Den Beste and Williams vs. Marshall on the Coming Bush Landslide (Or Not)

Here’s another one of those fun cases where different webloggers look at the same evidence and extrapolate to radically different outcomes.

First up, a couple of Bush supporters look at the current political landscape and predict that their guy is not only going to win, but win big. Michael Williams talks about the coming Bush landslide, and links to Steven Den Beste’s A masterstroke? for the explanation of how it will happen. Both of them seem pretty well convinced that Bush is just biding his time, setting Kerry up for a brutal bloodletting sometime around September.

Meanwhile, Joshua Micah Marshall sees evidence that the Bush camp, looking at their guy’s perpetually falling poll numbers, and facing the cruel reality that late undecideds almost never break for the incumbent, are in fact reaching the desperation stage: Apropos of my earlier post about Republican desperation…

Both assertions can’t be true. If the evidence truly supports the assertion that Bush is sitting pretty and will crush Kerry in November, then Marshall is letting his wishes thoroughly cloud his perceptions. If the evidence actually points the other way, then it’s Williams and Den Beste who are lying to themselves.

And I suppose there’s that third option, that a truly objective analysis would predict a close contest, with both sides being guilty of shading reality in keeping with their wishes.

9 Responses to “Den Beste and Williams vs. Marshall on the Coming Bush Landslide (Or Not)”

  1. ableiter Says:

    It will be the bi-coastals vs the fly-overs again. Only this time the fly-overs have two major weapons. The First in Hillery Clinton. If Kerry wins, there goes her ’08 presidential bid. Soccer moms are the second factor. Once it is explained to them that Kerry as President means having to stay home and wear a blck burlap sack and a veil, they will get antsy about voting for him. When they find out that they get to share hubby with a few more wives, that will be all she wrote for Kerry. The Loony Left still hasn’t figured out that the Islamofascists are real serious about turning the USA into a larger version of Taliban Afghanistan.
    “the general aim of the jihad and the mujahadeen is to strike at the foundations and infrastructure of the Western colonialist program or at the so-called world order…. Their defeat means, simply, the elimination of all forms of nation-states, such that all that remains is the natural existence familiar to Islam, the regional entity under the great Islamic state.”
    -Osama bin Laden
    They can do this. Turn off the OIL and western civilization won’t last 90 days. Osama is a multi millionaire that lives in a fooking cave! Do you think he gives a sh*t about cash flow in KSA?
    “We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.”
    -Hussein Massawi, former leader of Hezbollah
    No, this is a fight to the finish. One side will be destroyed. The only question is will it be us or the Islamofascists? While Bush’s grade on fighting back is only a B-, that is better then not fighting back at all, which is the democratic position. The problem with not fighting back (surrender) is that the guys we are fighting execute prisoners. Just ask Pearl, Berg, and Johnson. I’ll bet they all tried to negoiate with their captors.

  2. Scott Forbes Says:

    Now who can argue with that?

    I think we’re all indebted to ableiter here for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m especially glad these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic wingnut gibberish, but it expressed a genocidal mania seldom heard in this day and age.

    Our fathers came across the prairie, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Clinton — you remember when Bill Clinton tried to come in here and take over this town? — We didn’t give up then, and by gum, we’re not going to give up now.

  3. Michael Duff Says:

    Both sides are delusional and the outcome of this election will be determined by events that have not yet happened.

    The scandals of July won’t mean Jack come November, and we can’t predict what will be important by the time voting actually comes around.

    The huge wildcard is whether or not we’ll be attacked on or before the election. That possibility makes these predictions even harder than usual.

    Generally, elections are determined by which side is the most pissed off, and this time, that’s probably the Democrats. I think the Democrats hate Bush more than the Republicans love him, and Michael Moore’s propaganda film could move that crucial 2%.

    If everything stays static, I’d predict a squeaker for Kerry. But nothing is static, and the heavy advertising in two months away.

  4. Michael Williams Says:

    Thanks for the link.

    Everyone’s certainty is what makes this election so exciting, no? If I’m wrong, make sure to remind me of this post and I’ll eat all the crow you can dish up.

  5. Dave Says:

    To Michael Duff:

    Re: “The scandals of July wonít mean Jack come November, and we canít predict what will be important by the time voting actually comes around.”

    I think that’s Den Beste’s point, actually, that the Democrats are burning most of their hole cards right now to pull even neck-and-neck with President Bush. Then, post-convention, unless the Democrats pull an ace from out of their sleeve, Bush can go on the offensive, and who knows how that’ll go.


  6. Tadeusz Says:


    I’m sorry the adults offended you by mentioning that certain people would like to kill you, your friends, and well most everyone you’ve ever met. Its a sad truth, but certain people, i.e. adults and not smart aleck teenager wannabes are willing to work to avoid that desired massacre.

    If someone says “I want to kill x”, is it mania for x to take them seriously? Or is it a sign of respect and sound judgement, generally speaking?

    It is objectively true that certain elements want to put the burka on American women. Its also true that most American women don’t want that. So suggesting that Kerry is more likely to result in that end is one way to lower Kerry’s support.

    If you think that law enforcement and getting the French on board any foreign policy move, which is Kerry’s goal (we assume since no one really knows what his goal is, even Kerry himself) are sufficient to the task, then vote for Kerry. But if you think that pre 9/11 tactics are not suited to a post 9/11 world then you are likely to think that a vote for Kerry is a vote to weaken our defenses and hasten the day when JCPenney offers a nice spring line of burkas.

    Essentially your attack is the same one mounted against the anti-communists. The idea that it was worse to be an anti-communist than it was to be a communist. Its a strange notion as I don’t recall a hundred million dead bodies being laid at the feet of anti-communists.


  7. doyne dawson Says:

    Why does he describe Bush’s poll numbers as ‘perpetually falling’? Look at the graph he links to. Bush’s job approval ratings started out in the 50s (a normal and healthy rating), zoomed after 9/11, dropped back into the 50s by the end of 2002, soared up again after the invasion of Iraq, and then dropped back into the 50s. Ratings cannot stay nearly 90 forever, so they had to decline sooner or later. The decline looks precipitous on a graph only because the earlier ratings were so high. Previous incumbents who had ratings in the 50s in their reelection years were Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon, all of whom were reelected by landslides. Only in April did Bush’s numbers slip into the high 40s, which is not too good but not too bad either — probably not a landslide, but probably a victory. There is no reason to think the decline will continue. It was caused by a lot of bad news from Iraq (duly exaggerated by the media), and now that the situation in Iraq is improving the numbers will probably rise again – indeed this is alreadly happening according to some polls, though I would not expect drastic changes until the Republican campaign goes on the offensive around Labor Day. The most significant item is that when Bush’s numbers are low, it does not help Kerry, who remained stuck in a draw with Bush even during Bush’s low point in April. All news from Iraq, good or bad, is bad for Kerry. This election is primarily about foreign policy and the Democrats don’t have one, unless wishing foreign policy would go away counts as a foreign policy.

  8. furious_a Says:

    Michael Duff:

    Your “the-side-who’s-most-pissed” theory has already been tested…and thoroughly debunked.

    Remember the ’02 Gubernatorial race in Florida? Jeb Bush was the POSTER BOY for Democrat Sore-Loserman rage, and DNC Chair and Clinton Agent Terry McAuliffe invested his credibility, not to mention millions of dollars in DNC funds that could have been better spent in close House and Senate races, in a vengeance campaign to undo the Horrible Wrong of Florida’00.

    National Democrats including Bubba hisself campaigned for the Democratic nominee, Bill McBride. The US Civil Rights Commission condemned Florida’s Republicans for disenfranchising black voters (while somehow not being able to present a single testifying witness who’d been turned away from a polling place). Democrat poll watchers mobilized to ensure that there would be no repeat of Election Day ’00 polling place chicanery.

    Florida ’02 was the Ground Zero, the Ursprung, the fount of all Democrat rage, frustration, and grievance, and there, square in Terry McAuliffe’s gunsight, was Jeb Bush, the malign architect of it all.

    And yet…and yet…

    …Jeb Bush swept back into office in a 15-point landslide.

    I could also mention the Wellstone Funeral and Kegger — plenty of p*ssed-off and immature people there — but I think the poor guy was shamed enough by his own family and friends, and ought to be left to rest in peace, don’t you?


  9. Richard Says:

    Interesting exchange. Remember what J.M.Marshall said about Reagan when he died. According to Josh, Reagan was never that popular. And a couple landslides aside, that is probably true.

    Best wishes to all.

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