Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Religion of Obama-Hatred

Hating President Barack Obama is a religion. We know it is a religion because it is a position based, not on reasoned evidence, but upon blind faith. There is nothing rational about hating our president.

If you doubt this, you have only to look at the reaction to Obama being one of the two giants swooping in for the post-hurricane-Sandy relief effort (the other being Governor Chris Christie). Even now, with his bipartisan bona fides finally confirmed (after four solid years of bridge building to the Republican side - and why the hell did it take a disaster of this magnitude to finally accomplish this?) there are still many who will hate Obama no matter what. He is the killer of Osama Bin Laden, the slayer of Somali pirates, the man who helped Libya get out from under the boot of Momar Khaddafi, the man who stopped the Bush recession cold and brought about solid economic growth for two and a half years. But none of that matters in the religion of Obama-hatred. He is the Antichrist, and that's that.

The basis of the religion of Obama-hatred lies in the doctrines of some other religions which have preceded it, and given direct rise to it. (Proof positive that, if nothing else evolves, religion does.) For example, the religion of Personhood, which believes, totally on nothing more than faith alone, that conception defines the start of a being. Never mind that the development of the fetal brain - which science clearly teaches us is the true measure of this point, and that this point happens quite a long time after conception - is the real issue. This religion has some offshoot denominations, the two most prominent being the Slanted Justice denomination, which wants to put biased Supreme Court justices on the bench (personally, I don't want ANY slant on the Supreme Court, damn it all!) solely to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the Big Government Inside Women's Uteruses (B.G.I.W.U.) denomination, which believes that Marxist-Leninist Socialism should control the female reproductive system. These religious sects essentially drive the Obama-hatred religion, which explains why a healthcare system which every Republican would have loved, and which Mitt Romney was counting on to win him the White House, is now decried as pure evil. The difference between Romneycare and Obamacare isn't the system, it's that one person wants to uphold Roe v. Wade, and the other wants to overturn it (if he doesn't flip-flop on that issue yet again). Were the healthcare reform law to have been proposed and enacted by a Republican, the Tea Party would have had no problem with it whatsoever.

Another religion which has contributed to the formation of the Obama-hatred faith is the God Hates Fags cult. Unlike other religious movements, this one is a direct offshoot of certain Christian scriptures which unambiguously declare homosexuality to be, at the very least, contrary to nature. This starkly differs from the Personhood religion in that Personhood has no support from the Bible or from any form of Divine Revelation. It is solely based on an assumption, made by flawed human beings, all of them male priests. But the God Hates Fags movement actually has some scriptures to quote, making them more Bible-bashing than most perversions of Christianity. Obama clearly believes that it isn't the governments business to tell homosexuals how they are supposed to live their lives, but this isn't satisfactory to the G.H.F. Rather, the G.H.F. thinks that Big Government should direct the minutiae of people's sex lives, which again is a Marxist-Leninist level of Communism not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. Obama opposes this form of communistic control, and for that, he himself is labeled a communist. (!) Hence, the religion of Obama-hatred must condemn him.

Finally, there is the religion of Anti-Science (or A.S.), which opposes Obama. This religion is unusual in that it has people from both the Right and the Left comprising it. Those on the Right are well known for their opposition to evolution and climate change, and were notorious in years past for insisting that cigarettes didn't necessarily cause cancer, or that chloro-fluorocarbons weren't eroding the ozone layer. But those on the Left are less conspicuous. They are typically the ones who oppose vaccination for children, or insist that genetically modified organisms are evil "Frankenfoods," rather than the essential means to increase food production in harsher climates so that we can provide good nutrition to an increasingly growing world population. President Obama is decidedly pro-science (except, oddly, when it comes to funding NASA), and so the anti-science crowd condemns him for teaching evolution in the classroom or pushing for their kids to get protected from diseases which could kill them. Women who oppose Obama despite being in favor of defending their reproductive rights often fall into this camp.

These religions have all morphed into the religion of Obama-Hate, which will last for another four years at bare minimum (because Obama WILL win). After that time, it will dissipate into its separate religions again, unless it morphs into yet another religion, such as Hillary-Hatred.

What does all this mean for you, the reader? Simply this: That you can never talk a person out of Obama-Hatred using rational means. Faith simply doesn't work that way. It doesn't work when talking science with a creationist, talking medicine with an anti-vaccination nut, or talking economics with a deregulation dittohead. You just can't talk people like that out of their belief system.

It's almost as impossible as the futility of talking someone out of giving money to their pedophile-supporting Catholic priesthood.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Let's say there's a really shit-lousy NFL team out there. They went 3 and 13 last season. The new owner hires a new General Manager, who fires the coach and brings in a whole new staff. The first season under these new coaches produced better results, but the club only went 7-9. The following year was much better, and they went 10-6, but just missed the playoffs. Two years after that, the club went 9-7 and 9-7 respectively. The team is good, and potentially primed for greatness, but has stalled, and the coach's contract is expiring.

If you're the GM, do you fire the head coach, or give him a contract extension?

Likewise, let's say a company's Board of Directors names a new CEO. The company has been in dire straits lately, but the new CEO knows how to get things done. In spite of vicious opposition from other corporate executives, he manages to bring the company up from the verge of bankruptcy into solvency. But the company is still highly leveraged (meaning it still has a lot of debt) and profit margins, while consistent, are not as high as everyone would like.

If you're on the Board of Directors, do you fire the CEO and name someone else, or let him stay on for a while longer?

Or how about this one? A new principal is named to a failing inner-city school. He gets rid of a lot of bad teachers, the school board is really upset with him. But in spite of the opposition, in only two years, he manages to drastically cut the drop-out rate, brings test scores up dramatically, and sends more kids off to college than the school has in 50 years. But test scores still lag behind the national average.

If you're on the School Board, do you keep this principal on? Or do you fire him for someone even better?

In each of these three scenarios, I'm sure you'd probably keep the coach/CEO/principal for another term rather than take a chance with someone else. After all, you've got a good thing going, even though it's not quite as good as you would have hoped. Besides, the initial turnaround was dramatic enough to believe that even better things are coming, if only the person in charge gets a little more time.

Obviously, I'm drawing parallels with the current presidential election.

Trend-lines! That's what makes this election important. Sure, if you look at the economic numbers, they aren't significantly better than the ones four years ago (although they are better). The important difference is that back then, the trend line was DOWN. In fact, it was STRAIGHT down! And today, THE TREND LINE IS UP! Maybe not as highly inclined as we would hope, but it has been UP, and has consistently been so for 2 and a half straight years!

In the words of Crash Davis in the movie Bull Durham, "Never fuck with a winning streak."

I suppose you might think that replacing your lead guy is okay if the replacement is good. Let's say, replacing your head coach with a Mike Holmgren or a Joe Torre type. But is Mitt Romney that type of guy? Well, he's led a company, but that's a far cry from leading a government. He's led a state as a governor, but just look at the polling numbers in Massachusetts! Clearly, the citizens who knew him during those years think that Obama is way better, and they would know! Also, the only way we have to evaluate Mitt's business experience is through his tax returns. Ah, but he won't let us see those!

That's like getting one applicant for the new head coach or CEO position, but he has no references, and he tells you not call his former employer!

All that would be true if the guy weren't trashed by his own political party for two solid years before that party watched in horror as he became the nominee. (Then they had to all eat crow and pretend that he was the best thing since sliced bread. Romnesia is contagious!) All that would be true even if he weren't a Mormon missionary in disguise. All that would be true if he didn't have a solid track-record of going back on his word time and time again. And if Mitt were still somehow shed of all these negatives, he would still be Wally Cleaver with a Stepford wife who wants us all to get into his DeLorean and travel back to 1955.

It would be like replacing Bill Parcels with Jerry Glanville!

Time to vote! Make yours a good one!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Early Voting Is Easy!

I voted early today for the first time in my life. Not because I needed to, but because I wanted the experience of it (partly so that I could blog about it here afterward). It really wasn't at all difficult. All I had to do was show up at my local city hall, get in line, fill out a ballot form with my information and signature, and then I was issued a ballot which is identical to the one I have always been issued in the past. The only difference was that it was accordion-folded so that I could fit it into the early voting envelope after I was done.

Presto! It took me all of ten minutes! The hardest part of the entire process was walking in the front door, since the City of Greenfield insists on placing its entrance doors at 90-degree angles away from the face of city hall, and besides that places them in areas which are hell and gone away from the main parking area. But if walking around the ornamental shrubbery was my most difficult task during the process, that's pretty doggone easy!

This is a discovery which the entire nation is making en masse. It is partially in response to the fact that most Americans simply aren't going to change our minds prior to November 6th anyway, and so choose to vote now before suffering from a heart attack or getting hit by a bus. But also it's in response to the stupid, stubborn efforts at voter suppression, done in the disguise of voter I.D. Minorities are voting now, while they still have time to deal with any needless road blocks or have hoops they need to jump through.

And it's a powerful social trend! When I asked the city clerk if they'd been busy with early voting this year, she told me, "You know, it's been election day for six solid days so far!"

There are three things I have to say in response to this rather encouraging phenomenon:

First, I predicted months ago that voter I.D. would backfire. This is one important reason why. Not only are young people and minorities pissed, but they've now been given a tool with which they can fight back, at their own leisure, and on their own timetable. The only problems may come on election day itself when all the procrastinators decide they'd better vote at the last minute. Then there may be some problems. But they won't nearly be as bad as they might have been had early voting not been in place. In fact, its safe to say that if efforts to block the vote with I.D. requirements would succeed in letting Mitt Romney steal Pennsylvania and Ohio, we'd be looking at a national race riot! So all you dittoheads can sleep safely in your beds on November 6th, knowing that your racism failed, and therefore blackey isn't coming to your driveway to smash your windshield in.

Second, I'd previously come out in favor of voter I.D., not only because it is always a good idea to ensure against voter fraud, but because it might not affect polls in a pro-Republican way. I have since been forced to revise my opinion. Voter I.D. could have been a good thing. A voter shows up, has no I.D., so then is redirected to another table, where that person is asked to provide some information, sign their name, provide a thumb-print, have his/her photo taken, and then gets issued a new voter I.D. card and can then go vote. That's the way it should be done, anyway. But, no! Instead, guardians opposed to "fraud" want instead the ability to say to certain voters, "No I.D., then get the fuck out!" What bullshit! Where everybody votes, everybody wins, I say.

Lastly, this means that the polling numbers are skewed. I know, I know, you've heard Republicans saying that the poll numbers which used to so clearly favor Obama were skewed, and now you're hearing something similar from a liberal, so what else is new, right? But actually, I mean that the poll numbers we see today usually evaluate something called "likely voters." In other words, people that are likely to go and vote. With the new trend towards early voting, that demographic has shifted, and I'm not entirely certain that all pollsters have caught on to this fact. With more early voting going on, more minorities and young people are now "likely" to vote. And with those voices added to the polling numbers, the numbers have suddenly shifted!

That makes far more sense than saying, as Karl Rove did three weeks ago, that the polls were "counting too many Democrats."

Plus there are other polling number problems. Failure to include cell phones is a major concern with accuracy, because young people, blacks and Hispanics all predominantly use cell phones exclusively of land lines. Yet Rasmussen and (I believe) Gallup have failed to call such numbers when polling. Toss their numbers out, and Obama suddenly has a two-point lead. Then there is the fact that State polls are more accurate than national polls. Why? Well, for starters, if you get a call at 6:30 P.M., and it's a local number, you are far more likely to answer than if the number has an area code you are not familiar with. (Caller I.D. is yet another new technology which tampers with the poll numbers!) If one just tallies the state polls together, one finds that Obama again has a more than two-point advantage. This is why statistician extraordinaire, Nate Silver, on his blog,, makes his weighted average of the polls as this:

Obama: 48.3
Romney: 46

A 2.3% advantage going into the final week. And that's before we even figure in the early voting paradigm shift, as well as Hurricane Sandy.

Oh, yes! I predict Hurricane Sandy will have a positive effect for Obama. Say what you will about the man, but Obama is cooler under fire than Romney, and that plays in his favor.

So, that about does it for this rant. Obama, I predict, will win.

And I am going to dance, dance, dance all over the right-wing trash-talker graves when he does!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Is Mitt Even Running?

If you're planning on voting for Mitt Romney this November, you probably think you know why he's running for president in the first place. But you're wrong.

Is he running because he wants to create more jobs? I'm sure he thinks so, but that's not the main reason. Is he running because he wants to see a more conservative America? Probably. But not in the way the Christian Coalition thinks of as "conservative," and even then, it's still not the main reason. Is he running because he wants to reign in the deficit, pay down the national debt, and create a brighter future for tomorrow? He'll say he is, but even if true, that's not the main reason, either. Just what is the main reason Mitt Romney is running for office?

Simple. Mitt Romney wants to be president to gain full acceptance for the Mormon faith in American culture.

Yep. That's it. That's the main reason he wants to be president. Everything else is secondary to him.

I can prove it without lifting a finger! Just look at his wind-sock record of shifting positions whenever it suits him. To win Massachusetts, he claimed he was pro-choice. Only after he'd won and decided he wasn't running for a second term did he turn around and declare himself pro-life. He knew he'd have to if he had any chance of winning the Republican nomination. Then he passed health care reform in that state as a "legacy issue," thinking that he would ride that bit of success right into the White House. After all, it was a Republican reform plan, wasn't it? Proposed under Clinton by Newt Gingrich himself? Both parties could get behind it, and Mitt would be able to ride the tide right into the Oval Office. But doggone it, that Barack Obama guy beat him to it! And now, just because they have to be opposed to the black guy no matter what, they condemned the Republican version of health care reform as "socialist" and "a government takeover." Whether that is rational or not didn't matter to Mitt Romney. He could have spoken up and added a dose of sanity to the right-wing rhetoric, pointing out just how Republican that health care reform bill was, having been invented by him, a Republican governor, dealing with a Democratic legislature. But no. He wanted the presidency more than he wanted to help America. So he did a 180-degree flip, and now opposes the very health care reform that he was supposed to have backed all the way.

That's some kind of hypocritical shift, there.

And that's not even including all the other flip flops he's done. He's flipped on "self-deportation," the 47% comment, taxing the rich, supporting minimum wage hikes, supporting the war in Vietnam he was too chicken-shit to fight in, gays serving in the military, and of course, his own father's standard of releasing tax returns.

He's a "serial waffler."

But why? Why is he willing to be so obvious a hypocrite? The only possible answer is that he cares more about winning the race for president than he cares about how he wins it. And why?

Because a Mormon president is a permanent win for Mormonism. After that, Joseph Smith is instantly promoted from bat-shit crazy asshole to being as Yankee as apple pie and Monday Night Football.

His hidden manifesto is: advance Mormonism, to hell with everything else. Make no mistake, Mitt Romney is a Mormon Bishop first, and a member of the Republican Party second.

This is your candidate, Republicans: a Mormon missionary who is disguised as a legitimate nominee. He is Brigham Young's Manchurian Candidate. And you will rue the day you voted for him, if he wins. We'll probably vote  him down this time (barely), but be warned: There are hundreds of other little Mitt Romneys out there, and every one of them will try to become president in order to win America for Mormonism.

Be on your guard.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Voting Districts

I received a call from Jim Sensenbrenner's office today regarding the subject of my previous blog post. Not that Sensenbrenner reads my blog or anything. In fact, I'd be shocked if he bothers to read any opposing viewpoints. But a staff member of his wanted to clarify why the district maps on his website, and on every other congressperson's websites, have not yet been updated.

Basically, the poor flunkie I was taking to did a poor job of explaining things. It sounded as though he were saying that Paul Ryan was stil my congressman, but Jim Sensenbrenner was simply helping myself to my vote. At one point, I was convinced that it had to be a crank call! How this clod ever got to work for a congressman, I'll never know. But when he finally managed to clear things up, the explanation came out like this (only this time, I'll get it right):

The redistricting actually takes place in January of 2013. What merely happened as of January 1st 2012 is that the official balloting changed.

Let me use my own situation to clarify. Living in Greenfield, WI, my congressman is, right now, still Paul Ryan, and will remain so until January. After that, he'll not be my congressman, no matter what. Even if he wins reelection, Jim Sensenbrenner becomes my congressman because Greenfield goes from district #1 to district #5 in January of 2013. So my vote on November 6th will be to determine the winner for district #5 rather than district #1.

Makes sense, right? Clear as mud?

Of course, this clarifies the map situation.  The districts don't actually change until next year. But is there adequate explanation of this situation on each candidate's web site? Hell, no. Am I still pissed off? Hell yes!

So should you be.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Election Day Homework Time!

It's time to do your election day homework. Don't worry, it's not hard.

All you have to do is go to your local city or town website and download your sample ballot for the election on November 6th. Most cities have a link to it prominently featured somewhere. And if your city doesn't, it will have a search feature where you can look up anything in the entire website. Just search for "ballot" and you'll find what you're looking for.

And what you'll find is very, very interesting.

You see, since January of 2012, the congressional borders have shifted in the greater Milwaukee area. And I'll bet you had no idea!

For example, I was looking forward to casting my ballot against Paul Ryan in favor of his congressional challenger, Rob Zerban. Who knows? Ryan may lose both the VP bid and his congressional seat at the same time. But no! I live in Greenfield, and that means that my city is no longer part of congressional district #1, which is basically all of SE Wisconsin south of Milwaukee (Racine, Kenosha, Beloit). It is now part of congressional district #5, which includes New Berlin, Waukesha, Pewaukee and West Bend. This means I have to pick between Jim Sensenbrenner, and some unknown democrat named Dave Heaster, an architect who I'll bet you never heard of. You know, when I did an internet news search for Dave Heaster, I found exactly nothing? Yep, no Journal Sentinel article, no Wisconsin news article. Only one little blurb in the Sussex Sun said anything about him at all, and that was just a five question interview. Hard to win when nobody knows who you are, and your opponent is entrenched in the biggest Republican stronghold in the state. On the other hand, Sensenbrenner was the asshole who dared to suggest that Michelle Obama has a "big butt," when his own fat ass weighs in at no less than 300 pounds! I'm going to enjoy voting against him!

But by no means is this the only switcharoo you might find at the polls. Do you live in Mequon or Cedarburg? If so, you might be expecting to vote for Sensenbrenner again. But no! You'll be voting as part of congressional district #6 now, where you have to decide, likely at the last minute, between Democrat Joe Kallas, and Republican Tom Petri, the 25th richest member of congress (and that's some pretty wealthy company). This is a district which formally only covered the territory of Sheboygan and Fond Du Lac, so your new representative will simply be clueless as to the unique challenges a Milwaukee suburb faces. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Do you live in Glendale, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood or Fox Point? Then you'll likely be expecting to vote in Jim Sensenbrenner's district as well. You might have had a shot at dislodging him too, right? Nope. Now you're voting as part of congressional district #4, which is basically the entire city of Milwaukee. That means you'll only be able to help re-elect congresswoman Gwen Moore, who is running against some schmuck named Dan Sebring. So much for your UWM-area liberal vote getting to make a difference in congress.

Now, here's where it gets really, really disgusting. If you go to your congressperson's web page and download the map of what his or her district looks like, you'll likely find that the district maps have not yet been updated!

For fuck's sake! These changes were put in place back in January! You've had all year! And now, less than three weeks before the election, I have to write your sorry, lazy asses and get you to update what you should have updated months ago? How can THIS BLOG be more up to date than the official government websites? Christ, do you people even have web design specialists on staff, or did Walker cut those from your budget?!

Well, I'm asking everybody to get on the horn regarding this. Take a look at your community's sample ballot. And if your U.S. congressional district has shifted, and the map hasn't been updated on the website, GET PISSED!

Don't let them think we're not paying attention (even though we probably aren't).



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Is Obama Losing?

Interesting. A recent Pew research poll shows Obama trailing Romney by 49% to 45%. At around the same time, a CBS Research poll shows that Romney has closed a massive, nearly two-digit gap among women voters at 47% to 47%.

Is Obama losing? Did one shoddy debate performance blow it all?

No way.

First, I would be very silly to argue that there is some conspiracy behind the poll numbers. It sounds just as silly coming from a liberal as a conservative, and there's no merit to the argument anyway. But there is always, in every close election, one or two poll aberrations that show the trailing challenger ahead by two to four points. We saw it with Bush vs. Kerry in 2004, and interestingly, it came after the first of their televised debates as well.

What's going on here? Well, not a conspiracy, but something known as response bias. Here's how it works. Say you get a phone call from a pollster, and you are feeling down in the dumps about your candidate because he's trailing in the latest polls. In that case you're far more likely to tell the poll worker to go fuck off, because you don't feel like answering any depressing questions. But let's say that he's just given a great debate performance, and now you're fired up. By contrast, the other guy's supporters are down in the dumps over their candidate's poorer performance, and are more likely to ignore the telephone polls. The result is that more excited people answer the poll questions than non-excited ones do. This skews the results, and it appears, at least temporarily, that the polls have significantly shifted. This explains the Pew results, as well as the CBS poll results among women because (and I hate to be sexist here, but what I'm about to say would be agreed upon by the fairer sex as well), women are more emotional.

But let's not uncork the champagne just yet. On either side. The Pew research poll is just one among many.  The Rasmussen poll shows Obama and Romney tied. But then, it's always shown Obama and Romney either tied or giving Romney a slight lead! The reason for this is that Rasmussen does not call any cell phone subscribers, thus leaving a disproportionate number of young people off its tally, skewing the results in favor of Romney. But if Romney's had a bump in the polls, why doesn't Rasmussen then show a lead rather than a tie? Gallup polling has given Obama a one-point lead in its previous polls, and now it's showing as tied as well.

Clearly, the debate showed Obama is mortal. Previously, haters of Our Trophy President have felt as though he were invincible, and that 46% of the electorate is the best they could ever hope to achieve. It made them depressed. Obama's invulnerability is still true, but now his opponents feel energized enough to think that maybe The Big Joke (as I sometimes call Romney) could actually pull off an upset. The depression is temporarily over.

Ah, but not so fast! If one evaluates the debate by preparedness and eloquence of performance, Romney clearly won last Wednesday. But if one evaluates truthfulness and the ability to avoid making any serious gaffs, Romney lost big time. Say what you will about Obama's stammering and pauses, he made no gaffs. And Romney? He just couldn't help himself. In addition to telling the debate moderator, to his face, that he would cut funding for his employer (head slap!) he then insisted that he loved Big Bird, whose salary he would also have cut! (D'oh!) Already, people in Big Bird costumes are showing up at every Romney campaign rally. That's negative six points for romney, plus six points for Obama. Also, PolitiFact and had already been picking apart the Romney/Ryan ticket so much that conservatives had taken to claiming conspiracy theory for those news sources as well. (Even the normally level-headed Jeff Wagner on WTMJ radio said that PolitiFact was to politics what the Lengerie Football League is to the NFL.) But they took almost a full week to pick apart all the lies and distortions that Mitt Romney told, brazenly, during his debate performance. With clarity, poise, and eloquence, he outright lied.

In other words, Romney lost on Instant Replay.

No matter what, it is clear that one Pew poll does not an election make. If multiple polls appear showing Romney with a clear-cut lead, then it's time to worry. Until then, it's just one poll. Nate Silver still calculates a 75% chance that Obama will win. Our President still leads in swing states, and that primes the stage for an electoral college victory, even in the unlikely event that Mitt Romney somehow wins the popular vote. And as excited as current polls might make Romney supporters today, they'll be plunged right back into deep depression tomorrow, after Obama re-takes the polling lead, and then defeats Romney on Tuesday the 16th.

They'll even go back to claiming that the polls have been tampered with.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mitt Romney, The New Kent Hovind

Everybody's weighing in on the debate performance Wednesday night. Presumably, it was between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, although neither man actually showed up on stage. The man claiming to be Mitt Romney looked polished, but contradicted everything that the real Mitt Romney has been saying on the campaign trail. On the other hand, some agents from China apparently kidnapped our president and replaced him with some stammering stand-in who forgot to bring his cue cards. It looks like we'll have to wait for the second debate before either candidate shows up.

Okay, I exaggerate, but not by much. To me, it was as shocking as seeing Shaquille O'Neil being beaten in one-on-one hoops by Pee Wee Herman. But perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, because the challenger will always have the advantage in debate preparation. Any challenger has to worry only about debate prep and campaigning, while any incumbent has to worry about debate prep, campaigning, AND running a nation.

There isn't much precedent for this sort of situation, because a true challenger has only faced off against an incumbent in a televised debate twice before. Once was Reagan vs. Carter. The other was Kerry vs. Bush. Clinton vs. Bush doesn't count, because H. Ross Perot was in there as a third candidate, and Carter vs. Ford doesn't count, because Ford was not a true incumbent. (Also, the sound system went out in the middle of the debate.) But in both cases, the more likeable guy won. Reagan was more likeable than Carter, and Bush was more likeable than Kerry. Today, polls show that Obama is more likable than Romney by a huge margin. So, my prediction of an Obama victory is not getting revised today.

The main point I wanted to make here is that winning a debate simply does not determine the truth. It only determines who is better prepared, as well as who happens to be the better public speaker at any given time. We've seen this before. In the Dredd Scott case, the better debate was made the racist, segregationist side. That side was wrong, even though it won. The Catholic radio priest, Charles Coughlin, won most of the debates he had when he supported Hitler's Nazi party, and he was wrong, too. And finally, creationist extraordinnaire Kent Hovind won hundreds of debates against smarter, more educated college professors, despite being a certifiable crackpot. The right side does not always win the debate. The more skillful speaker does.

Kent Hovind is really the perfect example of how a rotten argument can get spin-doctored so skillfully. What could be more ludicrous than a god who made it all in six days flat, and yet can't eliminate down syndrome? Or claiming that all the world's geology came about due to a flood which happened when this god lost a de facto popularity contest, threw a big hissy-fit and killed everybody? Yet for years, Hovind rampaged on, winning debate after debate against ill-prepared college professors who were unused to such a performance artist as he, or against being so bluntly challenged by such silliness. Only the IRS was finally able to shut him up, throwing him in jail for refusing to pay employee payroll taxes.

Now, here we are again. The correct side lost the debate - for now. But the winner of a debate is nothing more than the winner of a debate, and the winner of an argument is nothing more than the more argumentative of the two sides. Truth, as we should all know, has the nasty habit of taking the losing side. Or, more frequently, neither side. The better candidate is one who can run a nation, not win a debate.

I suppose Romney might be able to pull off two more wins, but he won't be able to catch Obama flat-footed again. Even if he does manage two more wins, it shouldn't mean much. He will always be a holy-underwear-wearing Wally Cleaver with a Stepford wife and a penchant for mistreating dogs who wants us to get into his DeLorean and travel back with him to 1955.

I wouldn't vote for that if he out-debated Cicero.