Category Archives: Debates

Let’s Teach Michael Barone How To Rig A Majority Vote

I tried to read this article, I really did, but I couldn’t make it past this huge non sequitur:

Why do Republicans have so many candidates and Democrats so few? That’s directly contrary to the conventional wisdom that Republicans nominate the next guy in line, while Democrats tend to have multi-candidate brawls.
Mr. Barone seems to be under the impression that a field with a large number of candidates is somehow more difficult for the Republican Party Establishment to rig in favor of the one guy they want to win, and will get to win. Let’s teach him how to rig a majority vote.
Imagine for a moment that I have two friends. Let’s call them my Establishment Friend and my Low Information Friend. We’ve decided we want to all pitch in to pay for dinner for the three of us. We all agree to hold a series of votes between each of our preferences in pairs. But my Establishment friend is devious and clever: for some reason, I’ve given him the power to decide in what order we vote on our options. Moreover, he knows that I most prefer Hamburgers, but prefer Pizza to Tacos, but my low information friend prefers Pizza, but prefers Tacos to Hamburgers. Here’s how he insures that Tacos wins: First of all, the rule will be that we will vote on two pairs of options, and the loser of each vote drops out-notice that this is more or less how the primary process works. So he says we’ll vote on Hamburgers versus Pizza first. He votes with me and Hamburgers wins out over Pizza, so Pizza drops out of the race. Next we vote on Hamburgers versus Tacos. This time, my establishment friend votes against Hamburgers in favor of Tacos, knowing that this is my low information friend’s preference if he can’t have Pizza, who has already dropped out of the race. So, naturally Tacos wins. This is called the Condorcet Paradox, but the important thing that Michael Barone needs to know about the Condorcet Paradox is this: The Minimum Necessary Number Of Candidates For This To Occur Is Three. In other words, a greater number of candidates increases the ability of the savvy vote order setter to rig the outcome, because no candidate has a clear majority of support as anyone’s top preference.
If irrefutable mathematics and logic is a little too abstract for Mr Barone, however, perhaps I can lay out a highly probable real life scenario: suppose that in the first several primaries, Donald Trump runs away with the Low Information Republican vote, and gradually the better conservative alternatives drop out of the race, having divided their support. The Establishment simply tells their preferred candidate to hang in there, make solid showings in these early states but they don’t really need to win them. Once all the better alternatives have dropped out, the Republican party is faced with a choice: Donald Trump, or the Establishment candidate. The vast majority of Republicans can’t stand Trump, the predictable result will be that the Establishment candidate defeats Trump and secures the nomination. Gosh, does that sound a little plausible? More than a little really.
Mr. Barone: The notion that Republicans simply nominate the Next Guy In Line is based on strong observational evidence and historical precedent. It’s based on actually examining the outcomes of the primary processes! You are evidently very impressed with the sideshow of the process itself. When the Establishment nominates it’s preferred candidate, however, you will deny that your mental model of how the primary process works (“We had a lot of options! The system works!”) has been proven wrong, using the same arguments you’re making now. You’ve already decided the process isn’t rigged and will be impervious to evidence, since you clearly are already. But sadly, you’re just wrong. The primary election process is nothing but elaborate legerdemain, and it always has been.

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Filed under Debates, elections, Republicans

Like a Root Canal

CNN’s Republican “Debate” is excruciating as usual. Part interrogation part mockery. The brightest spots are when the candidates don’t just put up with BS from the  “moderators”. More thoughts later.

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Filed under Conservatism, Debates, Dumbasses, Election 2012, elections, General, Liberals, Mainstream Media, Republicans

Hey Meghan McCain-How about a One on One debate with a kid you say doesn’t exist?

If you are actually reading this, and God knows you aren’t-your a whiny little b-wait, hold on, let’s keep it G-rated here man-anyway. Think you can find time in between your whining about how the Republican party should morph to fit the ideals of a Kerry-voter “Progressive” and ditch Ann Coulter and anyone to your right and your listening to Left-wing loon comedians to debate the real voice of the next Republican generation(Wow, that sounds arrogant!)? Because, according to you, there are no people who aren’t on the verge of dying that are conservatives-and that the GOP is lucky to have any young supporters at all, you say. Well, as a person who was under the impression that he was a young, living conservative, I’d really like to know why you think that the Republican party can’t do without you, but would do just fine without me. Is it because your smarter? Prove it? Is it because your “cooler”? Or are you more attractive? Well, I may be a little fatter than you, but I’m working on that-and you aren’t so good looking yourself, really. Seriously, how old were your parents when they had you? Because I think you have a developmental disorder of the brain. The reason you can’t get a guy isn’t because of the election or the GOP. Its because you’re a whiny, ugly, b!&@#! With apologies to female dogs. And the pardon my French.


Filed under Debates, Dumbasses, Liberals, Republicans

When is the Liberal media going to hold a serious Republican Debate?

Okay, I’ll admit that’s a rhetorical question. They aren’t going to do it. But have you noticed what a joke these things are? Democrats have no business asking Republican Primary candidates questions. The whole point of a primary is so that a party can find the candidate preferred by most of their party.

CNN, MSNBC, etc. Your just lucky the Republicans put up with this crap. Every debate these people hold, they ask stupid, pointless questions. The point isn’t to encourage discussion of issues important to Republicans. The point is to ask a question with a “correct” answer, then embarrass the “dumb” Republicans with how much smarter you are than those evil bible thumping Climate Change Deniers.

As John Stossel would say, Give me a break!

Here’s an idea: If you want to ask Republicans liberal questions, wait till the General Election!

And to Republicans: Stop putting up with this crap! If Democrats can snub Fox News, you can snub everyone else!

You know what, here’s some real questions:

Huckabee, are you going to raise taxes? Are you?

Romney, are you going to bring your stupid New Hampshire Health care to the rest of America?

Ron Paul, go run as a Libertarian.

McCain, do you really think Conservatives are going to trust you?

Also for McCain, and Romney, and others, how stupid do you have to be to believe, as you evidently do, that “Human Caused Climate Change” is a real issue? Wake up dumbasses!

Fred, if this president thing doesn’t work out, can you come here to Florida and run for Governor?

Second-tier candidates (you know who you are) do you still think you have a snowballs chance in hell?

Huckabee, why do you think the Mainstream Media loves you? Is it because you’re easy to beat, or because even if you won, they’d still get tax hikes?

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Filed under Debates, Mainstream Media