Thursday, November 08, 2012


Look, it's fine to think you're right. What's not fine is thinking that you can't possibly be wrong because the people who'd have to be right if you're wrong are people for whom you have contempt. It's not fine to continue to have 100% certainty that you're right when evidence mounts that you're wrong, evidence you dismiss precisely because you don't trust any source that questions what you're doing, until your definition of a truth-teller is anyone who tells you what you want to hear.

That was the problem of the Bush administration in Iraq as everything fell apart. That was the problem of Romneyworld in this election:

Multiple Romney sources buzzed about one number in particular: 15 percent. According to exit polls, that's the share of African-Americans who voted in Ohio this year. In 2008, the black percentage of the electorate was 11 percent. In Virginia and Florida, exit polls showed the same share of African-Americans turned out as four years ago, something that GOP turnout models did not anticipate.

"We didn't think they'd turn out more of their base vote than they did in 2008, but they smoked us," said one Romney operative. "It's unbelievable that that they turned out more from the African-American community than in 2008. Somehow they got 'em to vote."
New York Times:
The power of [the Obama turnout] operation stunned Mr. Romney's aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla. "It's one thing to say you are going to do it; it’s another thing to actually get out there and do it," said Brian Jones, a senior adviser.
Dick Morris, explaining a belief that was shared by the entire cockeyed-optimist pro-Romney pundit class:
The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to "normal" levels. Didn't happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics....

I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008. I was wrong. They did.
These people knew the Obama campaign was good. Did they make no allowances for the very real possibility that the Obamaites were really, really good? They knew the polls were against them in the swing states. Did they not even admit that it was possible the polls, in the aggregate, were correct? They knew the country's demographic changes weren't temporary, for crissake. Were they really thinking more or less what Jon Stewart said (in a Dick Morris voice) last night?
"I thought the minorities who voted in 2008 would have disappeared by now. I thought maybe they would return to their home planets, or reach their expiration date, dissolved into whatever minorities are made of, or something. But it turns out they still exist in human form."
As in Iraq under Bush, the enemy was non-white -- so of course it would be silly to think they could do serious harm to obviously superior white Republican patriots. And as in the case of Iraq, the people in the political world who expressed doubts about the Republicans' strategy were dirty liberals and the hated MSM; no amount of evidence they might amass could possibly mean anything, right?

Romney HQ (and the Fox News building) were the Green Zone of this decade.


Victor said...

Not to insult Godwin and his "Law," but these Conservatives are the same as the Germans under Hitler.
He told them that those untermenschen Slav's couldn't possibly beat the ubermenschen Aryan military.
And so Goebbels (Rove/Morris) told them, and so the German people believed, right up until someone speaking Russian broke down their door, or the artillery shell took out Uncle Otto and the cow in the barn.

Chris Andersen said...

"What's not fine is thinking that you can't possibly be wrong because the people who'd have to be right if you're wrong are people for whom you have contempt."

Oh man do I know that feeling well. I suffered Lewinsky denial for several months in 1997 simply because I considered the sources of the accusations to be entirely contemptable.

They were. But they were also (somewhat) right.

Re: Obama's campaign team. What happens to it now? I'd hate to see an organization as strong as OFA simply fade into the woodwork. The Democrats need it in 2014 and 2016.

Palli said...

I am sorry to bring this up to dampen our conversation. This talk about expecting the minority turnout is a stupid, ethnocentric, telltale spin. They say (as they "electronically programmed" election results) they didn't think there would be an increase in minority voters. Why? It takes an immense degree of racist arrogance for Rovian republicans to believe that they could heap abuse (with words and deeds) on the President of the United States for 4 years without nurturing more democratic voters this year? All those photoshopped pictures of the President in a loin cloth with a bone through his nose or calling the First Lady a whore were all harmless gags?
Add that to the issues and, of course, turnout grew.

In the privacy of the voting screen, I bet even the few African Americans republicans and thousands of republican women voted for a second term-though republican voters would be the easiest ones to electronically program without detection.

When will we insist on honest and fair elections?

Danp said...

They might have overestimated the role of Acorn and the New Black Panthers, even as they tried to emulate them.

Unknown said...

I can forgive someone for not thinking that MORE black voters would turn out this year than in '08. (Although ignoring polls that say so is still completely stupid.)

But to think they'd "recede"? What possible reason would you have for thinking that?

"These people knew the Obama campaign was good. Did they make no allowances for the very real possibility that the Obamaites were really, really good?"

Of course they didn't. They didn't even know the Obamaites were good. They've spent four years telling each other Obama is a stupid, teleprompter-led affirmative-action case who isn't even really American (or if he is, he isn't "really" American, which is TOTALLY not a racist thing to say) and he "became President" (they would never say he WON the ELECTION) because America thought it'd be cool to have a black guy and because the financial crisis "happened" (for no reason whatsoever, just randomly) so people figured it was time to give the other party a chance.

They turned on Fox News every day to hear about how the president was failing at everything he touched, probably because he doesn't understand America at all (again, how DARE you suggest there's anything racist about that).

It was simply unpossible to admit, let alone plan for, the possibility that he or anyone connected with him had the slightest clue what they were doing.

: smintheus :: said...

Gives them too much credit to compare them to Bushies living in the Green Zone. The tone of Republicans sounded more like Baghdad Bob.

Never Ben Better said...

As I said over at P.M. Carpenter's blog:

Ah, but when one looks upon blacks and Latinos as fundamentally lazy, criminal moocher inferiors who won't lift a finger without government assistance, it's impossible to foresee any reaction to one's actions that doesn't fit snugly within the caricature.

Lex Alexander said...

Hey, guys, remember how the Republicans were gonna swamp the Democrats at the polls this year because of this super-sophisticated turnout system created by Ralph Reed of Christian Coalition and Indian-casino lobbying fame?

Reed's a grifter. And the Iron Law of Grifting is that grifters are gonna grift.