Goldberg Explains Why Obama Won


I’m having a good deal of fun listening to those who were absolutely sure that Romney was going to win the election now try to explain why Obama won. The thoroughly mediocre Jonah Goldberg blames it all on the breakdown of the traditional family.

One of the stark lessons of Obama’s victory is the degree to which the Republican party has become a party for the married and the religious. If only married people voted, Romney would have won in a landslide. If only married religious people voted, you’d need a word that means something much bigger than landslide. Obviously, Obama got some votes from the married and the religious (such people can marry their interests to the state, too), but as a generalization, the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid or moral authority.

A couple things jump out to me. The first is the bizarre combining of family and religion, as though marital status was directly correlated with religious belief, and the equally bizarre combining of “material aid” with “moral authority.” Yes, I think being married probably correlates with higher incomes (mostly because that often means two incomes instead of one and because of some inherent tax advantages), but I don’t see what in the world that has to do with religion or “moral authority.” This is just a gibberish statement, the kind of nonsense Goldberg seems to be able to pump out effortlessly day after day.

The second thing that jumps out at me is that weird paranthetical aside that married and religious people can “marry their interests to the state, too” — by which he apparently means that those married and religious people who voted Republican are not trying to “marry their interests to the state.” That is utterly laughable, but reveals much about the deranged view of the world that Goldberg must have.

Comments

  1. says

    Why not come out and say “Fuck you single people.”

    Also, is that the best fearmongering republicans can do now? Oh noes, we’ll turn into Western Europe!!11! I mean who really looks at the UK, France, or Germany and says, ‘My God what a shit hole!”?

  2. raven says

    Goldberg”

    the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid or moral authority.

    This is gibberish from an idiot, i.e. Goldberg.

    1. The divorce rate of the fundie xians is as high as the US population in general. Gingrich, for example, is on his third marriage.

    2. The teenage pregnancy rate of the fundies is higher than general population, a lot higher. Bristol Palin anyone. Teenage girls with babies and no father around is common and unremarked in fundie xian areas.

    3. The child abuse and child sexual abuse rates of fundies are also a lot higher than the general population.

    I certainly don’t see religion as a source of moral authority. It’s the opposite. The fundies own the dark side of our society. Fundie xianity runs on hate, hypocrisy, and lies. They hate education and science and celebrate ignorance.

    No hate, lies, hypocrisy = no fundie xianity.

  3. Trebuchet says

    Meanwhile, Romney himself says Obama was elected because he promised government “gifts” to people who voted for him, thus doubling down on his 47% remark.

  4. says

    I have a feeling that marriage correlates strongly with age more than anything else. It isn’t much of a shocker when you point out (again) that younger voters went with the guy who represented their interests.

  5. Dennis N says

    If marriage corresponds to a higher likelihood of voting conservative, he must want to expand marriage rights, right? Say… to gay people?

  6. says

    Some factors Goldberg probably didn’t think of:

    1. Some people probably voted Obama because they want the economic stability they need before they consider marriage.

    2. Some people probably voted Obama because their marriages aren’t recognized by the fundies running their local government. Some are probably even forbidden from adopting for the same reason.

  7. says

    I spoke too quickly. Try:
    “We lost because Real Americans® are outnumbered by Democrats” (which should be obvious, given the Republicans propensity for shrinking the GOP’s supposed “Big Tent”*)

    * “We got both kinds of Americans in here.”
    “Really?”
    “Yeah. Protestant and Catholic.”

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    “…but I don’t see what in the world that has to do with religion or ‘moral authority.'”

    It’s quite simple, marriage is supposed to be about patriarchal authority with husbands telling their submissive wives and children what to do, just as the Abrahamic god intended.

  9. dogmeat says

    It is rather sad that the majority of the excuses Republicans make for losing involve either which voters shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or derogatory attacks on those who didn’t vote for the Republicans. It seems to be beyond their ability to conceive that maybe, just maybe they lost because their candidate was crappy and their ideas stink?

  10. eric says

    Citing married people as a group is somewhat disingenuous. Married men did vote for Romney in significantly higher numbers than Obama. (I want to say 63% for Romney, but I’m doing this from memory and so don’t put much confidence in that number.) But for married women, the split was something like 50% to 49%.

  11. anubisprime says

    Who are these clowns actually trying to communicate with?

    I would assume by the lack of reality or even cogency in their gibberish strewn screed they are trying to salve the wounds of the ignorant that saw another ignorant lose a presidential election and that have the sad face on!

    If they were aiming at the general public only the most rabid and deluded could ever actually buy that crud.

    Really quite surprised these laments about the brain dead failing to impress ever actually reach publication.
    Poor bunnies must be ever so cross!

    On a more serious note it probably means that the US is as near to a civil spat as it has ever been.
    The religious lost a last ditch attempt to manipulate a society into their view point.
    They might feel that the only recourse is to goad the republican rank and file into out and out anarchy, I am not sure it will fly.
    But it might make interesting viewing.

  12. thalwen says

    plutosdad: You win all the internets!

    I think he is right about the GOP being a party for the married and religious. It isn’t that Democrats don’t attract religious and married people, it’s that the GOP actively excludes anyone who doesn’t meet the extreme fundamentalist’s views of who is a “real Amurkan.”

  13. greg1466 says

    If only … religious people voted, you’d need a word that means something much bigger than landslide

    So he’s saying that an overwhelming majority of delusional people vote Republican?

  14. eric says

    Who are these clowns actually trying to communicate with?

    Each other. Its their way of saying to themselves “well, at least he didn’t win the majority of the real human vote” without being so blatantly bigoted.

  15. ottod says

    Is it possible that there was a typo, and that he actually meant, “…marital aid?” No, I guess it doesn’t make any more sense with that substitution. Sorry. I guess I don’t know where’s he’s going with this either.

  16. baal says

    Will the righties please settle on a consistent story? First it was the sluts (women only, like I don’t exist or something), then the PoC, then the Gifts (all voters were just bought off), then it was Democrat (!) voter suppression and now its ‘just let the married men’ vote? I suppose there is a theme here to the ‘problems’ but solutions you’d do to fix these ‘problems’ are not.

  17. Artor says

    I’m offended by Goldberg’s quip that, “the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid or moral authority.”
    From my viewpoint, religion can fuck right off, that’s true. But I do in fact see my family as a superior source of moral authority. I was raised well by non-religious parents who saw that I got a decent education and taught me compassion & respect for others. I’m not part of the party trying to legislate theocracy, to roll back women’s rights to 1900, to perpetuate bloody warfare around the world, or to marginalize & criminalize gays, which would include my sister and my late brother. So pardon me for tooting my own horn, but fuck yeah, my morals are superior to the anti-progressive Xtianist party.

  18. scienceavenger says

    I’d say Goldberg is right in a sense. Were the vast majority of US citizens married and religious, Romney would indeed have won. Where he goes off the rails is his conclusion that therefore the GOP needs to find a way to browbeat everyone into living that way again. It will never be that way again, and we can thank birth control and increased social and economic equality for women for that (notice those are two subjects the GOP still fights against).

    The GOP needs to adapt to society, not expect society to adapt to it.

  19. John Hinkle says

    …the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid…

    This boils down to the Gift excuse/insult for Romney’s loss. Doughy had to throw in all that other bullshit to fill up the column.

    I’m convinced the only reason any papers carry him is to get a rise out of people. His commentary would be an insult to birds if you lined their cages with it.

  20. says

    Some people probably voted Obama because they want the economic stability they need before they consider marriage.

    That’s true for me. Well, not that I’ve got anyone lined up to marry, but I am 100% waiting until I feel that there is some stability in my economic life prior to wanting to start a family. Any yes, I feel I closer to that stability than I was 4 years ago.

  21. Pen says

    On a side note I’m completely confused by the distinction being made between married and single women in all the post-election fallout. I was unaware that these were two separate interest groups on any issue that concerns women specifically such as contraception, abortion, the definition of rape, … Is it because there was actually a significant difference in the way these two groups voted? How have they categorised single women in long term partnerships versus single women who aren’t? Are we sure this isn’t some kind of mind game to cordon off married women from their own interests and label single women sluts?

  22. freemage says

    I will say this–Goldberg gave me my personal schadenfreudegasm last week, when his column arguing that we should just possibly, maybe, consider the chance that Nate Silver’s critics were motivated by an honest appraisal of his polling analysis and not partisan politics–which ran the morning after the election, when everyone could see the maps showing that Silver’d hit every state so squarely on the nose it looked like witchcraft.

    That said, the man’s a pig. At one point, he drunk-Tweeted, “I blame Jeri Ryan for Obama’s presidency”, or something to that effect. For those who don’t know:

    Jeri Ryan is the ex-wife of an Illinois Republican named Jack Ryan, who was Obama’s original opponent in the Illinois Senate race. Ryan was already behind in the polls when some reporters started hearing rumors that the Ryan’s divorce (which was sealed–very unusual) had some rather damaging information.

    The reporters did what they do–smelling scandal, they sued to have the records opened. Jack Ryan balked, claiming that the records contained information that would be damaging not to him, but to his autistic son. The court finally ruled for the press–and discovered instead that the records actually contained Jeri Ryan’s allegations that Jack Ryan had taken her to sex clubs and pressured her (unsuccessfully, but to the point where she broke down in tears) to have sex with him in front of an audience. (Jack has always denied the charges, for the record, but seriously, that didn’t matter. Illinois residents are notoriously Midwestern in how we handle sex scandals. Corruption’s fine, as anyone who’s looked at Springfield can tell you, but a sexual peccadillo will get you ousted faster than you can “7 of 9 in a sex club”.)

    Ryan pulled out of the race, Illinois GOP decided discretion was the better part of valor. Rather than having a local pol try to run against Obama in a campaign already a quarter over, they flew in Alan “I was the batshit black Republican before Cain” Keyes to fill out the ticket. Obama had a couple debates with Keyes just to make sure everyone knew what a whackaloon the guy was, and then spent the rest of the election season helping out Democrats in other states.

    So, the meaning behind Goldberg’s Tweet? It’s not the press’ fault for digging open the records. It’s not the Illinois GOP’s fault for balking and bringing in Keyes (or for failing to properly vet Ryan before the primary). It’s not Jack Ryan’s fault for being a sleazebag and then lying about it while hiding behind his autistic kid. No, it’s Jeri Ryan’s fault, for not keeping her trap shut.

    That’s a helluva lot of complex misogyny to pack into 140-character limit Tweet, which just shows how devoted to the art of douchebaggery Goldberg really is.

  23. says

    On a side note I’m completely confused by the distinction being made between married and single women in all the post-election fallout. I was unaware that these were two separate interest groups on any issue that concerns women specifically such as contraception, abortion, the definition of rape, … Is it because there was actually a significant difference in the way these two groups voted? How have they categorised single women in long term partnerships versus single women who aren’t? Are we sure this isn’t some kind of mind game to cordon off married women from their own interests and label single women sluts?

    There is a negligible difference in how many women voted for Obama or Romney between married and single women if you look at women of the same age. There are a lot more married women in their 50s than married women in their 20s. If you split women into over 40 and under 40 you would roughly the same difference in voting patterns.

  24. says

    This:

    “They spent all their time making Mitt Romney unacceptable and making him out to be someone who was untrustworthy and unacceptable to enough of the American people — and it worked,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in an interview.” (http://news.yahoo.com/top-republicans-romney-didnt-offer-specifics-080833236–election.html)

    is but one of several of the type in this article and elsewhere.

    Quotes like that one are the precise reason that I will NEVER vote for a fucking republican until they are in the position of having to go hat in hand to the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the PotUS and act like they have a fucking brain and whatever it is that us atheists have in place of a soul, when pleading the case for a reaonable piece of legislation. Religious demagoguery, racist cant, classist attacks on the poor and middle class and an adamantine indignorance about both the issues and the voting public is what cost Mittmoroni and Pauliewingnutz the election.

    Many, many stalwart, lifetime R’s that I spoke to between July and November could not offer a cogent reason for voting for the “Let’s fuck the 47%” ticket; that’s why they didn’t.

  25. dingojack says

    Reading the headline I expected delightful diagrams of an impossibly complicated machine, made of commonplace items, that leads to a Rmoney landslide loss.
    Oh well.
    :) Dingo

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