Thursday, November 08, 2012

It's Cheap, It's Easy, It's Winners And Losers the 2012 Elections Edition

What can I say?  I'm swamped with getting more NaNoWriMo done...

Losers: I mentioned them in an earlier post.  The elite pundit class - especially the conservative ones who came to power during the Reagan administration 30 years ago - really got their butts kicked for publicly anointing their preferred candidate Romney when the stats said otherwise, and even going out of their way to mock the statisticians who focused more on polling results and provable trends.

Winners: Nate Silver and every other statistician who worked on the numbers, stuck to the arithmetic, and proved themselves far more accurate than the pundits who preferred "narrative" and "gut instinct" over facts.  Arithmetic, bitches.
Next, the guy making xkcd will chart with unnerving accuracy the flow of Karl Rove's tears.

Winner: the Word of the Year, thanks to Bill Clinton and Nate Silver.  Arithmetic.

Loser: Karl Rove. The "genius" for the Republicans, the man responsible for coming up with a winning strategy to get George W. into the White House, exposed by his own network on Election Night being completely out-of-touch YET AGAIN. Why Rove keeps getting treated as a genius is beyond me: his game-plan of playing to the base and do just the bare minimum to get enough independent voters to side with you (the "50-plus-one" plan) is half-lazy, half-reckless, and it relies too much on luck and a broken electoral system. Outside of 2004, when Rove tricked the Democratic leadership to back a weak candidate in Kerry (vulnerable to attacks on his military record and pro-Iraq War vote), this guy really didn't win anything (if it weren't for the Butterfly Ballot in Palm Beach County, Gore would have won Florida and the 2000 election). Rove's one true skill seems to be bluffing. Too bad Obama's a better game-player than Rove, eh?

Losers: The vote suppressors. In battleground states where the Republicans held control of the state legislatures and governorships, there were clear and open attempts to suppress minority, poor, and college-age voters in a blatant and coordinated effort to weaken the turnout of Obama's voting base.  Like Pennsylvania.  Like Ohio, repeatedly by a Sec of State John Husted who kept defying the demands of the courts (if anyone needs to see jail time over this, it's Husted).  Like Florida, where Rick "Yes, I HATE This Guy" Scott tried to slash the voter rolls claiming non-existent fraud, and cut back on early voting days in an effort to cut back voter turnout in key counties like Dade and Broward.  Good news is, it looks post-election that their efforts were for naught.  In fact, by pushing so hard so publicly to disenfranchise voters across the nation, it seemed to have the effect of getting even more minority voters and college-age voters out to vote... more voters 2012 than there were in 2008.

Winners: Obama's ground game crew.  Every volunteer, every campaign office organizer, every person who manned the phones and canvassed the neighborhoods and registered the voters.  This was the antidote to the vote suppression efforts.  If the Republicans wanted to suppress the vote: make sure there were enough registered voters to overwhelm any suppression.  If the Republicans wanted to cut back on voting hours and early voting days: get more people to vote with absentee ballots that get around the restrictions.  If long lines were gonna form up at the precincts: make sure the voters know that they have the right to stay in line even past closing hours.  It worked.

Losers: Every Republican candidate who wanted to ban abortion and dismissed rape as an issue, especially the Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.  They got their asses handed to them and kept the Senate safe for the Democratic Party.  As a side observation, a major Florida amendment ballot tried to limit abortion access to where the only exception allowed was "the health of the mother".  Yes, the ballot DID NOT have an exception to rape/incest, which happen to be very popular exceptions for a vast majority of Americans (even the ones who profess being pro-life: even they know how serious the problem rape and incest are).  Result: the ballot went down to defeat by a solid majority.  Lesson to the GOP: DO NOT DISMISS RAPE AS A SERIOUS ISSUE.

Losers: Rick Scott.  Thanks to his voter suppression efforts, our state was even more ill-prepared for the election turnout than in 2000, making us more a laughing stock than we were back then.  Also, 8 of the 11 amendment ballots he and his legislative buddies pushed onto the election suffered major rejections, especially the amendment that tried to Court-Pack the state judicial system to make it more partisan (the amendments that passed were three tax exemption ballots for veterans, widows of veterans and first responders, and low-income seniors: I argued against them mainly because of their origins, the revenue cuts may prove minor given how these changes benefit a slight minority of the populus).  Better still, the effort to get three State Court Justices voted off the bench - a clear attempt at forcing vacancies that Scott could fill with cronies - came back with all three judges getting 3/4ths of the vote to RETAIN, a huge slap in the face to Scott.
The big talk I'm hearing right now is how to kick Scott out of office in 2014 when he comes up for re-election.  If the state Republicans had any sense, they'd look at Scott's poor polling and run a viable primary candidate to kick him out before the whole state does...

Winners: Marriage equality advocates and Pot Legalization advocates.  Two states (almost three, I think one state is still counting ballots) voted in FAVOR of gay marriage rights, while one more state voted down a ballot that would have overturned a legislative pro-gay law.  Two states voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, a huge salvo in the fight to end a broken and ineffective War on Drugs.

Winners: Women.  Women candidates won elective office in huge numbers across the nation at both the state and federal level.  Lemme double check, but I think nine women won Senate seats this election, a huge uptick in gender representation in the Upper House of Congress.  Guess what, pundits?  There was a War on Women, and the women fought back.

Losers: Senate Republicans.  Not only did they fail dramatically to garner a slim hold of that wing of Congress - which would have combined with their solid hold of the House - but they lost major leadership from either retirement (Kyl, indy Senator Lieberman) or losing to more liberal Democratic candidates (Scott Brown losing to Elizabeth Warren).  The incoming Democratic Senate make-up is going to be more liberal than ever before, and more than likely to weaken if not eliminate the Cloture rule (and by extension the filibuster), the biggest weapon the Senate GOP had in obstructing Obama's policy agendas.

Winner: Me.  The blog traffic to my site bounced from single-digits to the hundreds thanks to my article on the Florida 2012 amendment ballots.  Especially a huge crowd of viewers conducting search terms from Japan.  Wow.  Now, if I can get you new viewers to consider the fine possibility of buying my ebooks...  wait, don't go!  Sniff, it gets so lonely here...

Loser: Well, yeah, had to mention him sooner or later.  Hi, Mitt.

Winner: Barack Obama.

And now, with his Anger Translator Luther:

Luther: "“I mean, you know how much money they spent trying to get rid of this? Millions, son! I said millions!"

Losers: Speaking of those millions, the billionaires who shipped tens of not hundreds of millions of dollars into unregulated SuperPACs in an effort to make Obama a One-Termer.  What you all get for your value, dawgs?  NOTHING!  ALL THAT MONEY WASTED BWHAHAHAHA!

Instead of being afraid of how Citizens United may make it easier for the wealthy to win elections - which 2012 proved the opposite - there needs to be a genuine investigation into what happened with all that money that got funneled into Karl Rove's and others' SuperPACs.  There seems to be a lot of waste happening there: not many ads made, almost no ground game like how Obama organized, a great number of reports of how the people "managing" the SuperPACs walked off with huge salaries and bonuses they paid themselves...  I'm serious.  Campaigning has turned into a BILLION-DOLLAR industry and there's little oversight: it's the perfect scam for con artists...

Winners: every person in Dade and Broward Counties who stood in line for 7,8, God love 'em probably 10 hours on Election Night.  The Obama campaign made sure the word got out that the law ensures any person standing in line at the Closing time (7 pm EST) had the right to stay in line and get their vote in, no matter how late it got past that.  This is democracy in action.  While it was a damn shame they had to wait so long, God Bless Them for doing so.  And next time, let's make it easier on them to get their votes in and counted.

Did I miss anyone?

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