Political Animal


September 26, 2012 5:44 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Should have noted earlier that it’s Yom Kippur. So if it affects you, have an easy fast.

It’s been another good day of polls and other campaign developments for left-of-center folk—or maybe I’m just hearing too much of that triumphalist MSNBC chatter in the background.

I am eternally cautious having lived through Election Night 2004, when live access to exit polling had me calling up family and friends to tell them to ignore that Red Tide on the TV screen, ‘cause John Kerry had won!

Speaking of 2004….it was impossible to predict that long night what a dispiriting mess the next four years would become. And it’s just as hard to credit the fact that the Republican Party is going back to the electorate with the same agenda this year, except for all the less objectionable parts. Yes, the GOP has looked back at the Bush administration and decided it all went wrong because W. was secretly a liberal. And that’s why this is the perfect time to take a look back along with a look forward by subscribing to the Washington Monthly and getting a free copy of the new ebook, Elephant in the Room.

While you do that, here are some final news items of the day:

* CNN’s Peter Hamby takes a deeper look at why Mitt Romney is suddenly in so much trouble in Ohio.

* Our SOB: NSRC considering a very abrupt about-face to provide financial help to Todd Akin.

* Yglesias examines the three very different scenarios a Romney administration could take if the rules of mathematics aren’t repealed and his tax plan violates conflicting campaign promises.

* Since it’s become an issue in the presidential contest at all, it’s worth noting Joshua Tucker’s suggestion at Ten Miles Square that NFL players refuse to play an ever-increasing percentage of each game until the owners’ lockout of refs is ended.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer examines the slow movement of for-profit colleges towards more support for students in response to accreditations pressures.

And in non-political news:

* Bacon-eating contests suspended as global pork shortage looms.

Back tomorrow with a fresh day of political wonders.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • SadOldVet on September 26, 2012 6:00 PM:

    I am eternally cautious having lived through Election Night 2004, when live access to exit polling had me calling up family and friends to tell them to ignore that Red Tide on the TV screen, ‘cause John Kerry had won!

    Ed - Is there other exit polling from 2004 that you are referring to that is beyond Ohio? It is my understanding that the only exit polling that year that was 'outside' of the 'margin of statistical error' was Ohio. I would posit the argument that the exit polling in Ohio was probably accurate and that the dumbocraps and the corporately owned media were unwilling and/or afraid to discuss the evidence that the presidential election in Ohio in 2004 was stolen.

  • Dredd on September 26, 2012 6:15 PM:

    "And in non-political news ..."


    More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
    It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
    (Perfect Storm: New Global Ground Zero). I am of the opinion that this is an issue that should be political ... in the proper way.

  • c u n d gulag on September 26, 2012 6:29 PM:

    I'm with SadOldVet on this one - Electronic voting machines in key districts in key state, flipped.

    The exit polls were correct.

    And, those machines are still out there. And now, add voter suppression - and there's no way anyone on our side should get complacent until Novemeber 7th.

    And then, if the election is close, I expect all sorts of push-back and violence from the Republicans on Election night, and a few days afterwards.

    Hopefully, with the "Brooks Brothers Riot's" bullsh*t in 2000, and after the potential coming violence, the MSM "both side do it" morons will finally wake the feck up!

  • Dredd on September 26, 2012 6:31 PM:

    "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic." -Joseph Stalin

  • T2 on September 26, 2012 9:18 PM:

    Akin......McCaskill did everything she could to get him to win the Primary....why? Because every other GOPer was going to beat her...Why? Because she's a poor excuse for a Democrat. Well now she gets to run against Akin and the full might of the GOP Money Machine. If she gets beat by that creep, we'll have another hate monger and obstructionist in the Senate. Claire, don't ask for something you don't want.. You might get it handed to you.

  • Jose Hipants on September 26, 2012 9:36 PM:

    it was impossible to predict that long night what a dispiriting mess the next four years would become
    Actually, it wasn't that hard to predict. There was no reason to expect anything else after the apparently deliberate tragic incompetence of the first four Bush years.
    It was also no real surprise that they stole the Ohio vote and thus the second election. Why wouldn't they? Who was going to stop them?

  • exlibra on September 26, 2012 10:01 PM:

    Don't know about y'all but, in '04, I didn't watch the returns and didn't listen to the exit polls; once Bin Laden delivered his message (a few days before the election), I lost all hope and figured Bush had the election all sewn up; that last minute message was all that was needed to remind everyone to be scared rigid, and to vote for the Codpiece whether it made any sense or not.

  • emily on September 27, 2012 4:17 AM:

    Not sure if people say "Happy Yom Kippur" . . . but I hope you had a good holiday, Ed. An extra bonus for a special occasion: Jennifer Rubin was blessedly silent today. Here's wishing for her to take more holidays off.

  • Jerry Elsea on September 27, 2012 7:41 AM:

    Election night 2004 found me predicting what a dispiriting mess the next four years would become. No, I couldn't forecast the 2005 Terri Schiavo intervention, George W. Bush's Social Security privatization push, the Downing Street Memo, Cindy Sheehan, Hurricane Katrina and other developments that gave Bush the worst year of any politician in shoe leather.

    But the Second Battle of Fallujah was pending. That tragic revenge saga began Nov. 9, 2004. Bush's further releasing of the dogs of war so depressed the public that by Inauguration Day 2005, buyer's remorse already had set in.

    Three years later, Bush desperately needed the economic collapse to come after election day. Instead it occurred in mid-September. It was a blow to the Bush legacy, though Republicans still try to hang the 2007-2009 recession, and the FY 2009 budget deficit, on Barack Obama.

    I always thought Bush didn't want to be president so much as he wished TO HAVE BEEN president. Mitt Romney gives the same impression. If Romney somehow triumphs on Nov. 6, I predict another dispiriting four-year mess.

  • Ron Byers on September 27, 2012 7:46 AM:

    T2 Claire might be a DINO but she is our DINO. She will vote for Harry Reid for Majority Leaderr instead of Mitch McConnell. It is time we do what we can to win Missouri.

  • boatboy_srq on September 27, 2012 9:36 AM:

    @Jerry Elsea:

    I always thought Bush didn't want to be president so much as he wished TO HAVE BEEN president.

    At least Shrub wanted to be pResident because he believed something. Whether we agree with Shrub's cause or not, at least he had one.

    Romney seems to think he's interviewing for Chairman of the Board because that's a nice job, and that the comfy residence and "free" travel, staff and security are all just perks. Ann, in contrast, thinks she's being crowned Queen (and apparently after this "hard" campaign all will be sunshine, roses and tea on the WH lawn - served, of course, by "you people" - once it's done). Either way you slice it, the idea that rMoney will have to actually lead seems completely beyond either one: the one can't articulate a single intended action besides thread-pulling just to watch things unravel, the other apparently can't wait to get back to her dressage. The l'etat c'est moi in those two is palpable. The GOTea has the selected the most wilfully inept couple for pResident and Companion (H/T Joss Whedon) in the party's history.

    OTOH, I was afraid that some engineered catastrophe other than the economy tanking would cause Cheney to convince Shrub to suspend elections "for the duration of the emergency," and that we'd be stuck with the two of them indefinitely. rMoney seems far more the type to take that action for no better reason than because he's comfortable in the WH doing Moroni's bidding just by being there.