Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Sinking Ship

Growing up, my family discussed (and still discusses) politics nonstop.  To the uninitiated, the whole thing can be intimidating - we throw out facts and figures, discuss major issues of the day, and editorialize on things we know nothing about.  Anyway, I remember once, during a Presidential campaign going south (I think it was Bob Dole in 1996), my father saying that the race was over, but what was left was to protect the House of Representatives.  Unfortunately for the Republican Party, I think that's what's going on now.  The Professional Republican elite - those individuals who actually make money off of politics - have written off Mitt Romney, and now expect he's going to lose.

Hence - Chaos on Bullshit Mountain

All this craziness, all this fighting, has nothing to do with Mitt - if he wins, he wins, but right now, he's more unpopular than any Presidential candidate in recent (since 1988) memory.  Democratic voters, smelling a good ole fashioned ass kicking (and really, who doesn't love an ass kicking), are now starting to pay attention.  Republicans, meanwhile, are on the verge of being discouraged.  And discouraged voters don't vote, or don't tell their friends, family and neighbors to vote.  

What's more, the kind of anger and distrust of the nominee has a tendency to splash on the down-ticket races.  Which is why you won't see Mitt Romney campaigning a lot with candidates for other offices.  Of course, that further discourages the base.  Next thing you know, its a wave election, and the Democrats take the House of Representatives.  

So, to prevent this from happening, the GOP has to go all out.  Now, the Democrats could still self-destruct, but so can (and probably will) Romney.  But keep this in mind over the next few weeks - we are going to see Bullshit Mountain get even bigger.


  1. Hi Jim, good post. I dont disagree that the Romney campaign is pretty lackluster and generally sucking right now.

    However as someone who is interested in politics but generally disdainful of "party" politics (and therefore not emotionally invested in supporting one party or the other) I feel I have a somewhat detached perspective - and what I think is interesting is that all the "common wisdom" and group think out there right now is that the Romney campaign is sputtering, he is in free-fall, he's the most unpopular candidate ever, etc. etc.; yet in the polls he is relatively even or at least very close to Obama.

    If I were a Democrat, that would worry me. It seems to be setting up to be the type of thing where everyone is knocking him, everyone is pointing out how "its over", leaving open the classic "unbelievable" comeback. Its almost like in a football game where one team completely outplayed the other in the first half; everything went wrong for the losing team and the winning team dominated every facet of the game...yet the score at the half is still close and the leading team hasnt blown open the game. Im always scared when my team is the leading team in those situations, because everything went right for them, yet the score is still close.

  2. Well, Obama is over 50% in most polls, which is pretty good. Very few Presidential races are decided by more than 10% of the vote. Moreover, there are quite a few people out there, who President Obama would never write off (but I am), who will never accept President Obama as their President. Some do so because of racial animus, but most are simply swept up in the polarization of our times. So, the reality is that no matter how bad Romney does, he will get at least 40%-45% of the vote.

    By the way, this argument is different than Romney's 47% crack because aside from the racism, I'm not subscribing any particular view to them. At best the racist group makes up maybe 20% of the electorate (and even that is high). Also, Obama has tried, and keeps trying to reach out to those folks. But I digress. . .

    What I mean to say is that, at best, there is 15% of the vote up for grabs in any Presidential election. Right now, it looks like Obama is getting the lion's share, but the polls are a bit as no one knows who will vote and who won't (and poor Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight is about to have a nervous breakdown). Add to that problem that the polls which occurred after the 47% crack haven't been released yet, and then the differing methodologies and . . .who the hell knows.

  3. I saw somewhere that Reagan was down 8% points to Carter in October going into the debates. We all know how that turned out.

    Clearly Obama has the momentum, and the numbers, right now; but I think Obama is getting a lot more credit, and a lot more overconfidence from his supporters and the media (due to Romneys self-inflicted wounds) than he actually deserves. If Romney does well in the debates, everything could change and the narrative could swing from "Obama in a rout" to a big comeback from Romney.