Thursday, April 25, 2013

And ask why the clock is on a cellular telephone

Here's a real gem from The Blaze, Glenn Beck's personal fusion of disinfotainmation and endarkenment:

If Republicans invented a time machine, they'd probably go to Hawaii to check Obama's birth certificate first. And still not be satisfied.
I don't pick on Glenn Beck much, at least in relation to how much he deserves it. Sure, I've done it lots and lots and lots of times, and sometimes on posts that are actually about football, but I could do it once an hour and still not keep pace. The man anchors the bottom of the pundit barrel. He's notable mainly for the empire he's leveraged from catering to people who like entertaining and self-affirming lies. It's so easy to mock Beck that it's become too cheap to do so. But even a broken, insane clock inevitably gets it right, and in this case The Blaze (and apparently, the Nat Geo Channel) has. The above graphic is perhaps as valuable as any as I've seen to illustrate the biggest roadblocks facing Republicans today.

Their nation is Imagination. In sports, it's a common and fun exercise to rate all-time teams. We can argue all night about how, say, the 1985 Chicago Bears would have fared against the 1972 Miami Dolphins. But if the games didn't happen in an actual field of play, we'll never know. Any of an infinite amount of variables — time, place, momentum, mindset, to name just four — could profoundly affect even the most settled bets. Ultimately, all such arguments are conjecture. 

So is this hypothetical race. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama are not — never, no how, no way — ever going to face off in a presidential race. Both men are hamstrung from running for third terms by the 22nd Amendment. Reagan is further limited by being dead. Which means that it’s less pointless to speculate about the above-mentioned Superthetical Bowl — most players from the ’85 Bears and ’72 Dolphins are still capable of showing up. But OK, let’s pretend this is a real contest and not ridiculous:

The race pits two landsliders, so it wouldn’t be a landslide. Both enjoyed huge advantages against politically vulnerable opponents, and both sailed to re-election. The Blazers predict a 58-42 Reagan victory, which is a blowout but still a better Democratic percentage than either Jimmy Carter (41%) or Walter Mondale (40.6%) could manage. I think, however, that it’s a mistake to assume one would tower over the other. If we're going with Reagan-era voters, Obama would pull all the Reagan Democrats; if today's voters factor in, well, we already know they outnumber Obama's ferociously apocalyptic opposition. Either way, I’d give a slight edge to the incumbent. Speaking of today's voters:

The youth support is a BS statistic. I turn 33 in a month, having been born the year Reagan first ran for office. I watched his last day in office in my 3rd-grade class. That puts me near the edge of the graphic's youth demographic. Most of what 18- to 34-year-olds know about Reagan comes from the tremendously whitewashed and deified history of the man put forth by Republican revisionists. But even as a demigod, Reagan polls at only 51 percent over Obama — a president we watch with critical eyes in real time.

Did I mention Reagan is dead? This is perhaps the saddest part. The Gipper has been in his grave for nine years, and out of the Oval Office for 24. It's long past time for the Republicans to move on from the 102-year-old. Their politics sure have.

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