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The Destruction of Conventional Wisdom
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, November 09, 2006

Betsy at Betsy's Page gives us a nice little run down of how 'conventional wisdom' fared in this last election:
1. Incumbents have an almost insurmountable advantage and their defeat is a rare, special event.

2. Gerrymandering has succeeded in making it impossible to oust incumbents.

3. Midterm elections are decided on local issues.

4. People vote their pocketbooks – if they did Jennifer Granholm wouldn’t have been reelected.

5. The candidate with the most money wins.

6. Delivering the pork insures an incumbent’s reelection. Tell that to all those incumbents who bragged on what they’d brought home to their constituents and got ousted for their troubles.

7. The Republican GOTV efforts are worth an extra few points in tough races.

8. Exit polls have lost their predictive powers. In fact, they were pretty straight on.

9. The extreme fringe of the Democratic Party has taken over the entire party and is now in the driver’s seat. Tell that to candidates like James Webb and Heath Shuler. And to Joe Lieberman. We’ll just have to see how well they can all work together or which group will have to sacrifice what it professes to believe.

10. The Republican base is so sick of the media bias that they will turn out to vote against the media.

11. Voters won’t turn out in a midterm election.

12. All those polls leading up to the election were missing Republicans who didn’t like to talk to pollsters.

13. Voting irregularities will doom this election. That only happens when Republicans win.
A definite touche'. I plead guilty to mouthing some of the now discredited platitudes. Out with the old CW, in with the new.

Oh, and where are all those expected complaints about Diebold and vote rigging?
 
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where are all those expected complaints about Diebold and vote rigging?

The fact that the Dems took both houses even in spite of Diebold and all that vote rigging just makes the achievement all the more impressive. :-/

Seriously, the absence of complaining about this on the Left is not evidence of hypocrisy — the dominant trope isn’t that the vote tabulations are merely inaccurate, it’s that they’re tilted to the right. As a rough analogy, when the NYT prints the occasional article that supports a conservative idea, folks on the right are happy to quote it, not because they think the paper has magically become balanced but because they can say "look, even the liberal NYT agrees with me".

 
Written By: kenB
URL: http://
where are all those expected complaints about Diebold and vote rigging?"
=
I can’t be this complacent.
As long as it’s possible to hack into or rig
voting machines, it’s likely that sooner or later, someonw will. And it can be done without leaving a trace, if there is no paper record of each individual vote.

Given the dirty tricks that campagners and political zealots are willing to employ, I don’t see any reason to hope that they wouldn’t go further, if they could.

About Diebold, it just bothers me that they lied about points of vulnerability in order to make the sale. Lying does not instill faith.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
Granholm won Michigan again because DeVos had nothing the least bit concrete to offer. He came off looking like he just wanted the job title which is the exact same problem with Granholm, except DeVos is dorkier.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
And it can be done without leaving a trace, if there is no paper record of each individual vote.
Course there’s way of leaving a trace.

You just don’t know them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
A hacker has to know the system pretty well to avoid or eliminate the traces assuming the audit trails are there to start with.
You think just anyone can write these and install them? That there’s no validation or oversight, or that they’re all controlled from some easily
hacked central site nationwide?
Or that these can’t have your paper created as a receipt for validation by the voter?

And paper doesn’t assure credibility or reality - TANG memos, for example.
The methods for hacking a paper system are also pretty well understood, are you telling me it’s invulnerable?

And finally - there’s some around here that don’t even think you should prove who you are when you vote...and you’re worried about how that vote is going to be counted?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the effects of gerrymandering, incumbency, pork and money. Out of 435 House races, 29 changed hands. It seems to me this demonstrates that in this instance the CW is pretty right on. If we think a 7% turnover is a sea change, the incumbents are pretty well entrenched.
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
"Oh, and where are all those expected complaints about Diebold and vote rigging? "

They have been suppressed by the BusHitler police state apparat! The lack of complaints is proof! There has been a documented increase in flights to Guantanamo, which is where those who have witnessed the vote rigging are being sent! gotta go now, someone is knocking at the door.

Oh No! It’s them! They are coming to take me away! Hel
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Outside the Beltway has a trenchant response to Newmark’s piece, and Steven Donegal hits the high harmony. 7% ain’t jack.
 
Written By: Phil Smith
URL: http://
Quibbles with 11 & 12. Overall turnout was about the same in 2006 as it was in 2002 — a tweak higher. And Democrats almost certainly didn’t get near the 20% edge that many in the generic balloting were predicting — more like the 6-8 point advantage that the final polls from Pew, WaPo and Gallup showed.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
At the precient where I voted, they used Diebold touch machines which was a bit unsettling, given all the hype. We used Diebolds a few years ago, IIRC and then switched to optical ballots but went back to Diebolds this year.

The Diebolds printed (and you can see the print out to the right of you) out a ballot that I believe was used to create a paper trail. Seems to me that the biggest worry/fret is solved.

Oh and hacking those machines... if I’m able to tamper with a voting machine in full view of poll watchers/workers, and they say nothing about it, that ought to worry anyone regardless if the machines are diebold, optical scanners, or mechanical boxes. The theories about all sorts of hacks would require someone to behave in a fairly suspicious manner- swapping out smart cards (or keeping them... how the hell does a precient lose one of those?) or looking at the bottom or behind the machines, or plugging things into the machine.

 
Written By: h0mi
URL: http://
Even the vote riggers were tired of the republicans.
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
A lot of ground-level people on the left are still very mistrusting of electronic voting machines, and I for one don’t understand why they’re the only ones. It’s not as if Republicans are the only ones who can or might tamper with electoral results. Democrats aren’t any more moral.

There has been a serious movement between 04 and 06 to mandate a paper audit trail printout, and that’s a good start, but the movement is piecemeal. We need a federal law mandating a paper trail to let nothing slip through the cracks.

Even then, EVM machines are still vulnerable to a) flat-out mal- or non-function, in a way that paper ballots typically aren’t, and vote tampering where complaints about paper receipt disparities are ignored. Paper receipts only guarantee more recounts and attempts to check said paper receipts. What is really needed is open-source source code for the voting machines. Hell, un-privatize the operation entirely.

It’s not as if voting isn’t a fundamental perogative of the government. What’s the harm?

PS: I’m not sure either that all of the CW is invalid (so #4 is reallly totally untrue? Why do people like tax cuts again then?), but either way, props to McQ for reconsidering them anyway. More two-sided arguments are a good thing.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
A lot of ground-level people on the left are still very mistrusting of electronic voting machines, and I for one don’t understand why they’re the only ones.
It’s because those on the left still labor under the illusion that mmost people agree with them. Thus whenever they lose an election it is implicit prima facie evidence that the system is rigged.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
9. The extreme fringe of the Democratic Party has taken over the entire party and is now in the driver’s seat. Tell that to candidates like James Webb and Heath Shuler. And to Joe Lieberman. We’ll just have to see how well they can all work together or which group will have to sacrifice what it professes to believe.
The results are hardly in on this one. It was easy for the moonbats to keep their mouthes shut when an election hung in the balance. But the spray paint will soon rub off of the spots on a lot of leopards. What committee is Joe Lieberman going to chair?
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
What committee is Joe Lieberman going to chair?
What party is Ned Lamont going to represent?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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