10 days left. Smart sophisticated people look at the polls and think smart thoughts:
So here’s a prospect worth contemplating: What if Romney carries the popular vote, but Obama regains the presidency by winning 270 votes or more in the electoral college?
“I think it’s a 50/50 possibility — or more,” said Mark McKinnon, who was a political strategist for President George W. Bush.
“If the election were held tomorrow, it wouldn’t just be a possibility, it would be actual,” added William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution . .
Oh the clownery visited upon us occasionally by the electoral college. The Founding Fathers may have been funnier than how they were painted. But this, no, is not another one of those ‘excelsior the popular vote’ posts. This is cleverer than that. This is the Washington Post:
No incumbent president seeking a second term has ever won the electoral college and lost the popular vote.
Every modern president to be reelected — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush — has gotten a bigger share of the vote in their second bid for office than their first, and with it, a chance to claim a mandate.
A win in the electoral college that is not accompanied by one in the popular vote casts a shadow over the president and his ability to govern.
Remember how George W. Bush was hamstrung by this issue in 2001? Lost to Al Gore, won the office? Dead on arrival, he was. No I don’t remember that. So it is that incumbents only can zombify our politics. Incidentally, this has never happened before so it’s a fairly sure thing.
Gosh and golly smart people. I wish Karen Tumulty had been less cerebrum-riot-y and more look-at-the-country-y when she’d written this. There’s a bigger issue pointed out by the tight polling. All anyone had to do to see it was look at the politics clearinghouse site Memeorandum today. Here is a story by the AP:
Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not . .
In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell . .
The AP surveys were conducted with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago.
Americans are more racist now than they were in 2008. Hooray! No wonder President Spearchucker can’t kill the hapless Romneybot (*click-clack* nothing can kill Romneybot *whirr* only Romneybot can kill Romneybot *click*). The polls are this close because half of the country is insane. Responding to Romney spokesman John Sununu, who accused General Colin Powell (blah person) of being Afro-racist, here’s Larry Wilkerson in an interview with Ed Schultz:
My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race.
Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as Commander in Chief and President, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.
That’s Republican Colonel Larry Wilkerson, on the Republicans. Those jerks are voting more vigorously against the Black Candidate than they are for the Man Who Stood For (insert here). Mitt would win their votes as a hologram as long as he was programmed Navajo white. And then this, the creme de la ruses:
It’s the birth of Barack Obama! Probably the pranksters should not have casted Big Jim Slade in the starring role, probably. But there are explanations. We know this because someone asked:
–Well, that baby is massive. It looks like it’s at least a year old.
Babies are born heavy all the time. I see no issue with that. And I assure you, most of the general public has no idea how big infants are in Kenya.
You might think the US is a fat society, but in Kenya they are born big and then they become light. Which is evidenced by the fact that today, Obama is really light and fit. That’s just the way it is.
That makes sense. Now if he could tell us why the tad Obama keeps flicking cigarette ashes from his beard. We wonder. Why he’s wearing a houndstooth jacket and a fez, reading Kerouac and slugging a bottle of absinthe, we’re curious to know. If the fool over there—> hadn’t blown the con with his multiple production tells, he’d probably have had a million people in the streets calling for grown Obama’s resignation. Does anyone doubt that?
And it’s not like the rural rubes are the only trogs. The congressional Republicans have repeatedly called him a communist and Marxist and terrorist and death on two legs. Have opposed every proposal he brought to the table, particularly if they themselves proposed it first. Screamed “You lie!” while he tried to speak to them. Filibustered the legislation he supported more than three hundred sixty times, a record. They don’t like him? They’d like to abolish even the memory of an Obama.
Karen Tumulty should open her eyes. It’s very neat and swell to opine about a hobbled presidency on the horizon. But this one was dented by racism from the start. With polling in the swing states currently running in the President’s favor, it brings up the likelihood that Obama will win. Hence the trolls will gnash their fangs, and they’ll jam a burning cross in the wheels of Congress, again, and clever Karen will say “I told you so.”