Patterico's Pontifications


Democrats Pick Up Senate Seat in Alaska

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democrat and former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has apparently beaten Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history:

“Tuesday’s tally of just over 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave Begich 146,286, or 47.56 percent, to 143,912, or 46.76 percent, for Stevens.

A recount is possible.”

The decision came on Stevens’ 85th birthday, less than a month after his federal conviction for lying on his disclosure forms. The win would give the Democrats a gain of 7 seats in the Senate from this election, with two seats still undecided in Minnesota and Georgia.



Cool Maps

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Strange Maps has two maps showing cotton-picking in the 1860’s and picking a President in the 2008 election. Be sure to scroll down to where the maps are shown overlaid.

Pretty cool if you like history.


Former Cocaine Addict User Elected State Judge

Filed under: 2008 Election,Judiciary — DRJ @ 10:25 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

In the last election, enthusiastic Obama voters swept out virtually all Republican elected officials in Harris County (Houston) Texas. Kevin Fine is one of several Democratic state district judges voters elected and one of four judges who will oversee Houston’s drug courts, a once-a-week docket in addition to their regular judicial duties:

“Elected by Harris County voters as a state district judge this month, Fine said he’ll draw from his experiences as a cocaine addict who has been clean and sober for 10 years when presiding over felony cases.

“Every time I was coming down, I felt like the devil was reaching into my soul, stealing my heart,” he said of his days spent with drugs. The crumpled man in Jesus’ arms is a metaphor for the way he later faced his own skeletons and weathered the problems of addiction, said Fine, a criminal defense lawyer who will take the bench in January.

Fine believes he is qualified to help those who truly want to battle their own demons and says he’ll be able to spot the phonies.

His right arm is covered from shoulder to wrist in a sleeve of tattoos that mark various periods of his life, including the times he battled drugs and alcohol. “I’m probably the only district judge with this many tattoos,” he said. “At least the only one we know about.”

Fine, a Democrat, campaigned on his life experiences, saying they would make him a better judge than his rival, Republican incumbent Devon Anderson.

“She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.”

Fine claims he never appeared in court or met with a client while high but acknowledges his addiction problems started in in his teens and continued throughout his life, including alcohol and cocaine abuse as a practicing attorney. His goal as judge is to help defendants who really want to battle their inner demons “weather the storm” of drug addiction.



Obama’s Hispanic Vote (Updated x2)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 1:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A post-election study by a Democratic think tank argues the Hispanic vote accounted for Obama’s margin of victory in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico:

“In Colorado, Obama’s Hispanic support accounted for 12.4% of the electorate, while Obama only won by 7%. In Florida, Obama’s Hispanic support accounted for 7.9% of the electorate, while Obama only won by 2%. In Nevada, Obama’s Hispanic support accounted for 12.4% of the electorate, while Obama only won by 12%. In New Mexico, Obama’s Hispanic support accounted for 28.3% of the electorate, while Obama only won by 15%.”

Obama’s win in those states were important to his victory and will likely be important in future races, too. If this study is correct, I’m curious how it affects amnesty and immigration legislation. Historically immigration has been like abortion — polarizing political issues that neither Party wants to face head on. Maybe this will convince the Democrats that amnesty should be on the agenda.

I have a feeling it might but I hope not.

UPDATE 1: Karl Rove thinks Hispanic voters are essential to the GOP’s future success:

“Republicans must regain ground among critical voting groups. Voters ages 18–29 voted Democratic by a 2-to-1 margin. A market-oriented “green” agenda that’s true to our principles would help win them back. Hispanics dropped from 44 percent Republican in 2004 to 31 percent in 2008. The GOP won’t be a majority party if it cedes the young or Hispanics to Democrats. Republicans must find a way to support secure borders, a guest-worker program and comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens citizenship, grows our economy and keeps America a welcoming nation. An anti-Hispanic attitude is suicidal. As the party of Lincoln, Republicans have a moral obligation to make our case to Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans who share our values. Whether we see gains in 2010 depends on it.”

That sounds great but how do we do it?

UPDATE 2: Janet Murguía, the President of the National Council of La Raza, also thinks Hispanics were the reason Obama won Nevada, Colorado, Florida and New Mexico. Here’s what she expects from Obama in return:

“At some point in the first term we would definitely expect to see an effort to move responsible immigration reform,” Murguía said. “It would be a big mistake not to act on this important priority.”



Was John McCain Truly the Most Electable Republican?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Sometimes you go back to one of your old posts and think to yourself: you know, this post really holds up with the passage of time. (Then there are the ones you’d like to forget about — so you do.)

One post that I think has held up pretty well is one that I wrote on February 4, 2008, while the Republican primary was still going hot and heavy. My post was titled John McCain: The Myth of an Electable Candidate. Responding to a Wall Street Journal piece by Steven G. Calabresi and John O. McGinnis calling John McCain the most electable Republican, I said this:

It’s my view that McCain only seems electable because of his media image, which will collapse once the country actually gets to know him in the general election.

. . . .

Many voters will eventually learn that McCain’s image is nothing like the reality. People who know nothing of McCain except his image are finally going to sit down and watch a debate. At that point, a lot of them are going to say: “Holy crap! That’s the guy I thought I liked?!” The antiwar crowd will finally realize he makes George Bush look like Neville Chamberlain. And everyone will see McCain’s smug condescension, born of a background of elitism and privilege. It will manifest itself in that self-satisfied mockingly contemptuous grin that he can’t hide.

In response to the assertion by Calabresi and McGinnis that the nomination of Mitt Romney could cost Republicans, not only the White House, but the ability to filibuster in the Senate, I said:

It could. But I believe that the nomination of John McCain is far more likely to create the same result.

And here we are, facing recounts that could well put Democrats over the magic number of 60.

My conclusion was simple:

[E]veryone is certain that [McCain] is the most electable Republican, based on what is known now. I believe that is wrong.

Of course, I continue to maintain that any Republican would have lost this election to Hillary or Obama. And there’s no way of knowing whether Romney would have been better than McCain. Maybe he would have been worse.

But I think he would have been better. Romney campaigned on fixing the economy from the get-go; he brought it up in every debate, while McCain kept talking about the war. McCain’s economic policy truly was little more than “Drill, Baby, Drill!” McCain is a guy who got nailed (however unfairly) for saying that the fundamentals of our economy were strong, and openly discussed his relative weakness on economic issues.

I’m not saying that Mitt Romney would have been some kind of savior.

But McCain sure wasn’t, was he?

Trial Delayed for Alleged Palin Email Hacker

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit notes that the trial for the University of Tennessee student who allegedly hacked into Sarah Palin’s email has been delayed. According to a Knoxville News Sentinel article, the delay is necessary because of the involvement of forensic computer experts.

I don’t care what the outcome of this case is but if the defendant is found guilty, I don’t think there should be jail time but I strongly support a sentence that prohibits him from writing a book or article about his exploits. I doubt that will know that won’t happen but, hey, I can hope.



Reaganism Isn’t Dead

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Scott Rasmussen says Obama won by reminding voters of an earlier eloquent, upbeat, tax-cutting candidate: Ronald Reagan.


The Al Franken – Norm Coleman Senate Race Recount Update

Filed under: 2008 Election — Justin Levine @ 10:55 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

As of 12:10 p.m. [Minnesota time]:

Norm Coleman –  1,211,560

Al Franken – 1,211,356

204 vote difference.

It would be funny if Franken ends up losing the race just because he was unnecessarily rude to a college student. With the margins this close, that could arguably be the case. But the recount is still ongoing….

– Justin Levine


Washington Post Admits Bias for Obama (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 9:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Deborah Howell, the Ombudsman of the Washington Post, admits the Post’s coverage was biased for Obama:

“The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.”

Like most of the media, the Washington Post is addicted to Obama and Democrats and it needs a 12-step program to recover. I doubt it will happen, however, since the Washington Post refuses to fully examine and accept its errors:

“Some readers complain that coverage is too poll-driven. They’re right, but it’s not going to change. The Post’s polling was on the mark, and in some cases ahead of the curve, in focusing on independent voters, racial attitudes, low-wage voters, the shift of African Americans’ support from Clinton to Obama and the rising importance of economic issues. The Post and its polling partner ABC News include 50 to 60 issues questions in every survey instead of just horse-race questions, so public attitudes were plumbed as well.

Translation: Sure, we were biased for Obama but did you notice how well we anticipated public opinion? Dear Ms. Ombudsman: The polls were “ahead of the curve” because the media, including your own Washington Post, were driving the news and public opinion in Obama’s favor. I’m not surprised your polls identified emerging issues and opinions given how religiously you were pushing them on the front pages of your newspaper.

The article concludes with a defense of its Palin coverage and a one sentence admission that it was a “serious omission” not to cover Biden. Apparently the Ombudsman is content with a 1-step program: We goofed. So much for taking transparent steps to prevent this from happening again.

I’m sure that for as long as there’s been a media, journalists have been lured by the temptation to manipulate the news instead of report it. But I think it’s become more acceptable in the industry since Watergate made Woodward and Bernstein media celebrities/heroes. Professionalism is a skill but it’s also a habit. Years of falling prey to the temptation of manipulating the news made it easier for reporters in this election to succumb with Obama’s candidacy. Further, the more one news source did it, the more the rest followed like lemmings.

The Washington Post powers may be glad they got this off their chests and they will undoubtedly reassure us we can trust them because they have reformed. But like most addicts, I have no doubt they will soon return to their shared addiction of making Obama’s Presidency a success.

Washington Post:

UPDATE: Doug Ross on the media’s connections to Democratic campaigns and Presidents, including CNN selling Obama T-Shirts.



Change We Need?

Filed under: 2008 Election,Crime — Jack Dunphy @ 10:30 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

At least one street gang in South Central Los Angeles has apparently come out in support of President-elect Obama. The graffiti shown below appeared on Election Day.

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