It's election time again, and by all reasonable accounts Obama is going to roll fairly comfortably to a second term. I use the words "all reasonable accounts" because there are quite a number of editorial writers and pundits who have been claiming as recently as yesterday either (1) that the race is a toss-up, a claim which has no evidence in reality, or (2) that Romney will win on Tuesday the 6th, a statement that reflects either anger with reality, insanity, or a type of stupidity that considers facts to be opinions.
My Claim: There is a sun in the sky.
Nutbag's Response: In your opinion.
This last type of stupidity comes up in poker fairly often, by the way. A bad player calls a turn triple-pot overshove with nothing but four to a flush. Jack high sooted. And that bad player thinks, "There are two outcomes. I win or I lose. One of the two will happen. Therefore, I'm 50-50." Of course we dismiss this player as an idiot and hope to play with him as much as possible. Perhaps not surprisingly, a full half-dozen Republican pundits who published editorials last week are that player. Yes, that's the role that the Republicans have assumed for 2012: a moron with a draw.
Because at least two stats guys who have been studying the election, the economy, the polls, and a variety of other factors affecting this election have pegged Obama as an 83 percent favorite--about 5 to 1, close to the odds of that bad player winning after calling a turn shove with nothing but a flush draw.
Will he win? Or, to ask the question another way: Do dumbasses occasionally hit their draws?
Maybe! Anything can happen, of course. Millions of people can suddenly change their minds and their votes. 90 percent of the polls can be fundamentally flawed. Millions of likely voters responding to the polls might be playing an elaborate April Fools Day joke, even though we're half a year from that month.
Nate Silver, a stats guy who studied baseball and now studies elections for the New York Times, recently called out one of his naysayers about this very topic. In a nutshell, it went like this:
Nate Silver: Obama is about a 70 percent favorite to win the election. [This was last week; now his odds are up to 83%]
Dumbass Republican: Nate Silver is full of it. The race is a tossup.
Nate Silver: If you really think that the race is a tossup, I'll bet you $1,000 at even money that Obama will win. Whoever wins can donate the winnings to the charity of their choice.
Dumbass Republican: [sound of crickets].
Now, I don't normally make political comments on this blog, but recent events have made it irresistible. At Romney rallies, the dumbass Republicans continually shout "USA! USA! USA!" during any significant pause in the speech.
Think about that. They are essentially saying that the side of the Democrats are not for the USA. Because you don't see the "USA!" chant at Obama rallies. There's a reason for this. Democrats in large part are sensible people. Republicans, on the other hand, think that Democrats are socialists and are therefore un-American.
The alternatives are worse. Shock Alert: Racism continues to exist in our country. But let's put ourselves in the shoes of a racist. Which party is he overwhelmingly likely to be a member of? Hint: It probably isn't the party that put a black man in office.
I could go on, but my point is clear. By and large, many Republicans are, uh, unappealing people. That's about as nice as I can put it.
So this year, after the election, I am going to celebrate (83 percent of the time). I am going to immediately fly back home and set up a booth outside the nearest gun shop in one of the more hillbilly-rich southern states. It will be a Peanuts-style booth--nothing special. And above my booth will be a sign that reads:
Will Lick Tears from Republican Faces
Unless the flush draw hits.