Prediction

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I’m not really going out on a limb, here. I do think Romney will win the popular vote by slim margin—I’d say less than half a percentage point. But Obama will win the Electoral College, somewhat comfortably.

One lesson for Republicans: Stop hating on immigrants. Bush won about 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004. McCain took about 30 percent in 2008. Romney could well drop below 20 percent this year.

Thing is, Latinos tend to be culturally conservative. From the polls I’ve seen, the GOP doesn’t even really need to actively reach out to them. Just stop hating them. Stop with the “my border fence will be bigger than yours,” the English only stuff, “self-deportation,” and the laws that let cops harass anyone with brown skin. Do that, and the GOP  could probably lure back enough of the Latino vote to be competitive again, at least in the short term. As it stands, they’re likely going to lose New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado because of this. Even in Arizona, Romney’s lead is down to five points. Within a few election cycles, they might even need to start spending money in Texas.

MORE: I see Shikha Dalmia has already made this point more eloquently that I just did.

 

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92 Responses to “Prediction”

  1. #1 |  Steve | 

    You started hitting the nail on the head but stopped at Latinos. There needs to be an end of the bigotry from the Republican party. I have many reasons why I like Obama over Romney but the easiest one to articulate is that I have friends who are gay and I can’t support a candidate who campaigns on giving them less rights than straight couples. It may seem like a petty reason given the economy and foreign policy but the simple truth is I see The Republicans as a party that is more fueled by bigotry and religion than it is by economics.

    There’s tons of anti-science fervor from their side guides my opinion (refuse to vote for anybody who even hints that evolution may not be good science), as does the knowledge that Republicans don’t act like fiscal conservatives when they have power. Even if all of that changed, the bigotry card is always there and will always prevent me from supporting someone who treats my friends as second class citizens.

  2. #2 |  Ben | 

    Stop hating on immigrants = lose Republican Primary to immigrant hater.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    marijuana laws are built on latino/immigration hatred. that worked out fine, right?

  4. #4 |  Bones | 

    Steve encapsulated how many independents feel about the Republican party. And also why they do so terrible with young people.

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    “I see The Republicans as a party that is more fueled by bigotry and religion than it is by economics.”

    Bingo. The GOP has had its priorities misplaced for a long time. The fiscal conservatives have been outnumbered for a long time and will be until the culture warriors finally die off.

  6. #6 |  Odes | 

    The GOP base is old, white, rural, and based out of the remnants of the confederacy. In what imaginary world does that culture and that demographic respond to an increasing minority population with anything other than increased xenophobia and racism? When has it ever?

    All that said, the argument you’re making is incredibly flawed because it’s based on a really badly outdated view of Latinos. They USED to be culturally conservative. But it’s a really young population, and it is increasingly native born, English speaking, and more liberal on cultural matters than the US population at large. Yes, parents/grandparents are probably culturally conservative, and new immigrants are, but native born Latinos AREN’T, and they now make up the bulk of our nation’s Latino population, and it’s only growing.

  7. #7 |  Lincoln | 

    Radley, is it true that Republicans hate immigrants? Shouldn’t there be an adjective of sorts between hate and immigrants? I figured they loved tech/science workers, H1B visa types; since they can’t make geniuses here, they can always import them.

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Another lesson for republicans: Try to actually stand for something different than democrats instead of being merely a slightly different twist on the same goddamn philosophy.

    I’m joking, of course. The two parties are about as different from each other as Pontiacs and Buicks. In the end, it isn’t going to matter who wins and, despite what the candidates tell you, you don’t have a clue what they’re going to do after they’re elected. All you can count on is that republicans will blindly support their guy no matter what he does, just as democrats blindly support their guy.

    We don’t live in a nation of sheep. We live in a nation of fucking vegetables.

  9. #9 |  Hugo Longbone | 

    I have to disagree radley. Immigration has barely been an issue in this election and Romney has been painted as a pro-immigration candidate. The problem is both these guys are pro-war, pro-surveillance, and fiscally irresponsible. The difference comes down to which candidate is going to give the public more bread and circuses and Obama wins that race hands down.

  10. #10 |  Burgers Allday | 

    –than I just did–

    “Why, Burgers, why?” ™

  11. #11 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Krueger wrote, “…despite what the candidates tell you, you don’t have a clue what they’re going to do after they’re elected.

    I found this paragraph from a Future of Freedom Foundation story on George McGovern not only funny, but relevant to the issue. For those that might not get the joke, both Goldwater and McGovern lost:

    “There was a joke in the 1960s that went something like this: “In ’64, I was told that if I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war in Vietnam. And they were right; I voted for Goldwater, and we went to war in Vietnam.” Well, a similar joke could have been made regarding the ’72 election: “In ’72, I was told that if I voted for McGovern, we’d retreat from Vietnam, the welfare state would expand, and the economy would tank. And they were right; I voted for McGovern, and we retreated from Vietnam, the welfare state expanded, and the economy tanked.”

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    The Republicans are in serious trouble.
    Where’s Ken Starr when you need him?
    There must me a sex scandal they can manufacture…

  13. #13 |  ktc2 | 

    Am I missing some data on Florida? It looks like Obama is ahead by a couple points consistently in the polls I’ve seen.

  14. #14 |  J-Ho | 

    Dave Krueger, I think you can rely on Democrats blindly supporting the Republican president no matter what he does as well. Isn’t that how we ended up with the Patriot Act?

    I’d agree with Balko’s assessment of the Repbulican Party, but I wouldn’t limit it to Latinos. I keep telling my conservative friends to vote for Gary Johnson because eventually their reliably-voting grandparents will die and everyone else in the country is going to be really pissed at the Republican Party. By which I mean women, black people, homosexuals (and their friends and family members), the non-religious, etc. etc. etc.

  15. #15 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    This may just be the election where issues and character trump demographics. I’ll go with Barone’s Romney 315, Obama 223, because most of the polls are wormy and because Republican enthusiasm is high. Maybe even 316, if Maine’s second district comes through.

  16. #16 |  Ghost | 

    I voted for Johnson. “That’s one more vote for Obama,” they tell me. “Well, that assumes Romney ever earned my vote. He did not,” I respond. That last agreement that they called a “debate” was the clincher. “I agree with Obama,” “I support the president,” “I think the president is right…”

    Either one gets us four more wars, and destroys the remaining liberties we have in this country. I can’t give either man my blessing.

  17. #17 |  Jamie | 

    Well, sure. If Republicans stopped hating immigrants, stopped race baiting in general, stopped being anti gay bigots, stopped wanted women barefoot and pregnant, they might get votes from more people.

    They’d also be Democrats at that point.

  18. #18 |  Irishpirate | 

    The key difference between democrats and republicans can be explained by a Chicago sports analogy.

    Cubs fans seldom think about the White Sox. They’re at the game to enjoy the alcohol and hit on some women.

    White Sox fans constantly think about the Cubs. They are more motivated by their hatred for the Cubs than love for the White Sox.

    Without hatred of the “other” the GOP would virtually cease to exist. The other could be “mooslims”, “libruls”, “fags”, atheists, “Meskins”, blacks, etc etc etc but they need to hate someone or sometwo. Possibly even somethree or more.

  19. #19 |  Chaz | 

    Ha, that was the exact I made. I really hope after this election the Republican Party does a bit of soul searching…

    Am I missing some data on Florida? It looks like Obama is ahead by a couple points consistently in the polls I’ve seen.

    RCP has Romney consistently higher in the polls over the last month post-debate, but most are pretty close 1-3 point leads. Out of 24 state polls, 1 tie, 5 had Obama ahead 1-2 points.
    Click State too see polls:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html

  20. #20 |  Mark F. | 

    I think Romney flips CO and OH, giving him 275 electoral votes. I agree that Romney wins the popular vote. But Obama winning won’t surprise me at all.

  21. #21 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    The R’s would presumably need some sort of immigration policy– would would something politically plausible for them look like?

    And I agree with everyone who says that the R’s have a wild talent for alienating large voting blocks. You can add veterans to the list.

  22. #22 |  Scott Lazarowitz | 

    Republicans keep hating immigrants. That is why Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president in history.

  23. #23 |  Fred Mangels | 

    I really don’t care who wins and never make predictions. All I hope for is the vote is super close and, even better, Obama wins the EC but Romney wins the popular vote. Then we can watch a replay of the Bush vs. Gore debacle except the sides will be reversed. I was hoping for that back in 2008.

    I’ve heard suggestions that such a scenario would be bad for the country as Obama “won’t be able to get as much done”. the idea being he wouldn’t feel he had a mandate. Doesn’t seem all that bad a scenario to me. The less the fed does, the better, imo. Gridlock is good.

    The only downside would be hearing again four years from now how third parties stole votes from so and so and cost so and so the election.

  24. #24 |  Kent | 

    “Republicans support limited government. The limits are just really, really big.”

  25. #25 |  Mario | 

    Neither candidate winning is going to make me happy, but if President Obama has to win, I would rather he lose the popular vote. I would love that because I want to hear the whining crybabies of 2000 who were carrying on about the “absurdity” of our Electoral College explain how it’s not an “antiquated” and “un-democratic” system this time around.

    (For the record, I’m all for the Electoral College. We’re supposed to have a federal government, not a national one.)

  26. #26 |  DoubleU | 

    Ghost: I get that “A vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama” also. They say it like they are the first person to say it to you and have no idea how foolish they sound. I say “No a vote for Johnson is a vote for my values of limited government, reductions in spending and more freedom. A vote for Romney or Obama is a vote for your values of bigger government, more spending and less freedom. I usually get the “bbbut it he isn’t as bad as Obama” line.

    Fred Mangels… you think Obama cares what people feel? If Obama wins he and the rest of the democrats will feel he has a mandate no matter if Romney gets the popular vote or not.

    To the rest: I have never heard any republican hate immigrants, they want to stop illegal immigration yes, but they welcome the ones that want to come here legally and follow the rules to citizenship.

    I think this is more like the 2004 election and people have switched sides. The republicans have the big government, gun grabbing, arrogant condescending Massachusetts liberal.

  27. #27 |  Chris Mallory | 

    Or the Republicans could become the party of traditional American and it won’t matter how the 3rd world invaders vote. Even today, if a candidate wins 60% or so of the white vote, then they win the election. Importing aliens from cultures that do not respect liberty or freedom will not help America.
    Pushing English only will win them votes. They haven’t done it. Pushing more deportations will win them votes. The working class in America has been under attack by these 3rd world invaders pushing down wages and destroying neighborhoods. Maybe if the Cosmotarian’s jobs were on the line they might sing a different tune.

  28. #28 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Frankly, I see “We won’t actually change the immigration laws, but for now we won’t enforce them, so you-all brown folks con come work here cheap.” as more bigoted than “We have laws these people are breaking.”. As for Speak English; not pushing immigrants to learn english is doing them no favors; like the “we won’t change the immigration laws, we just won’t enforce them for now” position; it serves to isolate the immigrants in a legal and cultural ghetto.

    Now, the position I would LIKE to see is “We’ve got work and schools, c’mon over!”. I think that provided we hold the line on those aspects of our culture that we are clear are superior (and, really, debating the morality of Gay Marriage is preferable to debating whether Gays should be burned, stoned, or cast from a hight), we can absorb one hell of a lot more immigrants than we do.

    But that isn’t one of the choices on offer.

  29. #29 |  David | 

    This may just be the election where issues and character trump demographics.

    How would that even be possible? Wouldn’t one of them have to grow a personality?

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’ll just be thankful that the new Congress will FINALLY be able to address the debt (no that those other assholes are gone).

    Voting against Obama: can’t take 4 more years of his fan boys salivating over every picture.

  31. #31 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Yes, this election is definitely about issues. I can’t think of any issues where they differ, but here’s a list of the issues on which the two candidates essentially agree (ie: they support them all):

    * War
    * Big government
    * High taxes
    * The welfare state
    * The police state
    * The drug war
    * Restricting immigration
    * Criminalization of almost everything
    * Surveillance of Americans.
    * Big bank and corporate bailouts
    * Welfare for big business
    * Governmental secrecy
    * Perpetual overt, cover, and usually violent interference with the governance of other countries
    * Protectionism
    * Public employee unions
    * Government controlled education
    * Government control over the internet
    * Government control over health care
    * Suppression of the free market
    * Government borrowing (increasing the national debt)
    * Special privileges for government officials and cronies.
    * The criminal justice industrial complex.

    And this is why a vote for either Romney or Obama is a wasted vote. There’s no fucking difference which is why there will be no significant change regardless of who wins. The only non-wasted vote is a vote for a third party and only if enough people do it (which they probably won’t because they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that voting republican or democrat means their vote matters).

  32. #32 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#21: “I have never heard any republican hate immigrants, they want to stop illegal immigration yes, but they welcome the ones that want to come here legally and follow the rules to citizenship.”

    You’ve clearly never met my Beck/Limbaugh-worshipping parents and their entire social circle. There’s a lot of old-school hardcore racism out there masquerading as concern for cultural preservation.

  33. #33 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I don’t think they are at all the same on war. I think with Romney we will have a war on Iran and with Obama no war on Iran.

  34. #34 |  Chris | 

    Right answer, wrong rationalization.

    Yes, the Dems will draw more votes from latinos. They are the party of more handouts. Obamaphones buy votes. Food stamps buy votes. Disability that you don’t really need buys votes.

    I do not conflate people who come across our borders illegally with true immigrants. I feel that using verbiage to blur the line is intellectual dishonesty. You knock on my door and ask to enter and I’ll shake your hand. You come sneaking in my back door under cover of night and I’ll blow you away.

    If you seek to improve the immigration system then do so, but granting citizenship to law-breakers just because they are already here is to spit in the face of every person who went to all the trouble to come here legally.

  35. #35 |  rmv | 

    @28 Burgers Allday

    I never thought Obama would assassinate Americans, but there you go.

  36. #36 |  nigmalg | 

    Well, sure. If Republicans stopped hating immigrants, stopped race baiting in general, stopped being anti gay bigots, stopped wanted women barefoot and pregnant, they might get votes from more people.

    They’d also be Democrats at that point.

    Well, minus the fiscal handicap of course.

  37. #37 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #28 Burgers Allday

    I don’t think they are at all the same on war. I think with Romney we will have a war on Iran and with Obama no war on Iran.

    I think it could go either way with either candidate. Obama certainly seems a little less inclined to launch a war against Iran right before the election, but I don’t think that makes him a safe bet any more than his rhetoric about civil liberties, war, and medical marijuana back in 2008 made him a safe bet on those issues. He’s a politician. He lies.

    They are both politicians and in order to have a glimmer of a chance of being the people’s choice, they both have to be self-serving, ambition-driven, liars, completely devoid of scruples. Democrats and republicans are remarkably similar in their ability to be almost completely blind to these characteristics in their own candidate.

  38. #38 |  Cyto | 

    I will be shocked if Obama manages to win this election. With the economy and employment situation that this country faces I just cannot imagine any president getting a second term.

    Not that the republicans have earned any right to claim the mantle of leadership. Particularly not Romney, who seems for all the world to be just another big government republican. But with the shape of the economy, I cannot believe the current polling models are correct. By any rational judgment Obama should be out in a landslide.

  39. #39 |  Phelps | 

    We’ll see Tuesday night, but I suspect that wargaming like this is another reason why the LP has never won a major election. People don’t think the way you think they think.

  40. #40 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Krueger wrote, ” The only non-wasted vote is a vote for a third party and only if enough people do it (which they probably won’t because they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that voting republican or democrat means their vote matters).

    A couple months ago I decided I’d try and write a treatise of sorts on why the 2 parties dominate our system and why it’s so hard to break people away from it. The idea came to me after hearing all the “wasted vote” arguments I’d hear when plugging Gary Johnson.

    Not that I haven’t heard those arguments before. It’s just that this time is not only the first time we’ve had a real credible candidate in a third party to work for, but the two main contenders are pretty lame. I would have thought this would be the perfect opening for someone like Johnson, but so many people are strongly commited to vote Rep or Dem.

    My effort at a treatise seemed to go nowhere. About the best I came up with are that there’s two main reasons people are drawn to the two party system: Simplicity and wanting to follow the crowd.

    Without going too far with this right here, even people that pay some attention to politics view it very simply: Us vs. them, good vs. bad, red vs. blue, Rep vs. Dem. Adding a third equation into the mix is too confusing to most.

    Second; most people tend to follow the crowd. They want to be part of a group. That probably makes us feel better about what we’re doing and that we’re not alone. It gives us confidence that what we’re doing is right.

    There’s other reasons for the two parties maintaining their dominance. Fraternalism and pragmatism being two, but simplicity and the crowd seemed to me to be the main reasons the two parties created such a difficult to overcome empire.

    If anyone knows of any writings on this subject, I’d be interested. I didn’t get very far in my effort. Then again, maybe I didn’t need to. Maybe it is just as simple as the conclusions I came to?

  41. #41 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#35 — The analogy that I like best (not sure who said it first) is that national politics has essentially degenerated to the level of a high school football rivalry.

  42. #42 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I think you are probably right, Fred. The fact that the media almost always frames things in bipolar terms doesn’t help.

    I’ve read that whether you’re conservative or liberal can be linked to inherited psychological traits, so maybe it’s not just a simple choice that people make. Try telling a religious person that who they worship is largely determined by where they were born and they will reply that luckily they were born to parents who just happen to worship the one true god.

    Libertarians are individualists. Trying to organize individualists is like trying to herd cats. If you’re a libertarian atheist, you’d better be comfortable being an outcast and a minority.

    I know I didn’t directly address your comment, but I’d be willing to bet that the answer to why people are republicans and democrats is based more on human nature than on any logical assessment of the respective party platforms.

  43. #43 |  el coronado | 

    I like what Phelps said. But will go so far as to predict a relatively easy Romney (or, as I’ll be voting, “not Obama”) Romney win. Saw it with Carter in 1980: in hard times, unless you have a candidate with the charisma and cult-like following as FDR, it doesn’t matter what people tell pollsters, or even tell themselves. In hard times, (and everyone knows good and damn well *these* are hard times) when they’re alone in that voting booth, people vote their wallets.

    The current idiot in the White House doesn’t dare address the question, ‘You better off than 4 years ago?’, and offers only more of the same pathetic bullshit (“HOAP!”) for the next 4. The other idiot might be better. All ideology aside, if you’re looking for the economy to get better, or even – gasp! – to land a decent job and get ahead, who do you vote for? The Proven Disaster, or the guy who might not be as big a fuckup?

  44. #44 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #36 Judas Peckerwood

    @#35 — The analogy that I like best (not sure who said it first) is that national politics has essentially degenerated to the level of a high school football rivalry.

    As someone who lives in Alabama among people who treat team loyalty as a code of honor akin to a blood oath, I think your analogy is right on.

    The difference between two opposing football teams is very similar to the differences between two opposing candidates. They follow the same rules, have very similar tactics, support the same system, and are obsessed with one goal: winning.

  45. #45 |  Kent | 

    #21: “I have never heard any republican hate immigrants, they want to stop illegal immigration yes, but they welcome the ones that want to come here legally and follow the rules to citizenship.”

    You haven’t met an Arizona Republican.

  46. #46 |  Cynical in New York | 

    Easiest way to end illegal immigration is to end the welfare state but paleocons like our resident trolls who come here, Pat Buchanan, Frosty Wooldridge and the rest would never have the balls to suggest that. If they did that they would lose an issue to bitch about. Let us remember this wasn’t even a major issue until the 2006 election. As much of a complete statist tool Buchanan is he at the very least is consistent. He has been bitching about immigration since the first Bush.

    Rockwell and Company had the best solution to the issue. Let the market decide, if someone doesn’t want to deal with a business who hires a certain type of people then don’t give that business money. People fail to grasp that concept or choose to ignore it.

    Also Adam Kokesh points out the government scam that is borders in the first place

    http://www.adamvstheman.com/podcast/

    The episode you would be looking for is #58 Government borders

  47. #47 |  TGGP | 

    As Andrew Gelman discusses in his book “Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State” and his blog, it’s really only the relatively affluent who vote on social issues. Downscale folks vote on bread-and-butter economic issues.

  48. #48 |  Rune | 

    Ever heard of the greens and the blues of the Byzantine Empire? Sports and politics

  49. #49 |  bbartlog | 

    @41: If you can’t find a paleocon who advocates ending the welfare state I don’t think you’re looking all that hard. But anyway, it is not true that ending the welfare state would end illegal immigration. A great many illegal immigrants come here just because of the job opportunities, or more broadly because this is still a pretty great country. No doubt various sorts of government freebies pull in *additional* immigrants, but they are far from the whole story.
    Now, you could certainly argue that absent welfare benefits, people have no grounds to complain about immigrants illegal or otherwise. I would dispute that but it is I think a common libertarian position.

  50. #50 |  Red | 

    I’m confused, everyone in the GOP leadership loves massive illegal immigration. It’s the majority of Americans that hate it.

  51. #51 |  Red | 

    BTW, come live in California if you like immigration so much. Once a shop goes majority Latino is become impossible for any other race to get a job there. They’re open and blatant racism going on against whites and Asians on a very regular basis in this state and no one cares.

  52. #52 |  Cyto | 

    On immigration and the republicans, note that GW Bush tried to do comprehensive immigration reform that would create “guest worker” style visas for foreign workers, pretty much solving the illegal immigration problem (they come here illegally so they can get work after all).

    Guess which party didn’t support him at all? In fact if I recall correctly they called him a racist and worse for suggesting such a thing.

    Neither party wants to solve problems. They want to gain tactical advantage. That’s why the TSA had to be a federal agency with a million new federal workers, not private security firms paid for by airports adhering to federal standards. That’s why health insurance reform has been ongoing for 20+ years. That’s why abortion keeps popping up. That’s why education reform doesn’t happen. Everybody wants to keep their issues that divide people into camps alive. Solving problems lets single issue voters off the reservation.

  53. #53 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #44

    Considering that Buchanan is considered the defacto leader of the Paleo movement I would say the SOB is a pretty good source on paleo thought. Most of his writings are him bitching about the system and subtly putting the blame on minorities. If it wasn’t for immigration and race, that cold war relic would be very irrelevant. (same would go for his liberal counterparts Sharpton and Jackson)

    #46

    Do you or do you not favor businesses making their own decisions on whoever they hire or fire? Conservatives can’t bitch about jobs not hiring their supporters while for years have supposedly defended a business’ owners right to run their shop the way they see fit. It’s hypocritical but then again I’m talking about conservatism.

  54. #54 |  SP | 

    Radley,
    I must correct you and then you can buy me a beer when you’re in the PNW next time. Romney will win with 281 electoral votes. Your errors are Colorado, Pennsylvania, and NH. He may also be able to get Ohio and Iowa in his column, but that is not necessary.

    It is so lame that the MSM discounted and ignored Gary Johnson. I guess that they are the King Makers…I can’t wait until their beloved establishment eventually crushes them.

  55. #55 |  Matt | 

    Meh.

    I doesn’t matter who you vote for. We all lose.

    Voting in a government election is an explicit act of granting other people permission to exert control over your one and only life.

    And the ‘winners’ take that permission to mean *everyone’s* life.

    Good luck with that.

    And thanks for fucking with my life without my consent.

    Assholes.

  56. #56 |  Windy | 

    I cast my vote, already, I voted for Johnson. Since I am not allowed to vote for Ron Paul, I chose the second best candidate. In my State we do have a spot dedicated to write-ins on our ballot, but they are not counted nor recorded so writing in someone is a waste of ink and time.

  57. #57 |  Fred Mangels | 

    @ Matt. I consider voting an act of self- defense, if done properly and with principle.

  58. #58 |  Delta | 

    #21 | DoubleU: “I have never heard any republican hate immigrants, they want to stop illegal immigration yes, but they welcome the ones that want to come here legally and follow the rules to citizenship.”

    Quite a lot of irony between your post and the one immediately after it.

  59. #59 |  Delta | 

    #35 | Fred Mangels: “A couple months ago I decided I’d try and write a treatise of sorts on why the 2 parties dominate our system and why it’s so hard to break people away from it… If anyone knows of any writings on this subject, I’d be interested.”

    In political science, the fact that a plurality voting system results in a strategically stable state of two dominant parties is called Duverger’s Law.

    The achilles’ heel of the USA system is in not having set a system of proportional representation, i.e., being unable to deal with factions, as Washington knew at the time of his farewell address.

  60. #60 |  Umquay | 

    For all the disenchanted and realistic voters out there, I present some mediocre stand-up comedy on this years election:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdzVIq2hiNk

    It is funny because it is true! Enjoy, folks.

  61. #61 |  JSL | 

    “the English only stuff,”

    I’m so tired of this argument. I studied in school or from real world experience spanish all my life on the west coast. I’m not fluent in spanish because I didn’t push myself hard enough and didn’t take my college prof’s advice of spending 6-12 months in a native speaking country on exchange aka immersion training. I had my obviously lefty high school spanish “profe” push the same idea, during the 3 years I took in high school. The educrats/teachers all then turn around and promote the dogma from the PC crowd that we need more ESL classes, can’t force them to speak english etc. etc.. Hogwash. If I’m going to go live in Mexico for even just a few years, I might want to learn the lingo and customs.

  62. #62 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Thanx, Delta. I’ll check it out.

  63. #63 |  croaker | 

    Obama will win re-election.

    Inside of two years Obama will become the 2nd sitting president to resign.

  64. #64 |  tariqata | 

    @JSL: Forgive my apparent ignorance of education in the US, but isn’t the whole point of ESL classes to … teach people how to speak English? That’s certainly what the term means where I come from.

  65. #65 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    tariqata,

    The point of ESl classes, in the United States system of Public Education, is to assure the continued employment of Union certified teachers. Period. Test after test has confirmed the general impression that hispanic students steered into such classes by and large will not learn English.

    The entire system is run for the benefit of Union members. The fight to wrench priorities back to actually teaching has been going on for a long time, and even if it eventually succeeds it may take longer than the rest of my life; the Unions are that entrenched.

    Not everything that is wrong with public education in the U.S. was caused by the Unions, but the Unions have consistently opposed most efforts to rectify the problems.

    The one thing that might bring the conflict to an early end is the strong possibility of a child abuse scandal. While abusive teachers are probably not common by any means, abusive Priests weren’t either (they ran to about 3%, which coincidentally is about the same percentage as is found among married Protestant ministers), and the public schools and the Unions have done exactly what the Catholic Church did; cover up, deny, and reassign.

    For the moment the mainstream media isn’t interested in connecting the dots, although they will run the occasional story. But the media are in big financial trouble. They desperately need readers/viewers. If they decided to start a Crusade, there might not be one hell of a lot left of Union power when the smoke cleared.

    I ain’t holding my breath, though.

  66. #66 |  Onlooker | 

    Hey Radley! Do you know that your home page link takes you to a dead end at March 21?

  67. #67 |  Onlooker | 

    OK, disregard that. Apparently my browser was doing a weird thing with the cache or something and displaying that erroneous page. I refreshed and it’s right now. I’ve never seen that in this kind of way (i.e. on a main home page). Usually happens with embedded charts/pics and such that are updated regularly.

    Sorry!

  68. #68 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 

    Are we talking about bilingual or ESL here? Isn’t there a difference? I’ve taught ESL on a volunteer basis, and the goal was to teach students English and familiarize them with our culture. At least, that was my goal, and I was never told to do otherwise.

  69. #69 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @37:

    quoted from the VC blog:

    Several people asked me what I thought about Gov. Romney’s statement during the third presidential debate about indicting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide:

    Secondly, I’d take on diplomatic isolation efforts. I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention. His words amount to genocide incitation. I would indict him for it.

  70. #70 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    After reading these comments I find myself saying “fuck FDR” as he started or added to most all of these problems. The people gave him 12 years in office, so I guess this is what they deserve.

    @#63: Presidents don’t resign. The two gangs have an agreement and being held accountable isn’t good for either of them.

  71. #71 |  John C. Randolph | 

    I think Romney’s going to win it because the economy’s in the crapper. I also expect him to be a one-term president for the same reason.

    -jcr

  72. #72 |  James D | 

    The state polls get +6 to +11 more Dem voters and still it’s that close? Unless Dems get out the illegal/dead votes en masse, I think Romney wins easily.

    What I think should be proposed as a compromise (and will never happen) is what many states do (like LA I think?) where we have 2 elections:
    First election, ANYONE can run and everyone votes for who they really want.
    Second election is between the top 2 vote getters.

    That way, if you live in liberal county, you might get to vote between a Dem and Green person. And if you live in more conservative area you might get a Rep and Libertarian person to choose from. And for the Presidential election … who knows what could happen. This would eliminate the “you’re throwing your vote away” or “you’re helping the other side” BS then. Of course it’s too logical and would hurt the 2 major parties … so it’ll never happen.

    I might vote for a Gary Johnson type candidate in those circumstances, but since it’s down to 4 more years of Obama or not … I’m going for ‘not’ thank you.

  73. #73 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    Radley –

    Wit’ all due respect, you’re wrong on your prediction, and badly.

    Romney’s going to win, and in a landslide.

    But, to be fair, the pollsters are lying to you. I don’t think D+11 is a reasonable estimate of the electorate, especially since Romney’s winning independents, and party identification is currently R+6.

    (I’m a little hard on the pollsters when I say they’re lying. The truth is that their likely voter screens have been much too loose this cycle.)

  74. #74 |  Peyton | 

    You’ve got it about backwards, Radley. R-295; O-243. Sorry to ruin the suspense tomorrow.

  75. #75 |  Chicagojon | 

    I predict that whichever ‘side’ wins they will lose seats in 2 years because sheeples believe that it’s important to have “checks and balances” in our “democracy”.

    The middle ground issues that Dave Krueger mentioned above will all be worked on, rich people will get richer, poor people will get (relatively) poorer (but richer people will say the poor are better off because of the quality of their electronics and drugs), the nations infrastructure will continue to collapse and/or not keep up with the rest of the world, more cameras, more cops, more intrusive local government, more international meddling, & the China/US trade imbalance will merrily grow along for another 4 years. You know, typical American value stuff.

    2.5 years from now some new idiot (unquestionably male, almost certainly white) will start talking about how China is bad, Iran is dangerous, the party in power is doing a terrible job, we all would have been better off without Bush, & change is needed.

    4 years from now another billion (maybe 2?) will be spent to put a new guy in the big chair – likely via a party swap because Reagan-Reagan-BushI taught us that 12 consecutive years of anything is a bad idea.

    Oh – and Ohio as the representation of everything that is wrong with this system (most visits, money spent, idiot electorate, shitty state) will continue to piss me off — jackasses.

  76. #76 |  Kent | 

    “Unless Dems get out the illegal/dead votes en masse, I think Romney wins easily.”

    Woman arrested in Las Vegas for alleged voter fraud
    By Kristi Jourdan
    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

    “Larry Lomax, Clark County registrar of voters, said Rubin is a registered Republican……”

  77. #77 |  Kent | 

    ^^^

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/fbi-arrests-woman-on-allegations-of-voter-fraud-177037841.html

  78. #78 |  Nando | 

    I disagree with the numbers posted. I think Obama wins both the EC and PV, and I think he takes VA (303-235 is my count). Florida is pretty close, but I’m thinking Romney takes it by the slimmest of margins. It might even cause the lawyers to come out of the woodwork and try to sue due to election law violations or discrimination, but it won’t matter.

  79. #79 |  James D | 

    Picture ID (which the Dems always oppose) would have proven her right or a liar huh? And I’ll take your onesy/twosey Rep fraud and raise you:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20121105_Will_New_Black_Panthers_be_back_this_year_.html

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/11/03/breaking_naacp_takes_over_polling_station_advocates_for_president_obama_at_houston_polling_location

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/09/02/3497857/group-says-it-found-30000-dead.html

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/video-captures-dem-campaign-chief-plotting-vote-fraud/

    and a whole bunch of this going on (in other states too):
    http://www.marionstar.com/article/20121031/NEWS03/310310009/Problem-found-board-elections?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

    and Nando, you’re dreaming …. if Obama pulls it out, it’ll be by a 1 state EV victory … no way he’s anywhere near 300 EVs unless all of the fraud above really is widespread.

  80. #80 |  Kent | 

    James, yeah it’s all over the place. It’s red vs blue, tabloid politics, see who can fuck the country the fastest, all wrapped in red, white and blue too. I was only pointing out the fact that team red’s rigging elections the same as team blue. Picture ID? Seems they caught her regardless, you probably support a national ID too, huh? Drones over our sky’s, the Patriot Act? Big Daddy Gov?

  81. #81 |  Charlie O | 

    Me personally, I’m doing MUCH better now, than four years ago economically. But I attribute that primarily to the fact that I have skills that in demand but not readily available.

    That said, I cannot support anyone in the GOP due mainly to their so-called “base” of religious fanatics. There are just too many religious crazies embraced by the GOP or are leaders in the GOP. I can’t support anyone who thinks he/she should be able to use legislation to impose their interpretations of their mythical holy book on the masses.

    Religion is a curse on humanity. The world will be a much safer place once it is eliminated from this planet. (well that and the police).

  82. #82 |  el coronado | 

    ….so IOW, Charlie, your holier-than-thou disdain for the ‘religious crazies’ and what you perceive as their crazy notions makes you……exactly like them. Just from a different direction.

    I love the smell of irony in the morning.

  83. #83 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    Religion is a curse on humanity. The world will be a much safer place once it is eliminated from this planet.

    Never mind that the worst democides were perpetuated by atheists.

    You’re making a mistake by railing against religion; the problem is human nature, and removing religion just changes the excuse used to behave badly.

  84. #84 |  James D | 

    Secular Atheism is just as much a religion as anything else …. and what Meiczyslaw said ….

  85. #85 |  Charlie O | 

    You couldn’t be more wrong el coronado. No holier than thou from me. I have no holy book to beat anyone with. If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. If you don’t like liquor stores open on Sunday, don’t go in them. If you don’t like titty bars, don’t go in them. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t have one. But don’t use your holy book as an excuse to tell me I can’t do anything of things either. I believe in live and let live. Leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. But your holy book is meaningless to me, so holds no sway as excuse for law.

  86. #86 |  el coronado | 

    A lovely set of rationalizations, there, Charlie, but you’re still doing exactly what you claim to hate when the other side does it. It’s clear you’re a knee-jerk liberal democrat. Fine. Super. But explain for us how your party handles that “don’t have one” deal when it’s *their* bull being gored.

    Do they say, “If you don’t like handguns, don’t have one!”?
    Do they say, “If you don’t want to mine coal on your own land, don’t!”?
    Do they say, “If you don’t want to join a union, don’t!”?

    No, of course they don’t. So you don’t want religious folks “using their holy book to tell [you] you can’t do any” of the stuff they don’t like….but you evidently have no problem with _your_ boys using _their_ holy ideology to tell *me* I can’t do what I want to do. As I said earlier, it’s clear you’re a knee-jerk liberal democrat. So why would a guy like you be on a Libertarian site?

  87. #87 |  James D | 

    another to add to my list above:
    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Dead-and-Still-Voting-177286281.html

  88. #88 |  Charlie O | 

    el coronado.

    You’re a complete idiot. I said I could not support the GOP because of their religiosity. Never brought the Democratic party into the conversation. I agree, no one should be forced to join a union, I own guns, lots of them. You have absolutely no understanding of my argument about forcing purely religious views on others via legislation.

  89. #89 |  James D | 

    Well I’m man enough to come back here and admit I’m wrong … and now I really understand why lots of libertarians won’t even bother voting:

    My wife volunteered and worked at a polling place yesterday and I’ve lost all faith in the validitity of our elections because of it …. she said like 35% of the people who came in there couldn’t even speak english and said stuff like “I don’t remember who I’m supposed to vote for” and more than 50% of the people said they just registered this year through the DES (Deparment of Economic Security) … so in other words, most voters were on the “public dole” … no wonder Obama won …..

    We’ve officially hit European Socialism-level of stupidity and everyone is voting for their ‘free stuff’ …..

  90. #90 |  el coronado | 

    Well, Hell, if’n it’s a *manliness* deal, I reckon I gotta admit I was also wrong. About the election. About _Charlie_….naw, I’m dead on, all his amusingly outraged squeals to the contrary.

    Charlie me foine boyo, I’m goan type this here part reeeeeeal slow, so concentrate, OK? This being America (for a little while longer, hopefully), you’re free to hold any idiotic, infantile, halfwitted political views you want to. But when you try to justify those views by telling us the ‘other party’s positions’ ‘forced you into voting this way’, and then trot out *absolute horseshit* as your synopsis of those positions…..well, it’s gonna be pointed out you’re full of shit.

    Read this part real careful-like, m’kay? Unless you can trot out genuine citations to the contrary – and you can’t – the ONLY political movement in the world of any size that believes in “forcing purely religious views on others via legislation” is fundamentalist ISLAM. Not them eeeebil narrowminded rightwing mouthbreathin’ backwoods inbred hillbilly Christian boogeymen you’re so pathetically worried about, the way teacher instructed you to think back in skuel.

    But the election? Yeah, I was wrong.

  91. #91 |  Medicine Man | 

    So, James D, let me get this straight. You’re man enough to come back and admit you called the outcome of the election wrong but the results nevertheless confirm all of your biases. Well done sir.

  92. #92 |  James D | 

    I admit I’m wrong about the prediction … my ‘biases’ were actually less than what seems to have actually happened. What I’m angry/disillusioned about is that the majority of voters are NOT like the people coming to this site and likely aren’t paying attention to debates, or news, or details, or facts at all. They are either outright illegal voters or people so far on the public dole that they will always vote liberal/socialist for the ‘free stuff’.

    So you’re ‘gotcha’ comment just wasn’t paying attention.

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