That famous quote by Mythbuster Adam Savage is, simply, the reason why
the Republicans were handed their lunch on Tuesday.
Here are two essays which address the issue in a sane, rational manner.
The videos that follow, from last night's Daily Show, are a bit
Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win.
And really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President
of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not
make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional
Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich
people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to over sample
Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making fake projections about the
election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And
climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us. It
was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone's guns.
And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And
Saddam Hussein did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. And the moon
landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN
election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of
the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services
industry in the country are not the same things as Communism.
Listen. Last night was a good night for Democrats and liberals for very
obvious reasons. But it was also possibly a good night for this country
as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system in
government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come
up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing this country.
They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate
between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick
the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about
real problems in the real country should result in our country having
better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working
on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party and the conservative
movement and the conservative media are stuck in a vacuum-sealed
door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good,
and denying the factual lived truth of the world, then we are all
deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing
feasible ideas about real problems.
Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was
coming. And we saw them in real time, in real humiliating time, not
believe it as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to
secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they've been so
happy living inside... if they do not want to get shellacked again. And
that will be a painful process for them, I'm sure, but it will be good
for the whole country, left, right and center. You guys, we're counting
on you. Wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real
knowable facts in the world. Let's accept those and talk about how we
might approach our problems differently. Let's move on from there. If
the Republican party and the conservative media are forced to do that by
the humiliation they were dealt last night, we'll all be better off as a
And in that spirit, congratulations everybody.
If You're Surprised By The Election Results, You're The Reason You Lost,
Or: A Plea for Useful Republicans.
I know the despair you feel this morning, and sympathize, because I've
been there. In 2004 my stiff, robotic millionaire lost to a
President he should have soundly thumped, and I was so hurt I
took a week off from the Internet afterwards. I am completely
sympathetic with that slow terror that the country is now in the hands
of an incompetent, and the voters don't even know it.
But I noticed a weird difference between the way Republicans and
Democrats reacted to a losing candidate. In 2004, when the polls turned
against Kerry and it was obvious he was going to lose, the Democrats
asked "How can we fix that?" Oh, they asked in their glum, incompetent
way, but when I personally talked to other Democrats both in real life
and online, we were all pretty cognizant of the fact that Kerry was the
The Republicans of 2012, however, became
Everywhere I looked on Twitter and Facebook, I saw my Republican
friends- not straw men, but actual people- talking about how
terrible Nate Silver's methods were, how these Rasmussen polls showed
Romney's real strength, and eventually you got the travesty of UnSkewedPolls.com,
which cherry-picked the data and even today has their prediction of not
just a Romney win but a landslide, Romney 311 to Obama 227. (Actual
result: Obama 332, Romney 206.)
It all crystallized for me when my friend Brad Torgerson said, "Liberals
and Democrats have Nate Silver and his 538 blog. Conservatives and
Republicans have the U of CO guys. It's an epic cage match of predictive
Look there. Right at that post- one not too dissimilar from a thousand
other dismissals of Nate Silver and the other aggregated polls. See what
Brad did there? The way the guy bringing you news he didn't like was
automatically assigned a partisan bias, and the only rational solution
was to get a guy on your side with better numbers? As if
reality was merely a function of getting enough guys on your side?
That's why you lost.
Stop confusing hard reality for partisan opposition.
It's time to step out of the bubble, dear Republicans, because we
fucking need you. I don't trust the Democratic party to run the
country single-handedly. I want a Republican party I can rely on for
real solutions- and you've become lazy, voodoo-like, dismissing any data
you don't like as partisan opposition.
Jay Lake is fond of saying, "Reality has a liberal bias." That's not
because reality inevitably verifies liberal thinking, but because the
Republican response to anything that challenges them is now to write off
And let me repeat: we need you. I want a counterweight to Democratic
power, not a deadweight that refuses to acknowledge the issues. I want a
Republican party that will look at the numbers for climate change and
not go, "I don't like what those scientists are saying, so I'll call it
a silly liberal bias!" but say, "We're business experts, we know how to
motivate rich people to do what we want, how do we fix this?" I want a
Republican party that will realize while yes, we're spending far too
much and should cut down, the results of thirty years of
trickle-down theory and tax cuts won't actually provide enough revenue,
because we are at the lowest effective tax rates we've had in thirty
And yes, you can argue all my statements here. But in that, smart
person, you're like a driver with an SUV in Alaska. A person with a car
in Alaska is going to get stuck in the snow eventually; that's a fact.
But if you have an SUV, you're gonna get stuck way the heck out in the
woods where no one can get at you, because you have the strength to do
it and won't stop when common sense tells you to. I had a ton of Very
Smart friends dissecting all the reasons why Nate Silver was wrong, why
his methodology sucked, why these pollsters who said what they liked
over here had better ways of slicing the data- and all that flurry of
so-called "facts" amounted to was an elaborate justification of personal
biases that had no basis in reality.
It's time to stop fighting the obvious. It's time to stop assuming that
anyone who presents contradictory data is out to get you.
You should have won, guys. You had a President with an economy in the
doldrums, a guy who'd lost a lot of his electoral mojo in the realities
of politics. But instead of rising from the grave, you chose a candidate
who never actually gave us firm numbers on what expenses he'd cut to fix
the economy. You chose a candidate who said he'd get rid of Obamacare,
but never actually named the parts he'd destroy. You chose someone who,
though all politicians lie, lied a lot more than almost any
modern Presidential candidate.
You had a guy who should have sliced Obama to ribbons- and he lost, in
large part, because he said, "Trust me" instead of giving us a plan. And you
let him get away with it.
You let him get away with it because you're indulging in a great deal of
magical thinking. You let him get away with it because facts have ceased
to matter; as long as someone tells you something you want to hear,
you'll find a way to justify it with pseudo-science and trust and spit
and baling wire. You don't like to hear how bad a candidate Mitt was,
because you came so close this year, but it's true; the problem
is that so much of the country has abandoned listening to reality that
you can get massive votes and never touch a fact.
If you can't be honest today, in the aftermath of this great defeat,
then you're never going to see the truth.
If you seriously thought that Romney had a good chance of winning, then you're
part of the problem. Wake up. I implore you: learn from this. Look
at your deepest beliefs, and see whether the numbers support them. Start
thinking, maybe those people with data I don't like are right.
If you think the lesson to be learned is "We weren't conservative
enough," then you're handing me a great victory in 2016. I want to have
a real choice then.
Megyn Kelly teaches Karl Rove the power of scientific gobbledygook.
"If only President Bush could have been so lucky as to have a massive
hurricane on his watch, then... oh, right..."
It's just arithmetic.
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