Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The stupid, it burns
A few brave souls have admitted that (a) the GOP candidate was an unlikable rich bastard and probably not electable from Day One and (b) President Obama just flat out ran a better campaign. The Obama team had a better ground game, was better organized, and for sure had a much stronger grasp on reality. Those folks who are risking becoming pariahs within the GOP by speaking the truth do seem, however, to be the minority. Most are coming out with some really strange rationalizations. Like Paul Ryan.
The New York Times has an article in which Mr. Ryan notes that, in essence, President Obama won because he carried the urban vote. No shit, Sherlock. Cities are where most of the people are. If you can win in all the major metropolitan areas in the country, odds are you're going to carry the states in which they're located. That is, after all, the bottom line in winning elections: if more people vote for your candidate than for the opposition, your candidate wins. Complaining, as some Republicans are doing, that the "wrong" people voted,* i.e., people who happen to be gay or black or Native American or, heaven forfend, female (you know, the people most of us simply refer to as Americans), just solidifies the GOP's reputation as being the last refuge of desperate, aging white men.
Over at Bad Tux, a commenter provided a link to a graphic that takes the usual red states/blue states electoral map and adjusts it for population density. The graphic provides a side by side comparison of results by county, by state, and then with the population density adjusted by county. It isn't a cartogram that distorts the geographic dimensions; instead it adjusts the color based on population. And what do you see? Most of the red areas are so thinly populated there's almost no color there. You can't win a national election when the areas that support you have more cows than people.
*One of the more amusing aspects of listening to the GOP whine was hearing their so-called experts explain that no one expected that the same people who turned out to vote for President Obama in 2008 would vote again in 2012. Unbelievable. If I had the experience many first-time voters had in 2008 that not only did my candidate win, it was a mind-blowing historic moment, that alone would ensure that I'd be back at the polls in 2012. Did idiots like Karl Rove actually believe that Obama supporters were going to do a "been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, don't need to do it again" as though voting for President was akin to a trip to Disneyworld? The stupid, it burns.
[And, yes, I do know that Paul Ryan pontificating about the urban vote is probably another way of saying "the wrong people voted," but I'd rather focus on how remarkably stupid it is on the surface than engage in deconstructions of the subtext.]