October 9, 2008

Did you know my cruel neutrality is being monitored?

Over here, by Monitoring the Cruel Neutrality, which just the other day finished analyzing my posts from March 4, 2008 (the date I took a vow of cruel neutrality) through July. A summary:
McCain negative (5)(6%)
McCain Neutral (71)(82%)
McCain Positive (11)(13%)

Obama ignored (1)(0%)
Obama negative (42)(15%)
Obama neutral (223)(81%)
Obama Positive (10) (4%)
July alone:
McCain negative (0)(0%)
McCain Neutral (19)(90%)
McCain Positive (2)(10%)

Obama negative (7)(13%)
Obama neutral (46)(82%)
Obama Positive (3) (5%)
I'd say I've displayed impressive neutrality, being far more likely to stay neutral than to go either positive or negative. But when I did go negative, it was much more likely to be against Obama, and when I did go positive, it was more likely to be about McCain.

Does it surprise you then to realize that I'm almost surely going to vote for Obama -- the chances are about 89% -- and that through the entire period of the vow it has been more likely than not that I would vote for Obama? It shouldn't!

84 comments:

Cait said...

Not surprised, just disappointed.

campy said...

Doesn't surprise me in the least.

Zekarias said...

Ann,

Vote for whomever you would like to. That is not anyone business. What is surprising to me is how well educated people gladly overlook legitimate concerns and dismiss them as racist just because they are in tank for Obama.

Ann Althouse said...

What are you accusing me of overlooking? I've been paying attention, and if it's any consolation, I don't like either candidate very much.

marklewin said...

Holy Cow Ann:

It must be awsome to be such a predictably unpredictable woman.

MadisonMan said...

What a predictable comment!

EnigmatiCore said...

"I don't like either candidate very much."

Apparently, you like one 89% more than the other.

I think you are hoping Obama will be like you hope he is, and are dismissing signs he might be something else altogether.

Trooper York said...

Yeah well what about all the posts of puddles of urine and hairy balled plants?

Meade said...

ALTHOUSE CRUNCH
NEW Cruel Surprise In Every Box!
Now with 10% more neutrality!

(*Studies by experts show, when consumed in moderation, Althouse is safe for children and pets and does not lead to a significant increase in bran cancer. Check with your health professional before adding Althouse to your diet.)

Windbag said...

I knew it was Obama all along. Can you share with the group the justification for your choice? Not that you answer to any of us, but I'm geniunely curious about your thought process to arrive at your choice.

ElcubanitoKC said...

well, l'chaim, Professor Althouse!

dbp said...

It has always been obvious to me that Prof Althouse would most likely vote for Obama. I can't say how I knew this given that I think our hostess has been pretty even-handed in her comments toward the candidates.

Maybe it comes from being a steady reader of this blog for years...

birdie bob said...

I'm not surprised. I've been predicting to another commenter all along that you would eventually allow emotion to overrule logic. I just wish I'd made a wager.

Mark said...

Kinda disappointed that you're voting for either one...

Thanks for not getting crazy about it, though. It is refreshing to see someone arrive at a decision to vote for Obama without throwing a tantrum, or adding unnecessary rantage about Bush/Palin/Iraq/religion/economy/etc.

Daryl said...

It's not surprising because you're an academic. You have job security and retirement savings, so you don't need to worry about the economy. Higher taxes won't really hurt you, because the same state government that collects those taxes sets your salary.

Why should you care about national security issues? Nobody is going to bomb Wisconsin.

Why should you care if Obama and the Democrats who dominate Congress get together to push through radical left-wing "reforms" to our institutions like healthcare? You're wealthy enough to deal with any ill effects.

Why should you care if Democrats keep Social Security on the path to destruction? You've got yours, and no one is going to take away from retirement accounts.

Why should you care about the future of gun rights? You don't want a gun.

Why should you care about the future of free speech? Nobody is going to force a law professor to shut up.

Why should you care about free elections? At your school, 90% of the professors would vote to unionize in a free and fair election. Card Check isn't an issue for you.

And I suppose you would prefer a new generation of hard-left justices on the Supreme Court, ramming Obama's social programs down our throat and reimagining the Constitution when it comes to trendy liberal issues.

It's a very selfish choice, Ann, but it makes sense.

Pastafarian said...

I second cait and windbag. I'm not at all surprised by your decision, but I would like to see your explanation. The last time you tried to explain a vote for Obama, it boiled down to the warm, fuzzy feeling that you got when you watched that cornball "Yes We Can" music video.

What are you overlooking? You're overlooking the fact that Obama, who is also trained in law and should know better, voted against Roberts, and has stated that he'll nominate justices whose sense of 'fair play toward the underdog' or some such class warfare nonsense will guide their decisions more than the actual constitution.

That's shocking to me, that you'd overlook that. It's as if I were going to vote for "Mathematician of the United States", and the guy that I was planning on voting for believed that the decimal expansion of pi eventually terminates.

What exactly disqualified McCain from consideration? His squeaky, unpresidential voice? The fact that he didn't announce "hell yes I'm a conservative, look how conservative I am" in the last debate?

??

Darcy said...

My only question is why do I care that Ann Althouse will probably vote for Obama? And why does it sting a bit to know this?

Isn't that a bit crazy?

I guess I had more than one question, sorry...

Michael_H said...

I take no position on your neutrality.

holdfast said...

Maybe because every time you posted something critical of Obama (which you did quite a lot) there was always a tone of "despite this..." or "well, this makes my choice a little less clear".

Anyway, color me very unsurprised, a bit disappointed but not likely to start howling at the moon as a result. Despite what Doyle and his ilk think, it is apparent from your writing that you are basically center-left / moderate Dem. Granted that in the context of academia that makes you a raving fascist, but academia is not in any way reflective of mainstream America.

All that said, you are still an interesting and intelligent writer, and I enjoy and plan to continue to enjoy your writing. I just hope you'll be disappointed on election day (but sadly I doubt it).

SteveR said...

We are more likely to question our own preference. So I guess that qualifies as "negative" but I always felt you were going through the process of justifying the vote you knew you were going to make while driving people like Doyle crazy.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Here is my main take on this: She's voting. Even if it is for the candidate I cannot support, given his positions, biography and personality, she is voting. She is exercising her right to do it, and keeping democracy alive. Period.

Simon said...

Ann,
It doesn't surprise me, but when we get closer to the election, I will of course ask you what it would take to persuade you to vote for McCain. (No point in asking now; I take you at your word that you intend to hold yourself out as undecided until election day -- "insist[ing] that the candidates woo [you] until the bitter end" -- and much could still happen in a few weeks to moot the question.)

Don't make me get all Henry Paulson about this! ;)

bjm said...

As an Independent who loathes both party platforms and campaign machines; I too would like a substantive reason to hand the entire government to the Dems.

Did future SCOTUS appointments loom large in your decision making?

Zeb Quinn said...

I always felt you were going through the process of justifying the vote you knew you were going to make while driving people like Doyle crazy.

And thoroughly enjoying it along the way.

Samuel said...

I'm not going to argue with you about Obama, but I am interested to learn more about the 89%, both mathematically (why not 90% or 80% or even 85%?) and politically (what's behind that other 11%?).

jdeeripper said...

Althouse - I'd say I've displayed impressive neutrality,

Impressive neutrality maybe but not cruel neutrality.

Cruel neutrality would require you to be overwhelmingly negative toward both candidates in equal measure.

You took the easy path of being for the most part blandly neutral.

Does it surprise you then to realize that I'm almost surely going to vote for Obama -- the chances are about 89% -- and that through the entire period of the vow it has been more likely than not that I would vote for Obama?

No because McCain is old and pitiful and lacks the ability to inspire much love or hate. Obama on the other hand offers a better target for critical comments due to the messianic mythology, the hope and hype that surround him.

Aren't all the liberal-left bloggers showing a lack of creativity by mindlessly siding with Obama and vilifying McCain/Palin?

Camille Paglia and Ann Althouse are two of the few liberal writers willing to experiment a little with some comments critical of Obama.

Ann Althouse is a member of the Church of Obama. She's just not completely convinced he can walk on water. Unless it's frozen.

Simon said...

Daryl, just... Just stop. Do you really think that's productive? You really think that's helpful?

john said...

Pastafarian said -
It's as if I were going to vote for "Mathematician of the United States", and the guy that I was planning on voting for believed that the decimal expansion of pi eventually terminates.

My thoughts exactly (and it would be a guy, right?) That's just awful.

rhhardin said...

You don't want women voting.

madawaskan said...

Hell if I was at a University in Wisconsin I'd be selling cheese too.

Windbag said...

pastafarian,

You bring up an essential point. The warm, fuzzy feeling is, in my opinion, the reason most of Obama's people support him.

Intellect/reason, emotion/feeling, and spiritual/intuitive/instinctive guidance are the three areas that I think we rely upon to make decisions.

I can see Obama supporters falling into the latter two categories, but for someone to claim an intellectual resonance with Obama, that is to admit Marxist leanings.

Our country is driving off the cliff. We are simply choosing whose hand is on the wheel when we leave the ground. I've said it plenty of times before, whoever wins in November will leave this country in worse shape than he received it.

john said...

Simon - I don't think Daryl is off the mark. That has been my impression of the acadame, and indeed, of many career government employees.

Ann can take it. Besides, hers is one vote, and is Wisconsin in play anyway?

Danny said...

I sensed the preference for Obama while reading over your critique of the aesthetics of the campaign. It's just a lot easier to imagine McCain failing as president and having to spend four years of the same general dynamic of American politics. I think McCain's support for immigration reform and amnesty (define that as you will) killed him. While I personally respect him greatly for going against the party grain by imvesting himself in this issue, it effectively destroyed the one opportunity Republicans had to harvest significant grassroots support during the campaign. Huckabee or Romney would be drilling Obama at this point on illegals and fences, but with McCain on the ticket neither party can gain by bringing it up.

john said...

I should have said "Acorn will make sure Wisconsin is not in play."

holdfast said...

At the end of the day it is all about the Big "A" (abortion, not Althouse).

Jim Hu said...

I wouldn't be surprised either way, but I'm less surprised you're leaning toward O. IIRC, you said some positive things about him before you adopted cruel neutrality.

The comments that this is predictable because you're an academic are unsurprising. The interesting thing is that I think they're right for the wrong reasons. The negative posts about O indicate that you've been more aggressive about testing whether your instinctive lean toward him is justified - that's good academic's skeptical stance: Don't trust what you think you know, and apply that most of all to your own beliefs.

I disagree with your outcome, but respect the process. Especially since there's an 11% chance that an appropriate counterargument could change your mind!

browninhawaii said...

Neutrality is nothing more than a poker face used to conceal intent.

madawaskan said...

McCain has given plenty of people reasons to jump ship.

It really has been an abysmal campaign-and it started downhill before the economic crisis.

So I am barely hanging on-probably still udecided between voting for McCain or not voting.

I never imagined being in this place-I think the message sent around the world and to terrorists by an Obama win is going to be significantly damaging and no the world and terrorist don't do nuance.

Wow this is really, really bad and McCain has no one else to blame, but unfortunately a bunch of guys I know and love dearly are going to have to pay for this.

Again over and over always taking more than their fair share.

I am in tears.

madawaskan said...

McCain the Original BDS sufferer-he's so blinded by that he is and has ended up hurting the guys and gals he cares so deeply about-and he could never let go of that-absolutely blinded by it.

Lem said...

Does it surprise you then to realize that I'm almost surely going to vote for Obama..

One Woman... one vote.

Unless Ann plans to ACORN McCain I'm willing to forgive and forget.

Unless Obama get's in close... Hell no.

Ann Althouse... your vote for Obama would an unpardonable sin.

Mixalhs said...

Oh, this is the anger we'd only expect from those fickle liberals who impose their thoughts on everyone and squelch dissent!

Jim Howard said...

I never miss Ann's blog, but I never expected her to stray from the Democrat fold. Look at where she lives and works!

What 'cruel neutrality' does is very clever. It lets appear on NPR and other media outlets as a 'conservative' merely because she's not completely unhinged with BDS/PDS.

Ann is the new David Gurgen.

Lem said...

Tomorrows headline.

Althouse dismisses Palin. or

Althouse slaps Palin.

Joan said...

I've known Ann would vote for Obama ever since she asserted her belief that Obama won't screw up Iraq once he gets into office because he won't want to hang the horrible consequences of rapid withdrawal on the Democrat party.

Why she believes this, I have no idea. She's ascribing a level of pragmatism (and willingness to buck his party) to Obama that he has never shown any inkling of in the past.

I'm also disappointed that she's willing to put someone into high office who feels and votes as Obama does with respect to Supreme Court nominees.

Try this one: Barack Obama, Commander in Chief. Square peg, meet round hole. Whatever you may think about Obama's capability to lead domestically, he's an idiot on foreign policy and the military. I cringed during the debate when he kept on digging that "Of course I'll violate Pakistan's sovereignty to get bin Laden" hole.

He's a rank tyro -- never done anything but what he's been told or asked to do by his party bosses -- but Ann thinks that's OK, because he's black and hip and he'll make everyone feel better -- except those of us who are accused of being racist whenever we say anything remotely critical of him.

Are we doomed? I don't think so, regardless of who wins. But I'm pretty damn sure that someone is going to start tossing around quotes about rough beasts slouching towards Bethlehem as the center cannot hold. That I could do without.

Lem said...

Ann is the new David Gurgen.

Ann knows conservatives will continue to come (like me) smitten by the idea that someone on the left is actually thinking.

Call it Ann's atonement for 2004.

Darcy said...

Well, I'm still trying to get my bearings here, but I must say that I'm impressed with the defense of Professor Althouse by some of the conservatives here (and not just on this topic), and the mostly calm responses from conservatives that aren't defending.

It just speaks well of Ann Althouse, the community here, and I think conservatives in general, but I admit to bias there. Well done.

Rose said...

Zekarias said... What is surprising to me is how well educated people gladly overlook legitimate concerns and dismiss them

That is what baffles me, too. That, and how anyone involved in education could look at the Chicago Annenberg abomination and find anything about Obama appealing after that clear demonstration of how he handles responsibility and other people's money.

I also cannot fathom anyone in law ignoring this ACORN thing, nor any highly educated person falling for empty rhetoric.

In the end, those things matter.

Nihimon said...

It doesn't surprise me that you're going to vote for Obama.

What surprises me is that you're voting for a party that encourages the belief that judges should decide cases based on what they think is fair and right rather than what the law says.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/supreme_court_ratings/supreme_court_update

Triangle Man said...

These data seem to show a clear preference for McCain. If you take the neutral posts as a wash, then Ann was much harsher on Obama than McCain. She posted eight times more negatives about Obama than McCain (42 / 5), but roughly the same number of positive posts (10 / 11). Even if you make the comparison with the neutrals lumped in with the positives, Ann was three times as likely to post negatively about Obama.

Nihimon said...

I forget who said that we needed a Dem in the White House after Bush for no other reason than to bring the Dems on board with the War on Terror.

I must admit that's the only light I see in the otherwise dark landscape of an Obama presidency.

I truly fear what kinds of education reforms he will sign into law.

Elise said...

I am surprised and find that very interesting. It tells me that it is possible for at least one blogger to strongly support a candidate and yet remain even-handed. Perhaps it's that legal training.

I can't wait to see what happens going forward. Will Ms. Althouse continue to remain even-handed or will she explicitly support Obama? If she does remain even-handed, will I still perceive her as even-handed or will my knowledge of her support for Obama color my perception of her blog?

What a great experiment.

I would be very interested in Ms. Althouse's perception of Obama. Does she see him as many conservatives do - inexperienced, too far left, too radical - and plan to vote for him in spite of (or because of) those characteristics? Or does she reject the conservative view of Obama and see him as experienced enough and mainstream? In other words, for which Obama does she plan to vote?

Triangle Man said...

nihimon said...

I forget who said that we needed a Dem in the White House after Bush for no other reason than to bring the Dems on board with the War on Terror.

I must admit that's the only light I see in the otherwise dark landscape of an Obama presidency.


If elected, Obama will inherit a huge budget deficit and financial crisis. Because of this he won't be able to get many of his domestic policies enacted. The same thing happened to Clinton.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm not surprised Ann. I even got a chuckle out of the "89%". I would be interested in your take on Obama and how you see him addresiing our current national security threats. I know this is an important concern of yours and I would like to see how that fits into your decision.

Nihimon said...

Notice, it wasn't just "89%" it was "about 89%," which is even funnier :)

tarheel said...

Ann, I am surprised you will likely vote for Obama. Being an undergrad math major many years ago, I predict the following with 99% confidence should Obama be elected: Both Bush 43 and Cheney along with others in the Bush administration will be brought by the Obama Justice Department before DC juries and convicted to treason and murder.

You will disagree with the criminalization of political differences, but your vote will make you complicit.

Jim Hu said...

nihimon: lol!

Daniel said...

"I think the message sent around the world and to terrorists by an Obama win is going to be significantly damaging and no (sic) the world and terrorist don't do nuance."

Yes, because the message sent with Bush's 8 years has been casualty-free! Come on, get real. You have no idea what will happen. If I had said that before Bush's election in 2000 that he would be a disaster (I did, actually!) would I be justified in blaming him for 9/11?

No matter who is the next president, it will be hard to top the damage that occurred on Bush's watch. And the terrorists? Has Bush not played into their hands completely?

Keep crying, madawaskan. I am so tired of Republican rule in this country.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - Does it surprise you then to realize that I'm almost surely going to vote for Obama -- the chances are about 89% -- and that through the entire period of the vow it has been more likely than not that I would vote for Obama? It shouldn't!

Nope.
Basic niche Demography in political races is a true social science with a lot of money and studies behind it.

Whether you had a brain or not, people running campaigns start with basic facts:

Althouse is single now.
She is artistically inclined.
She lives in Wisconsin.
She is a state employee.
She is a lawyer.
Middle-aged, and a registered voter.

When those facts are tossed in the bin, those in the "Althouse group" are given a valuation - likely Democrat? 80-90% odds. Likely to vote Obama, same 80-90% odds.

Worth the time and money of either Party to target the "Althouse grouping"?

Nope. Both sides will ignore her grouping.

Exceptions in the "demography is destiny" , no need to bother to appeal to any thought processes - are also obvious. If the group goes 80-90% your way, it makes sense to target only to register them or charge them up for a high turnout.

Cedarford said...

Danny - I think McCain's support for immigration reform and amnesty (define that as you will) killed him. While I personally respect him greatly for going against the party grain by imvesting himself in this issue, it effectively destroyed the one opportunity Republicans had to harvest significant grassroots support during the campaign. Huckabee or Romney would be drilling Obama at this point on illegals and fences, but with McCain on the ticket neither party can gain by bringing it up.

Danny ignores that the only time voters will ever select a right wing ideologue (or a left-winger) for President is when the country is going really badly and the candidate is running against the Party in charge.

And even then, only narrowly..as in Reagan's 1980 narrow victory against the failed Jimmy Carter and the close race Obama had this time.

Otherwise, no matter how much the Fundie or the Black-Leftist Base is "energized, thrilled" you find the ideologues massacred in the sort of landslide defeats Goldwater and McGovern suffered.

Huckabee would have thrilled the Base, and lost in a massive landslide. Same with the Right Wing's beloved "Sarah, Sarah!" if she had headed the ticket. Jesse Jackson, in 1988, would have galvanized the Hard Left/Black vote...and lost in a landslide.

Mitt Romney was a different case. The tragedy of Romney is that from his background as a high-performing moderate, and a Mormon, he had to try so hard to get the "Base vote" that he came across as a panderer. Then he and Huckabee and Thompson were doomed by splitting the Conservative vote 3 ways. Leaving the door wide open for a "war hero!" running on "character, not ideas" much disliked in his Party, to win the nomination.

Party voters get the candidate they deserve. In Republican's case, they got a man who was trounced by Romney in every debate - now running around the country like an erratic old 30-year Senate fossil talking like a Republican version of John Kerry, also devoid of a vision and plan for the country. "My friends, my friends! I will fight for you, just as I have fought all my life..."

It still would have been an uphill battle with a failed Bush, a Party devoid of vision other than "outdoing Reagan at Reagan conservatism 30 years later", and the complete discrediting of Reagan voodoo economics, finally.

But even in the most extreme Southern Fundie church, or the military-worshippers of South Carolina...Republicans are thinking that maybe Mitt wasn't such an evil non-Christian heretic who failed to be qualified because he wasn't a jet jock like Dubya or McCain - much, anymore.
Same with the independents, who more and more see McCain as the lifetime DC Insider.

If Romney had been picked, he might have started further behind Obama than McCain did, but Romney has a vision, can think on his feet, and was always laser-focused on the economy. Unlike Obama and Mccain, he was not a career politician...and was also not vulnerable to Obama's charge that 90% of the time, he voted with Dubya - something that punishes McCain in the polls. Romney also came with Health Insurance credentials.

But he lost, and Republicans have the candidate they deserve.

But if Romney had also picked Palin and had been talking to voters these last two months with a coherent vision for the future and telling voters how he would clean up the Bush II mess along with fellow outsider Sarah Palin?
How the Great Lakes States would never again be abandoned by Republicans, how he would address critical issues in the West DC ignores? Romney has shown an ability to eviscerate Obama on the "stump surrogate" circuit..something Lifetime Senator McCain was unable to do with his "dear friend in the Senate, Barack" - until recently - when it looks like desperation.

I think a Romney-Palin ticket would have won this election.

But Republicans, who as recently as 2004 were talking about being a permanent majority Party and of "Red State America" with only DC and Massachusetts still Blue....

Well, they get the candidate for President they deserve...

Chris Wren said...

Well at least you ARE going to vote, which is more than I can say for so many of my American friends and acquaintances. Losers.

chuck b. said...

I've thought about starting an Althouse-inspired blog. One idea was "Reading the Althouse Comments High" because the Althouse comments are so [much more] interesting and funny when you read them high. Another idea is "vortex(t)" but all i have for that one is the name. What would it be about?

dualdiagnosis said...

Please don't vote for Obama, whether you are aware of it or not, Obama and the agenda of the left are not a good fit for you.

If Obama wins, we will have Reid and Pelosi pursuing the extreme agenda of the left without any veto threat.

To have the Federal government in the complete control of either party right now would be very, very dangerous.

He's new and exciting but let's have a president who has a track record, number one, and is willing to run on it, not try to cover up his past deeds and associations.

I can just see the folks that will be hanging around the White House, Father Pfleger or James Meeks at the Easter egg roll on the lawn, Ayers and his wife "The Fork" Dohrn kickin' it in the Lincoln bedroom, Rezko and his buddies playing poker to the break of dawn, Odinga from Kenya getting full diplomatic cred at big parties in the West Wing, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi working on Israeli issues, ACORN setting up shop in the Justice dept, etc..etc..

Triangle Man said...

dualdiagnosis said...

To have the Federal government in the complete control of either party right now would be very, very dangerous.


Now there's a political strategy worth exploring. Lose the Congress to set up a Presidential victory two years later by appealing to a need for heterogeneity. I wonder if voters in any past elections have responded to this idea?

Nihimon said...

A thought just occurred to me...

What if Ann is actually going to vote for McCain, but is publicly stating she's voting for Obama to limit the negative consequences. Could Ann be subject to a reverse Bradley effect?

I know the thought has occurred to me to lie through my teeth and tell my boss and others that I was voting Obama.

I've been vocally supportive of the War on Terror and Bush throughout, and I think that's the main reason I still read you, Ann, because your reaction to 9/11 was close enough to mine that you, too, voted for Bush in '04. I sure would like to breathe easy sometimes, and not worry about what that vocal support has cost me...

dualdiagnosis said...

Anyway, here's how I see this playing out- Palin is our first woman President in 2012.

Scenario one- Palin picks McCains ass up and carries him across the finish line in November, then she takes the nomination for '12.

two- Obama wins, but Palin impresses with her fighting spirit. Obama with the Dem congress scare the hell out of America enough that Palin wipes the floor with him in '12.

Nihimon said...

Hrm, I guess it wouldn't be a "reverse" Bradley effect, would it...

Daddio said...

Blogger Windbag said...

I knew it was Obama all along. Can you share with the group the justification for your choice? Not that you answer to any of us, but I'm geniunely curious about your thought process to arrive at your choice.


Ann is a case in point supporting McCain's current strategy. The underlying premise is that people vote for those who are most like themselves. Seems very simplistic, but I think the truth of it rests in the fact that our values, worldview, etc... are all combined into our own perceived identity. Thus when we vote for someone like ourselves we get the full package without having to do a lot of critical thinking. This truth lies behind Obama's attempt to hide big chunks of his life. And now McCain/Palin are working overtime to expose who he really is. "He's not like you." Attempting to fight the tendency with an appeal to critical thinking is often the response. However, people already believe that their values and worldview are correct. A last minute attempt, right before an election, to change those views is not likely to succeed. I believe that is why Reagan was so good for the conservative movement in America. He continued to appeal to people's critical thinking throughout his presidency and, over time, helped change their values, worldview, and eventually their self-identity.

bjm said...

cedarford: Romney-Palin; the 2012 ticket?

Assuming Obama wins and flounders along with the economy who does Hillary choose as VP? I'm coming up blank.

Huan said...

it seems the popular thing to do i guess.


but i think all who vote for Obama will be disappointed if he wins.
and wondering what they were thinking after a few years if not a few months.

we have all been there, smitten with someone or something. heddy because it just feels right. but once in hand/arms, wonder why there isn't more. we have all been there and most of us would go there again even.


whereas we who will be voting for McCain, we all expect to be mildly disappointed. but there is and will room for pleasant surprises. in the end, not great, but good enough.

Saul said...

As usual, people are codemning both candidates for the wrong reasons and overlooking the right reasons not to like either candidate. McCain is a "maverick" simply because he doesn't get along with his own party, not because he can bring consensus. Obama is an opporunist, not a terrorist.

The self-imposed vow of neutrality has been more pro-McCain, and voting for Obama after trashing Obama more, doesn't really mean you become revenue neutral, as the overall impression may have swayed more voters to McCain than your single vote.

In the end, I don't think any of this matters much, aside from who gets picked for the Supreme Court. Obama will be seen as the next Jimmy Carter regardless of what he does given the economy. McCain would be Bush I.

Moving forward, it would be nice if we as a Country could get our priorities straight, but that is a big if.

s1c said...

it has been more likely than not that I would vote for Obama? It shouldn't!

No surprise there, the question is what would John McCain have to do to get your vote?

Actually, I think that no matter what, John McCain has no chance of winning your vote, instead Obama has to lose your vote.

Beldar said...

Prof. A:

"Nearly 89%" is not nearly a precise enough measurement. The scientific method trains us to expect at least three significant digits.

So c'mon, Prof. A: Eighty-nine point WHAT?

(To others besides our host who may have less sensitive sarcasm detectors: I'm being sarcastic. I suspect Prof. Althouse was also being sarcastic in picking a particular number like that. As to whether she's actually made a decision or is even leaning, I genuinely don't know.)

Daniel said...

The blowhards around here are hilarious:

"Obama will be seen as the next Jimmy Carter regardless of what he does given the economy. McCain would be Bush I."

You really know how it's all going to go down, don't you? Except that you really have no idea.

Let me guess: Bush II is the under-appreciated genius, right?

blake said...

Let me guess: Bush II is the under-appreciated genius, right?

I guess you're new here.

Bush II is most certainly under-appreciated, or overly reviled, if you like.

No one accuses him of being a genius, the support here for him is tepid, but he's in no wise deserving of the opprobrium heaped upon him over the past eight years.

blake said...

I'm going to disagree with jderipper just on the basis of Althouse being "bland".

I'd describe her posts as, oh, let's say a whimsical Penn-and-Teller-esque.

She hasn't been afraid to call bullshit "bullshit", as she sees it, but at the same time finds likable thing about the candidates.

And really, you need that. Because your side isn't always going to win and if the past few years have taught us anything, it's truly unhealthy to hate something as abstract as the President with the vigor seen here.

Alcibiades said...

Does it surprise you then to realize that I'm almost surely going to vote for Obama -- the chances are about 89%

It's been perfectly obvious all along.

I think one reason you took up the pose of so-called cruel neutrality was not to piss off your readership, which mostly leans the other way.

Henry said...

The surge was too successful.

Now both candidates promise to fight in Afghanistan and unlike the Iraq war, which was hugely important to win, Afghanistan is a fools errand. It's country of no geographic, political, or economic importance. The terrain is forbidding, the logistics impossible. And we have to fight without further distabilizing Pakistan.

What perverse machination has made this the pivot of this year's national security debate, I don't know, but it kills McCain's chances.

Michael said...

Oct. 7, 2008 | “My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”

This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.

Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that’s the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does she see him as many conservatives do - inexperienced, too far left, too radical - and plan to vote for him in spite of (or because of) those characteristics?"

Yes, except that I don't "plan" to vote for him. As stated, the likelihood is about 89%, which I'm glad people think is funny. Really, I'm just not very political. I hate having to decide and vote. I love observing and writing day to day. As for whether I will "remain even-handed," Elise, the answer is, yes, of course. Neutrality is my passion. I serve it up every day with as much enthusiasm as you can possibly imagine.

Korla said...

It only adds to the mystery of why so many Americans are going to vote for the Dear Leader.

Forget his absolute lack of executive experience, his clumsy fumbling on foreign policy issues, his eagerness for American defeat in the war against terrorism.

Forget his ties to radicals who hate this country and all it stands for, and his total lack of ties to anybody who DOESN'T.

Forget all the pseudo-fascist iconography and the cult of personality, and the narcissism and hubris.

Forget all the race-baiting and the thuggish silencing of critics and the criminalization of political discourse.

Forget all the fraud through ACORN. Forget about the Pravda-like media in his pocket.

Just for the moment, forget all that. Just answer one thing: What the heck policy have you been able to nail down that this guy supports? Change?

Heck, Hitler and Lenin brought change, too. Death is a change. Change is not a worthy goal. It can sometimes be for the worse.

I am not a fan of McCain, and I resent that he was forced down the GOP throat by the sabotage of open primaries. But if Obama gets elected, and the Dems get 60 Senate seats, I see a very bad 2 years before we can correct the liberal daydreamers' mistake of '08.

Oh, I also see here that he lied about quitting and still smokes. Forget that, too.

Korla said...

Oh, also, look forward to a pardon for Rezko to keep his mouth shut. He only has to hold out for another month...

PrestoPundit said...

The answer to you question is

NO

Not in the slightest.

Mr. Forward said...

I don't get it, you don't much like either candidate so it's basically a tie. One candidate has earned his shot at the title, the other is a blank slate.

Shouldn't sacrifice and loyalty trump glibness?

Joan of Argghh! said...

Well. Good for you. It's nice to have a goal.

Neutral women rarely make history, however.

:o)