November 8, 2012, 4:28 am

Duty callsI tend to think that the “someone is wrong on the Internet” meme dominates too much discussion (wait, am I saying that people are wrong about people being wrong?), and so blogs become one long death march about failings, being disappointed, and other general wrongness. Having said that, there is some use in pointing out particular examples. So, perhaps, an aggregate post? Oh, okay.


The GOP evaluates its polling:

Exit polling data also showed that most people continue to blame George W. Bush for the country’s current economic condition. The President’s team was masterful in getting that message out over the last four years. Team Obama also used the abortion issue to their advantage (as Republicans have done in the past) and this helped drive up the base vote.

You mean people actually remembered who was at fault for the economic crash, and understood what the Republican position on abortion was? How remarkably shocking.


If only someone had printed the headline “Romney defeats Obama” to bookend Gallup’s epic polling fails in 1948 and 2012.


In the “Instant Gratification Addiction Makes People Crazy” category, the New York Times is here criticized for waiting 49 minutes after the networks to call Ohio (and thus the election) for Obama:

At the same time, people outside on my street were cheering. The New York Times did not project that Obama had won the election until 12:03 a.m…last night the paper was too slow to get in on the action, and readers who wanted a really good sense of how the election was unfolding had to turn to other sources.

Oh, eek. For three-quarters of an hour, the free world did not get the confirmation it needed from the paper of record.


In the “Is that really the only definition of ‘rational’ of which you can think?’ category, Andrew Gelman ruminates on the logic of voting and decides that yes, it could be rational, if you contemplate the lottery rewards of being the deciding vote. For Dr. Gelman, a test question that asks him to create several explicitly non-economic definitions of rationality that could be applied to the situation. Hint: contemplate the words ‘community’ ‘ethos’ and ‘values’ as a way of entering into the discussion.


Pundits often demand that the issues not only get discussed, but get discussed in *the manner of which they approve.* Apparently Lexington, of the Economist falls prey to this:

EXAMINED from close up, this has been a dismaying election. Too often the 2012 presidential campaign has thrown up large topics for debate—the role of government, the limits of welfare, or how to square globalisation with the American dream—only to argue about them in small ways. Too much stress has been laid on the candidates’ characters, life stories or personal good faith. Too little has been laid on the feasibility of their policies.

By my listing, in this election, the following issues were important, discussed in some form or another, and separated the two parties: the role of government in the United States, the shape of one of America’s most crucial institutions (marriage), the drug war, America’s place and role in the world, how the US should treat its allies (Israel) and its enemies (Iran), what the government should do in response to crisis, and should the government focus on debt or on economic stimulation.

I’d hate to see what Lexington considers large issues if those were the “small” ones.


And then in the epics of cluelessness comes the National Review editorial, from just before the election, entitled “Crush Them”:

Conservatives have a rare opportunity tomorrow to do something they signally failed to do in the landslide elections of 1972 and 1984: finish the job….It’s not enough for the GOP to win tomorrow. It needs to win big, a win so convincing that even the Left won’t be able to explain it away. The definition of victory in war is not a 50.1 percent majority that allows the other side to keep fighting — it’s the battleship Missouri, on whose deck the losing side signs articles of capitulation. The modern Left — the unholy spawn of ’30s gangland and ’60s academic Marxism — must be forced to its knees in surrender.

Karl Rove would be proud, but he’s still too busy arguing with his own network over which way Ohio is going.

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