Friday, November 06, 2009

Mid-term Elections, 2009

I've spent the last three days looking at analysis of the mid-term election just past, and I've come to one firm conclusion: the far-right wing of the Repuglican party has no self-awareness, no understanding of history, and no critical thinking skills. (OK, admittedly, I came to this conclusion a long time ago, but this election has certainly reinforced that point.)

A small minority of people (you know, it would be cool if we could call them by a vaguely demeaning name that they started out calling themselves - you know, like "teabaggers") has, or is willing to pretend to have, strong feelings on the subject, and an even smaller minority of those people is capable of spelling their name consistently. That particular subset of vaguely-literate mouthbreathers want to tell you all about the world-shaking significance of November 1, but that just means that you're getting fed a big steaming heap of double-distilled crazy.

Half of them want to paint this as a giant victory for the forces of conservatism, and the sad part is, some Democrats believe them. When really, this is just the regular ebb and flow of the electoral process.

Look at the bigger picture for a second. Really, until you get down in the trenches, what happened was that the Democrats gained two new House members, while the Republicans picked up two governors.

But with that in mind, there's two things to remember.

One, when the economy is down, the incumbent tends to take a hit.

And two, off-season elections tend to go to the party out of power. Because these elections are sparsely-attended, and only the "true believers" are guaranteed to go. The party in power tends to sit back and relax, sometimes to their detriment.

But despite that, in the elections that "count" (if any of them can be said to actually matter), the two parties came out even. Or possibly tilted toward the Democratic side, since governors are state-level, while congresscritters are national.

You really want partisan analysis? Sweeping generalizations from too small a dataset? OK, try this one.

Hoffman was a disaster for the Raving Loony wing of the GOP. A man with less personality than John Kerry, he was pushed onto the national stage armed only with the ability to parrot talking points fed to him by Dick Armey. He was lauded by salivating, clueless lunatics like Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin and Sarah Palin. But as a consequence of the distasteful nature of his stated beliefs, the voters of a traditionally-Republican district backed slowly away from him, and into the loving, nurturing arms of the Democratic candidate.

Or look at it this way: in New Jersey, where Republican Christie won with 49% of the vote, 57% of voters in exit polls say they approve of the job Barack Obama is doing. In Virginia, where Republican Bob McDonnell won with 59% of the vote, Obama had a 52% approval rating. That means that, at the very least, a good number of independent voters who voted for a Republican, approve of Obama.

Hell, in the two states where the forces of teabaggery managed to get anti-tax initiatives onto the ballot, both were roundly defeated.

And the lesson to be learned from all this? The teabaggers aren't nearly the force they want to claim that they are. They're just a bunch of sad, disaffected, easily-led lemmings. They aren't a majority, they're just the loudest minority.


Anonymous said...

Careful Aimless, you are going to fall down and hurt youself from all that spinning.

It's quite comical watching you downplay the election results that didn't go your way. Thanks for the attempted civics lesson. Following your "logic", will you present history lessons on topics such as "Custer's Last Stand wasn't really a major defeat" and "Sure the Titanic sunk, but it wasn't any big maritime disaster."?

Just wondering, will NJ and Virginia now join the likes of SC and Oklahoma as state you hate? And while you mentioned certain results in a couple states, you failed to mention Maine's resounding defeat of homosexual marriage (does this mean you and Diogofleas can get the deposits back on your rented tux and gown? Sorry...couldn't pass that up).

But seriously, doesn't it bother you that liberal states such as NJ and Maine voted in such conservative fashion? These aren't the racist, homophobic, redneck, hillbilly, racist, inbred, knuckledraggin, homophobic (I realize "racist" and "homophobic" got in that rant twice, but you libroids seem to love the word, so I thought I'd toss you a bone...figuratively, of course.)

Regarding polls (I thought you libs had abandoned them over the past several months since BO's numbers were dropping like Bonnie Fwanks trousers at a NAMBLA meeting), here's an interesting one from CNN:

Pat Riot

Anonymous said...

Nameless Cynic said...

Excuse me? "spinning"? I'm not the one trying to pretend that an off-year election with roughly bipartisan results is some sort of weird ideological victory.

Please explain how any of the results are a referendum for the GOP.

Yeah, fine. Maine put down gay marriage. Meanwhile, in the other northern corner of the state, Washington passed and "everything but marriage" bill. Again, even.

(And from a navigational standpoint, perhaps the gay rights folks might realize that, rather than taking aim at an emotionally-loaded concept like marriage, and getting all the rights and privileges they've been denied, only without the use of the "M" word, will be the way to proceed: go for the rights, not for the words.)

Really, I'm not seeing it. Where's the massive right-wing groundswell? Even in that poll that somebody (you? one of the other Pats?) posted, I quote:

This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004. The 21% calling themselves liberal is in line with findings throughout this decade, but is up from the 1990s.

And that's only when you break it into three general terms - "liberal," "conservative" and "moderate." Hell, "conservative" covers a lot of ground. It's only when you get to that Stalinesque ideological purity test that Scozzafava failed does it start to get scary.

You're not winning the debate, here, Pat. We're back to you not reading what you post as a link.

Anonymous said...

"Please explain how any of the results are a referendum for the GOP."

OK, here:

"Gay marriage has now lost in all 31 states in which it has been put to a popular vote"

"Veteran legislators who have worked with Corzine — both in public and behind closed doors — point to a number of reasons for his defeat, but they say none looms larger than the Democratic governor’s struggles to deliver on his signature issues: reining in taxes and firming up the state’s shaky finances."

Those a just a few article you might want to read that show examples of how the left just doesn't have the answers. The campaign is long over and nothing's been done.

Pat Riot

Anonymous said...

"Hell, 'conservative' covers a lot of ground."

Precisely (once again, you stumble across the truth), the term "conservative" does cover a lot of ground, as opposed to "liberal" which is pretty much a small, out of touch group of loons.

And didn't you say conservatives weren't a majority? And wasn't the Republican party on the verge of collapse less than a year ago?

Pat Riot

Nameless Cynic said...

Actually, what I said was "The teabaggers aren't nearly the force they want to claim that they are. They're just a bunch of sad, disaffected, easily-led lemmings. They aren't a majority, they're just the loudest minority." See, you can't really misquote something on the same page. That's just stupid.

Now, in the real world, most people are liberal on some issues, conservative on others. Remember up above when I mentioned the "Stalinesque ideological purity test"? Scozzafava was very conservative, but she was liberal on some social issues, which is what the teabaggers got all up in arms about.

But let's look at your links. Gee, I wonder what we'll find.

Corzine lost for a number of reasons, like the quote you cherry-picked said. The corruption scandals didn't help, nor did the fact that he didn't even get along with members of his own party.

Gay marriage - yes, gay marriage has been voted out in 31 states. Frequently through lies - like in your link: Stand for Marriage based many of its campaign ads on claims — disputed by state officials — that the new law would mean "homosexual marriage" would be taught in public schools. That was the same theme used to persuade Californians to reject gay marriage.

But what was it I said earlier? "...perhaps the gay rights folks might realize that, rather than taking aim at an emotionally-loaded concept like marriage, and getting all the rights and privileges they've been denied..."

But that link doesn't talk about the conservative movement being in the ascendant, just that the Maine voters kicked out gay marriage.

Then we have a story about the two new governors - yeah, cool. But I talked about that.

Then another story on the governors, which includes the point "the party in the White House has lost the governor's mansion in Richmond in every election since 1973."

And the NJ governor race, and again... Dude, you're really a one-trick pony. Great, two governors went right (and VA was just following decades-long tradition in doing so). But 2 House seats went left. Why are you claiming this to be a GOP landslide?

And why aren't you mentioning Hoffman at all? Did you notice that Palin endorsed him? Isn't she the goddess of the spittle-spewing rightards?

Anonymous said...

"Now, in the real world, most people are liberal on some issues, conservative on others."

Not according to the Gallup Poll. Did you read it? Was there not a grown up there to explain the statistics to you? See Dude (love the surfer talk), the world according to Bill Minnich isn't necessarily the "real" world.

"In 2007, Asm. Scozzafava received a 56% rating from The Conservative Party of New York State, but in 2008, she received only a 15% rating."

What's to comment about the race i NY? Coffman was in the race exactly how long? And received how much of the vote? Looks like he did amazingly well considering the very short time he was in the race.

And it is a HUGE deal that the governor's races went Republican. Remember, the Democrats had sweeping victories last year, and are the party of "hope" and "change". What happened? Can't they get their agenda across to the American public? Or is it perhaps that they did get their agenda across and that's why they shockingly lost (and if you say you expected the results to go that way, you're lying...which, admittedly is nothing new for you).

Did I mention 31 states have rejected gay marriage, most recently those right-wing bastions, California and Maine?

I found your pic on the Facebook page, and I must say three things:

1) Your hair isn't all that long (although it is much darker than I had imagined).

2) You do look good in a trenchcoat and fedora.

3) Is that Diogofleas embracing you from behind? (Because I KNOW that pictures of that do exist).

Pat Riot

Nameless Cynic said...

Yes. Absolutely right. (You know, someday I'm going to have to meet Diogenes, since we seem to be so close...)

Yes, 31 states rejected gay marriage. I went over that. You've really got to work on that whole "reading comprehension" thing.

Dede Scozzafava - screaming liberal. Yup, that's right. That must be why she was endorsed by such left-wing bastions as Newt Gingrich and the NRA.

And it is a big deal that NY-23 went Democratic. After all, it's been Republican-controlled for the last decade and a half. And in every election during that peiod, the GOP garnered better than a 27 point lead over all comers. But I guess the Republicans just couldn't get their agenda across to the people of the district.

Big deal that the governors went right. Means nothing that the House seats when left, of course.

But I've got to say that my favorite part of your response was you trying to argue against the statement "most people are liberal on some issues, conservative on others." Because the Gallup poll separated everybody into 3 categories, everybody fits neatly into those?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. All people in the country are either completely conservative, or completely liberal, or... well, "moderate." And we're not sure what that means, but there are rigidly controlled rules regarding what people believe.

You really are a fool, aren't you?