Friday, August 24, 2012

Did He or Didn't He?

What unemployment problem? What deficit problem? What Iran problem? What energy problem? What Afghanistan war? What problem with Pakistan? Julian Assange? Drones? War on women? What? The biggest problem of the day seems to be, did Romney make a ”birther” joke on purpose, or was it just another gaffe? This vital question, coming on the heels of the Akin controversy that has occupied the news for the last few days, seems to have outraged the left and further endeared Romney to the right (if that is really possible). Oh, and yes, there was another shooting in New York, right near the Empire State building, two dead, several wounded. And, by the way, there were 19 shooting deaths and stuff in Chicago overnight. We really ought to do something about this gun problem, someday, maybe, if we ever get around to it, but, really, did Romney make his birther remark on purpose or not? I am torn over the answer to this monumentally important issue.

On the one hand, you might well think this was just another Romney gaffe, as it is basically similar to other such thoughtless, rude, and inconsiderate remarks he has made in the past. “I like to fire people,” for example, or “these cookies must have come from 7-11,” or “where did you get those cheap raincoats,” and “I’m unemployed myself,” “just borrow some money from your parents,” and others I’ve probably forgotten. Because his birther remark is so much part of this pattern I am tempted to believe it may well have been just another gaffe.

On the other hand, there are those, perhaps even a majority, who are absolutely convinced the whole thing was deliberately planned in advance in order to make points with the Republican base (the Tea Partiers, and they did like it). Frankly, I don’t really give a damn, and I don’t know why I am wasting my time (or yours) with this latest bit of time-wasting, conversation-changing, relatively unimportant, blathering, mind-numbing, nonsensical piece of pretend “news.” If Romney did it on purpose, he’s a scheming cheap-shot creep who has now sunk to the absolute bottom of the political world. If it was just another gaffe, it’s probably even worse because it reveals what he most probably actually believes, making him into another mindless, racist twit. In either case it is hard to see it as merely an innocent slip of the tongue.

I am still bothered by the polls. I know people often say you can’t really trust the polls, or the early polls, or any polls, and so on. I have never really trusted the polls although I didn’t really bother thinking about them much. I am aware, of course, they can be skewed this way or that, depending on the questions, the timing, the population being polled, and so on. I have to confess that this time I am absolutely flabbergasted by what seems to be the result of the polls, namely this is going to be a close election, a nail biter that Obama could easily lose, and so forth. How can this be? One recent poll shows 94% of Blacks will vote for Obama, 0% for Romney. Another indicates Obama leads the Hispanic vote by some 30 points or so. We also know he leads the women’s vote by a very large margin. These results alone would seem to make it impossible for Romney to win. When you couple them with the likely elderly vote (they are not likely to appreciate making Medicare into a voucher program or touching Social Security), the youth vote (Romney/Ryan want to take away Pell grants and cut education in general), the Muslim vote, the Jewish vote (predictably favoring Democrats), and so on, it is impossible to believe Obama and Romney could be neck and neck. Besides, there is the fact that Obama’s favorability rating is also vastly superior to that of Romney. You have to wonder just who in the world it is they are polling, and what in the hell they are asking? Granted there seem to be a lot of Obama haters out there, and granted the racism that permeates American society, and granted that less educated Whites favor Romney, how can they possibly be enough to override the women, Blacks, Hispanics, and all the others? There has to be, as we say, “something really fishy about this.”

We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in 'reality.' And reality has a well known liberal bias.

Stephen Colbert

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