Skip to main content

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
Rather than act helpless about voter suppression, we fight back—like taking out Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2014.
How about a little Friday meta? We did some incredible things this year, and I couldn't be prouder of the my staff and of this community. Rather than end the cycle exhausted and aching for some R&R, I'm actually more energized than ever and eagerly looking ahead to this next cycle.

However, there are areas where we, as a community, could use some improvement. So I offer the following in the spirit of constructive criticism. Because really, all this stuff was pretty freakin' annoying.

I'll see you below the fold.

1. THE POST-FIRST DEBATE MELTDOWN

People often forget that 1) most people aren't paying attention as closely as we are, and 2) there is no long-term political memory in this country.

So Mitt Romney's 47 percent remarks, and his Benghazi disaster, and his crappy convention, and Clint Eastwood, and every other flub he made damaged his campaign, but none of them ended it.

So why would a single poor debate outing end Barack Obama's? In fact, the president followed a long tradition of incumbents who lost their first debates, as Presidents John Kerry and Walter Mondale could tell you. And the fact the debate came a month from the election ensured that Obama would have plenty of time to right the ship.

Obama took a hit in the national polling, but never trailed in enough battlegrounds to put the Electoral College at risk. He was winning throughout, and had built up enough of a cushion over the summer to ride out the nadir of his campaign.

That didn't mean that we didn't criticize Obama for his performance and make sure he was better prepared and more aggressive next time. Note how conservatives acted like Romney had done well his second debate? Had they had a freakout like ours, perhaps he would've been better prepared for the third debate. Instead, conservatives pretended he had done fine, and it cost them.

Still, for people who were so fond of saying, "Act like you're 10 points down!", we saw how people acted when we were down by a single point—abject panic. It was embarrassing, unwarranted, and completely at odds with the data and facts on the ground.

2. NO, WE WON'T ACT LIKE WE'RE 10 POINTS DOWN

Can we retire that idiocy once and for all? And when it pops up next cycle, can people just link to this fucking post?

No one works hard for a loser. No one. That's why the Romney campaign built an entire fictional alternate reality in which they were headed toward a landslide victory. People work hard for winners, not for losers. And no one "stays home" because we're winning, just like no team in any sports walks off the field mid-game because they're ahead.

We could even see it in Daily Kos traffic—more people would show up when we were ahead than when the perception was that we were trailing. Now we're not going to create an alternate reality here to convince people we're winning when we're not. Just look at site coverage in 2010 for proof. But if you really want to motivate people, don't take what is a real lead and try to convince people we're losing. That's is just rank idiocy, and anyone who says shit like that is just embarrassing themselves.

3. THE FRAUDSTERS

Can we get through an election without panicking about Karl Rove's dastardly plan to steal the election? Please? Pretty please? With a cherry on top?

I'm begging you to stop that shit! You are giving Republicans far more credit and power than is warranted or than they deserve.

The way they try to "steal" an election is by creating structural impediments to voting. That means things like shortening or eliminating early voting days, not having enough voting machines in urban precincts, having tons in suburban and exurban precincts, purging of voter rolls, overly restrictive voter ID laws. And not all voter ID laws, as I've argued before. Some are perfectly fine, like Virginia's. Others, like Pennsylvania's, are pure voter suppression.

But here's the thing—Republicans tried that shit in many states, but got away with it in very few. And even when successful, like Florida's shortened early voting days, the Democratic GOTV machine made the necessary adjustments.

But as for election day shenanigans? There were few, if any, just like in 2010, and 2008. That doesn't mean we stop being vigilant, but it does mean we stop acting like we are DOOOOOOMED because of a Karl Rove so incompetent, he became a national laughingstock on Fox News Tuesday night, a Karl Rove so clueless, he now has to explain to conservative billionaires how he blew through hundreds of millions of their dollars with nothing to show for it.

We are not helpless in the face of voter suppression. Democrats are fighting back and winning. And in 2014, we take the fight straight at them by recapturing those governorships and secretary of state offices that tried to create these troubles in the first place.

4. OUR OWN POLL UNSKEWERS

Okay, nothing on our side ever matched the idiocy of their unskewers—alleging a mass polling industry-wide conspiracy to fool people into thinking Obama was winning. They were ridiculous.

But after the first debate, we had our own cadre of doubters casting aspersions on the polling showing Obama slipping and Romney rising. It was embarrassing seeing people who had cheered on, say, PPP polling when it had showed big Obama leads, suddenly claiming it was bunk because it was a robo-polling outfit that didn't call cell phones.

I don't doubt that cell phones will one day invalidate polling that exclude them, but nothing in the data has indicated that the time has arrived. In fact, a Pew study in 2010 found very little differences between their cell phone and non-cell phone samples. PPP, itself, nailed the 2009 and 2010 recall elections in Wisconsin at a time when other pollsters were too afraid to touch the volatile mid-year special elections. There's a reason I chose to go with PPP, and it was because they're the best. And as a reality-based community, I want the best data.

Post-election, it turned out that my decision was validated, and that PPP was pretty much the best polling outfit of the cycle. It also turned out that the internet pollsters were pretty darn good, which means we have a viable alternative when cell phones finally become an issue. It was those traditional polling outfits, even those who called cell phones, that lagged far behind.

Like Gallup.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Pat K California, Renee, GainesT1958, maxomai, Angie in WA State, Sylv, chuck utzman, jo fish, easong, Alma, Ray Radlein, G Spot1, murphy, Sparhawk, glitterscale, tikkun, Pandora, madmsf, alkatt, Shockwave, kpardue, hyperstation, Jay C, shayera, OLinda, Vico, eeff, xynz, WI Deadhead, red moon dog, pollyusa, grover, emelyn, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, expatjourno, TexasDemocrat, opinionated, sponson, CanadaGoose, rebop, ScrewySquirrel, CoolOnion, boadicea, mikidee, ksh01, retrograde, mkfarkus, chimpy, Boston to Salem, jbeach, Cedwyn, lirtydies, high uintas, CocoaLove, Cardinal Fang, Garbear, SneakySnu, ninothemindboggler, fight2bfree, psnyder, annan, TexDem, NYC Sophia, figbash, virginislandsguy, kj in missouri, dwahzon, QuoVadis, renaissance grrrl, kalmoth, RebeccaG, Sophie Amrain, dkmich, zerelda, Madison County Mandy, randallt, kfred, tomjones, motCT, poemworld, vivadissent, Sassy, sebastianguy99, Gowrie Gal, vcmvo2, fijiancat, historys mysteries, Bluesee, Harkov311, HudsonValleyMark, indycam, democracy inaction, basquebob, dewtx, Thorby Baslim, Brooke In Seattle, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Gary Norton, owlbear1, LNK, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, where4art, Ice Blue, sunbro, brentut5, Pluto, Ekaterin, murasaki, chiefsjen, Land of Enchantment, terjeanderson, Jim R, hlee1169, gwilson, BachFan, 417els, edwardssl, MeMeMeMeMe, BlueInARedState, dharmafarmer, hungrycoyote, dopper0189, raptavio, deha, zesty grapher, anastasia p, fou, kck, blueoasis, SherriG, twigg, bubbanomics, Rosaura, JVolvo, bleeding heart, sceptical observer, dirtfarmer, doinaheckuvanutjob, MBNYC, llbear, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Whitefish, blueoregon, Bernie68, Quicklund, PatConnors, Thinking Fella, pgm 01, Donkey Underpants, Loudoun County Dem, gloriana, puakev, yoduuuh do or do not, jds1978, DvCM, Mary Mike, la urracca, Aunt Martha, Singing Lizard, cyncynical, mffarrow, OIL GUY, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, Sarea, leonard145b, cloudbustingkid, sable, TomP, gizmo59, JDWolverton, rogerdaddy, mconvente, MikePhoenix, Marko the Werelynx, Foundmyvoice, Tchrldy, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, brooklynbadboy, Laughing Vergil, lineatus, Akonitum, Its any one guess, jamess, mikeconwell, monkeybrainpolitics, royce, smartdemmg, Jeff Y, alnep, mofembot, noddem, Horsefeathers, matching mole, BYw, psilocynic, mellow yellow, sydneyluv, fayea, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, pileta, artmartin, rubyclaire, J M F, George Hier, ARS, greengemini, Baldur, Frank Schnittger, elziax, bfitzinAR, johnosahon, jazzence, COwoman, PhotogHog, stevenwag, sfarkash, 57andFemale, maxzj05, Flyswatterbanjo, Quinagin, louisev, Tortmaster, mahakali overdrive, kingfishstew, Larsstephens, Nalepoc, Clyde the Cat, Railfan, Just Bob, Culebrito Blanco, smileycreek, brooklyns finest, Laurilei, sbbonerad, gramofsam1, Tea and Strumpets, Susan Grigsby, piers, eb23, CS in AZ, Luma, Lost and Found, ATFILLINOIS, renzo capetti, gulfgal98, loveistheanswer, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, anonevent, DiegoUK, NYWheeler, sharonsz, Dave in VA, kenwards, ericlewis0, Floande, wwjjd, Actbriniel, Gideon, rmabelis, Wisdumb, TheHalfrican, Mister Met, ebbet, Front Toward Enemy, Acktiv, DrJohnB, spooks51, Election Diary Rescue, ban nock, slowbutsure, implicate order, Buckeye Nation, BlueJessamine, Zutroy, mikejay611, kevin k, Nicci August, FightingRegistrar, NormAl1792, jared the bassplayer, molunkusmol, zukesgirl64, sethtriggs, thomask, DruidQueen, RfrancisR, gof, merrily1000, poliwrangler, Miggles, SoCalSal, dradams, jadt65, T100R, jaebone, Davui, Nashville fan, No one gets out alive, BlueDragon, stormicats, Heart n Mind, anodnhajo, cwsmoke, angry marmot, Chrislove, Siri, nellgwen, laurustina, S F Hippie, a2nite, Deep Texan, AreDeutz, JGibson, Horace Boothroyd III, mapamp, peachcreek, willrob, TBug, doroma, OllieGarkey, Brown Thrasher, tytalus, james321, jennyp, avsp, arizonablue, scilicet, raina, LCaseRussell, T C Gibian, dotdash2u, Melanie in IA, Ray Pensador, newinfluence, aresea, AguaEcon, howabout, rosarugosa, Smoh, Avilyn, InfiniteThoughts, Rooe, MRDFS, Rachel2012, Knockbally, ChristineM, Edmund Xu, CwV, poppenjay, Yakhooves, Orangetime, thatpj, RUNDOWN, Paradigm Change

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site