druges thread") learning disability. Now *I* feel bad. Do you need some extra time on the test, sweetie?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:13 PM
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Apo wrote that one himself. Don't believe anything he says.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:14 PM
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336 to 334. And, while we're at it, 335.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:15 PM
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Sifu, not everyone wants mail to arrive at their school address.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:15 PM
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339: Ah, but I'm not everyone; I'm tenured. But, if you prefer: kelmanari AT geemale DOT com. That works, too.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:16 PM
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336: it's undocumented. A migrant learning disability, as it were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:18 PM
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It's a scab, non-union disability that undercuts real American disabilities.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:21 PM
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Yeah yeah tell it to Baugh.

If I were more motivated not fail to be motivated to work on my hobby maybe I'd make y'all a mix. Seems like a lot of effort, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:24 PM
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A fly-by-night, shoddy disability. Good luck if some kind of problem pops up six month later, because the disability will be long gone. Either back in Arkansas screwing its cousins, or swindling someone new somewhere else.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:24 PM
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Add a 'to' to 343, I suppose. Or don't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:26 PM
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334- The veterans of the Battle over New Caprica are watching, Sifu. Just saying.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:36 PM
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Also, we're going to have fucking awesome weather this weekend. How great is that?

You all doing anything special for the weekend. I'm jealous if you're heading to the beach, because I'm going to be spending most of the weekend in a dry town.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:37 PM
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In this case, there's an alternative, if rather disgusting, explanation. The poor mother hen had a gecko crawl up her cloaca (probably in a pushy attempt to sell her insurance), die somewhere in the oviducts, and then got incorporated into the egg before the shell was laid down.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:41 PM
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346: look, the killer robots are coming if we like it or not. I figure, if I create them, I can control them. Or, since I'm designing this robot so that I can't control it, at least befriend them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:42 PM
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What is the representative ratio in the countries whose systems we respect?

I don't know if someone eventually answered this, but curiously, a remarkably large number of systems seem to scale with the cube root. Which for the US would mean about 650 representatives.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:44 PM
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Sifu, what if you infuriate them with a tactless comment?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:44 PM
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341: Just remember that Juan McCain wants to grant amnesty to those disabilities.

347: want to come out to PDBS, BG? Fleur and will probably be grilling, and we'll definitely be drinking.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:45 PM
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Emerson, are you going to be writing first-person sex columns at Kotsko's place every Wednesday, or is it a rotating feature to be shared among the celibate?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:45 PM
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Look for your thirst, and when you find it, I'll give you water.

Now you're talkin like a sifu, Sifu.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:45 PM
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347: we are going to go enjoy the sunniness somewhere appropriate, yes. Probably I will bring Q Tonic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:45 PM
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347- Dry towns can be fun.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:46 PM
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351: happily, my robot lacks either eyes or an integrated web browser.

354: my new ninja print induces in me a sense of calmness and universal understanding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:47 PM
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331: I'm impressed that Sifu was able to transcribe the entire text of the Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap bottle that quickly.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:55 PM
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Rotating. I'm sure that you would be welcome.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:55 PM
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I think I disqualified myself from Wednesday Sex duty by having sex.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:56 PM
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My brother-in-law made a robot that throws snowballs (simulacra of snowballs, I assume, seeing as this was in California). Your and his robots should fight.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:58 PM
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358: the link in 324 just had that effect on me.

ALL-ONE ARE UNIVERSAL NOW!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:58 PM
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No, that's just the way the chips fell. I'm sure that Kotsko wants a wide range of views. The only reason I posted at all is because Dominic's post got me started. And he is also a grumbly person. But that's not the mission statement or anything.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 6:59 PM
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361: his would win. Mine will be a uniquely wussy KILLER ROBOT, I can already tell you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:01 PM
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Assuming, that is, I ever finish the thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:01 PM
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I'm not sure I have much that is intelligent to say on the subject, but I think it's a good addition to the lineup.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:01 PM
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Someday all the Olympic athletes will be robots, and whoever builds the best robot wins.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:02 PM
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So, uh, what does your KILLER ROBOT do, then?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:10 PM
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Runs away from people. I'm going to arm it with a bowl of candy.

If you catch it, it might scream.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:13 PM
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What about rolling on its back and exposing its soft underbelly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:17 PM
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want to come out to PDBS, BG? Fleur and will probably be grilling, and we'll definitely be drinking.

Maybe, what does PDBS stand for? Also, if I bring the guy I'm seeing, you have to realize that he won't talk like a witty unfogged-er.

Sat AM I'm heading out to the prison in Norfolk.

Send me an e-mail.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:17 PM
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370: no, no, it's too fearful for that.

PDBS

Posh Deep Blue Suburb.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:19 PM
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369: Rats. I was hoping to borrow it. I need a Killer Robot. But maybe a Roomba with a leopard-print personal taser attached would do the job. You could equip it with motion sensors and let it go wander the house, like Cain in Kung Fu.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:33 PM
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373: I didn't want to disappoint you. I was thinking of outfitting it with whirling knives, but I really would like to get some kind of proximity override working first, so I can get close to it. Also, solar panels, so it doesn't need to plug into the puny human power grid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:36 PM
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Have you seen this robot, Tweets? Rather than a wussy killer, why not a tuneful, minstrely robot?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:37 PM
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I really would like to get some kind of proximity override working first, so I can get close to it.

You'll have to key it to your pheromones!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:40 PM
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I would suggest you name it Slamhound, but probably every other Killer Robot is named Slamhound.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:44 PM
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375: that's fabulous. Maybe soon; I do have an autonomous audio installation I'd like to do. That robot has a lot more advanced sensor mechanisms than I'm planning on, though.

The eventual idea with my concept is to build a larger KILLER ROBOT that has a 5 galllon cooler thing (like landscaping crews use) that is kept well shaded and cold, and that optimally is solar powered. I will let it loose on the playa at burning man, and the only way people will be able to drink the delicious cocktails contained within is to stalk it and drain its precious fluids.

Then maybe I'll be up to building things like the drum machine robot, which really is awesome. I'm really taken with this robot at the moment, which mine will hopefully be a somewhat-more-ghetto, fearful version of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:47 PM
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377: heh could be. I will run it by Mr. Gibson, next time he's telling me how much he likes me blog.

376: bluetooth is my pheremones.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:48 PM
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I was thinking of outfitting it with whirling knives

You should outfit the KILLER ROBOT with a cut off saw.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:57 PM
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380: yeah I dunno. I prefer it to be easily intimidated. I am a one made crusade for encouraging the perception of robots and wussy and unintelligent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 7:58 PM
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351: happily, my robot lacks either eyes or an integrated web browser.

If I understand my children's literature, lack of eyes will prevent it from being a killer. And from playing baseball.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:11 PM
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382: exactly! I will also lack arms.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:12 PM
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"It", not I. My arms are pretty well there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:12 PM
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Sifu has BIID?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:13 PM
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Dammit, Sifu.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:13 PM
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Next time, my unlikely disability is your command, rest assured.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:15 PM
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Or vice versa? Let's ask Ben! Don't ask me, I got no arms.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:15 PM
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361: his would win. Mine will be a uniquely wussy KILLER ROBOT, I can already tell you.

Capable of manslaughter, but not murder.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:18 PM
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The NBA playoffs continue to bore.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 8:56 PM
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Maybe I posted too soon.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:05 PM
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Encouraging.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:12 PM
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350
I don't know if someone eventually answered this, but curiously, a remarkably large number of systems seem to scale with the cube root. Which for the US would mean about 650 representatives.

I don't want to recreate the math to the nearest whole number, but interestingly, I got a very similar answer by different methods.

Today, each state has one Congressional district, no states share one, and representation is as proportional as possible with the limit of 435 representatives. Remove that limit, and the smallest state would have one representative, and all the other states would have representatives equal to their population divided by the population of the smallest state. Wyoming's population is about 494,000. America's population is about 300 million. Ergo, if Wyoming had one representative, there would be a total of more than 600.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:16 PM
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Yeah but they'd all be corrupt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:18 PM
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And I got roughly the same answer by saying, take my age and multiply it by 22 and then that's your answer. WEIRD.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:24 PM
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Is there are "separation of powers" joke here that I'm missing?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:26 PM
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(I mean: can someone come up with one?)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:26 PM
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395 WEIRD.

Yeah, there's got to be a catch.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:50 PM
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I have a "separation of powers" in my pants that's no laughing matter.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 9:50 PM
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The problem with basing everything on the lowest-population state is that it's unstable--if Wyoming suddenly has a population boom, do you really want the House to shrink?


Posted by: micah | Link to this comment | 05-21-08 11:30 PM
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Actually, I ended up crunching the numbers for all the US states and it turns out that a formula that is fairly accurate (the main outliers are CA and NH) is:

# reps = sqrt(pop)/20.

For the entire US this would mean about 850 reps.

Yeah but they'd all be corrupt.

But think of how much more expensive it would be to buy them all off.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 12:22 AM
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Only if cost per rep doesn't drop proportionally to the increase in the number of reps.

Just to repeat myself, Wyoming's ratio of 494,000:1 is still very high compared to the not at all random set of countries I compared ratios with.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 12:49 AM
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Back to the post topic, wouldn't it be fucking awesome if McCain became the 21st century Mondale and won only Arizona? Let's just start calling him "Fritz" now.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 4:47 AM
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wouldn't it be fucking awesome if McCain became the 21st century Mondale and won only Arizona?

Also, if Jennifer Garner would unexpectedly drop by my house and offer to clean the whole thing top to bottom in the buff.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 5:38 AM
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400: True, but there's no reason they couldn't reevaluate it again. The size of the House of Representatives used to change continually. And my math was just the minimum number given at least one Representative per state, no sharing, and representation as proportional as possible. There's no reason they couldn't index it to a smaller number than 500,000 and let the House keep on growing.

403, 404: Most uses of the phrase "fucking awesome" and variants can be improved by reversing the order of those two words.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 9:03 AM
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Why doesn't Obama announce his V.P. choice now in order to take attention away from Clinton's Michigan/Florida gambit? Since they decided that declaring victory was gauche, he can announce it only for the hypothetical in which he's the Democratic nominee, but announce it nevertheless.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 1:04 PM
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406: NYT says they're starting to talk about it now.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 1:12 PM
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||

I didn't want to hijack a non-political thread, and this is still semi-active. Josh Marshall just posted a quote from a correspondent with the most plausible explanation for what HRC's motive is at the moment that I've seen, here.

|>


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 2:41 PM
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IDP, I also saw and really liked that post, because for a long time I've been starting my answer to people who ask me about what Sen. Clinton is going to do next with, "I have no idea why she did what she has done so far, so it's difficult for me to understand her mindset and figure out what she's going to do next." And that does give some clue as to her mindset, though it seems to put a lot of weight on one electoral college abolishing quote from 2000 or '01, when I'd imagine that you can find lots of people saying after the 2000 election that they wanted to abolish the electoral college. Speaking of which: Abolish the electoral college!


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 2:56 PM
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And electoral votes, which wouldn't require the college, along with them, so that total, aggregated national popular vote would be the only number that mattered?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 3:27 PM
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See my 27, I support the bill I link to.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 3:31 PM
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From Michael Waldman, head of the Brennan Center, here's an interesting proposal to effectively, but not formally, abolish the Electoral College, by means of a National Popular Vote.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 4:45 PM
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It's hard to be pwned by the comment that immediately precedes yours and has been the last comment on the post for over an hour, but Mary Catherine has done it!


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 4:57 PM
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Oops! Okay, wow, that's a pretty embarrassing pwnage. But! I support that bill.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-22-08 4:59 PM
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