September 26, 2012

Why We Are Ignoring [REDACTED], or Elections Have Consequences

On Monday we announced that we will no longer post anything about a certain Republican Presidential candidate.  This promise was made somewhat satirically to point out the highly repetitious cycle of bad press and bad poll numbers, and bad campaign strategy coming out of that camp since July, but it was actually a real promise that we intent to keep.  Then, one of our more regular readers (regular, not in the gastro-intestinal sense, but in the routinely visiting our blog sense) asked us if and why we weren't going to use a certain Republican sad sack as a punching bag anymore.  This reader wondered if there would be anything else for us to blog about.

So, dear reader, here is why we have retired our finely tuned criticism machinery, at least the parts of it aimed at a certain fella from the Bay State.  Elections, as pointed out by many others, have consequences.  And the consequences of this election on the lame duck session of Congress and how it avoids the "fiscal cliff" are extremely important to all of us, as we have pointed out before.  NPR's Cokie Roberts points out that the way this election is preceived will have an affect on how Congress addresses this important issue.  If the House Republicans feel that their party's policy proposals were to blame for their defeat in the Presidential, Senate, and possibly even the House races, then they may stop their strategy of obstruction and adopt a more moderate, balanced approach to revenues and budgets.  But, if they feel like the only issue with their defeat was a weak Presidential nominee, not policy, then we will likely see a rerun of the silliness and inaction that was endemic of the 112th Congress.

Time history of win probability for each candidate.
Blue: President Obama, Red: Some doofus
(source: Nate Silver)
We know you already know that we are avid readers of Nate Silver's blog, FiveThirtyEight and the excellent poll data analysis that he does over there.  In case you haven't been over to check out the statistical models recently, Mr. Obama's probablility of winning re-election is back up to 79.7%.  This is just off of the peak of 80.8% at the height of his post convention bump.  What is more important to notice than the raw probability is the trend: it is steadily increasing for Mr. Obama.  In other words, the more people are tuning into the campaign, the more likely it is that the President will win re-election.  Barring some major calamity, it is a virtual certainty - especially in light of the Electoral College math - that Mr. Obama gets what Mitch McConnell set out to prevent: a second term.  (Don't, for a minute, think that this trend will be reversed in the debates, either.  There is a reason one side has been avoiding getting specific.)  Yes, Virginia, the race is over, and has been for some time.  We'd better start thinking about how to best shape the aftermath.

So with the outcome all but assured, therefore, we are refraining from pilining on the Republican candidate lest it look like he is of consequence or a threat to re-election for the President.  Continuing to point out his numerous flaws, evasions, and vagueness indicates that people are taking him seriously.  As it relates to how this election is interpreted after the fact we recommend that everyone ignore Team Elephant's guy, because he is a distraction from what needs to be done to avoid a ruinous direction for our contry.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is our internet. Let's be nice to and respect one another.