The Four Million Missing Votes Myth. Romney in 2012.

We are in the midst of a very odd presidential campaign. My usual preference would be for a governor as candidate but Chris Christie is not one I would vote for and the other governors have pretty much cratered as candidates. Walker and Jindal, who I like, are out. Kasich, who I don’t like, is on life support by rich donors who are using him to trash Trump.

I am still a Romney guy and would vote for him again if given the chance.

This brings up the frequent allegation that Romney alienated “Religious Conservatives,” by which are meant religious fundamentalists.

I have my doubts about the conservatism of religious fundamentalists but they have been allies as they see themselves under attack by the left wing “secular humanist” wing of the Democrats.

However, there is doubt about the supposed absence of votes from the “Religious Right” in 2012. I do think that segment of the Republican electorate can be affected by events and I think one example is the Bush drunk driving arrest, which was concealed by the Bush campaign and revealed just before the election by a Democrat operative. Actually, the story was first broadcast by a Fox News affiliate in Maine.

I think this revelation, which occurred the week before the election, may have led some Religious Right voters to stay home in enough numbers to make the 2000 election a virtual tie.

The story of Republican voters staying home because Romney was either not conservative enough or because he is Mormon is just not true.

To the extent that any of these analyses are based on the proposition that Romney got millions fewer votes than McCain, they are provably wrong. What happened is pretty simple: some states and localities take longer to count the votes than others – some big cities are notorious for this, some count absentee ballots slowly, California traditionally counts very slowly, and some of the jurisdictions hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were understandably slow getting finalized. But the final numbers are not what was originally available in the immediate aftermath of the election:

In 2004, George W. Bush got 62,039,572 votes vs 59,027,115 for John Kerry.

In 2008, John McCain got 59,950,323 votes vs 69,499,428 for Barack Obama – in other words, McCain lost about 2 million votes from what Bush had received, while Obama gained over 10 million vs Kerry’s total.

In 2012, Mitt Romney got 60,934,407 votes vs 65,918,507 for Obama – a million more votes for Romney than McCain, and 3.5 million fewer for Obama (but still up around 6 million compared to Kerry).

I have my own theories about the vote totals and I blame the GOP party apparatus for most of it. The late convention meant that he was not the official nominee and could not spend money to rebut the constant attacks the Democrats made all summer. The old Nixon rule that “nobody pays attention to politics until Labor Day” is obsolete. Romney was trashed all summer with material provided to the DNC by Newt Gingrich in the spring debates. The GOP has learned its lesson, we hope, and will move the convention next year to June.

With the earlier convention date, the GOP’s 2016 nominee will have a huge financial and strategic edge over Mitt Romney’s position in 2012, when he had to wait until he was nominated in late August before he could spend campaign money raised for the general election –and was outspent by a 3-to-1 margin on TV all summer long by President Obama.

Gingrich’s most harmful attacks on Romney created “Romney’s Vulture Capitalist Problem.”

Mitt Romney is the real thing. He was, by any measure, an astonishingly successful businessman, one who spent his career explaining how business might operate better, and who leveraged his own mind into a personal fortune worth as much as $250 million. But much more significantly, Romney was also a business revolutionary. Our economy went through a remarkable shift during the eighties as Wall Street reclaimed control of American business and sought to remake it in its own image. Romney developed one of the tools that made this possible, pioneering the use of takeovers to change the way a business functioned, remaking it in the name of efficiency. “Whatever you think of his politics, you have to give him credit,” says Steven Kaplan, a professor of finance and entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. “He came up with a model that was very successful and very innovative and that now everybody uses.”

Gingrich and the Democrats like Obama, who have never created a job, trashed Romney all summer with fake stories like the women who lost her health insurance. Romney could not respond.

The other big problem was the miserable GOP Get Out the Vote campaign. They were optimistic in early 2012 with high hopes. The reality was a complete collapse on Election Day.

As conservatives search for an explanation for Mitt Romney’s loss, much of the blame has been directed at the collapse of his campaign’s Election Day get out the vote efforts, a massive organizational failure that resulted in lower Republican turnout than even John McCain got in 2008.

A major source of Romney’s GOTV problems appears to have been the disastrous Project ORCA, an expensive technological undertaking that was supposed to provide the campaign with real-time poll monitoring that would allow Republicans to target GOTV efforts on Election Day.

What happened ? There were high hopes but it didn’t work.

The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they’d begin contacting people that hadn’t voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It’s worked for years.

From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

This guy is a web developer and knows how to do these things.

Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.

Obama had the overt help of huge internet companies like Google and Microsoft but the Obamacare web site was a disaster. The rest of that article explains the other failures. This was not rocket science ! Let’s hope the GOP is better prepared this time.

More from Red State:

There may be factors unique to Romney that caused problems around the edges, as was true of McCain in his own ways – you can read an effort here to extrapolate the potential effects of anti-Mormon bias from some social-science research, and while I don’t find it notably persuasive, there may be some spots on the map where the removal of that factor could open new avenues in 2016. Romney was also more of an immigration hawk than McCain and more identified with personal wealth, while McCain was older, had a more polarizing running mate, a messier personal life, and a markedly less favorable political environment to run in.

Then there’s Sean Trende’s “missing white voters” analysis, which I reviewed back in July 2013 and which you should read in its four-part glory if you want a deep dive into this stuff. Trende’s conclusion was that white-voter turnout rates were down much more than voter turnout among other racial groups in 2012 (other than voters categorized as “other” – if you look at the map, one of the unexplained features of 2012 seems to have been drastically lower Native American turnout than in 2008). Trende concluded from close examination that these were “largely downscale, Northern, rural whites. In other words, H. Ross Perot voters.” Or Donald Trump voters, today, perhaps.

If you are interested in this stuff read the piece and look at the charts. I just don’t know but I am certain the “missing 4 million voters” is a myth.

34 thoughts on “The Four Million Missing Votes Myth. Romney in 2012.”

  1. The missing conservative votes may or may not be a myth. But myths are used as weapons. I will only speak for my county; but in 2012 the Republican Party had no real campaign. No one was willing to do the work of campaigning. Our TEA Party group did it all, and the then-current Republican County Chair came to our meeting after the election and openly admitted that without us there would have been no campaign.

    In 2014, the official County Republican Party literally collapsed, went bankrupt, and lost their County HQ storefront of 10 years. This was early in the campaign. We of the TEA Party had started campaigning in October 2013, and we very literally were the Republican campaign. The goal was to elect a Republican Congress [both Houses] to oppose Obama. We did get them elected [not one Democrat won any ballot slot in our county] but we saw them collaborate with the Democrats immediately after the election.

    Fool us once . . .

    The TEA Party reconstituted the Republicans in our county after the election, and now we run it. But it is interesting that here it is almost December and there is no talk at all of starting a campaign for any putative 2016 election.

    There are two noteworthy takeaways here, I think. It is the conservatives who are the only ones who believe strongly enough to actually go out and do the dirty work of running an election. And the Republicans have worked at chasing out conservatives from the party at all levels for over a decade. Worked really hard. Most I know ended up in the TEA Party.

    Secondly, the myth of refusal to vote for Romney is actively used by the GOPe as a club to blame conservatives for Romney’s loss. And yet at the same time those same GOPe types claim that if we conservatives are purged out of the party, the loss of our votes will have absolutely no effect on a Republican victory.

    “Only the Great Blue Sky Tengri Nor knows what the outcome will be.”

  2. Obama knew what he was doing when he succeed the IRS on the Tea Party after 2010.

    I agree that the Tea Party needs to be the cadre.

  3. I do read comments now again along the lines, If so-and-so isn’t on the ballot, I’m staying home. Not very helpful. The best is the enemy of the good. And no one I knew didn’t vote for Romney because he was either too conservative or not conservative enough. He was seen as far better than the alternative. As has been demonstrated.

  4. Subotai Bahadur,

    What does the Tea Party do in the wider realm of participatory politics beyond electoral (GOP) politics. I’ve thought as a movement the Tea Party would make a better difference with a greater focus on activism in other areas of society, most importantly working with students in education, academia, and campus culture.

  5. Autocorrect is really annoying. It changed Sicced into succeed after I edited the post.

    It doesn’t even make sense.

  6. Better methods wouldn’t have won. Romney being an intelligent man didn’t appear to want the job. I wasn’t expecting his son to confirm this publicly BTW.

    You might want to ask yourself if those methods were supposed to work in any case. Professional GOP types know where their bread is really buttered.

    The National GOP’s interests like the Democrats are with the Statists.

    Washington of course is a world all it’s own and it’s a world mainly about MONEY for the great masses of them [millions] through access to the few that have POWER. Of course there are many intervening layers of access to POWER that provide so many of them MONEY.

    Washington is hopeless. The people there are beyond redemption.

    A Chief Executive that doesn’t hate us and whose interests are aligned with ours can mitigate our Trial but we can’t avoid one.
    The only one is Trump. The rest are either not getting there [Christie] or Frauds like Cruz, Rubio.

    One President isn’t going to single handedly destroy the interests of the millions of professionals around Washington anymore than Louis XVI was going to reform Versailles.

    Our Turn at History is upon us and we aren’t talking or voting our way out of this one.

  7. “we aren’t talking or voting our way out of this one.”

    Even I am not this pessimistic.

    Plus my football team won today.

  8. a million more votes for Romney than McCain, and 3.5 million fewer for Obama (but still up around 6 million compared to Kerry).

    I read his analysis up to the point where he compared vote totals but didn’t account for increased population size/ increased number of citizens and then just scanned the rest of his essay to see if I could find reference to the DENOMINATOR and then stopped reading.

    If you can’t understand the reality before your eyes, then you can’t actually analyze what is transpiring.

    Here’s the US Census on population increase between 2000 and 2010 – the number of people over the age of 18 increased by 15,375,976 in that decade. I don’t know how many were US citizens and thus eligible to vote but I’m pretty sure that the size of the electorate didn’t remain static between 2004 and 2012 and so any analysis which begins with the premise of just looking at vote totals is flawed.

    This same rebuttal can come from a different direction. If the claim is that Romney lost because some voters stayed home, then looking at how those who voted cast their votes doesn’t give us any clue about those who didn’t vote. The 2004 vote total was 121 million, the 2008 total was 129 million, and the 2012 total was 127 million. We know that Obama won the white women and white youth vote in 2008 but lost them in 2012, so we know that some white voted for Obama in 2008 and then switched to Romney, but this doesn’t tell us anything about the people who didn’t vote. Who did Romney turn off to such a degree that they didn’t even come out to vote?

    If this Trump phenomenon continues at pace up until election day, then we might have some interesting data to look at with respect to people being drawn back into the voting process after having give up on participating in elections.

  9. “Who did Romney turn off to such a degree that they didn’t even come out to vote?”

    You might read the article about voting behavior. I agree about Trump.

    It wasn’t that Romney “turned off” voters but that fewer people are voting.

  10. Eric Says:
    November 28th, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    What does the Tea Party do in the wider realm of participatory politics beyond electoral (GOP) politics. I’ve thought as a movement the Tea Party would make a better difference with a greater focus on activism in other areas of society, most importantly working with students in education, academia, and campus culture.

    I can’t and won’t try to speak for the TEA Party in general, so take this for what it is.

    From my point of view, we formed to give an electoral voice for the principles of limited, constitutional government, and the rule of law. Those principles were NOT being addressed or supported in reality by the Republicans and were actively being opposed. The Democrats have been in open opposition to them for decades.

    It was probably indicative that our first public event was attended from across the street by a half dozen strangers, not from our small town, driving Chevy Suburbans, wearing Federal haircuts, and aiming some very large-lensed cameras at us. I admit that from the stage, I pointed them out to the crowd.

    The debate at the time within the TEA Party was whether to try to take over the Republican party from the bottom up or go create what I refer to as a SECOND party. You will note that there is no SECOND party existing now.

    In my experience, we have expended most of our efforts in the electoral field, and succeeded in getting a Republican majority in both Houses. And as far as policy, and principles, that has proved to be a totally wasted effort. Locally, our other efforts have been to fill the vacuum left by the evaporation of the local Republican party, and some efforts towards emergency preparation and defense; both individually and in concert with local agencies.

    Speaking ex cathedra from my navel, it seems to me that we simply did not have enough time left in the American Republic. In a country with a moot Constitution, no rule of law, and a functional one-party state; electoral politics become moot.

    The only thing that would give some hope would be the nomination of a non-GOPe outsider which at this point in time means Trump or Cruz. And that has two problems. First, the Republican Party will do anything to avoid that, up to the point of openly stealing the nomination. Second, if somehow against their will a non-GOPe candidate is nominated; the bulk of the Republican Party machinery will work to elect Hillary with varying degrees of overtness and covertness. We have seen them do the same thing at the state level around the country.

    That makes the assumption that there will be something approximating a real and acceptably honest election.

    You may have seen that I refer to “any putative 2016 elections”. That is a term of art. Too many hostile trend lines are converging in early 2016 to make an assumption of those elections happening a high probability. Whether it happens by fraud or state of emergency; the fact that the one surety in the political world is that the Republicans will not oppose ANYTHING done by Obama gives him political weapons-free.

    On that basis, in hindsight I suspect that at the time of the foundation of the TEA Party, that there was already not going to be time to work on a societal basis.

    I tend to agree with Vxxc2014 that in the end it is not going to be possible for us to be able to vote our way out of this. If we are fortunate, our children and grandchildren may be able to vote in a meaningful election.

    Be Thou then Truly Resolved . . . .

  11. I have more than a few neighbors that should have voted for Romney (gun owners etc.) but didn’t largely because he looked like their boss or bosses boss at big corp. The implication was that he was not connected with the regular joe and was part of the establishment (first false, second true). I maintain that it is a bad idea for the GOP to run any finance guy if other options are available. Here in Connecticut we are 49th in growth and are hemorrhaging business but the GOP candidate was a mini-mitt. He lost by a whisker of fraudulent votes from the cities, but ran a terrible campaign. The Dems/Left ran the usual out of touch rich guy meme and it worked. Mitt also suffered from the Mormon tradition of outward consensus, with all decisions made behind the scenes in committee. Thus he lacked the punch it up experience and desire to beat up Obama.

  12. …but Chris Christie is not one I would vote for and the other governors have pretty much cratered as candidates. Walker and Jindal, who I like, are out. Kasich, who I don’t like, is on life support…

    I don’t like Christie either but I would vote for him over Hillary for the Supreme Court pick(s) if nothing else.

  13. I agree with Subotai B: “Speaking ex cathedra from my navel, it seems to me that we simply did not have enough time left in the American Republic. In a country with a moot Constitution, no rule of law, and a functional one-party state; electoral politics become moot.”

    If TEA had begun in the 90s perhaps or even early 2000s. Of course in the 90s everyone was was busy gambling on stocks, houses and being entertained by Clinton’s soap opera pron. In the 2000s distracted by Terrorism.

    The still ongoing 2008 crash and bankruptcy revealed the truth too late: The American People and their Elites realized to their mutual respective horror that their interests were opposed and that neither had control of the other in a moment of existential crisis.

    The Elites chose for both sides and they chose their side.

    Once that choice was made they backed it as far as they dared and continue that brutally realistic policy today. Open Borders for instance is the response to Molon Labe. Police refusal to confiscate firearms has the response of Federally sanctioned political murders of Police Depts who don’t bend the knee to DOJ.

    We The People kept voting for our precious Entitlements until it was too late and now we’ll get what we’re entitled to in spades.

  14. “we simply did not have enough time left in the American Republic. In a country with a moot Constitution, no rule of law, and a functional one-party state; electoral politics become moot.”

    Almost. The voters do get to pick their Commander in Chief and miraculously we have an electoral option that could not and will not come from either party: A competent and brashly arrogant Billionaire. Commanders in Chief are important in Strife.

    I’m not saying he’s Jesus or even Reagan.

    He’s what we’ve got.

  15. DirtyJobsGuy….”a mistake for the GOP to run any finance guy if alternative available”….agree. The financial industry is so unpopular…partly for justified reasons, partly because it seems like black magic to people who don’t understand it very well….that a finance person would lose a significant number of potential votes compared with someone in almost any other kind of business.

  16. Demographic trends in the near future could tend to favor the GOP

    The large numbers of Millennials that reached voting age in the past decade overwhelmingly swung to Obama. If they follow the example of the previous generations they will vote more conservative as they get older.

    Note also the numbers on Asians. They’re now the largest immigrant group, and for whatever reasons they supported Obama in extraordinary percentages. Being generally culturally conservative, they could presumably swing to the GOP as they assimilate. It probably can’t get much worse.

    His observation that Millennials prefer a “cool, analytical, consensus-seeking persona” might not work to Trump’s favor. At the risk of stereotyping an admittedly broad and nebulous group, I would caution that Asian voters might prefer that type of candidate also.

  17. My investment specialist, who is Christian fundamentalist, was angry at her pastor for telling her congregation to stay home and not vote for the “Mormon”. She blames the fundy-Christ-right for obamies B/S presidency.
    She was pissed beyond belief that her fundy-Christ-right friends 1: didn’t vote against o-butthole, and 2: that her low-info fundy-Christ-right jerk-off loozer friends did not know that Mormons are Christians.

    Get with it America…they are “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” and they are leading the charge of conservative America.

    Flush out your heads!

  18. “I maintain that it is a bad idea for the GOP to run any finance guy if other options are available.”

    Romney was not a hedge fund guy. He took businesses in trouble and fixed them. That is what we have in this country.

    The “other options” are usually, and especially this year, Senators who have never run anything.

    Carly is a similar resume to Romney and that is why I like her, plus her ability to speak well and on any topic.

    The angry techies who attack her get little sympathy from me. I was an engineer and saw all the guys I worked with leaving Engineering and that was 1959.

    I would vote for Christie but he is really a RINO, I fear. Better anything than Hillary. Too bad Netanyahu is not available. He is hated by the left for taking Israel away from Socialism, as well as tough defense. He and Romney have been friends for 30 years from the MIT MBA program.

  19. Grurray Says:
    November 29th, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Demographic trends in the near future could tend to favor the GOP

    True, as far as it goes. Sad fact is that you have to survive the short term to benefit from longer trends. The key point is how long the short term is before the “near future” kicks in. A secondary point is how long the GOP has to exist.

    What I suspect is that those you are depending on to turn will have to have a life and death reality level collapse of their world before they will come out of the Leftist mental fog. At which point it will be too late and Darwin will be in full play.

    Of course, YMMV. I don’t claim omniscience, and my life is full of counter-examples.

    Subotai Bahadur

  20. “It probably can’t get much worse.”

    Of course it will.

    Demographic trends unless reversed favor war and genocide by design. That’s the point.

    Mass migrations – and immigration IS migration – are civilization killers. Always have been and always will. At no time in our history including the blest 19th century could we have assimilated these numbers and at that time there was no doubt what and who the dominant culture was and that it was assimilate or else.

  21. Subotai Bahadur:
    “On that basis, in hindsight I suspect that at the time of the foundation of the TEA Party, that there was already not going to be time to work on a societal basis.”

    Why not work the various bases at the same time? It shouldn’t be either/or because electoral politics don’t happen in a vacuum. They happen in the context of everything else. Working only on an electoral basis seems to neglect much of the ecosystem of politics.

    Republicans, for the most, don’t strike me as opposed to the principles advocated by the Tea Party. Rather, they’re compelled to account for the “societal basis” of the political ecosystem that the Tea Part is ignoring. Thus, it seems obvious to me that the Tea Party ought to be working on the whole political ecosystem, not just one part of it, in order to make a difference.

  22. “the Tea Party ought to be working on the whole political ecosystem, not just one part of it, in order to make a difference.”

    I think it began to do so and that is why Obama and the federal bureaucracy attacked them so intensively.

    Whether they can survive and accomplish anything before the revolution is the question.

    I sit here in California, the belly of the beast, and wish better things for my grand children.

    I just wish it were so.

  23. Mike K,

    As a specific example, the recent Marxist offensive on college campuses seems like a tailor-made situation for the Tea Party to counter on a “societal basis” while claiming a pole position as a champion of fundamental American principles in a critical social setting, yet as far as I can tell, the Tea Party has been absent.

  24. “the Tea Party has been absent.”

    I think they were badly hurt by the leftist assault, not just the IRS but the things like Wisconsin. I hope they will revive next year.

  25. The Tea Party voters remain but the organization doesn’t exist at the National Level except as co-opted Fraud-the GOP stock in Trade.

    Look at Red State. He [EE] was made an offer and leapt at it.$$

    TEA had a great showing in 2010 then was crushed by the Left wing of Power and bought at the top by money from the Right.

    That part is over. There are reasons I say we won’t be talking our way out of this-including voting.

    1] They’ve started shooting cops nationwide under a political umbrella of sanction from DOJ Civil Rights Division and the White House. This was part of an ongoing co-option* of local police depts by DOJ ongoing since the late 90s. For whatever reason they escalated to a campaign of terror against the Police. This caused the Tectonic plate shifting of the NYPD turning their backs-something noticed and emulated nationwide. When you begin a campaign of killing you’ve committed. The Left has committed.

    *Politics is Power. The Federal Govt/DOJ/POTUS can’t legally give local police orders so they find ways around the law. Classic struggle of center vs peripheries. King vs Nobles.

    2] Interest: TEA directly challenges the livelihoods and indeed very existence of the political class. Of course they pushed back and no orders to do so were needed regardless of whether they were given. The political class isn’t 537 politicians it’s millions of contractors, civil servants, staffers, crony businessmen. It includes Finance, Academia, Law, Education. We’re talking 40 million people. Only a few hundred are voted in or out. Voting [except for the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces-the President] is over.

    3] If that’s not enough there are massive debts and indeed daily bankruptcy of this apparatus. Finance has derivatives outstanding of $552T. We’re getting near peak compression on the derivatives-or a form of principal.

    However the other end of the apparatus owes hundreds of millions of Americans sunk entitlement obligations of approx $205T. That’s a cost not so easily waved away as notional as there’s millions of armed angry citizens demanding what they’re entitled. This is a bigger killer than the derivatives. They owe us all money they can’t pay.

    4] If the Elites cede power under debts owed to the nation and the world and that debt pyramid collapses then our Elites have no reasonable expectation of survival. Not even a jail sentence.
    This is the same situation since 2008.
    The Elites cannot surrender and expect to survive, so they won’t surrender and that includes to the voters.. Remember also that much of our govt has personal side deals they need to conceal as well. When an opponent is trapped – in this case by their own vices – the opponent won’t surrender to certain death. Better to fight.

    5] Since fighting to live is always preferable to surrender to certain death they’ve opened the borders. If there’s any doubt about why reflect that most of the poor huddled masses since 2014 are military [and gang-banger] aged males. A teenage male in a conflict zone is by definition a solider whether he likes it or not – and on balance he likes it very much indeed.

    6] Under these circumstances the last vote we have that has influence-The Presidency-is actually important. The President commands the armed forces. It would be for our own good if he was basically on our side although he’ll be in mortal conflict with his own govt before even taking office.. The Executive using the People as weapon against Nobles is nothing new in history of course. New perhaps to us.

    7] Finally: without holding out false hopes the current situation is we have no leaders* but they have no Troops.

    If we had a leader of sufficient command [of us] the possibility of peace sooner and mitigation of evils increases as then they’ll have someone to surrender to with the hope or promise of survival.

    *Prog system good at Poppy Cropping/eliminating opposition especially leaders. But they’ve left themselves with none to deal on our side.

  26. The Tea Party isn’t dead. Remember that the New Right, which rose up in response to the welfare state, took decades before it got its candidate – Reagan – and its legislature – the Gingrich Congress – into place to roll back and defeat collectivism. You didn’t expect it to be easy did you?

    You don’t see the Tea Party fighting pitched battles at Universities because that is a lost cause. The combination of trillion dollar student loan debt and technological advances have made the imploding American system of higher education obsolete. Unfortunately, at this point we need to just let them destroy each other. It will probably all come out in the wash of America 3.0’s Big Haircut.

    Where you do see Tea Party affiliates fighting tooth and nail is for elementary school choice, charters, vouchers, and home schooling. People from the entire political spectrum are unhappy with low performing public schools, so this is a winning issue that has the most impact in traditional Democratic strongholds like urban areas. About 1/8 of all kids in Chicago now attend charter schools, up from just a handful ten or fifteen years ago.

    It may or may not translate into votes. As others have pointed out, waiting for the perpetually poor urban voters to convert to conservative politics has been about as fruitful as waiting for Santa Clause. However, the school choice revolution is ingraining conservative values such as free markets, subsidiarity, and autonomy in groups previously swallowed in the sinkhole of statist central planning. In the long run, the country is going to better off, and you can thank the Tea Party.

  27. Grurray:
    “It may or may not translate into votes.”

    Like I said, it shouldn’t be either/or, and a fundamental flaw of the Right has been to think of social solutions only in terms of electoral politics rather than across the larger spectrum of participatory politics that interact with and set the grounds for electoral politics. The Left has accepted the gift of the Right’s negligence to relentlessly exploit large expanses of social ground ceded by the Right. Where some folks complain about GOP “elites” and “establishment”, I mostly see Republicans responding rationally to a political ecosystem that’s dominated by the Left because of the Right’s negligence.

    If Tea Party affiliates are recognizing that competitive politics neither begin nor end with the vote, that’s a good start. Electoral politics are a staple, but they need to broaden their political range in order to compete.

    “You don’t see the Tea Party fighting pitched battles at Universities because that is a lost cause. The combination of trillion dollar student loan debt and technological advances have made the imploding American system of higher education obsolete.”

    Ceding academia and campus culture is a strategic error.

  28. “at this point we need to just let them destroy each other. It will probably all come out in the wash of America 3.0’s Big Haircut.”

    I have a left wing son and daughter-in-law that I see very little of and talk to less. They were at his brother’s for Thanksgiving dinner. My other daughter-in-law, whom I am close to, told me about an interesting conversation. The wife of my lefty son is a college professor at a small college near Berkley where her politics fit nicely with the atmosphere. She told my other daughter-in-law a disturbing story about a recent experience. She was teaching a class and two black female students were standing in the hall outside her classroom talking and laughing. Finally she went out and asked them to quiet down or move because they were disturbing her class.

    Not long after this, a black administrator came to talk to her and told her there had been complaint about her racist behavior (asking them to move or quiet down) and she was in trouble. She is now quite worried and is not yet entitled to tenure. She made a comment about how she never thought this would happen to her. This, of course, is second hand and Im not sure she would have the self awareness to say something like that.

    They are eating their own.

    Today, I was driving home from work and, at a double left turn lane, another car cut me off, turning sharply across my lane. I honked at him. As we turned, I saw it was a black man who was giving me the “hate stare” as though I had no right to honk.

    Bad times are coming, especially if the GOP looks like it might win the election. This will panic the governing class and their hangers-on.

    Fortunately, I live in Orange County behind the “Orange Curtain” that my lefty son has ridiculed for years as a right wing backwater. His wife told her sister-in-law she is starting to be concerned about their two daughters in the area they live, near Oakland. It’s hard to believe they would move to hated Orange County but children sometimes cause self awareness in the damnedest people.

  29. Somehow, they don’t mind unleashing mindless & unethical hatred on others when they think it gains them power. But them?…that…can’t be..not me…this isn’t fair…I..uh…

  30. My wife’s family had the same situation with her brother and her parents. They always had opposite views on politics, but they stopped speaking completely when Obama was elected. For some odd reason, he took personally all the conservative complaints about Obama and blamed his parents for it. I think it was a typical unbridgeable divide – father served in the Pacific in WWII and son grew up in the comfortable aftermath in the 60s and 70s.
    He sort of had a brief reconciliation with his father before he passed away. Sort of.
    It’s too bad because they didn’t agree on politics but agreed on other matters such as golf and religion.

    In my family we have an unspoken understanding among siblings to mostly only discuss sports, rock music, or business ventures, and it makes for smooth holidays.

  31. “They always had opposite views on politics, but they stopped speaking completely when Obama was elected.”

    I have a similar situation with my older son. I was actually unaware of it until he took offense at some innocuous comment I made to his wife, on Facebook of all things !

    It turned out he had all sorts of stored up resentments. Politics is only part of it. Naturally, he is a trial lawyer.

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