Friday, January 08, 2016


If you write about politics, it's tempting to examine events that occur rarely and find patterns in those events that support your arguments. But if you're going to draw conclusions from small sample sizes, you should at least make sure that your conclusions seem plausible.

In other words, you shouldn't do what Peggy Noonan does here.

Noonan compares an attack on Marco Rubio by Chris Christie this week to a past attack in a Democratic nominating contest, then draws a conclusion about current Democrats that's, to put it mildly, dubious:
[Christie] called Mr. Rubio “a first-term United States senator who has never had a tough race.” He continued: “This guy’s been spoon-fed every victory he’s ever had in his life. That’s the kind of person that we want to put on stage against Hillary Clinton? I don’t think so. She’ll pat him on the head and then cut his heart out.” It was wonderfully colorful and malicious and reminded me of Sen. Bob Kerrey, who said of Bill Clinton in 1992 that he wouldn’t win in November because he hadn’t served in Vietnam: “He’s going to get opened up like a soft peanut.”
And now Noonan's conclusion:
Democratic presidential primaries in those days were fierce. They’re not anymore, because the new Democratic Party, the one of the progressive left, has only a single unifying principle: winning.
Let's see: It's true that the last Democratic contest wasn't fierce, but that was because an incumbent president was running for reelection and there was no contest at all, just the way there wasn't one on the GOP side in 2004. So if we're looking for a pattern, we can throw that one out.

Which was the Democratic contest before that? Hmm, let me think.... Oh, right -- it was in 2008, between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It involved low blows, accusations of racism, and threats to leave the party. It went on forever. It looked for a while as if it might tear the Democrats apart.

Sorry, Peg, you failed at pattern recognition.

Right-wingers love to imagine that Democrats and liberals gather in secret rooms and agree on foolproof plans for domination. It's tinfoil-hat thinking for respectable people. And meanwhile, Democrats can barely win an off-year election, and our relatively civilized primary against a party full of mad dogs still might not yield a winner this year. So even if there's some sort of furtive, mystical technique for conquest in the Protocols of the Elders of Progressivism, we're apparently not following it, Peggy.


Victor said...

Ah, Peg's,
Deep in the cups again!

Too bad there's no such thing as PWI - Pontificating While Intoxicated - because she'd have been in jail for decades, with decades more to serve.

She never got over her dream-lover, Ronald Reagan, being term-limited.
He should have been Maximus Emperator, for life - and then beyond!

biz5th said...

Can someone explain why a focus on selecting a candidate who can win is a bad thing?

Ten Bears said...

Right-wingers love to imagine that Democrats and liberals gather in secret rooms and agree on foolproof plans for domination.

I thought President Obama did a real nice job of slapping that canard out the window when that white bitch Andersen Cooper pulled out of its ass last night.

I wouldn't make jokes about the Protocols, there's more to that story than your white corporate drugs/media/education complex has conditioned the population to accept.

BKT said...

From a GOP perspective, biz5th, they see consideration of winning the general election (also known as showing reasonable moderation) as heresy. That's a Republican candidate's way flat-out admitting they aren't a true "Conservative."

Danny Lewis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aunt Snow said...

cute comedy show, Danny.

Ten Bears said...

That's no secret, been out for years.

Dark Avenger said...

Learn the one weird tip to prevent Obama from sending you and your family to a FEMA camp this year!

Unknown said...

D.A., some of us have got so way beyond desperate in terms of finding some place to take the kids from underfoot to off'n our hands, we'd a-welcome them FEMA camp pogrom with those wonderful pogrom leaders teaching r yungins all about gnu safetees and fire and duck stradgertees. We're o.kay even with having Obamacare on sight for the whole camp experience, so long as the pogrom leaders make clear how wrong it all is that socialist medicine is sucking the viper poison out of their calves and setting all their broken fourarms.