A fun post-mortem of the polls..


Or rather, the pollsters.. Specifically, I’ll focus on 2, one from “each side of the aisle.” The assumed “left-leaning” Public Policy Polling (actually, in looking at the last 3 elections, “left-leaning” really means “accurate” in PPP’s case) and our “right-leaning” old buddy Scott Rasmussen, the holy grail of right-wing poll cherry-pickers. I’ll stick to national and swing-state polls, because it’s irrelevant to see how close they were in Kansas and Connecticut.

I’ll also add Nate Silver’s projections as proof of his surreal god damn sorcery.

**PLEASE NOTE** As of my writing this blog, there may be some ballots yet to be counted in Washington State, Oregon, California, and a few other states, which could nudge Obama’s margin up slightly.

Anyhoo…. not even going to mention Gallup, who as I previously displayed effectively removed huge swaths of voters under 30 from their “LV” sample. So let’s have a gander, shall we?

I’m going to hold off excessive commentary and just focus on the numbers. As (hopefully) we’ve learned, the numbers speak for themselves, no matter how my right-wing friends bravely and futily fight them with unyielding spirit.

Another note: As of writing this, Rasmussen’s site has made their final presidential tracker nearly impossible to find. LOL.. good move Scotty. 

USA!! USA!! Time for the voice of all Americans to be heard to pick the next President.. unless you live in one of the 39 states where the race won’t be close enough to even bother polling..

Final projections/actual tallies:

PPP National projection: Obama 50/Romney 47

Rasmussen National projection: Romney 49/Obama 48

Nate Silver projection: Obama 50.8/Romney 48.3

Actual result:   Obama 50.4/48.1

PPP Verdict:  CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: INCORRECT 

Notes: PPP didn’t publish fractions on this poll, rounding either up or down, so I can’t say for sure how close they were to the tenth like with Nate Silver.. but on first look they may have under-estimated Romney’s national support by ~ 1 point. And then there’s good ol’ Rass.. like Gallup, giving Romney supporters some false hope, since EV/PV splits are rare.

Eagles-Fans

Pennsylvania: Home to FUCK YOU, SANTA…

Pennsylvania:

PPP: Obama 52/Romney 46

Rasmussen: Obama 51/Romney 46

Nate Silver: Obama 52.5/Romney 46.6

Actual result: Obama 52/Romney 46.8

PPP Verdict:  CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: CORRECT

Notes: Can’t get much closer to “nailing it” than this for both sides. Perhaps another slight underrating of Romney support, irrelevant to final tally. And good job Rass!!.. Maybe he did better than ’08 and ’10…. maybe..

Ohio: Did Romney remember this was a critical swing state with lots of auto- …aww fuck it. Sick of hearing about this place.

Ohio:

PPP: Obama 52/Romney 47

Rasmussen: Obama 49/Romney 49

Nate Silver: Obama 51.3/Romney 47.7

Actual Result: Obama 50.1/Romney 48.2

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: INCONCLUSIVE

Notes: Romney outperformed a lot of polls in Ohio, including perhaps his own internals. However it was irrelevant to the final numbers, Karl Rove’s protests notwithstanding. At this point one could argue a very slight bias in PPP’s polling towards Obama, but not nearly enough to make an incorrect prediction. As for Rass, well I’ve decided that when a pollster predicts a tie, unless they were off by > 2%, it’s an inconclusive prediction. But in this case Rass’s Ohio poll was very misleading for the entire national picture, as it showed arguably the most important swing state in a dead-heat, when basically all other polls showed a small but steady Obama lead. Let’s see if it got better for Rass. (spoiler: it didn’t) 

Virginia: Governor forced ultra-sound? check. Heavy handed-state response to women protesting? check. Chance of Romney winning VA? Oh…

Virginia:

PPP: Obama 51/Romney 47

Rasmussen: Romney 50/Obama 48

Nate Silver: Obama 50.7/Romney 48.7

Actual Results: Obama 50.8/Romney 47.8

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen verdict: INCORRECT

Notes: If you stopped paying attention to the polls in early October, this result might have surprised you. If you were paying attention the last week or so, it didn’t. PPP obviously wasn’t surprised. Once again, highly accurate with the slightest underrating of Romney support. As for Rass, this was an epic fail. One that should really make people question his credibility as a pollster. You’re talking about a critical swing state that he got wrong by 5 points, all in the direction of Romney. He’d get a pass if it was his only bad miss of the night, or if there isn’t a history of this with his swing state polls. (spoiler: it wasn’t, and there is)

Michigan: According to friends who have lived there, this more or less sums up Michigan..

Michigan:

PPP: Obama 52/Romney 46

Rasmussen: Obama 52/Romney 47

Nate Silver: Obama 53/Romney 45.9

Actual Results: Obama 53.8/Romney 45.3

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: CORRECT

Notes: Well, so much for the PPP-Obama bias. As you may recall, a few astro-turf polls came out in the waning days showing MI tied or Romney in the lead. This concerned the Obama camp so much David Axelrod put his mustache on the line to shore up support. And chalk up another good call for Rass. 2 so far.

Wisconsin: As opposed to commonly held perceptions, the people pictured do not represent the state as a whole

Wisconsin

PPP: Obama 51/Romney 48

Rasmussen: Obama 49/Romney 49

Nate Silver: Obama 52.4/Romney 46.9

Actual Results: Obama 52.8/Romney 46.1

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: LOL

Notes: et tu, Paul Ryan? And with that, the PPP-Obama bias theory is dead. You know, categorizing PA, MI, WI, and MN (actually, I’m not even gonna bother with MN) as “swing states” is kind of misleading. They were only deemed so because of Rasmussen and the Romney Campaign and media memes, who desperately wanted this to be a neck-and-neck horse race. In these states it really wasn’t. No idea what Rass was looking at here, but it’s another huge, honking miss… this time by nearly 7 points!! Ouch.

Iowa: Where Obama kicks off and ends his presidential campaigning, and Howard Fineman is reminded of his childhood in post-Civil War America

Iowa

PPP: Obama 50/Romney 48

Rasmussen: Romney 49/Obama 48

Nate Silver: Obama 51.1/Romney 47.9

Actual Results: Obama 52.1/Romney 46.5

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: FACEPALM

Notes: And now the bias would seem to have flipped, with PPP overestimating Romney’s support in some of these states. Which of course probably means there’s really no bias at all, and fluctuations are merely statistical noise. The most interesting thing to me in the closing days of the race in terms of Iowa, was when the great Howard Fineman flipped his shit over the Des Moines register endorsing Romney, which inexplicably led Fineman to muse that it was a sign Obama could very well lose the whole damn election. Good old Howard, hearkening back to a day when newspaper endorsements could really influence an election…. like maybe Grover Cleveland in 1888..

And.. oh Rasmussen.. Rasmussen, Rasmussen, Rasmussen. Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Eve?

New Hampshire: Where clearly, not many fucks are given

New Hampshire

PPP: Obama 50/Romney 48

Rasmussen: Obama 50/Romney 48

Nate Silver: Obama 51.4/Romney 47.9

Actual Results: Obama 52.1/Romney 46.5

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: CORRECT

Notes: Not much to say here, as both polls got the winner right, but by 4 points worse for Obama. Romney spent a lot of time campaigning here in the final week, as part of a strategy that would have also required picking up a whole bunch more states he had no real shot in. Or as his campaign called it: “Expanding the Map.”

North Carolina: Yea, we’re still the Deep South

North Carolina

PPP: Obama 49/Romney 49

Rasmussen: Romney 52/Obama 46

Nate Silver: Romney 50.6/Obama 48.9 

Actual Results: Romney 50.6/Obama 48.4

PPP Verdict: INCONCLUSIVE

Rasmussen Verdict: CORRECT

Notes: North Carolina has rapidly changing demographics, and is no longer safe GOP territory. Romney had to fight here, and it was a critical state for him to win, not for Obama. Rass got it right, but overestimated Romney by 4 points. Definite pattern emerging.

Oh, and look at Silver’s #s. Holy fuck.

Florida: Trust me, it’s much better to visit than to live here

Florida

PPP: Obama 50/Romney 49

Rasmussen: Romney 50/Obama 48

Nate Silver: Obama 49.8/Romney 49.8

Actual Results*: Obama 49.9/Romney 49.3

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: INCORRECT

*as of 11/8/2012 at 2:14 pm CST, Florida has not officially called the state for Obama. And I mean.. really..why should they? It’s only November 8th

Notes: Governor Rick Scott shortened the state’s 14 early voting days down to 8, because… yea well, you guess. South Florida voters responded by showing up, waiting in line for upwards of 6,7,8 hours, and extending a solid middle finger in Governor Scott’s face in the form of a vote for Obama.

And once again.. Nate Silver…..                  sorcery

Colorado: Rocky Mountain High

Colorado

PPP: Obama 52/Romney 46

Rasmussen: Romney 50/Obama 47

Nate Silver: Obama 50.8/Romney 48.3

Actual Results: Obama 51.2/Romney 46.5

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: GOOD GOD MAN

Notes: Colorado is one of those states that was very conservative years ago, and some pollsters just kinda refuse to accept it’s now much more young, much more liberal, and much more Hispanic. Pollsters like Rass, who really did another bang-up job here, missing by a whopping 7 points.. again..  apparently saw fit to find a “likely voter” model analogous to the 1980’s. Keep in mind Obama won this state in 2008 by 9 points. At a certain point there’s ignorance and being behind on trends, and then there’s willful ignorance.

Nevada: We get polled a lot now

Nevada

PPP: Obama 51/Romney 47

Rasmussen: Obama 50/Romney 48

Nate Silver: Obama 51.8/Romney 47.3

Actual Results: Obama 52.3/Romney 45.7

PPP Verdict: CORRECT

Rasmussen Verdict: EVEN A BLIND SQUIRREL..

Notes: Let’s leave this on a semi-positive not for our buddy Scott Rass.. Sure, he was off by nearly 5 points in another key swing state, but at least he got the winner right. If you are interested in the changing political landscape in Nevada, and why pollsters like Rass and Gallup have no clue how to poll there, check out Ralston Reports.

Bottom line: the anti-Obama crowd stayed confident, arrogant, sometimes downright smug over all the good news that Scott Rasmussen delivered to their Twitter feeds and inboxes with his polls. This same crowd inevitably, and this went right up through professional “pundits” had themselves good laughs dismissing PPP and Nate Silver. It seemed odd to me, because it was very easy to research each’s respective track records for recent elections. And if you did, then these results aren’t terribly surprising, although Rass was even more off than 2008 and 2010, and Nate Silver even more accurate.

Now once the shoe is on the other foot, and PPP and Nate Silver start showing us liberals #s in an election that doesn’t look so good for our candidate, will we substitute reality and inject our own, like our friends of the other political persuasion, or will we accept this wicked partisan sorcery (solid math and fundamentals of statistics) as truth? We shall see..

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Gallup doesn’t think I’m going to vote, because I’m a flaky young whippersnapper


Oh yea.. you’re gonna vote Mr. “young urban professional?” Fat chance, kid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Gallup, I am not a “Likely Voter.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take a look as to how, and why (my comments in red, Gallup’s stuff in white):

 

Gallup scores respondents one point for each question they answer in a way consistent with voting (the scoring scheme is detailed in subsequent paragraphs), resulting in overall likelihood of voting scores ranging from zero to seven. Gallup has then used various procedures to set a threshold for the pool of likely voters. The validity of setting a threshold based on a specific estimated turnout among the voting age population (VAP) or voter eligible population (VEP)is less clear than it was in the past, particularly given real-world changes in voting such as early voting and decreases in survey participation rates. For the 2012 election, Gallup currently considers respondents with the highest scores (six or seven) to be likely voters.

Questions Gallup Uses in Its Presidential Election Likely Voter Model

For the seven questions that make up the likely voter scale, respondents get one point on the likely voter scale for each question to which they give the response listed in parentheses (with a maximum of seven points possible). See the full question wording for each question in the “Question Wording” section.

  1. Thought given to election (quite a lot, some)

Obviously a point for me here

  1. Know where people in neighborhood go to vote (yes)

This is an asinine question for the millions of young, (like under 50) urban voters. Me, like most working Americans, has no need to know where my polling place is before election day. Add to that I lived somewhere else in 2008. Why would I need to know and have mapped out a route to where “people in my neighborhood go to vote?” Like pretty much everyone under 60, on election day I will plug the address into my GPS, and go. I don’t need to case the joint before-hand. – no point for me

  1. Voted in election precinct before (yes)

No. Newsflash Gallup. Young people are mobile. They move. Wayyyy more people vote in presidential elections than locals or primaries. Another ridiculous way of screening out shitloads of voters and not calling them “likely” – no point for me here either

  1. How often vote (always, nearly always)

Again, what are they referring to exactly? Municipal races? Local dog catcher? American Idol? Without context I’d have to assume they mean in general, and the answer for me wouldn’t be always or nearly always. Maybe.. kinda often? When I don’t know much about local candidates, I typically don’t vote. And guess what? A shitload of Americans, particularly younger Americans, do the same thing.  – no point for you, jerk-ass

  1. Plan to vote in 2012 election (yes)

Interestingly, my yes here ends up meaning no, according to Gallup.. keep reading. But – at least I get one more point for now

  1. Likelihood of voting on a 10-point scale (7-10)

Yes. 9.999 (barring catastrophic injury/illness/natural disaster – one point

  1. Voted in last presidential election (yes)

Yes – one point

That’s a total of 4, for those of you playing at home.. here are some qualifiers for the very young kiddos listening to Animal Collective and Barry Manilow (ironically): 

Gallup also measures the increasing trend of people voting before Election Day by asking people when they plan to vote and then considers this information when determining if people are likely to vote.

For the raw scores, Gallup makes the following adjustments:

  • Respondents who are not registered to vote receive a score of zero.

At this stage of the game, understandable. Most states are past the deadline now.

  • Respondents who do not say they plan to vote (see item No. 5) receive a score of zero.

Fair enough as well.

  • Respondents who report they already voted receive a score of seven.

Well duh. But I’m betting most people who already voted probably won’t bother with a survey at this point. Just a hunch.

  • Given the rise in voting by mail, respondents who say they do not know where people in their local district go to vote receive credit for that question if they say they plan to vote before Election Day and say they have voted in their precinct in person or by mail in past elections.

In other words, old people who likely answer would yes to both questions anyway. Again, I’m punished because I lived in another district in 2008, and I haven’t cased out my polling place yet. Does that really make me an anomaly? Gallup thinks so.

  • Gallup adjusts younger respondents’ scores to account for their ineligibility to vote in some or all past elections. In other words, even though the model identifies voters based on past voting history, Gallup does not penalize younger voters for not being of voting age in past election years.

Well, that’s good to know. But it also tells me Gallup is again grossly undercounting youth votes. I think plenty of 22-26  year olds who didn’t bother to vote last time around will be more inclined to now.

  • If aged 18 to 19, Gallup converts their scores as follows: 1=2, 2=4, 3=5, 4=7

That seems like a good approximation.

  • If aged 20 to 21, Gallup converts their scores as follows: 1=1, 2=3, 3=4, 4=6, 5=7

Yea ok neat-o.. but that doesn’t affect me. The 30-something who wasn’t in this district 4 years ago and will find my polling place via Google Maps or GPS. (or more likely I’ll know exactly where it is, I just haven’t looked at the address yet, because I’m mobile and am sure I won’t have difficulty getting to it)

 

So in short, I am not counted as a “Likely Voter” by Gallup. Not even close (I have 4 points, needed 6 or 7) And why?

1)      I’m new to the area and haven’t voted in this precinct before. That’s a point off for just about every single undergrad (and grad) student in the country, actually. Not to mention the millions who have moved in the past 4 years because of the economy and real estate crisis. And forget about me who moved to a new state, this potentially counts you out if you just moved a few miles away in your same town.

2)      The morning I go to vote, I’ll get the address off my voter registration card and head to my precinct to vote. I haven’t mapped out how to get there, or planned my day or week around finding it. I live in a big city, am mobile, and have a GPS on my phone, and an internet connection to use any number of map services. Is this unusual? Are young working people really penalized or considered “unlikely” if they haven’t written out their Election Day plans beforehand?

 

Bottom line: I vote in presidential elections, and I’m sure as hell not sitting this one out, even though there’s no way my state is going blue (yet.. give us a few more cycles) Yet Gallup doesn’t think so, for the reasons stated above. I bring this up because I just don’t think my situation (new to district, doesn’t always vote in local races, hasn’t yet mapped out where polling place is and only will on or night before Election Day) is all that unique for young professional adults or college students. And that group, as you know, overwhelmingly leans to Obama. This is my theory on why Gallup’s LV model may be fucked. 

The Delusion of Romney Apologists


 

So.. here we go. Romney/GOP supporters are heartened by the fact that Mitt is still breathing, and some national polls show he’s still very much in the race. Good for them, I guess. And it seems one of their main call to arms is the old “The Mainstream Media Hates us” bit. To wit, a new blog today from Washington Post Romney apologist Jennifer Rubin highlights all the ways in which the “media,” used liberally here, “has it all wrong,” and has, since the beginning. It lists in 15 points all the supposed declarations by the “media” (with no direct examples) of the death of the Romney campaign. But some of her reasoning is hardly compelling, and pretty self-defeating.

And away we go:

1. Romneycare would prevent Mitt Romney from getting the nomination.

This one will kick-off a recurring theme here for Ms. Rubin. This “misconception” being attributed to “the media” was very much a hope of a few conservative pundits and Romney’s Primary challengers, to no avail. The point of making this point is lost on me.

2. Romneycare would prevent Romney from making an argument against Obamacare.

Well, no.. he can make an argument for whatever he wants. But it does badly weaken his argument. In fact, it basically negates it as an argument at all. I’ve yet to see an intelligent argument to the contrary. Which, in case you haven’t noticed, despite being a strong rallying point for Republicans, the whole “repeal Obamacare” siren has been pushed to the back by the Romney campaign in favor of stuff about welfare, foreign policy, etc.

3. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a sure thing.

A sure thing to what? Sound like a buffoon? This one I can chime in on with some knowledge. I live in Texas, so I know more about Governor Perry than your average politico. (and more than I wish I did) It was very much the right wing punditry that briefly anointed Perry as their savior, because they fucking hated (and still do hate) Romney. And the media followed suit, because they love new toys. Like Fred Thompson before him, he crashed and burned all on his own. No media intervention necessary.

4. The GOP would pick a tea party favorite as its nominee.

Again, Ms Rubin is projecting the hopes and dreams of Limbaugh, Ingraham, et al. on to the old know-nothing “media.” I will concede that a lot of good liberal bloggers and mouthpieces like myself certainly hoped a softball like Santorum or Bachman would somehow get the nomination, but since we’re not typically a delusional bunch, we pretty much had Romney, with the deepest pockets and the backing of the remnants of the GOP “establishment,” pegged as the guy.

5. Romney’s $10,000 “bet” in a primary debate was going to wreck his campaign.

I don’t recall anyone but his primary opponents declaring that. But either way it sure made him look like an out of touch asshole.

6. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s “Etch-a-sketch” remark was going to kill Romney’s chances.

Kill? Maybe not. Damage? Yes. That hasn’t gone away.

7. Romney’s remark about owning two Cadillacs was going to doom him in Michigan.

No, that remark won’t doom him in Michigan. His preference to let Detroit and GM go bankrupt did. So, I guess that’s sort of a point for Ms. Rubin.

8. Romney’s comment that he was most concerned about the middle class and not the very poor who have a safety net, which may need fixing, was going to cripple him.

Again, I guess we’re using semantics to make a point, or something. The knee-jerk blogosphere, of which Ms Rubin is apparently obliviously part of, loves to hone in on a single gaffe or controversial statement and say “so and so just lost (or won) the election.” Of course real life isn’t that simple. But M.s Rubin is effectively re-stating a bunch of hand-picked bad Romney gaffes (and there are countless ones to cite) and saying “See, See, this one thing alone didn’t sink the campaign!” Ok, point taken. But what’s the larger point?

9. Romney’s Bain experience would kill his campaign.

Again, we’re defaulting to elements of the campaign that are clearly hindrances and announcing that each one in and of itself aren’t dooming the Romney campaign. And this is also where we’re getting into the realm of self-delusion and self-defeat. The Romney campaign wants anything to do with Bain OUT OF THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE. But Ms. Rubin and her ilk keep reviving it because they actually think it could help him. Ok then.

10. Romney’s foreign trip would kill his campaign.

Getting stale here. I guess Ms. Rubin is of the belief that if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. This works for insipid top 40 songs. Presidential campaigns, not so much. Also, which foreign trip? I assume she means the England debacle.

11. Romney would have to release more than two years of his tax returns.

Haha.. is this woman a pro-Obama mole?? She effectively keeps bringing up all the things the Romney campaign does NOT WANT DISCUSSED EVER and highlighting them as things that haven’t quite destroyed the campaign yet. Brilliant.

12. Romney’s remarks on the embassy attacks were the most important issue and would kill his campaign.

Well, he tried to make them an important issue, and failed badly. The funny thing is, this is an event that recent polls show has hurt, and could continue hurting Obama. Yet Mitt went over the top into Limbaugh talking-points land and put himself on the defensive rather than the president. This could have indeed been a turning point, but it could up being another self-inflicted wound. At least according to Ms. Rubin though, not a lethal one. Win?

13. The Democratic National Convention bounce for President Obama was meaningful.

I don’t know what the argument here is. A few polls have shown the bounce is wearing off and others show it hasn’t, yet. Also we’re going to have to figure in the past 3 days bad news cycles for Romney. Really need a week or 2 to dissect the polls.

14. Clint Eastwood was a disaster.

HAHA, I LOVE this!! This line of thinking goes to what I said earlier, about regurgitating things the Romney campaign wants to forget, and leads to another blog coming soon about how Romney’s “best friends” are really his worst enemies. I’ll be more blunt. If you are a non-delusional Romney supporter you want the Eastwood speech to be forgotten, pretend it never happened, and hope it just goes away and dies. But “friends” of the right like Ms Rubin keep dredging it up, trying to convince herself and others it was actually helpful to the campaign.

Here’s a crude analogy. A few weeks ago my hometown Miami Hurricanes got thrashed by Kansas State 52-13. Id like to forget about it, and certainly not bring it up. Per Ms. Rubin’s logic, I ought to keep talking about it and say that it wasn’t as bad as the score indicated, and in fact proved the Hurricanes are going to have a great team this year.

It reeks of desperation. Even if you personally loved the Eastwood speech, there aren’t words to describe how delusional you are if you think it struck a positive chord with the public and helped the campaign.

15. Picking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as a VP was a mistake

This one is open to debate, but it’s been media of all stripes declaring this, left, right, and center. The odd thing about the Ryan pick is that he immediately went on a tear denouncing everything he had done and stood for that brought him into great favor with the GOP base. This has actually worked, because his favorability #s have actually mostly stayed above water. But the Ryan budget is politically toxic. And the polls show this is hurting Romney, despite a few weeks of confusion over the whole $713 billion to Obamacare stuff.

In closing:

Overall, Ms Rubin is merely sounding the decades-old alarm about “Liberal Media Bias.” The way she’s gone about it though is baffling. If I’m a Romney staffer, I’m cringing at a supposed pro-Romney blogger bringing up all the toxic points the campaign desperately wants to go away. Does anyone really think they can still turn the Libya comments and the Eastwood debacle into a positive?? Are they that desperate??

Moreover, the central point of the entire article is confusing, or just plain stupid. She’s racking up an impressive (but hardly comprehensive) list of bad Romney gaffes, and then announcing that each one, in and of itself, didn’t sink the campaign on its own. Maybe she doesn’t realize but one can deduce that taken in their entirety, they could very well explain why Mitt is behind, and time is running out.

I suppose the point is a testament to Mitt’s staying power, despite his propensity to continually shoot himself in the foot. And indeed there is some marvel that Romney isn’t losing by more, depending on which poll(s) you fancy. But the bottom line is if Romney supporters have been reduced to reviving cringe-inducing campaign moments and trying to spin them into winning arguments, it’s just going to get worse for them, and their candidate.

See the original Jennifer Rubin WaPo blog here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/medias-track-record/2012/09/19/3ce19046-0252-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_blog.html

The GOP Convention we all want to see. Especially the GOP base


 

I find it frustrating lately that the Republican party platform has been running feverishly from itself the last few weeks. Surely, the hardcore, Tea Party, frothing super-right fired up “base” must feel the same way.

Why are they running scared from Todd Akin’s rape science? Why do they suddenly love Medicare and Social Security? Why won’t Paul Ryan talk about how he authored a bill, with Todd Akin, that gives Constitutional protection to one human cell (seriously) while denying the same Constitutional rights to the fully-developed person housing that one cell?

After all, this IS the GOP platform. Why back away now.. when you’ve come so far!? So.. here is the account of the RNC that the Republican base desperately wants to see. I would want to see it too, as nauseating and frightening it would be, because it would reveal these ultra hard-right wing intractable folks in their truest, purest form.

 

 

Just to acknowledge cold, boring reality for a second.. what we will actually hear at the RNC is basically this: “The economy sucks bla bla bla, Obama’s fault, bla bla bla, Obamacare bad and expensive, bla bla bla, we love Medicare more than Obama, bla bla bla. Saber rattle rah rah military, bla bla bla.”

So now that that’s over with, let’s take a look at the dream ..err.. nightmare..err… Tea Party wet dream of a Republican National Convention.

So.. the room is full. Excitement builds in the crowd. The delegates proudly and enthusiatically wave their state signs.. OHIO! PENNSYLVANIA! WISCONSIN! FLORIDA! CONFUSION! LOUISIANA! TEXAS! DENIAL! ARKANSAS! MINNESOTA! NEVADA! SHOCK!

 

 

The lights dim.. a broad cheer, then an anticipatory hush comes over the crowd… Loud, foreboding music begins to pipe through the PA system. A booming, baritone voice, much like the guy’s who does the movie trailers, comes on: “Crime…. poverty… unemployment… crushing national debt” as images describing the narration appear on two huge overhead monitors. Many audience members shake their heads in disappointed agreement. “All because…… of one man.” The following picture appears on both monitors, zooming in:

 

 

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” roars the crowd. “BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” A network camera closes in on a man in the crowd with a close-cropped beard and glasses. “I HATE YOU!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!” the man says, shouting at the monitors overhead as if the man being displayed on them might hear. His head trembles with anger as he continues at the monitors “I———- HATE YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!” Spittle is forming at his lips..

“But”…. the narrator interrupts…. “Where……. was this man…. really born??”

*gaaaaaaasssssssssssppp* A breathless hush of anticipation overtakes the crowd. Oh my god. Are they? Are they really going to do it? The monitors display this:

 

 

The crowd goes wild. Unadulterated cheers of sheer joy. The cameras focus on two portly middle-aged men high-fiving. They seem to be from the Midwest. One of them grabs their elbow in pain. “We may never really know…” bellows the narrator, to more wild cheers.

This makes it a smooth transition for the first guest. An unseen emcee announces: “Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only… Donald Trump!” The crowd gives a lukewarm cheer.. they weren’t expecting the Donald. He walks out.. his hair is wild and unkempt.. as if he just had some sort of tussle in the green room. He did.

 

 

Trump steps up to the podium.. “You know what I’m here to talk about today…” The crowd leans forward in anticipation.. He takes out what looks like a long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii… the crowd erupts. Trump makes a face that suggests he may have just tasted some long-expired sour cream as he looks at the paper. “But first.. I have some great news… of a very personal nature!” Again the crowd quiets.. “I want you to meet, as of 15 minutes ago backstage.. my new fiance. Ms. Orly Taitz, Esquire!!”

Again the cheers swell from the crowd. Some people are heard chanting “Or-ly! Or-ly Or-ly!” A tall, slender woman, wearing a very short skirt, white stiletto heels, and a tight white leather top with bleached blond hair comes staggering out. She looks slightly dazed, her hair is also a mess.

 

 

Trump puts his arm around the disoriented woman and shouts: “Together, we will prove blagablagabarg that Barack Hussein ablargablarg BLARGABLARGA!” The crowd isn’t quite sure why Trump is using nonsense words, but they continue to cheer. Then Trump looks over his shoulder and says “Joe.. bring out the ring.” Out from the back comes Joe Aprpaio. He’s riding a horse and dressed in full old Western-style sheriff regalia. The crowd goes insane.

 

 

Arpaio jumps down from the horse and pulls out a six-shooter. There is some anxiety in the crowd and some screams, but they are mostly drowned out by cheers. Arpaio  fires the gun into the air while snarling menacingly. Some in the crowd duck. Small chunks of ceiling begin to fall onto the audience. He is using live ammunition. Secret Service is seen just offstage. They look apprehensive but assure one another “we were aware of this. Situation under control.” After Arpaio spins his gun and puts it back in his holster, some other audience members pull out guns, a few fully-automatic assault rifles, and fire them similarly into the ceiling.

Large chunks of ceiling tile and building facade are now falling onto the frenzied crowd. Some are injured. The cheering throng is nonplussed. He takes out a small ring box and hands it to Trump. “Thanks Joe.” “GRRRDDDGRRRFFLLM” Arpaio growls back. Trump places the ring on the still dazed Orly Taitz, grabs her, and bends her backward with a passionate kiss. The crowd goes berserk. Arpaio let’s out a hearty “YEE-HAW” and fires another volley of shots into the ceiling, this time using two six-shooters, one in each hand.

“Oh yes,” Trump says.. finally prying his lips off his new fiance, as she stands dazed.. lipstick smeared all over her face. Trump pulls out the birth certificate again. “FAKE!” Someone in the crowd shouts. Trump hears this and smiles, nodding approvingly. His face in a smug, sneering grin.. bottom lip jutting out and curled downward. “FAKE! FAKE FAKE! FAKE” the crowd begins to chant in unison. Trump smiles and nods, his face still contorted in a gargoyle-like expression. “FA-KUH, FA-KUH, FA-KUH, FA-KUH” Trump bellows into the microphone, lurching over the podium like a hunchback, over-emphasizing the “K” sound in the word “fake” for some hitherto unknown reason. Orly Taitz is staring hauntingly into the distance, about 30 degrees from the focus of the camera.

Finally, as the crowd loses the rhythm of their chant and descends into random cheering, Trump exits the podium, clasping his hands together as if he has just won something. He turns and grabs his bride to be, who is still staring at some unseen distraction, in a very far off place. The new lovers depart, and the crowd catches their breath.

During the segue, a curtain lifts and Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock step forward, guitars on hand. There is no band and their instruments are not plugged in. They seem to be lip synching.

 

 

THAT OBAMA IS A MUSLIIIIIIIMMMMM! LET’S GO AND GET A LYNCH PARTYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!” Williams mouths into a non-existent microphone, to the tune of his Monday Night Football song… Kid Rock sways back and forth with glazed eyes.. he seems to be playing a completely different song. The artists leave the stage, vocals still blaring out over the PA although no one appears to be signing. The crowd delights. Clapping to try to keep rhythm but failing.

Next a wormy older gentlemen with thick glasses and a turkey neck shuffles out. It is Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

 

 

The crowd gives muted applause. McConnell is a mild-mannered fellow, and the crowd wants more action. He arrives at the podium, stares silently into the crowd for a few moments, then raises a shaky arm and points to the monitors above, reminiscent of the Ghost of Christmas Future directing Scrooge to his gravestone. A clip from the Republican primary debates plays, in which Wolf Blitzer asks then GOP candidate Ron Paul:

“But, Congressman, are you saying the society should just let him die?” in response to a question about a seriously ill 30 year old working man without insurance. The crowd boos at Blitzer’s question.

McConnell turns back to the crowd. He has a wild look in his eye. He begins to tremble, his teeth gritting, his face turning red. “Let….him….die” McConnell barks, seemingly forcing the words out through his clenched teeth. He begins to shake more noticeably. A few muted cheers arise from the crowd. “Let…him….die” he repeats, seemingly swelling with anger, a bony finger pointing in the direction of the now blank monitors. The crowd begins to join in with the chant. “Let..him..DIE” McConnell says.. emphasizing the word “die” more vociferously with each repeated phrase. The crowd begins chanting louder, in unison.

“Let him DIE! Let him DIE! Let him DIE!!” McConnell’s head is now jerking forward violently with each mention of the word “die.” His glasses begin to slip down his nose.. the entire crowd is now shouting the phrase in perfect synchronization. Their fists pumping into the air. “Let him DIE! Let him DIE Let him DIE!” McConnell spits out, running the words of faster and louder.. his head violently jerking forward with each incantation of the word “die,” appearing as though his head may fly right off his neck and into the crowd. A man raises his small child into the air, bobbing him up and down in rhythm with McConnell’s shouts. The child is crying inconsolably.

Suddenly.. he stops. He freezes and his eyes grow as wide as saucers. The crowd stops chanting amid the confusion. He stands in places, vibrates uncontrollably, and falls over onto the stage floor. The crowd gasps in horror. Three men in suits rush to his aid. The crowd stands up to get a better look at the situation. One of the men checks his vitals, looks at the crowd, and gives the thumbs up. “He’s OK!” the man shouts. The crowd cheers wildly. The men drag McConnell off the stage, his passed-out expressionless face toward the crowd. His pants bunch up as he’s dragged across the floor by his arms.. revealing socks too short, exposing his ankles and calves.

Next the lights dim… The sounds of a motorcycle is heard revving its engine offstage. “Born to Be Wild” begins to blare over the PA.  A heavy set man rides out on a Harley. He is wearing a leather jacket and dark sunglasses. It is Rush Limbaugh. The crowd explodes.

 

 

Rush circles the podium with his motorcycle, chomping on his trademark cigar. The camera zooms to two middle-aged heavy-set women in the crowd. They are jumping up and down with delight, hugging each other and screaming as if seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. An elderly gentleman in a brown jacket with elbow pads is seen pumping his first triumphantly. The network anchors try to comment, but the din of the frenzied crowd and the music make it impossible to hear.

Rush parks the motorcycle. He removes his sunglasses and leather jacket. He steps to the podium. The crowd is still going wild. The lights dim slightly, temporarily quieting the crowd. Rush raises one eyebrow, much like “The Rock” during his wrestling days. He raises his head toward the monitors behind him with a quizzical look. The face of a young woman appears overhead. It is Sandra Fluke.

 

 

The crowd lets out a chorus of boos. A few hurl vegetables toward the screens. A cabbage is identified. Also a ripe tomato. Limbaugh grins in approval. He turns back to the crowd who quiet in anticipation of his remarks. He points his finger at fluke’s image on the screens while staring into the crowd. He begins to speak. “SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSLUT-” he growls, emphasizing the hard “T” at the end of the word. The crowd reacts with thunderous cheers. Rush leans back for a minute with a smug, victorious grin. Again he starts in: “SSSSSSSSSSlut…Slut…Slut…Slut” his eyes slowly gaze across the entire room as he repeats the term, his head nodding slowly to encourage the crowd to join him. They do.

“Slut! Slut! Slut! Slut!” the crowd shouts. Those who are not joining with the chant are cheering with unbridled enthusiasm. The camera focuses on a 40-something woman with curly blonde hair. Her fists are clenched as she looks into the air. She is crying tears of unadulterated joy. “YESSSS!!! YESSSSSS!!” the woman is shouting into sky, as if thanking a deity for her fondest wish coming true.

The audience has now begun to transform. Primal forces begin to take hold. They more resemble a pack of wild animals than Republicans. Some are seen punching each other in the face. Others are attempting to strangle each other. Security does not intervene. Due to an edict from the Governor and the NRA, many of these people are armed. For now, the skirmishes are contained to weaponless hand-to-hand combat.

As Rush continues to rant his one-word diatribe, he too, like McConnell, is getting louder and more animated with each pass. He is feeding off the intensity of the crowd. His eyes widen. He is sweating profusely. He begins to shout with wild gesticulations of his arms. “SLUT!SLUT!SLUT!SLUT!” He seems almost possessed. The crowd begins to quiet down. The men who were previously punching each other stop with their fists still cocked.. they lower them slowly as their eyes are now fixed to the stage. Everyone is concerned.

Rush doubles over, holding the podium to keep from falling. He is hyperventilating, wheezing, and gasping for breath. The crowd again gasps.. fearing their beloved Rush may have over-exerted himself. He slowly regains his composure, straightens himself up, and looks into the crowd defiantly. He leans over the podium, points a stern finger at Fluke’s image still displayed overhead and says, powerfully one last time, “SLUT.” The crowd roars.

“Born to Be Wild” again begins to play. Rush puts his jacket and sunglasses back on. Takes out a new cigar, lights it, and triumphantly rides off stage. Everyone thinks this is the climax of the evening.. but they are wrong.

Another parade of guests come in and out.. Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Allen West, Peter King, and Michele Bachman all come out together to videos of 9/11. They talk about Islamic extremism, gays, and Communism, Communism, gays, and Islamic extremism, and how they plan to root out all sympathizers of each cause, which West muses number in the “hundreds of thousands” within Congress. No one on stage stops to question his dubious math.

 

 

Finally, with the crowd nearly spent, ammunition running low (literally), and many members injured from physical exertion and the uncontrollable urge to fight one another.. the lights again dim and a booming voice comes over the PA.

Ladiiiieeeeees… and Gentlemen… the moment you’ve been waiting for…” A deflated sigh comes from the audience.. as they anticipate the arrival of the man they least wanted to see.. the GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“The man of the hour…… your next Vice President of the United States..” The crowd perks up… “Congressman Paul Ryan!!”

Bombastic cheers. A brass band begins to play what sounds suspiciously like Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh.” Congressman Ryan walks out, with a laid-back half-smile, in a seemingly dull navy blue suit..

He arrives at the podium and scans the crowd. He smiles blankly into the crowd for several moments.  Suddenly, disco lights overtake the room, Usher’s “Scream” begins to play at thunderous decibels..

Ryan steps out from behind the podium, and rips off his suit like a birthday telegram stripper, revealing a cut off workout shirt and skin-tight shorts.

 

 

Pandemonium ensues. Women in the crowd are shown swooning, some faint. Ryan begins engaging in a P90X kickboxing routine as the music blares and the multicolored lights beam and stir all over the room.

The cameras are in a frenzy, unable to keep up.. a close up of a man reveals he is having convulsions, but still standing. Two middle-aged women are pulling each other’s hair in what seems to be a life-and-death struggle, per their expressions. An attractive 30-something woman becomes overwhelmed with excitement and begins vomiting uncontrollably.

Another round of gunfire is discharged into the ceiling by those in the audience who are armed. Joe Arpaio’s horse comes galloping onto the stage, as the sheriff rides in, both guns shooting wildly into the sky, shouting: “FLARRRGGGLEGARLMPHP!” His shots strike a light fixture which comes crashing down onto the front of the stage. Ryan does not break stride and keeps going with his workout routine, his smile beaming throughout the room.

Someone runs in front of the camera with their arms waving frantically. For some reason, their hair is on fire. The signal to the TV begins to break up. Someone is hitting the camera with a sledgehammer. There are sounds of carnivorous animals attacking people, that the remaining working camera struggle to find the source of.

Very soon, all camera transmissions are lost, and all networks go back to their studios where fumbling anchors attempt in vain to explain the situation. All except Fox News, where a very serious Britt Hume stares into the camera and declares:

“Ladies and gentlemen… what you have witnessed tonight…” He pauses as the emotion of the moment has caused him to choke up. “Was the greatest Republican National Convention… of all time.” A single tear gently descends down his jowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Did they forget to introduce Romney?” An unseen voice in the background asks.

How ugly will it get?


Believe it or not, it all might depend on whether the “Tea Party” wants to just watch and sip tea (kinda metaphorically), whether this grass-rootsyish (although totally corporate-backed) “movement” is all spent form their 15 minutes of pseudo-fame, or whether all that Obama/socialist-hatin’ fire and rhetoric still burns hot enough to organize and throw their weight behind a candidate. Well, here’s the rub. They hate Romney (for 101 reasons before they even get to the Mormon thing). Even more than John McCain. Probably nearly as much as Obama. They are not all that wild about Newt and his 3 necks, 3 wives, and numerous ethics problems when he was S.O.T.H. Sure, they like Santorum, last standing in the wingnut bible-thumpin’ ultra-right club..but most are savvy enough to realize he couldn’t win a race for dog catcher in a rigged election. How about Ron Paul the…isolationist? errr.. no. So what to do if you’re a frothing hard-right malcontent all fired up and pissed off that they took our jerbs?!

Good question. Well, it hasn’t been a good few months for the Tea Party and their ilk. The whole Komen Foundation/PPOA debacle blew up in their faces like a drunk frat boy acting on a dare with a roman candle. Ok, that wasn’t a TP (that’s for Tea Party) sponsored thing per se, but it’s borne of the same beast. Then there’s TP sweetheart Christine O’Donell, whose PAC is all but broke. Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry were TP darlings but are now none too popular, even in their home states, after their failed presidential runs.

The more the hard-right power grabs, the more moderates and right-leaning dems, who have been fleeing from Obama in droves from about mid-2009 due to unrealistically rosy predictions about the pace of the economic “recovery,” (if that’s actually a thing), are turned off. The eventual GOP nominee needs the independents to win, plain and simple. Moreover, the GOP has benefited greatly by left-wing malaise, much in the way many conservatives sat out 2008, beaten down by 8 years of Cheney/Bush, and none too excited about McCain/Pain..err.. Palin. Hard right incursions into privacy, the availability of contraception, self-defeating ultra hard-line stands on immigration, and the never-ending fight to criminalize abortion are waking the sleeping giant that was/is the Obama/Democratic ground game.

The latest polls are increasingly painting a better picture for Obama, and a bleaker picture for any potential GOP contender. The economy does seem to be gaining some traction, finally, and GOP attempts at stonewalling have been met with furious opposition from constituents. Wahh.. Such is the danger of laying everything wrong with the country at the feet of the incumbent. It worked with Bush, because in late 2008, everything was shitty and turning shittier by the hour. Namely, the economy. And today, the economy still sucks, but is apparently trending in the right direction. The stock market is robust, we’re more or less out of Iraq, there’s end in sight for Afghanistan, and oh yea.. Obama gave the order to kill that Bin Laden guy. Yes, shit with Iran is getting scary, and Obama is damned if he does or doesn’t on that front. Still only traditional, generic “Dems are weak on defense” lines will be of any potential value, since Bin Laden, bombing Lybia, and strong rhetoric with Egypt and Syria have not left a lot of exposed flank where any Dem. presidential candidate would usually be vulnerable. Typical hawkish lines will work with the entrenched conservative crowd, not so much with moderates and centrist Dems, who, if anything think Obama may be too involved in foreign military adventures.

So, where can they hit Obama, how effective will it be, and most importantly, who’s the guy? Well, let’s back up a bit and once again talk about the TP. While my conservative friends gleefully trumpeted Obama’s sagging poll numbers and got excited over the TP, as if it really was a grass-roots movement of a majority of centrist Americans all pissed off about Obamacare and socialism and terking our jerbs!, those of us who were a little more objective tried to warn them that.. umm… yea, that’s not really what’s happening here. I’ve seen this crowd before. It’s the lady who torpedoed the already flailing McCain campaign on national TV telling him she’s worried that Obama’s an “A-Rab.” It’s the frothing anti-abortion crowd that shows up to completely unrelated stuff like marathons and breast cancer walks (understand why now?) It’s the hard-right theocrats who don’t understand why the Ten Commandments shouldn’t be in every classroom and the King James Bible shouldn’t be required reading in every public school. It’s Orly Taitz and the birthers, whose latest attempt at proving Obama’s not eligible to be president was pretty much literally laughed out of court by a judge in freakin’ red-ass state Georgia. Also, yea, it’s umm.. not so much grass roots as cash roots… funded and inflamed by those who gain financially from the rhetoric and rancor.

Herein lies the problem. The GOP nominee, whomever it is, is gonna need the TP, or whatever smoldering ruins are left of that movement. Elections are decided when the middle decides to lean to one side, and the base is motivated. Much like my liberal friends made the mistake of assuming the entire goddamned country took a huge ideological shift to the left when Obama got elected, the political right also incorrectly assumed the country had a huge case of buyer’s remorse, and were really actually somewhere to the right of Jesse Helms, just waiting to unleash all kinds of hard-right whup-ass on Washington. Well, no, sorry.. you were wrong too. The far ideological left and right continue their flawed notion that the majority of Americans are on their side, for whatever reason. And let’s be honest.. what passes for the conservative “base” at this point.. well, it’s not exactly attracting lots of moderates.

So where does the “ugly” part come in? Well, if we look past what’s already been established – like Newt’s way with the ladies, Mitt’s history of animal cruelty, Ron Paul’s nutty racist rants, and Santorum’s belief that homosexuals are on par with those who commit bestiality, there’s this stark reality: Should this battle carry on into the summer, the remaining GOP candidates, and this has to make any remaining non-rabid ideologue Republican strategists shudder, will have no choice but to go all in and pander as hard as they can to the conservative base. These guys. Oy… vey..