Back to previous post: Mooninites Terrorize New Mexico; Boston Surrenders

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Endorsement

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

February 4, 2008

Super-Duper Tuesday
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:35 PM * 90 comments

Tomorrow we’re going to have primaries in a whole buncha* states.

From CNN:

GOP contenders make final pushes

Republican front-runner John McCain is hoping to maintain his strong momentum going into Super Tuesday, while rival Mitt Romney is telling voters in his final push that he is the conservative alternative to McCain.

GOP Front-runner by a great big five delegates, that is.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the street:

Democrats in dead heat going into Super Tuesday

With a new poll showing their race to be in a virtual dead heat nationally, the Democratic presidential candidates are making their final pitches Monday to voters in nearly two dozen states before Super Tuesday.

If you ignore the fact that different states have different numbers of delegates, so a win in California (370 delegates† possible) isn’t equal to a win in Utah (23 delegates† possible). The race so far isn’t a dead heat either: Clinton is either up 232-158 (if you count the superdelegates who can in fact vote for anyone they jolly please), or down 48-63 (if you only count the pledged delegates).

Of course, the states with later primaries will act as spoilers. There’s been a real trend for the ones batting cleanup to vote for the underdog (or against the front-runner).

Brokered conventions, anyone?

* 24 states, to be precise. For the Republicans it’s 15 primaries, 6 caucuses, 1,020 delegates. For the Democrats it’s 16 primaries, 7 caucuses, 1,681 delegates.
† Not counting superdelegates
Comments on Super-Duper Tuesday:
#1 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Many of the Democratic primaries and caucuses tomorrow allocate delegates proportionately, while most of the Republican ones are winner-take-all. Whoever wins the most on the R side really will be the front-runner if not a mortal lock on that side, while the Dems may still be arguing and voting for a while yet.

#2 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:19 PM:

Friends, enough! The tedium of our time
Is laden with the capers of the press.
If politics your aim it is to show,
Then let a greater villain take the stage.

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
[ Enter Richard Duke of Gloster, solus.]

Now is the Winter of our Discontent,
Made glorious Summer by this Son of Yorke:
And all the clouds that lowr'd vpon our house
In the deepe bosome of the Ocean buried.
Now are our browes bound with Victorious Wreathes,
Our bruised armes hung vp for Monuments;
Our sterne Alarums chang'd to merry Meetings;
Our dreadfull Marches, to delightfull Measures.
Grim-visag'd Warre, hath smooth'd his wrinkled Front:
And now, in stead of mounting Barbed Steeds,
To fright the Soules of fearfull Aduersaries,
He capers nimbly in a Ladies Chamber,
To the lasciuious pleasing of a Lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportiue trickes,
Nor made to court an amorous Looking-glasse:
I, that am Rudely stampt, and want loues Maiesty,
To strut before a wonton ambling Nymph:
I, that am curtail'd of this faire Proportion,
Cheated of Feature by dissembling Nature,
Deform'd, vn-finish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing World, scarse halfe made vp,
And that so lamely and vnfashionable,
That dogges barke at me, as I halt by them.
Why I (in this weake piping time of Peace)
Haue no delight to passe away the time,
Vnlesse to see my Shadow in the Sunne,
And descant on mine owne Deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot proue a Louer,
To entertaine these faire well spoken dayes,
I am determined to proue a Villaine,
And hate the idle pleasures of these dayes.
Plots haue I laide, Inductions dangerous,
By drunken Prophesies, Libels, and Dreames,
To set my Brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate, the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and iust,
As I am Subtle, False, and Treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd vp:
About a Prophesie, which sayes that G,
Of Edwards heyres the murtherer shall be.
Diue thoughts downe to my soule, here Clarence comes.

#3 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Could someone explain to me the rationale behind the superdelegates, other than it allows the party to make sure that an "acceptable" candidate (i.e., someone the party machinery approves of) wins the nomination? The whole concept annoys the daylight out of me.

I know the foregoing sounds like a cranky libertarian, but I am in fact a lifelong* Democrat who thinks this stinks.

*I registered Republican** in 2000 to try and make sure George Bush didn't win the nomination. Not only did it not work, I ended up on the mailing lists for both the NRA (at the same time I was participating in the Million-Mom March for gun-control) and AARP (I was 39).

**Of course, maybe that sort of thing is exactly the reason for the superdelegates. It still annoys me.

#4 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:26 PM:

You know, those of us voting in tomorrow's primary are among the relatively earlier voters--yet I still feel like the media (especially) and a small handful of states before me have together decided who the candidates who matter are, and like I already have hardly any choice at all.

To say I find this frustrating and disheartening would be an understatement.

I can only imagine how the folks voting after Super Tuesday feel about it.

#5 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:28 PM:

I'll be at the caucus tomorrow evening. (Minnesota is my state.) I'll be supporting Obama.

#6 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:36 PM:

pat greene--I think the superdelegates came in after 1968, which was, even without the activities of Mayor Daley and the Chicago police department, a trainwreck of a convention. There were a lot of demands for reform, making the selection process more open and democratic, and putting an end to the back-room deals of earlier days. I think the theory was that it was pretty easy to vote in the primaries or take part in the caucuses--especially since some states have open primaries, and don't require an official party registration, and so the party had no control over who its candidate would be--and so the superdelegates were set up--people who were there doing the work of keeping the party going all the time, year after year, in between elections. This might have been all right, except that the superdelegate phenomenon coincided with the Democratic Party beginning to abandon a lot of its local structures and basing its operations more and more in Washington (a mistake the Republicans were quick to jump on, and the reason why Dean has devoted so much time and effort to local party building). So now a lot of these superdelegates, instead of being the local party people from X County, the city of Q, or whereever, seem more and more to be Village (i.e., DC) insiders, who are pretty oblivious to our petty local concerns and issues.

#7 ::: yeff (Jeff Soesbe) ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 05:45 PM:

Re: Dave@2


(VPXI joke, for benefit of Jim, Doyle, Teresa and Patrick. All others need not pay attention.)

- yeff

#8 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:01 PM:

Thanks, fidelio. That makes sense, but it also seems like an idea which has gone so far away from its original purpose as to be its opposite. Not that it's likely to go away anytime soon, I would imagine.

AS for myself, it's a tossup who to vote for now that Edwards has dropped out of the race.

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:05 PM:

pat greene... My wife wound up on some GOP mailing lists when she got me the George W. Bush action figure.

#10 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:12 PM:

Serge: I assume, looking at the world from the time you bought the doll, that no hair clippings, or fingernails have come your way.

Pity, that.

#11 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:12 PM:

I assume that when talking about who the frontrunner is and how close the races are, CNN is talking about poll data, rather than actual delegate counts.

This is part of my election pet peeve: paying too much attention to polls, and not enough attention to issues and candidates. I think election "momentum" is a great example. Why vote for a candidate just because they won somewhere else? I can understand changing your mind because of a large number of things (careful thought, a candidate's change in position, or even a good impression from an event, ad, or debate), but I don't understand changing your mind because the other candidate won somewhere else.

#12 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:23 PM:

Terry Karney @ 10... On the other hand, I have been thinking of putting him next to my action figure of the Ebonite Inquisitor.

#13 ::: Lauren ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:27 PM:

I live in Los Angeles. My current automated phone call total is 3 from Sen. and Mrs. McCain, 1 from Gov. Romney. Nothing from Gov. Huckabee yet.

Little do they know that I am a stealth Democrat as explained by Pat Greene in #3 above.

#14 ::: janet ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:28 PM:

Janni @4: The media emphasis on the early primary states has obscured the fact that the "money primary" has really been far more determinative.

No, that doesn't make me feel any better, either.

#15 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 06:29 PM:

I can only imagine how the folks voting after Super Tuesday feel about it.

Ya, in Wisconsin we don't vote until the 19th of February. The last several primaries have seen "my" candidates dropping out before I got a chance to cast a vote for them. Granted, the names were on the ballot to I voted for them anyway, but it felt a little pointless.

Granted, being a "swing" state we see a lot of action and courting come general election time, but since there is not a power in the 'Verse that will get me to vote for a Republican as the party currently stands, I feel like the time I *really* want to see the candidates is during the primary time.

#16 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 07:14 PM:

I'm in California and I've already voted by absentee ballot. (No way is Diebold going to steal my vote. Of course, there are other methods....)

Robocalls received: 2, both for Clinton. Actual human calls received: 1, also for Clinton.

So far 4 people have e-mailed me a link to the Obama "Yes We Can" video. And yes, I've been it, and yes, it's way cool.

#17 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 07:14 PM:
yet I still feel like the media (especially) and a small handful of states before me have together decided who the candidates who matter are

Plus a whole lot of people working and volunteering for the candidates.

The primary system is frustrating, but we have other options for helping choose the candidates, if we want to spend more time and energy than just waiting for our turn to vote. Not meaning to lecture anyone; I just think that it's useful to remember that we're not as powerless to affect these things as we often think and behave.

#18 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 07:35 PM:

Well, since I voted early, my vote for Edwards has already been cast, despite my election officially being tomorrow. Not that I thought he would win Obama's home state anyway, but I thought it was worth a shot.

Listening to Sean Hannity on the radio this afternoon, and he was urging people to vote for Romney, the "true conservative," and setting up parallels between McCain and the Patriots as frontrunners whose victory was not inevitable. FWIW.

#19 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 07:47 PM:

Can someone explain to me why Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. are so dead set against McCain? I know why I am, but what's their problem? He's anti-choice, he's a militarist -- what's their issue? Is it that he insufficiently hates Democrats?

#20 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 07:52 PM:

I think Gore's not going to endorse anyone, in hopes that it will come down to the convention, and down to his one superdelegate vote. Bwa-ha-ha.

#21 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 08:24 PM:

Lizzy L, among other issues, they feel that he's betrayed the conservative cause because he's in favor of a process to bring undocumented workers into a path to citizenship, and that is considered amnesty by some.

McCain has also acknowledged the role of greenhouse gases in global warming, and that's anathema to the stone rightists.

#22 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 08:52 PM:

Tomorrow's a tickertape parade here for the Giants, starting in the Financial District up to City Hall, from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. This route blocks at least 3 polling places.

Mayor Mike was supremely insulted when it was suggested that yesterday was not the best day for this parade.

As well, McCain's campaigning in Grand Central tonight during the rush hourS and again, tomorrow, in Midtown on 42 St. in the A.M. rush hourS.

Edwards and all are still on the ballot here ....

I think this entire system sux. All it is is a billion dollar razzle dazzle Big Media entertainment blitz.

Love, C

#23 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 08:57 PM:

The reasons mentioned by Hannity were immigration and campaign finance, although he also mentioned McCain working with Ted Kennedy on something, and I'm not entirely sure what that was a reference to. The only pro for McCain as far as Hannity was concerned was that he would be strong in the "War on Terror." He also said that voting for Huckabee was as good as voting for McCain, and that Huckabee was only staying in to act as a spoiler. I feel like I peeked into their strategy room, and it's left me feeling vaguely dirty. Although, not as dirty as learning that all the men that my husband works with refer to Hillary Clinton as "the Bitch." Maybe they're all McCain supporters?

#24 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 09:15 PM:

That was intended to be Mayor Mike was displeased when it was suggested yesterday that TOMORROW was not the best day for a ticker tape parade that blocked polling places.

Love, C.

#25 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 09:25 PM:

#17: The primary system is frustrating, but we have other options for helping choose the candidates, if we want to spend more time and energy than just waiting for our turn to vote. Not meaning to lecture anyone; I just think that it's useful to remember that we're not as powerless to affect these things as we often think and behave.

Yes, but see, as someone who lives a couple thousand miles away from the earliest primary states, it's not at all clear how I and those around me are supposed to go about doing that. I know ways to influence voters in my local community, sure, but not how to influence voters/caucusers in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina.

Now, if we had a single primary day for everyone, the work I could do locally in this regard would actually, like, matter.

#26 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 09:58 PM:

I assume the Maine democratic caucus has already happened, or isn't happening at all, as they haven't invited me yet (or even informed me of when and where it is scheduled, even though I registered D when I moved here *specifically for the purpose of voting in the non-open primary*)

Not like it matters, really.

#27 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 10:24 PM:

Thena, looks like it's 2/10. They may not be advertising so it doesn't get lost in the Super Tuesday blizzard of advertising.

but Sunday? That's odd. It's good because it's a day that people don't have to be at work. But otherwise....

#28 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 10:31 PM:

27: French elections are always on Sundays precisely because nobody works. And there's a total ban on campaigning for...I forget how long. Three days, maybe? (That reminds me. Where's MD2?)

#29 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 11:06 PM:

The Republicans confuse me. Why is McCain so far ahead, if Limbaugh etc hate him? Is Limbaugh not the pulsing putrid heart of the party anymore?

As for my own (Democratic, NJ) primary, I'm reading tea leaves and flipping coins. What I *want* is for the contest to go on for a while yet, because it seems to me that the longer it goes the farther left the candidates become. And by "farther left" I mean "sane & moderate". This probably means a vote for Obama.

Where's Obama's money going? We've gotten 2 robo-calls and one human call for Hillary, and 2 mailings. Is it going into TV ads we don't see? Or to other states?

#30 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 11:21 PM:

When was the last time either party had a brokered convention?

#31 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2008, 11:48 PM:

re 6: The superdelegates were instituted to prevent anyone like George McGovern from being nominated ever again. They are designed to bias the system towards someone like Clinton and against someone like Obama.

#32 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 12:22 AM:

The Superdelegates are just like the old-fashioned smoke-filled back room, except with fancy name tags and straw hats.

#33 ::: W. H. Heydt ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 01:18 AM:

I have decided...the candidate who I will actually support must be one who will do everything he can to extend the Federal Do Not Call List to cover political organizations--and provide evidence of his or her intent by making his or her own campaign people honor the list even though current law doesn't require it.

I also want the candidate (if he/she actually wants my support) to see that the California law that mandates that a human being be on the line *before* starting a recorded message be honored by political organizations.

Haven't found anybody to support yet. Calls seem to be running hourly...

#34 ::: janet ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 01:43 AM:

I think the reason the far right hates McCain is that he's not a "movement conservative." That is, even though he is far to the right on most issues, he doesn't reliably spout official party talking points, and he doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about demonizing the opposition. This may also be part of the reason the press and the public think he's more moderate than he is. He's gone against the party line in a few well-publicized cases, and that's enough for him to be called a maverick. Go figure.

#35 ::: bill wringe ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 02:20 AM:

pat greene AT 3:

Sara at the next hurrah has done some longish - and very informative - posts about superdelegates. From her posts, it looks as though one reason for having them is that the Convention does other things than just choose a Presidential candidate, and that delegates chosen in primaries have a tendency to focus on just that.

Still not sure it's a good system, but Sara's evidence suggests that it isn't simply a conscious conspiracy.

Disclaimer: IANAD

#36 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 08:44 AM:

janet #34:

I'm not a Republican, but my sense is that McCain's immigration stand has cost him a lot of support among Republicans; immigration is a coalition-breaking issue for them, because the business wing of the party likes cheap labor, the libertarians mostly like open borders, but the paleos and most of the religious conservatives don't like widespread immigration at all.

More fundamentally, I think McCain is not a loyal party member--he ignores party discipline and cuts deals on his own pretty often. This makes him more attractive to independent voters, but not so attractive to a lot of loyal party members, I think. And my sense is that a lot of the Right's pundits are deeply invested in party discipline and us-vs-them games.

#37 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 08:55 AM:

Lizzy@19: to harden Janet@34's comment: the reason the jabbering classes don't like McCain is that he doesn't take orders from them. I have no idea what Romney's real convictions are (other than that he should be President), or even whether he has any (I certainly didn't trust him when he was running for governor here) -- but he makes Talleyrand ("Lord of the Weathervane") look like an oak tree: any time a reactionary blows (on) him, he shifts. McCain's "Straight Talk" line gives reactionary pundits the heebie-jeebies; they think defining straight talk is their right, not that of anyone who actually has to do something.

#38 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 02:46 PM:

albatross: I think they don't like McCain, because he's been successful at presenting himself as a maverick, not because he is one.

He's hewed the party line, but talked a good line about the need for compromise; in cases where he knew there wouldn't be any chance of the votes going the "wrong" way.

His behavior during the "anti-torture" amendment is typical. Make a stink; give the White House more than it asked for, and then take credit for "standing up for what's right."

The back of my hand to him.

#39 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 02:59 PM:

I think that the far-right attacks on McCain are a smokescreen, to make him acceptable to moderates (without whom he doesn't have a snowball's chance).

Meanwhile, Huckabee has apparently picked up West Virginia.

#40 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 03:26 PM:

NPR tells me that Romney had a plurality in West Va but the McCain supporters there (it's a caucus-style event) threw their weight to Huckabee to prevent a Romney win.

#41 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 03:30 PM:

The conservatives I've heard complaining about McCain tend to focus on his campaign finance reform law, which they see as restricting freedom of speech.

Yesterday (I usually work from home) I had six or seven automated calls: at least two from the McCain campaign, two or three from the Romney campaign (one of them promoting Romney and the other attacking Huckabee), one from the Huckabee campaign, and one attacking McCain that I didn't listen to long enough to know who it was from. I kept telling myself "next time the phone rings I'll just let it go to voice mail", but I answered it every time because I was half expecting a call from someone at the office. Then another call this morning from the McCain campaign.

I voted for Ron Paul at lunchtime today; there was almost no line at the polling place (in Norcross, GA).

I think I should probably give up obsessing over political news and weblogs for Lent, among other things. See y'all after Easter.

#42 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 03:49 PM:

W.H. #33:

What you said. In spades, and with bells on.

I'd actually settle for a separate political opt-out list if it would make other people happier; the inconvenience of my registering twice would be more than outweighed by the benefit of never getting another automated limited voice-recognition survey call from my effing Republican Congressional incumbent.

(Of course, I'd also like to see this extended to charitable organizations, but that probably would put me, and anyone going along with it, into the category normally reserved for babykillers. As things stand, I inform them that they just ensured that I would never contribute to their cause.)

#43 ::: W. H. Heydt ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Re; #42 (joann)

Agreed about the charities. I just didn't mention them, as this is a politics thread.

When I have my wits about me, I just tell them to put me on their "do not call" list (which they are reuqired to do on request).

You'd think they would get a clue that people on do not call lists don't want solicitation calls of *any* kind.

#44 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 05:04 PM:

This is weird: I tried to find out when polling closes in the various states, and the only source I could find, CNN, said that the first polls would close at 1 AM ET. Is that true? Or what's up there? (I thought perhaps someone here knows more about that than I do.)

#45 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 05:21 PM:


They have to be wrong: the first polls close at 7pm ET according to Taling Points; CA closes at 11pm ET (8pm PT), and will probably be late reporting.

#46 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 05:27 PM:

Raphael (44): Maybe they meant 1 AM Eastern is when the *last* polls close. That would presumably be Hawaii--Linkmeister? Clifton? anyone?

#47 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Mary Aileen, the last polls to close are in California; we don't caucus out here till the 19th of February (Dems) and May (Reps).

#48 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 06:17 PM:

Eriposte at The Left Coaster has quite a post about the misogyny Senator Clinton has faced already this year, some of it from her own side. It's depressing and maddening.

#49 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 06:36 PM:

Ah, a look at the CNN map explains all ... Alaska!

#50 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 08:11 PM:

Apparently over 400 people in my state called to express their dissatisfaction with their polling places being closed today. Great, except that VA, along with MD & DC, doesn't have its primary until next week.

Now, I'm not sure what to think about this. 400 people, all fired up enough to vote, and excited enough about the process to call when denied their right to vote, yet not quite well-informed enough to know when they were supposed to do it.

#51 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Cat Meadors (50): At least they didn't get mixed up the other way around and think it was a week later than it is. This way they can still vote.

Linkmeister (47): Whoops! Thanks for the correction. I think P J Evans has it--Alaska.

#52 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Of sites that promise fast, live results, CBC's is really just awfully easy on the eyes.

#53 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 09:16 PM:

FWIW, there was an actual line at my polling place when I got there, and a longer one when I left - a lot of people coming in after work. I got Democratic ballot 184. It wasn't even that busy in the general election year before last.

#54 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 10:30 PM:

I just tried to participate in our local Democratic caucuses. Should have known it would be a total disaster.

In the words of the immortal Will Rogers, "I belong to no organized political party, I am a Democrat."

19 precincts, one meeting place, no freaking parking, typical, just typical. They're lucky I've been a registered Dem for 35 years or I'd give up on the idiots.

Spent 45 mins looking for parking, gave up and left a very nasty message at the county dem office about county dems disenfranchising other dems. Maroons. If only they could sabotage the Republicans like they do in themselves.

#55 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 11:05 PM:

I voted tonight, and in my county (and possibly all of California) they did not have the scanners, just a ballot box. According to the precinct officer, this was because some machines were misreporting their totals, so this election will be hand-counted.

Interesting. I wonder if the machines were made by the same company that had the problems in North Carolina (doubtful; I don't remember for sure but the name doesn't seem to match my poll-worker memories) or if the problems were revealed in pre-election testing. I *do* know that they had problems half a year ago when they had to outright reject a bunch of machines from the company because they were not to the standards laid out. That company argued that it was the next upgrade; the state, very rightly in my opinion, stated that the standards were there for a reason and that the new versions had not been tested. I do not know if this is the same company that makes the scanners.

So results from California may be slow, but the accuracy will be more certain.

#56 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2008, 11:39 PM:

#55 ::: B. Durbin: I voted tonight, and in my county (and possibly all of California) they did not have the scanners

We had the scanners in SF.

#57 ::: MarkT ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 12:12 AM:

Turnout is probably going to disappointing low from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We got hit by a _bad_ series of storms this afternoon (8+ dead) right about the time most people would be voting after work.

#58 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 01:00 AM:

CNN's front page: Clinton, McCain win California. Clinton and Obama in delegate dead heat. MSNBC's front page: McCain big GOP winner, "For Dems, big wins but few answers." Yahoo's front page: "CLINTON'S HUGE VICTORY".


#59 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 01:29 AM:

ethan, it seems to me that MSNBC has had a serious case of Obama-love for quite a while now, together with a serious case of Hillary-dislike (at least). That's just my observation; YMMV.

#60 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 02:51 AM:

At a little past 7 PM Pacific, I was in my car listening to Huckabee's speech, and all I can say is that I needed a translator. He started out with something about round stones and armor, and then moved on to "the widow's might" (I assume he didn't mean "mite"), and then promised to abolish the IRS. (I understood the last bit - just another bit of evidence that he's a total wacko.)

I assume that he was using biblical or evangelical code. As an outsider, I found it frightening. I can't imagine that anyone really wants him to be president - let alone that I share a culture (but probably no sub-cultures) with those people.

#61 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 02:56 AM:

It would be the "widow's mite", actually. Small coin, classic gospel story, et cetera. Unless Huckabee's speeches are even wackier than I've heard, which I wouldn't be surprised by.

#62 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 03:02 AM:

Ah - I found a transcript. It is "mite".

Perhaps it's an indication of my lack of familiarity with bible stories, but that makes it sound even wackier to me. Parasites that infest only widows somehow triumphing over gold. (Don't tell Ron "Gold Standard" Paul about this!)

#63 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 03:46 AM:

Larry, #62: "Mite" in the sense of a very small amount. It's one of Jesus' parables, Mark 12:41-44.

The Widow's Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

I will refrain from saying any of the very cynical things I'm thinking about why Huckabee might have chosen that particular parable.

#64 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 03:49 AM:

Oh, and I'm guessing (now having looked at the transcript) that the stones/armor thing was a reference to David & Goliath.

#65 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 06:37 AM:

Ew. And all those football metaphors, too. I can has job outside teh South nao, plz?

#66 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 06:52 AM:

TexAnne @65:

At least you have us here on the web to add some balance. How about some video gaming metaphors?

Candidates as Consoles.

#67 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 07:30 AM:

abi, 66: If it weren't for my Internet friends, I'd be wretched. Thank you.

#68 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 07:50 AM:

Yale is always hiring!

#69 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 08:09 AM:

TexAnne @67:

I can count the meatspace friends within 100 miles of me on the fingers of one hand. (Nothing like an international move to screw with one's social network.)

I could not live like this without the internet.

#70 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 08:21 AM:

TexAnne... If it'll help make you feel better, Hugh Jackman will soon be on his way to you. First, I have to find a box to contain the videotape of Paperback Hero. A padded envelope? Alas no, for you might wind up with a shattered Hugh, and that wouldn't do.

#71 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 09:29 AM:

The elephant in the Democratic room-- well, maybe that's a conspicuously ironic metaphor-- is that the difference in delegates between Clinton and Obama is almost entirely in superdelegates. It's going to be very unhappy if Clinton eventually wins the nomination on the same basis, and then loses in the general election.

#72 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 10:09 AM:

#71 C Wingate:

Caucuses mess this up a bit, but it seems obvious that Obama could win the popular vote among all the primary elections, but still lose the nomination. I'm sure Clinton's people will have a perfectly reasonable answer for why that's not a bad thing, even though Gore winning the popular vote in the 2000 election but losing the presidency was evil and unacceptable.

A perception that Obama was cheated out of the nomination by back-room dealings within the party strikes me as a pretty poor way to get all those excited first-time voters brought in by Obama to come back to the polls in November.

#73 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 01:01 PM:

albatross @ 36: I'm not a Republican, but my sense is that McCain's immigration stand has cost him a lot of support among Republicans; immigration is a coalition-breaking issue for them, because the business wing of the party likes cheap labor, the libertarians mostly like open borders, but the paleos and most of the religious conservatives don't like widespread immigration at all.

How did immigration all of a sudden, practically overnight it seemed to me, become the hot topic for conservatives?

By any chance, to distract us from the issue that our enemy is not Mexicans desperate to cross the border to pick fruit, lug bricks and clean hotel toilets so their families won't starve, but the corporations that are sending our jobs to Mexico, and China, and India?

Funny that outrage over immigration is always drummed up when the economy is doing poorly, so the powers-that-be have a convenient scapegoat.

#74 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 01:57 PM:


There certainly have been some folks worrying loudly about this for several years. Pat Buchanan is the name that comes to mind most readily, but there are others (Peter Brimlow, Thomas Sowell, Steve Sailer, Jerry Pournelle, and a bunch of other folks), often grouped into the term "paleoconservatives." They were opposing the Bush adminstration's policies for the last several years, particularly on immigration and foreign interventions.

What I think happened is that their criticisms didn't get much traction within the party when the economy didn't look too bad and the wars were going well and the party looked passably competent and successful. Now, none of those things are true, and I think the paleos have gotten a lot of people interested in their issues.

In particular, there has been a lot of immigration in the last few years (making the issue more immediate), lots more people are worried about their economic future (making immigrants more threatening as competitors for folks on the bottom), and W's high-handedness within the party has convinced a lot of socially-conservative folks who vote Republican if they vote that most of the party doesn't care about them. (Since this is manifestly true, it's hard to refute.)

#75 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:24 PM:

When wondering "why immigration, why now?" don't discount the Lou Dobbs effect. He's devoted most of his daily show on CNN to fences, Minutemen, Tancredo, "illegal aliens eating our social welfare programs," and similar themes for the better part of two years.

I have no idea what set him off, but he's been a major proponent of the "Get 'em outta here right now or they'll marry out children" idea. (Hmm. Maybe that was it? One of his kids received an unwelcome marriage proposal?)

#76 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:40 PM:

Linkmeister @ 75... Dobbs is right to worry. All those French-Canadian men stealing our jobs, marrying our wimminfolk and... Oh. Nevermind.

#77 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:42 PM:

re 73: Well, these problems are actually the same problem, and on one level it's a bit surprising that there isn't a left-right coalition on the issue.

The root issue, of course, is third-world poverty. People like Buchanan and Sailer complain that the current setup is essentially importing that poverty into the US, and they are not groundless in that accusation. The left complains that the setup is exploitative of the poor worldwide, and they are also not groundless. They are simply looking opposite ends of the same thing.

#78 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:44 PM:

I agree, though, Serge! If I want to marry a French-Canadian man, I'll go to Quebec!

Um...I'd have to go to Canada to marry a man...but that's beside the point!

Mmmm. French-Canadians. Mmmm. </silly>

#79 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:48 PM:

Xopher @ 78... Mmmm. French-Canadians. Mmmm.

I suddenly feel like a box of chocolates.
Not sure which kind though.

#80 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:51 PM:

Serge, 79: Obviously, the kind that's dark on the outside with a sweet gooshy middle. My fave!

#81 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 05:57 PM:

TexAnne @ 80... Humph. My middle isn't gooshy. I actually have 6-pack abs. OK, 2-pack abs.

#82 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 06:21 PM:

Ah, but Xopher, if you marry a man in Canada, that marriage is legal and recognized by the state of New York now!

If you get married in Toronto, I will come and throw rice on you! (If you tell me about it beforehand and ask me to come.)

#83 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 06:49 PM:

Serge 81: I actually have 6-pack abs. OK, 2-pack abs.
I have more like Notorious B.I.G. abs.

Actually I have a washboard stomach. It just has a load of laundry on it right now!

#84 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 07:02 PM:

Xopher @ 83... My wife says that, physically, the closest she's seen is Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises. Sort of. One difference is the coiffure. And I've never been assaulted by Slavic assassins in a bathhouse.

#85 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 07:05 PM:

Serge...but then she would, wouldn't she?

I was punning on '2-pack', in case you didn't notice.

#86 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 08:04 PM:

Xopher, #83
Serge 81: I actually have 6-pack abs. OK, 2-pack abs.
"I have more like Notorious B.I.G. abs.

Actually I have a washboard stomach. It just has a load of laundry on it right now!", is it clean laundry or dirty? And please don't let your abs get into a shooting war with Serge's. The last thing we need are undead abs.

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Xopher @ 85... I confess. I missed thatpun. It was a long day, preceded by little sleep .

Ginger @ 86... Undead abs, risen from the Abdomain of the dead, navel to be disturbed, except by fools...

#88 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 08:57 PM:

Serge @87
Ginger @ 86... Undead abs, risen from the Abdomain of the dead, navel to be disturbed, except by fools...

Read all about it in the Daily Hebdomadaire!


#89 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 09:00 PM:

Ginger #88: Daily Hebdomadaire? Now, how on earth do I get hold of that?

#90 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 09:04 PM:

Fragano Ledgister, 89: With great difficulty. You might even need to use your tesseract. Oh, sorry -- wrong thread.


Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Jim Macdonald, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.