Reason #17: There is no reason #17!!!!!

November 5, 2008

Wow, I’ve never been so happy to be wrong!

He didn’t just win, he really, really won!

I’m feeling too magnanimous to gloat, but I would ask the biggest haters who’ve posted here about how the celebration will turn violent to post an “I was wrong message” of their own tomorrow.

I’m guessing I won’t see too many…

Reason #16: Voting Machines?

November 3, 2008
Diebolds latest, the Votertronic 2008 series X

Diebold's latest, the Votertronic 2008 series X

Unlike so many of the right wing-nut commentors on this blog, I’m not much for conspiracy theories. That’s why this reason has a question mark.

Still, you have to wonder. Why no paper trail? Who certifies these things?

And will the possibly mythical “Bradley Effect” be used as a convenient excuse for a big difference between polls and votes?

Reason #15: Fear Itself

October 30, 2008
This is the CBS evening news as seen through the eyes of a Republican.

The CBS Evening News seen through the eyes of a Republican.

This is a very special Halloween edition of Reasons Why Obama Will Lose.

I have often wondered why the Republican animal avatar is the noble elephant. But now I know. It has to be based on the pachydermous panic when confronted with a mouse.

The phantasms of the Republican imagination during this time of universally positive Obama polls make up a Wes Craven movie from G.O.P. hell. (Note: G.O.P. hell is the real hell, in the same way that red states are the real America.)

Allow me to be your docent as we tour the right wing of our national art house of horrors.

  • Our way of life is about to end!! The election of Obama will result in the United States becoming completely socialist…just like Cuba!
  • Obama wants to take away all the guns. Nooooo! (It turns out the rural folks really do cling to guns and religion after all…)
  • Boo! Obama is secretly a Muslim who will bring about the downfall of the US and welcome world government rule over all of us!
  • Antichrist alert! Obama wasn’t born in the US but some conspiracy is covering it up
  • If Obama is elected American blacks will somehow turn the tables on whites and make them ride in the back of the bus, get off the sidewalk, etc. Race war!!!!  (Note: It’s amazing how people just come out of the woodwork to provide me with perfect examples of my points.)
  • The Obama fundraising call you answered is coming from INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!!! (ok, I made that one up.)

And so many more.

These terrifying notions are going to get the anti-Obama vote out far more effectively than any positive feelings about McCain.

And why do they work so well? It turns out that, in spite of Republican branding as the party of the tough grown-ups, conservatives are actually more like 8 year olds at sleep-away camp making their flash-lit and cringing way back to the cabin after a particularly effective ghost story.

Scientists recently found that when they exposed subjects who “favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War” to scary images, like spiders sitting on human faces, they exhibited more dramatic physiological stress responses than subjects who “support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control”.

It sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. Easily frightened people are frequently in control of our government and military!

What are the results of having people with this kind of brain structure making political decisions? Let’s look at a very specific example:

For the last 20 years ultra-conservative idiots have sabotaged American attempts at joining something called “The Law of the Sea Convention.” Their argument is the normal one – that it threatens American sovereignty and subjects us to an international court, etc.

But here’s the thing: everyone with any kind of sense (including the joint chiefs, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals) understands that this treaty increases US sovereignty over the oceans and effectively doubles U.S. territory. Incredibly it was negotiated/concocted entirely by the US to favor our interests. Meanwhile the military is saying that every day that we don’t sign the treaty is a threat to our national security because Iran contends that until we ratify they can close off the Straight of Hormuz, something pretty much within their capacity.

But the John Birch/Black Helicopter crowd are so horrified by anything that smacks of international obligations that they have managed to stop our nation from signing an agreement THAT WE OURSELVES WROTE!

The cowardly Dr. Smith from Lost In Space is bound to play an important part in the Palin administration.

The cowardly Dr. Smith from "Lost In Space" is a shoe-in for the Palin administration's surgeon general.

Reason #14: Welfare Queens

October 22, 2008
This unemployed woman owns houses, yachts, horses, and limosines...ALL PAID FOR BY THE GOVERNMENT!!

This unemployed woman owns houses, yachts, jewelry, and cars...ALL PAID FOR BY THE GOVERNMENT!!

Heard the phrase “hard working Americans” recently? Yeah, I’ll bet you have.

Republicans, especially lower middle-class ones, have an extreme Pavlovian reaction to it. It makes them go vote. It reminds them that somewhere out there someone, probably someone ethnic, is getting something for nothing, and voting Republican is the only way they know how to fight it.

Reminding them that moderate Democrat Bill Clinton is the guy who reformed welfare has no apparent effect on this mindset.

Reason #13: Hippies!

October 17, 2008
Jesus did in fact maje George Bush president...by voting for Nader

It turns out Jesus (or at least someone who looks a lot like Jesus) really did make George Bush president...by voting for Ralph Nader in Florida

Idealists who are willing to split the vote on their side of the left/right political divide in close elections willingly hand victory over to the other side. Bush’s 2000 win and its subsequent parade of disasters represent their greatest folly, but they continue to spoil elections all over the country.

Some have learned their lesson, but many continue to insist that it wasn’t Nader’s fault and will stubbornly vote for him or someone even more esoteric.

Don’t vote for Nader, morons!

Reason #12: The Kids Today

October 17, 2008
Bluto, from Animal House, now presumably has an even wilder kid in movie college

Bluto, from Animal House, now presumably has an even wilder kid in movie college

God love ‘em, the Facebook generation has brought so much wonderful positive effort and so many new voters to the Obama campaign. But I’m a former college student myself and I fear some vulnerabilities of this potential groundswell:

1. College kids are not the most experienced voters. Most will be voting for the first time. They may have missed registration deadlines or registered incorrectly or in a way that will invite challenge.

2. The Facebook generation is also the 420 generation. College kids may be too lazy, hungover, high, or convinced of victory to bother to vote on election day.

Prove me wrong, guys!

Reason #11: Destiny. Horrible, horrible destiny

October 10, 2008
Unhappy Cassandra H.L. Mencken (if you dont know who Cassandra was see Reason #1 below)

Bitter Cassandra H.L. Mencken (if you don't know who Cassandra was see Reason #1 below)

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

-H.L. Mencken

In case you are suffering from Reason #1 below, this prophecy clearly refers to Sarah Palin. Hell, “plain” is an anagram for “Palin.” What more do you need?

Reason #10:Woman scorned, news at 11:00

October 8, 2008
When Clinton supporters think about Obama supporters thinking about Clinton they think of this picture.

When Clinton supporters think about Obama supporters thinking about Clinton they think of this picture. Then they eat a whole tub of Cherry Garcia ice cream without guilt.

Some unknown number of Hillary supporters who, based on their politics, should obviously be voting for Obama, won’t be doing so because they are so disappointed and angry that Hillary failed to win the Democratic primary. Some will even vote for McCain simply out of spite.

Their logic is usually childlike and petulant coming as it does from an irrational conflation of Clinton and the general struggle of women in the 20th century.

Many of them feel that it was Hillary’s turn and Obama cut the line. But we have elections here in America, not coronations, and Hillary lost fair and square. Besides, if Hillary had won we’d be looking at a White House split between two families for 24-28 years. To me that sounds less like democracy and more like a lovely DC-area timeshare.

“But what about her experience?!?” While it is true that Hillary has well over 35 years of experience wanting to be president, I don’t really see how that’s relevant. Her young reverse carpet-bagging senatorial career failed to put her above the other candidates.

Some Hillary voters feel that Obama ran a nasty, anti-feminist, somehow unfair campaign, and that made them furious. These claims aired on the media throughout the final weeks of the primary, but I never heard a specific example to back them up. This claim is as unfounded as Cindy “Feelin’ No Pain” McCain’s bizarre utterance that Obama is running “the dirtiest campaign in American history.” If she rose from her opium couch long enough pay attention she’d see it’s not even the dirtiest campaign going on right now…

Ultimately the results of elections are about – you guessed it – us voters. This is why I can be so confident in my statements about the ignorance of Americans. Have I met all of them? No. But I can judge them by who they elected in 2000 and, shockingly, again in 2004.

Finally, for a perfect specimen found in the wild of the illogic behind this particular solipsistic cadre of non-Obama voters, check out the comment made on this blog by Robert Deveau here.

Reason #9: Republicans are robots

October 7, 2008
This election?  Oh, Ill prbably just stick with these guys.

"This election? Oh, I'll probably just stick with these guys."

The two party system in this country encourages mindless voting based on party loyalty, but Democrats are notoriously fickle and ornery (as in the Hillary-loving, Obama-hating PUMAs) while Republicans love to close ranks against their enemies. Remember odious drinking straw and political pundit Anne Coulter claiming she’d support Hillary, her arch nemesis, if McCain got the nomination of her beloved party?

Didn’t happen.

Republicans are such robots that, regarding Sarah Palin, they have actually managed to convince themselves that up is down and ignorance is strength. When presented with a microphone the Republican Vox Populi Stultorum spontaneously begin to speak in talking points and obvious untruths.

I just heard a lady on NPR say that Sarah Palin has “really energized her” (talking point) and that she’s “just such a class act” (obvious untruth).

Actually Sarah “Tanning Bed In The Governor’s Mansion” Palin’s act being categorized as one of “class” is so offensively and hideously wrong that it utterly demolishes the mere true/false dichotomy of conventional logic and confirms the existence of an omnipotent deity.

Meanwhile a few exceptions like Christopher Buckley clearly describe how Republicanism in 2008 has almost no resemblance to the conservative principals espoused by it in the Reagan era.  Take the war.  Republicans were for it because Bush was for it.  (Imagine how awful they’d be if Gore had started it – see Clinton/Bosnia for an example.)  Now they’re for McCain because he’s for the war.  See the circle?  If not see Reason #1.

To sum up: these people would vote for the neighbor who poisoned their dog and fed it to them at a dinner party as long as he was a Republican.

Reason #8: Unconscious racism

October 6, 2008
Although this poster represents Reason #8, the guy who took the time to make it belongs in reason #7 below.

ABOVE: the official instruction card from the Alabama 2008 election ballot.

Nicholas Kristof makes a compelling argument that people who are not consciously racist often discriminate unconsciously.

Again, scary bad for Obama.

Reason #7: Straight up racism

October 6, 2008
This public health poster, intended to help fight the scourge of inbreeding, was quickly cancelled thanks to political correctness.  Typical.

This public health poster, intended to help fight the scourge of inbreeding, was quickly cancelled thanks to "political correctness". Typical.

There’s is an unknown but large set of voters, most white, some hispanic, some otherwise, who will just not ever vote for a black man – not even a half vote for a half black man. They’ll even admit it if you ask them.  Click here to listen to listen to a West Virginian democrat and former Hillary supporter deliver some shockingly racist tidbits.  (The best parts come after the first 5 minutes.)

Now sure, a lot of these folks are ignorant, xenophobic Republicans, so that might not change a lot…but, on the other hand, some of them would have been too busy making moonshine to bother to vote if they didn’t have the impetus of voting against the black fellow.

Meanwhile some unknown portion of these folks are democrats or “swing” voters. That’s bad.

Let’s remember that the last two elections were really quite close, and there was no race issue.

Add in race, and this could be a real problem, especially in the crucial swing states. Smelling a landslide for McCain yet?

Reason #6: Urban voting challenges

October 6, 2008
If these voters dont wait the hours it will take them to vote their next lengthy line wait may be at the intake for the Palin Administrations re-education facilities in Alaska

If these folks don't wait the hours it will take them to vote then their next lengthy queue may well be at the intake gate for the Palin Administration's secure citizen re-education facilities in Alaska. You betcha!

This one is pretty simple.

It’s generally a lot harder to vote in densely populated areas full of Democrats than it is in exurbs and rural areas replete with Republicans. (Even without the presence of those pesky Republican voter intimidation a-holes!)

Reason #5: Media generated false equivalence

October 6, 2008
This tattoo indicates inequality (and also massive infection)

This tattoo indicates inequality (and also massive infection)

The Republicans have intimidated the media, both reporters and pundits, into accusing both parties equally of negative traits. The media does this as a defense against a perception of bias. Instead it distorts their coverage.

The problem is that the actors usually aren’t actually equal. For example both parties lie in their campaign commercials and stump speeches, but the Republicans lie much more and much more broadly. Both parties engage in negative attacks, but the Republicans do it much more frequently and viciously. I call this the rhetoric of false equivalence. Others call it the “symmetry of sin.” Click here for a good recent article about this.

As a result of this dynamic any moral credit the Democrats should get for being positive and truthful is minimized or eliminated, while the Republicans are free to engage in broad distortions and feral attack ads with relative impunity.

Reason #4: Republican operatives are evil

October 6, 2008
Republican Operative Karl Rove

Republican Operative Karl Rove

While Democrats certainly have their own history of illegal and immoral political activities, Republicans have raised the art of justifying the means by their ends to a whole new level over the last 10 years.

Here are just a few of the dirty tricks that will help put McCain over the top:

  • Phone Jamming. Republicans in NH were convicted of jamming the phone lines of Democrats who were trying to get out the vote on election day 2000. Nasty, and didn’t get enough press.
  • Voter roll massaging. As we saw in Florida in 2000, the Republicans in power hired a firm to purge voter rolls of felons. Only they ended up purging a lot of African-Americans who weren’t felons…unless you count not wanting to vote for W. a felonious act.
  • Voter confusion. Republicans have a history of trying to fool likely Democratic voters by getting them to screw up their registrations, etc.
  • Voter intimidation. Republicans go to polling places in Democratic stronghold areas and challenge the right of individual voters to vote on various grounds. This hurts in two ways. First it intimidates voters directly, and secondly it slows down the line terribly. Machiavelli would love these guys.

There are many more examples of these wonderful, family-values type activities out there, so feel free to add them in the comments.

Reason #3: Americans hate smart people

October 6, 2008
America hates smart people

America hates smart people

America’s most culturally suicidal drive is our hatred of smart people.

Do we celebrate the nerds from the computer club who will go on to invent the internet?  No, we love the quarterback who will go on to impregnate Betty Lou during senior year and end up working at the gas station.

Do we respect the teachers who inspire students to challenge their minds?  No, we adulate the coaches who will secretly encourage their athletes to take steroids and win the state championship.

Barack Obama is a smart person.  Do the math.  (Unless you’re an average American, in which case don’t do the math lest your head implode.)

Reason #2: Dumb people have more children

October 6, 2008
Dumb people have more children

Dumb people have more children

Heebie jeebies on overdrive!

These overproud and publicity loving Christian extremists have raised the “be fruitful and multiply” tenet far above the “treat each other like you want to be treated” rule they claim to instill in their brood in interviews. It takes little imagination to picture the truly nightmarish world we’d struggle to survive in if every couple on earth had 18 (and counting!) babies, generation after relentless generation.

And I think they’re actually on their way to 19 or 20 at this point, by the way.

You see, while Idiocracy is a very silly movie, its premise is exactly correct: stupid people procreate much more quickly than smart people, and stupidity is at least partly genetic. Therefore we will continue to get dumber over time, and at an increasing rate.

Which means an infinity of Republican administrations in the future.

If you don’t believe me do a google search on the Duggars. You’ll find a lot of blogs that talk about how blessed by God the whole thing is. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

Reason #1: Americans are dumb

October 6, 2008
Americans are dumb

Alaska Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux (above) greets students on the first day of school last September.

Yes, Virginia, Americans are dumb. (Not all Americans, just most of us.)

Don’t believe me? Read this.

Obama will lose

October 6, 2008

A lot of my friends think Obama is going to win, but I think they are wrong and am very depressed about it. Frankly I don’t think he ever had a chance. I am so sick of the media’s “it’s sooo close, isn’t this exciting” horse-race that I’ve decided to coldly list all the reasons I think Obama will lose on this blog between now and the election.

I hope to be flooded with millions of “I Told You Sos” when this is all over and I’m proven wrong.

But if I’m right Obama will lose in a landslide. If that happens I wonder if the media will ask itself in any way that matters how they could have been so wrong.

(By the way, PUMAs, Hillary wouldn’t have won either, mostly for the same reasons.)


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