Thursday, October 28, 2010

When independents turn stupid (and vote for Republican extremists)


There are a number of reasons why Republicans will win next Tuesday, likely taking back the House (if not the Senate) and doing very well at the state level. The so-called "enthusiasm gap" is a big reason, with anti-government yet also theocratic Tea Party-led Republicans frothing at the mouth, as is the general and thoroughly irrational anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the country. But it seems that "independents," that ever-so-important group, are also pushing this election to the GOP.

As Time is reporting, new polls show independents helping Republicans to the lead in four key Senate races:

-- In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey is leading Joe Sestak 49-45.

-- In Kentucky, Rand Paul is leading Jack Conway 50-43.

-- In Colorado, Ken Buck is leading Michael Bennet 47-46.

-- In Nevada, Sharron Angle is leading Harry Reid 49-45.

Of course, independents are not the only group, or demographic, pushing these Republicans over the top. In Nevada, for example, Angle maintains "sizable margins among males, white voters and voters over 50." And, of course, these are four somewhat purple states where state-wide Republicans wins aren't at all surprising. It makes some sense, even if their specific policies/views do not, that Paul's libertarianism is popular, that Angle is ahead of a deeply unpopular incumbent (and Democratic leader), and that Buck may pull out a victory in a flip-flopping state that can usually go either way. Even Toomey's lead is understandable. Pennsylvania can be described as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between. It's a purple state that is Democratic only because of its two metropolises. When the urban vote isn't there, Republicans can win.

I say that it "makes some sense," but at least three of these four are ideological extremists who shouldn't win, ever. I'll leave Toomey off that list, though he too has embraced the far right, such as on climate change. And, poor economy and anti-incumbent sentiment aside, it makes absolutely no sense that these three are leading, solidly, among independents -- most of whom, presumably, are more or less in the wishy-washy center, and who should be swayed against such Republican extremism even if they don't much care for what Democrats have to offer either.

Take Buck, for example, who is an anti-gay bigot and a theocrat who objects to the separation of church and state. Or Angle, whose sheer craziness, as she has proven throughout this campaign, is enormous. In this year of collective voter ignorance and insanity, of fear, anger, and bitterness dominating the political landscape and motivating voters to make terrible choices, it's almost surprising that independents aren't putting the supremely unqualified Christine O'Donnell over the top in Delaware. In some states, like Delaware and New York, where the anti-gay bigot and wealthy teabagger Carl Paladino will get crushed in the gubernatorial race, I suppose not even delusional independents are enough.

This, of course, would not be the first time that voters turned stupid. But while we can expect Republicans to embrace the most partisan and most ideologically extreme of their kind, independents are supposed to know better, are they not? Well, no. Some may suppose that they do, but they don't. The David Broder-influenced media drool all over independents, giving them a place of prominence they don't deserve, as if they are by far the most important voters in America, but, really, they often don't much of a clue and are easily manipulated, this year by Republican propaganda.

Call me a cynic, but I think this Family Guy clip about undecided (and hence more or less independent) voters (which I found here), with Lois running for mayor against incumbent Adam West and, on Brian's advice, resorting to GOP-style appeals to idiocy ("Jesus," "9/11" -- you might as well put "tax cuts" in there, too), says it all:

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2 Comments:

  • I agree independents are just as foolish and ignorant as the rest of the electorate. After all, they overwhelmingly voted for a Democratic majority in congress in '06 and '08 and put Obama in the White House.

    By Anonymous TANSTAAFLusa, at 12:55 PM  

  • Adventavit asinus, Pulcher et fortissimus.

    Behold a nation in an ass comprised: idiots flaunting these fluttering rags of impoverished ignorance in our faces and imagining that they would be taken for founded truth or some credential worthy of respect.

    And your expertise regarding monetary policy and history and economics and banking and political science or even current events? Or did you only sleep off your binge at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

    Festum Asinorum and the braying of an ass. This is the way a nation ends.

    Behold the man. How hard did you mock when disaster was predicted? Did you cover your long ears and chant liberaliberiberal? Hard enough that your shame hasn't erased the sick grin from your idiot lips? Did you imagine an audience as empty headed as you?

    They take the most prosperous nation in the world at the time of its greatest prosperity and plunge it into poverty while they laugh that anyone wouldn't want them back; that anyone would doubt they had the answers.

    He who would rule, need only flatter the fools, as has been demonstrated.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 12:11 PM  

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