How Not to Rationally Interpret an Election

Sher Zieve is an utterly irrational far-right columnist. Naturally, she writes for Alan Keyes’ Renew America site along with a bushel of other wingnut pundit D-listers, including Keyes himself. And she’s so giddy about last week’s election results that she’s convinced herself that the public now agrees with her warped views completely.

First and foremost, let me disabuse both Marxist Democrats and RINOs of the notion that the Republicans were elected so that they could compromise and get along with the Dems to enact legislation. That is NOT what occurred 4 November 2014. These elections – both nationwide and states’ wide – were a repudiation and condemnation of big government, big spending, the US “progressive” (aka “Alinskyite”) movement and – of course – Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama; both his policies and him personally. In other words, the American people finally awakened from their long and dissatisfying slumber.

One thing that cracks me up about partisan Democrats and Republicans alike is their absurd ability to spin the results of any election, especially when they win. Whichever party wins an election, they will immediately claim a “mandate” to pass every policy they favor, as though the people who decide elections are actually weighing policy options and voting on that basis. After 2008 and 2012, many Democrats were just sure that they had established a permanent winning coalition and that the Republicans would never win national elections again. The day after last week’s election, one Republican House member said that the GOP would now have a “100-year majority.” They completely misunderstand what determines the winners of any election.

About 35-40% of voters are going to vote Democratic no matter what and about 35-40% of voters are going to vote Republican no matter what. Elections are decided by those in the middle, some of which are intelligent and take it seriously. But most of them, I maintain, switch back and forth on the basis of vague feelings of well-being. If they perceive that things are going pretty well, they’ll stick with the party in charge; if they don’t, they’ll switch to the other party. Those are the people who decide elections.

In this year’s election, Republicans held about a 53-47% advantage nationwide, which is about the same advantage the Democrats held in 2012 (not a precise comparison, since that was an election year). So about 6% shifted their vote, which is why it’s so ridiculous to claim that “the American people” have finally “woken up” and now agree with [fill in the blank of whatever political ideology someone holds]. But this is what partisans do, view the world through red or blue colored glasses at all times, reality be damned.

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  • theguy

    Only about 36% of eligible voters even voted in this election. I forget what percentage of that number voted Republican, but clearly not a majority of voters in America. No rational person can claim a mandate with ~18% of the total possible vote. But wingnuts aren’t rational, anyway.

  • dogfightwithdogma

    Should the economy continue to stagger along for the next two years, employment levels don’t improve substantially, and Republicans act on policies in the way that Ms. Zieve’s is suggesting they do, then I shall look forward to the look on her face in two years. It is obvious she does not understand what the electorate was actually saying. I hope the Republicans overplay the hand this election has dealt them.

  • busterggi

    Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama allowed the opposition to win some seats? Damned poor dictating imo.

  • scott

    It’s nice to see the GOP has reached the morality level of your average five-year-old- wait until you’re pretty sure someone else is going to catch the blame then start breaking stuff.

  • Modusoperandi

    Sher Zieve


  • John Pieret


    Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama allowed the opposition to win some seats? Damned poor dictating imo.

    Ah, you apparently don’t have a copy of the Wingnut Dictionary. A “dictator” is any politician who manages to get something done that they don’t like … based on the premise that no True American™ wants what they don’t like and, therefore, it must have been undemocratically imposed by a tyrant.

  • JJ831

    My Co-worker posted a horrible graphic, that you always see after an election, of the US colored red or blue depending on who won what, where the whole US is red, and just sone blue on the coast. The caption “America has spoken!”

    While the graphic wasn’t labeled on any meaningful way , but I had to point out a few key concepts: pop. Density, the fact that an area would only need 50.00001% of the vote to be colored one way or the other and gerrymandering.

    I’d imagine most areas are a shade of purple. Nor blue or red.

  • JJ831

    Please excuse my poor grammar in 7. I proably should not be posting from my phone at the Pub.

  • John Pieret


    I proably should not be posting from my phone at the Pub.

    In America today, a pub is probably the best place to posting from.

  • 4ozofreason

    Not to mention that in many places where actual policy was on the ballot, progressive bills like raising minimum wage and legalizing marijuana carried the day. Further proof that the election of congresspeople has little if anything to do with their policy positions.