Sun, 6 April 2014
Columbia, Tennessee promotes itself as the mule capital of the world. Every year around the end of March and beginning of April, they hold an annual celebration. Thousands of people come from all over to join in bluegrass, gospel, country music, with dancing and events. This year they tried a sort of take off on a rodeo, with guys riding sticks made up to look like heads of mules. It was like Monty Python for mule lovers.
They also have an annual mule parade. Four years ago, a local Republican candidate for Congress, a tea party favorite, was scolded by a parade organizer for some sort of safety violation committed by his campaign the previous year. The candidate, Zach Wamp, got really steamed. He was reported by the Nashville City Paper to have said a couple of things that make campaign managers attempt to fly from tall buildings.
"I make my own rules!" and "You can’t tell me what to do!"
Yikes. Way to go, Zack.
Thu, 3 April 2014
When Bill Clinton won the Presidency in 1992, conservatives looked for whatever comfort they could generate from his low share of the vote. It had been a three candidate race, and Bill Clinton won with 43 percent.
George Will reacted with some degree of scorn, not toward Clinton, but toward Clinton's critics. He mocked the"delightful Republican attempt to build confidence on a rickety scaffolding of little numbers."
He stated two obvious facts.
One was that the President-elect would have won with a substantially larger share of the vote had the third candidate, Ross Perot, not engaged in a campaign that was self-financed by equal parts big money and big ego.
The other was that Clinton had ... well ... won.
"Clinton`s strong number is: He won 100 percent of the White House."
Unless you are Chris Christie making a ruthless run toward national Republican prominence, that 100 percent of any elective office means you would not be willing to block lanes or break heads to get a few more points past 60 percent. As long as you get enough past half to avoid a nail biting recount, who cares?
That's why it was hard for me to take seriously the Huffington Post headline a few days ago:
Wed, 2 April 2014
Voters in their mid-twenties will remember just one presidential campaign in which the Republican got more votes than the Democrat. That happened in 2004 as President George W. Bush was cast as the anti-terrorist President.
Elections in which the Democratic candidate got more votes:
Elections in which the Republican candidate got more votes:
A trend can be seen in non-Presidential races. The line is not straight, but it wobbles along, generally in one direction. The oscillation does continue. Republicans are victorious, then Democrats win. But Republican victories are becoming narrower over time. Democrats, when they win, achieve greater margins.
What began happening in 1992? Why is it continuing?