Up is down. Down is up.
My morning post “The Most Important Election in American History” highlighted the cataclysmic viewpoint that both Republicans and Democrats have about what happens if the other side wins the election as well as the polarized media environment that contributes to the phenomenon.
A Fox News column that showed up atop Google News is yet another datapoint. Written by Liz Peek, it’s headlined “Biden’s very bad week shakes up race against Trump.” Considering that, in my bubble, it is Trump, not Biden, who is having a very bad week, my curiosity was, well, peeked.
Welcome to the final week of one of the most vengeful and acrimonious elections in our country’s history. Very soon we will know whether Establishment Elites have succeeded in defeating a president who broke some glass in order to make our country great again.
In what possible way is our country greater now than it was four years ago? Aside from nearly 9 million documented COVID-19 cases and 230,000 deaths and counting from the pandemic?
We will also know whether the campaign went on one week too long for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
So, what happened to poor Joe Biden?
New revelations that Biden apparently lied when he claimed no knowledge of his son Hunter’s shady business dealings in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and elsewhere and that the candidate may in fact have been entangled in those activities, has rocked the campaign.
Biden said recently: “Our characters are on the ballot; look at us closely.” Perhaps he should add: “But not too closely.”
A poor debate performance Thursday hurt Biden as well. Biden stumbled several times, and also admitted that he wanted to “close down the oil industry.”
So, we’re talking about the laughably bad Russian agitprop that ran in the New York Post and was instantly derided by every credible outlet? That the Murdock-owned Wall Street Journal took a hard pass on?
But every credible poll shows that the public thinks Biden won that debate.
Though Biden leads in national polls by on average 8 points, according to Real Clear Politics, his advantage is slipping both nationally and in certain critical swing states.
It’s. Just. Not.
RealClearPolitics hasn’t added a new poll since this weekend’s analysis of the outlier Rasmussen poll. But here’s the trend going all the way back to the beginning of the cycle:
Biden’s lead is bigger now than it has been most of the race. But it’s not at all close and never really has been. Indeed, Trump has literally never led the race.
Similarly, at the all-important state-by-state level, RCP has Biden with 232 solid Electoral Votes to Trump’s 125. Since 270 is the magic number, that’s rather a strong position. With no toss-ups, RCP has it Biden 341, Trump 197. A blow-out.
Still, Peek is at least potentially on firmer ground in terms of late movement. RCP documents the following changes:
Considering this is all the moves since August (adding one more row takes us all the way back to June), this isn’t much movement! Still, Ohio is a big prize and it appears to be leaning Trump now.
So is Georgia, for that matter. But Georgia has been back and forth four times in less than a month; let’s just call it a toss-up. Otherwise, Iowa and North Carolina have moved into Biden range, albeit that happened almost two months ago. (I’m unsure how Maine CD2 changes in the same direction twice without an intervening change.)
Regardless, I’m sure Fox News viewers are getting a steady stream of this nonsense. No wonder they think Trump is winning.
Any group of people who can purport to believe that Trump is a devout Christian, an exemplary husband and father, and the greatest president we’ve ever had will have no trouble whatsoever in believing that he will win this election in a landslide.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: A play on the column author’s name being Liz Peek, I suspect. 😉 It jarred me for a second, too, til I got it.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: Thank you. I was staring at that thinking ‘that’s not right. Pea, no, pek, no…’ and failing to come up with “piqued”. Duh.
I’ve been watching and listening to nothing but Fox News for the last two weeks. Literally, nothing else. Fox News on the TV. Fox News on my SirriusXM. Fox News on my computer at work via YouTube TV.
It’s al alternate reality, nowhere close to factual. If was was fed this bullshit every day, I’d believe Trump is winning. Trump didn’t just win the final debate, according to Fox News. He won it overwhelmingly, without a doubt, according to Fox News. (and not just the opinion folks). Trump hasn’t just handled the caronavirus well, he’s handled it better than any human possibly could have, according to Fox News (and not just the opinion side). It you watch the “hard news” side of Fox, they pretend to be seriously jouralists, but every single story is slanted to a Pro-Trump spin. Literally, every one.
When Trump does something outrageous, it’s ignored, or minimized to the point of insignificance.
Alot ot people are going to be heartbroken Nov. 4th because they truly believe Trump is going to win in a landslide.
Ahhh…missed that. Doh…
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: @gVOR08: Yes. The headline “Peek” would normally be “Peak,” for that matter.
My late mother watched little other than Fox News, home shopping channels, and old re-runs. She was genuinely shocked when Mitt Romney didn’t win in 2012.
As I commented on the Susan Collins thread, the current Republican Party didn’t just happen as a result of the Constitution implicitly declaring a two-party system. It was taken there, and there are villains in that story. Villains like Koch, Scaife, Bradley, etc., and Newt Gingrich, and Trump himself. But the villain without whom it wouldn’t have been possible is Rupert Murdoch. And not just here, but the UK and Australia.
All I can say is I very much look forward to the Fox News bubble being burst by Trump’s landslide loss. I hope, anyways.
Upon seeing the headline, my immediate thought was to the classic Balloon Juice post “Peak Wingnut”, where near the close of the 2008 election, a youthful John Cole boldly declared:
Modern Wingnuttia had, in fact, barely begun.
Yeah, this Peek person is an idiot. But she is a professional idiot, who gets paid to be stupid. Whether she is equally stupid on her own time is likely a matter of debate, and complicated by the fact that the lines between work time and your own time are blurring. She probably would benefit from having a union. A union for the professionally stupid.
I’m really grateful, James, that you have juxtaposed your earlier post with this one. I hope you doing so indicates that you understand at some level something that wasn’t at all clear in your “Most Important” OP – that these polarized, cataclysmic viewpoints are not equally grounded in reality.
Up is down. Down is up. Indeed. It’s important to note that Moynihan’s old line assumed that though there was always the possibility of different opinions, there was only one set of facts. That fact set was objective and applied to all. Now we have “alternative facts” and it’s not “both sides” out there creating their own reality.
@Gustopher: Liz has been coughing up her bile, like a cat with a really bad hairball, over at The Hill for some time now.
I suspect she’s trying to set the dominos up for a pardon from the Big Cheese himself if her family legal problems continue to go sideways. Can we say “biased”?
Saw this Prime Them for Surrender piece at Digby’s blog this morning. Seems like I saw another one or two similar articles today on the desirability of trying to talk some of the Trumpies down off the ledge before a week from Wednesday. But I don’t know what we could say that wouldn’t be dismissed as fake news.
@EddieInCA:..I’ve been watching and listening to nothing but Fox News for the last two weeks.
Just think, many of them probably had a good laugh back in 2003, when many citizens of Baghdad were stunned and shocked to see US troops in their city, after Baghdad Bob had been saying for days Iraq was winning the war.
The joke’s on them this time.
But THE POLLS WERE SKEWED!!! Everyone but the voters knew this!
FIFY. Seriously though, the other post where we talked about people thinking the election will be stolen? This is why for the GOP. There’s going to be shit ton of conservatives who will think Biden stole the election simply because their FOX diet doesn’t give them any room for thought. They’re not just going to be heartbroken, they’re going to be ANGRY. QAnon believers will see it as validation that the Deep State truly is all-powerful and evil has struck a massive blow to freedom…. and the insidious thing is QAnon is seeping in everywhere lately. How many people are going to be upset because their little pet theories go up in smoke due to Trump’s sure victory not materializing? How many people are going to see it as proof that the “silent majority” that FOX tells them exists lost to a bunch of cheating socialists and cop haters?
The next few weeks are going to be interesting the cursed sense of the word. Many will settle to grumbling and looking for the next Messiah but others are going to take their anger out on the rest of us. FOX’s lies are going to get someone hurt shortly and it’s gonna suck for the entire country till their tantrums stop.
In reference to Gustopher’s post in today’s forum; No those people can’t be educated.
Eddie, you poor man. If you’re going to engage in self abuse, at least have it be enjoyable.
And if you believe the reports, Romney himself was so certain of his own victory he didn’t even bother to write a concession speech (the one he gave was ad-libbed, and it sounded a lot like an Oscar speech, where he spent most of it thanking other people).
I’ve discussed before how the right-wing bubble affects even seemingly smart, stable individuals. If you have trouble believing the story about Romney (I’ve had my doubts about it in the past), think about the way so many Republican officials, donors, and operatives this year continue to flout the Covid-19 restrictions. They put their own lives at risk, not just that of their followers, because they literally don’t realize that’s what they’re doing. They’re not just peddling BS. They believe it to some degree themselves. The pandemic has made that clearer than ever. I know I’m a broken record about this, but it’s still something even I’ve found hard to get used to. It didn’t occur to me until this year just how deeply the GOP grifters are mired in their own grift.
@Scott F.: I’m still Broderish in thinking that it takes two to tango. But I’ve tried to be clear for quite a few years now that the Republicans are much more to blame than the Democrats. I think my main departure from the commentariat is that I do think the Dems deserve some for the blame and that I try to be more understanding of the sheer desperation of an entire worldview being under constant assault.
(Empashis mine – EICA)
I think this would be true… IF there wasn’t a media echo chamber pushing that narrative. It’s Fox News telling it’s viewers and listeners that the Liberals are coming after them.
As an analogy, I’m going to use an anecdote regarding Los Angeles and San Francisco. For some reason, native Bay Area people HATE Southern California people, and LA people in particular. The opposite is not true. People from LA don’t hate Bay area peeps. We don’t much like them either. Truth is we don’t think about it much. Yet the Bay area seethes with hatred and contempt for Los Angeles. It’s pretty funny actually.
It’s like that with the city folks and rural folks. Rural folk seems to hate city folks, whereas most city folk don’t hate rural folks. I, as a city folk, don’t think much about rural folks. I mean I LITERALLY don’t think much about them, not that I’m insulting them. They just don’t factor into any of my life’s decisions. You want to hunt, fish, drive big trucks, go for it. Doesn’t affect me. Yet rural folks are constantly complaining about city people.
It’s not just Fox “News”…there are other conservatives who are just as delusional…in the recent past, this particular conservative has bashed Trump…I guess in the end, he, like most others, comes home to his tribe…even if the tribe is led by an idiot…
So do I, that’s why I advocate institutionalization of all those who have accepted all the alternative facts they’ve been getting fed.
Really James, I have no sympathy what so ever for an entire political party that refuses to accept established scientific facts because they prefer the fables written into a book 2-4,000 years ago. A party that continues to insist that tax cuts increase revenue (take note, I said insist, not believe), who repeatedly assert that the sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to restrain a tyrannical govt, that a group of 8 cells is a human being, etc etc and I certainly feel nothing but disgust over their being aggrieved that we refuse to live by the lies they tell themselves.
@EddieInCA: @OzarkHillbilly: Oh, I don’t have much sympathy for the elites peddling bullshit to ordinary folks who don’t know any better. But it’s easy to be in a bubble in today’s society.
And city folk don’t think much about country folk for the same reason the Civil War remained a big bigger issue in the losing South than the winning North. Hell, as an Alabama football fan I get far more anguish from critical losses than joy from the national championships. Losing always hurts more than winning.
Was this so even before LA “stole” the Raiders?
@James Joyner: I’ve lived in big cities and tiny, tiny villages and I can tell you that the city/rural divide is everywhere and probably always has been. And I don’t think we are going to do much about it in the future. On the rural side the biggest component is the opinion expressed by Eddie: Big City doesn’t really even think about Country. To the rural people the city is the bear, and when the bear dances the mice get crushed.
On the city side it is resentment that the country folks are always complaining about their taxes going to pay for welfare bums in the city, when the city folk who think about it know that the cash flow is the other direction (from the city to the rural areas) and heavily so.
Long before the Raiders moved to LA. Only people who wanted the Raiders here were a few gangbangers and Al Davis. The Raiders won a Super Bowl while in LA and were regularly outdrawn by both USC and UCLA on the same weekends. I was happy to see them leave.
They are aware of it. Anyone else recall Megyn Kelly’s indiscretion on an election night?
When the results are posted FOX News may worth monitoring. Some “news” people will be seeking to poke some “entertainment” people or visa versa. Hilarity will be hard to avoid.
I visited Houston 8 years ago, and there seemed to be something of a football rivalry going between them and Dallas. So I assumed something similar in California. I can imagine Houstonians would be major ticked off if their team left for Dallas.
And country folk don’t know the first damn thing about city folk. I have seen both sides of that particular coin and have been stunned by the level of it, some of it is willful, a lot of it is… just ignorance. Down in Arkansas we call people of urban surroundings (and 97% of the folks are white, blacks just don’t spend a whole lot of time in the hills and hollers) “Citiots”. On the other hand I once worked a job in N STL with a JeffCo redneck who made the mistake of going out for lunch and ended up in a confrontation with a black man because he thought what he saw on TV was how one navigated the mean streets (don’t look at anyone, don’t ever look anyone in the eye, you might “dis” someone with out meaning to, no red, no blue, no…. )(he was pale as a ghost when he got back to the jobsite) I just looked at him and said, “Man, they’re just people. Say ‘Hello, how ya doing?’ ”
But ignorance doesn’t explain the level of hatred in the rural/urban divide. A hatred I have to say I always saw coming far more from one side than the other. Since the election of trump tho, the scales have evened up more than a little.
@OzarkHillbilly: and have been stunned by the level of ignorance
Too much editing before I posted, but it wasn’t enough editing
wow that’s an incredibly dumb set of advice. IN the real hood you better be paying attention to everyone. Doing otherwise basically screams “scared lost white boy”.. Paying attention doesn’t mean staring though.
I grew up in a very rural red community. Every time I go back to visit with family and friends I hear people complaining about people in the cities. If only they could split the state away from the one major city that exists everything would be so much better. If only those city people would stop moving down into our peaceful town… etc etc.. It’s always the cities that are to blame for basically anything that ails people in small towns…
Meanwhile my city friends are too busy living and enjoying life to care about the rural people.
The only somewhat rational explanation I’ve seen for the LA hate everywhere in CA North of Santa Barbara is that a lot of LA people move there to get out of LA and then realize there are all these things they loved about LA and want to bring those to where they moved to get away from LA. They (at least anecdotally and lots of people have lots of possibly apocryphal anecdotes) tend to bring LA expectations about how fast things should happen etc with them. They are also willing to pay a lot which can drive up property values and rental rates.
This is also why there is a lot of hate for CA in Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.
I’ve definitely seen it here in HI, where mainland people come here and are completely transforming the place into something that old timers don’t recognize. In some picturesque rural communities there is the same effect, of city people moving in because it is quiet and beautiful and close to nature, then they miss their coffee shops, big box stores, etc and end up transforming communities and making it near impossible for locals to keep living where they grew up. That definitely drives some ha’ole hate here.
That, of course, doesn’t explain most of rural America that city folk have zero interest in.
For NorCal there is also the water issues.
I’ve been to Peak Wingnut. It offers a beautiful view of Trumpistan Valley.
MEdiaite has a piece up on Biden’s campaigning over the past two months. He has visited 10 states and ignored the other 40. Thanks, Electoral College.
But if you watch enough movies set in NYC, that’s what you get after somebody says for the 17th time in a movie, “What you lookin’ at?”
Scared white boy is exactly what he was projecting and why I didn’t really blame the black guy for getting pissed at him. How would I feel if someone reacted to my presence that way? Not that I blamed the JeffCo kid. Chances are the closest he’d ever been to N STL was Busch Stadium or maybe Laclede’s Landing (where stupid West County white boys go to slum it) It was too bad I always brought my own lunch. He really was a good kid and If I’d been there it would have been way different. As is, he probably still talks about it and hasn’t set foot in the city since.
If I happen to catch somebody’s eye, I nod my head and say something along the lines of “How you doing?” Being friendly doesn’t cost anything.
That’s a thrice told tale and applies to just about anywhere.
I bookmarked OTB way back when because it was important to me to avoid epistemic closure and the other center-left sites I read struck me somewhat as echo chambers. I state that in order to establish that I have an earnest interest in being open minded to differing opinions.
But, granting Broderist sympathies and acknowledging your recent willingness to assign more blame to the Republicans still only gets us back to Moynihan’s starting position – there can be legitimate differences of opinion, but there is only one reality. And that reality can be discerned through some combination of expertise, earned credibility, and evidence.
You see I’m not talking about who’s to blame here. I’m talking about who is putting forth facts – absolutely with their opinionated spin on those facts – and who is putting forth ‘Up is down and Down is up’ fantasy like Peek’s hackery here or Trump’s coronavirus stats or QAnon’s Satanic pedophiles.
I appreciate your attempts to understand the “sheer desperation of an entire worldview being under constant assault.” But, it has to be asked, “Under constant assault by whom or what?” The left isn’t inventing wealth inequality or black deaths by cops. “White supremacy is an immoral view of race” isn’t some quack thesis from academia. Certainly, it is not the Democrats who are nefariously spreading a virus leading to economic calamity. Facts don’t pick sides.
@OzarkHillbilly: I’ve driven through parts of STL that looked like wartime Bosnia.
I’ve done the same in Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, Camden, Harlem (pre gentrification), Miami (Overtown), Chicago, and a few others.
And I was both in Zagreb and Sarajevo shortly after the war ended. I got to see it firsthand.
@Teve: I always thought it was kind of funny that parts of “Escape from New York” were filmed in STL.
I grew up in Kirkwood and started hanging out on the south side while in HS during the early ’70s. After bouncing around the country I finally ended up living there in ’78 and that’s where I more or less stayed until Xmas of ’01. During those years I lived in good neighborhoods and not so good neighborhoods, all black (except for me) neighborhoods and all white neighborhoods (and those first 2 don’t line up with the 2nd 2 the way folks might assume). I saw all kinds of shit happen, everything from breakins to beat downs with baseball bats to people trying to steal my truck to a murder suicide, but minding my own business and not advertising (basically keeping a low profile) always was my super power*. I can honestly say that crime, while in some places definitely was not good, was nowhere near as bad as one might think from reading the paper or watching the news. It never is.
*in ’01 I had to take custody of my sons and moved out to Bourbon. A few weeks ago my youngest was marveling at the fact that I lived in Bourbon, MO for almost 10 years and nobody, and he stressed the nobody, ever knew I existed. Not quite true, a lot of folks knew me to see me at the local grocery, hardware, or gas station, I did converse with my landlady and there was a fellow union carpenter in the environs, but really, I just minded my own business.
There was also a lot of legal shit going on, and many many anonymous death threats, but most of those folks never could’ve picked me out of a line up.
@Teve: @EddieInCA: Heh. Haven’t thought of this in a while, but years ago I wrote (and performed) a true story about collapsing a lung and ending up at the STL Regional Hospital (the public hospital for the region, in case you couldn’t figure it out) in… ’88 I’m pretty sure. I referred to the ER as “reminiscent of a Sarajevo market place.” (thinking of the mortar attack). I was in the ER for 6 hrs before they got me an X-ray and it was at least another 3 before they read them. I remember being out in the parking lot smoking a cigarette and flirting with a really cute little black nurse when I saw my doctor running around the ER like a chicken with his head cut off and said, “I think they’re looking for me.” She said something like, “You think so?” and I replied, “I guess I’d better go find out.”
Trust me on this: Getting a tube shoved inside your chest cavity without anesthesia by a scared pissless 2nd year med student is not for the faint of heart.
Funny about that. Last spring I spent a month travelling in the midwest and border south on a motorcycle, alone. In small towns, travelling bikers attract attention and if they are alone, which I was, you are very approachable and people do. At least 3 times I got the question to the effect of what do people in the east think of the midwest. My response was that when easterners consider the midwest they mostly don’t understand you, but wish you well. But the reality is that they were too busy raising families, managing careers and figuring out how to pay for a modest home that costs the equivalent of a small farm. Not sure how they took that, but they didn’t appear angry.
Funny story. When we were in U City, the in-laws came to visit. The like taking long walks and one morning headed east on Lindel Ave. When they reached Kingshighway they headed north, lord knows how far. Someone turned them around and got them back to Delmar where they found there way back to the Loop. They raved about how friendly people were and they are, but it would have only taken one… God does protect the innocents and fools.
All this talk about city and rural people reminded me of a line from The West Wing:
My name is Toby Ziegler, and I work at the White House.
@OzarkHillbilly:.. “How you doing?” Being friendly doesn’t cost anything.
Yeah, the city – rural divide exists everywhere. A French friend nods her head and says it’s the same in France and an English friend agrees that it is same in England.
@EddieInCA: Well, I guess we’ll see whose reality is right in about a week. Spent a weekend with an old friend who was telling me Minnesota is in play and that Trump will go down as the greatest President. I knew I had ventured outside my bubble!
@Mister Bluster: Where is that from? Google gives me nothing, but it sounds familiar…
I want to say it’s an offhand passage from a minor work of Steinbeck. It’s a little reminiscent of the beer milkshake from Cannery Row, but more fitting with Travels With Charlie
It was a little while after I screwed my sister in the broken down recreational vehicle, that I hed reahalized that she was with child. So we went to the county bumpkin Jesus Gospel clinic to get uz som A-bortion ad vice. Well WOODENT CHA know they said dat was a “sin” and we has to have dis little baby. You may asks your edubacated selves what is the point of this little diatribe here other than to lower my self any amke you enlightened edubacated people think more highly of yourself and the confidence of your Devil Satan Joe Biden and his Hunter laptop? Well I wasn’t gonna go there becawse I ahm morel. I grow on the forest floor like a mishroom. And that laptop is a sign of the new world order 66.6 wilderbeast Pope affecting 8 year old tenage strangelered in the finger river upstate New York pins. Missing ‘childrens and all. Now you all take dat to heart you all and never mind you I dodn’t mention No Q’s.
My word, you sound just like a commenter at Lucianne.com.
Smoking a cigarette with a collapsed lung is either unspeakably badass or unspeakably sad. I suppose it could be both…
I don’t know about badass, more like stupid. Other than a severe pain in my chest with any breath that was outside of normal, I felt fine. All my vitals were perfectly normal, blood pressure, heart rate, O2 levels, etc, probably why they didn’t believe me.
As far as sad goes, I tried quitting for 20 years without success. My last year to year and a half I smoked 4 cigarettes a day and couldn’t let them go. Thank Dawg for Chantix and even then it took the full 3 months to let go. That was 10 years ago. 3 years ago I was diagnosed with *COPD* so it wasn’t soon enough.
Nicotine is an insidious drug.
** 35 years of breathing concrete dust, drywall dust, saw dust, and no doubt some asbestos dust had to play a role as well, but the lions share of the blame goes to that habit.
Most of my 8 siblings are FoxNews consumers, and they like your mom, we’re actually shocked that Romney lost in 2012. They were convinced that the Romney landslide was coming.
@CSK: I thought he was channeling his inner hayseed Jack Kerouac. Either way, everybody’s gotta have a gig and a place to row it.
QAnon trolling, right?