Just another guy on the election

I did have these thoughts in the last 18 hours, and this is as good a place as any to collect them together.  A number of them were tweeted by me.  They’re just here now, is all I’m saying.  Just going to write them down just like this:

  • Early voting… extended voting… email / fax voting… no ID’s required… any-district-will-do…. Elections are completely random.
  • Is an Obama poster — or hat, or t-shirt — really going to affect anyone’s vote? I don’t think so.
  • I don’t hardly watch TV, but, being disgusted by the Democratic Party official media, tried streaming  Fox last night. Is it always so amateurish? I couldn’t believe how hideous their offering was.  Sample:  “”What advice do you have, Gov. Huckabee, to people whose candidate loses tonight?” It was like watching a high school production.
  • Don’t blame the mainstream media.  They’re biased, they’re crooked, they’re on the make, but it’s 2012, and there’s no need to rely on them to get out information or to remedy mis- or disinformation.  I’m not saying this doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t decide the election.
  • Don’t tell me Romney was too moderate to win.  He ran a fundamentally conservative campaign.  He didn’t lose Ohio and Pennsylvania because he wasn’t conservative enough.  He lost because he was conservative.
  • Don’t tell me Romney was, in fact, anything but a very, very good candidate.  Anyone can second-guess and tear down the “gaffes”and errors in a campaign, but most concepts of ideal candidates are based on fantasy, not reality.  This guy is smart, principled and very, very able.  Most of us have never even met someone of his caliber.
  • The vilification of Mitt Romney by the left, though entirely a matter of course in politics now, is inexcusable, reprehensible, and very effective with a meaningful cadre of voters who cling to their own cartoonish concepts of good and evil in society.
  • His campaign also did a good job.  The voters weren’t buying, however.
  • Libertarians have a right to vote however they want to.  But when they do, they can’t pretend not to have some political “responsibility” for how that affects the candidate among the two major parties who is realistically a better match for them than the other guy.
  • The libertarian / traditional (or “cultural”) conservative rift, which I have written about for years, is getting worse, not better.
  • The smarm and self-righteousness, as well as the arrogance and intolerance, displayed by the left during these months is truly disgusting, and it’s a shame to see it rewarded this way.  I am astonished at how many of even the most sophisticated-seeming left-wingers have taught themselves how to respond to challenges to their point of view with soundbites and polemics rather than making any attempt whatsoever to engage those they disagree with.
  • The know-nothingism, thick-headedness, personal vilification and lack of intellectual rigor on the conservative side is appalling as well.  I think on a humane level they do not approach the left for venom.  But I’m very frustrated with the state of conservatism right now.
  • On a similar note, the streams of right-wing tweets last night vowing to support every possible form of opposition, enmity and political guerilla warfare against the Administration is pathetic.  I understand that there are issues that, being conservatives, we should and must disagree with Obama about.  But the idea that if he’s for it, we’re against it, is not conservatism as I understand it.  It’s a form of political nihilism and will, if it prevails, surely consign conservatism to the junk heap.  I don’t say that because I’m a moderate.  I say it because I’m a conservative.
  • Social media. Social media.  Oy.
  • There is no electorally meaningful Jewish vote and everyone should stop pretending to be surprised by this.  The “Jewish vote” is the “Democratic vote” because, other than orthodox Jews and a handful of right-wing Israel supporters who, if they’re so excited about all that, should just get up and move there and vote Likud already, the religion of the American Jews in the year 2012 is guilt-based liberalism.  And nothing — nothing — will stop them from assuaging their guilt over their success and prominence than voting for a black candidate, whether it’s David Dinkins or Barack Obama, regardless of the merits.  Nothing.
  • Blacks will vote for the black candidate no matter what, of course, thereby guaranteeing themselves eternal servitude the welfare state and to a Pavlovian response to resentment- and race-based politics.
  • As bad as that it is, it didn’t have to be that way for Latinos.  But it looks like it will be.
  • The cultural transformation of this country into Western Europe is inevitable.  This affects what will be regarded as cultural norms or consensus on everything from free enterprise, sexual mores and tolerance for dissent.  If there is a silent majority that does not approve of this change, their silence has spoken.
  • I don’t have a plan.  Can change in the direction I seek come about via the persona of a particularly magnificent conservative candidate?  Maybe, but I doubt it.
  • The main reason for that is that general entitlements and, frighteningly, government-employee looting, especially with respect to pensions, is dooming our economy and our tax system.
  • I blame George Bush.  I mean it, though.  He had a conservative moment and he blew it.  He could have used his period of power and control of Congress to make exactly the changes conservatives once claimed they wanted — reform of taxation, reform of immigration, some assertion of traditional cultural norms even, and did I mention fiscal responsibility?  He gave us none of that.  Why indeed should voters ever believe what conservatives promise?

I did eat a tremendous amount of pizza while thinking these thoughts, but I don’t think that explains them.

  • Scott

    Very good post. I mean it. The common wisdom is that a good, honest political post is one in which no one is spared and everyone’s sacred cows are slaughtered.

    You spared no one in this post.

    I too blame Bush. Even though I voted for the man and still think he did this country a lot of good I can’t deny he also did bad by this country. I mean, specifically, his explicit abandonment of even a moderate Free Market stance in order to “save it”. His wild spending, his massive increase in regulation, his bailouts….

    If we’d come from a truly limited (not necessarily small) Administration into Barack’s wild spending and regulating spree it would have been such a shock the electorate would have rejected him in 2012.

    I’ve been saying for years, even during Bush’s first term, that we’re on the road to a nation where parents don’t want their children to be doctor’s, engineers, businessmen and women; no, they want their child to work hard (at kissing butt) to get a good, stable government job.

    Soon those will be the only jobs with good pay or any security at all. And everyone will use anything at their disposal (Nepotism, cronyism, blackmail) to secure one for himself or his children.

    How pathetic we’ve become.

  • jaymaster

    Spot on, Ron!

    I’d also add that it’s now apparent that Catholics are following the path of the Jews.

    Here in PA, they stuck with tradition and voted mostly D.

    And they’ve been screwed by the administration as much, if not more, than Jews!

  • mikeca

    To me it seems that neither party actually had any new ideas. Romney seemed to be proposing going back to the economic policies of the Bush administration and Obama was asking for 4 more years to see his policies through.

    To me, Romney was clearly a better candidate then the others in the Republican primaries, but he seemed like the wrong candidate for our time. We have just lived through a world wide financial melt down caused by wide spread credit abuse. Romney became wealthy by making aggressive use of credit. To me Romney represents a lot of what is wrong with American business. Wall Street bankers and traders have found ways to funnel larger and larger percentages of the GDP into their pockets at the expense of American business. The result is American businesses are failing as Wall Street grows.

    The company I work for was on a list of possible leveraged buyout targets in the mid oughts. Why? Because it had a lot of cash. In 2008-9 when the credit markets froze up, and companies saw their credit lines pulled by banks, my company had no debt, no need for credit and could finance itself. There were no layoffs. If the private equity crowd had come in and bought the company, they would have taken all that cash and saddled the firm with debt. The company would have struggled in 2008-9. Fortunately, the company I work for is in a business private equity funds don’t understand very well, so they generally steer clear.

    For American business to thrive again, I think Wall Street has to shrink and be less profitable. Romney is clearly not the man for that job, but I don’t think Obama is either.

  • http://madisonforum.net/ Sandi

    We have just lived through a world wide financial melt down caused by wide spread credit abuse.

    And whose fault was that? None other than Dodd-Frank that designated “five banks as too big to fail” and gave them a “blank check.” It wasn’t too much oversite, it was the wrong kind of oversite. Oversite that encouraged bad loans, and guaranteed tax dollars to dispel risk. Loans to people who could not afford them in the first place, and loans that eventually caused the fall of Fannie Mae.

  • mikeca

    We have just lived through a world wide financial melt down caused by wide spread credit abuse.

    And whose fault was that? None other than Dodd-Frank that designated “five banks as too big to fail” and gave them a “blank check.” It wasn’t too much oversite, it was the wrong kind of oversite. Oversite that encouraged bad loans, and guaranteed tax dollars to dispel risk. Loans to people who could not afford them in the first place, and loans that eventually caused the fall of Fannie Mae.

    Dodd-Frank was passed after the financial melt down. I don’t see how you can blame the financial melt down on regulations that were passed afterwards.

  • Scott

    Mikeca is correct about the timing of the Dodd-Frank Bill, it was after the meltdown. However, Sandi was correct about the fact that it was DC, and specifically actions done by the Democratic Party, which lead to the meltdown. Specifically it was the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) which encouraged the culture of giving subprime loans. It was furthered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which reassured private lenders that they would buy said toxic loans. And it was Barney Frank who refused the reality of the situation that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in trouble when President George W. Bush was pointing out that a crisis was about happen.

    So, it wasn’t the Dodd-Frank bill that caused the meltdown (it is causing other problems while not solving the problems it set out to correct) but it was Frank who aided and abetted the crisis and probably should be imprisoned for his actions and all the harm he’s caused individual Americans.

  • mikeca

    Specifically it was the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) which encouraged the culture of giving subprime loans.

    This is completely false.

    The CRA did not even apply to most of the institutes responsible for most of the sub prime loans. The growth of sub prime loans was fueled by wall street, which created ways to repackage them so that rating agencies would consider them AAA, even though all the underlying loans were junk.

  • Scott

    The growth of sub prime loans was fueled by wall street, which created ways to repackage them so that rating agencies would consider them AAA, even though all the underlying loans were junk.

    This is completely ad odds with, you know, reality. First I said “encouraged”. It and other government agencies (like HUD) encouraged (or “fueled” if you will) the subprime crisis since they specifically wanted to increase home ownership among people with lower income levels. Wall Street didn’t “Fuel” it, the only way one could think this is if they lived in Paul Krugman’s fantasy land.

  • ArnoldHarris

    http://fresnozionism.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/F-the-Jews.jpg
    (The link above is from an article republished on Israpundit, where I am a frequent commenter. A little bit of additional reading will confirm that Israelis in general distrust and despise Obama and just about everything he represents, even though they think they have to be polite about it.)
    ———————————————————————————
    Poor you, Ron.

    A living stereotype of the 20th century Jewish liberal, compelled to spin out his life in a 21st century America whose president is now widely regarded as an African Moslem hiding his identity under the shell of an American Black Christian.

    From what I have seen around Madison, Wisconsin, the modern Democratic Party holds Jews in utter contempt, especially Jews whom they think have any residual feelings of kinship with the Jews of Israel.

    You don’t have to concern yourself with the Jewish nationalists. They are relocating to Israel in growing numbers. Most of them think America is sliding downhill into decay and eventually, either some form of forced one-party rule — fascist or socialist — and growing national impoverishment overlaid with multi-culturalism that will cause the eventual breakup of this country into separate states, as it has in virtually all other multi-cultural countries throughout history. For every Switzerland, you will find many, many former Jugoslavias, former Czechoslovakias, Unions of Soviet Socialist Republics, and formerly white European ruled South Africas.

    As you know from my comments on Dean’s World over the past 10 years, I have no beliefs, other than a vague recognition that there is some overwhelming force which probably created our original universe, which in itself could be one of many such universes. Jewish religion to me is mere observance, just like the grandson of a pair of tough-minded and opportunity-seeking 19th century Russian Jewish peasants could be expected to behave.

    My religion, if any, is the Jewish nation itself. That’s what real Zionism is all about. I never have had even a drop of concern for the starving Afro-Asian millions or billions, or the future of the American labor union movement, or being fair to this country’s minorities, homosexuals seeking recognition of same-sex relationships as though they were marriages of a man and woman, or tax-the-rich schemes, etc, etc. My foreign concerns are devoted exclusively to an expanded, tough and totally independent State of Israel, especially in view of my certainty that there never has been peace in the Middle East, there never will be peace in the Middle East, and that there never can be peace in the Middle East.

    I don’t expect you or any other liberal Jew to accept or even understand that viewpoint. I think that the lot of you have turned this country’s once-vibrant segment of the Jewish nation into little more than a temporarily privileged social class, of the type that will be swept into one of history’s numerous dustbins.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  • mikeca

    This is completely ad odds with, you know, reality. First I said “encouraged”. It and other government agencies (like HUD) encouraged (or “fueled” if you will) the subprime crisis since they specifically wanted to increase home ownership among people with lower income levels. Wall Street didn’t “Fuel” it, the only way one could think this is if they lived in Paul Krugman’s fantasy land.

    The “reality” that the CRA contributed to the financial crises only exists inside the right wing information bubble.

    Here is what the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve have to say (http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/banking_12625.htm):

    The Federal Reserve Board has found no connection between CRA and the subprime mortgage problems. In fact, the Board’s analysis (102 KB PDF) found that nearly 60 percent of higher-priced loans went to middle- or higher-income borrowers or neighborhoods, which are not the focus of CRA activity. Additionally, about 20 percent of the higher-priced loans that were extended in low- or moderate-income areas, or to low- or moderate-income borrowers, were loans originated by lenders not covered by the CRA. Our analysis found that only six percent of all higher-priced loans were made by CRA-covered lenders to borrowers and neighborhoods targeted by the CRA. Further, our review of loan performance found that rates of serious mortgage delinquency are high in all neighborhood groups, not just in lower-income areas.

    The idea that the CRA contributed to the mortgage crises is a myth invented by right wing activists so they don’t have to talk about the real causes of the crises and ways to prevent future crises. This is part of the reason conservatives have no policy solutions. So much of there policy prescriptions is based on myth rather than reality.

    You need to get out of the right wing information bubble and find out what is really going on in the world.

  • Scott

    See, Mikeca, you’re doing it again. Completely sweeping aside what I said to focus on refuting a minor part of my argument to try to “win” the debate. I used the CRA as an example of the culture in DC that encouraged subprime loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. I also brought up HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In truth there is a lot of legislation that can be brought up I just didn’t have the time to get their names.

    But in truth it’s a situation where BOTH parties (but mostly the Democrats) encourage lending to people they know from history cannot pay the loans back. Look at student loans as another example. Do you really think lending $100K to someone getting a degree in English is a wise investment?

    But that’s the culture of DC: encourage lending to people with a low probability of paying it back all for “social justice”.

  • Scott

    Early voting… extended voting… email / fax voting… no ID’s required… any-district-will-do…. Elections are completely random.

    One more thing: I think from actions in this election that it’s been shown that in-person voting fraud is a problem. We don’t know how much of a problem since we don’t have voter ID laws and the only way to show that in-person voter fraud has occurred (if you don’t catch the person in the act) is to have people checking IDs. Does anyone really think you can assure the integrity of the vote by looking at a list of names with check marks by them indicating they voted? If you do you’re insane or stupid.

    But the left will bring up “voter suppression” which is largely a myth. Well, outside Democrat special-interest groups like the Black Panthers suppressing the White vote.

    You need a valid ID to enter any Federal Building, including the Department of Justice where Holder works. You need an ID to: open a bank account, register for government aid, register for school, etc. etc. etc. Why not require it for voting which is a sacred privilege?

    Because that allows fewer opportunities for fraud. Period.

  • http://madisonforum.net/ Sandi

    I think from actions in this election that it’s been shown that in-person voting fraud is a problem. We don’t know how much of a problem since we don’t have voter ID laws and the only way to show that in-person voter fraud has occurred (if you don’t catch the person in the act) is to have people checking IDs.

    Wisconsin voter laws are about the same as Minnesota’s. This clip shows just how stupid voting laws are.

  • mikeca

    See, Mikeca, you’re doing it again. Completely sweeping aside what I said to focus on refuting a minor part of my argument to try to “win” the debate. I used the CRA as an example of the culture in DC that encouraged subprime loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. I also brought up HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In truth there is a lot of legislation that can be brought up I just didn’t have the time to get their names.

    HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not encouraging loans to people who could not pay them back. Fannie and Freddie had underwriting standards for loans they directly purchased designed to prevent this. Fannie and Freddie directly bought loans that met their standards and issued bonds to pay for them.

    Wall Street bankers developed an alternative funding system for home loans. They bought loans that did not meet Fannie or Freddie’s standards, packaged them up into complicated instruments, used computer models to convince themselves and credit rating agencies that while the individual loans were risky, the package of risky loans could be an AAA rated security. Wall Street then sold those bonds as safe to buyers that did not understand the risk. The CRA or desire to increase home ownership for poor people had nothing to do with it. The CRA did not apply to the Wall Street banks. The Wall Street bankers did not care about poor people. They were doing it because they made a whole lot of money packaging these loans and selling them.

    As a result of this new home loan funding model, Fannie and Freddie lost market share. More people were getting home loans funded by Wall Street, where the lending standards were lower. In order to keep profits up at Freddie and Fannie, they began buying the home loan backed securities generate by Wall Street banks. This was a huge mistake, because those loans were issued with almost no lending standards.

    It was the Wall Street banks that created a funding system where nobody worried about the lending standards, because they were transferring all the risk off onto some sucker who thought he was buying a AAA rated security. The CRA and home ownership for minorities and poor people had nothing to do with it.

    Student loans are a different story. Schools have seriously been abusing federal student loans. Private for profit colleges are the worst offenders, but many non-profit schools have done it too. This is an issue that needs to be looked at. Schools with very high student default rates should not qualify for student loans anymore.

    All I can say is I graduated from the U of Mich with zero student loan debt, and my father was a minister who never made a high income. My daughter will graduate next year from college with zero debt too.

  • jaymaster

    An interesting chart from the NYT.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/08/us/politics/obama-was-not-as-strong-as-in-2008-but-strong-enough.html

    It looks like Jewish voters actually had a huge swing away from Obama, and Catholics, a small one. But the majority of both still voted for him.

    I’m also amazed at the age group break outs. The young’ns turned away pretty sharply, but 30-44 year olds actually voted for him more strongly this time around.

  • http://www.likelihoodofconfusion.com Ron Coleman

    Thanks for your comments! As usual the thread spins into its own space, often having little to do with the initial thrust or intention of the post, but, hey, that’s a good thing because it shows there are still places on the Internet that are actually alive and organic.

    Jay, I’m not surprised at the age breakout, because the young-middle-age cohort is basically benefiting from old-line career-track choices that provide for a decent lifestyle and the luxury of guilt-based ethnic-condescension voting. The young’ns, however, are getting pretty tired of living in their parents’ basements.

  • mikeca

    One thing I’ve seen that I did not realize was Romney polled very well with self identified independents. This was one of the reasons that team Romney was confident they would win. A candidate that wins independents by a wide margin is almost always the winner.

    What I didn’t realize and apparently neither did Romney’s advisers, is that the percentage of self identified Republicans has declined significantly since 2010 and the percentage of independents has gone up. Those former Republicans who now self identify as independents are still conservative and strongly supported Romney. This apparently explains why Romney won independents by a wide margin and why the polls had more self identified Democrats than Republicans. The polls were not skewed when they showed more self identified Democrats than Republicans.

    My guess is that the Tea Party has damaged the Republican brand and many moderate Republicans no longer want to self identify as Republicans. They have not changed their positions on issues and they certainly don’t want to become Democrats, but they don’t want to be associated with the post 2010 Republican party.