Honey, I Shrunk American Politics

Our politics are essentially failing right now. … Choosing between candidates is supposed to be the way we choose between policies in important things that affect our country or national security. But our politics have been allowed to shrink. If one side doesn’t want to talk about it, we’re not going to debate it as a country.

Rachel Maddow

This week everybody was still talking about the collapse of the Romney campaign

We have no so little patience these days that we can’t even wait for a guy to lose before we start debating why he lost. I said what I want to say about that in this article: The Romney Pre-mortems

… so conservatives claimed the polls were skewed

It’s a conspiracy to depress the Republican vote, you see. And all the pollsters are in on it, including Fox News. Fortunately, conservatives found one of their own to un-skew the polls, and — surprise! — Romney is actually way ahead!

A quick explanation of what’s going on: Conservatives smelled a rat when they looked into the details of the Obama-is-winning polls: Romney was running strong among Independents, but Obama was winning because the poll showed many fewer Republicans than Democrats. So if you unskew the polls by setting the Democrat/Republican ratio back to, say, what it was in 2008 exit polls, you get Romney ahead!

Josh Marshall explains why that makes no sense. The low number of Republicans and Romney’s good results among Independents are both caused by the same thing: Since 2008, a lot of Republicans have started calling themselves Independents. (That’s what the Tea Party was all about.)

… and liberals started debating whether to vote Green

Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf explained why he can’t vote for Obama. I took the online quiz and found that the candidate who best expresses my views is the Green Party’s Jill Stein. So who am I voting for? Obama.

Sorry, Jill: I’m not voting Green

Already, a comment on that article has pointed me to this great video explanation of the problems with our voting system:

And we’re also talking about the continuing anti-American protests in the Muslim world

which makes this Cracked.com spoof from the Bush years relevant again

Or, if satire is too subtle, RT’s Abby Martin will spell it out for you.

and you might also find this stuff interesting

Republican election officials are looking very hard for the many illegal voters they know must exist, but they’re not finding them.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler started out claiming there might be as many as 11,805 non-citizens on the roles, but after some investigating, he’s down to 141 (out of 3.5 million total voters). 35 of those 141 have voted. Eight of those 35 are in Denver, so the local Denver officials checked them out. They seem to be citizens.

So there might actually be no non-citizen voters in Colorado at all.

Meanwhile, voter-registration fraud has been uncovered in Florida. But the fraud is by Republicans. An organization hired by the Republican Party to do voter registration turns out to have turned in at least 100 “questionable” registrations. The guy behind this company is a long-time dirty-trickster, so while the Party has now distanced themselves from him, it’s impossible that they didn’t know he was a bad guy when they hired him.

In explaining all this, Josh Marshall makes a good point: voter registration fraud is not voter fraud.

To be clear, just because you register Mickey Mouse or Mary Poppins to vote doesn’t mean they’re going to show up to vote. Indeed, they’re not going to. Because they don’t exist. … This is at the root of what got ACORN in trouble. They were often sloppy and hired people who weren’t reliable. But most of the “fraud” uncovered in their work were fraudulent registrations they themselves discovered when they reviewed the forms and then reported to authorities.

Basically, low-level people in a voter-registration drive sometimes fake registrations to make it look like they’re doing a good job. It doesn’t affect elections at all.

So while this incident does point out how easy voter-registration fraud is, it doesn’t support the Republican claim that voter fraud is common.

Homer Simpson is a late-breaking undecided voter who goes for Romney: Obama “promised me death panels, and Grampa’s still alive.”

A manifesto for the job creators: “I am entitled to provide political support to radical, uncompromising politicians and then complain about how dysfunctional Washington has become.”

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