Once upon a time...in Iowa with Don Imus!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2020

Iowa caucuses explained:
Long ago and far away, Don Imus tried to explain the Iowa caucuses.

It was January 2000. Candidate Gore had just vanquished Candidate Bradley in the Hawkeye State.

Imus, who was huge at the time, had no earthly idea how the Iowa caucuses worked. Adhering to the rules of the game, he fell to belittling Gore.

Leslie Stahl came on as a guest; she was clueless too. Our big stars have always been like this! This wholly inescapable fact helps explain how we got here.

To enjoy our own award-winning consistency, you can just click here. Scroll down to these immortal words:

"Clueless in the morning"

36 comments:

  1. Imus-schmimus.

    Whatever the Iowa caucuses might be, one thing is clear: it was the event where your totalitarian zombie cult and its establishment psycho henchmen cheated one of your fake candidates, Bernard "Bernie" Sanders, of victory.

    Is this not enough of a clue, dear Bob?

    ReplyDelete
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    2. The "economically anxious" want Mao to learn English.

      Delete
    3. Bernie thinks that any primary he does not win was rigged to cheat him from his victory. It is irresponsible to use that language when it is the same excuse Trump may use to stay in power when he loses.

      The DNC didn't run the Iowa primary. It was run by the State of Iowa's Democratic Party. Bernie's attacks on the DNC show pretty clearly that he is not the person to create unity and defeat Trump. He is too busy with his own revenge quest against the DNC and his odd ideological campaign for revolution to consider what might be best for the country. Back in 2016 I suggested that Bernie's narcissism may be as great as Trump's. I think his current behavior demonstrates that. What is the value of calling for Perez to resign from the DNC in the midst of the primaries, when the DNC had nothing to do with Iowa's debacle and an experienced leader is needed to ensure the nomination process goes smoothly?

      Delete
    4. Unfortunately it was Bernie and his handpicked goons who insisted on maintaining the undemocratic caucuses at the URC. And he got hoisted on his own petard, the poor old shit. I think he has an "honest and trustworthy" problem.

      Delete
    5. Mao/ Mark,
      How are you going to spend Trump's Social Security benefit cut?

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  2. Imus wasn't a political commmentator -- he was a shock jock. And he's gone now. Gore isn't a politician any more. So what is the point of this?

    If Somerby wants to talk about shock jocks, why doesn't he muse about the ways in which Howard Stern helped advance Trump's political career?

    ReplyDelete
  3. From Somerby's linked essay:

    "Roughly ten percent of eligible voters took part; Alan Keyes, therefore, received 14% of 10% of eligible Republican voters. In a rational world, this would "mean" that Keyes gets a certain number of delegates, and virtually nothing beyond that."

    Thus Somerby displays his ignorance about the concept of sampling. No political survey questions 100% of prospective voters. They aim for a random or representative sample and actually question a minuscule number compared to the entire electorate.

    A caucus can be considered a sample of the most motivated voters. It is a biased sample because it is self-selected. But so are voters themselves self-selected. That makes a caucus nominally representative of the wider electorate. So you can reason from the results of a few back to what might happen if all voters were polled. But more than that, this is a method of assigning delegates to candidates. In Iowa, it is not winner-take-all but proportionate. Since it is proportionate, it doesn't matter how many total people turn out for a caucus. So Somerby's complaint about the tiny percentage of voters present at a caucus makes no sense, any more than complaining about the comparatively small number of people called for a given survey (compared to the state population) makes any sense.

    But this is, perhaps not coincidentally, the argument used by Republicans to oppose using sampling to conduct the census. And it makes me wonder how someone so ignorant about statistics can pretend to write a column that exposes statistical howlers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When you compare today's Howler pieces with the one from long ago, it makes you want to cry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it makes you want to cry to compare today's Democrat party with the one from that time.

      Delete
    2. No, Somerby's writing was better, his content was better, and he reasoned better. The decline in Somerby's cognition makes me want to cry. Somerby is goofy no matter what ideas he is discussing these days.

      Delete
  5. Bernie's campaign was arguably Russian influenced in the same way as Trump's, via planted campaign staff. And they both received funding from Russia, Bernie via laundered individual contributions that flew beneath the FEC's radar and that Bernie himself refused to monitor. Both received favorable treatment on the Russian-owned cable station. And disinformation on social media was conducted to help them both. That pattern was being repeated in favor of Tulsi Gabbard but Hillary Clinton (risking her own reputation) called her out on it. She has lately issued a warning about Bernie. If there is a lesson to be learned from 2016, it is that we should listen to these kinds of warnings. Robbie Mook told us that the Russians were interfering before the November election, but he was dismissed as self-serving. Now we are hearing warnings again. We should listen.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Will Somerby call out Chris Matthews’ recent tirade against Bernie Sanders?

    ReplyDelete
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  8. Somerby recently mocked the Iowa caucus:
    “That said, tonight is one of the dumbest nights of the year. Just imagine! Our presidents are selected by the people who don't value their time enough to avoid the unexplained drudgery of attendance at the Iowa caucuses!

    (Hat tip: Bill Maher, for a vaguely related ad lib from several decades ago.)”

    This was before he posted about an article that claimed Iowa caucus voters were *more* motivated than the average Iowan to participate, directly contradicting the hilarious notion that they don’t value their time. Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    Somerby regularly gives hat tips to Maher, without examining Maher’s frequent belittling of Trump voters.

    Maher is little different from Don Imus, and Somerby’s penchant for snark over substance puts him in this same category.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is this a direct contradiction? Surely if you're willing to waste your time at the drudgery of an Iowa caucus, then you're more motivated than average. If attending a caucus wasn't a chore, wouldn't that attract people less motivated by politics?

      Delete
    2. First Somerby says:

      "Our presidents are selected by the people who don't value their time enough to avoid the unexplained drudgery of attendance at the Iowa caucuses!"

      Then he links to an article that says Iowa voters are more motivated, not less, to spend their time selecting the President. It is a direct contradiction because Somerby says they don't care about their time, then the article says they are highly motivated to spend that time selecting a candidate.

      Only Somerby considers this a waste of time, not the voters involved. The highly motivated ones, who don't consider it a waste of time at all, are the ones who participate.

      If attending the caucus were easier, it would attract people less motivated by politics, but that supports the article linked, not Somerby's original statement. Somerby has juxtaposed two incompatible statements. You are agreeing with the second one and saying that there is no disagreement between it and your own statement. There is still a clear disagreement between your statement and the idea that voters attend caucuses feeling that they are wasting their own time. They don't feel that way. Somerby does.

      Delete
    3. I’m sorry, but I can’t follow your reasoning. It could be just me, and I always have to take pause when our Village Idiot, David in Cal, thinks I’ve made a good point.

      Highly motivated people are more willing to spend their time on their chosen activity., even if that activity takes time spent in drudgery for little effect. They value their activity more than they value their time. Judging by the results of “selecting the President,” time spent in an Iowa caucus is time wasted, i.e., TDH is wrong in the claim that Presidents are selected by Iowa caucus attendees.

      Cleary attendees find the worth of attendance outweighs the cost of the time spent. That doesn’t mean the time wasn’t wasted. I spend time commenting here, and every bit of that is wasted, but clearly I’m motivated to do it.

      As I said, maybe it’s just me.

      Delete
    4. The time wasn't wasted anyway because it resulted in selecting the delegates for candidates running for President. Somerby's remark that it was a waste of time is more nihilism. It matters who becomes the nominee.

      The determination of whether the time was wasted or not belongs to the person spending the time, not someone external making a judgment whether Somerby or you. It is their time, not yours that is at stake.

      It might conceivably be wasted if there was no result from the caucus, but that isn't the situation. There is a result -- it is just taking longer than expected to determine what the result is.

      Delete
    5. There is a pointless philosophical debate to be had on the usefulness of time spent in an Iowa caucus. The historical record shows that the Iowa caucuses don't make much difference in the election of Presidents. Not in comparison with say, voting in a Florida general election. The point isn't whether the Iowa caucuses are an actual waste of time, but if they are by some standard, you still can't find a contradiction in saying the attendees are motivated to participate.

      Delete
  9. Don Imus was fired from his radio job for being "economically anxious" on the air.

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  15. This is why Bernie should not run and definitely should not be nominated:

    "Gallup: “More than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a presidential candidate nominated by their party who happened to be black, Catholic, Hispanic, Jewish or a woman. Such willingness drops to eight in 10 for candidates who are evangelical Christians or are gays or lesbians. Between six and seven in 10 would vote for someone who is under 40 years of age, over 70, a Muslim or an atheist.”

    “Just one group tested — socialists — receives majority opposition. Less than half of Americans, 45%, say they would vote for a socialist for president, while 53% say they would not.”

    Bernie can argue all he wants that he holds the same views as many people in Europe, or that his "socialism" is the Canadian variety, but people don't want to change our economic system. He has foolishly described his views in terms that people will not accept.

    That makes Bernie the one candidate that may give Trump a shot at winning, especially given that Bernie seems entirely unwilling to compromise and thus appears to be a stubborn brand of socialist who cannot adapt to what voters want.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would never vote for an atheist. Their religion is the state.

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