There’s Got to Be a Morning After

I’m quoting the theme song to the Poseidon Adventure in my headline because let’s face it, yesterday’s election was a fucking disaster for Democrats, though just like any disaster flick, not exactly a surprise at the end. But I don’t really want to talk about that. Old people voted and young people didn’t. And so Republicans won big, giving America exactly the kind of crotchety, dyspeptic, backward thinking government the crotchety, dyspeptic, backward thinking electorate asked for.

But there was a silver lining here in Washington State and in Seattle in particular. Not for Democrats—they don’t control the state senate either. But with the ballot measures.

With the historic passage of Initiative 594, Washington is now the first state to approve gun control restrictions at the polls, and by an impressive 60-40 margin. And this wasn’t just asshole Seattle liberals forcing our immoral lifestyle on the rest of the state—I-594 actually won a few Eastern Washington counties, and did respectably well in a number of others. Meanwhile the intentionally confusing anti-background-check Initiative 591 is going down to a resounding defeat.

Together that shows up the NRA for the paper tiger it really is, and sets an example for how to defeat the gun-nuts with sensible gun control ballot measures throughout the nation. And once the NRA goes down at the polls a few more times, perhaps our politicians will begin to lose their fear of Charlton Heston’s shadow.

At the same time Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved measures funding both transit expansion and universal preschool. Nobody really expected the former to fail, but with all the public confusion over Metro’s finances, I guess anything was possible. And universal preschool faced a surprisingly hostile and mean-spirited opposition from folks with whom I’m usually aligned, so I figured anything could’ve happened. But the Seattle electorate came through once again, voting to tax itself to fund the programs we desperately need.

Over the past year Seattle led the charge on the minimum wage, and following our success here, voters approved minimum wage hikes yesterday in a number of cities and states. In fact, San Francisco will actually beat us to $15 after voters massively approved a straight-up three-year phase-in for all workers by 2018—not exemptions, no tip credit, no nothing.

We need to remain vigilant as Seattle’s preschool program is implemented in order to fend off the corporate reformers. But my hope is that if we successfully implement a program here, cities and states throughout the nation will eventually follow our lead, just like they are doing on the minimum wage.

So yeah… I’m actually not so bummed the morning after. Dems lost as big as I expected Dems to lose, and that totally sucks. More on what we need to do to turn that around in a subsequent post. But on the ballot issues that will have the most immediate impact on our city—preschool, transit, and gun control—Seattle residents won big.

Focus on the local. That is the lesson—in more ways than one—that progressives should take from yesterday’s election.

Election Night Open Thread 1

I’m not sure if Goldy will be liveblogging tonight, so I’ll start a thread with sequel possibilities.

Hey! There’s an election going on. So far, not terrible for Democrats. Leave your observations in the comment thread.

Having lived in Pennsylvania for a decade I am personally quite pleased to see the Republican incumbent go down in ballots.

6:27: Food’s here. Good time for a break….

6:39: Next I’m hoping Wisconsin does what PA does. Walker (R) has the lead with 5% in, but the first 5% are very different than the last 5% of precincts reporting in Wisconsin.

6:41: Kansas! Kansas! Kansas! Kansas!

6:47: “U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) lost his reelection bid to Democrat Gwen Graham in Florida’s 2nd District Tuesday.” HuffPo

6:50: Looks like Portland residents won’t have to visit Vancouver for their recreational indulgences….

7:04: Maine! Maine! Maine!

7:06: Roughly one hour until the WA SOS will have some results for us.

7:08: Goldy has entered the house.

7:18: In my estimation, Democrats are still somewhat outperforming expectations. But the expectations have been so negative for the past month, that isn’t saying much.

7:20: Mark Udall goes down in Colorado. Darryl, “Yeah…his supporters are too stoned to bother voting.” Lee, “Nope…Udall hurt himself by not connecting with young voters in any way, including not getting behind legalization.”

7:24: Upon seeing that Cory Booker was re-elected Goldy quips, “President Booker wins!”

7:40: Boooooo. Scott Walker wins his THIRD gubernatorial election in FOUR years.

7:47: Rhode Island elects its first female Governor. And she is a Democrat.

7:54: Jeanne Shaheen is the project winner in NH. Playgirl model Scott Brown (R-MA) refuses to concede.

8:00: Kansas goes red. Boooooooo! The amazing thing is that Kansas was in play in the first place. So I’m grateful for the money diverted to Kansas from other states.

8:13: Early returns have I-584 winning in every county reporting except Walla Walla.

8:16: Oddly, I-581 is also losing in Walla Walla.

8:20: King County is thrown into the mix, and I-594 is up and I-591 is down.

8:22: My Representative, Suzan DelBene (D) is up 54% to 46%.

8:24: Looks like pseudo-Democrat Sen. Rodney Fucking Tom will be replaced by real Democrat Cyrus Habib in WA-48.

8:29: 57% in favor legalization on our southern border.

8:32: The U.S. Senate goes red. Okay…maybe tonight was as bad as the projections.

8:34: On the other hand, overreach by a rabidly Republican Senate can lead to more victories for Dems in 2016 when election results can have far greater consequences.

8:45: I mention to Goldy that Joni Ernst (R-IA) seems like she could be the most batshit crazy of the new crop of GOP Senators. Listening to her victory speech, Goldy quips, “She is the new Michele Bachmann.”

8:49 Kitzhaber survives!

8:50: If there is any question that I-591 was maliciously designed to confuse voters, consider this: Clallam, Mason, Pierce, Clark, Spokane and Asotin all voted YES on both I-591 and I-594. Q.E.D.

9:16: Washington saves face: Teabagger Clint Diddier loses to moderate Republican Dan Newhouse. This is “Doc” Hasting’s seat, so the Washington state congressional delegation likely got a whole lot more respectable.

9:30: What can you expect voters to do when we have a President that leaves us with dropping gas prices, led us out of the Bush Recession and brought us down to low unemployment, reduced combat deaths in Afghanistan to ZERO last month, and has provided the safety net of health insurance for 9.5 an additional Americans. I, for one, blame Obama.

9:43: Connecticut gubernatorial race has Tom Foley (R) 359,272 to Dan Malloy (D) 358,518.

9:53:

10:02:

10:04: As a person who grew up in, and still has family in, Wisconsin, I was feeling sorry for all my fellow Wisconsinites. Then I realized who the real victims of tonight’s Walker victory are: The 2016 G.O.P. presidential field.

Open Thread 11/4

- Anyone doing anything on election night? I’ll probably mostly be at the I-594 party since they’re the people most likely to be having fun on what’ll probably be a depressing night.

– I wonder how much of the various museums’ collections are as problematic as what the Burke is returning to Peru. Still, good on the Burke for actually returning the skulls and artifacts.

– How do we deal with problematic, but still wonderful, artifacts from the past like the work of Hitchcock?

– There may be some rose colored glasses in this piece, but how Democrats and Republicans in the Washington delegation work together is going to be an interesting question going forward for DC.

– I would not have guessed some lady writing a novel would be an attraction, but I have walked by Gabriela Denise Frank writing at the library and watched her go for a while. It’s oddly inspiring, even though I’m no novelist.

The Dark Knight ROI’s

Vote, Goddammit!

I know that there are some states in which the powers that be make it difficult to vote, forcing you to produce documents you might not have, or making you take off from work to stand in long lines during inclement weather. But Washington State is not one of them. Here we vote entirely by mail. All it takes is a couple minutes, a pen, and a stamp. And while I can’t guarantee it, the stamp is pretty much optional.

So really, you’ve got absolutely no excuse not to vote. If you don’t trust the mail, King County Elections has 22 drop boxes and vans located throughout the county. Lost your ballot? You can print a replacement online, and return it by 8pm tonight via mail, fax, or email (though you’ll have to send in a paper copy by the certification deadline in order for your electronic ballot to count).

It’s easy!

As for how to vote, that’s up to you. I’ve voted for I-594 (gun background checks), against I-591 (stoopid NRA initiative), for I-1351 (reduce class sizes), for Seattle’s Prop 1B (universal preschool), and for Seattle Transportation Benefit District Prop 1 (more money for Seattle bus service). Also, for all the Supreme Court incumbents.

As for what to expect, the only contest above that’s likely to be close is Seattle Prop 1. Not sure if it passes, and if it does, I’ve no idea whether 1A or 1B prevails. The only other intriguing local contest is the 43rd LD race between Democratic incumbent House Speaker Frank Chopp and Socialist Alternative challenger Jess Spear. Chopp will win, but he should be awfully embarrassed if Spear tops 30 percent.

I doubt Dems take the state senate, and I’m pretty sure they’ll lose control of the federal one. So that sucks. But whatever. Vote, goddammit. Or don’t ever, ever complain about the guvmint.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottleIt’s election day! Get that ballot in, and then join us for an evening of conversation, drinks, and election returns at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but feel free to show up earlier to watch election returns.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. Tonight the Tri-Cities chapter meets. The Lakewood chapter meets on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets. And the Enumclaw chapter meets on Friday.

With 201 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

New PPP poll weighs in on ballot initiatives

A new PPP poll, conducted on behalf of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, provides a preview of how some ballot measures will do tomorrow night.

For the most part, the poll reinforces what we saw in the recent Washington Poll. There is one interesting difference between the Washington Poll and the new PPP poll. The Washington Poll was taken Oct 17-24, so mostly prior to the 24 Oct Marysville-Pilchuck high school shooting. The PPP poll surveyed 636 likely voters from 30 Oct to 1 Nov, after the shooting.

How did the gun initiatives do? Initiative 594, that would close the background check loopholes, gets 59% support in favor and 38% against, with 3% unsure. This is a small drop in support from the WA Poll’s 64% Yes to 36% No. We can expect it to win handily.

Initiative 591, that would prohibit the state from imposing background checks, is losing 41% in favor to 52% against and 8% not sure. Compare that to the WA Poll’s 42.6% Yes and 45.7% No. That spread has more than doubled from three points to seven. Of course, this could be sampling error, different polling methods, etc. in addition to or instead of an actual change since the shooting. But this poll certainly suggests that I-591 will very likely lose on Tuesday.

The primary reason I-591 is on the ballot is to confuse voters. It directly competes with I-594 yet the numbers in the WA Poll suggest that a chunk of voters were saying YES to both measures–that is, some voters are confused.. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but the increased opposition to I-591 in the PPP poll may reflect voters being more informed about both measures.

Open Thread 11/3

- I know y’all know this but since it’s my last open thread before the election (depending on how late Tuesday’s is, but most post offices will probably be closed), hey everybody vote please. Our trolls are voting, so, you know at the very least cancel them out. But if you need a reason, here are some Spine-Chilling Reasons to Vote in These Midterms.

It seems many of the president’s detractors were so eager to declare a new “Obama’s Katrina” – the 11th in a series – that they overlooked the nagging detail that the federal response to Ebola has actually been quite effective.

– The Koch Brothers spending money on knocking out Jeff Merkley this late in the game seems a bit strange, especially in Oregon where most of the ballots should already be in.

Is it not true that your program is fundamentally socialistic to take over private business? With more taxes?

– You guys, I’m really sad for Mars Hill

#ILookGoodOnAPronto looks like a fun little event.

Separated at birth?

OK, which of the gentlemen (sic) shown below is sleazy discredited pastor Mark Driscoll? Which one is sleazy discredited initiative whore Tim Eyman?

I’m sure I’m not the only person around who’s noticed a resemblance between these characters.

driscoll2tim-eyman-full

Yes, I’m coming out of a long hiatus on HA just to publish this bit of frivolity. If you wish, you can consider this to be an open thread.

HA Bible Study: Numbers 15:32-36

Numbers 15:32-36
While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Daily Show: The Latinos are already here!

James Rustad: Christie likes to bully all the time:

Liberal Viewer: Fox News Worst Softball Questions to Gov Chris Christie on Bridgegate Scandal.

David Pakman: Drudge Report, “Coldest year on record”. Reality, “Warmest year on record”.

Dave Rubin: Why YOU should vote.

Mental Floss: 26 not so scary facts about Halloween.

Guns & Schools:

Obama: Women and the economy.

David Pakman: Mitt Romney’s epic bitter rant about Obama.

Pap: The hidden dangers of fracking.

Stephen is just as concerned about about the new citizenship law as FAUX News.

Ann Telnaes: Sit down and shut up, Governor!

David Pakman: “Free” voter ID cost money.

Amy Poehler explains economic inequality with cartoon alpacas.

Jon on Texas NOT turning blue.

Ebola Politics:

Red State Update: United States of Talladega.

Stephen admits he was wrong about Canadians.

Sam Seder: Chris Christie tries to weasel out of his ugly minimum wage statement.

Debates: what were they thinking?

Koch Klown Kandidates: Minimum Wage.

Thom: The 2014 voting nightmare.

Puppet Nation: Twenty Mitteen:

Jon: About those Koch brothers….

White House: West Wing Week.

Stephen announces the end of the Report.

Young Turks: Scott Walker hopes women are really dumb.

Gamergate:

Stephen beams in George Takei to save the midterms from indifference.

Lawrence O’Donnell: Rush wants Chris Christie quarantined.

Koch Brothers go after Social Security.

Thom and Brad Friedman: So how common is vote-flipping?

Richard Fowler: Cigarette smoke is so bad that Cigarette manufacturer bans it in the workplace.

David Pakman: Gas prices are astonishing low…rightwingers are silent.

Sam Seder: Nutburger Rep. Louie Gohmert knows a lot about gay massages.

Election spending by the numbers.

Thom: What has greed cost America.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Oh, They’re Back

A while ago, Goldy thought Sound Politics might have gone the way of the Buffalo. I guess they did in the fact that it looked like they would be gone, but they’re still around. This is a bad metaphor so I guess instead of continuing it, I should still make fun of them? This Jim Miller piece [h/t to my friend N via email and to Tensor in comments] goes for it, starting with a violation of Betteridge’s Law and then not getting better after that.

Do Illegal Votes By Non-Citizens Sometimes Determine Elections Here In The United States?

No? Does Sound Politics need a new hobby horse? Yes!

I began thinking about that problem more than two decades ago, and concluded, tentatively, that the answer was yes. After the 2000 presidential election, and all the disputes that went with it, I put more time into the problem and, in 2002 gave an example, Maria Cantwell’s defeat of Slade Gorton, where that may have happened.

It sure is convenient to be able to just assume out of thin air that any close election must really belong to you. Because reasons.

The logic of my underlying argument is simple:

As it is written by a simpleton.

1. There are more non-citizens living in the United States than ever before.

Are there? No links or any other evidence was provided. It wouldn’t surprise me if, for example, when we were building the West with a significant amount of Irish, German, and Scandinavian (among others) immigrants that there was a higher number of non-citizens in the US.

2. Some small proportion of them will be tempted to register and vote, illegally.

Well, if some small portion are tempted to do a thing, that thing must happen all the time in fact. QED, I don’t think we need to even go on.

3. Many places have few checks against non-citizens voting, so most of those tempted will succeed.

Some amount of a small number will be tempted could in theory do a thing then that thing is always already happening.

4. The non-citizens here in the United States tend to favor the Democratic Party.

Again, no need to actually prove this.

Therefore, I concluded, some close elections were being tipped to the Democrats by these illegal votes.

So two unproven assertions and two things that are admittedly not very large combine to… something? Here, let me try:

1) Puppies are adorable
2) Most people who hate puppies are Republicans
3) That time Mitt Romney tied his dog to the roof of a car, or whatever
4) A small number of cars have been owned by Mitt Romney

Therefore, I conclude that people who hate puppies are the only reason that Romney won any states.

All through this time, however, I have been unhappy that I could not find any academic studies of the question. And it was obvious to me that it was not a difficult research problem, that you could get a good start on it simply by running a large survey, and asking the right questions, in the right way.

Hey you know how sometimes our trolls will come into the comment threads with large lists that if you’re a dummy — and don’t understand they’ve been obviously ripped out of context — sometimes seem a bit silly? I mean, I don’t know everything this survey does, but I imagine if our trolls actually cared, as opposed to were just copying and pasting from some nonsense list someone compiled, that they would add asking people who can’t vote if they vote. It’s a large survey and it probably does have value. But I wouldn’t posit this piece as the most important.

Now, finally, three researchers, Jesse Richman, Gulshan Chattha, and David Earnest, have done that study, and provided direct evidence for the conclusion I reached more than a decade ago.

I mentioned in the last Open Thread a thing that refutes this. So I’ll quote from that instead of Jim Miller’s quoting of the piece, and then pick it back up with Miller.

The limitations are, in fact, numerous, and not limited to those that Richman and Earnest enumerate. Their estimates rely on a key question from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study: “Are you registered to vote?” Notably, this is not the same question as “Are you registered to vote in the United States?” In principle, non-citizens could be registered to vote only in their home country and respond affirmatively, and truthfully, to the question on the survey.(Respondents are asked for the Zip code at which they are registered to vote, but this could be interpreted as the Zip code at which non-citizens receive absentee ballots from abroad. Mexico, for example, has allowed absentee voting by mail from abroad since 2005.) If this sounds outlandish, consider that 20 percent (15 out of 75) of those non-citizens claiming to be registered in 2008 were in fact verified as not being registered to vote in the United States. Another 61 percent (46 of 75) could not be matched to either a commercial or voter database. That leaves only 14 out of 75 non-citizen respondents claiming to be registered in 2008 who were in fact confirmed as registered to vote in the United States.

Anyway, back to the nonsense.

You may want to apply those numbers to make back-of-the-envelope estimates of the likelihood that illegal votes by non-citizens gave Democratic candidates victories in your favorite close elections. For example, this strengthens my conclusion that Cantwell’s victory in 2000, by just 2,229 votes, was illegitimate. And it makes it nearly certain that Christine Gregoire’s 2004 victory over Dino Rossi, by just 129 votes, was illegitimate. In fact, I will go further and say that, if you could have magically eliminated the non-citizen votes from just Seattle, Dino Rossi would have won the final recount.

Um, OK. They asked 55,400 people about their voting habits and 13 said they voted when they weren’t citizens. Assuming none of them misinterpreted the question and none of their answers were entered wrong, that’s 0.000235% of the population voting despite being unable to vote in the country legally. So yes, if you assume that is a correct number, there were 659.3999 of the 2,810,058 people who voted in the Rossi-Gregoire race that voted who shouldn’t have. That’s higher than the total difference in the vote, but (a) there’s nothing to indicate how they would vote if they exist except for the general results mean they probably would have gone something like half-and-half to each candidate, with a few to the Libertarian and (b) the state GOP and conservative blogs spent months and months looking for illegal votes, but really didn’t turn up anyone in this category. I can’t imagine if there were 659.3999 humans out there who had voted illegally that none of them would have been found. Talk about Sound Politics being a bastion of rank incompetence.

There is nothing difficult in the chain of reasoning that I went through years ago, and I am nearly certain that others came to the same conclusion, independently. I think it likely that unscrupulous Democratic operatives saw that they could gain a few votes by making it easier for non-citizens to vote, and that Republican operatives saw that they could be on the side of truth and justice — and gain a few votes, net — by putting tighter controls on registration and voting. Understanding that non-citizens were sometimes tipping elections to the Democratic Party would explain, for example, why George Soros, and others, put money into the Secretary of State Project.

Not the actual, legit disenfranchisement of voters that happens when you put those things in place. It’s the 0.000235% at most of people.

As has happened far too often in recent years, I wish that research had proved me wrong, wish that our close elections were not sometimes being determined by illegal votes.

Done! Today only I can grant wishes.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

I’m totally reading it again!

(For the record: I can think of a few places where illegal votes by non-citizens might help Republican candidates, for example, where there were many immigrants from Russia, or other countries that have suffered from Communism.)

For the record, I’m not sure that immigrants from Russia today are particularly opposed to Communism. Does Jim Miller not know what’s happened in the last couple decades in Russia? Anyway, there can be lots of reasons that people vote.

Open Thread 10/30

- On Street Harassment

– I don’t know why we’ve developed a system where Microsoft gives any money to anyone.

– OMG look at all the ferrigners votin’ in R elektionz. Oh, wait, what? Facts?

The fact that so much misery was created for so little should permanently shame the justices who voted for it. It’s judicial review at its least defensible.

– I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart that K Records is getting involved in the Thurston County PUD race.

Light Up Your Ride

– The sunset was pretty spectacular last night.

Selected Washington Poll Results

The Washington Poll is an infrequent, but high quality, poll of Washington state races and issues. A new Washington Poll is out, just this evening.

The poll was sponsored by KCTS-9 and developed and directed by Prof. Matt A. Barreto at the University of Washington. The poll was in the field from Oct 17-24, and had 600 respondents.

Here are some of the highlights.

Initiative 594 (Closing the gun background check loophole)

Overall the initiative has much more support than not. If we include leaners, statewide, I-594 is up 64% Yes to 36% No, with 5.2% not saying. That is a pretty impressive lead.

We shouldn’t be surprised that, in the Puget Sound region, it is up with 73.1% in favor. But what is surprising is that I-594 is up by 56.2% in Eastern Washington, and leads 48.2% Yes to 40.9% No in the rest of the state.

This initiative will pass.

Initiative 591 (Prohibiting Washington state from adopting background check standards)

This one looks remarkably close! Statewide, the initiative is ahead 45.4% Yes to 43.4% No, but with 8.8% undecided.

Supporters of I-594 claim (and some other folks, like Chris Vance) that I-591 was put on the ballot to confuse voters, and it seems to have done so. That is the only reasonable interpretation of the fact that in the Puget Sound region, I-591 is nearly tied at 42.6% in favor and 45.7% against. That is irreconcilable with the Puget Sound I-594 results. With these numbers, it is certain that some people are voting YES on BOTH initiatives, something that makes no logical sense.

Initiative 1351 (Defining K12 class size goals )

This initiative will pass easily with 60.6% support to 31.6% against and 7.9% not saying. This initiative does equally well in all parts of the state.

Here are a few other selected questions:

How would you prefer to see the legislature attempt to reduce the state of Washingtons budget deficit?

The question is misleading, since the state doesn’t really have a budget deficit. But the question gives us a sense of how willing voters are to be taxed.

The top statewide response was (drum roll please): At 29.6%, the top choice was “divided equally between spending cuts and tax increases.”

The next most common response with “spending cuts only” at 22.7% and “mostly with spending cuts” at 22.5%. The answer “mostly tax increases only” got 12.3% support. Overall, almost 77% are willing to have their taxes increased at least a little to better the state’s financial situation.

The entire premise of Sen. Rodney Tom’s Republican coup was that previous initiative outcomes offered him the insight that voters did not want any tax increases.

It seems he was wrong. (Perhaps they simply want the legislature to have the gonads to pass the tax increases rather than making people vote to tax themselves directly.)

Do you agree or disagree with the creation of a state income tax on wealthy households?

Huh…48.3% in favor, 42.0% against. Maybe it is time for another go at an initiative?

Which party do you trust more to make the right decisions and improve economic conditions in Washington state?

Democrats come out on top statewide at 40.9% to 35.2% for Republicans.

Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should provide more funding to education?

The people are channeling the state Supreme Court: 76.1% agree statewide, and the issue is ahead in all three regions.

Gay and lesbian couples should have the same legal right to marry as straight couples

In Eastern Washington, 60% agree, and the numbers go higher from there.

Undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the U.S. and eventually
become citizens

All regions of the state agree with this by at least 69%!

A proposal that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Washington
state

Statewide, the issue is tied with 48.2% in favor and 47.8% against.

That is just a smattering of the 61 tables in the top-lines for this poll.

Open Thread 10-28

- Join Mayor Murray on a vigil walk for 7-year-old struck on MLK

– I don’t know why you would want to be Ray Rice for Halloween this year, but don’t.

– Wait, some people don’t mark their ballot based on how they feel about the undead?

– The background checks initiative looks like it’ll pass, still vote, for goodness sake.

It’s led to countless pieces scrutinizing the president’s policies less on the merits and more on their capacity to be emotionally satisfying. Obama is often expected to respond to crises the way a pundit would, and when he doesn’t, his actions are deemed necessarily flawed, often with little regard for merit.

– Oh, but I like their tofu.