Black swan, (n) def. An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation at a given time and when it occurs in tandem with a political election can produce unforeseen effects.
"In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up, or else we all go down, as one people." Franklin Roosevelt, 1937
“Disasters are inherently political because government is political and preventing and responding to disasters is a primary role of the State.” – Quote from Rachel Maddow Show (10/30/12)
Quick question: If you were in one of the states ravaged by the Superstorm named ‘Sandy’, with mammoth destruction all around, who would YOU rather have as President, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Hurry – only a second!
A week and a day before the general election a “Black swan” transpired in the form of a Category One Hurricane (‘Sandy’) that morphed into a superstorm and ravaged the northeast. Earlier ‘black Swans’ coinciding with elections included the video of Osama bin Laden 4 days before the November, 2004 elections, putatively giving Bush Jr. the win over Kerry (though exit polls DID show Kerry taking OH and hence the presidency) and the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008, followed by the massive stock market crash that triggered a dynamic for millions to vote Obama. (It also didn’t help that John McCain tried to beg off the 1st presidential debate by appealing to the crash, while Obama wisely remarked that a President "needs to be able to handle two things at once.”)
What has Sandy wrought? So far all of her effects have been inimical to Romney:
- The Superstorm has taken Romney off message, i.e.diluted his yapping lies (e.g. about Chrysler sending Jeep jobs to China)
- The Storm has wrecked Romney’s bullshit that “Obama can’t work with Republicans across the aisle”. The blazing, repeatedly televised images of Obama walking with NJ Gov. Chris Christie through the storm-ravaged landscape and Christie’s effusive praise for Obama’s help in getting federal dollars, blows this BS into a cocked hat.
- The storm has forced “Mittens” to recant on his earlier vow (during the Reep debates) to fold FEMA into a privatized Neverland operated mainly by the states. Once more, then, it’s exposed this bastard as a shameless shapeshifter who can’t be trusted to say one straight thing.
- Along the same lines, it’s forced Romney and his Zombies to play act token support for the storm sufferers, i.e. the campaign staffers buying $5,000 in canned groceries at Walmart, then giving it to supporters to carry in to a photo-op as if THEY were the ones donating these to the Red Cross. (Btw, another mess up here- since the Red Cross has made it clear on its site it needs MONEY not canned goods!)
- The storm has shown Obama to be commander-in-chief in a time of regional emergency, leaving “Mittens” to run around like an impotent weasel chasing his tail – and contradicting himself every two minutes.
All of the above convey auspicious signs that Obama has received a bump from this ‘black Swan’ – as the scenes in the aftermath especially of bipartisanship, have eliminated Romney’s momentum. Meanwhile, statistical guru Nate Silver on his 538 blog now has upped the odds of Obama winning from 73% to 80.9%. Because of this Silver has been the target of unseemly attacks on the right, including by blowhards like Joe Scarborough and fake “unbiased” websites like Politico.
There are actually some deluded Repuke Hacks (think of Karl Rove) forecasting Romney in a landlside, but they are detached from political reality (Unless the Reeps steal the elections in key states via voting machines. Here in COLO, for example, Reep officials have demanded REEP Secretary of State Scott Gessler “recalibrate’ all machines before Nov. 6th!) See also about Repo voter fraud crimes being investigated currently in Colorado and Virginia at: http://www.salon.com/2012/11/03/gop_voter_registration_fraud_probe_widens/
But moving away from the deluded or outright criminal (including all those 1 million assholes from 'True the Vote', "Vote Fair' etc. who think they will “question” voters across the nation come Nov. 6th ) these fools are in a world of their own.
Thus, Talking-Point Memo’s Poll Tracker currently projects Obama to win 285 Electoral College votes to Romney’s 191 (270 wins the White House); without toss-up states, Real Clear Politics has Obama with 290 Electoral College votes; and as I noted above, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model gives the incumbent an 80.9 percent likelihood of victory; meanwhile Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium is even more bullish, projecting 318 Electoral College votes for the president and giving him a 97 percent chance of winning re-election.
What may well be the lasting image in the wake of this latest, putative ‘black Swan’ is Obama working with Republican Governor Christie to try to make one devastated region better – via the use of federal resources. Even as jackass 'Mittens' seeks to make his sorry ass relevant by collecting pre-purchased (by his campaign) canned goods the Red Cross can’t use!
In the meantime, this election of 2012 is arguably the most important in our lifetime. Indeed, it’s so similar to the Roosevelt vs (Alf) Landon in 1936, that it forces the American people to make a fundamental philosophical choice. As a nation, we will either move forward as "We, the people," or adopt a small-minded, visceral rat-like philosophy of "As long as I got mine, screw YOU!”
Ask those people in New York or New Jersey which paradigm they prefer. In the meantime, let's hope that given the black Swan favorable indicators for Obama, the American people will show up and prove they're as smart as the voters in 1936.