Monday October 23, 2006

Carl Hiaasen taunts Republicans about the Foley/Negron ballot fubar, and doesn’t quite have the guts to say how tactless and transparently partisan it is for the Democrats to fight having a sign put up announcing the switch.

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  1. Miami Harold    Mon Oct 23, 09:54 PM #  

    And how would such signs simultaneously
    convey information about one party’s candidate
    while preserving the impartiality of the polling place?

  2. alesh    Mon Oct 23, 10:00 PM #  


    “Notice: Votes cast for Foley will be counted towards Negron”

    The older I get, the more I realize that anyone making a “slippery slope” argument is either an ideologue or an idiot. But more to the point, how can ANY fair person POSSIBLY object to such a sign?!? Anyone?

  3. Jonathan    Tue Oct 24, 08:54 AM #  

    I think they should follow the rules, whatever the rules are in this case. That was the argument Republicans made against continuing recounts in 2000 and I think it was correct. Maybe the rules are subject to interpretation, which is where the courts come in. But eventually the issue will be decided and Negron will either be elected or not. And if he is not elected the Republicans will lose a seat and maybe Negron will run again in 2008. None of this seems very terrible.

    Hiaasen clearly wants the Republicans to lose and has contempt for the voters. Why else the long digressions into Foley’s supposed transgressions? Why else the crack about out-of-it PBC voters and Buchanan? (Buchanan’s PBC vote % in 2000 was not much different from his % there in previous elections, which suggests the voters knew what they were doing.) Hiaasen is entitled to his opinion, but given the sloppiness of his argument why should we care?

    (BTW, is there anything wrong with slippery-slope arguments in principle? I can think of a couple of political issues where the slippery-slope arguments have been correct.)

  4. Alex    Tue Oct 24, 09:47 AM #  

    Alesh, because these are the rules the game has to be played with. It’ll be great if everybody understood a simple sign not to be an endorsement of a candidate but that won’t be the case. In my line of work I’m always amazed at how people manage to confuse the most straightforward statements.

    Johnathan, where do you get that Buchanan’s vote % IN THOSE SPECIFIC DISTRICTS OF PBC were the same as previous elections? Buchanan (in the famous “Today” show interview), his campaign manager and pretty much everyone acknowledged it was voter confusion. The 3000-odd votes were about 20% of Buchanan and the Reform Party TOTAL Florida votes. Here’s your link:

    Pretty transparent attempt to rewrite history.

    And the dwelling on Foley’s “supposed transgressions”(BTW: supposed!!!?? WHAT MORE PROOF DO YOU WANT??) Well, it’s called satire. He is a humor columnist. Damn funny too.

  5. Miami Harold    Tue Oct 24, 02:48 PM #  

    “Notice: Votes cast for Foley will be counted towards Negron”
    Any official, legally posted sign of this nature,
    actually mentioning a candidate by name,
    would unwittingly provide voters
    with an additional last-minute promotional message.
    It is not impartial.
    It can’t be without effect.
    (See Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal).
    Follow the rules where they take you regardless of outcome
    and most times fairness is maximized,
    which really is all one can ask for.

  6. Jonathan    Tue Oct 24, 04:41 PM #  

    I wrote:
    “Buchanan’s PBC vote % in 2000 was not much different from his % there in previous elections, which suggests the voters knew what they were doing.”

    Alex wrote:
    “Johnathan, where do you get that Buchanan’s vote % IN THOSE SPECIFIC DISTRICTS OF PBC were the same as previous elections?”

    Answer: Try reading WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE. I based my statement about Buchanan on articles like this one — [sorry, Alesh, it doesn’t work as a link] Buchanan’s apparent share of the vote was an outlier, but that fact does not in itself mean that the apparent percentage is inaccurate.

    So it looks to me like we disagree about the interpretation of facts, and it looks to you like I am engaging in a “pretty transparent attempt to rewrite history.” I’m not sure why I’m wasting my time responding to you.

    Oh yeah, Foley’s “supposed transgressions”: Who cares? I don’t see what he did wrong. The innocent young page? Hardly. Sex? Didn’t happen. It’s not like this guy or this guy . Whoops.

  7. Alex    Tue Oct 24, 05:28 PM #  

    “Buchanan’s apparent share of the vote was an outlier, but that fact does not in itself mean that the apparent percentage is inaccurate.”

    I’m sorry, I didn’t understand this mumbo jumbo at all. What’s a “apparent percentage”? Not to mention you were completely wrong with “ his % there in previous elections” – in what previous election? Buchanan was only a presidential candidate in 2000, previously he was only trying to win the Republican party nomination so if there was any vote at all which i doubt, it was a primary.

    In short, you are full of it.

    Further proof of which comes in your “Foley did nothing wrong” assesment. If you think predating on minors is nothing wrong, by all means don’t waste your time or mine.

  8. Alex    Tue Oct 24, 05:31 PM #  

    BTW, a Federal judge just declared unconstitutional the FL statute that forbid exit polling, yet let stand the ban on other activities including campaign materials, solicitation and peddling.

  9. Alex    Tue Oct 24, 05:52 PM #  

    OK, I went through the trouble of looking at your link (full of conspiracy theories about Gore allies stealing votes and such) and if that’s your backup, dude, you are the one who needs to read better. Here’s what it says:

    “Did Buchanan get more votes as a result of the butterfly ballot? Probably, although far fewer than William Daley and others have claimed. He did better in Palm Beach than he did in most Florida counties, receiving 3,407 votes, or .79 per cent of the total. (He received .46 per cent of the vote in all of Florida.) But he did far worse in Palm Beach than he had in the 1996 Republican primary, when he received 8,788 votes. This was after the race had essentially been won by Dole, so it shows the hard core support for Buchanan in the county. And, other Reform party candidates have also done comparatively well in Palm Beach. Three of the five Reform candidates in Florida, besides Buchanan, had parts of the county in their districts. The two candidates for state senate, whose districts covered most of Palm Beach, received nearly 15,000 votes between them, without much campaigning. The Reform candidate for Congress, whose district included about a third of the county, received 2,651 votes there.”

    OK, so it says Buchanan did a lot worse (8,788 votes instead of 3,407) not “not much different” as you said. So if anything, this proves vaning support for the loudmouth. Strike one. But, to his mistake and yours, those 8000 votes were on the Republican primary, where only registered Republicans vote. Strike two. And finally he’s comparing Buchanan in 96 running as a Republican with Buchanan in 2000 running as a Reform party candidate, after a very bitter and very public break with the Republican Party. Strike 3.

    Now take a look at the link I gave you and explain why Buchanan had a much larger percentage of the vote in Palm Beach than in any other county. Palm Beach! That known bastion of isolationism and bigotry.

  10. Biscayne Bystander    Tue Oct 24, 09:16 PM #  


    I can’t believe you said “I don’t see what he [Foley] did wrong.” If you are old enough to link to Wikipedia, you should be old enough to own up to things that are just wrong. You sound like a 5 year old kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar saying “I didn’t do it.”

    Thank you for outing our other felonious congressional leaders, but was it by mere happenstance that they were both Democrats? Both are a disgrace to the constituents they represent. At least you didn’t bring up the obligatory Chappaquiddick incident.

    By his own admission (by way of immediate letter of resignation) what Foley did was wrong. Your bold faced defense of this sicko should warrant an appearance on Limbaugh. Just be sure to bring plenty of that stuff he likes…Whoops.

  11. Rick    Tue Oct 24, 10:14 PM #  

    BB: Jonathan went with the “no big deal” and the comparison to Studds because it follows the standard conservative talking points to the tee.

    Just check out this comment thread at The Daily Pulp. Jonathan might have well been “The Winner” as close as his statement here matches the ones over there.

  12. Jonathan    Tue Oct 24, 11:30 PM #  

    -The point about Buchanan is that the 1996 election results in PBC suggested that he really did have a significant base of support there, relative to other FL counties, and thus that his results in 2000 might reflect intentional votes rather than mistaken votes.

    -The point about Foley is not that he is a great guy but that what he is accused of doing was not very bad (inappropriate IMs, how terrible) — and, more to the point, was not nearly as bad as things that Democratic Congressmen have gotten away with. He was stupid to have contact with the page but the page was either an adult by then or was aged “17 going on 35.” And, of course, Foley had a reputation for this type of behavior that was known to Democrats and at least one newspaper long before this election season. If he was such a menace, why didn’t someone expose him earlier?

    -Rick: So you agree with me that the comparison of how Foley and Studds were treated is apt? That’s the obvious conclusion, since you make no attempt to respond to my actual argument.

  13. Alex    Tue Oct 24, 11:33 PM #  

    “If he was such a menace, why didn’t someone expose him earlier?”

    Yeah, why? Why Hastert, oh why?

    “We do bad things so what, Democrats do them too” is not an argument. It’s a cop out.

  14. Jonathan    Wed Oct 25, 04:12 AM #  

    >Yeah, why? Why Hastert, oh why?

    Because Foley wasn’t a menace. Do you think the Miami Herald would have sat on the story, as it did, if Foley had been doing more than exchanging messages with pages?

    >“We do bad things so what, Democrats do them too” is not an argument. It’s a cop out.

    No, that’s not the argument. The argument is that outrage about Foley is ridiculous in light of how little he actually did and in light of how easily Democratic pols who did worse things were let off.

    The joke here is that Hastert looks worse for defending Congressional perqs in the case of William Jefferson, a Democrat who took a bribe from undercover agents, than he does for his handling of Foley. But you can’t see that because it doesn’t fit your simpleminded partisan model.

  15. Alex    Wed Oct 25, 07:53 AM #  

    Again with the cop out and you are calling me simple minded partisan? I’ll tell you what “Chicago Boyz”, why don’t you point to one post of yours where you are critical of Republicans without pulling the “democrats do it too” lame trick? I’m sure when Clinton was impeached you digged out all the cases of Republicans who have been caught lying and cheating, right? because you are such an open minded and fair character. This tired cop out is all you guys have, and it smells of desperation.

    I’m gonna follow your own advice and stop wasting my time with you.

  16. Jonathan    Wed Oct 25, 12:15 PM #  

    >...why don’t you point to one post of yours where you are critical of Republicans without pulling the “democrats do it too” lame trick?<

    You mean like the last paragraph of my previous comment?

  17. Rick    Wed Oct 25, 10:06 PM #  

    Jonathan: I’ll tell you what I told Winner over at the Pulp. If you think it’s acceptable for a U.S. congressman to be IMing your teenager and asking him to measure his manhood so he can compare it to his own, you, my friend, have some issues. Really.

    Furthermore, if we all were to try to rationalize inappropriate behavior because “someone else did it, too,” where would we be as a society?

    You know better, Jonathan. You’re much smarter than that.

  18. Ken Mehlman    Wed Oct 25, 10:30 PM #  

    Thank you, Jonathan, for defending a man who exemplifies the values of the GOP.

    On a totally (sort of) different subject, could you email me at and tell me if you’re over 6 inches. Thanks. Tootles.

  19. alesh    Wed Nov 22, 01:23 PM #  

    comments on this post are closing early because of excessive spamage.