Saturday, June 16, 2012

Something MUST Be Done

Ace at Ace of Spades HQ skewers the "intellectual" independent who refuses to make up his mind, like some partisan hack, until he has all the facts. As Ace points out, the independent group is the least well-informed and frankly the least interested group among voters. Sadly, they are a large group and can swing elections. So the fate of the free world rests on the shoulders of the independent voter, which is just a euphemism for the I-don't-give-a-crap-but-want-to-seem-rational-and-measured-instead-of-intellectually-lazy voter.

Ooooh Good Lord. (Emphasis mine.)
One of the most frustrating thing about the politically unaware is their unchanging belief that Something must be done! (all attempts to panic the public into agreeing that Something Must Be Done! are directed at this cohort), but they have little idea of what, specifically, should be done. Something. You know, something. Something must be done, why are you not getting this?
One thing many conservatives never acknowledge is that, ultimately, a successful candidate must agree with this cohort that Something Must Be Done. They cannot be argued out of this position; they've held it all their lives. It's not merely a belief, it's an article of faith.
It's the single thing they know about politics -- Something must be done.
Then Ace takes the independent voter to the woodshed...
Now, [Frank] Luntz gets frustrated, because in his focus-groups, these sorts of people swear up and down on the Bible that they haven't made any decisions, but when you keep asking them, it becomes clear they have made decisions on almost all the factors which will produce their ultimate decision.
Like, in 2008, they might say "Obama would be better for the economy, he has better leadership skills, he's smarter than McCain, he understands ordinary people's problems better than McCain."
And then you ask, "So you're voting for Obama, then?" And they say, "Oh no, I haven't decided yet. I'm waiting for all the facts."
What facts? You think Obama is superior in every important way. What exactly are you waiting for, to admit your preference?
In other words, they have decided -- they just think it makes them seem like smarter, more informed voters to claim they're still deciding, so they won't admit that. As they're actually not very well informed voters -- and I think they know this -- this pretense becomes very important to them. They need some pretense to excuse away their complete disinterest in reading the news.
So they basically start insisting they want the candidates themselves to catch them up to speed, ignoring the fact that policies are spelled out on their campaign websites, and ignoring the fact that these positions are easily and readily discoverable, just by googling and reading.
But they don't want to do any of that, so they just keep saying they'll make their decision when a candidate "gives them the facts," which he already did (well, facts and claims and arguments and themes and spin, at least).
All of this is readily discoverable, but they just keep claiming they need someone to explain the facts to them, before they can decide
Luntz has this problem with focus groups of independents every time, and notes it every time. So I would be even more optimistic about this finding than their actual replies indicate. That said, they still insist that Something Must Be Done and you contradict them at your very great peril.
Suggestion for Romney: Do a series of three one-hour videos explaining basic economics, and your plan. Release it with much fanfare. Make sure it's pretty difficult to contradict.
Here's my thinking: This cohort you're trying to convince will not watch it. They don't follow the news, and they sure as hell aren't going to watch a three hour video on basic economic policy.
But they will hear you did this, and this might help satisfy their insistence that you "explain the facts to them."
They don't really want the facts explained to them, of course. That's already been done a million times. They just want you to take time out to personally explain the facts to them.
So do so.
Again, they ain't watchin' it, but they'll at least be aware that one candidate has done what they demand he do.
Get the people who did Ryan's videos involved. They seem to know what the hell they're doing.
This is a perfect synopsis of the struggle to elect a really good candidate in this country. A HUGE portion of the voters aren't paying attention and don't have any intention of doing so. And that's just those who are easily identifiable as Independents. Add in all those in both parties who could NOT care less as they will vote party-line no matter what, and you've got yourself a fine mess.

After 140 years of compulsory education, elections in this country are decided on slogans, smears, the price of outfits, and gossip. You know, like the Senior Prom King and Queen.

Facts are for extremists.  The well-intentioned don't need facts. They just need their own sweet, sweet opinions.


  1. Holy shit. I just watched that entire video and now I'm going to get into the fetal position in a dark closet and cry it out.

    We are completely and utterly screwed as a nation. Because those people are really perfectly normal. I'm related to a few just like them.

    I've gotta post this on my site too.

    1. "Normal" is a loaded word anymore!

      You can't have a conversation with these "normal" people which might in some way enlighten them because it necessarily REQUIRES that you point out how much they don't know and that is never well-received. Especially if they already know you're a stupid extreme right-wing Hobbit terrorist. sigh......

      My experience is that it always comes down to their insistence that it doesn't matter how much they don't know...they KNOW the right is evil and so, by voting for Democrats, they are covered. Period. End. Of. Story.

      Honest-to-effing-GOD! I have had too many conversations that ended with, "I don't know, but it doesn't matter! I just FEEEEEL that Obama is the better man."

      My first presidential election I could vote in was for Reagan in 1980. To be fair, I voted Libertarian, but I knew Reagan would win. He just looked so much "sunnier" compared to dour Carter. Easy pick. Of course, he won problem.

      Next was Bush I. He lost, IMHO, NOT because he said "No new taxes" and then raised taxes...he lost because he puked on the Japanese ambassador and Clinton played the sax on SNL.

      Dole lost because he fell off the band stage and looked like a doddering old man to Clinton's uber cool Lothario.

      Bush II defeated Gore because Gore was a wooden statue and SUCKED...and after Clinton and Lewinski, no one could see Gore in office. Better the cowboy.

      Kerry lost the day he accepted the nomination by "reporting for duty." What a maroooon! And then there was the Magic Hat and the Oompah Loompah tan...and Christmas in Cambodia. He was a lot of fun.

      In MY voting lifetime, no one...NOT ONE...has been elected on their policies or positions. It is a popularity contest and the same stupid kids who voted in high school are voting -- just as stupidly -- as adults.

      We are doomed. You go cry in the closet. I'm having a drink....

      P.S. What do you do about comments that look weird? You know...disjointed, like they could be spam. Do you post them, and if so, does it wreck your comments section? Or do you delete them? I have one sitting in my "awaiting moderation" section and I don't know whether to delete it or not. You're my expert on this!

  2. All of this! I totally agree and it's incredibly depressing that people are so obnoxiously ignorant of what they're electing.

    I've brought the booze into the closet with me now.

    Hmmm...comments. Well let me take this opportunity to say that you will be one of my personal heroes if you'd ditch this commenting system you have (blogspot in general) and switch to Wordpress. You wouldn't need the jumbled codeword thingy, and it has an astoundingly excellent spam filter. I haven't had spam get through to my comments in years and it is awesome.

    I'd have to see what the comment you're talking about says, but if it is anything like, "I've just found your blog and like what I see here. I'm interested in learning more." - SPAM. I mean, if it has some personality and references what your post was about, I suppose a normal commenter might say something like that - but that sort of spam is really common because the assholes that create it think you'll let it through. You should be seeing whatever URL the "commenter" is supplying - you can probably tell from that whether it's spam but sometimes, not. If you quote the comment here I can almost promise you we'll figure out if it's spam or not.

    1. Becoming ANYONE'S personal hero - but ESPECIALLY yours, darling, is an enormous temptation. hmmmm...

      But I signed up for this stupid blog in 2008 and it took me four f*&king years for me to figure out how to work it and get the design the way I wanted, etc., so I don't know if I have the mental discipline and personal fortitude to switch now. Here I was, basking in the warm glow of my own satisfaction at my brilliance for finally figuring THIS out...but Noooooo! Now I've got to climb another freaking learning curve. DAMN! HAHAHA!

      Maybe I can reset the comments section so that you don't have to type in the stupid code word.

      God, now you've got me feeling performance anxiety AND you've stimulated my desperate need to please. ARRRGGHH!

      I'll either consider switching to Wordpress...or I'll just have another drink. I'll let you know.

      OH! I figured out that the comment was spam. Deleted it. But thanks for the techie advice. I can see that you are WAAAAAAY over my head.

  3. Iif you can manage it, Wordpress is a good way to go. Switched from Blogger to Wordpress and never regretted it. Not that I've posted anything on it for over a year now, heh .

    As for that video, I saw that months ago and its making do what I did then, a facepalm. I'm an Aussie, and even I know more than those morons about American politics..

    1. Okay...smarties. I'll look into it. I'm not promising anything...

      Yes...that video has been around since 2008 - RIGHT after Obama won. I saw it then and it was just the final nail in the coffin. I was already thoroughly depressed from doing battle with liberals for the last 6 months or so and then to have Obama win...This video so perfectly illustrated the depth of ignorance in the American public that I remember wanting to cry. And the most depressing part was not just the depth of ignorance about political figures like Frank or Pelosi, it was the prurient, superficial nonsense that they DID know. Who gives a shit about what Sarah Palin spent on her outfit? And if you DO care...why don't you know how much Michelle spends now on her shoes...or vacations? They don't. ...sigh....

      Pregnant daughter? check!
      Bill Ayers? ....ahh...who?
      $150,000 outfit? check!
      Had all his opponents removed from the ballot? ...ahhh...what?

      I could just puke.

  4. Rachel,

    ***I've brought the booze into the closet with me now. ***


    I can't get the picture out of my head of me sitting on the floor outside the closet door, swigging booze back straight from the bottle...the closet door opens so slowly one can just feel the pitiful ennui of the occupant inside...a slender arm comes words...I place the bottle in the outreached disappears...reappears...the door shuts just as slowly. I keep drinking.


    If Obama gets re-elected, this scene is TOTALLY possible.

  5. Bwaaaahaaaaa!! I like the cut of your jib, Buttercup. And if Obama gets reelected, that scene is totally GOING TO HAPPEN.

    We should write a book. Proposed titles:

    - The Drinking Closet

    - Closet of Ennui

    - Holy F*cking Shit Give Me That Bottle


    As for commenting/blogging platforms, believe me I totally understand spending a ton of time just making the dumb thing function and you don't want to deal with changing it AGAIN. I totally dig that and you should only change if you really really want to. Really though, I don't mind at all having to do the code word. Worth it to chat with you and it only takes like 1 second. What Morris said is true - Wordpress is ridiculously easy to use - but don't jack with it unless you're in the mood. If you do, again I recommend drinking. Makes the initial formatting less painful.

    1. HAHAHAHA! I almost hope Obama DOES get re-elected! Those titles are SUPERB!

      The entire world could be going down in flames, while for us it would just be an opportunity to get our creative juices flowing!

      Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!

      Of course NOW, if he gets re-elected, I'm going to feel like it was all my fault and be REALLY depressed.

      As for drinking while re-formatting my are my stages of drinking while trying to learn something:

      1. Hey! This is going to be fun AND easy! EVERYbody said so. sip...sip
      2. Hmmmmm...well...sip...I'm still having that's something...
      3. sip...where the f&*k is the "Help" link? sip...
      4. Do these freaking pencil-necked nerds think I have a mother-f*&king degree in computer science? gulp...
      5. Oh..FFS! Why did it just do THAT? I didn't ask it do to that.
      6. Guzzle...How do I get back to where I was? It was almost perfect.'s a total mess.
      7. Oh...Good God...I give up. I need more wine.
      8. Do I look like I care if there is no more CHILLED white wine? Just pour and shut the hell up!

  6. Me again! Just noticed after posting that last comment, the code word was gone! Is it causing you spam yet to remove it? I think you should be fine but don't hesitate to put it back on if it jacks with you.

  7. Buttercup, your list of drinking stages had me laughing up a lung.

    Its nigh identical to mine - the larger the frustration the larger the gulps...

    1. Well, it happened virtually word for word. I tried last night to open a Wordpress blog. Got the personal account opened. which it required for the blog. So far, so good. Then it sent me to a page where I could name the blog. Easy. Put stupidisafiveletterword in the box that finished with dot wordpress dot com. Below that it asked if I wanted to pay $18.00 a year for a url that would read I was nearly finished with my first glass, so the big spender in me peeked out and said, "Oh hell yes! I wanna be like the big kids." So filled out that and hit some link below it that said I could pay. Sent me to a page where the next link was DEAD. D.E.A.D.

      Oh. FFS!

      So I tried to go back. No luck. Back button was dead, too. Swearing now. X'ed out completely and came back in. Realized on the second trip through that the back button wasn't had opened in another window. Honestly, when I expect something is going to be difficult, I don't just meekly submit; I actively do everything in my power to make it so. Helps me cope with reality, when it all lines up like that, I guess.

      So now I'm doing everything a second time. When I FINALLY pay for the thing, it tells me a bought stupidisafiveletterword 2 dot wordpress dot com.

      Holy SHIT! My new url was this? What the hell?

      I sat there. Drank another glass and contemplated a double murder, suicide. Started making travel plans to visit Australia and Italy...Oh you know who you are....

      Then I just asked for a refund, opened another bottle of wine and started dinner.

      Wordpress and I don't get along. I actually tried to set up a Wordpress blog in 2008...and couldn't do it then. It doesn't help any that people continually tell me how easy it is.

      Here's the REAL stupid part. I work in Dreamweaver and can kinda sorta build whole websites. So how stupid does that make me that I can't even figure out how to BUY a site in Wordpress?

      Pretty freaking stupid.

  8. Shitfuck! (Can I say that here?)

    I've been there. I've contemplated sweet sweet death more while jacking with blog bowels than while doing anything else - it is torture and often feels like such a choking waste of time. But at least it gives excellent excuses for drinking so I'm grateful for that.

    Well screw Wordpress then. What you've got here is great and you really shouldn't dick around with anything else unless YOU want to - don't do it for we hamhocks.

    If you ever do want to buy your own domain and have it hosted, holla at me. HostMatters is AWESOME and they've helped me so much for like 10 years, it's not even funny. It's like 11 bucks a month to host my site, and they do the Wordpress software updates for me when I pathetically beg them and everything.

    But like I said - don't jack with it for our sake, B-cup.

    Hahahaha I just realized what I just typed.

    1. I am mortified to admit that I actually do design and build websites. Not for a living, but for my own company and for friends and non-profits. But I work in Dreamweaver and have never actually taken a course in HTML. Step outside my tiny little world of semi-competency and I'm a complete moron.

      I purchase my websites through Network Solutions. They've been great to work with, but I would definitely look into HostMatters if they work with Wordpress...IF I ever have it in me to switch to Wordpress. is just one long uphill climb.

      B-cup. HOWLING!

      And yes, you can say shitfuck here. HAHAHA!

  9. Maybe you two should think about co-hosting something. You feed so well off of each other. That was a great read. I do think the title of your book should be more aggressive though.
    DC may be burning, but there is a party in my Closet.
    We need more Wine, break out the foodstamps.
    or if you want to appeal to men as well:
    Is that a mop in your closet or are you just happy to see me?
    or even:
    Is that a mop in your closet or are you crying for some other reason?

    Lools like it was here...Thanks, Rachel!