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The Endorsements We Don’t Need

Thankfully, our long national nightmare is about to end. (And, two days later, another will likely begin). I won’t make predictions. I’ll just repeat what I said in the comments: if the polls are right, Obama will win. If they’re wrong, Romney will. Polls are interesting, but they are not reality. We know the shape of the wave function. But it won’t collaps until tomorrow.

I’ve made my choice clear and I think it’s pretty clear who everyone on the blog is going to vote for. But the thing that always amuses me when we get to the endgame are the endorsements.

First, you get the newspapers. Why should anyone care who they endorse? Some have endorsed Romney; most have endorsed Obama. But these endorsements are often less-informed than your typical voter. Check out the NYT’s endorsement: no mention of crony capitalism; no mention of how financial criminals got off scott free; no mention of drones or kill lists; no mention of the ramping up of the war on drugs (in fact many in the media have falsely claimed Obama has backed off of the war on drugs). It reads, as almost everything from the NYT Op-Ed page does, like it was cribbed from a Democratic Party press release. Anyone who votes based on NYT’s endorsement should have their head examined.

Then you get the celebrity endorsements. The only time this gets interesting is when you have something like the Stacey Dash situation, where a black actress had invective — including racial invective — thrown at her for having the temerity to endorse Romney. But I would submit that if you are basing your vote on whom Sam Jackson endorses or whom Lindsey Lohan endorse, you really should have your franchise taken away and given to some 11-year-old-girl who can be bothered to pay attention.

The third category are not really endorsements, per se, but the preferences of foreign countries. I am not going to say these are completely useless. Staying on friendly terms with countries is, after all, the President’s job. And I don’t subscribe to the theory that foreign countries want an American leader who is weak; they need our aircraft carriers in their seas more than we do. You’ll notice when some country gets whacked, they don’t call France for help. However, these preferences are going to have precisely zero influence on the electorate. If anyone ever told me they were going to vote Romney but decided on Obama because 81% of India supported him, I’d call the guys with straight jackets.

In the end, we can talk about soccer moms and swing voters and who has endorsed what. But it’s going to come down to one question:

Which of these guys is going the fuck the economy the least?

We just have to hope that our fellow citizens’ choice turns out to be the correct one. And whatever the verdict tomorrow, our job as citizens has just begun.

17 comments

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  1. richtaylor365 says:

    Although I have made my preferences known, I can live with an Obama reelection. I will have to pay more in taxes and I believe the degree at which the country will get whacked has been understated; but life will essentially be unchanged for me.

    But what I don’t want is;

    An instant replay of 2000, where the process was delayed interminably
    Any controversies involving massive election fraud
    Any recount nonsense
    A situation where the popular vote goes to one guy but the electoral vote goes to the other
    And, if Romney wins I pray those cry baby democrats don’t start breaking things in a fit of temper

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I’m with you Rich. I think the thing the screamers don’t understand is this: when you commit voter fraud or surpress votes, when you exaggerate voter fraud or vote surpression, when you start making up the rules as you go, you undermine the process. if a majority or even a plurality of Americans come to believe that the process is fixed, it will be the end of the Republic. The people who said that Bush was not a legitimate President in 2000 because of whatever weren’t undermining Bush, they were undermining the process. They were undermining the country. it’s one thing to pay attention to fraud and voting rules and insist on a fair process. But the Michael Moore’s of the world went way beyond that into conspiracy la-la land.

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  3. West Virginia Rebel says:

    Most polls actually have Romney and Obama dead even. Romney got enthusiastic responses at crowds that were bigger than Obama’s by a large margin. That has to count for something.

    Whatever happens, this election will have been a clear referendum on Obama’s first-term policies.
    West Virginia Rebel recently posted..Hizzhonor Drops ByMy Profile

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  4. CM says:

    Dead even national polls are meaningless though…..

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  5. Mississippi Yankee says:

    This is – 60 Years of Campaign Ads – From Ike to Obama. somewhat sadly I was there for every single one.
    And there was some doozies!

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  6. salinger says:

    I don’t give a whole lot of credence to polls or network coverage (whose preference for a horse race inclines them to keep things “exciting”.)

    I am more comfortable looking at what the bookies are predicting – folks with actual skin in the game and right now they are picking Obama roughly at 4:1.

    http://www.pinnaclesports.com/ContestCategory/Politics/Lines.aspx

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  7. CM says:

    What do the bookies use to work out their odds? The polling, and where people want to put their money.

    Obama has surged ahead in national polling over the last few days. 1.6% average lead among 12 polls. That’s a bump of 1.5% compared to the previous versions of the same polls (i.e. from 0.1% ahead). These polls also had large sample sizes.
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/nov-5-late-poll-gains-for-obama-leave-romney-with-longer-odds/
    Florida could go either way but Silver now gives Obama a 52% chance of winning it.

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  8. Poosh says:

    I read somewhere Obama has an 81% chance of victory.

    Gulp.

    If… when? Obama wins, the shit-storm will continue and our enemies will gather in strength. But oh well. Here in Europe life’s pretty good on the surface!

    Soon you will know the joys of crumpets and croissants!

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  9. Thrill says:

    If this election accomplishes nothing else, I hope to see Nate Silver thoroughly discredited. He caught lightning in a bottle in 2008, but is not for real now.

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  10. Kimpost says:

    What did he pick? 49 of 50? Won’t happen this time. Not just because he was lucky the last time, but because there are many more close states now.

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  11. CM says:

    I read somewhere Obama has an 81% chance of victory.

    Or 91%

    If… when? Obama wins, the shit-storm will continue and our enemies will gather in strength. But oh well. Here in Europe life’s pretty good on the surface!

    I remember that kind of talk when Obama ran first time around. Terrorist attacks every week on American soil etc etc. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    If this election accomplishes nothing else, I hope to see Nate Silver thoroughly discredited.

    How come? What did he do?
    http://isnatesilverawitch.com/

    What did he pick? 49 of 50? Won’t happen this time. Not just because he was lucky the last time, but because there are many more close states now.

    Yep. He’s got Florida for Obama now. So he could easily be wrong on that one.

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  12. Ed Kline says:

    I am more comfortable looking at what the bookies are predicting – folks with actual skin in the game and right now they are picking Obama roughly at 4:1.

    People like you are the reason I could retire at 43. Bookies set odds based how people are betting, not who the bookies think will win, and people are generally betting based on polls and prejudice. Bookies do not have ‘skin in the game’ they make money on the vig.

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  13. Thrill says:

    I remember that kind of talk when Obama ran first time around. Terrorist attacks every week on American soil etc etc. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    Ah, but who predicted that Obama would adopt Bush’s national security policies instead of the ones he campaigned on?

    Me. That’s who, baby.

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  14. CM says:

    Bookies set odds based how people are betting, not who the bookies think will win, and people are generally betting based on polls and prejudice.

    But mostly polls.

    Ah, but who predicted that Obama would adopt Bush’s national security policies instead of the ones he campaigned on?

    Me. That’s who, baby.

    Nice.
    And yet even after four years of it, people are still lamely trying to claim “our enemies will gather in strength” if Obama wins. LOL

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  15. Thrill says:

    And yet even after four years of it, people are still lamely trying to claim “our enemies will gather in strength” if Obama wins

    They’ll gather in strength regardless. That’s beyond our control, for the most part. It is, however, our responsibility to not weaken ourselves. Given that Obama couldn’t take a few days away from fundraising to address sequestration, the signs point to “Oh, Damn.”

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  16. salinger says:

    People like you are the reason I could retire at 43.

    Yeah – because bookies are in the business of losing money and the odds they offer never give themselves the advantage. People like you …

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  17. salinger says:

    Stupid bookies – what was I thinking?

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