Mr. Choom Gang Wants Us to Quit Thinking About Weed

17 03 2015

Washington, D.C.

You’ve got a lot of nerve.

Remember, the whole purpose of Colorado Amendment 64 was to put weed legalization on the same ballot on the same day as the Presidential election in order to swing Colorado to Obama.

Though it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

They Knew Even Then

4 02 2015

Washington, D.C.


Axelrod: Romney ‘12 concession call ‘irritated’ Obama

President Barack Obama was not amused by Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential election concession call, according to a new memoir.

In “Believer: My 40 Years in Politics,” former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod writes that the GOP candidate implied on the call that Obama had won because of his popularity in black communities, according to the New York Daily News, which acquired an advance copy of the book.

Obama was “unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over,” according to Axelrod.

“‘You really did a great job of getting out the vote in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee,’ in other words, black people. That’s what he thinks this was all about,” Obama said after he hung up with Romney.

And that irritated Obama?  As the Census Bureau data released the next June proved, it was the truth.  In fact, I’m sure Obama had already concluded months before election day that it’s something he and his campaign needed to do.  I guess he’s only mad that Romney noticed it.  In fact, it was half the equation to explain how Obama eked it out:  His campaign did a great job of turning out middle aged and elderly black women (the only two demographics whose 2012 turnout increased over 2008), and the other half was Romney’s inability to run up landslide margins among working/middle class whites in northern swing states.  And that happened partially because of the Obama campaign’s anti-Romney FUD, but most of that was Romney’s own doings.

But the big bombshell here, if you’re paying close attention, is that even on election night, Mitt Romney and his campaign already knew half the answer, that it was high (elderly) black (woman) turnout.  If Romney knew it, then the RINO establishment knew it.  This means that we now know that they knew all along that their peddling of this ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!!1 line and “we gotta do amnesty because Mitt lost Hispanics severely” line postmortem was and still is deceitful bullshit.  That is, of course, an example of what I concluded my last post with:  Power creating its own truth.  In the case, the power of the cheap labor open borders lobby.

Do the Jebby

15 12 2014

Washington, D.C.


In New Election, Jeb Bush Stakes Out the Middle Ground

WASHINGTON — When former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida quietly visited Senator John McCain in his Capitol Hill office this fall, discussion turned to a subject of increasing interest to Mr. Bush: how to run for president without pandering to the party’s conservative base.

“I just said to him, ‘I think if you look back, despite the far right’s complaints, it is the centrist that wins the nomination,’ ” Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, said he told Mr. Bush.

In the past few weeks, Mr. Bush has moved toward a run for the White House. His family’s resistance has receded. His advisers are seeking staff. And the former governor is even slimming down, shedding about 15 pounds thanks to frequent swimming and personal training sessions after a knee operation last year.

But before pursuing the presidency, Mr. Bush, 61, is grappling with the central question of whether he can prevail in a grueling primary battle without shifting his positions or altering his persona to satisfy his party’s hard-liners. In conversations with donors, friends and advisers, he is discussing whether he can navigate, and avoid being tripped up by, the conservative Republican base.

Asking President John McCain for advice on how to win?  Great Idea!

Actually, 2008 does provide the template on how Bush can win the nomination while running as a non-conservative, because it’s how McCain did it that year — A whole conga line of conservatives or pseudo-conservatives will get into the race in order to pad their resumes or satisfy their egos.  They’ll split the conservative vote, and the media-favored “moderate” will win almost all of the early primaries and caucuses with 25-30% of the vote, but get all of the delegates from those states because of winner-take-all.  Eventually, the media-favored “moderate” keeps on ekeing out so many wins with laughably puny plurality percentages but gathers such a big delegate lead combined with the media mindshare that opposing him eventually becomes futile, and everyone else either literally drops out or quits campaigning, meaning the media-favored “moderate” will win the later primaries with landslide percentages.

The party’s establishment elites and some longtime advisers to Mr. Bush are urging him to remain steadfast on his positions, especially on immigration, if he runs. They are convinced that Mitt Romney ruined his chance to win in the fall of 2012 by veering too far to the right during the primaries, turning off general election voters as a result.

I can forgive people for not being adept at the relatively obscure political history that happened before they were born, but self-styled political experts should know a lot better about the political history of not even three years ago.  Willard Romney never veered to the right at all.  He never won a single Southern primary or caucus while Gingrich and/or Santorum were viable; in fact, in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney finished in third place behind both.  Romney won the nomination by being the favored Republican candidate of Republican voters in blue states and of Republican voters in blue counties in competitive states.  What he didn’t realize is that blue states and blue counties are blue because they have more blue voters than red voters, so while he could easily win Massachusetts or New Jersey or Wayne County, Michigan or Cuyahoga County, Ohio in the primary season, they were inevitably going to be blue in November because they have way more many Democrat voters than moderate Republican voters.  Meanwhile, Alabama and Mississippi were right there for Romney in November, and while Romney didn’t win Ohio or Michigan in the fall, just about all the Santorum counties in the spring in those states were Romney counties in the fall.

One thing that became perfectly clear in the 2012 aftermath is that Romney’s inability to sell himself to white Southerners in the spring was a very good proxy of the problems he would have in selling himself to non-Southern white working class voters in the fall.

My Audacious Contention

30 10 2014


“War on women” a dud in 2014.

Strap on the seat belts, because  I’m about to make an audacious contention that brings a lot of clarity to stories like these:

“War on women” had very little to do with the way 2012 turned out.

It’s just that Democrats pounded that line into the ground two years ago, and they happened to do well, so they made the usual correlation-causation mistake, and trotted out war on women again this year.

This is all aside from the fact that there is no war on women.

You Forgot Two Words

27 10 2014



Why House Republicans Alienate Hispanics: They Don’t Need Them

Political analysts keep urging the Republican Party to do more to appeal to Hispanic voters. Yet the party’s congressional leaders show little sign of doing so, blocking an immigration overhaul and harshly criticizing President Obama for his plan to defer deportation for undocumented migrants.

House Republican leaders want amnesty legislation badly, but they can’t find a way to con the back benchers into voting for it.  They might “harshly criticize President Obama for his” potential executive order amnesty in public to save face, but in private, they’re hoping he does.  If he does, the Republican establishment is going to throw a really big party in a soundproof room.

The fact that the Republican House majority does not depend on Hispanic voters helps explain why immigration reform has not become law, even though national Republican strategists believe the party needs additional support among Hispanic voters to compete in presidential elections. It’s true that Republicans would stand little, if any, chance of winning the presidency in 2016 if they lost every Hispanic voter. If anything, the Republicans probably need to make gains among Hispanic voters to compete in states like Florida and Nevada.

The fact that members of Congress face election every two years and are more likely to face pissed off voters if their paw prints were actually on an amnesty bill is a better explanation.

But Congressional elections are different. Although the young, urban and racially diverse Democratic coalition has won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, that coalition has not delivered House control to the Democrats. Gerrymandering isn’t the only cause, either. It’s the way the population is distributed.

That last sentence is crucial, because I’ll have a link to another story below.

The Upshot analysis found that if not one of the eight million Hispanic voters supported the Republican candidate, Republicans would lose about a dozen House seats, especially in Florida and California. The loss of those seats would make the Republican House majority more vulnerable if Democrats made gains elsewhere in future years. But given the Republicans’ current strength across rural areas and in conservative suburbs, the loss of every Hispanic every voter would not be enough to cost them the 17 seats that would flip House control.

And this analysis is a bit faulty because it relies on two Latin words:  Ceteris Paribus.  They just fiddle with the Hispanic vote without fiddling with the white vote or any other vote.  In the real political world, Ceteris Paribus does not exist.  Everything you do to get one person to vote for you will cost you statistically speaking some decimal number of voters, hopefully for your sake it’s a decimal less than 1.00.  I think that Republican attempts to appeal to Hispanics yields a higher than 1.00 decimal, i.e. they lose far many more white votes with their Hispandering than Hispanic votes they gain, in fact I think the ratio is way way way higher than 1.00.

The Republican lead in the race for control of the Senate, on the other hand, does not include such a cushion. A percentage point could make the difference in several of this year’s crucial contests, and winning every Hispanic vote might be worth a point to the Democrats — even in states with a small Hispanic population. Hispanic voters will represent about 3 percent of the electorate in the Senate battlegrounds.

We did a special run of our Senate model, Leo, imagining that the Republicans lost every Hispanic voter. In this situation, the odds flip — precisely, as it happens. Republicans would have just a 31 percent chance of retaking the Senate, compared with the current chance of 69 percent on Monday. Without any Hispanic votes, Republicans would lose a bit of ground everywhere, but become decided underdogs in Colorado and find themselves in a tight race in Texas.

Yet the Republicans would still have a plausible path to victory — as plausible as the actual Democratic path — because they could pick up the six Democratic seats they needed elsewhere. In South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Alaska, North Carolina and New Hampshire, there are very few Hispanic voters.

Thom Tillis in North Carolina, sizable Hispanic population, has a better than even chance to lose next Thursday precisely because he’s a Hispanderer and open borders all the way.  He won’t win very many Hispanic votes by doing it (they already have Kay Hagan), and he’ll drive away white votes.  Because Senate races are statewide affairs, the opposite of ceteris paribus being true becomes statistically more crucial, and because Hispanics punch well under their demographic weight even in Presidential cycles and are even less than that in midterms, white voters become all the more crucial with their marginal leverage.

Perhaps most remarkable is that we’re even entertaining this notion. In reality, the Republicans will win millions of Hispanic votes this November. But the House Republican majority does not depend on those votes. Indeed, it could even withstand losses far beyond reason.

Republicans in general this season will do better among the scant few Hispanic voters than the 27% that Mitt Romney did among Hispanics in 2012, precisely because Republicans this season are generally in a stronger position.

To win the White House in 2016 or any future year, the Republicans will need a substantial number of Hispanic votes.

No they will not.  This same newspaper did this same kind of analysis of Presidential votes and the Electoral College in 2012, and found that, ceteris paribus, Romney would have needed to get 73% of the Hispanic vote to win.  No Republican Presidential candidate in my lifetime has ever gotten anywhere near 50% of the Hispanic vote, much less 73%.  The high water mark was Bush’s 40% in 2004.  Then there’s the fact again that ceteris paribus does not exist in the real world.  The more the Republicans try to get Hispanic votes, the way more white people they will run off.

But the fact that the party doesn’t need many of those votes to hold the House makes the Republican effort to appeal to Hispanic voters far more challenging. The Republican Congress has few, if any, immediate incentives to reach a compromise on immigration reform or otherwise reach out to Hispanics.

Hispanic voters don’t have “immigration reform” (amnesty, open borders, border surge) as their huge priority.  They’re mainly social welfare and government giveaway voters.

Now, for the second article:

Early voting has started in states nationwide, and Election Day is drawing near. And when the votes begin to be counted, the Republican Party will have a built-in advantage as it seeks to keep control of the House of Representatives.

The reason? A years long plan by Republican strategists to take advantage of the 2010 census and reshape congressional districts in key states to pack large numbers of Democrats into relatively few House districts, while GOP voters are spread out more evenly.

Gerrymandering, as it is called, has a long history in the United States, ardently pursued by both Democrats and Republicans. But the Republicans’ success was unprecedented and largely out of the public eye.

However, you can read a hint above that this is off base.  In fact, last year, the NYT did a big computer analysis of the 2012 Congressional (House) candidate vote.  Democrat House candidates got slightly more votes than Republican House candidates, but the winners based on those votes were 233 R to 202 D.  Everyone, including me, just assumed that the 2011-2012 redistricting, largely done in state legislatures that were based on state legislature elections of the 2010 red wave, was the only thing that kept the House Republican in spite of a slight Democrat generic voter win.  However, the NYT fed the actual 2012 House two-party voting data into hundreds of possible national House district configuration maps, ranging from seemingly insanely pro-Democrat maps to seemingly insanely pro-Republican maps, and also the current real world map.  It found that only a scant few of the craziest Democrat-favorable maps would have resulted in a Democrat majority based on actual 2012 votes, meaning that almost all of the pro-Democrat maps, all of the neutral maps and all of the Republican maps would have resulted in what we actually got, that is, a Republican majority.  They also found that the real world map is not a wacky crazy pro-Republican map, that it’s about in the middle ground of hypothetical Republican-friendly maps.  That makes sense, because there were some state legislatures that were in Democrat hands in 2011 and 2012 that gerrymandered in favor of the blue team, such as Illinois and California.

The reason is what this first NYT article says above.  As long as Democrat voters willingly clump into tight geographical areas, they will be at a natural disadvantage in Congressional politics.  Not Republican gerrymandering, Democrat self-ghettoization.

Besides, what this AP advisory forgets is that Republicans have a blue team political ally when they do gerrymandering:  Black Democrats and the NAACP.  The Missouri map for this decade which means a 6-2 Republican majority save some sort of drastic turn of events was a map that black politicians in the General Assembly voted for twice, both to implement and to override Nixon’s veto, the NAACP in St. Louis and Kansas City approved, and the then and still two black Congressmen from Missouri, Lazy Clay and Beaver Cleaver, also endorsed.

If the AP is trying to manufacture an excuse for what is pretty much a foregone conclusion, that Republicans will hold onto the House and probably gain a few more seats, something else they’re forgetting is that this year, unlike two years ago, Republicans will almost certainly win the generic House candidate vote, too.

In Case You Were Wondering

10 07 2014

Your Blogmeister’s Desk


I’ve been telling you that I haven’t finished spilling all the beans because certain people have kindly requested that I hold back until the timing is right.  What I knew but didn’t say myself here is that “right timing” meant that Todd wanted to tell his side of the story, and he wanted to do that first.  I highly suspected that his side of the story was going to be in book form.  A theory which was proven right yesterday when a brown truck delivered me an author-autographed copy of this book.

The way I figure, it won’t be long until it goes on sale to the general public that I’ll get the okay to spill the final bean, that is, why he didn’t drop out of the race.  That is something this book does not really cover.  There is a subtle hint on the cover of this book:  The words “party bosses.”  A few weeks ago, I dropped another hint, that is, if you were paying attention.

What it does do most crucially, I think, is show that the huge mistake was acknowledging the remarks at all.  I remember thinking to myself the Monday after that the whole thing would blow over by the end of the week.  I should have paid closer attention to myself; if I would have, I would have yelled and screamed at everyone to ignore this thing, not to say anything about it in public, not to fuel the non-troversy, and it probably would have blown over.  It wasn’t until the middle of November when it was all over anyway that this conclusion of what I and we should have done hit me like a ton of bricks.  Todd’s mentality is that his apology fueled and in fact endorsed the smear and the paranoia, and he’s right about that.  It’s just that I go one step further:  The apology would not have happened without our acknowledgment, and that’s what really added fuel to the fire.

Gerrymandering Schmarrymandering

27 01 2014


Turns out the conventional wisdom parroted by both the political class and yours truly about the 2011 gerrymanders helping the Republicans in the House in 2012 was mostly fatuous. The takeaway is that the study did lots and lots and lots of simulations of the November 2012 Congressional vote based on differing Congressional districts, and found that it was virtually impossible to draw a map that would have delivered the House to the Democrats.

We get a mention:

The results were not encouraging for reform advocates. In the vast majority of states, our nonpartisan simulations produced Republican seat shares that were not much different from the actual numbers in the last election. This was true even in some states, like Indiana and Missouri, with heavy Republican influence over redistricting. Both of these states were hotly contested and leaned only slightly Republican over all, but of the 17 seats between them, only four were won by Democrats (in St. Louis, Kansas City, Gary and Indianapolis). While some of our simulations generated an additional Democratic seat around St. Louis or Indianapolis, most of them did not, and in any case, a vanishingly small number of simulations gave Democrats a congressional seat share commensurate with their overall support in these states.

Except in terms of Presidential politics in 2012, Missouri was not “hotly contested.”  That Romney was going to win it was a foregone conclusion that both the Romney and Obama campaigns drew in the spring of 2012.  If you lived in St. Louis or Kansas City media markets during the fall of 2012, you didn’t see one Presidential media buy.  That’s because those media markets cover three states that were foregone conclusions:  Kansas (Romney), Missouri (Romney), Illinois (Obama).

As far as I know, Indiana wasn’t really contested, either, in terms of Presidential politics.

As far as Congressional redistricting, one big giant X-factor that the author of this piece doesn’t mention is this:  Blacks.  Gerrymandering to help white liberals in order to hurt white conservatives also hurts blacks.  This is why during the 2011 redistricting process here in Missouri, the politics of which took place in the very building in which I am currently writing this blog post, Republicans and black Democrats teamed up to give us our current map, because the current map benefits Republicans and black Democrats.  And besides, why are white liberals bitching?  It’s not as if a black Democrat member of Congress is going to vote against white liberal hobby horse issues anyway.

If the white partisan split in House elections overall was around 51 R 49 D, then the liberal Democrats would have a point about gerrymandering.  But in reality, it’s around 60-40, and that means that even favorable Democrat gerrymanders wouldn’t make much of a difference.


Consider last year in Virginia.  Democrats eked out the statewide offices, but Republicans won 67 of 100 seats in the State House (House of Delegates).  However, considering the generic vote, Republicans got more votes than Democrats, significantly more, when examining House of Delegate elections alone.  The Democrats that won statewide only won because of the big margins they ran up among Federal workers, blacks and immigrants in suburban D.C., Richmond and Norfolk.  But there was probably no way to draw a map of the House of Delegates to engineer anything close to a Democrat majority.


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