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View Diary: From debates to Sandy: Things "everyone knows" aren't always true (245 comments)

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  •  Debates don't matter, television doesn't matter, (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva
    Hidden by:
    AreDeutz

    nothing matters if people don't want to vote for you.

    This has got to be the most depressing election I can remember in years. 2004 was close, but part of that was early hope for Howard Dean.

    Feeling a lot like I imagine elections to have been in the former Soviet Union.  They were held, but why bother?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:56:38 AM PST

    •  such nonsense (25+ / 0-)

      first and next on the agenda: fiscal cliff compromise.

      Also on agenda: preservation of reasonable supreme court and everything it entails.

      Also on agenda: people who won't reveal tax returns and lie about everything lose.

      The idea that none of this matters is just silly.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:09:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense? You must really hate people, or, at the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin, a2nite, Alice Olson

        very least, believe us all to be a bunch of mindless sheep.

        I believe the reason that Mitt Romney lost is because he didn't give people a reason to vote for him, and offered up more than a few reasons not to.

        You can't buy enough television to make up for that.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:24:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  very true (10+ / 0-)

          and it's good he lost.

          But the fundamentals always favored O, so it would have taken an extraordinary candidate to beat him.

          Which R was not.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:34:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fundamentals never favored Obama. (0+ / 0-)

            He needed a gift from Republicans in much the same way that Bush needed a gift from Democrats in 2004.

            The Republicans were only too happy to oblige.

            Maybe they had no choice.  I was convinced that a real candidate would emerge from the primaries, but all we got was an extended silly season.

            And, while you like to cite polls, let's look at one that really matters: turnout.

            The turnout rate for this election was lower than both 2004 and 2008, and not much above 2000.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:57:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  see citations, end of first section (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ratcityreprobate, The Nose, vcmvo2, bfbenn

              here they are:

              http://themonkeycage.org/...

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

              this is a case where you are simply, factually incorrect.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:01:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Seems your own citation admits that there (0+ / 0-)

                are differences of opinion on that matter.

                I would bet it's a little like the old canard that you can't beat a sitting President in time of war. Sounds good until you look under the covers.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:09:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  wait until the votes are counted (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, Alice Olson, vcmvo2, saugatojas, IM

              before asserting this is low turnout. From election day to final, there are another 10 million votes to count.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:02:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How do you calculate turnout in the USA? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IM

                In Britain (for example) it is straightforwards. With no on-the-day registration there is a printed electoral roll with a definite number of people registered. The first job of the counting staff after the polls close is to verify the number of ballots received (they do NOT count the numbers per candidate at this stage). When they have verified that the number of ballots issued in poll places equals the number placed in the ballot boxes and added on the postal votes received back they issue a figure for 'turnout' for that particular contest, an exact number also expressed in percentage of registered voters terms to two decimal places. Turnout therefore is not just the crude number voting but the proportion of registered voters who voted.

                Only when the turnout is known for a particular contest are the votes separated into counts for each candidate in that contest. The turnout figure is the honesty check figure. The candidates totals plus spoilt and disputed ballot papers must add up to the turnout figure precisely, to the vote, no fudging allowed. This minimises the chances of ballot stuffing

                How do you do it in the USA?

                Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

                by saugatojas on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:00:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  here (0+ / 0-)

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:25:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No wonder your turnout figures are so low (0+ / 0-)

                    The figures are for percentage 'voting age population'.

                    Other countries turnout figures (routinely higher than the turnout figures for the USA are for percentage of registered voters.

                    How is voting age population refined to eligible citizens of voting age? And then to the numbers registered for that election?

                    Concerned citizens in the USE regularly moan about low USA election turnouts. Could it be you are giving yourselves too hard a time in this respect  and the real problem is failure to register eligible voters?

                    Does anyone produce 'turnout' figures that would be statistically comparable (say) to UK turnout figures?That is percent of registered voters who vote in a given election, not percent of voting-age population.

                    Those 50% turnout figures might actually more impressive in proper comparative terms.

                    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

                    by saugatojas on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:05:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Turnout... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              ...because of voter suppression (=voters were not going to be denied), their anti-women's rights agenda, their coded racism (=the whole "tea party" movement was created because we elected a black President; they just "filled in the blanks" with all that fiscal stuff to give them cover...), their obstructionism over the past 4 years, their insulting views vis-a-vis immigrants....

               An informed electorate made this happen, which bodes well for the future.

            •  Republican efforts to keep voters from (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Nose, vcmvo2, SoCalSal

              exercising their rights and creating huge barriers to their doing so was certainly a factor here.  How many people in Florida do you suppose simply can't give 10 hours of a day to casting their ballots?  That said, we already know that voter turnout in the swing states was up over the 2008 totals; and comparisons with 2008 for totals nationwide should at least await the completion of counting so as not to compare apples with oranges (2008 final vs. 2012 unfinished counting.)

              New Jersey set a record for low turnout. Duh. Tens of thousands of New Jersey residents were still without electricity on election day and mostly, they weren't even in their own homes. Voting in a deep blue state probably wasn't a high priority for many of them. Some studies project that 30% of the decline occurred in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, all reliably blue.  Can you say Hurricane Sandy?

              The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

              by Alice Olson on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:18:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except that, if that were really the case, (0+ / 0-)

                I would expect Romney to do a lot better.

                I think the most effective voter suppression this year was simple disgust.

                I seriously considered staying home for this one, but

                a) down-ballot races, and
                b) a 40 year unbroken street of voting in national elections

                made me get out.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:21:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Think Mitt will amend is 2011 tax return now? (8+ / 0-)

        I do.

        Think the media will even mention it?

        I don't.

        Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

        by Bush Bites on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:55:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  2004 was for more depressing... (9+ / 0-)

      ..at least for me.

      Why?

      Because while both 2004 and 2012 were hard fought, nasty, negative races, it does make a difference to be on the winning side.  And in the end, much as I'd like to see Democrats win uplifting campaigns centered around intelligent discussions of issues, well I'll still take a dirty victory for the Democrats over a dirty victory for the Republicans.

      Next, as a gay man, I'm very heartened by the marriage equality results on Tuesday, which were the exact opposite of 2004.  That sort of progress feels very, very good.

      Finally, I do see some good things coming from this election aside from the actual wins.  Notably, I think Karl Rove has shot his credibility to hell.  I don't think he'll go away -- the right seems to reward ideological purity even when it leads to failure -- but I do think that the future will see him playing a less prominent role.  In particular, I have a hard time imagining him raising hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012.

      Oh, and as a bonus, Sarah Palin seems to have faded into irrelevance.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:17:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That can happen only when there is a winning side. (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice Olson
        Hidden by:
        AreDeutz

        As a non-partisan, the sides that matter to me are my family, my community, my country, etc.

        We were doomed to be on the losing side in this election no matter who won the offices.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:22:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  only if you are a pessimist about the future (13+ / 0-)

          most Americans disagree with you. Even with the country being on the wrong track (but notably improving), that's not how we see the future.

          The next president benefits from recovery. All the things Obama put in place from Obamacare to stimulus will improve family, community, country in the next few years. Whoever won stood to reap the benefit just as Clinton did from GHW Bush.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:28:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm quickly becoming one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin

            But, frankly, all the optimism in the world means nothing if our leaders are determined to screw us.

            Pools are nice, but it's reality that matters.
            This isn't middle school and keeping up with the cool kids, you know.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:31:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  eh (9+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about improvement in housing prices, consumer confidence going up (both highest in 5 years), etc...

              For you, especially, see the section on people recognizing that this was an extraordinary recession (see greg Sargent's blurb), because you won't get what happened until you admit you might have been wrong about your view on this. It's key. O really kept us out of a depression, and if you stretch your mind a bit and tentatively accept that, you'll have a different perspective.

              Data suggests more people than you are ready to accept saw it that way.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:37:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm certain that he kept you out of a depression. (0+ / 0-)

                Lots of others, not so much.

                I'm not an economist, but it was my undergraduate degree and I also did some graduate work in the field.  I'm not completely unfamiliar with the concepts involved.

                I also know that, when people talk about the depression, then tend not to talk about consecutive quarters of rising or falling GDP.  They talk about the very real human suffering.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:52:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  yep (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vcmvo2

                  and is there any question things are better now than in 2008 Feb-Mar?

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:03:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Things were definitely better in 2008 for (0+ / 0-)

                    most people because the bottom hadn't fallen out of the job market yet.

                    Mind you, that's a 9/10 kind of better.

                    By that, I mean air travelers felt safer on 9/10 than they did on 9/12, but reality was certainly the opposite.

                    In early 2008, people might have worried, but they were still getting paid.

                    Fast forward to early 2009 -- right after President Obama took office, and the picture changes radically.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:06:38 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yes, I misspoke (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ratcityreprobate, dinotrac, IM

                      Feb mar 2009. when -850K jobs a month lost.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:09:14 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's a funny kind of better, though. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Greg Dworkin

                        Those jobs haven't been recovered.  So far, job growth hasn't kept up with population growth and, from a point-in-time perspective, we really are worse off.

                        It could well be that increased optimism is justified -- and, in that case, we really are better off and can't yet see it in concrete form.

                        Time will tell.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:12:07 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Job growth has not kept up... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...because industry is having a hard time finding qualified workers, because the types of jobs available have changed in this Country.  Thus, a combination of job training to meet the needs of this "new economy" and bringing back some of those manufacturers that fled to SE Asia....would be a start to turning things around.

                          •  They're not looking hard. (0+ / 0-)

                            I take part in lots of networking activities, and I constantly encounter people -- skilled people -- who are desperate to work.

                            That story you are telling is essentially a talking point for employers who would like to bring in more cheap labor from overseas.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:12:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  It would have much better, then, (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Nose, vcmvo2, La Gitane

                  if McCain had won, the Greatest Depression was now in full swing, we'd be fighting a third war in Iran because no one could get jobs anywhere so the military was the only option?

                  Or maybe a miraculous and bloodless revolution would have commenced in 2011 and there would be no Wall Street and no Banks, and no corporations and ......

                  Let's see, an economy built on one model for a couple hundred years evaporates and then what?  Fairy dust?

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:20:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Reducing to simple binary choices doesn't make (0+ / 0-)

                    anything better.

                    Easier for progressives to grasp, I guess.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:22:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Problem of the political system, (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      I love OCD, vcmvo2, La Gitane, IM

                      as built by the Constitution, dinotrac. Winner-take-all creates binary choices.

                      It almost mandates a two-party system.

                      Until you propose a serious rearrangement of how we elect our political leaders, including how you will overcome the inertia against overcoming the existing structures, I will regard your opinions as simple crankish cynicism. This view may be popular in today's society, but it doesn't make it good. Cynicism is cheap and requires no thought whatsoever.

                      I can't see how you can seriously think about sitting out the election when Obama was clearly

                      Give some thought about how badly we'd slide back if Romney and his ilk gained the high ground in this election. We'd have the second coming of Herbert Hoover. Or is that what you want?
                      Just because the unemployment index hasn't recovered back to your satisfaction doesn't mean the President hasn't made efforts to boost it.

                      You can't have the ideal candidate, in your eyes, so you you look for flaws in the ones we have. And surprise, surprise, you find them.

                      DINOtrac, indeed. You're nothing but a purity troll.

                      `Ideology offers human beings the illusion of dignity and morals while making it easier to part with them.'- Vaclav Havel

                      by Black Brant on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:50:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  At some point, everything is winner take all. (0+ / 0-)

                        I wouldn't blame the Constitution for this one, except for the fact that it provides for only one President, and I don't see that as such a bad thing.

                        As to the unemployment index, I don't care about that in the least.

                        What I do care about are the millions of people who can't find full-time work, including those who have run through their unemployment benefits or were never able to get them in the first place.

                        With regard to the economy, I'm not so certain we don't have the second coming of Herbert Hoover, or, at least, as close to that as modern times will permit.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:54:10 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  My point is that you have offered no (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      vcmvo2, TexasTom, La Gitane

                      solutions, binary or not.   What's your answer to how we could have gotten a bigger stimulus?  How would you have convinced people to love a public option or single-payer when all the polling showed huge resistance?  What would have been your tool for revealing what Republicans really stand for?

                      Could you have dreamed up an agenda that took away the 3 legs of the Republican propaganda stool?  Was it dumb luck that Republicans are no longer seen as the fiscally responsible party?  Was it an accident that Democrats are now believed to be better able to keep us safe?  Is it just Hurricane Sandy that made people pay attention to the fact that government needs to be larger than a bathtub if it's going to help us in times of great need?

                      Obama has done a brilliant job of countering a Republican narrative that has ruled since Reagan and been ascending since Goldwater.

                      If you want a country that works for everyone, that is run by competent people, that doesn't waste ridiculous amounts of money on weapons, that moves us closer to being united as a people, Obama is your best bet.  He's smart enough to study what people really believe before he works on changing what needs to be changed.  Alan Grayson is a great speechifier but he doesn't have that quality - research, prepare the ground, plant the seeds, nurture them, and win.

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:56:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I offered my approach years ago when the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dkosdan

                        "stimulus" was being negotiated in Congress.

                        I wouldn't have thrown all of that so-called stimulus money away the way it was, but I also wouldn't have thrown all the TARP money around that this administration has done (following eagerly in the footsteps of the Democratic Congress/Republican administration that preceded it)

                        Instead of blowing so much cash making Democratic constituencies, I would have done a series of bills over time that took advantage of improved knowledge as the problem unfolded.  

                        The problem with the so-called stimulus is that it was a whopping big bill, but not as big as the problem.

                        Predictable: Act, then analyze.
                        And --- great big bills require a lot more compromise to get majorities than smaller, more focused ones do.

                        But, of course, it never really was a stimulus bill, so...that's all moot.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:17:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  resorting to smaller focused bills as a tactic (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dinotrac

                          to get around an intransigent Congress is an interesting idea.

                          To achieve the goal of scaling them up to levels beyond The American Recovery Act would be fueled by, to some extent, the traction of successful "experiments". While not everything needs to be road repair, neither should it all be road kill.

                          "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

                          by dkosdan on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:30:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The second advantage would have been the FDR (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dkosdan

                            lesson --

                            He wiped out Republican resistance in the 1934 midterms by point to all of the things he'd tried to do but Republicans blocked.

                            But, yup. You clearly understand the idea.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:19:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Except that the House has been blocking (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dkosdan

                            that tactic since 2011.  

                            We needed some serious mojo, this wasn't a little hiccup, it was very close to being a worldwide Greatest Depression Yet.

                            TARP is paid back, isn't it?  Wasn't it Obama who put the poison pill re: executive compensation into the TARP lending?  Yeah, I thought so.

                            Didn't the Auto bailout save millions of jobs, not just auto manufacturers jobs, but all the parts-makers, all the related industries were also saved and stimulated.  

                            Tax cuts for the middle class put a little money into the revenue stream at a time when panic was the prevailing mode.  

                            We spent a lot trying to keep teachers, first responders, civil servants employed and it worked until the Tea Party disaster elections 2010.

                             

                            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                            by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:11:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AreDeutz, Alice Olson, vcmvo2

          I would hate to have prayed for none of the old geezers to not to die under a Romney presidency based on the idea it is not the devil you know but the devil you don't know. To say nothing of the death of one of the sane but unhealthy and old members.

          If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

          by nomorerepukes on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:48:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I believe to this day... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that a major reason the Pubs won in in 2004 was because of their "fear" campaign, which worked:  they kept those false terrorism alerts going until after the election, then things got back to what was really happening.

        Rove is the master of fear mongering.

        It did not work this time because their fear mongering involved our own citizens.

    •  Are you kidding me? We just watched a Democratic (20+ / 0-)

      president win a national election while promising to raise taxes. A black guy on top of it.

      This was the most ideological election we've had in this country since 1984. Had Barack Obama run this campaign in 1984, he would have been destroyed in 50 states. Including Minnesota.

      Not much in the way of triangulation in this campaign and that matters a great deal long term.

    •  The debates... (0+ / 0-)

      ...did matter.  It's all about perception, at times....

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