Tuesday, June 3, 2008

more political commentary

Following Sen Clinton's lead, the media have been quick to pick up on the "Obama can't win the white working-class vote" theme. The pundits all note that in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc., Obama has lost to Clinton because the white working-class core of Democratic voters have gone for Clinton.

What no one seems to have noticed, however, is that these are all Democratic voters.

Will they really defect to McCain come November if Obama is the nominee? (Or alternatively, just stay at home, not voting?)

Yeah, there were some disgruntled folks at the DNC Rules Committee meeting screaming, "McCain in 2008!"... but seriously, are Clinton Democrats going to vote for McCain? Yes, this has been a bruising primary season. Yes, what started as a love-fest among the Dem contenders has gotten rather nasty at times... but still...

I take it as a given that Obama will be the nominee. Here I'll consciously adopt a misleading and meaningless argument: I know a number of Dems who'd rather vote for pointless third-party candidate than for Sen Clinton... I'm among them! The fault with this "argument": the concrete, specific example is deceiving - it ignores the meaningful demographics - the statistics. It seems plausible, and is powerful... but it can lead one to erroneous conclusions. The specific, the concrete - these ignore the big picture. (pointless aside: Paul Wolfowitz was fond of citing person X, a known al Qaeda associate who happened to spend a couple of weeks in Baghdad, as "proof" that Saddam and bin Laden were in cahoots. Again - the concrete example is very poor evidence!)
"Information presented in vivid and concrete detail often has unwarranted impact, and people tend to disregard abstract or statistical information that may have greater evidential value."
[The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, Chapter 10: Biases in Evaluation of Evidence, Richards J. Heuer, Jr.]
Sen Clinton has some serious fence-mending to do between now and the convention. Her anti-Obama talking points can easily be lifted by McCain to use in the general election. Her willingness to do whatever it takes has hurt the party. If she's not to be anathema she's got her work cut out for her!

Me? If by some miracle Sen Clinton is the Dem candidate, I'll be voting pointless third-party.

Stop the madness!

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