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Friday, June 15, 2012

‘Moneyball’ Godfather Bill James Tackles Politics In Super PAC Age

Steroids movies religion Kate Upton!!!

in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows for unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions, [Bill] James’ analytical approach has become more relevant to the political conversation… much of what James has to offer candidates facing financial deficits is quirky and unconventional. Often it involves throwing the traditional campaign playbook out the window.

“If you’re outspent in a campaign, what you absolutely cannot do is start a pissing contest, pardon my French,” James wrote in an email… Instead of going negative, he advised, a candidate should do the exact opposite. “Talk about your opponent in the nicest terms that you CAN, in order to take certain weapons away from him,” James wrote. “If you’re speaking well of your opponent and your opponent is savaging you, there is a chance he comes off looking like an ass and you can win the election.”

Beyond that, James suggested a candidate run on a platform distinct from either major party (anti-drug war, pro-gay rights). Or a candidate could obsess over an issue completely off the beaten path.  As an example, he highlighted deer-related car crashes in his home state of Kansas. “No one talks about people hitting deer with their cars as a political issue, but in Kansas” it could work, he said…

“There aren’t any good databases” in politics, said Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, an organization devoted to studying sabermetrics… Washington is uniquely behind the curve. Goldstein said he and his colleagues have been approached by a number of industries buying into the gospel of data. Hollywood, in particular, is trying to figure out better methods of turning a movie into a blockbuster. Political campaigns have not yet made that jump…

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has wrung political benefits out of seemingly minor issues throughout his career. Phil Singer, a former Schumer aide, recalled how Schumer campaigned on reducing the cost of breakfast cereal in his 1996 House race, going so far as to demand a Justice Department anti-trust investigation… The most innovative politician when it comes to adopting data-driven campaign theories may be Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)...

An underfunded political campaign and the Tampa Bay Rays “could not be more analogous,” [The Extra 2% author Jonah] Keri said… “The one thing I could think of is to have a very pro-immigration stance,” Keri said…

Democrats have invested heavily in get-out-the-vote operations… James likened the idea of trying to win an election through get-out-the-vote drives as “analogous to trying to win a pennant race by doing better in the close games.” ... “It can happen,” James said. “But it’s a lousy strategy.”

The District Attorney Posted: June 15, 2012 at 02:15 AM | 232 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james, jonah keri, kevin goldstein, nate silver, politics, sabermetrics

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   101. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4157954)
Obama has fulfilled many of his campaign promises. Bush fulfilled many of his.
   102. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4157962)
In his first term, Obama ended the war in Iraq, ordered the killing of OBL, passed a $780B stimulus, passed a major overhaul of the healthcare industry, passed a major overhaul of the financial services industry, ended don't ask, don't tell, and appointed two Justices to the US Supreme Court. The claim that nothing has changed or that there's no difference between the parties is laughable.

[EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that those were all great decisions (although they're all things I support). My point is just that many, if not all, of those decisions would come out very differently with McCain or Romney in the WH. And that it's simply not accurate to suggest that nothing ever changes. HW is right -- change is slow, but it does happen.]
   103. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4157966)
EDIT: Post deleted, I said I was done.
   104. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4157972)
Couldn't Obama have staked out a federalist position; essentially, that it just wasn't a federal government problem? (This would go along with the position of declining to defend DOMA that he had already taken.)


He did (and it did), and he hasn't proposed federal legislation or a constitutional amendment to address the issue. But like someone said, after the North Carolina referendum and Biden being Biden, he really was pretty much forced to express his personal views on the subject.
   105. Lassus Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4157981)
Sociopaths gravitate to politics like moths to a flame, and as a rule (that has been in place since at least Machiavelli's time) the most extreme of the lot rise to the top, because they are unburdened by a functioning conscience.

I understand where you are coming from, but "Politicians are sociopaths by default because Machiavelli" is not a compelling argument to me. If you would follow this - although I doubt you would - with a statement that wealthy corporation owners are sociopaths because power like that over other people's lives draws and breeds those with no human compunction I would disagree equally.

I have no problem with being anti-government. I cannot ever agree that those who are better understand humanity simply by being anti-government.
   106. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4157992)
Edit: Geez, this is hard!
   107. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4157993)
In his first term, Obama ended the war in Iraq, ordered the killing of OBL, passed a $780B stimulus, passed a major overhaul of the healthcare industry, passed a major overhaul of the financial services industry, ended don't ask, don't tell, and appointed two Justices to the US Supreme Court. The claim that nothing has changed or that there's no difference between the parties is laughable.

Several of these are kind of semantic "accomplishments":
We still have major armed forces in Iraq, and will for a long long time.
For "healthcare industry," substitute "insurance industry." Whether guaranteeing customers to for-profit corporations forever is "good" is another question.
Appointing two S. Ct. justices is what a President does. The Supreme Court has apparently moved to the right under Obama, and if he nominates Ginsburg's replacement, it will almost certainly move further to the right. Is that good? Or are we redefining "good" as "anything less terrible than a hypothetical Republican President"?

And then, of course, there's the Forever War(s) and trampling of civil liberties. Although maybe that's just the "not as bad as THAT guy" argument again.
   108. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4158007)
2012 will present a clear choice between the millionaire, corporatist, power-grabbing, pro-death-penalty, War-on-(some)-Drugs-continuing, civil-liberties-trampling, deportation-happy Security State warmonger... and the Republican.


Here is today's big announcement
   109. Lassus Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4158013)
EDIT: Post deleted, I said I was done.
Edit: Geez, this is hard!


Unless you simply can't bear to be disagreed with, I'm not sure why you would have to make some kind of difficult pledge to yourself not to post anything.
   110. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4158021)
Maybe some recognition that politicians are lying sacks of ####?

More than the rest of humanity? Eh. Not seeing it.


what Rants said.

Pedophiles gravitate to jobs that give them access to children

People who want to beat up other people gravitate to jobs, (police, bouncer, military) that lets them do that as a part of the job

People who want power over other people gravitate towards politics- hell in most of human history most leaders were full blown socio-paths- hereditary monarchies were actually an improvement - the dynasty founder was likely a socio-path, 2-3 generations in the monarch may have been an out of touch aristocrat, but was not necessarily socio-pathic
   111. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4158043)
Or are we redefining "good" as "anything less terrible than a hypothetical Republican President"?

Again, my point is that, regardless of whether you like those decisions/accomplishments, I think it's pretty clear that a Republican President would have approached them very differently. Do you disagree?
   112. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4158049)
In his first term, Obama ended the war in Iraq, ordered the killing of OBL, passed a $780B stimulus, passed a major overhaul of the healthcare industry, passed a major overhaul of the financial services industry, ended don't ask, don't tell, and appointed two Justices to the US Supreme Court. The claim that nothing has changed or that there's no difference between the parties is laughable.


and yet the far left is frustrated to the point of pulling their ponytails out...

Actually I can see the far left's frustration- they get pandered to during elections, but elected officials flout what they want all the time... The religious right was in the same boat, the GOP pandered to them, but rarely did anything once in office to advance what the religious right wanted...

the "solution" is the same, if the far lefties want the Demos to do their bidding, the far lefties have to literally takeover the party... It'll be along hard slog, but it's the only way.

Any maybe, when the Teapers have taken the GOP over entirely, and the moonbats have taken over the Dem party, and we have complete gridlock, then maybe, a centrist third party I can join without hating myself will be formed.
   113. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4158050)
Unless you simply can't bear to be disagreed with, I'm not sure why you would have to make some kind of difficult pledge to yourself not to post anything.


OK, I relent. I don't mind being disagreed with at all, if its a well-reasoned position, counter to mine, it usually broadens my understanding of an issue or at least gives me some appreciation for someone's differing opinion (even if I don't and will never agree with it).

That said, what Johnny said. Sociopaths gravitate towards politics and big business, because they are rewarded with massive wads of cash. To say that they don't make up a higher proportion, relative to the general public, of those sectors is every bit as foolish as saying the NBA isn't proportionally taller than the general population.
   114. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4158062)
Here is today's big announcement

"The issue has been a major point of contention between immigration advocates and Obama. Advocates have spent months urging the president to take executive action to spare many young illegal immigrants from deportation, and until now Obama has insisted that he did not have the authority to do so."
Huh. I wonder what changed his mind.

EDIT: "Again, my point is that, regardless of whether you like those decisions/accomplishments, I think it's pretty clear that a Republican President would have approached them very differently. Do you disagree?"
Iraq withdrawal was agreed to by Bush - and opposed by Obama, until Iraq said, "No, you're leaving."
Any Republican president would've been proud to assassinate OBL.
As I recall, the health-insurance bill that passed was extremely similar to the Republicans' early-90's proposal.

The Democrats' "approach" might be different, but if you're big on civil liberties or open government, Obama's been even worse than Bush.
   115. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4158072)
and yet the far left is frustrated to the point of pulling their ponytails out...

My views probably overlap with yours to a large extent, but it's not clear to me why the "far left" should have a significantly greater voice in the Democratic party. Those people terribly frustrated with Obama make up maybe 15-20% of the left. And I'm not sure how the far left was pandered to. Obama never pretended to be anything other than a moderate, pragmatic liberal.


   116. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4158079)
Huh. I wonder what changed his mind.


If I was conspiratorially minded

Obama has been governing to the right of where Obama would actually like to be, he spent 2+ years trying to reach out to moderate GOPers and got slapped every single time, he's faced a sustained and unprecedented level of obstructionism from the "out" party, and since 2010 when the GOP took the house, he can effectively do absolutely nothing WRT legislation, he's been getting flack from the left since almost day 1, and absolutely nothing he has done to appease the right has diminished their hatred of him one IOTA- and now, his re-election is 50/50ish

so he's tacking left because that's where he wants to be and he sees no downside- the right is never ever gonna vote for him, and they are not staying home under any circumstances, the left will never vote for Mitt, but they might stay home.

If Obama really is tacking left, and the Teapers won't let Mitt tack to the center- this could get interesting.

   117. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4158081)
Iraq withdrawal was agreed to by Bush - and opposed by Obama, until Iraq said, "No, you're leaving."

Would McCain have stuck to the agreement? Would Bush agreed to it but for the 2008 campaign?

Any Republican president would've been proud to assassinate OBL.

McCain specifically said he wouldn't go into Pakistan to get him. Maybe he would have stuck to that and maybe he wouldn't have.

As I recall, the health-insurance bill that passed was extremely similar to the Republicans' early-90's proposal.

It originated at the Heritage Foundation, but I don't see any evidence that McCain or any other GOP leader would have supported it.

   118. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4158083)
"The issue has been a major point of contention between immigration advocates and Obama. Advocates have spent months urging the president to take executive action to spare many young illegal immigrants from deportation, and until now Obama has insisted that he did not have the authority to do so."


Huh. I wonder what changed his mind.

The cynic in me can guess.

The rest of me is just glad that he finally changed it, and so will thousands of children who would have been faced with deportation through absolutely no fault of their own.

And the realist in me knows that Romney never would have lifted a finger to do anything to help them.

We all wish that we had at least one person to vote for who agreed with us on everything, and who didn't have to consider political calculations, but if anyone can't see the clear difference between these two candidates, they're either deaf or blind, and likely both.
   119. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4158085)
Obama never pretended to be anything other than a moderate, pragmatic liberal.

... but but but he was The One....

Seriously I think that some on the left, saw/heard some of the nonsense being spewed by Talk Radio/Faux Newz about Obama being a socialist something or other, and began hoping and fantasizing about it being true...
   120. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4158087)
If Obama really is tacking left, and the Teapers won't let Mitt tack to the center- this could get interesting.

There's absolutely a political component -- he's forcing Romney to respond and potentially lose some support either on the far right or among Latinos. But I don't have any problem with that.
   121. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4158088)
Seriously I think that some on the left, saw/heard some of the nonsense being spewed by Talk Radio/Faux Newz about Obama being a socialist something or other, and began hoping and fantasizing about it being true...

Agreed.
   122. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4158090)
mitt is no longer focused on the tea party. that was the primary battle

his sole and entire focus is on the independent voters

again, the gop has party discipline. the governor won the nomination giving him a free hand in getting himself elected.

   123. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4158093)
Huh. I wonder what changed his mind.

The cynic in me can guess.


My guess is that he's hoping for a loud and venomous reaction from the anti-immigration know nothing wing on the right - why does he want that? To make sure the Hispanics stay behind him and the Dem party.

   124. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4158094)
At times I find the criticism of Obama from the far left and the far right to be indistinguishable.

In tone if not in substance, that's often the case, although it's usually just the libertarian segments of those two wings that parrot each other.
   125. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4158096)
again, the gop has party discipline. the governor won the nomination giving him a free hand in getting himself elected.


had party discipline, I'm not so sure about the present.
   126. rr Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4158097)
If I was conspiratorially minded


I am an Obama supporter, and your scenario sounds reasonable to me.
   127. The District Attorney Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4158098)
BTW, here is the longer quote from Goldstein:
"There aren't any good databases" in politics, said Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, an organization devoted to studying sabermetrics. "You would need like the last 50, 100 Senate campaigns. ... You would need the full books. Like this was the money. This is what they spent it on. You have to create categories: mail, personal appearances, television ads. And then you need to break up the television ads: positive ads, negative ads. How valuable was it? How valuable is going to the local diner? How valuable is the ad that says my opponent is a nimrod? There are so many things that you would need. ... I don't know anyone who is doing that."
I do get what he's saying, but it also seems similar to saying you couldn't do any sabermetrics without modern detailed play-by-play data and Pitch F/X.

Re: polling via cell phones/Internet: Seems like people have resisted having their cell phones turn into the advertising sludge pile that their landlines and postal mailboxes did, and there's nothing on the Internet that you can't avoid by clicking away. So how can you rope them in? It'd be ideal if you could pay people ("I've got $500 for a gay Chinese Jew!"), but I assume they both can't and wouldn't want to do that.

after the North Carolina referendum and Biden being Biden, [Obama] really was pretty much forced to express his personal views on the subject.
Still don't see why. As I alluded to earlier, every statewide referendum on the issue, ever (much less in North Carolina), has failed. And although I admit that "your Vice-President supports this, what's your take?" is a slightly more provocative question than "your ally Nancy Pelosi/Andrew Cuomo/etc. supports this, what's your take?", it does not "force" an answer at all. Heck, the previous President's VP disagreed with the President on this very issue. Ultimately, Obama could have kept saying what he had been saying for years (although not for his entire political career, as I'm sure many here are aware.)

i am not a mitt guy i am a newt guy
One of these days, Harveys... right to the moon.
   128. Tripon Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4158105)
I find the "Obama is a Socalist" dogma to be a bit interesting. Because it means that they have lived under a socalist country for the last four years. But many of the federal policy Obama has adopted also were cont. or started under the pervious Adminstration. Which then means that the Bush years has to be labeled 'Socalist'. But they were also started under/cont. under Clinton, and so forth.

...So we really has been living under a Socalist government since the Great Depression, under this thinking.
   129. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4158112)
johnny

the tea party folks at best will stay home in states where the gop is already going to win.

that and tea party folkes are becoming more pragmatic and as long as mitt sticks to the fiscal talk there will be little desertion among the ranks

dems are dreaming if they think the gop will abandon mitt when they can taste getting the current president out of office

that's the priority and that message is getting beaten into everyone's head every day in every way
   130. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4158113)
The cynic in me can guess.

The rest of me is just glad that he finally changed it, and so will thousands of children who would have been faced with deportation through absolutely no fault of their own.

And the realist in me knows that Romney never would have lifted a finger to do anything to help them.


Can't just be happy with the development and leave it at that, eh, Andy? Have to slam Romney as being uncaring?

We all wish that we had at least one person to vote for who agreed with us on everything, and who didn't have to consider political calculations, but if anyone can't see the clear difference between these two candidates, they're either deaf or blind, and likely both.


From an abstract level, there's little real difference between them. That is not the case with a libertarian vs. a democrat/republican.
   131. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4158114)
Huh. I wonder what changed his mind.


The cynic in me can guess.

My guess is that he's hoping for a loud and venomous reaction from the anti-immigration know nothing wing on the right - why does he want that? To make sure the Hispanics stay behind him and the Dem party.


That makes perfect sense, and if it took that calculation to make him finally do the right thing, then hooray for political calculation. If the yahoos try to make an issue of this, and if Romney starts parroting them**, then so be it, and we'll see who benefits most from the backlash.

**Which I don't think he'll do, unless he wants to see his share of the Latino vote drop into single digits. That's also the cynic in me saying that, just as the cynic in me likewise doesn't think he'd give the time of day to the yahoos on this issue if he didn't need their support.
   132. JE (Jason) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4158117)
had party discipline, I'm not so sure about the present.

I am pretty sure: Romney just endorsed Rubio's immigration plan.
   133. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4158118)
Can't just be happy with the development and leave it at that, eh, Andy? Have to slam Romney as being uncaring?

See my footnote to #131. I don't think that Romney's uncaring on this issue. I just think that his actions would be constrained by his party's base.
   134. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4158121)
i am not an advisor to the president but if i were working to get re-elected i know i would be pacing my gestures to make sure the goodwill carried over to the election

of course he is doing it now for political gain. he's a politician.

and guess what, people who vote for him benefit. and he expects them to reciprocate

that you don't like the timing? that's like grousing that your aunt sent her card to your graduation late when it contains 100 bucks

say thank you. it's not that hard
   135. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4158127)
the tea party folks at best will stay home in states where the gop is already going to win.

that and tea party folkes are becoming more pragmatic and as long as mitt sticks to the fiscal talk there will be little desertion among the ranks

dems are dreaming if they think the gop will abandon mitt when they can taste getting the current president out of office

that's the priority and that message is getting beaten into everyone's head every day in every way


Harvey just nailed it 100%. Even the most dogmatic teapartier can see the clear choice in this election, even if a few lefties don't seem to be able to. I sure hope that those lefties all live in New York, California or New Jersey.
   136. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4158130)
mitt is not going to deviate from talking about cutting govt spending
mitt is not going to come out as pro abortion
mitt is not going to come out for gay marriage

ergo, there is no concern about the base

immigration? give me a break. that's such a small nut of the party its not worth thinking about
   137. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4158132)
i am not an advisor to the president but if i were working to get re-elected i know i would be pacing my gestures to make sure the goodwill carried over to the election

of course he is doing it now for political gain. he's a politician.

and guess what, people who vote for him benefit. and he expects them to reciprocate

that you don't like the timing? that's like grousing that your aunt sent her card to your graduation late when it contains 100 bucks

say thank you. it's not that hard


Harv's on a roll!
   138. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4158137)
andy

well it's not hard to know the plan when i am receiving umpteen emails, tweets and other forms of updates every day on the different approaches in key states, counties, cities, localities

the difference between the romney and mccain campaign is night/day
   139. JE (Jason) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4158138)
immigration? give me a break. that's such a small nut of the party its not worth thinking about

Huh?

EDIT: Why would immigration be deemed "such a small nut?" It is not nearly as important as the struggling economy, but in 2008 it was most certainly a bigger issue than abortion.
   140. BDC Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4158139)
#134 – yes, exactly, Harv. Candidate takes position on issues during an election year; incumbent takes action on issues he's taken positions on. That is how it should be. Outrage over timing (too late, too cynical, whatever, from whatever angle) begs the question: should people only take positions or actions when they're not running for anything?
   141. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4158145)
je

the anti-immigration crowd within the gop does not have the juice perceived by outsiders
   142. BDC Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4158147)
On immigration – as I mentioned upthread, Romney blew Rick Perry out of the water in part by taking fulminous aim on Perry's relatively moderate record on young illegals in Texas. If he changes his mind and adopts a Perry-like policy now, that's just Mitt being Mitt :)

Edit: They may be already shaking the Etch-a-Sketch, IOW. And if it helps immigrants, good on them.
   143. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4158148)
...So we really has been living under a Socalist government since the Great Depression, under this thinking.


Yes, yes we have been according to some.
   144. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4158150)
the gop knows it has a pretty good shot of keeping blacks from voting in key states

but latinos have shown the willingness to vote gop so throwing up barriers and scaring them away has a downside

the gov. will temper his language and the gop will limit its efforts in keeping latinos from the polls
   145. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4158151)
andy

well it's not hard to know the plan when i am receiving umpteen emails, tweets and other forms of updates every day on the different approaches in key states, counties, cities, localities

the difference between the romney and mccain campaign is night/day


And then there's also this: While in 2008 the base only suspected the worst about Obama, by this year they've seen their worst fears confirmed. And if that doesn't motivate them to get out and vote, nothing will.

Of course the same thing applies to the Dems. If Romney's words and alliances don't motivate them to put aside their quarrels with Obama, they'll deserve exactly what they'll get.
   146. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4158153)
by the way, i have no issue speaking freely of the efforts to disenfranchise voters. i don't like it but states have followed process and enacted voter id laws and that plays to the gop's advantage

so if someone is going to express shock/horror i have to ask if you have been paying attention
   147. JE (Jason) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4158156)
the anti-immigration crowd within the gop does not have the juice perceived by outsiders

Agreed, but I wouldn't say it's insignificant, just less important ... which helps explain why Romney is able to endorse Rubio's plan.
   148. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4158159)
the gop knows it has a pretty good shot of keeping blacks from voting in key states

The Justice Department under Holder is rightly fighting back (and has already won a temporary victory in Florida), and if Obama doesn't use this as another issue to motivate his base, he's absolutely crazy.

so if someone is going to express shock/horror i have to ask if you have been paying attention

No shock, no horror, just observing that this is what politicians do to win elections when their own base consists almost entirely of white conservatives.
   149. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4158169)
On immigration – as I mentioned upthread, Romney blew Rick Perry out of the water in part by taking fulminous aim on Perry's relatively moderate record on young illegals in Texas.
That doesn't matter now, the primaries are over. Republicans who were picking between Romney and Perry aren't going to vote for Obama in the general.

I think Harveys' point about conservatives seeing a possible win is key. At this point, Romney's their guy, and he can say and do whatever he wants within the right side of the political spectrum. News outlets might play it up and left-leaners will throw fits, but Republicans smell Obama's blood in the water and they're not going to care. They want the other guy gone and their guy in, whomever that guy happens to be. In general elections, that's a great focus to have (See 2008).
   150. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4158174)
had party discipline, I'm not so sure about the present.

I am pretty sure: Romney just endorsed Rubio's immigration plan.


Romney tacking to the center is what most candidates have done post primary since forever, it's how the base responds that will show how strong "party discipline" still is.

Remember Harriet Miers- Dubya was counting on "party discipline"- how'd that work out for Harriet?

   151. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4158176)
the recent jobs reports and related economic news has been a tremendous rallying catalyst for the party.
   152. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4158179)
johnny

c'mon. a supreme court appointment is not a general election for president

look, i know these people. i know their core crazy. their hatred and loathing of the president supercedes all other items

to think otherwise, that is the real crazy
   153. JE (Jason) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4158182)
Eh, never mind.
   154. BDC Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4158189)
Republicans who were picking between Romney and Perry aren't going to vote for Obama in the general

Correct, which is why they will not mind Romney reversing course (as long, as you note, that he doesn't suddenly start advocating open borders and mandatory Spanish in all public schools or something). Pointing out an opponent's "waffling" or "flip-flopping" has never been a useful campaign strategy (if it was, 41 and Bill Clinton and probably Obama for that matter might never have become Presidents).
   155. smileyy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4158191)
and yet the far left is frustrated to the point of pulling their ponytails out...


Back to my comment about where the "center" and "left" and "right" is -- I'm sad that its considered "far lefty" to oppose a Star Chamber that secretly signs my assassination order.
   156. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4158199)
HW, if you have a post somewhere detailing why you were a Newt guy, I'd like to read it.
   157. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4158202)
the anti-immigration crowd within the gop does not have the juice perceived by outsiders

Agreed, but I wouldn't say it's insignificant, just less important ... which helps explain why Romney is able to endorse Rubio's plan.


The real question isn't how much juice the anti-immigration crowd has in the GOP - the real question is how loud they are going to be and how much press they are going to get-
   158. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4158214)
The real question isn't how much juice the anti-immigration crowd has in the GOP - the real question is how loud they are going to be and how much press they are going to get


Obama just came out for amnesty for illegals

President Obama has called for a broad overhaul of immigration policy, which would end the deportation of young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who do not pose a security threat, senior administration officials said Friday morning,


It almost has to be an issue now. I'm not sure how "security threat" will be defined..

   159. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4158216)
der

i covered it in the lounge. look, i like people who are a little crazy and newts my kind of crazy. he thinks in an unconventional manner and we need more of that in the public forum. i have spoken about this in greater length but that's the condensed version

johnny

gop voters hate the press. why should they care what the media says? we think all media are scum and for good reason.
   160. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4158221)
look, i know these people. i know their core crazy. their hatred and loathing of the president supercedes all other items


I kind of admire your honesty

But then again one of my office's two teapers just marched in saying essentially that he can't believe that Romney is endorsing Rubio's plan... he's literally going nuts, "I want Obama out but what's the ####### point if he's replaced by Romneycare, godammit maybe I'll vote for Paul is he still running?"

I'm sure he'll calm down, hold his nose, and vote for Romney come November, but he's been in hysterics all day, calling for Obama's impeachment, calling for Romney to call for Obama's impeachment... and now this.
   161. Randy Jones Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4158224)
I'm not sure how "security threat" will be defined..


No criminal record
   162. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4158226)
johnny

he will calm down. it's governor romney or a guy they consider the anti-christ

what, he's not going to try and take down the anti-christ?

give me a break
   163. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4158227)
The real question isn't how much juice the anti-immigration crowd has in the GOP - the real question is how loud they are going to be and how much press they are going to get-
This year, I'm betting they behave themselves. There will be no Tancredos running around, no blasts from the right. They have an incumbent to focus on this year, and a party's aim is always better when there's a target.
   164. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4158236)
159 - I figured, that's why I asked for a link. :)
Eh, I can go search on my own.
   165. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4158238)
johnny

gop voters hate the press. why should they care what the media says? we think all media are scum and for good reason.


because, Obama is going for the Hispanic vote, or rather he's trying to make sure it's locked tight in his corner- basically he's kicking a hornets nest and hoping the hornets (the anti-immigrant faction) comes out and makes some noise- it's not the GOP voters he's fighting over its' the 20% or so of the hispanic vote that's in play between the GOP and the Dems.
   166. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4158239)
the tea party folks are no different from the strom thurmond whack jobs of the 50's who would go into great detail about how the blacks were inferior, blah, blah, blah. and other racists would discuss among themselves on they would say that stuff to get their faithful riled up but man strom actually believed that nonsense

that's the tea party and how its regarded by the larger gop. we struggled a bit to figure out on how to deal with this rainman in our midst who bangs his head against the wall and screeches when someone says the wrong thing or touches his baseball cards. but we adapted and now he's eating pancakes with toothpicks most days and watching wapner and we are handling things.
   167. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 15, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4158247)
Harveys Wallbangers... main man... Harveys Wallbangers... main man...
   168. BDC Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4158249)
Obama just came out for amnesty for illegals


I have to correct this statement, respectfully. From Fox News:

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.


But such undeported illegals will not be eligible for citizenship. (Frankly, I'm a little amazed that you can serve in the US military and not be eligible for citizenship, but whatever.)

People will call this "amnesty," but for what crime? That of being a child in an immigrant family? Many technically illegal immigrants are effectively stateless; they may be citizens of nations where they don't know the language or have any connections. This decision gives them some guest-worker status in the US. It's not far from what Bush 43 wanted to do, and has support among many Republicans.
   169. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4158255)
so if someone is going to express shock/horror i have to ask if you have been paying attention

I don't get this. Yes, I've been paying attention and I'm not surprised. But I still think I'm entitled to say that this is horrible. And it amazes me that you can be so blase about it.
   170. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4158261)
johnny

he will calm down. it's governor romney or a guy they consider the anti-christ

what, he's not going to try and take down the anti-christ?

give me a break


He's from Massachusetts, he HATES Romney, if neither Romney nor Obama were running for office, and both were in a burning building, he just might save Obama as an act of Christian charity- he would not save Romney. If both were running, he'd slam the door on both.

In 2000 Dubya's people managed to completely stifle the crazies at the convention- I have no doubt that Mitt wants to do that- I have no doubt that in the past he'd be able to- but it seems to me that a lot of these "teapers" have a large measure of contempt for the party establishment - yes they want to beat Obama badly, but they've been drinking the "move right to win" kool-aide for a long long time. So if/when Mitt tacks to the center- some of these guys may balk- because they in their heart of hearts think that it is a bad strategy, and they are not going to get in line as willingly as GOPers did in the past- oh they will come November, but they may vent some between now and then.



   171. McCoy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4158262)
This decision gives them some guest-worker status in the US. It's not far from what Bush 43 wanted to do, and has support among many Republicans.

Not in an election year.
   172. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4158263)
post 166 is one of the greatest political posts I have ever seen on this or any site.
   173. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4158264)
It's not far from what Bush 43 wanted to do, and has support among many Republicans.


and the base rebelled on Dubya- of course that was not an election year either...
   174. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4158266)
y

don't like it or agree with it

but the legislative process was honored

   175. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4158267)
Remember Harriet Miers- Dubya was counting on "party discipline"- how'd that work out for Harriet?

The issue seemed to be that she had no real record of support for things the GOP was supporting - or any public record on her beliefs at all, really.

When the Dems nominated Kagan, they [the Dems] could have raised precisely the same objection, but they didn't.
Whether that's "good" seems to depend entirely on whether you belong to one of the two major parties, and if so, which one.
   176. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4158268)
It almost has to be an issue now.


So let's see... Obam just announced an end to the deportation of "young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who do not pose a security threat" ... meanwhile, Romney "happen(s) to agree with Marco Rubio" whose plan calls for allowing young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Yep, the battle lines are drawn alright.
   177. Sunday silence Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4158270)
Pointing out an opponent's "waffling" or "flip-flopping" has never been a useful campaign strategy


John Kerry/Bush2.0 say "hello."
   178. Sunday silence Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4158280)

the anti-immigration crowd within the gop does not have the juice perceived by outsiders


I think you are missing it here. There are several key states where this is a hot button issue. Calif. certainly seems to be concerned about this. What about Virginia? We seem to have some of those Mariposa cty types in that state as well and from what I see Virginia could well be a swing state. What about AZ?

Some northern states too, NJ? NY? BUt I dont think Obama is in much danger there. TX is probably a hot button issue, but that seems likely GOP.

You may be right about the general picture but there are little battlegrounds being fought all over the place and this could be important.
   179. Sunday silence Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4158286)

I think Harveys' point about conservatives seeing a possible win is key.


this is probably where my thinking digresses most from the conventional wisdom here on BBTF (if indeed it is the CW). I dont see much chance for Romney at all this year. In general incumbents usually do very well. THere is nothing really compelling this election, such as an imminent war or economic collapse. THe economic crisis has been in our midst since at least 08 so I dont see this as an issue. Make it a 20% chance.

BTW: At what pt. do republicans realize Romney is a Mormon?
   180. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4158288)
that's the tea party and how its regarded by the larger gop. we struggled a bit to figure out on how to deal with this rainman in our midst who bangs his head against the wall and screeches when someone says the wrong thing or touches his baseball cards. but we adapted and now he's eating pancakes with toothpicks most days and watching wapner and we are handling things.

"...or touches his baseball cards"...."now he's eating pancakes with toothpicks"...

This is high cholesterol stuff.

Harv, you'd better watch it, or if Obama survives the economy he might just name you as the next poet laureate. There have been far worse choices.
   181. Sunday silence Posted: June 15, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4158289)
meanwhile, Romney "happen(s) to agree with Marco Rubio" whose plan calls for allowing young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Yep, the battle lines are drawn alright.


well perhaps being an issue is too strong a word, but it is a little like the LIncoln Douglas debates yes? Once Lincoln painted Douglas into a corner on Free Soil, his party base began to have serious doubts about him. So Obama paints Mormon guy into a corner, and the tea party people and/or the hard right types are getting freaked.
   182. McCoy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4158298)
Who won the election?
   183. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4158300)
I dont see much chance for Romney at all this year.


???? Really?

1: The economy is flat. Oh it's not as bad as it was, summer of 1980, it's not even as bad as Fall 2008, but it's not good.

2: Did you see that 2010 election cycle?- Obama has a huge dedicated anti-base who hate him with an unholy passion, these are people who either voted against him in 2008, or would have if it had occurred to their hate raddled brains prior to the 2008 election that he could possibly win (they are not staying home in 2012).

3: Stuff happens, what if Greece flakes out (even more), the Eurozone goes belly up, Wall Street panics and folks see their 401Ks drop back to 2009 levels...

I see it as roughly a 50/50 proposition at this point in time- in fact given the general malaise in the country I think Obama would be under 50/50 right now except for the fact that the pronounced teaper driven rightward shift of the GOP has [finally] been noticed by chunks of the center (but the center still largely votes economy)

BTW: At what pt. do republicans realize Romney is a Mormon?
The conservatives who would vote against Romney because he's a mormon are the same people who by and large believe that Obama is a muslim.
   184. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4158302)
this is probably where my thinking digresses most from the conventional wisdom here on BBTF (if indeed it is the CW). I dont see much chance for Romney at all this year. In general incumbents usually do very well. THere is nothing really compelling this election, such as an imminent war or economic collapse. THe economic crisis has been in our midst since at least 08 so I dont see this as an issue. Make it a 20% chance.

Every person I have talked to inside GOP campaign politics -- and a shocking number of DC Dems as well -- right now (specifically since the May jobs report) would somewhat invert that percentage. Maybe not 80/20 that Obama loses, but something more like 60/40 in favor of Romney. I've long assumed that Obama was going to lose (the domestic economic trends and the Eurozone crisis basically foretold it last year, plus I have direct experience with the terrifying ultra-competence of the Romney team), but the general CW, at least among people who actually conduct these campaigns and have long experience, has done a whiplash-inducing about face to my position since the end of May/beginning of June.

People who understand the deeper trends now set in place for the upcoming election (economic, international, electoral) around here are acting on the assumption that Obama's a dead man walking at this point. He will linger in the polls at parity with Romney for the next few months, then the bottom will fall out in September and October. The final result will, in terms of the national vote at least, be something close to a mirror image of 2008 percentage wise. The map may well look very different from the last GOP victory, FWIW...Virginia is going to be a much tighter state for Romney than OH, FL, or even CO.

I understand that you will reject everything I've just written here because it doesn't accord with your hopes and desires, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's the way people who spend their lives and make their money on being able to analyze these sorts of things here are betting it now.
   185. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4158306)
I understand that you will reject everything I've just written here because it doesn't accord with your hopes and desires, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's the way people who spend their lives and make their money on being able to analyze these sorts of things here are betting it now.
I'm sure you can cite these people and link to their cutting, cogent analysis.

The economic fundamentals forecast a very close race, in the range of 50/50, barring EuroDoom.

EDIT: I do recall someone convincing me back in the fall that Mitt Romney was dead in the water, take it from him, a real Republican who knows these things...
   186. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4158309)
plus I have direct experience with the terrifying ultra-competence of the Romney team


I assume that he has a very competent team if only because he is where he despite being such a dreadful and unlikable candidate.

I understand that you will reject everything I've just written here because it doesn't accord with your hopes and desires, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's the way people who spend their lives and make their money on being able to analyze these sorts of things here are betting it now.


Those people are betting about 50/50 right now, if they thought as you did they'd be plus 80% for Romney.

People who understand the deeper trends now set in place for the upcoming election (economic, international, electoral) around here are acting on the assumption that Obama's a dead man walking at this point.


NO ONE truly understands the "deeper trends" in place now, no one's clairvoyant- sure the economy could crater between now and November- in which case Obama's dead meat. Or it could keep doing what its' been doing for the last few months for a few months more- the economy could be destined to crater- but not do it until December.
   187. DA Baracus Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4158310)
Every person I have talked to inside GOP campaign politics -- and a shocking number of DC Dems as well -- right now (specifically since the May jobs report) would somewhat invert that percentage. Maybe not 80/20 that Obama loses, but something more like 60/40 in favor of Romney.


GOPers think GOPer will win.

Film at 11.
   188. Morty Causa Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4158317)
Obama in 2008 benefited from the economy tanking and flirting with going into a free fall. It obviously wasn't his fault that this was happening, and even many white blue-collar types understood this. Obama also had the full flush of accumulated liberal good feeling as a historic black president. None of this redounds to his benefit anymore. Worse, like all moderates, he is in danger of having his core--well, not desert him, but certainoy turn tepid. So, Obama is in danger of finding himself in a that was then/this is now whipsaw. Romney, as a campaigner, is a transparent phony, but that has never bothered the right, especially the evangelical right. As long as it can bend you to their will, that's all they care about. See his groveling overtures to Bryan Fischer at this moment.

As a campaign propositon, how is Obama in better shape now than in 2008? He's going to lose thos blue-collar whites, he's going to lose some liberal support--they don't see him as being determined to fight for their causes. I think Esoteric may be on to something.
   189. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4158318)
GOPers think GOPer will win.

Film at 11.


Of the two teapers in my office, one has thought for 2 years now that Obama would lose in a landslide in 2012, he is simply incapable of believing that anyone does not think that Obama has been an utter disaster - the worst president in 50 years (I tell him that Obama is certainly not as bad Dubya or Carter... but he doesn't believe me :-)

the other teaper likewise regards Obama as a disaster, but nevertheless thinks it's about a 50/50 proposition.

2 is of course a ludicrous sample size.

wait perhaps we could expand our sample size and and...538.com
but what's the fun in that?

I think intrade has Obama up 52%

I "knew" in June 2008 that Obama was going to win- and I was "right"

I "knew" in early 2004 that Kerry was going to win- even though he was such a bad candidate that he made me cringe- I "knew" by October 2004 that Dubya was going to easily cruise to re-election- the closeness, 50.7 - 48.3, as actually quite surprising to me

I "knew" in June 2000 through October 2000 that Bush was going to win easily... :-)

Not a great track record. Most people intuitively think that something is going to happen one way or the other, and if it happened the way we thought it would, well yep we knew it all along, and if it doesn't, well we weren't wrong, just something unexpected happened...

The truth is I don't know, and you don't either. The best "tool" we have is polling, and right now that shows a crap shoot.
   190. BDC Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4158320)
This decision gives them some guest-worker status in the US. It's not far from what Bush 43 wanted to do, and has support among many Republicans

Not in an election year


I think that's oversimplified, honestly. No less a player than Haley Barbour – admittedly not running for anything this year, but deeply invested in a GOP victory as a party insider – has been pressing Romney to liberalize his stance. And what about Rubio himself, surely hoping to be Romney's running mate? Republicans may not care about California or Texas, which are foregone conclusions, but in several other states, Latino votes are pretty important. And yes, there is the countervailing attitude, usually very far from a border, where the GOP does have to face xenophobia among the Tea Party and other core elements. It's very complicated.
   191. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4158321)
Romney, as a campaigner, is a transparent phony, but that has never bothered the right, especially the evangelical right. As long as it can bend you to their will, that's all they care about. See his groveling overtures to Bryan Fischer at this moment.


Well you can't win a general election with just "the right"

How did he win in Massachusetts anyway?
   192. DA Baracus Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4158325)
The truth is I don't know, and you don't either.


Bingo. Especially in June.
   193. rr Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4158326)
I understand that you will reject everything I've just written here because it doesn't accord with your hopes and desires, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's the way people who spend their lives and make their money on being able to analyze these sorts of things here are betting it now.


You are as objective about this as you are about TJ Simers, the Washington Nationals, and BTF "political tribalism."

It is both too early and too close to call the election.

how is Obama in better shape now than in 2008?


He isn't. That's why it is probably going to be closer this time, and why he can lose.
   194. Morty Causa Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4158334)
I should have written, "in what particular ways is Obama in a better position now than he was in 2008? Because he has lost ground in some ways. If he can't find a way to make up for what he's lost..."

No, of course, a Republican can't win with just the extreme right--however, he has to have them. If they go lukewarm on Romney, that's not good.

Romney won in Massachusetts because he was a Massachusetts liberal Republican then, as he was until the reinvention process began (like a slow, painful, American Werewolf in London morph) at the start of this campaign. Romneycare was what most wanted and he gave it to them. Massachusetts citizens have the best medial care in the country.
   195. Jay Z Posted: June 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4158339)
The truth is I don't know, and you don't either. The best "tool" we have is polling, and right now that shows a crap shoot.


Agreed. The thread has outlived its usefulness, it's just spitballing now. Close please.
   196. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: June 15, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4158368)
GOPers think GOPer will win.

Film at 11.

No they didn't. Again, you need to understand that the face that GOP flacks & hacks show to the outside world, for media consumption, is often radically different than what is said internally. The same with Democrats. (It's a human thing, really.) Are there True Believers out there? Sure, there always are. But I write those people off. You don't have to trust me or take my word for anything -- although understand that the reason I no longer participate in political threads here or anywhere else on the internet is precisely because my real-life job is in that world now, so no I am not just talking out of my rear for the fun of it -- but understand this: until very, very recently you could not find more than 10% of GOP insiders around DC who thought Romney would defeat Obama. The idea that, at the top professional levels of the party, they're all just polyannas and 'homers' is retarded: people like that get blindsided and obliterated by events, and generally (though not always...see: John Weaver) don't last. It's not our job to be inordinately optimistic, in fact it's our job to be inordinately PESSIMISTIC, "grasshopper and the ant"-style.

Roughly 80-90% of what is published on "insider"-ish websites like POLITICO and Rollcall and NatJournal from "operatives" dishing their "inside skinny" is kabuki-dance ritual designed to play headgames with the other team. What people actually think is often very different. And I'm telling you: the fact is that sentiment has shifted sharply in both parties towards Obama losing.

If you had to ask me, I'd say two things. first, that yes this does actually reflect a flaw of DC culture, which is that it suffers from groupthink and whiplash-shifts in CW: Romney was favored to beat Obama long ago for the same reasons that he looks favored to beat him now -- horrible economy that can only possibly get worse, wild underestimation of Team Romney and Candidate Romney by the media and operatives of both sides, and the incompetence of the Obama reelect team in coping with a campaign in anything other than "outsider/change" circumstances -- but very few people around here were able to break out of their myopia to realize it. Now suddenly EVERYONE seems to realize it, which is leading to a CW stampede in the opposite direction. Can Obama still win? Sure, of course he can ("Events, dear boy, events.") But all the objective factors on the ground point towards him going down -- and that's not my political tribalism talking.

The stuff you're hearing now about Obama's "Western path" to victory, and how he's still up in some notional EV count, all that...it's noise. It's an echo of a past configuration of the political map that is already fading away. (I think people are generally far too captivated by the folly of treating the previous Presidential election as if it always sets some sort of rigid template: hence so many in the GOP were stunned that they could've lost CO, NC, and VA, and why so many liberals don't seem to understand that none of those are now somehow "permanent Obama country," and that furthermore he is severely endangered in states that have voted Dem for several cycles like WI, MI and PA. But acting as if this is some sort of IMPOSSIBLE THING is both benighted and evidence of historical ignorance. In 1988 Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, and California were all SOLID Republican states. After 1988, never again. So why is there this presumption -- which I have found almost exclusively on the Left, I can't help but point out -- that argues that while Red states can transition to Blue, Blue states can never transition to Red?)

Obama can still win, but absent some Black Swan event -- war with Iran? Horrible Romney scandal heretofore unknown? -- he's the underdog now.

But hey: I've been wrong before! After all, I thought Obama might actually be a good, reasonably bipartisan center-left President instead of the incompetent liberal Euro-style hack he turned out to be! You can even find the evidence of that here on this site!
   197. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4158384)
Esoteric: My guess, from talking to semi-politicos in CO, VA, and NC (curious those are most of the places where people in that line of work that I'm friends with live) is that Colorado is likely to stay blue for awhile, NC will revert to red, and VA is a 55/45 proposition.
538 says: VA 65% chance it goes DEM, CO 59%, NC 29%.

Anyway, I was quoted as giving Obama 55% odds a week or so ago - my answer hasn't changed. He inherited lousy fundamentals and campaigned with an image that was bound to disappoint people once he got into office (and many of those that voted for him were confronted with Obama the elected official, rather than Obama the reflection of their desires).
   198. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4158386)
I don't know any liberals who think that NC and VA are "permanent Obama country" and I seriously doubt that there are very many such people on the planet. I live in Charlottesville, and Democrats here are acting like the election could very well hinge on the Virginia, and they need to bust their tails to carry it. Obama winning NC seems pretty unlikely.
   199. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: June 15, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4158392)
Obama winning NC seems pretty unlikely.

Agreed (to my chagrin).
   200. tshipman Posted: June 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4158400)
You don't have to trust me or take my word for anything -- although understand that the reason I no longer participate in political threads here or anywhere else on the internet is precisely because my real-life job is in that world now, so no I am not just talking out of my rear for the fun of it


What's that Larry Manhken quote again?


Obama can still win, but absent some Black Swan event -- war with Iran? Horrible Romney scandal heretofore unknown? -- he's the underdog now.


It's hard to explain the orders of magnitude of credibility gap between hearsay from random low level GOP officials and Nate Silver's published data. It's something like the difference between high school ball and the Majors, I think.
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NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
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NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
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NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
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NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
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NewsblogMax Scherzer not a realistic option, New York Yankees' Randy Levine says - ESPN New York
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NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
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NewsblogAmazin' Avenue - Cohen: Mets and Rockies discussing Troy Tulowitzki deal with Noah Syndergaard as the centerpiece
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NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
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NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
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NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
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NewsblogThe 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason
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NewsblogOC Register | Former Angels prospect Ryan Bolden shot to death
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NewsblogFull Count » Source: Red Sox close to deal sending Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan
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NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
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NewsblogJerry Crasnick on Twitter: "Jake Peavy has agreed on 2 yr deal with
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