Saturday, 29 September 2012

Romney's Real Problem

My old friend Scott writes:
Hi Cassini
The polling numbers you cited in your most recent post are sheer nonsense - beware!
Rasmussen have a solid record of being the most reliable political polling organisation in the US, and they give Obama only a slight lead at best, all of course well within the margin of error.
The liberal MSM want people to think the election is over and many of the polls giving Obama double digit leads are simply not credible and independent.
Romney is far from an ideal candidate and his campaign has been lackluster and confused at best. One has to ask one's self: if Republicans cannot win in this economic environment, is there any hope for the future of the party?
I'm not saying that Obama should not be a strong favourite for re-election - defeating any sitting President is never easy - but 1.22 offers absolutely no value.
Opposing Obama at this price does.
Based on other posts over the years, I can only surmise that your disdain for Romney derives in large part from his faith.
I have often wondered how a betting man of your high intelligence reconciles his presumed religious views with the notion of Pascal's Wager.
But most importantly, what does Mrs Cassini think about all this? :-)
As the Chicago Tribune explains:
It has become the new battle cry for Republicans: All the polls showing Mitt Romney trailing by big margins are just wrong because pollsters are interviewing too many Democrats.
Surveys showing President Barack Obama leading nationally by 5 to 7 points, and even more in swing states, have come under fire from the Romney campaign and conservatives who accuse polling companies of misjudging their data at best, and deliberately skewing it against Romney at worst.
While pollsters say the Republicans are griping because they are losing, the kernel of the conservatives' complaints - that pollsters frequently survey more Democrats than Republicans - is true.
But poll companies do not go out of their way to find Democrats - it is just that there are more of them on voter registers than there are Republicans and independents.
Thirty-five percent of registered voters identify with Democrats, 28 percent with Republicans, and 33 percent are independents, according to a Pew study in August.
Liberal MSM? Perhaps the media are simply a reflection of the general population? Fox News is entertainment, not 'news'. 

Scott might consider individual poll numbers to be ‘nonsense’, but that is a personal opinion. Poll numbers are always going to differ, whether it’s because they are conducted in different states, on different days (people are very influenced by ‘recency’) or because of to be expected differences in the sampled population. The thing is though, when poll after poll give one candidate the lead, it’s hard to dismiss them all.

It’s also hard to see this election as anything but decided. Complacency could be a concern, but voters in the key swing states are very much aware of this, and it shouldn’t be a concern.

Scott is certainly correct in saying that “Romney is far from an ideal candidate and his campaign has been lackluster and confused at best”. In fact, that’s quite an understatement.

Romney’s religious beliefs are, of course, nuts, and the most alarming thing is that while it is accepted and understood that any US Presidential candidate has to claim to have faith to be electable, Romney actually believes his cult’s tenets.

Romney does not just pay lip service to his religion (almost always inherited incidentally), but embraced it as an adult, and is a high-ranking bishop. He believes, among other things, in magic underwear – sorry, “temple garments” (for protection from the evils of the world), gold plates, the planet Kolob, Jesus visiting the American continent and more.

Prior to 1978 the Mormons discriminated against African-Americans, and as an active adult in the church prior to that, one can assume Romney was ok with it. In 1978 a revelation determined that racial discrimination was wrong. Mormons also had no problem owning slaves, with Utah passing a law in 1852 allowing this, and it’s a religion with strange views on marriage. Active against California’s Proposition 8, in favour of gay marriage, the Mormons actively campaigned for ‘traditional marriage’ somehow forgetting that polygamy was their idea of ‘traditional marriage’ until it came to Utah’s statehood being on the line, when another ‘revelation’ conveniently decided that, too, was wrong. Fundamentalist Mormons to this day have multiple wives, often involving underage girls.

So this is the man-made club that Romney is proud to be a member of. Proud, except when it comes to looking for votes, when such odd beliefs (and yes, all religious beliefs are irrational, and the sooner we all view them as a form of mental illness, the better), drive sane people away.

Scott mentions the economy, saying “if Republicans cannot win in this economic environment, is there any hope for the future of the party?”.

Let’s hope not, it's an uncaring philosophy at best, and let’s not forget the state of the economy four years ago under George W Bush’s watch. A crash such as that triggered by the Bush administration’s carelessness takes several years to turn around, and my feeling is that most Americans understand that. Obama acted decisively to first stop the decline getting any worse, and then to start building the economy again. The Republican argument that they are "sorry they messed up last time, but we promise it won’t happen again", isn’t going to work. The economy under Clinton (Bill) was a boom time for most Americans, under Bush it was a disaster. Blaming Obabma for the state of the economy is like destroying a house, and then blaming the builder for not restoring it fast enough.

Voters might also remember that when Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 7949 points, the NASDAQ at 1476. Today they stand at 13,437 and 3116 respectively. 69% or 111% gains, and the housing market is coming off the bottom. The Republicans have been asking if the country is better off than they were four years ago, and the answer is yes.

Obama is popular, while Romney commits gaffe after gaffe. In just the past few Following shortly after his 47% are losers speech:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
 came his “aircraft windows not opening is a problem” comment, 
When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem." 
Electioneering at its best. Romney is hardly showing the good judgement that might be expected of their President, and he has quite rightly been much ridiculed for his stupid comments.

With less than 40 days to go, pretty much all Obama needs to do to win is avoid being caught up in a sex scandal. Having backed at 1.47 on September 11th, the current 1.22 is not tempting enough to add to my position. As Scott suggests, the news now is probably as good for Obama as can be expected two weeks on, and if I were to make another move, it would be to lay at this price. I'm not in a hurry to do so though - call this price a hold. 

Pascal's Wager? But there are so many gods to choose from! 330 million Hindu deities for a start! The "one true" Christian god is pretty recent, so I would feel more comfortable believing in all of them - Odin, Zeus, Mars, Thor and all. One would hate to choose the wrong god merely because we happen to be born in a certain country at a certain time. Santa Claus, Easter Bunnies and the Tooth Fairy are harmless enough for kids, but for some reason the god fairy tale persists for many into adulthood. To quote David Feherty:
If god wanted people to believe in him, why'd he invent logic then?


AL said...

one can only assume irony!!!

the poor americans have the choice between a hard left wing socialist Obama and a Centralist Warmonger Neo-con Romney..

which is the lesser of 2 evils I don't know... but the both are still evil!

Cassini said...

Hard left wing? Hardly... The term 'solcialist' is subjective, but anyway, an April 2009 Rasmussen poll (in Scott's words, the most reliable pollster) found that “only 53 percent of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.” Even less among younger voters. Obama inherited a mess, and has done a good job so far to clean it up. He is tried and tested, and has a widespread approval. Evil? Hardly. Romney wants to go back to the policies that failed before. He is out of touch. Not evil, just clueless. I mean, who puts the family dog on the car roof for a vacation trip!! Maybe that 1.22 is a back after all.

AL said...

lol... keep drinking the kool-aid!

you can be a fan-boy to the nobel peace prize winner and i have no doubt you're bet was good value but Obama has out Bush'd Bush and is probably one of the worst president's in US history by any metrics you care to mention...

Cassini said...

Even Obama was embarrassed at the Peace Prize since it was awarded for the simple achievement of not having been the guy who had the job before him. (As former U.S. Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson said, one of the secrets to job success is picking the right predecessor!)

I guess other than Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul, ending the war in Iraq, routing Al Qaeda and killing bin Laden and reducing U.S. dependency on foreign oil, a booming stock market, steady job growth and more, yeah - he's not done much. Should you be right, then Romney will win in a landslide. Personally, I feel any landslide is more likely to be blue.

AL said...

A little boy wanted $100 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened.

Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100. When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to "God, USA," they decided to send it to President Obama.

Obama was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $ 5 bill. He thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.

The little boy was delighted with the $5 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:

Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Washington, D.C., and that jerk Obama took $95 in taxes.