Slant Right's conservative John Houk has hopey changey feelings toward Congressman Allen West. He dreams innocent dreams of a recount. Could happen. Here's the punchline: "This has Pelosi and the Democrats in a total panic." Yeah, that'd just ruin the entire election for us.
Conservative James Wigderson defends, after a fashion, pre-election disagreement with Nate Silver. Critics who went after Silver's methodology weren't necessarily waging an attack on Math. True, in a distant hypothetical sort of sense. But unaddressed in this piece by the thoughtful, as usual, James Wigderson is that Silver was not simply confronted with disagreements, but also with criticism that mutated to challenge, then angry and bitter attack. Those attacks Silver were what is referenced as attacks on arithmetic. My pre-election take on the controversy is here.
Julian Sanchez suggests that there is a legitimate reason for conservative defiance against reality as the election approached. A cheerleader at a pep rally does not exhilarate a crowd with icy cold analysis. There was logic to the lack of logic, mindful purpose behind the lack of reason.
The Heathen Republican goes confessional with a gracious acknowledgement that his hopeful predictions didn't come true. He generously names me as one who was right about the accuracy of mainstream polling. Alas, he gives me more credit than I deserve. While I was cautiously optimistic, I was mostly just less courageous than was he. I don't know that a chicken-like approach is always best. Perhaps I can find it in myself to follow Heathen's excellent example in the future. Taking a bold stand means taking, along with it, the risk of being wrong.
Infidel 753 begins his election review with two dramatic photos, then 24 iterations of "GLOAT" in Jack Nicholson's "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" style. I suppose he has the right since he had posted a host of correct predictions. Did I mention that I was cautiously optimistic?
Kent Pittman, writing from Open Salon ran an election day experiment with photo ID. Seems he wasn't the only one. A couple of Republican operatives in separate states decided to prove that voter fraud is really easy. They were caught and face serious prison time. Kind of explains why voter fraud pretty much never happens. Too easy to get caught. High price to pay. Little potential benefit. It's easier and safer to steal an election by some variant of stuffing the ballot box after polls close and voters are gone.
Dave Dubya does a little speculative mind reading during the Romney concession speech, telling us what Governor Romney was thinking while he spoke. I enjoy the ESP side of life, although I'd guess Dave Dubya knew I was going to say that.
Prosecutor: Doctor, can you give the Court your impression of Mr. Striker?
Dr. Stone: I'm sorry. I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry.
Max's Dad does impressions.
Several denominations, mine included, devote a day each year to those of the faithful who left this world. At Why do we have to do this, Sir? our favorite erstwhile spiritual leader is back (YAY-Y-Y-Y). He devotes this past week's All Saints Day to death as a part of spiritual life.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, reviews his personal experience with folks from whom he draws inspiration as they live daily lives of quiet heroism. Worth the read, just to inspire similar awareness of those around us.
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Thanks you so much for giving me a shout out. I can't say that I'm back, but I just felt the need to say something. You keep doing that voodoo that you do so well!
The first one, seems to me, is an obvious point, or at least should be. The role of any writer should not be as a cheerleader for a particular partisan cause. Instead, the writer's responsibility is to describe what the writer sees. If I see a particular candidate is going to lose, I cannot turn to my audience and say otherwise. Then I move from being a writer to a propagandist.
For example, no inducement was possible, save for an extended stay in Orwell's room 101, for me to say Chad Lee was capable of defeating Mark Pocan for Congress in the Madison area.
(I did have lunch with a local liberal blogger who regularly casts races as the local Democratic David ready to slay the GOP Goliath. I asked her if she's writing as a writer or as a Democrat. She told me she was writing as a Democrat, which told me all I needed to know.)
If Sanchez truly believes that writers have an obligation to engage in such cheerleading, and if this is in any way typical of liberal punditry (I hope not), then honest debate is impossible.
The other assumption is that criticism of Silver's model and the polls could only be the result of self-interest (or group-interest) and not the result of an honest disagreement in the underlying assumptions and the possible failures of modern polling. Twenty years of political observation led me to believe that the underlying fundamentals of the economy, as Michael Barone put it, would lead to a failed re-election attempt. What we missed is the underlying fundamental that a significant percentage of those who thought the economy was the number one issue still blamed President Bush. Had more attention been paid to that factor, Romney might had had a concession speech prepared.
Are you prepared to admit then that Silver's predictions were purely mathematical or are you going to call this the world's greatest coincidence (again)?
Don't feel bad about not taking a firm stand on the election outcome. I did not either. In my case, as I suspect was the case in yours, it was not a lack of courage that motivated me, but the lack of a crystal ball. My mom has one I could have borrowed, but she worries that it is inhabited with demons. I worry that I would drop it and unwittingly become the antichrist.
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