ELECTION NIGHT WINNERS

Wow–what a ride last night was. There is nothing like election night returns. I loved every minute of it. Turns out I was very wrong about the nation’s taste for Donald Trump–or as I should say, President-Elect Trump.

Someone took a picture of their TV.
Someone took a picture of their TV.

But this post is not about analysis of the election. I might do that later today or tomorrow. This post is about my analysis of the news coverage last night of election night.

MAP AWARD–CNN

CNN had the best maps last night. They were big, clear, and the different color schemes worked better. FOX really made a mess of their maps, IMHO, and NBC was kind of boring.

BEST RESULTS DISPLAY AWARD–FOX

Only FOX had what I wanted–real time numbers at the bottom of the screen, constantly updating the state returns along with important senate and house elections. When I was watching the other networks, it was often hard to tell what was going on.

MOST BIASED MOMENT AWARD–MSNBC

I saw several bias moments, in all actuality. As the returns stated going red, FOX people became downright giddy. I think I heard John King say, when CNN called Virginia for Clinton, “Finally, some good news.” But the most glaring moment of bias for me was Brian Williams at MSNBC. He was rattling off several states that were just called for Trump, and then he paused and audibly moaned in pain.

ICYMI, I have included it here for your listening pleasure.

WEIRDEST SET AWARD–ABC

I confess I didn’t watch a lot of ABC’s coverage because every single time I flipped over there they were at commercial. But when I did see some of their coverage, I noticed that their whole set had a distinct purple hue to it. I kept thinking the whole thing was an homage to Prince.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR AWARD–NPR

So we were watching the coverage on television, but my brother-in-law had his phone out and was telling us that NPR was calling states much faster than the networks. NBC seemed to be the slowest of the television networks, but they all lagged behind NPR. And while I’m at it, why did it take them so long to call Georgia and Florida? It was evident to everyone one at my viewing party that those could have been called much, much earlier.

DREAM TEAM AWARD

This is my “All-Star” crew. If I could ditch the network system, I’d like to watch the returns being filtered through Brit Hume, Chuck Todd, Tom Brokaw, Rachel Maddow, and John King. Those are the voices that I think mattered the most in the analysis. I don’t agree with all of them on stuff, but they seem to have the best non-partisan analysis of what is actually going down. Hume’s cynical conservatism balances Maddows bubbling liberalism, Todd and King are just wonkish numbers nerds, and Brokaw, well, Brokaw is just a stud.

GO AWAY AND NEVER DO THIS AGAIN AWARD

I’m sick of Karl Rover (and yes, I remember his meltdown on screen on election night 2012). I am sick of Chris Matthews (no thrill down his thigh last night, huh?). Goodbye Wolf Blitzer. Seriously, Blitzer is just annoying. I hope that by 2020 you are all safely somewhere else watching the election results from your own living room.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION AWARD–THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Whether your candidate won or lost, America did her thing last light and proved that actually voting is the only poll that matters. I love my country. I love election day.

SIX THOUGHTS ON THE CHARLIE HEBDO TERRORISM ATTACKS

Je Suis Charlie

These thoughts have been brewing all weekend, and come in no particular order.

1.  Thursday I was making potato soup while listening to NPR.  Keep in mind, the attacks were still only twenty-four hours old, but already people were saying things like, “Well, this is terrible and all, but Charlie Hebdo really shouldn’t have made those Muslims angry and should have exercised better judgment.”  I paraphrase, but that is the gist of it.  Je Suis Charlie

That kind of thinking makes me sick, because it is roughly equivalent to the line of thought that blames a rape victim for dressing provocatively.  Charlie Hebdo was a poor taste, lowest common denominator satire that I do not appreciate or enjoy, but they were doing what free people do–expressing themselves.  To put any of the blame upon them is cowardice and makes me sick.

2.  The best analysis I have heard on the whole thing was from Rachel Maddow on her Friday night program.  I have embedded it for your convenience.  It is lengthy.

3.  David Brooks wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on Friday that struck a nerve with me.  He wrote:

The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.

I find his arguments to be compelling, and a little unsettling.  We, and by we I mean western culture, have gotten seriously too thin skinned.  People do not have the right to be not be offended, and all opposition to the politically correct terminology is not hate speech.  I think we need to take the muzzle off.

4.  The first time I saw “Je Suis Charlie” on a sign I thought it said “Jesus is Charlie” and it really confused me.

5.  I have posted on terrorism many times, but I will say it again, we are facing worldview issues.  It would be wrong to label all Muslims with this broad stripe, but those radical jihadists such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others reject out of hand pluralism in a society, while pluralism is one of our cherished values.  The worst thing we can do is to concede liberties of freedom of speech, travel, assembly, religion, and press in an effort to stay safe.  We have already lost too much because of fear.  It is time to stop being afraid and to start acting like the same people who defeated Hitler and Communism.

6.  What happened in Paris at Charlie Hebdo and at that kosher grocery store is horrible, but every day ISIS is doing evil things.  It was recently brought to my attention at church that they are actively seizing Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves.  If you have time, check out the Twitter hashtag #Yazidiwomen.  It will break your heart.  Why has reporting of this travesty been so neglected in the United States?  Do the lives of women and children who belong to a peculiar, yet interesting, religious sect matter less than Parisian Satirists?

So, yeah, those are some of my thoughts.

image from www.timeshighereducation.co.uk

POST ELECTION ANALYSIS

FOUR MORE YEARS

 

The only thing more fun (politically speaking) than making election predictions is analyzing them after they happen.  It also gives those of us who love this kind of stuff the opportunity to explain why we were so wrong.  In fact, the subtitle for this blog could be “WHY I WAS WRONG BUT TRUST ME I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT NOW”.

Let me start by congratulating the President.  Not that he is waiting for my approval or words of affirmation, but I think he would be safe in assuming the election safely gives him ‘legacy’ and puts him in the double dipper category of Bush (43) and Clinton and Nixon.  Bush was bogged down in the Iraq war in his second term and Clinton had the Lewinsky scandal and Nixon, well, we all know about that.  I hope and pray the President avoids scandal and quagmires in his second term.  It would not be good for him or the country.

Now, for some analysis.

1.  Whatya know, the Polls were pretty much right on the money!  I have always viewed polls as primarily skewing Democratic, which is why I thought Romney would win.  But they didn’t.  Instead what we saw was consistent correlation between the actual vote and the polling predictions.

2.  This is still a deeply divided nation.  The electoral map looks more overwhelming than the vote.  Obama only won Ohio and Virginia by the slimmest of margins and as I write Florida is still too close to call.  This divide is  sociological, not political.  The geographic regions of the northeast, the west coast, and the upper midwest are separated by culture and values with the heartland areas and the deep south. 

STUD?

3.  FOXNEWS and MSNBC lost all credibility with me, possibly forever, in their election coverage.  I was flipping between those two and CNN and what I saw was cheerleading at MSNBC and a complete meltdown by some of the personalities at FOXNEWS.  CNN had far better numbers (John King is a demographics stud) and analysis overall of what was taking place.  It was so bad at MSNBC that I thought Rachel Maddow was going to cry for joy as she listed all the wonderful policies that will stay in place because Obama won.

4.  I don’t think the election was about values or policies.  It was about trust.  Mitt Romney was never able to overcome the public image he had of being a mean-spirited evil Wall Street fat cat.  This was coupled with the distrust about his religious leanings and his apparent willingness to say anything, kept him from gaining the trust fact.  People voted for Obama because, in the end, they simply trust him and his ‘gut” more than Romney’s strategic machine. 

Okay that is some baseline analysis.  I still believe that our nation is a “center-right” nation in general so I wouldn’t jump to the grand conclusion that this election spells doom for conservatives and conservative causes.  It does mean, however, that Barack Obama has beaten the Republicans twice, and they will never get the chance to beat him again.  America likes the President.  Sometimes it is that simple.

Okay, so I’ve made my analysis.  Now here is what I want to see.

I want the President and Congress to work together and tackle immigration, the national debt, and tax reform.  Okay–that’s what needs to happen now get to work.