November 24, 2010

"This is the old 'bitter clingers' (or 'What's the Matter With Kansas?') argument reduced to utter incoherence."

James Taranto quotes Gov. Ed Rendell...
[P]eople don't always vote on logical reasons. Emotion drives voters particularly when they have reason to be angry and frustrated. If you lost your job or lost your house or lost your 401k, you had every reason to be angry and frustrated and when you are, you have a tendency to blame the people who are in office...
... and — via me — UW polisci professor Charles Franklin:
I'm not endorsing the American voter... They're pretty damn stupid.
Taranto — being much nicer to Franklin than Rush Limbaugh was — includes the self-defense Franklin wrote in the comments to my blog:
... [V]oters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him. . . . The race wasn't about specific details of Johnson vs Feingold, it was a rejection of Democrats more or less regardless of what voters knew about the GOP candidate... [D]espite not knowing the details of Johnson's policy positions, the voters did NOT make a mistake in choosing Johnson as the more conservative candidate and certain to be more favorable to cutting government....
Taranto finds this incoherent: "In other words, the electorate was smart. So why did Franklin call them stupid?"


By the way, I love Taranto's Best of the Web. This, from the same link, had me in hysterics:
Such as: What the Heck Is Tomosynthesis?
"Breast Tomosynthesis on Verge of U.S. Approval, but Questions Linger"--headline,, Nov. 24


Known Unknown said...

These idiots view the recent voting process as some kind of mob mentality — but neglect to realize that everyone who enters a voting booth is in an individual.

Mobs are by and large, stupid and emotional, but individuals are generally much smarter and more informed about what is important to them.

Humperdink said... are exactly right about Taranto in the WSJ. He is by far the wittiest write on their staff. A must read for me.

Original Mike said...

Tomosynthesis is a medical imaging technique which improves diagnosis of such medical conditions as breast and lung cancer.

I don't get the joke.

Meade said...

"...everyone who enters a voting booth is in an individual."

Well, uh, ahem... here in Wisconsin, I don't think the voting booths offer that much privacy.

Original Mike said...

Oh, I get it. Taranto doesn't know how to use the googles. That is funny.

Preston said...

Also today, the latest installment of the saga about that write-in campaign in Alaska: "Owens, who voted for ObamaCare, was chosen in a November 2009 special election to replace Republican Rep. John McHugh, now secretary of the Army. He was re-elected with barely 48% of the vote, to 46% for Republican Matthew Doheny and 6% for Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman. This outcome was similar to that of the special election, except that then Hoffman finished a close second while the Republican nominee, liberal Dede Scozzafava, finished in single digits. (Scozzafava was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate from Alaska on a write-in campaign.)"

The Crack Emcee said...

Taranto is great. He's the reason I switched to using the royal "we" on the blog - but, in my case, it's "the royal wee".

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Donna B. said...

Original Mike - the joke is "questions linger" in the headline... and


Anonymous said...

Ah, I love the Internet & trips down memory lane:

Mr. Obama asked his audience for a show of hands from people with employer-provided coverage, what most Americans have.

“Your employer, it’s estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent,” said the president, “which means they could give you a raise.”

A White House press spokesman later said the president misspoke; he had meant to say annual premiums would drop by $3,000.

I love the over the top "3000%!" and the silly, ignorant you may get a raise!

Not to mention premiums are going up at 20-40 times the inflation rate.

By Feb 2013, there won't be 200 people who will say they voted for this guy...

Anonymous said...

"[V]oters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him. . . . The race wasn't about specific details of Johnson vs Feingold ..."

This is such horseshit.

Here's the information that voters had:

1) Russ Feingold tried to repeal the First Amendment. He sponsored legislation under his name that prohibited speech critical of US Senators in the United States.

2) Voters knew that Ron Johnson had not committed such a treasonous act.

So, voters pulled the lever for Johnson and fired Russ Feingold's fucking ass.

The left had better get used to losing elections.

Russ Feingold lost because of who Russ Feingold is. Russ Feingold is a traitor to his country.

So we took it away from him.

Anonymous said...

"... there won't be 200 people who will say they voted for this guy..."

And Althouse is leading the charge. She claims (now) that she did not vote for Barack Obama.

She claims she voted against McCain.

Unknown said...

Fast Eddie Rendell, forever Mr Let's-Make-A-Deal", may be angling to replace Halo Joe as number 2 on the ticket in '12. I don't believe he's stupid enough or arrogant enough to actually believe that nonsense.

Joe and The Zero are, but I doubt him.

PS Since most of the people who vote Demo are under-educated and not that bright generally, I can understand how some on the Left could get in the habit of viewing the electorate that way.

Chip Ahoy said...

All that is interesting reading over there. Taranto's reaction to the Tikkun piece by Peter Gabel near the end is brutal. I had to read the bit twice because it is so airy-fairy floating with fluffed up feelings, but then from it Taranto derives sharp concrete conclusions. And here I thought I sometimes tend toward being overly contraspective with my acquaintances, but I have a long way to go to catch up to Taranto.

ricpic said...

Let's say that the average voter who voted against the Democrat incumbent and for the Republican challenger did it for no reason other than the present economic hurt. Would that be stupid? I don't think so. I'm hurting, or my community is hurting, or my relatives are hurting and those in power, specifically the one in power I can vote out of power, is going to pay. No matter how ignorant that voter may be (like most of us) of the fine points of economics, by voting the screw up out of office he is increasing ACCOUNTABILITY. He is underlining the concept of consequence. An unaccountable government unafraid of consequence can only end in tyranny. So a simple I'm-hurting-so-you-in-power-are-going-to-pay vote is not only not stupid, it is a vote in defense of liberty.

tim maguire said...

"What's the Matter With Kansas" has as it's fundamental assumption that the author knows what is best for the people of Kansas and they don't have the right to value different things. If they don't support what he thinks is important, than they must be stupid.

All you have to do to realize that nothing is the matter with Kansas is recognize the right of the people to decide for themselves what is important to them.

File this under "Liberals Are Stupid." Too stupid to notice that not everyone values the same things liberals do (sooner or later, in a separate comment, I'll argue that liberals don't even know what they value and do not, in fact, support the things they are so proud of supporting).

AlphaLiberal said...

Are you on a vendetta against this guy, Althouse? You sure do attack your peers a lot.

Known Unknown said...

...everyone who enters a voting booth is in an individual."

How else are we aliens going to take over the planet?


Revenant said...

I fell out of the habit of reading Best of the Web some time ago, but I liked how every blurb about Ted Kennedy would end with "Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment."

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

You sure do attack your peers a lot.

New to the world of academia, AL?

AllenS said...

Taranto's Best of the Web is the first web site that I go to in the morning.