Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Obama supporters are savoring good poll numbers right now. We're also laughing at the "unskewed polls" movement, which argues that all the poll results favorable to Obama are the result of oversampling of Democrats motivated by liberal media bias; this movement has many prominent supporters on the right, and its arguments are taken at least somewhat seriously by seemingly respectable conservatives.

On the other hand, there's the concern Zandar expressed in my comments:
Steve, we know this whole THE POLLS ARE SKEWED nonsense is Step 1 to de-legitimizing Obama's second term, right?

Step 2 is after Obama wins, the "conspiracy" is PROOF HE STOLE THE ELECTION and stuff.

Step 3 from the playbook is WE MUST IMPEACH of course. And if the media doesn't at that point play along with the "Well, the President's critics may have a point" they're in the tank for Obama....
I think there's a lot of truth to that, with a couple of caveats.

If the election is close, I think there's going to be a lot of shouting about Democratic voter fraud. If it isn't, I think there'll be some shouting, but it'll mostly be heard in the fever swamps -- voter-fraud allegations won't be taken mainstream; there won't be serious attempts to contest any states' results.

Which doesn't mean Republicans will acknowledge the results as legitimate.

See, they don't have to allege actual funny business in the voting to say that Obama should have lost. They can also say that Obama would have lost if the media hadn't been in the tank for him. Then they don't have to scour the nation for allegedly dead voters and allegedly dubious vote totals. And the margin of victory doesn't matter -- Obama could win by 8 or 9 points and keep Romney to under 200 electoral votes and they can still say the results aren't legit, because the public was brainwashed.

Consider this open letter from Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council, and co-signed by the likes of Laura Ingraham, Gary Bauer, Ed Meese, and Congressman Louis Gohmert:
This election year, so much of the broadcast networks, their cable counterparts, and the major establishment print media are out of control with a deliberate and unmistakable leftist agenda. To put it bluntly: you are rigging this election and taking sides in order to pre-determine the outcome. In the quarter century since the Media Research Center was established to document liberal media bias, there has never been a more brazen and complete attempt by the liberal so-called "news" media to decide the outcome of an election....
So that's how the right is going to keep the crazy base angry; that's an argument even "respectable" right-wingers can peddle.

And toward what end? Support for impeachment? Maybe, maybe not. Short of that, the right can try to turn Obama's second term into a rerun of his first: all GOP stonewalling all the time, backed up by angry base-heads marching in the streets, perhaps under the Tea Party banner yet again.

That, I think, is what we're seeing the groundwork for. The right is starting early. I'm not sure it will be taken seriously this time, but it will be seriously attempted.

The right will never yield. The right must be decisively rebuffed.


Scott Peterson said...

Being optimistic but not nutty insane for a moment: say Obama wins, the Dems retake the House and keep the Senate--all three are not likely, perhaps, but are currently plausible. What do you think the chances are that Obama and Reid have really truly learned from the past four years and reform the filibuster and actually pass the kinds of legislation they theoretically believe in? I mean, hopefully they've finally realized what most of us did years ago, no? that there's little point in trying to get a good faith agreement out of the likes of Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor, so why even try, if you've got majorities?

Steve M. said...

Reid has seemed pretty feisty lately. I think he really might go for filibuster reform if Dems hold the Senate. And I think Obama understands how little opportunity there is for bipartisanship lot better than he did four years ago (though his "fever will break" prediction about the results of a Democratic win seems disturbingly optimistic).

Victor said...

Reid and Obama had better stand up to the insanity.

And yes, the Conservatives will bitch and whine about how everything's so unfair - it's what they do.
It's all they've got.

Da fever ain't gonna break

They'll double-down on the insanity.

If they control the House, they will look to impeach - Issa will make Boehner pull some bull*t reason out of his tanned ass.

And if the election is close, I expect some violence that night, and for the few days following. And THAT may wake some of the "both sides do it" morons in the MSM.

BH said...

My prediction is that as long as Barack Obama is not Caucasian, the right will never acknowledge the legitimacy of his election or re-election.

Steve M. said...

I firmly believe they would have done this to Hillary, too. Once the delegate math had effectively eliminated her they pretended to like her (in an effort to divide Democrats), but they would have red-baited and "bitch"-baited her quite nastily if she'd beaten Obama in '08 (and ever since).

White Hat said...

Like Victor sez, it's all they got.

At least until they come up with an honest-to-gosh party platform that has a chance of winning elections. The insanity knob is already at 11. Why even try to crank it further when they could re-tool the party with less effort, less money and more real hope of success?

The real GOP insiders are creeps, but they're not dumb creeps. Kingmakers like Karl Rove need a viable product to sell. The opinionators/entertainers don't set policy, they echo it. The sellers set policy, not the salesmen.

Palli said...

They don't have to win the Presidency- they just have to prevent an Obama Mandate- again.

Kathy said...

I'm going to go all conspiracy theory here and posit that the "polls are wrong" meme is setting up an effort to steal the election. If it works, conservatives will say, "See, we told you the polls were wrong."

Tbone said...

Without a doubt. They do this to every Democrat. Anytime a dem wins, it can never be because the voter liked the D better - because real muricans are conservative, and how could a real murican vote for a Democrat? Conservativism can never be failed!

How bout how al franken stole his election?

Scott Peterson said...

I cannot help but hope that the "fever will break" sentiment is just good politicking and not an actual expectation of his. If Nancy Smash gets the gavel back, I suspect she'll encourage Obama and Reid to do a full court press on Democratic policies. I'm trying hard not to dream of what a Manhattan Project-like slate of liberal policies could do for this country, if they really went for it.

The Thought Criminal said...

Democrats should never have accepted the FOX-Bush Family-corporate media putsch of 2000. And Democrats at all levels of the government should have used the disaster as a means of blocking everything until the most basic act of government, The Vote, was repaired and working.

If, by some chance, Democrats regain control of the government, through the re-institution of real filibusters in the broken Senate, we will have to force them to force repair of the election machinery and to throw the billionaire oligarchs out of it.

trnc said...

This is probably wishful thinking, but there's also the media side of it. The wingnuts couldn't have gotten where they are without MSM help, and I think some people in the non-Fox media may actually be getting tired of being used as a punching bag by the same whose agenda they're advancing. IE, the teabaggers may have really jumped the shark.

The Omnicritic said...

Don't forget the Unions. The Unions are buying the election for Obama. I know it's true, I read it on Facebook.