Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Does someone actually agree with this drivel?

As frequent readers of this blog may know, I'm not actually a fan of all things conservative, especially when it comes to pundits, media sites, and other blogs. Some--like HotAir, Malkin, Krauthammer, and the DailyCaller--I like very much. Others not so much, like RedState. I've jumped on stupidity and nonsense at RedState a couple of times. Most recently, I took issue with Mr. RedState himself, Erick Erickson, for the silliness of this diary entry:
The fix is in for Romney, which just means when he is crushed by Barack Obama a lot of Republicans will have a lot of explaining to do. Newt may not be able to win. But Romney sure as hell can’t beat Obama either if Newt can’t win. The problem remains — Gingrich supporters intrinsically know this to be so and are happy to die fighting. Romney’s supporters are still deluding themselves.
Erickson was--and I guess maybe still is--one of those sad creatures on the right who had convinced themselves that somehow, in some way, Newt Gingrich was the savior of the Republican Party, that he was the only viable candidate in the primaries. Note the stupidity of the above: "if Newt can't win, neither can Romney!" Hey, Romney may not win; I still think his chances are slim (but growing, definitely growing). If Newt were the candidate, where would he be? Given that Newt's about as likable as a used douche and people are complaining about Romney's "likability," I think it's far to assume he'd be much farther behind.

But I didn't really want to rehash old news. The point is, there are people on the right who say and believe silly--if not also stupid--things. Always have been, always will be. Unfortunately, such people often can have significant audiences. And I guess I betray my own elitism when this surprises me, when I expect better from people but end up disappointed.

The same is true of people on the left, though. I mean, apart from the flagrant favoritism of so-called journalists and the political hackery of people like Krugman--which garner audiences by dealing in half-truths and the like--there are some on the left who are just Full. Of. Shit. Perhaps no one fits this description better than Steve Benen, a writer for the Maddow Blog.

I previously noted Benen's ahistorical--and quite silly--analysis of significant convention moments, when he tossed up Al kissing Tipper next to the Chicago Riots of 1968, but his latest piece makes that look like deep and well thought out analysis. About last night's debate, Benen actually argues that Obama crushed Romney, nevermind all of the polling data that indicates a narrow Obama victory at best, never mind the rest of punditry land which basically agrees neither candidate won a resounding victory. No, no, in Steve Benen-land, Obama crushed Romney. Benen says:
Mitt Romney, who won fairly easily two weeks ago, was an equally clear loser last night. It's not that he was awful -- the former governor continues to have an impressive ability to regurgitate the script he's memorized -- but he was simply outclassed and overpowered by a fired up, well prepared president. We'll explore some of the key issue areas throughout the morning, but Romney's performance was marked by evasiveness, dishonesty, belligerence, and missed opportunities. It's almost as if he expected the same lackluster president who showed up two weeks ago to reappear, and was caught flat-footed when Obama beat him badly.
I'll give Benen a bit of credit here, since his boss--Rachel Maddow--was "unable to say" who won that first debate. Benen can at least be honest about that. So ends his honesty...along with his hold on reality, apparently. What debate was Benen actually watching? He must have had his fingers in his ears saying "lalalalalalalalala" every time Romney spoke, because he's on an island here.

But his commentary actually gets even more ridiculous, as hard as that may be to believe:
In Denver, Obama had the substance on his side, but Romney's style carried the day. Last night, it was the president who excelled in both. Republicans thought one more dominating Romney performance would make him the frontrunner with 20 days to go. Instead, it's Obama who bounced off the ropes.  
At a certain level, it's odd to think a 90-minute forum, after years of governing and months of campaigning, would significantly affect the race, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say Obama's chances of winning a second term are noticeably better this morning than they were 24 hours ago.
The pathetic boxing metaphor aside, his re-imagining of the Denver debate is precious. Mr. Unlikable-and-Impersonable's style carried the day? Really? But the final comment is the most ridiculous one of them all. Obama's chances are "noticeably better" after last night's debate? On what planet? For fun, let's take a look at the InTrade odds on the race:

Hmmm. Well okay, there's been a slight bump, but hardly a significant one. What about the polls? Surely they would show a huge bump from such a dominant performance? Nope. In fact, the latest Gallup numbers show a widening Romney lead, now at six--yes, six--points. In my view, this is mostly because of the Benghazi issue. And what's the one thing about the debates Benen fails to mention? Yep, the Benghazi exchange. What a good little fanboy he is.

I know my blog is hardly a major player in the internet world, I know my readers are few in number (though I like to think they're high in intelligence, by and large). Such is the way of things. Still, it irks me greatly to know that many more people are reading absolute drivel like what Benen is offering. Even worse, I have to accept that some of them actually think Benen is making good points, is dealing with reality. But damn, how many people can really be that dumb? Don't tell me. I don't want to know...

Cheers, all.