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Friday, October 26, 2012

Reality Does Not Care for Your 'Momentum' Narrative

Romney's 'momentum' is negative
I guess my physics are a little rusty. Can momentum be the same as downward velocity? If so, Mitt Romney has plenty of momentum. It's just not the kind I'd spend a lot of time bragging about, if I were a Romney-ite. Because that red line in the FiveThirtyEight forecast? That's Mitt. And you'll notice that the trend there isn't the sort of momentum that screams, "Behold our coming electoral triumph!"

Yet "momentum" is the newest aspect of poll trutherism. I've already written about Silver trutherism, which would demand you deny that FiveThirtyEight graphic's validity. Now we have backers of what Ed Kilgore calls "the Big Mo" claiming -- without any evidence whatsoever -- that Mitt Romney has momentum and is poised to crush Barack Obama any minute now. And it's that lack of evidence that I find most disturbing.

Poll trutherism at least has some tether to reality. If you'll recall, poll truthers look at polling that shows Mitt Romney down, assume the demographics are way off, then "fix" the sampling to favor Romney. Presto-chango, Mitt's winning by huge margins. Backers of the Big Mo narrative aren't even doing that. They're looking at polling that under the most charitable interpretation shows Mitt Romney's numbers flattening out and they're declare a long rise in his numbers that simply is not there.


Kilgore's Big Mo piece is worth a read. It doesn't lend itself to encapsulation or abbreviation. Basically, he offers examples of rightwing pundits frantically trying to spin everything into some sort of victory for Mitt, while painting every setback as a media conspiracy; the triumphs are real, according to them, and the setbacks are lies. Mitt's trajectory can only go up, up, up and shut up about anything other than that. If it's still close on election day, Peggy Noonan writes, we're poised for a big, messy recount in Ohio -- suggesting that the ground will be ready for some (assumedly Democratic) post-election shenanigans. Others look at reporting after the first debate and find reasons to believe that every bit of info showing Romney's rise ending is a lie.

"It’s this sort of perspective -- the search, eleven days before the actual election, to find reasons it should have been stopped like a boxing TKO the first moment Romney pulled into the lead in a single poll -- that makes me pause and look again at Noonan’s reference to an Obama victory producing a 'bloody and prolonged recount.'" writes Kilgore. "Romney’s Big Mo must live -- even if he loses!"

But there's more to it then just sore-loserism in advance of the loss. In talking about poll turtherism, Ron Reagan recently hit on an explanation for all this reality-denial that the right has been engaging in. "They’re not delusional, they’re dishonest. They’re not crazy, they’re craven," he told Chris Matthews. "What they’re trying to do here and accomplish here is to say in advance, if President Obama wins this election, it’s because the pollsters suppressed the Republican vote, it’s therefore an illegitimate election, he’s not really president. They’re setting the table for that."

Mitt Romney lost when everyone knew he had the momentum? The media stole the election! See? Look at these "unskewed" polls -- proof! To the streets, my flying monkey teabaggers! This wrong must be set right! We must take our country back!

I'm not looking forward to four more years of that sort of crap -- which is exactly what we're heading toward getting. But it's better than the alternative, which is watching Mitt Romney take the oath of office and the teabagging morons running the show. And they would be running the show. If there's one thing we know about Mitt Romney, it's that he has absolutely no talent for leadership. He'll lead by following and the people he'd follow are the people who got him elected -- and those people are insane rape-apolgists and lunatic math-haters who think you can close deficits by squeezing blood from a turnip raising taxes on the poor.

So yeah. Compared to that, a bunch of rightwing brats crying their eyes out over a "stolen" election will be music to my ears.


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