Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kaus Keeps His Head

Slate's quadrennial exercise proving that just because you're open about it doesn't mean it's not embarrassing is up. Slate is voting 55-1 for Obama over McCain, with one additional vote for Bob Barr. With those numbers, it's getting hard to agree with founder Michael Kinsley:

No doubt it is true that most journalists vote Democratic, just as most business executives (including most media owners) vote Republican, though neither tendency is as pronounced as their respective critics believe.

Not "as pronounced" as our "critics believe"? You mean Sarah Palin thought it would be 56-1? How much more pronounced could it get? ...

Memo to Don Graham: As long as we're going with the O by a 55-1 margin, why not drop the now-ludicrous MSM-style pretense of non-partisanship and reap the financial rewards of partisanship that available on the Web-- like, say, the Huffington Post? ...

Shocked, Shocked for Barack! The cheapest out if your'e a previously McCain-friendly pundit who wants to endorse Obama is to say you like McCain but can't vote for him because you're revolted by his campaign. It's an out elaborately developed by Joe Klein at Time, and it's an out Anne Applebaum takes in Tuesday's WaPo. Applebaum claims she's not reacting against McCain's "campaign" but rather to "institutional" deterioration in his "increasingly anti-intellectual, no longer even recognizably conservative" party. But all the examples she cites come from his campaign (Palin) or campaigning that's not even his (Sean Hannity's anti-Obama telecasts).. ...

The problem with the "I'm repulsed" argument is that while it's eminently respectable it's unserious. The campaign will be over soon. There is no reason to think McCain has actually changed what he wants to do on, say, immigration. Applebaum doesn't offer even a speculative argument as to why, with the election safely behind him, President McCain would have to truckle to his party's anti-amnesty contingent. That's because he wouldn't. He'd be much more likely to make immigration the basis for his first and perhaps only foray into bipartisanship--in effect, truckling to the pro-legalization forces. Nor has McCain "spent the past four months running away" from his longstanding immigration position. He's spent the past two months reasserting it.

I think Applebaum knows this. She's not a fool. If she really thinks that McCain's pre-campaign immigration policies--or his budget policies, or his torture policies--are right for the country, then she should be for McCain. Even if he's trying to win by running anti-Ayers ads. Even if his supporters "repulse" her. It's hard to believe that this repulsion isn't a convenient cover for some unstated, perhaps unconscious, pro-Obama imperative (or maybe simply for the imperative to come to a decision). ...

If you're looking for evidence of a "Bradley"-like effect--in which preelection polls can be wildly off--one place to look is the polling on Ward Connerly's Civil Rights Initiative in Michigan. According to Connerly (in answer to an email query)

Some polls had us losing by 10 points the weekend before the election. We won by 16.

Results here. ... It seems clear, in that case at least, voters told pollsters the respectable PC answer they thought pollsters wanted to hear. ... Barack Obama was one of those campaigning (in radio spots) for the respectable PC side that lost.

Mickey Kaus, bringing a bit of reality to the campaign, for Slate Magazine

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