In the end, the voters still decide

The voters of New Hampshire reminded all of us Tuesday that elections are decided in the election booth and not on political talk shows, newspaper columns or web sites.

Polls predicted an easy win for Barack Obama. For most of Tuesday, the pundits talked about the demise of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the anointment of Obama as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party.

Even Clinton campaign insiders talked doom and gloom and dropped hints about staff shakeups and changes in message after an expected loss in the New Hampshire primary.

Then they counted the votes. Hillary took an early lead and never relinquished it. She won going away, taking nearly 40 percent of the vote and leaving Obama three points behind and the soon-to-be-history John Edwards all along in third place with 17 percent.

Obama tried to put the best face on it but the win in Iowa did not translate into “Big Mo” in New Hampshire. The voters of New Hampshire, many of whom are polled three and four times in a primary season, went into the booth and voted the way they wanted, not necessarily the way the told pollsters they might vote. Many made up their mind on election day.

Women voted for Clinton, men for Obama. Independents voted mostly for Obama but most independents decided not to vote in the Democratic primary but went over to the Republican side and gave John McCain a decisive victory over Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Tuesday night, the pundits watched the returns and wondered if anyone got the number of that truck that ran down their bold predictions.

Exit polls suggest women voters felt the men ganged up on Hillary at last weekend’s debate and many said Clinton’s teary-eyed performance on Monday also swayed their votes.

It wasn’t the first time New Hampshire confounded the polls and the predictions. It won’t be the last.

Just about everyone expected Hillary to go down — us included. We thought she was toast after the Iowa loss and after reading the polls.

The pollsters got it wrong, the pundits blew the call and we forgot a basic rule of politics.

In the end, the voters still decide: And that is the way it should be.

49 Responses to "In the end, the voters still decide"

  1. Sandra Price  January 9, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Chris Matthews spent an hour discussing why the NH voters voted as they did. He came with the answer. They lied to the pollsters just to keep them off guard.

    Many of us are seriously interested in politics and for some reason the voters don’t want us to know how they will vote. Many of us financialy support our candidates and when are supported by the polls and lose on voting day, what have the voters gained?

    I had many inputs within my emails that New Hampshire was very much in line with Libertarian ideals. We had an entire family from Phoenix head to that state to get an impression whether Paul would win or lose. They arrived in early December and sent glorious reports on the Ron Paul campaign. They lied! Why?

    Republicans have no more than 30% of the total votes so far. I wonder if they even realize what they are voting for or against. More of the same crap? More threats to women, gays and terminally ill people? I’m no democrat as I despise socialism but in November I will not vote for anyone in any party if they threaten anyone in America.

    I’m seeing Americans who demand to be told what they cannot do. How America fell this far in freedoms has eluded me. I see no reason to vote again. When the voters lie as fiercly as the candidates, I will step out of the system.

  2. LurkingFromTheLeft  January 9, 2008 at 11:20 am

    It is only correct

    …for them to do that – lie to the pollsters –

    …after all, politicians lie to us –

    LFTL

  3. Pinky and the Brain  January 9, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Lies and more lies? I don’t know who I will support yet but for now I am favoring the black man and the long shot. Black man is no Skull and Boner nor one of the Washington Inbreed who, Clintons and Bushes alike, sit on the same boards behind the scenes.

    Long shot is laughed at by fellow candidates and ignored by the Media. Whenever I vote for an issue I don’t fully understand (and I am your average American Entrepeneur and not a scholar) I look carefully at who supports the issue in question and who is against. This tells me where the special interests lie and who stands to benefit. I find it very curious and telling that the Status Quo is determined to pretend that Ron Paul doesn’t exist or is too looney to be taken seriously.

    I have been to Dr. Paul’s website and I support around 80 percent of his position. Moreover, his record clearly shows someone who takes the Constitution of the United States very seriously and that his honesty and unwillingness to go along with the status quo makes him a very desirable tool for much-needed change in the broken and corrupt government system. I would support him for his honesty and integrity and be willing to negotiate the rest.

    I would be very interested in hearing EVERY candidate’s position on the proposed North American Union, but so far only Dr. Paul has been honest and open enough to talk about it. Everyone else is pretending this proposal doesn’t exist. This is very concerning to me.

    I will be keeping my eye on Dr. Paul’s progress through the primaries and if the United States is not quite ready for true change and he doesn’t climb, then I (unless some new information comes up that causes me to change my mind, of course) believe I will throw my support behind Obama. Now THERE is a speaker! Not only does he come across as sincere but there is a ringing quality to his voice that bodes well for a world leader. Obama is truly the New Face of America and I am not finding it displeasing.

    Peace, Pinky

  4. Sandra Price  January 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Nice post Pinky. I am a Ron Paul supporter and have been for many years. I’ve seen him stand up to some bad legislation and pork spending plans. He is as close to Thomas Jefferson as we have seen for many years.

    I also love to hear and see Obama speak. His agenda of hope is beautiful. Americans seem to be so depressed with our government that Obama really wants to do something about it. Whether he can is another thing.

  5. Wayne K Dolik  January 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    80% of the N.H. vote was counted by Diebold machines. I smell a rat. We need a good dose of reality. The pollsters are better than that. They rarely get it wrong.

    Just look what the crooks at Fox Noise did to Ron Paul in the Sunday Republic Party Debate. Something is really wrong here and has been wrong in the last two presidential elections as well. Wake up people.

  6. bryan mcclellan  January 9, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I’m hearing that vote miscount/misstatement of totals has been revealed in NH.Check out,infowars.com…8o% are Diebold machines in NH.Whodathunkit?

  7. Cobaltkid  January 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Vote Miscounts ? ? ? ? ?

    You asked “Whodathinkit? and the answer is very simple – you and your conspiracy theorists are full of shit. By now you should have a better understanding and respect of how we NH voters treat the primaries. Name another state that has over an 80% turnout.

    What is the basis for your blatant assumption that “80% are Diebold machines”? Can you correctly say how many towns still use paper ballots which are hand counted and recounted by different people.

    Your “facts” should be checked out before making such dumb statements.

  8. bryan mcclellan  January 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Whodathunkit was a query?Is NH strictly paper ballot, NO,and yes,I’m often full of shit,I think I’ll go drop a smirk off in the pool.Try blackboxvoting.org, They say 81% of all votes in NH are counted on Diebold machines.

  9. Cobaltkid  January 9, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Sandra ……………..

    Some of your comments are confusing and I have trouble understanding what your points are. For example, in a previous post you stated, re Ron Paul, that …”his supporters did not vote in New Hampshire…” In fact, at my polling place there were five campaigners for him, one for Hillary, and one each for McCain and Romney.

    Actually, Paul’s organizers did not do a very good job, in my opinion. His taped phone calls began by someone saying “Wait for a message from Ron Paul”. This condescending attitude turned many of us off and I even took the time to contact his headquarters regarding my thoughts. When you receive over 10 calls a day, many of them at dinner time, you get tired of this garbage. What did he do with the millions he raised? He sure didn’t put it into well thought out campaign messages. Im sorry that your friends visiting NH gave you such a misleading report. They must have stayed with a Ron Paul supporter and never ventured outside – this is not a libertarian commune but a state where his ideas are well received.

    Your comments re Chris Matthews are a riot. Chris is basically annoyed that all the so-called experts and inside the beltway pundits were so wrong. If you heard some of the truly idiotic polling that was done you would be amazed. The pollimg was done by some not very bright people who didn’t even understand that undeclared voters could vote in either primary. It really makes me wonder how they were as close as they were on McCain beating Romney. Chris would be a lot better off if he stopped interrupting and learned that there is life outside the beltway.

    As one who dislikes the Patriot Act and cherishes personal liberty, why do you feel it is your right to know how people “plan to vote”. Think about it – is it any of your business?

  10. Sandra Price  January 9, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    My comments about polls not matching the votes has been around for years. Trying to forecast how the votes are being counted is essential for those of us who have run campaigns in the past. We need to know how certain districts are voting to determine if anyone wants to redistrict any area to hold on to those votes. Remember I come from a couple a large states where a distict line can mean that many Democratic or Republicans will not be counted in the final electoral votes.

    Many people dislike Chris Matthews and I suggest they don’t watch him. I know his slant and can compensate for it. I am constantly being polled for my opinions on who is the strongest in all parties. I will fill out the Zogby questions and the Harris poll and many others who are concerned about the results. I personally want to know who people favor and why. I have disgusted with the number of people who want their social sins legislated against. This is not a federal authority.

    I have been a political writer and when I see a trend in the polls that is damaging to our election laws I want to know. I’ve been doing this since the early 50s.

    If the voters want hand marked ballots then do it. Quit all this whining and moaning about Diebold. Call your Congressman and demand the system be changed. However there is one organization wanting honest voting and be very careful that this group is not associated with “We the People” as many of their head honchos are in prison for fraud.

  11. ekaton  January 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    “We need to know how certain districts are voting to determine if anyone wants to redistrict any area to hold on to those votes.”

    The actual redistricting in order to hold onto those votes is called gerrymandering. If not illegal it should be.

    — Kent Shaw

  12. keith  January 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Hey folks…while you are all mulling the voter fraud conspiracy possibilities, here’s another demographic from the NH Primary that hasn’t (yet) been widely reported and is cause for hope (or concern…if you are an incumbent).

    With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the final vote tally for all candidates in the just completed New Hampshire primary was a whopping 517,226.

    If that is a credible number, then this surely sets a record…and in a PRIMARY no less. In 2004, that same total was some 287,620, which equates to a 55 percent increase in turnout this time over last.

    Going into this latest primary, NH had 850,836 registered voters on the rolls. And while people could register for the first time and vote on the same day, those numbers may (or may not) have been all that significant yesterday.

    But, even so, and as I said, IF the polling numbers are correct, this still equates to a near 60 PERCENT voter turnout in the State of New Hampshire for our primary yesterday. Those kinds of numbers have been, up to now, unheard of..even for a general election.

    This same kind of whopping turnout also happened last week in Iowa. Clearly, something really big is now happening in American politics.

    Could it be that we “slow to anger” Americans are now FINALLY waking up to what Mr. Bush and his Cabal have been doing to our great nation and are now so royally pissed that we are starting to turn out in unprecedented numbers at the polls?

    To me, such large voter turnouts are a HUGE repudiation of Mr. Bush and his “asses of evil” approach to the world.

  13. griff  January 9, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I think you should check your facts, Coldball Kid. Sutton already admitted “losing” 31 votes for Paul. It looks like at least one more “lost” 25 votes for Paul. In a small election, 25 – 30 votes is the difference between 5th and 3rd.

    If New Hampshire is so “proud” of proving the pundits wrong, then why’dya vote for McCain? The “Live Free Or Die” state wants 100 more years of war and less liberty at home. Yeah, I’d be proud of that selection. I won’t even discuss HRC for want of a barf bag.

    Well, I guess in the future we can just hype the person we want to lose NH, and you guys’ll take care of the rest. Where I come from, we don’t take our responsibility to vote so lightly.

    The parties own the system, their friends own the software, and the sheeple still believe they have a say in this government.

    You, as well as everyone else that believes that this government is anything but completely and unequivocally corrupt to its very stinking core, are the ones that are full of shit. You gobble up every stinking morsel they spew and beg for more like the adoring and awestruck marionettes you are.

  14. griff  January 10, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Vote Paul, Pinky. Nice post. I have seen Obama speak, and he is very moving, indeed. Unforyunately, he is all emotion and absolutely no substance. His “victory” speech after Iowa made me laugh. He constantly talks of change, and talks of the problems we face, but has no answers.

    He has no plan. Actually, none of them do, aside from Paul. And those that mock the good doctor don’t know of what he speaks. Freedom and personal responsibility, these things that NH voters supposedly cherish. The end of oppressive taxation and government intrusion.

    For those that dismiss his policies out-of-hand don’t realize the opportunity we have right now in this country. Even Paul knows and admits that most of the things he would like to do will take years to achieve, if at all. But the idea is to get moving in the right direction. We got here by way of incrementalism, and that’s the route back. When we, the people, see the kind of government, the kind of country that we believed we had growing up re-emerge, then it will be very easy indeed. We will stand for nothing less.

    The other candidates are pathological liars…every last one of them. They will say or do anything to get power. Ron Paul is the only candidate worthy of my vote. As a matter of fact, I just registered to vote for the first time in 21 years of eligibility because of Ron Paul.

  15. acf  January 10, 2008 at 1:23 am

    The pundit class and the media, of all stripes, did what they do time and again, follow like lemmings over a cliff when they see an interesting hook to a story, and beat it to death without thinking in depth about what they’re saying. They all jumped on the Hillary is toast, Obama is a star, bandwagon, and their stories, along with the over the number and frequency of polls, had the effect of moving those polls, but apparently not the voters. Does this mean that Hillary is back, and Obama is out? No, but now we have to think, and go beyond the rhetoric of coronation and change, to see what these candidates are about, and what the choice of one or another might mean to this country.

    From Obama, I want to hear more than ‘I am change’. I want to know what will he do about health care costs, as well as insurance. I want to know what he’ll do about energy costs which are killing us, and don’t tell me make gas more expensive so expensive alternatives look reasonable by comparison. Tell me what he plans to do about jobs, and all the ones we are shipping offshore. What about our standing in the world? What about terrorism? Yadda, yadda, yadda. Simply saying change, isn’t going to cut it. I want details.

    From Clinton, I want explanations for votes made in Congress that may not agree with your current campaign positions. I want to know her answers to the questions posed above for Obama

    As far as change in general is concerned, they are both major changes, possibly the first female president or possibly the first African American president. As for Obama, he could be a change from the past 20 years of tooth and nail partisan warfare. Likely not. For both of them, or any of the other Democrats, it would be welcome relief from the past 7+ years of the most divisive, disastrous presidency in generations, that of Bush and Cheney, but they’d need a committed Congress to engage and support an agenda to move our country out of the dark ages imposed upon them by this most criminal and corrupt of administrations.

  16. Warren  January 10, 2008 at 2:05 am

    There’s a more insidious side of this. That is, media influence. Not that I’m faulting the media for reporting. That’s there job. But when we start second guessing results based on media polls and projections, we get a different result.

    Case in point. Lots of independents who thought that Obama was guaranteed a victory based on poll results decided to vote in the Republican primary instead of the Democrat primary. They voted for McCain, thus insuring his victory and Obama’s loss.

    Never, EVER, vote based on second-guessing based of poll results.

  17. Flapsaddle  January 10, 2008 at 3:59 am

    The voters are in charge! Always!

    As Doug has said, they tend to put the pundits and the straphangers in their place…in both the primaries and in the general election.

    IIRC, are not some of these same people who were predicting the sinking of the SS Clinton on the New Hampshire iceberg some of the ones who had also anointed – before the Iowa caucuses – Clinton as a shoo-in?

    Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire a nomination makes. There is a lot of other procedural clusterphuqing to be done over the next few months…and there are nominating conventions that will really decide the matter.

    As I always end up reminding people, the only poll, caucus or primary that has any real significance is the one that happens on 4 November 2008.

    Respectfully,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  18. Flapsaddle  January 10, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Poor Chris’s “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” defense may actually have some historical basis. Granting his pique at the error of the Beltway BS crowd, and also allowing for the very poor structuring of the “poll”, it is nonetheless possible that some voters did fib about their votes.

    This relates to the 1989 and 1993 New York City mayoral elections and involves the voting for David Dinkins. I no longer have the specific citation for the following – though I believe it was in National Review some years ago – so I present it as being strictly anecdotal.

    According to my recollection of the article, in both elections there was a considerable discrepancy between the pre-vote and exit polling results. In the 1989 election, exit polling predicted that Dinkins shold have won by significantly more than the tallies showed – suggesting that many voters lied to the exit pollster. In the 1993 election, where President Clinton even campaigned for Dinkins, exit polling predicted that he should have lost by much less than the tallies showed – again suggesting thata number of voters fibbed about what happened in the voting booth.

    Please understand that I am not in any way agreeing with poor Chris’s claim; I am only pointing out that it was possible.

    Respectfully,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  19. Upon Further Review  January 10, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Sandra Price wrote:
    Republicans have no more than 30% of the total votes so far. I wonder if they even realize what they are voting for or against. More of the same crap? More threats to women, gays and terminally ill people? I’m no democrat as I despise socialism but in November I will not vote for anyone in any party if they threaten anyone in America.
    _________________________________

    Well, I consider myself a political independent, but I can tell you what might prompt me to vote Republican — the Democrat Congress’ incessant attempts to grant blanket amnesty to tens of millions of illegal immigrants … and its reluctance to address border security in any meaningful way.

    Don’t get me wrong: I get the fact that the White House, John McCain, Lindsay Graham(nesty) and other Republicans are in the same boat, as are a great many Chamber of Commerce types.

    But the notion of granting citizenship to as many as 100 million foreign nationals — merely in the name of cheap labor and/or increased political power — is the ultimate sellout.

    Social Security and other social services would be bankrupted by the influx of poor, low-skilled immigrants, and any “solution” would be balanced on the backs of average hard-working Americans. Meanwhile, the political effects could be irreversible.

    My point is, the only thing that prevented this nation from having such an eventuality rammed down our collective throat was the opposition of Republican Congressmen.

    So that’s what could motivate me to vote GOP in November. Any candidate who won’t take a firm stand against illegal immigration has lost my vote.

    And here’s a dirty little secret: Next time you hear some politician lament that 47 million people in America lack health insurance, ask how many of them are illegal immigrants. The Census Bureau puts the estimate at 10 million — which is why you never hear anyone say “47 million AMERICAN CITIZENS lack health insurance.”

  20. Upon Further Review  January 10, 2008 at 3:14 am

    I agree with you, Warren, when you say: “But when we start second guessing results based on media polls and projections, we get a different result.”

    And you’re right — it IS the media’s job to report news. The problem is, the media do too little of it, spending too much of their time posing as experts who think it’s their business to tell us what to think and what’s going to happen.

    We’d all be better off if the media stopped trying to play Kreskin and simply went back to reporting what ALREADY happened instead of what they imagine is GOING to happen. This isn’t the first time they’ve gotten egg on their face over a national election.

  21. Sandra Price  January 10, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Upon Further. Last night I went from network news through Fox, CNN and back to MSNBC. They all realize they are at fault for promoting the false numbers given prior to the actual elections.

    This happened in 1964 when even Las Vegas was giving odds on Goldwater’s win. It took years of research to figure out why he lost. There were a lot of Republicans who would not vote for a Jew. Men like the neocons Rockefeller and Romney (senior) worked inside the GOP to have Goldwater destroyed by rumors. The GOP came after McCain in 2000 with terrible lies and rumors about his having a black baby. In 1992 the GOP went after Ross Perot and even his manager started lies and manipulations to have him defeated. This manager now works for Huckabee.

    I’m a different kind of voter. I have very strict standards before I choose anyone in a primary. Goldwater, Perot and Ron Paul fit my agenda and again it is the Republicans who will destroy.

    I have not voted for a Republican since 1988 and only a Republican with Ron Paul’s agenda will get my vote. His chances are remote but he is the only one. There is a cancer in the GOP and it is eating away at our American values.

  22. keith  January 10, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Actually, besides our “blood sport” here in New Hampshire of deliberately lying to pollsters, the other reason the pollsters and pundits may have been off-base with their projections for Mrs. Clinton is that we were growing ever more weary of all their phone calls and intrusions.

    In the days leading up to the primary, my telephone was ringing off the hook from morning to night from every Tom, Dick and Harry representing every candidate and media-based pollster, not to mention every candidate’s “get out the vote” harassment. Near the end, I’d say anything just to get them to stop calling me.

    Such “sampling fatigue” along with the timing of the final polls may also have been a factor in why those final polls (particularly on the Democratic side) didn’t exactly predict the actual outcome. It is important to also note that the pollsters pretty well got it right on the Republican side of the race.

    For example, the Rassmussen group’s public ruminations as to “what went wrong” with their polling indicate that from Sunday to Tuesday (and after peaking for Mr. Obama over the weekend) they were starting to pick up a definite swing of favorable opinion back towards Mrs. Clinton. They also freely admitted they were having a hard time nailing down just who would be a “likely voter”. That inability was probably further complicated by the fact that over 40 percent of all voters in New Hampshire are registered as independents.

    In political polling, as with any statistical sample,the timing of the survey and the veracity (or fatigue) of those being sampled are definite (and often unknown) factors.

    It is also still a very inexact science, largely because we humans remain unpredictable cusses.

  23. Upon Further Review  January 10, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Well, Sandra, I’ve never heard any of those wild rumors about the candidates you mentioned, so whoever started them didn’t do such a great job of spreading them in my neck of the woods.

    Moreover, even if those accusations are true, I’m not sure why your wrath is focused solely on Republicans. Look at the slime job the Clinton White House perpetrated on any woman who dared to publicly accuse William Jefferson of sexual misconduct — before it was over with, they were considered “trailer park trash” and served as the butt of comedians’ jokes.

    Look, I’d be ecstatic to see a strong independent candidate emerge — I think both parties need a cold slap in the face. I just don’t see the Democrat Party as representing the interests of the average American … that is, unless you’re talking about Americans listed on the ballot with the letter “D” next to their names.

    The Democrats’ usual strategy is to try to raise taxes under the guise of soaking “the rich,” or to halt Social Security reform under the guise of standing up for senior citizens, and it’s all so much hogwash. Their easy-to-recognize motive is to make everybody dependent on government in some way; therefore we’ll all have to keep electing Democrats or risk losing our freebies.

    But somebody has to pay for it all, and the fact is, there’s no way Social Security can sustain itself under the current set-up. It has the basic characteristics of a Ponzi scheme, which means that before long, younger workers will likely have to forfeit increasing portions of their paychecks to fund this broken system. And baby boomers will be lucky to get half of what they paid into it.

    So I hardly see the Donkey Party as America’s salvation, and I grew up in a staunchly Democrat family. Nowadays I’m looking for candidates who promise less government, not more of it, because I’m tired of Big Brother’s hand in my wallet.

  24. ekaton  January 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    In the press, for the last three years at least, we’ve heard and read “12 million” illegal immigrants from Mexico. Well, el Presidente himself, Vincente Fox while still in office estimated 18 million and I’d bet that was a conservative estimate. There must be 25 million by now. It has to stop. 10 million accordig to the census would have been 8 years ago in 2000.

    — Kent Shaw

  25. calico_jack  January 10, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I would like to point out for the record that Obama comes away from New Hampshire as the winner. He has 12 NH delegates to Hillary’s 11 (when you factor in the superdelegates). Even if you don’t include the superdelegates they came out as a tie. HRC won in the same way Gore won, the popular vote but not the delegates. The fact that MSM calls HRC the frontrunner again is disturbing as she is mathematically NOT. Also I think this also demonstrates that the voters did not decide anything as the delegates are going in a way that is not the way the populace went.

  26. Sandra Price  January 10, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Upon. I have followed partisan politics since the 50s and have seen terrible actions from both parties. My correspondence, phone calls and emails are filled with stories that I tend to overlook because I did not personally witness them.

    America is in an economic disaster and one friend told me this morning that unless we elect Ron Paul in 2008, we will regret it by 2012.

    All the candidates are running on bigger government programs that will increase our debts and trade deficits that will destroy our economy. We will be out of the foreign trade business because we lose money on them at this time.

    Paul will not remove Social Security but will allow the younger workers to opt out. We all agree that S.S. is a money loser for the government and had it been as planned, would have worked. Putting our retirement into the general budget destroyed it.

    Had we been allowed to take those federal costs out of our pay checks and put them in an account to buy a home, our homes would double in value every two years. I did this anyway and for years we lived in poverty starting in the 60s so I could buy and pay off a home. I’m living on the profits of those real estate investments and it took 20 years of having no extras. No television, no vacations, $50 cars and growing our own food. The money I paid into federal deductions from my checks would have eased up our expenses. I’ve been a fiscal conservative my whole life and wanted to opt out of any federal programs.

    It should be a choice where you can live off the money from the government if you wish. I worked 2 to 3 jobs to support my family without any help from the government. Back in 1968 I learned that I could send my kids to private school for less than what the Californis state charged me for property taxes for our failing public schools. We had no health insurance but I could borrow on my home to pay the bills as it was against my nature to have anyone do it for me.

    We can live independently if we want to! I’m one or two generations away from most of you and somehow you morphed into a generation who looks to Big Daddy to lead you. All I can say is you are breaking the spine of our economics. Simple math should show you that you cannot take from a system more than you put in.

    Every other candidate running for POTUS will destroy our money system, take us into more debt and more wars and you can kiss your American liberty goodbye.

    At 75 I have little to lose but were I in my 40s I would fight like a tiger to keep America solvent.

  27. ekaton  January 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    “Paul will not remove Social Security but will allow the younger workers to opt out.”

    I went to work part-time for a grocery store at age 16, in 1966. My father told me that if I put 10% of my net earnings into a savings account (about 4% interest at the time) that I would retire very comfortably at age 65. I couldn’t see how $3.36 a week would make me a wealthy man, so, unfortunately, I never got into the habit of “tithing” in effect to myself. I’m retired now, not wealthy, but comfortable in a modest sense. I have no complaint in that regard. Had I taken Dad’s advice however, having run the figures, I would be VERY well off today and I’m only 58. He was a wise man. I was and am often a dumb shit. Anyway, my point is that every young person has that same opportunity today. Its unfair to them, yes, that they have to pay some of my retirement. Well. Life ain’t fair. I’m not returning my checks to the government.

    Anyway, good post, Sandra.

    No, most eloquent post. I lived with parents that did as you did and in the same time frame. They worked incredibly hard. They made my life easier, and instilled most of their values. Sadly, some didn’t sink in.

    Indeed, you cannot take more from a system than you put into it.

    — Kent Shaw

    PS — Obviously at age 58, SS hasn’t kicked in yet. Even at my age I fear I may not see much of it. And, I’m casting about for a new “fun” career. There is an iron in the fire. I plan to make work fun.

  28. Sandra Price  January 10, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I have paid into Social security since I went to work in 1950. I have no idea what I paid into the account when I stopped working, married and had kids. In 1968 I went back to work and earned pretty good money and even when I owned and operated my own bookstore I paid S.S. in my Federal taxes. When I reached 65 I registered for S.S. and stopped working. I did not claim the S.S. that my husband made during those years as it was not my earnings but his. I saw no reason to take from his numbers. He did not support the kids. I never took a welfare check from the federal or state government but paid my property taxes for the schools that I did not use. i.e., I’ve paid my way.

    Medicare costs me $100 a month on top of my supplemental insurance costs. I’m taking nothing from anyone else.

    I’m volunteering more than 10% of my time on several charitable organizations and did several years of Hospice work. I am on the Board of Directors of Compassion and Choices in N.W.Phoenix and have been for 4 years. I volunteer at the Rec. Center to help Arthritic people in and out of the pool and do their exercises.

    I have always carried my own weight which is why I am supporting the one man who understands this concept.

  29. Flapsaddle  January 10, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I concur. Sampling fatigue is probably a factor, given the ratio of pollers to pollees you mentioned…coupled with the incessant nagging.

    One of the first things that you learn about conducting a good scientific experiment is that the methodology should be appropriate to the data sought, and that the type of experiment itself should not affect the result.

    Humans behave differently, even if only unconsciously, when they know they are subject to scrutiny. A poll has to be carefully constructed so as to have as little perturbation as possible on the sample. Repeatedly being polled and pestered under these circumstances undoubtedly leads people to say what ever they think the pollster wants to hear that will get him/her off of their backs.

    Respectfully,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  30. theobserver  January 9, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Sadly I have to disagree, the voters no long decide anything. The evidence for vote fraud in our national elections is overwhelming so much so that numerous books and videos have been produced about it. Just go to youtube or google video and search for vote fraud 2000 or 2004. You’ll find plenty of info on the subject from many credible sources. Check Amazon or other book sellers for the numerous books on the subject. Therefore it is now impossible to trust the outcome of any election.

    As long as easily hacked and manipulated electronic voting machines of any kind are used this will always be the case. So who really won in NH, we’ll probably never know. We now have a country with the appearance of free elections but lacking the reality of them.

  31. darknyt4  January 9, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I love it. The pundit class got it wrong. Most times I agree with you, but your contempt for the voters in this country screams out in this Rant. Granted, in most elections recently, the voters have done little to warrant anything but contempt. But the talking head class has seemed more impressed with their own handicapping of elections, than actually reporting what goes on.

    As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you
    can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ‘em anyway, you don’t belong in office.-Molly Ivins

  32. Doug Thompson  January 9, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Contempt for voters? Where on earth did you get that idea? I applaud the voters for putting the pundits, pollsters and pontificators (myself included) in their place.

  33. Sandra Price  January 9, 2008 at 6:14 am

    I’m more shocked at McCain’s win than Clinton’s. Neither candidate has touched on the economics of printing money that is borrowed. Bush has been behind the Romney campaign and I am delighted it did not get Mitt in the final count. Over at another forum, they are taking Paul apart which is expected as they are Conservatives and it is a repeat of 1964 when the GOP including the senior Romney tore into Goldwater. I had hoped the people would speak up but they don’t know how.

    We Americans are too filled with hatred and it has eaten into the minds of both parties. Without a doubt the Democrats will win the 2008 Presidential election. Corruption has taken a terrible toll on the GOP. They think voting for an evangelical will clean them up and they are wrong! Evangelicals will lie, cheat and steal votes and never look back as they are doing it for Jesus Christ. It is the history of this movement!!!

  34. keith  January 9, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Once again, and based on the results of the Democratic primary here, the voters of New Hampshire have stuck our fingers in the eyes of all the pundits, pollsters and other assorted political hod carriers.

    As I’ve said on other occasions, we New Hampshire “hicks” tend to be a cussed lot, and we pride ourselves on our Yankee independence. What’s more, for as long as I can remember, we’ve maintained a “Libertarian” (spelled: “keep them guessing”) streak in our politics.

    One favorite tactic is to tell all those God-awful and horrifically incessant pollsters (telephonic and otherwise) that we are going to vote a certain way, and then do just the opposite in the polling booth. And we carefully pass down the rules to THAT little game by word of mouth from generation to generation. The ultimate goal is to keep all them “city folk” guessing until the only poll that REALLY matters (our vote) is finally counted.

    As a direct result, we’ve served up some very interesting surprises in the winners of our Primaries over the years…in candidates like Henry Cabot Lodge and Pat Buchanan to name just a few.

    What’s more, if you will recall, New Hampshire voted for John McCain over George W. Bush in 2000. Hindsight now being 20-20, it would seem that, even then, we New Hampshire “hicks” saw right through all the Texas-style “good ol’ boy” BS…and smelled a rat.

    Another favorite story is that, when asked if we are going to vote for so and so in the Primary, one common response is that we aren’t yet sure because “we’ve only met them twice”…and were absolutely dead serious about that remark!

    Many politicians, pundits, talking heads and others regularly decry the New Hampshire Primary as small, outdated and meaningless. I firmly believe it’s just the opposite.

    In campaigns that rely increasingly on carefully scripted, 30 second TV sound bites, New Hampshire is one of the very few places left in the country where EVERYONE in the state has a real chance of looking a candidate squarely in the eye and asking them where they REALLY stand on the issues…up close and personal-like.

    And I’ve personally done so over the years …on numerous occasions and with candidates of every political stripe. At one point, while I was still in college, I remember being asked to squire around one erstwhile Presidential candidate (Congressman John Ashbrook of Ohio) in my old, beat up Chevy. Needless to say, during the course of that afternoon and evening, I got an earful of where he REALLY stood on ALL the issues of the day. (I believe he ultimately came in last in the voting, by the way!)

    Of course, the “fat cat” politicians and their handlers absolutely detest New Hampshire voters because we royally screw up their carefully planned “baffle them with BS” approach to campaigning.

    But I firmly believe the nation as a whole benefits from this absolutely critical vetting process because, over the years, we’ve become particularly adept at “peeling away the onion” so as to expose what’s really underneath all the makeup and scripting very early in the Presidential campaign. The Edmund Muskie crying issue decades back (along with Mrs. Clinton’s tearful episode (scripted or otherwise) down in Portsmouth the other day) are classic examples.

    Believe me, this is a job we all take VERY seriously up here. And, it would appear from some of the “surprises” in the voting yesterday, once again, we did our duty admirably.

  35. LurkingFromTheLeft  January 9, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Well you certainly managed

    …to render the folks on MSNBC speechless!

    …Chris Matthews just couldn’t believe it –

    …same for Pat Buchanan –

    …but come on, HRC???

    LFTL

  36. Steve Horn  January 9, 2008 at 9:13 am

    “Of course, the “fat cat” politicians and their handlers absolutely detest New Hampshire voters because we royally screw up their carefully planned “baffle them with BS” approach to campaigning. ”

    Not this time, buddy boy, not this time.

    Peace

    Steve

  37. JoyfulC  January 9, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Relax, Doug — it wasn’t exactly a resounding victory for Clinton. Closer to a tie.

    Sandra, again, please explain your support for Ron Paul. As I understand it, he would like to eliminate the “New Deal” social policy that made America great in the first place, and he’d also like to virtually eliminate the federal government — with the exception, of course, of the Defence Department, which is the MIC’s biggest customer and the petroleum industry’s free thug.

    Right now, our federal government is doing a miserable job keeping industry in check. There are those who chant the mantra that we have to let the “free market” regulate itself — but we only need to look at a country like China to see how well that works! Industry can’t be trusted to regulate itself. It’s had its chance in places like China, and we see the choices they make. It’s cheaper to dump effluent into the waterways, and so that’s what they do. They can make bigger profits using lead-based paint, and so that’s what they do. They can make more money today by pumping their fish full of antibiotics or stuffing wheat gluten with melamine, so that’s what they do. It’s cheaper to use child labour, or work people at slave wages with no benefits under inhumane conditions, so that’s what they do.

    I worry that if Paul had his way, he’d turn the US into another China — where only the wealthiest can afford to escape the pollution and brutal exploitation, but everybody else lives in misery and accepts that they get to work hard and pay through the nose only to be screwed.

    Do you agree that we can simply get rid of the majority of our federal government? Frankly, I think we need to wrestle it back from big business and industry and get it back on track doing what it’s supposed to do: provide a robust regulation of industries that obviously aren’t even capable of thinking past their own next quarter profits, let alone of our future and that of our children.

    It’s not just MSM that doesn’t want to discuss Ron Paul. It seems his supporters are quite tight-lipped too. You and Carl keep saying you support him — okay, let’s discuss him!

  38. keith  January 9, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Yep…that too.

    It happened in a small restaurant when she was one-on-one with a small group of voters. That’s the way we like to meet our candidates up here.

    And regardless of whether or not you believe the incident was scripted…it sure got people talking, didn’t it?

  39. LurkingFromTheLeft  January 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

    But getting the

    …sheeple talking isn’t necessarily a good thing –

    LFTL

  40. keith  January 9, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Oh? Since when is people talking among themselves “not necessarily good”?

  41. LurkingFromTheLeft  January 10, 2008 at 7:40 am

    It depends on the makeup of the talkers…

    …are they people that are thinking –

    …or sheeple that are just following the lost leader –

    LFTL

  42. Caine  January 9, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Doug writes:
    “Exit polls suggest women voters felt the men ganged up on Hillary at last weekend’s debate and many said Clinton’s teary-eyed performance on Monday also swayed their votes.”

    To me this is troubling. These folks didn’t vote for Sen. Clinton because of her policies or for what she wants to do when she gets in office. They vote for her because she cried when she felt like she might loose her chance to be the top executive of the country. This is scary! I sure hope this trend doesn’t continue. If you are going to vote for the woman for her stand on the issues, then fine. Do not vote for her because she had a moment of self-pity!!

  43. JoyfulC  January 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Or maybe it’s people who go throwing terms like “dumb broad” and “bitch” around that create a backlash.

    There are few women who haven’t been on the wrong end of this on occasion. That’s why I think you shouldn’t do it — not because I’m a huge Clinton supporter. I agree that we should vote on the issues, but certain types of language pander to people’s baser instincts. In some cases, it might turn people against someone without their having any knowlege of the person’s positions or history. But just as often, it creates a backlash — a sense of defensiveness where none might have existed if you would have kept it clean and to the issues.

    But don’t worry too much, Doug. It was only 2% — not much, considering her hopes for NH, I’m sure.

  44. Upon Further Review  January 9, 2008 at 9:49 am

    So how do you figure that New Hampshire voters screwed up the fat cats’ carefully planned approach to campaigning when they wound up endorsing the ultimate fat cat of all — the political machine of Hillary Clinton?

    Calling that a victory over the fat cats is like watching Duke beat North Carolina Central 121-56 in college basketball and then proclaiming, “Wow, isn’t it great when the little guys win for a change?”

    And whether or not her little crying spell generated sympathy votes, the fact that it’s even being seriously discussed as voter motivation suggests that New Hampshire residents are hardly immune to being baffled with BS.

    In fact, if all it took was a teary-eyed moment to inspire them to support Hillary, I’ll bet that “Iron my shirt!” radio station stunt made them vote for her in droves.

  45. Sandra Price  January 9, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Joyful. I do not trust any level of the federal government. They make use of people who refuse to think and act for themselves. For example:

    If the American people had been given a choice on Social Security and opted out of it to put their money in accounts that they could keep track of. This did not happen and we were all mandated to join. It was in 1964 that we learned the social security money was put into the main budget allowing the government to have an excuse to spend more than they took in in taxes. Most of us who have paid into S.S. since the late 40s have never seen where our money was sent. When we learned that it did not exist many of us decided to fight the 16th amendment. I was not aware at the time that this was a movement from the GOP. It was a ponzi scheme and being done through the federal government. It supported the Industrial Military Complex and brought on the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

    Both parties have continued to lie to the payers of S.S. and finally had to tell the new retiring seniors that they were overdrawn. We fought the war on poverty as it only promised government jobs. This is the first step into socialism and if you look at the payroll coming from the federal government you will see why we are very close to bankruptcy.

    I have been on the board of directors for many organizations and corporations and have seen the federal government bleed many successful corporations into a near bankruptcy. I’ve seen federal mandates pushed on the States costing millions of wasted dollars. The states then had to raise property taxes and many people lost their investments and their homes. It was much worse until Carter lost his reelection. I’m speaking only of economics not of political positions.

    We do not elect men of integrity in either party and they usually win by making promises that our budget cannot support. The most dangerous political movement came in 2000 when the relgious right took control of the White House and Congress. Bush manipulated the government into an illegal war. I think you must know how this turned out. If you look carefully you see the Democrats lining up behind the war and even pushing for another war with: Iran, North Korea and possibly Pakistan.

    Have you read any of Paul’s speeches or attended any of his town hall events? He is the only candidate who has the solution to the mess America is in at this time.

    You will be pleased to learn that his supporters did not vote in New Hampshire and probably will not vote in Nevada, Michigan or Florida. He is no threat to you as you will never understand the grave condition that America is facing at this time.

    You want your government to solve all your problems and I doubt you have bothered to take a look at what the government has done in the past. It is like a cancer in the Constitution being spread by people who cannot think for themselves. Find your President who will take control of your life, you income, your choices and how you must die.

  46. JoyfulC  January 9, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Sandra, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the trouble the US is in — I just don’t agree with you on the solution.

    Since I have found Paul supporters to be so tight-lipped, I went to his site and have been reading his literature. I agree with him that we have allowed industry and corporate interests to take over our government — and that this is why our federal government is doing so poorly at its job: regulating and enforcing regulation. I see the solution as we have to take back control from these corporations — and you know what? that might be something that the government can’t do without our help and deep commitment to sacrifice. I’m sure the corporations would love to have the federal government out of their hair — then they could enjoy the same freedoms they do in places like China. And we’ll enjoy the same consumer standards, employment standards and environmental disaster that they have in China too.

    I think Ron Paul is deceiving people. He’s saying things that are appealing, but if you follow up and ask, “what happens then?” it doesn’t add up. Contrary to his suggestion that the Constitution says we should let industry regulate itself or sort it out in the courts, the original Constitution actually placed all sorts of restrictions on corporations: such as the requirement to secure a charter from a state legislature, prohibitions on assets and mandates, and life terms. The original Constitution recognized the role of government in overseeing corporate industry.

    An elite few will make out like bandits if Paul gets his way. The rest of us will be plunged back by a couple centuries of progress.

    Oh, and just a couple other points:

    Just because kids have to go to school, how exactly does that prevent their parents from educating them at home, as well? I grew up in a home where reading, discussing, challenging, doing projects, exploring, adventuring were all encouraged. Sadly, too many kids get screwed because their parents can’t be bothered. Undercutting the school system will only make that situation worse.

    And as for that Social Security thing — do you really think turning over the money to the same private sector that gave us the S&L scandals and the recent sub-prime mortgage scandal is the solution?? No, we need a solution, but that’s for sure not it.

    I won’t insult you, as you’ve done me, by suggesting that you don’t understand the problem. But I will note that we don’t agree on the solution. I think we need to take control of our government back and make it start doing what it’s supposed to do.

  47. Pinky and the Brain  January 9, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I find it curious that New Hampshire supported McCain in such a big way. I confess I haven’t yet checked to see if NH is considered a red or blue state. Is New Hampshire primarily pro-war and pro-amnesty? or was the McCain win more predicated on perceived leadership, experience and straight talk rather than the issues?

    Peace, Pinky

  48. ekaton  January 10, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Most eloquent. Couldn’t agree more, especially your second paragraph, actually, not the first.

    To those who would deregulate as much as possible I ask how far they would like to roll back the clock. Should we allow unmitigated air and water pollution? Should we repeal the child labor laws? Should we terminate overtime and allow businesses to force people to work seven days a week? How far should we go with “getting the government off our corporations’ backs”?

    — Kent Shaw

  49. Doug Thompson  January 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Joyful, I’m not worried. If Hillary wins the nomination then good for her. If not, you can be sure that I will treat the eventual winner with equal disrespect :)

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