Thursday, June 12, 2014

Maybe it's the stupidity, stupid

Headlines blare that U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor lost a primary election to a more extreme tea bagger and pundits lined up to give it all meaning. Can the Republic stand?

It's called an upset, but that's just blown dust like in sports when the team the experts didn't pick ahead of time wins the actual game. And calling the winner an unknown, mostly because the press which holds the key to known or unknown, simply paid him no attention having all but ignored the primary,  tacitly acknowledging Cantor the winner a long time ago.

Cantor, who reportedly spent something like $5 million to his opponent's $300,000, had polls showing him winning with as much as 62 percent of the vote. The pollster he believed was the same one who predicted Romney would win in 20012.

Lots of reasons have been offered for the loss. Cantor wasn't extreme enough for the tea baggers; Democrats crossed over figuring it would be easier to defeat the tea bagger in the general election; Cantor's stand on immigration wasn't in line with his constituents' thinking. A day later at least one pundit gang decided the vote was all about universal dislike for immigration reform. While it is an important issue, it's also difficult to believe a majority of voters are all that concerned over an idealistic progression.

And once they tired of giving us why this happened, those pundits quickly moved to the future. What's it going to be? Is the party of tea baggers stronger than expected, reports of its demise premature? Some went so far as to say it is the end of the Republican party as we know it. Already polling for November even though nobody even knows exactly who this candidate is, let alone his Democratic opponent who, as it turns out works for the same small college in Virginia. It's all lip flap, news people, like sports reporters, trying to report the news before it happens. Isn't that why they play the games? Because predictions are not always correct?

They all lay out logical and some illogical reasons for the results: this leads to this, leads to this, sort of thinking. They seldom go past two levels though, all in someone's form of logic leading to why the Republican leader lost, what it means and who will win in November. Along with that is the speculation about how this will destroy Congress. Doubtful.

Maybe electing a tea bagger to replace Cantor is all right. The new guy will be low on the seniority scale with nowhere near the influence and power his predecessor held. But that's a false hope. The GOP will drag out some other flabbermouth to fill the position and we will be right back where we started, logic or no logic.

Years ago on a college political science exam, I analyzed a campaign and its result, presenting my theories based on what to me was sound logic given all the information available and brought the whole thing to a nice, neat logical conclusion.

When the exam was returned with a grade, obviously made by a graduate student teaching assistant, I had received a much lower mark than I expected. Next to my carefully crafted essay was the curt note "there is no logic in politics."

My first response was anger; why even bother teaching political science if it is all irrational mayhem? How else are we expected to analyze something like an election without using logic to find logical answers. How will we ever understand what happened? What else is there?

But,  now, looking at the Cantor defeat and watching all these analysts scramble around looking for the logic in it, well, it appears the only logic is what you choose yourself, your own opinion of what happened. And there never will be a complete answer. Just look at that pollster who got the result prediction so wrong. You would have to interview every voter in that district to find answers, that's right, plural, because there will be no single one. Two voters are upset about immigration reform; one wants to save Social Security; one guy's wife's second cousin was once in a bridge club with Cantor's wife; one other is a friend of Kevin McCarthy who is the most likely replacement; and five more are just plain angry with the GOP in general, for among other things, wanting budget cuts all over social programs, but spending millions on sure-to-fail attempts to repeal Obamacare or try to pin Benghazi on the president; seven women who believe their health is their own business and not politicians'; and one is a pissed off lobbyist for an environmental group because Cantor has fought every effort to address climate change. 

And while people try to get an answer neatly folded into some cubbyhole where it fits, perhaps it takes a step back to view a larger picture.

I haven’t seen a comment yet that says maybe we are all  fed up with Republican shenanigans in Congress and the standstill government and want to get those Repubstructionists like Cantor out of there, even if it means electing yet another tea bagger to take his place. Maybe we are just pissed off and in this case the evil you don't know is most likely better than the evil  you know. One thing is for certain the one you don't know is not going to have anywhere near the power of the one he is replacing.  That's of course if the new evil can defeat another unknown who is losing in the polls when the actual election comes around in the fall.

Maybe it was just because he's a dick

1 comment:

  1. I use to be a news-aholic and spend hours watching either MSNBC or CNN. No, Fox was never part of the rotation for reasons you can imagine.

    But anyway, it took awhile but even someone like me eventually realized the talking heads often did not know what the hell was going on. They were getting paid to run their mouths and I've got to admit they are earning their money. Long story short, unless some part of human civilization is being blown up or about to be blown away by Mama Earth I don't go near those channels anymore.

    Like you wrote about Cantor's unexpected defeat, there is no complete answer but a combination of different elements that somehow makes up an insane whole.

    I actually feel foolish now given that I once thought 24/7 news channels might be a benefit to the country and world.


Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve