Friday, June 17, 2016

The Can't-Lose Election

The American Thinker, takes its name ironically and posts an essay on unskewing the polls that show Donald Trump losing:
However, based on the polling details, the final weighted sample of 976 registered voters is made up of just 28% Republicans and 35% Democrats.
In the unweighted sample of registered voters, the relative percentage by party was 29% Republicans and 35% Democrats.
So, during the weighting process, the poll increased the Democrat-Republican spread from 6% to 7%. This relative weighting should have been headed in the other direction.

CBS claims that "[t]his poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls." If so, those standards need to be higher, since the polling release should also include all detailed demographic breakdowns for age, sex, race, education, geographic location, income, ideological leanings, etc. This would allow us to look for even greater bias beyond the obvious R. vs. D. party affiliation divide.
Obama, lowing the standards for all of us. Oh, and also? That phone you hear ringing is 2012 wanting its crazy back. They aren't alone: the Daily Mail finds the same thing. Basically, facing a total Trump melt-down, the conclusion that people are drawing is: He's winning!

The Can't Lose Election

Conspiracy theories, statistically, are for losers (whichever party is in power, the party out of power has more conspiracy theories going). In this case, though, for the GOP Base, things are even more dire: this is a direct assessment of their ideology.

This time Trump is the guy they wanted. To be sure, the TruCons wanted Cruz (who was almost as unpopular--but a far, far better choice on the merits)--but Trump really is the "Tea Party" candidate (and if you protest, remember that Sharon Angle was also a "Tea Party Candidate"--but not, as she said, a witch).

Now, if Trump loses, much less loses catastrophically, there is an entire wing of the party that will be shown that their philosophy is--and always was--a loser. Not that the intellectuals get away clean either.

Sarah Palin may have been the start of something actually new in politics: defense of absolute unreadiness for the job. To be sure, a lot candidates have been unprepared or "generally inexperienced." To be certain, we have had people with backgrounds (think: military) that may not be well suited for finer points of statecraft.

The Omnivore does not believe we have ever had a President or VP who needed a 9th grade civics education upon becoming the candidate. As the right rallied around Palin--defending the indefensible--allowing a narrative that she "knows more about energy than anyone else in America" to stand--that may have been new.

While there's always been a strain of anti-Intellectualism in political rhetoric, The Omnivore thinks that the response that Palin drew with her actual, legitimate, anti-Intellect goes beyond signaling and into "The people who thought Sarah Palin was grand liked her--but felt she was a bit too Ivory Tower for the job of POTUS." Hence Trump.

Jonathan Chait calls out one of these people--an intellectual who defended Palin--and then now questions where all this base politics came from--in a brilliant article.

The rise of Trump has given many Republicans, including Continetti, a different perspective on these very same questions. Trump’s candidacy has given them the chance to debate the merits of an ignorant demagogue, rather than defend him reflexively. Many of them have decided that a president who knows things about public policy, and does not indulge conspiracy theories from email chains, has a certain charm. They have even come to view the dissent against such a candidate as an act of nobility, rather than traitorous currying of favor with the elite liberal media. And they have even begun questioning what pathologies have driven Republican voters into the arms of such patently unqualified demagogues.
. . .
These are important questions — what failures of education and culture could have left Republican voters predisposed to the propaganda of a grifter who is neither a wonk nor an orator, and who exploits their cultural resentments? Continetti does not provide any answers. Here is one:
(The Book He Wrote Defending Her)
For people who were duped into following resolutely unqualified leaders and for the people who enabled them for partisan reasons, this election is looking like a wake-up call. It's one they can't afford to lose--and are almost certainly going to.


  1. I'm totally a witch. I should run as a Republican.

  2. Does that mean you weigh the same as a duck, and are therefore made of wood?

    And, if so, could you please turn Donald Trump into a newt, and make sure he doesn't get better? Thanks!

    -- Ω

    1. The "weighs the same as a duck" thing was just a clever ruse we developed to confuse our enemies. It turns out we weigh the same as everyone else.

      If you cut us open and count our rings, however...

  3. > Donald Trump into a newt.

    NOT a Newt. Maybe a mewt. In a Mitt Romney suit.