Thursday, November 08, 2012

They Really Expected to Win

McCain knew he was going to lose. In the final days of his campaign he spent more time trying to undo the damage his choice of Sarah Palin and allowing the rhetoric to skew sharply to the right had done to American unity. He did this because John McCain is a man of integrity.

But, apparently from what I’m reading, Romney and his folks really thought they were going to win and win big. This wasn’t just a “keep a happy face on” sort of strategy they really thought they were going to have a big night.

Some of the Right Wing wackos, including Glenn Beck and Tony Perkins, were apparently expecting a big night as well and organized specials to commemorate the victory.

How could this happen when every objective analysis indicated a close race but an Obama edge. The final Intrade odds were 70-30 and the European market had it like 90-10. Nate Silver also ended up with a final 90% probability that Obama would win.

Bad information? Bad analysis of the available information?

I suspect it’s not that easy.

Psychological study after psychological study indicates that Conservatives, and especially Authoritarian Followers, cannot differentiate between belief versus knowledge and opinion versus fact.

That being the case I can understand the confusion of the faithful. But I had always pegged Romney as a Social Dominator who didn’t give a crap about the cause. He was just willing to do whatever it took to access the power of the presidency. Since Authoritarian Followers are relatively easy to control, Social Dominators tend to gravitate to that group and in this country the vast majority of Authoritarian Followers are Right Wing Conservatives.

I’d like to gloat about all of this, and I will be enjoying the gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness over the next couple of months, but I know politics is a fickle mistress and sometime in the not too distant future the Left might be the ones asking “how did this happen?”

In the long run Liberalism always wins. There may be setbacks from time to time but ultimately people realize that if you restrict the rights of someone else your own rights are in jeopardy. The argument comes in figuring out what those “rights” are. If you think about it, that’s what we’re fighting about.

The “rights” currently being fought over include gay marriage, abortion access, gun ownership, religious expression, including prayer in the schools, teaching Creationism, crosses on public land and God in the motto and pledge, and the right not to be forced to do something such as buy health insurance.

I find it interesting that sometimes the Left is trying to broaden rights and sometimes it’s trying to restrict them and the Right is doing the exact same thing. It all depends on the “right” being fought over.

There are subtleties in all these battles and skirmishes can occur in the strangest places as I’m sure Chick-Fil-A and Home Depot can tell you.

We can’t even “agree to disagree.” We have to come to some sort of compromise. You know, come up with a solution that pisses everyone off and sets the stage for the next round of fighting.

In the meantime Florida is still up for grabs but Obama is still leading by about 47,000 votes and Washington appears poised to approve gay marriage which would make it a 4-0 sweep. The Democrats have also picked up two more Senate seats giving them 53 plus the two Independents that caucus with the Democrats for a total of 55 seats. Not a filibuster proof majority but a solid majority. The House is still the problem but Boehner is making all the right noises. Maybe he’s thinking about making a 2016 run?

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