The best piece on the election so far

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Citizen Baba
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The best piece on the election so far

Post by Citizen Baba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:01 am

As I've been asking much less articulately for some time, why does the right like to be lied to consistently by their media sources? Are they masochists who get smacked and enjoy coming back for more? Or is it because -- until last night -- there hadn't been major consequences? Should we hold our breath waiting for their revolt?

Allow me a long C & P, as this one is worth the price.

Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, "What went wrong?", they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: "Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?"

Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time. But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday's result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout -- Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs.

Those audiences were misinformed.


Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver, whose performance forecasting Election '08 gave him credibility as he daily explained why his model showed that President Obama enjoyed a very good chance of being reelected. Other experts echoed his findings. Readers of The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other "mainstream media" sites besides knew the expert predictions, which have been largely born out. The conclusions of experts are not sacrosanct. But Silver's expertise was always a better bet than relying on ideological hacks like Morris or the anecdotal impressions of Noonan.

Sure, Silver could've wound up wrong. But people who rejected the possibility of his being right? They were operating at a self-imposed information disadvantage.

Conservatives should be familiar with its contours. For years, they've been arguing that liberal control of media and academia confers one advantage: Folks on the right can't help but be familiar with the thinking of liberals, whereas leftists can operate entirely within a liberal cocoon. This analysis was offered to explain why liberal ideas were growing weaker and would be defeated.

Today?

It is easy to close oneself off inside a conservative echo chamber. And right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh's show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. If you're a rank-and-file conservative, you're probably ready to acknowledge that ideologically friendly media didn't accurately inform you about Election 2012. Some pundits engaged in wishful thing; others feigned confidence in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; still others decided it was smart to keep telling right-leaning audiences what they wanted to hear.

But guess what?

You haven't just been misinformed about the horse race. Since the very beginning of the election cycle, conservative media has been failing you. With a few exceptions, they haven't tried to rigorously tell you the truth, or even to bring you intellectually honest opinion. What they've done instead helps to explain why the right failed to triumph in a very winnable election.

Why do you keep putting up with it?


Conservatives were at a disadvantage because Romney supporters like Jennifer Rubin and Hugh Hewitt saw it as their duty to spin constantly for their favored candidate rather than being frank about his strengths and weaknesses. What conservative Washington Post readers got, when they traded in Dave Weigel for Rubin, was a lot more hackery and a lot less informed about the presidential election.

Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism. Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a "Grand Jihad" against America. Seriously?

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who'd lose worse than George McGovern.

How many months were wasted on them?

How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don't Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn't grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man's record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.

In conservative fantasy-land, Richard Nixon was a champion of ideological conservatism, tax cuts are the only way to raise revenue, adding neoconservatives to a foreign-policy team reassures American voters, Benghazi was a winning campaign issue, Clint Eastwood's convention speech was a brilliant triumph, and Obama's America is a place where black kids can beat up white kids with impunity. Most conservative pundits know better than this nonsense -- not that they speak up against it. They see criticizing their own side as a sign of disloyalty. I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there's no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit. In fact, it's often very profitable. A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption.

On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the New York Times got it right. Hint: The Times hired the most rigorous forecaster it could find.

It ought to be an eye-opening moment.

But I expect that it'll be quickly forgotten, that none of the conservatives who touted a polling conspiracy will be discredited, and that the right will continue to operate at an information disadvantage. After all, it's not like they'll trust the analysis of a non-conservative like me more than the numerous fellow conservatives who constantly tell them things that turn out not to be true.


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/how-conservative-media-lost-to-the-msm-and-failed-the-rank-and-file/264855/

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Flobster » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:32 am

Pretty good stuff, if accurate.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Annotated » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:56 am

Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time.


Yeah, 50-48% is a trouncing.

But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday's result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. ... Those audiences were misinformed.


Well, maybe they were misinformed by Obama himself -- who was scurrying around at the last minute spending EXTREMELY VALUABLE time and money on places that he should have had sewn up months (if not years) before. ... In other words, this "analysis" this is complete and utter bullshit. It was written after the fact but pretends it wasn't. If it's not bullshit, then it seems Obama was listening to Rush too ... and BETTING HIS WHOLE POLITICAL CAREER on his every word. Who knew? ... Nice.

Here's a clue, idiots -- just because Obama bribed a bunch of chumps and losers to vote for him with handouts doesn't make YOU one bit smarter today than you were yesterday. In fact, putting up an article like this just shows how much dumber you've actually gotten in the last 24 hours.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Citizen Baba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:01 am

The writer is hardly a leaping liberal.

I hope that the GOP doesn't learn the lesson. Annotated's comments just reinforces the my belief in the likelihood they won't.

Go back to the circle jerk under your media bubble.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Annotated » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:03 am

Again, using the logic of this argument, can you explain Obama's actions with his ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREER ON THE LINE?
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Citizen Baba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:19 am

The article isn't about the candidates.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Capitolhill » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:22 am

It's a good piece. Makes you wonder what will finally make the penny drop for the party.
Hi eric!

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Citizen Baba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:25 am

Capitolhill wrote:It's a good piece. Makes you wonder what will finally make the penny drop for the party.


I don't think much will. Watching the echo chamber, they seem to think that simply running a Latino candidate next will do it.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by judik » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:27 am

It was not only the wingnuts that bought into a Rmoney presidency
Respected moderate conservative writers like David Brooks and David Frum endorsed him
I believe it was magical thinking but they both saw a Mitt Rmoney they wanted to see.
Brooks saw it and rejoiced when he turned up in the first debate;Frum came later and while acknowledging the uphill battle his candidate faced(he didn't think he would win) he really thought that Rmoney was more capable of reaching across the aisle,and discounted the political gyrations mitt went through to get to the point where he was a competetive candidate
who was scurrying around at the last minute spending EXTREMELY VALUABLE time and money on places that he should have had sewn up months (if not years) before.

He had to do something with his time
And what about Mitt,who had campaign rallies on election day,thus tying up staff that could have been more widely used in GOTV efforts? Obama played basketball
And how about Rmoney wasting valuable resources in PA which was never in play?
Obama's path to reelection started way back in Ohio right after 2008
He elected to not close his field offices
That gave him a distinct advantage,as he had 3x more offices than Rmoney in Ohio
Obama and his team are smart people.Incumbents have an edge,that is for sure,but an slow to recover economy is a death knell for incumbents
You cannot take anything for granted
That was his big mistake int he first debate
He learned his lesson
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Annotated » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:30 am

Citizen Baba wrote:The article isn't about the candidates.


Right. It's about "bad information" (supposedly). So why was Obama running around like a chicken with his head cut off if liberals had such "good information" (while the meanie right-wingers had bad information)? Why was he wasting valuable time and money?

If you're going to prop this piece of shit up as legitimate, then you will simultaneously need to explain Obama's actions.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by coffeeguy » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:39 am

Right wing media is a joke. Not an original thought, idea or policy, same old discredited theories and beliefs getting circle jerked around and around. You see it with the dumbasses that make up 90% of the right wing posters on here. More intelligence from a parrot, squawking the same crap they read off some right wing blog over and over which in turn was stolen from another right wing source. The best thing is that it's so dull and dreary and such a downer that it's driven off everyone but the most partisan loser.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Capitolhill » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:42 am

Citizen Baba wrote:
Capitolhill wrote:It's a good piece. Makes you wonder what will finally make the penny drop for the party.


I don't think much will. Watching the echo chamber, they seem to think that simply running a Latino candidate next will do it.


All the republicans at work were saying how Romney would have won if he picked Rubio for VP.
Hi eric!

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Citizen Baba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:00 am

Capitolhill wrote:
Citizen Baba wrote:
Capitolhill wrote:It's a good piece. Makes you wonder what will finally make the penny drop for the party.


I don't think much will. Watching the echo chamber, they seem to think that simply running a Latino candidate next will do it.


All the republicans at work were saying how Romney would have won if he picked Rubio for VP.


Here's the problem with that logic. Let's, for the time being, say it works. What do they do in eight years? Pick another Latino VP in perpetuity?

Latinos, blacks, and immigrants tend towards social consertavism. If the Republicans simply embraced immigration reform and drew a zero tolerance policy on racialized/nativist double talk, they could start to make inroads.

Simply practicing affirmative action within the party and having a few brown faces on the ticket won't work. It hasn't worked so far.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by judik » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:04 am

All the republicans at work were saying how Romney would have won if he picked Rubio for VP.

but it wouldn't have happened
It was my belief,and I stated it months ago,that Rmoney was a placeholder
It is uphill against an incumbent ,even in a tough economy
Why would you sully your future brand?
If will be interesting to see if Ryan can maintain his star status
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The best piece on the election so far

Post by cuchulainn » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:57 am

Some on Fox News are saying that Lord Romney lost because he wasn't conservative enough.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by thegreenlantern » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:42 am

Again, using the logic of this argument, can you explain Obama's actions with his ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREER ON THE LINE?


I'm not sure specifically what strategy changes you think Obama should have made if he trusted predictions like Silver's. Stopped campaigning in Ohio to focus on Georgia? At any rate, there's a vast difference between:

1) Recognizing that great statistical analysis predicts that you are likely to win close races in battleground states and continuing to fight hard there and,

2) Dismissing great statistical analysis that suggests your current strategy is failing.

What's worse is the number of Republican pundits who seemed to confuse Silver's predictions of the likelihood that Obama would win close races with a prediction of a high margin of victory. Maybe the Dems would have engaged in the same denial if they were losing, but I would think by this point, election commentators should have to be at least passingly familiar with the Central Limit Theorem.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:27 am

The most interesting comment on this site for me was Scotty, saying months ago he thought Obama would win. Most of the other right wingers substituted hope and faith for fact and analysis right up to the end, when any reading of the evidence across the spectrum was saying it would be hard for Romney to get up. The number of times that single polls, Rasmussen polls often enough, were cited as evidence of Romney's strength, was amazing. Amazing in the sense that they were cited when they were clearly outliers. The conservative response to polls showing Obama was in front, was to do a flat earth on them, and claim they were dodgy, despite good analysis showing that simply wasn't the case.

The Nate Silver analysis has impressively picked this one. I wonder if people will still be interested in individual polls next time.

It beggars belief that people who could actually get useful tactical information from polls choose to ignore them again and again. This makes me question the suggestion that conservatives are "pro business". Any business person who stuck his/her head in the sand so far and so well would be broke pronto.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:29 am

btw, I'd bet Romney's advisers weren't telling him privately what the right wing commentators were saying publically. If they are worth paying at all, they'd have been analysing the polls to death, trying to get every bit of tactical advantage for their spend. Romney may have been disapppointed - I'd be amazed if he was surprised.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by incognita » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:46 am

equus wrote:btw, I'd bet Romney's advisers weren't telling him privately what the right wing commentators were saying publically. If they are worth paying at all, they'd have been analysing the polls to death, trying to get every bit of tactical advantage for their spend. Romney may have been disapppointed - I'd be amazed if he was surprised.


According to WaPo, he didn't write a concession speech.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by PTravel » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:55 am

Here's a clue, idiots -- just because Obama bribed a bunch of chumps and losers to vote for him with handouts doesn't make YOU one bit smarter today than you were yesterday. In fact, putting up an article like this just shows how much dumber you've actually gotten in the last 24 hours.


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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:59 am

incognita wrote:
equus wrote:btw, I'd bet Romney's advisers weren't telling him privately what the right wing commentators were saying publically. If they are worth paying at all, they'd have been analysing the polls to death, trying to get every bit of tactical advantage for their spend. Romney may have been disapppointed - I'd be amazed if he was surprised.


According to WaPo, he didn't write a concession speech.

well, lets wait to read the biogs after. That would be amazing. Obama wrote one and he was in front. I am not a Romney fan, but he's not an idiot.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by PTravel » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:05 am

They were saying last night on a couple networks that Romney was quoted saying he did not write a concession speech

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:16 am

did he say it while voting was still open?
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by TerryTeo » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:09 am

Yesterday I watched the funeral on Fox and today I watched the wake. Every now and then I flicked over to CNN to watch the celebrations. Two news corporations covering the exact same event could have been in different universes for how the election was covered.

This morning I watched Fox Five and they led with heaping the blame on the mainstream media for its coverage of the campaigns and the bias that cost the Republicans the throne. This pretty much sums up the head in the sand philosophy articulated in the OP. This was their election to lose and they succeeded. Before the polls closed four of the panelists spoke of the enthusiasm and gut feel that would see Romney home. Bob Beckel, the 'leftoid' told them all that they were dreaming and that Obama would comfortably secure around 300 electoral votes and a 1% margin for the best in show. Despite having the biggest gut he relied on sound data and the butterflies the others had in their stomachs have turned into bricks.

The condescension expressed by the smarmy Greg Gutfeld towards the democratic will of the majority, albeit razor thin, was exactly what has cost the republicans this time around. Fuck with the 47% and you don't leave much for Obama to fight for.

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by tph24601 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:06 am

This morning I watched Fox Five and they led with heaping the blame on the mainstream media for its coverage of the campaigns and the bias that cost the Republicans the throne. This pretty much sums up the head in the sand philosophy articulated in the OP. This was their election to lose and they succeeded. Before the polls closed four of the panelists spoke of the enthusiasm and gut feel that would see Romney home. Bob Beckel, the 'leftoid' told them all that they were dreaming and that Obama would comfortably secure around 300 electoral votes and a 1% margin for the best in show. Despite having the biggest gut he relied on sound data and the butterflies the others had in their stomachs have turned into bricks.

for most of the Fox News viewers (like Annotated and LS), reality is biased

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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:08 pm

Image
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by AnnieOakley » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:23 pm

Funghi facce!
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Vince » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Annotated wrote:Again, using the logic of this argument, can you explain Obama's actions with his ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREER ON THE LINE?


You're critisisng him for campaigning during an election?
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by equus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:10 am

equus wrote:btw, I'd bet Romney's advisers weren't telling him privately what the right wing commentators were saying publically. If they are worth paying at all, they'd have been analysing the polls to death, trying to get every bit of tactical advantage for their spend. Romney may have been disapppointed - I'd be amazed if he was surprised.

Lucky I didn't put money on that bet.
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Re: The best piece on the election so far

Post by Electrolyte » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:08 pm

The Republicans ran a campaign of deception and misinformation. In the end--like a bomber who is blown up by his own bomb, or a pusher who gets addicted to his own stuff--they ended up deceiving and misinforming themselves instead. They fooled themselves more than they fooled the voters.

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