Patterico's Pontifications


Defeating Obama: An Advance for Racial Equality

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Yesterday we were treated to a typically bombastic Paul Krugman entry which argued that the race isn’t even close, and Obama will obviously win:

Today’s Financial Times bears a banner headline on p.1: “US election hangs on a knife edge”. Aside from everything else, surely this gets the cliche wrong: you rest on a knife edge, don’t you? If you try to hang on one, I think you just cut off your fingers.

More important, though, this headline deeply misleads readers about the state of the race — and in so doing, it echoes a lot of political reporting right now. Quite simply, many of the “analysis” articles being published in these final days leave readers worse informed than they were before reading.

As Nate Silver (who has lately attracted a remarkable amount of hate — welcome to my world, Nate!) clearly explains, state polling currently points overwhelmingly to an Obama victory. It’s possible that the polls are systematically biased — and this bias has to encompass almost all the polls, since even Rasmussen is now showing Ohio tied. So Romney might yet win. But a knife-edge this really isn’t, and any reporting suggesting that it is makes you stupider.

It ain’t close, Krugman tells us — BUT! If Romney pulls it out somehow? Racism will be to blame:

Again, as Nate says, it’s definitely possible that the polls are systematically wrong. The obvious ways they could go wrong, cell phones and Latinos, favor Obama rather than Romney; but maybe pollsters are overcompensating for these factors, or maybe there’s a large Bradley effect distorting poll responses. Reporting about these possibilities would be interesting.

But reporting that suggests that this is a too-close-to-call race doesn’t get at any of this; it’s just lazy, and a disservice to readers.

This is pre-emptive ass-covering: Obama will run away with it, and if I’m somehow wrong about that, it’s racism!

My guess is that we have a reverse Bradley effect — which in future times will be known as the “Obama effect” — involving people who voted for Obama the first time around because it felt good to vote for the first black president, but who now see how ineffective the president is and don’t plan to vote for him again . . . but don’t want to admit it.

When the reason for your vote is that shallow, it’s hard to admit you were wrong. But I think a lot of people have admitted it to themselves. They just don’t want to say it to a pollster.

I hope they understand that this represents yet another advance in racial equality. In 2008 it felt good to some to show that, regardless of the color of his skin, a man can be judged worthy of the presidency. In 2012, it should feel better to show that, regardless of the color of his skin, a man can be judged unworthy of the presidency. Only when we show that we can judge people on their merit and accomplishments (or lack thereof) rather than on skin color will we have truly achieved racial equality.

49 Responses to “Defeating Obama: An Advance for Racial Equality”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. The country would be racist if they are unwilling to throw a black man out of office the same way they are willing to throw a white man out of office. It would be a victory for racial equality to throw the black man out of office, and I’m all about racial equality.

    j curtis (e2eb16)

  3. Racists.

    JD (8e5a8c)

  4. There was never a more appropriate title for a column than the one penned by that demonic midget clown Krugman. His bitter tears will be oh so sweet.

    JD (8e5a8c)

  5. Oh, I guess you said that first. It looks like I just repeated your point.

    j curtis (e2eb16)

  6. The racist church goers who wait in line to vote will be damned by the govt. controlled media.

    mg (31009b)

  7. _____________________________________________

    or maybe there’s a large Bradley effect distorting poll responses.

    “And if Obama shared the ideology of Herman Cain, I’d be praying for the Bradley effect. I’d be regretting affirmative action and civil rights,” said Paul Krugman. “I might even consider spitting on Rosa Park’s grave.”

    Mark (66bba6)

  8. Krugman has long since been beyond parody.

    JD (8e5a8c)

  9. When you boil it all down, the only racist identified in the column is Krugman himself.

    SPQR (768505)

  10. Krugman is good at taking the optimal CYA position. Look at his opinion of the stimulus back in 2009: “It should be twice as big.” Perfect! If the stimulus failed (as it did), he could say that was because it was too small. If it succeeded, he could say that fiscal stimulus was more powerful than even he imagined. Either way, Keynsian economic theory is protected.

    I notice his lap dog DeLong playing the racial card today, too. Maybe they all coordinate this on Jornolist 2.0.

    JohnW (c3661c)

  11. ==They just don’t want to say it to a pollster==

    Yes, this. Many people never get called by polling firms but many who are called refuse to participate. Even with caller ID, etc., with all the behind the scenes data mining that is being employed (including by political campaigns and retail advertisers and criminal enterprises) a lot of Americans anymore are very reluctant to share voting plans, personal demographics, and political thoughts with total strangers who may or may not be who they claim to be. I suspect this may be particularly true of individuals of Conservative mindset.

    I do think the polls in general are unusually foobar this year because there are too many polling companies out there doing too many polls in a pool of too few willing/honest respondents — and for too many clients who are hoping to shape opinion rather than learn something. I even think the RCP average of polls which I initially thought had value, especially for trends, is not working this time for many of the reasons I have listed above.

    elissa (17ed41)

  12. a vote against food stamp is a vote against pelosi, who is a deeply deeply white woman

    happyfeet (11d0d4)

  13. Who knew that all those times I voted against a white candidate it was racism?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  14. I started this campaign answering polls like I’ve done for decades — flipping a coin. So many calls this year I just quit.

    htom (412a17)

  15. Polls, and most media, are useful as used toilet paper….

    Kevin P. (97b78a)

  16. Nah, we’re only voting against his white half — the ideas he absorbed from his commie mother and grandparents.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  17. Typical white people. Forget skin color. Just let your vaginas inform you how to vote.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. Oh, in that case I’m voting for 0bama/Ryan.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  19. Krugman: “It’s possible that the polls are systematically biased”

    — So, it’s possible that the polls mean absolutely nothing . . . BUT, look at what they’re saying!

    Icy (734067)

  20. I have been using this line with my Lib friends or with parents of children that have gone bad and are now lefties.
    “I don’t expect you to buy the bumper sticker or to contribute. However, when you get in the booth, look over both shoulders, and, just like all your friends are going to do,vote for Romney. When Obama loses you can wail about it so no one will ever know. Do it! Your financial future depends upon it.”

    Gazzer (477e15)

  21. On Fox News Sunday it was pointed out that there is a disconnect betwen the national and the state by state polls. I think it was Brit Hume who said that the state polls are done by less experienced firms.

    There is a problem with polling. A very small, decreasing, percentage of people of people answer surveys. It becomes very hard to adjust for people who don’t respond.

    As one pollster said, (paraphrasing) the current polling techniques were developed in an era when almost everybody had a landline (he could have said no more than one or two or three) and answered the phone. And we don’t know if they are any good any more.

    There is a persistent anti-Republican bias in polls because people who vote for Republicans disproportionately do not answer or trust surveys. The bias many years ago used to be against Democrats because of Democrats not answering. That was after the 1936 Literary Digest straw poll (which was probably stuffed by some people in my opinion – nothing to do with people owning phones – the balllots were distributed all over including in post offices. The magazine would publish updates. Once it started to show a pro-Landon tilt eople didn’t answer it.)

    Around 1960 it probably was even, and since 1968 it has underestimated Republican votes.

    What we don’t know is how this has been corrected for.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. Baghdad Bob is quite enamoured with Paul Krugman’s confidence and spirit

    Hawkins (1fc204)

  23. I don’t think there’s any kind of a Bradley effect except possibly when being polled by a black person.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  24. I would imagine, after this four-year fiasco, the next Presidential Candidate who just happens to be Black, will be more intensely scrutinized by the press – particularly (of course) if he represents the GOP. Perhaps vetting will become an Equal-Opportunity exercise, but then, I’m the eternal optimist, who has for too many years seen Leftist given a pass on almost any activity in their past, while Conservatives are raked over the coals for not bringing-in their trash barrels in a timely manner.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  25. ==I don’t think there’s any kind of a Bradley effect except possibly when being polled by a black person==

    Sammy, you’re not saying that the color/race of the person at the other end of the phone line is always obvious, are you? I think that’s a stretch.

    elissa (17ed41)

  26. Keep racism in America alive!

    Vote Democrat in 2012

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. If my good friend J. called you up you’d know immediately and witout a doubt that she’s originally from Brooklyn. But I defy you to pick up that she is black.

    elissa (17ed41)

  28. Krugman: “It’s possible that the polls are systematically biased”

    It’s possible that Krugman has tertiary syphilis.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  29. If anyone knows bias, it is Krugman.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  30. A simple internet search makes it easy to know the identity of the owners of most telephone numbers, so polling companies can put opinions with names if they want to. The fact that campaigns are identifying and linking people together reinforces that our “anonymous” opinions aren’t really anonymous. Many people know this and are less willing to answer polls and/or share their opinions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. The Republicans (hopefully Conservatives) have a REAL chance to increase their House seats and take over the Senate by several seats.

    Worthwhile reading for the day before the presidential election 2012:

    Romney for President
    The Obama record is unimpressive.

    AdrianS (6bcbdf)

  32. “If anyone knows bias, it is Krugman.”

    AD – Didn’t he write a book – “Lack of Conscience of A Liberal” or something?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. I know there will be many reasons given if Obama loses but I believe Barack and Michelle Obama will always blame racism, which is why they will never recover from this. After all, the Obamas are the ones who described non-supporters as people who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations” and who said the last election was “the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” That’s racism talking, which is why they see it in everyone else.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  34. The Obamas certainly seem to know a lot of racist ministers. Probably just a series of coincidences or something.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. I heard the anecdote about George Will discussing the first black manager in major league baseball, Frank Robinson.

    When Robinson was hired, people were excited about the color bar being transcended. And Will pointed out that it is the day that Robinson is fired, that will be a day to celebrate, because it suggests that Robinson’s evaulation will then be about the merit of his performance.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  36. Daley, I cannot confirm or deny that Krugman has written a book – I don’t read propaganda.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  37. == That’s racism talking, which is why they see it in everyone else==

    DRJ–many many good and decent people are sick and tired of being called racists by politicians and the media, when they know they’ve lived their lives in a way that isn’t racist and have tried to raise their children to understand and emulate Dr. King’s “content of character” message. The crazy “dog whistles” and wholly unsupportable accusations have backfired badly. Sadly it will take the nation a very long time to recover from the damage the Dems and sick-minded media have done in ginning up racial animosity and suspicion in this 2012 election.

    elissa (17ed41)

  38. Amazing how the so-called intelligentsia demands that the Presidency of the greatest country that ever existed on this planet become an affirmative action project! In a time of great stress and peril these buffoons actually want people to forget this man’s record and vote on the basis of his color. Trying to blame his defeat on racism is worse is as bad or worse than anything the Klan did over 100 years ago. Geezez, Klugman must have won his Nobel prize in an off year with some pretty sad competition.

    scr_north (4932dc)

  39. I believe Barack and Michelle Obama will always blame racism, which is why they will never recover from this.

    If they did, then they would have acknowledge that racism also put Barack Obama in office: the majority of voters voted against the white man.

    The accusation of racism is an overwrought, tired, sagging sack of soggy desperation that rational people understand its current impotence.
    Its power has been so diminished, it means nothing anymore to most.

    Dana (292dcf)

  40. Its power has been so diminished, it means nothing anymore to most.


    JD (318f81)

  41. With the record of racism tossed around over the last 4 years you try this?
    “shuck and jive”
    Roy Blunt:
    “… Something they didn’t anticipate was monkeys came running out of the jungle, and they grabbed the golf balls … and they might throw the golf ball back at you. … So for this golf course, and this golf course and this golf course only, they passed a rule, and the rule was, you have to play the ball where the monkey throws it.”

    Limbaugh: “Might have to put that off until Obama’s out of office, but they’ll eventually go after Oreos.”

    Pat Buchanan “White men built this country!”

    And on and on.

    sleeeepy (b5f718)

  42. You brought up uppity. Nobody else.
    You and Pelosi brought up boy.
    Shuck and jive is only a codeword for racists such as yourself. It bears not-racist connotations for others.

    The rest is standard leftist race-baiting and dog whistles for racists that only leftists can hear.

    Slurpy keeps getting more agitated.

    JD (318f81)

  43. Sleeeepy,

    The premise behind the metaphor of a dog whistle is that it can only be “heard” by racists.
    Therefore, if you and Chrissy Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell all “hear” a dog whistle everytime a Republican says, “Chicago,” “golf,” “food stamps,” or “responsibility,” it’s more than likely that you make those associations with black people. It’s like the ink blot test (The Rohrschach Test)—you see what you see.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  44. “Hey, doctor, you’re the one showing me all these dirty pictures.”

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  45. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  46. Seriously, there was nothing racist about Blunt’s monkey story; most Democrats are white, you know. And 0bama is an oreo; there’s nothing black about him except his skin. Except that most oreos I know like America.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  47. Not voting for Obama is pure racism. Denounce yourselves. :)

    The Emperor (f239c6)

  48. Reading your drivel is a waste of brain cells. Now go back to foraging amongst the dingleberries dangling from Choom’s rectum. Tell us how nice it is for Philly election crooks to eject GOP observers at the polls and replace them with Black Panthers to intimidate voters?

    Calypso Louis Farrakhan (e799d8)

  49. @calypso. Loser!

    The Emperor (82279f)

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