Tag Archives: politics

What a Waste of a Primary

The Daily Show seems to have portrayed the demographic game perfectly in this clip. The interviewees they show are clearly not cool which being politically profiled, and the piece is a nice tongue-in-cheek way of looking at something I was complaining about early this season.

Link via Feministing.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Entertainment


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Projection and the Will of the Electorate

“… voters are finally focused on who they think will be the best commander-in-chief…

… Now that senator McCain is clearly the nominee, democratic voters are taking their decision very seriously…”

– Hillary Clinton on Today, this morning

It’s a bit tiring to hear everyone (McCain, Clinton, Obama, the media, everyone) constantly explain why people voted for who they voted for. I believe many people have unpredictable reasons for voting the way they do, and to say that they voted for the candidate they did for a particular reason trivializes the complex set of issues underlying these elections. Furthermore, statements like this seem to imply that before, voters were not focused on who will be the best C.I.C., or taking their decision seriously. This isn’t directed in particular at Senator Clinton, rather I’m just bored of seeing this filter constantly applied to election results.

I know that candidates have to do this – it’s to their advantage to interpret their success as a portent of something larger, and then to project that interpretation onto our monitors and our brains.

But the media doesn’t have to do it (do they?). They don’t have to interpret every single voting block’s majority as a swing for a particular reason. When CNN tells me that voters chose experience over change yesterday in Texas and Ohio, I don’t want to believe them. It may be true that Clinton is correlated with experience, and Obama is correlated with change, but that doesn’t mean that votes for one or the other correlate the same way; and if they do correlate that way, there’s no way to deconvolute that from the affect of the media. Does this make sense?

Anyways, I’m often a big fan of controversy, so I’m not unhappy to see the nomination process carry on a bit longer.


Posted by on March 5, 2008 in Garbage In, Garbage Out


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Iowan Caucusing

I’m watching a live web-cast of one of the Democratic caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa. The sight of real voters in the trenches working this out amongst themselves is heart warming.  It’s almost like they made a massive game of the process.  The caucusers mill around the room, coalesce, repel, and react like tiny interacting agents working to form something much larger than themselves.

At the same time, seeing something so important, with so much weight, executed in such a seemingly haphazard manner, is frightening.  I cannot imagine a more error-prone, arcane way to choose a delegate.  They may as well line up and have a dance off to the tune of “Cool” from West Side Story.  In any other country this process would be tagged as a  gigantic “voting irregularity” and the U.N. would be sending in lawyers with fire hoses to regulate.

 Still, it looks fun, and the Iowans seem to be enjoying it.


Tags: , , , ,