damnum absque injuria

April 29, 2008

Liberals for Fraud

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:13 am

I’m torn as to how happy to be about yesterday’s ruling. On the one hand, “only” three of the four liberals on the U.S. Supreme Court can find the emanation and/or penumbra of the constitution that prohibits states from requiring voters to prove they are who they say they are before voting. On the other, it would only take 2 judicial appointees by President Clinton or Obama to reverse that result, which hardly seems far-fetched given that both nominees of the first President Clinton (Justices Ginsburg and Breyer) were part of the pro-fraud contingent. Back on the original hand, one of those two, Justice Ginsburg, is also among the two Justices most likely to resign in the next Presidential term, so the most likely result of a single term of President Billary or Obama is that the ruling would hang on by a thread. Yippee.

My favorite quote is from Mary Wilson, President of the League of Women Voters:

Mary Wilson, president of the League of Women Voters, said her group has never found a problem with in-person voter fraud. “We’d be the first ones out there to prevent voter fraud, if there really was a problem,” she said.

Am I the only one who finds that quote reminiscent of the old “I don’t have a drinking problem” joke? Dishonorable mention goes to the Ass. Press for their crack legal analysis:

Monday’s case was the court’s first significant foray into election law since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. The voter ID ruling, with no majority opinion and four of the nine justices writing, lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.

Technically true, I suppose, given that the 2000 case was split 5-4 (or 7-2, depending on the issue) while the 2008 case was split 6-3 (or 3-3-3 on the reasoning). I suppose the split also differed in that the 2000 decision included Justices Rehnquist and O’Connor, while yesterday’s included Justices Roberts and Alito instead. Oh yeah, and one whole Justice (Stevens) actually switched sides.

Third place goes to Rick Hasen, who still hasn’t gotten over Bush v. Gore.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post had me taking Hasen and the NYT to task for implying that Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito would have upheld the poll tax, which the 24th Amendment clearly prohibits in the context of federal elections. In fact, the poll tax case to which they referred, Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966) dealt exclusively with state elections, so the 24th Amendment does not apply.

April 25, 2008

The Wright Stuff

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:49 am

A new ad in North Carolina has gotten quite a buzz lately for daring to say bad things about the Democrat candidate who is supposed to be worshiped rather than challenged. Oddly enough, no one is attacking it on the merits, which they certainly could do since attacking two gubernatorial candidates for endorsing a guy who has a cozy relationship with another guy takes guilt by association to a whole new level, but that’s neither here nor there. Jason Zengerle of Beauchamp Central the New Republic thinks the ad is intended to benefit Hillary Clinton rather than any of the Republican gubernatorial candidates, writing:

What they didn’t mention at all is that the North Carolina GOP ad is intended to help Hillary in the May 6 primary. I mean, if the NC GOP really wanted the ad to help McCain, wouldn’t they be running this ad in October or November? This is clearly an attempt to play the race and the Wright card against Obama in the hopes of hurting him in the Democratic Primary. Which suggests that there are at least some Republicans out there who still think Obama is the more formidable general election candidate.

Methinks Zengerle made one typo: reminding voters about Obama’s racist chums makes an issue of his alleged racism, not his race. Thus, it is properly described as the “racism card,” not the “race card.” That said, while I agree that Zengerle’s explanation of the ad is plausible, I do not believe it is the only plausible explanation, nor even the most plausible one. Other possibilities:

  1. The ad is intended to depress Democratic turnout in the primary and boost participation in the Republican one among independents, who are free to vote in either party’s primary.
  2. Similar to #1, but the NC GOP is in the tank for a specific candidate (e.g., Orr or McCrory) who they expect would benefit disproportionally from such cross-over votes.
  3. The NC GOP considers it a fait accompli that Obama will be the nominee, and is getting an early start on making sure 2008 doesn’t become the first year since 1976 that NC carried the Democrat nominee.
  4. Similar to #3, but the NC has a certain amount of money that can only be spent on certain issues (e.g., state elections) or at certain times (e.g., in advance of the primary), so they are running this ad now rather than a very similar ad when they’d really like to run it.
  5. The ad really is intended primarily to hurt both Democrat candidates for governor. They don’t care which one wins, only that whoever does be inextricably tied to Obama, not because he’s the more extreme Democrat candidate, but because he’s the one the NC GOP expects to be around in November.

Personally, I lean toward #5. I don’t see an attack on Obama, who is the odds-on favorite to win the NC Democratic Primary, hurting any other Democrat in that same primary. I do see a strategy of joining the Presidential nominee (whoever they think it will be) and the gubernatorial nominee (whoever it turns out to be) at the hip. Why? Simple: because NC voters usually elect Democrats as governor, but almost never elect them as President. If the presidential and gubernatorial candidates are generally perceived as two separate items in a cafeteria, the Democrats will likely win one race while the Republicans win the other. If they’re viewed as a package deal, Republicans win both.

UPDATE: No, Mr. McMaverick, just because a maverick state party declines to take marching orders from the suits in DC does not mean it is out of touch with reality. Your meddling, however, does raise questions as to whether you are out of touch with a very specific reality that the North Carolina gubernatorial race and your presidential campaign are two different races. Here’s an idea every maverick can love: don’t tell us how to run our campaign, and we won’t tell you how to run yours.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire has more.

April 24, 2008

On the Superdelegates

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:04 am

I’ve heard more than a few talking heads say that the Democrats’ answer to the House of Lords, better known as the superdelegates, would never vote for the candidate who lost among democratically elected pledged delegates. If that’s true, why have superdelegates at all? That said, I do tend to agree with those who say the super-duper-pooper-scooper delegates would never overturn both the elected delegate count and the popular vote. Suppose we end up with a choice between the two? I’m torn between the following theories:

  1. The Supreme Soviet of Delegates will vote to uphold the pledged delegates, thereby proving once and for all that their sole function is to give losing candidates false hope.
  2. The Dear Leaders among Delegates will vote to support whoever wins The Popular VoteTM, for the simple reason that they haven’t gotten over the 2000 election. This theory could get particularly interesting if the question of who won The Popular VoteTM depends on whether or not Florida, let alone Michigan, is included in the tally.
  3. Moveon.org, having bought and owned (pwn3ed?) the Democratic Party since 2004, will finally take possession of their property and nominate Obama.
  4. The royal family will interpret the delegate / popular vote split as giving them cover to vote for the candidate of their choice. Upon examining the candidates, they conclude that Obama is an unelectable hack, and will nominate the candidate who has a better chance of defeating McCain.
  5. The DeBeers of Democracy will interpret the delegate / popular vote as guaranteeing that no matter what they do, half of all registered Democrats will become convinced that their election has been “stolen,” thereby all but guaranteeing that the winner of the election will have only half the party behind him in November, running against a Republican most Democrats don’t mind all that much anyway. So they write off the 2008 election as either (1) unwinnable or (2) equally winnable for both candidates, and look to the long-term interest of the party. “Stealing” the election from Hillary will piss off her supporters in the short run, but they’ll get over it by 2012. “Stealing” the election from the black guy will remove a core constituency from the party for a generation or more. They nominate Obama.

What say you? Any other plausible scenarios I missed?

April 18, 2008

Putting the “Ick” Back in Democrat-ic

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:02 am

George Will’s piece on the transformation of the Democrat+ic Party from “a celebrator of middle-class American culture” to a party “who would judge ordinary Americans by an abstract standard and find them wanting.” Uncle puts it a little more bluntly: vote for me, you cousin-humping rednecks.

April 16, 2008

Two Definitions of Lying

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:22 am

1. Saying something you know to be untrue.
2. Saying something you believe to be true, and which probably is may or may not be true, but which the other guy really, really wants not to be true.

‘Hat tip: Uncle.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, and after some prodding by a commenter, I’m thinking the notion guns save 400,000 (or at least 200,000) American lives per year is probably excessive. I don’t doubt that the statement, while wrong, was nevertheless made in good faith, ergo my original point about labeling it as “lying” stands. As does the greater point that no matter whose numbers you believe, successful defensive uses of guns outnumber suceessful offensive ones, unless you play semantic games with the definition of succeed (e.g., a criminal’s use of his gun “succeeds” if he persuades you to hand over the loot, but your defensive use doesn’t “succeed” unless the criminal dies).

April 10, 2008

It’s Been Virtual

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:37 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting NK and his family tonight. A charming bunch, who did an excellent job of making me feel at home in a town I once called home. See the rest of y’all in Louisville.

April 8, 2008

Not Fake, But Inaccurate

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:24 pm

There’s been quite a buzz lately about Hillary Clinton’s flubbing of the Trina Bachtel story. The implication is that Hillary either fabricated the story or was too eager to believe a story about an uninsured woman dying from lack of timely health care and therefore couldn’t be bothered to vet the story. The reality, however, is a bit more complicated than that. The Clinton campaign was indeed lazy about vetting the details, and should get dinged for overall sloppiness, but it appears the basic story was right: Bachtel was indeed denied early care because she lacked health care and was either unable or unwilling (we don’t know which) to pay $100 upfront, and did indeed die under eleventh-hour treatment later on. The only real twist is that the facility that denied Bachtel care and the facility that later admitted her were not the same facility, and that she lacked insurance at the time she sought early care, but had it when she was admitted later on.

A bit sloppy, I’ll admit, and accuracy aside, more than a bit crass of Hillary to try to exploit a personal tragedy. Aside from that, move along people. There’s nothing to see here.

Bringing Back the Know-Nothing Party

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:06 pm

Shorter Jim Bulluck:

Four years ago I was a naïve 12-year-old who didn’t know a thing about politics. Little did I know that in four short years I would be a naïve 16-year old who still doesn’t know a thing about politics.

A free ounce of cocaine* for the first commenter who correctly guesses which candidate the guy is writing in to support.

*Offer void where prohibited by law.

April 7, 2008

Code Sharing as Collusion

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:34 am

Anwyn thinks airline code sharing is collusion. Not sure I agree, but then again, I don’t know much about the internal workings of the airline industry. An interesting discussion, regardless.

April 6, 2008

The Semantics of Insanity

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:25 pm

Others less wise than myself have offered a folk definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. What is the name for those who do the same thing repeatedly and actually get a different result?


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