Here’s a random sampling of what conservatives were saying in conversations on the eve of the 2012 Presidential election:
Country Girl: “November can’t come soon enough!”
Wisconsinite: “Romney in November and taking the Senate.”
Gear4War: “beat the Dems senseless come November.”
Houston_Forensics: “Obama will lose”
Dallas J.: “the end of Obama’s term in office iS January of next year”
jamaIrapper: “The Right Wing will win in November in a landslide.”
times100_1: “Obama will be stricken down”
Suzanne12: “There is a sea change occuring in this country and women are abandoning Obama in droves. Romney 2012″
alamb: “Americans are going to soundly defeat Obama and elect Romney.”
jamaIrapper: “The Right Wing will get the last laugh.”
ShowMeC6: “Hypocrite, thy name is BHO….OUT!!”
ANTI-SOCIAList_1: “ABO 2012″
ObamaTax: “Romney 2012 in a landslide – Believe In America.”
Astropithecus2: “Obama is going to lose the election”
ObamaTax: “Obama will be gone next year.”
johnwr3: “November 7th Headlines: Romney Wins!”
cherrylbrooks: “Romney is going to win this election by a wide margin. A landslide.”
CoraM: “Romney will win this second debate..he is a statesman, a man with high principles and used to talking with sense to high caliber executives. Obama is used to talking non-sense to people around him, not being able to defend his own administration”
J645 : “Obama’s days as President are numbered and his retirement will begin on Nov. 6 and become official on the day Mitt Romney is sworn in as President.”
Jarbo1: “Just keep telling yourself that. Romney will get 330+ EC votes.”
Yourmamatoo: “Obama, one and done – Romney in a landslide in 2012″
and on and on it goes.
These are people who, even as the early returns began filtering in, were utterly convinced that all the major polling outfits had it wrong (were using 2008 data, were skewed intentionally to favor the dems, were lying to us as part of one of their vaunted conspiracy theories…you name it. The meme in the Conservaverse was: “The polling from the Fox Bubble is right, everybody else is wrong, and especially that Nate Silver guy, because he’s kinda feminine looking and speaks softly and….stuff.”
Flash forward a few days.
The news from the Fox Bubble has been demonstrated to be a sham. It’s a lie. It’s based on data massaged to tell the viewers what they want to hear, and the truth be damned, and you know what? That’s fine.
If all you want from your “news” is propaganda…red meat to make the masses feel better, then the polls coming from the Fox Bubble have to be judged a resounding success. Up until the last minute, they had “The Faithful” absolutely believing in their invincibility and in the inevitability of a Romney Presidency.
At first, there was disbelief (see Karl Rover’s meltdown on Fox, and watch the stammering from all corners of the Fox Bubble).
How could Fox, which the right regards as THE source for truth, and the other media outlets in the “Fox Bubble” have been so spectacularly wrong?
In brief…that’s what happens when you invent data, or “weight it” to make it say what you want it to say, with no regard for the true state of affairs.
Sadly, it does not appear that the conservative folk have learned ANYTHING from this humiliating defeat, and I gave it a few days to be sure.
Oh, on day one, I fully expected to hear a litany of excuses, and was not disappointed:
“‘Bammy and his ACORN minions were at it again!”
“Hurricane Sandy done it!”
“It’s all Chris Christie’s fault!”
These and more became the order of day one, drowning out calls for the R’s to do some serious soul searching.
It did not take the R’s long, however, to move beyond this, and to admit that they had been beaten. In doing so though, they immediately began trying on this or that meme to help define their stinging defeat in terms more to their liking, and thus, the above, gave way to such things as:
“It wasn’t really a defeat at all…Obama won because of a very small, urban part of the country. If you look at the electoral map though, a solid majority of US territory is against him (newsflash conservatives: dirt don’t vote).
One poster in particular even said: “I’m not depressed, I’m dazzled! Look at that electoral map and all the red!”
Ohhhh….red pretty. Color….
From there, we moved onto such things as “Obama won, but the People lost.” and other meme hopefuls designed to show the proper level of disdain for Obama’s preferred policy preference and pay deference to the Conservative ones, which were rejected by a majority of Americans and which have, historically, done just spectacular damage to our nation when tried on for size.
There was even one bold prognostication into 2016, with the comment that the latest and youngest member of the Bush clan had just thrown his hat into the ring. The post went on breathlessly that he was “young and smart and half latino…are you Dems sweating yet!?” (Note to conservatives: It’s prolly not enough to put a latino face up in front of the cameras…you may need to have…you know, actual policy positions that latinos like and approve of).
I will leave it to wiser men than I to delve into the guts of the data (when it is fully compiled) to paint us a picture of the voting patterns of the winning side and the losing, but so far, one thing seems pretty apparent:
Casting more than half of the nation as “Takers” by repeating the debunked meme that “47% of Americans pay no taxes,” declaring a war on women (especially as they make up more than half the voters in the nation), and alienating the largest minority groups in our country…not really a recipie for electoral success. Shocking, I know.
Whatever direction the soul searching ultimately takes (if it happens at all), if it doesn’t address the above, at a minimum, then conservatives will be disappointed again in 2014 and 2016 too.
(semi random aside…this electoral map of the US has been resized to account for population…thought it was neat, and figured this’d be as good a place as any to put it)
At the root…when you lose a big contest like this, and lose it in a landslide, the first order of business is to go back to see where you went astray. In this case, there are really only two possible answers. Either:
1) You were looking at “feel good” data and buying into it, rather than looking at data that represented the true state of affairs (this speaks to problems with your data sources AND analytic skills)
2) It was all a giant libbie conspiracy. Your data was fine. Nothing wrong with your analytic skills. You wuz just robbed.
A rational individual or group would gravitate toward item one on that short list, but of course, the conservatives seem to be drifting toward item two.
If you do, it’s going to be a very long 8-12 years for you.
Food for thought.