McCain's anti-Obama weapon.

A mostly political Weblog.
Feb. 11 2008 7:22 PM

McCain's Anti-Obama Weapon

If you're a Dem worried about 'electability' ....

(Continued from Page 7)

Q: What do you get when you combine the Feiler Faster Thesis(voters are comfortable processing info quickly) with the Theory of the Two Electorates (the mass of voters who don't follow politics are less informed than they used to be and only tune in at the last minute) with the 50-50 Forever theory (elections will be close from here on out as competing parties and candidates continually adjust to please 51% of the voters--and the ideological and institutional barriers to this adjustment dissolve)?

A: You get elections that are a) close but b) might not look close three, two, or even one day before the vote. Typically, one candidate A will be ahead, but Candidate B will start surging, or A will start collapsing. with startling rapidity as the late-tuning electorate rushes to rapidly learn about the race just in time to vote. Candidate B will look like he or she is, yes, racing against the clock! But that could be deceptive. It could not be so much that voters are changing their minds from A to B--if B only had two more days B would win!--so much as that they are all making up their minds once and for all, in quite orderly fashion, but only doing this at the very end (if B had two more days it wouldn't make a difference).

Daily tracking polls that end on Monday might not be good enough in this situation. You'd need hourly tracking polls that start on Monday morning. ... We do seem to be seeing a lot of last minute surges and surprises lately, no? ... 2:55 P.M. link

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Cardinal Murphy has word of a poll showing Obama tied in ... California. Yikes. Is the Hispandering working? That would fit with the Skurnik "Two Electorates" theory--most Latino voters, like most other voters, tune in only for the last few days, and what theynow see is Obama talking about giving drivers' licenses to illegals. ...  3:55 P.M.

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The Annotated Pander: Barack Obama presented himself after Iowa as the candidate who "won't just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know."  But that was then.

Now, if you're a Latino voter, he'll just tell you what you want to hear. He's in the middle of a desperate Hispandering initiative, which culminated in this exchange last night, which I've annotated:

CUMMINGS: This is from Kim Millman (ph) from Burnsville, Minnesota. And she says, "there's been no acknowledgement by any of the presidential candidates of the negative economic impact of immigration on the African-American community. How do you propose to address the high unemployment rates and the declining wages in the African-American community that are related to the flood of immigrant labor?"

Senator Obama, you want to go first on that? And it's for both of you.

OBAMA: Well, let me first of all say that I have worked on the streets of Chicago as an organizer with people who have been laid off from steel plants, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and, you know, all of them are feeling economically insecure right now, and they have been for many years. Before the latest round of immigrants showed up, you had huge unemployment rates among African-American youth.

And, so, I think to suggest somehow that the problem that we're seeing in inner-city unemployment, for example, is attributable to immigrants, I think, is a case of scapegoating that I do not believe in, I do not subscribe to. [1]

(APPLAUSE)

And this is where we do have a very real difference with the other party.

OBAMA: I believe that we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Now, there is no doubt that we have to get control of our borders. We can't have hundreds of thousands of people coming over to the United States without us having any idea who they are [2]

I also believe that we do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation, hiring folks who cannot complain about worker conditions, who aren't getting the minimum wage sometimes, or aren't getting overtime. We have to crack down on them. [3] I also believe we have to give a pathway to citizenship after they have paid a fine and learned English, to those who are already here, because if we don't, they will continue to undermine U.S. wages.

But let's understand more broadly that the economic problems that African-Americans are experiencing, whites are experienc[ing], blacks and Latinos are experiencing in this country are all rooted in the fact that we have had an economy out of balance. We've had tax cuts that went up instead of down. We have had a lack of investment in basic infrastructure in this country. Our education system is chronically underfunded.

(APPLAUSE)

And so, there are a whole host of reasons why we have not been generating the kinds of jobs that we are generating. We should not use immigration as a tactic to divide. Instead, we should pull the country together to get this economy back on track.

[1]: "Scapegoating" does for me what "timetable" apparently does for John McCain--it signals complete, maddening ideological disconnect. It's typically used by liberals--as it is here--in a doomed attempt to make a social problem highlighted by conservatives simply go away. You see it wasn't that welfare subsidized an isolated culture of non-work and broken families that produced poverty and crime--welfare recipients were just "scapegoats" for economic frustrations caused by a bad economy! And it's not that illegal immigration lowers unskilled wages  and makes it harder for blacks to escape that inner-city culture of poverty. That's "scapegoating" also. (African-Americans who complain about immigrants  must just be too foolish to figure that out.)

This isn't the language of a politician who wants to transcend partisan difference. This is the language of a politician who wants to wallow in partisan (and ideological) cant! Obama knows better, of course--he gave a very different answer at the time of the big immigration marches of May, 2006  [E.A.]:

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