Tag Archives: elections

What Trump Reveals

From Metafilter:

“Donald Trump is playing the role of a megalomaniacal, sociopathic fascist demagogue, and whether he is genuine or simply pandering is beside the point. The point is that in winning, he has finally revealed the true darkness at the heart of the modern American Republican to such an undeniable extent that even the Republican party leaders and professional mouthpieces are forced to beg for mercy.

“Frankly, we need Trump, because we need this fight, out in the open, ugliness incarnate. The Republicans need to be represented by the braying tumor that best reflects the cancer in their souls, and the rest of the nation needs to rise up at the polls in fear and desperation and beat them so soundly that the Republican party is finally forced to give up pandering to their worst populist elements and design a new winning political strategy that includes governing for all of the people.

“We have to let the market decide. But then we have to BE the market. And we have to decide SO resoundingly that we wash the stink of this madness clean. Forever.

“Not sure if trump is really a demon, or if he just plays one on TV, but the Republic is clearly possessed. It’s time for an old-fashioned exorcism, and don’t spare the pea soup. Just wash it away.”

Discussion in context.

The Ugly Side of Populism

Commenter on a Metafilter discussion about Trump’s candidacy and electability.

“I think this is something the Left really misses. There seems to be this idea that the People are angry, and if we just awaken and empower the People, then we’ll get social justice and progress. What’s being forgotten is the ugly side of populism. An angry population may also go the other route, and embrace bigotry and hatred and control, and I think it’s already happening. People like Trump are the harbingers. Sure people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but that might mean they lash out at the poor and non-white and non-straight and let people who say they have a plan to fix it all rule over them.”

Context and discussion: Donald Trump, possibly upsetting Fox News’ role in Republican politics

Illustration by Victor Juhasz from Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone

Voter Fraud Isn’t A Real Issue

Round-up:

South Carolina
State officials claimed on Fox News that “900 dead people had voted”.

After a year-long state investigation, the actual number of dead people voting turned out to be ZERO.

*Note: South Carolina only made the study public after being forced to by a judge in a FOI request from the media. Fox has not retracted or corrected the story.

0 out of 1.3 MILLION votes.

(SC still went on to pass one of the country’s strictest voter ID laws “to prevent dead people from voting”)

EDIT: Here are some additional links about the elusive “voter fraud”.

Iowa
Iowa spent two years and a total $430,000 investigating voter fraud, including a full-time investigator. They turned up a grand total of 15, but only 5 cases were sufficient to prosecute. None were prosecuted as intentional.

5 out of 1.5 MILLION total votes.

Ohio
Ohio found 17 non-citizens who voted illegally.  None were prosecuted as intentional.

17 out of 5.5 MILLION total votes.

Colorado
Boulder/Denver investigators found a grand total of zero.

Minnesota
Fox News reported that hundreds of convicted felons voted in 2008, possibly handing the election to Al Franken.

An independent audit of Minnesota election fraud cases found 10.

None were prosecuted as intentional. Fox has yet to correct or retract their story.

10 out of 2.8 MILLION total votes.

Maine
The Maine GOP gave the AG a list of the names 206 college students they believed voted illegally in the state. The AG expanded the investigation to include several years, and all types of “voter fraud”. All the students were cleared, 1 case of a non-resident was discovered.

1 out of 717,000 votes.

Pennsylvania
When appearing in court to defend it’s new voter ID laws, a request for evidence resulted in the state offering the “Applewhite Stipulation” ; where the state acknowledged it could not produce a single case of in-person voter fraud.

0 out of 5.9 MILLION votes.

Texas
Texas conducted a multi-year study (2002-2012) and found 18 prosecuted. One of those was a case of someone voting twice.[10]

18 out of approximately 45 MILLION votes over a decade.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/PoliticalDiscussion/comments/1zyn3q/i_would_like_to_understand_the_controversy_about/cfy7xw4?context=5

Political cartoon from http://woodgatesview.com/2012/01/11/are-picture-id-requirements-restrictive-for-some-voters/

Why Romney’s Taxes Don’t Matter

“No republican is ever going to vote for Obama because Romney doesn’t release his taxes. No Democrat is ever going to vote for Romney because he does release his taxes. .. . The reason why the democrat/Obama camp is making/keeping this an issue is twofold: In many respects, political awareness is a zero-sum game. There is only so much attention that undecided voters are going to pay to politics over the next few months. Every minute spent talking about Romney’s taxes is a minute not spent on some other topic. For Romney’s opponents, this is a cheap and easy way to hijack the debate. Romney would like to make the campaign be about the unemployment rate and the deficit. Obama would like to make the campaign be about a tax-evading vulture-capitalist. Romney’s taxes are a zero-cost topic of conversation that sucks the air out of the room. … Romney is the republican John Kerry: he aspires to be the adequate, inoffensive alternative to an un-popular, polarizing incumbent. Like every presidential race, the opinions of registered democrats and republicans are mostly irrelevant: 80% of voters were decided before the candidates were even named. The election, like all elections, will be decided by a strange and small consortium: Politically ignorant people who genuinely don’t know enough to have an informed opinion, and who are therefore genuinely persuadable by political ads, and; Genuinely conflicted independents. … All told, you are talking about maybe ~10% of total votes cast that are persuadable at this point, and the only ones that matter are in swing states: …
So maybe 0.3% of the total US population will decide the election, around 100,000 people. If the campaigns and outside groups spend $2bn, they might end up having spent $20,000 per electorally-significant, persuadable vote… This is where the tax-stuff comes into play: Obama doesn’t have a lot to run on that will win him votes. But if Mitt Romney turns out to be some kind of actual bad guy, a rich cheater and tax-evader who wants to steal from the poor and give to the rich, then there’s an angle. You have something to vote against, even if you don’t have a lot to vote for.”

otherwiseyep comments on Romney Demanded to See Ted Kennedy’s Tax Returns in 1994.