Josh (desh) wrote,
Josh
desh

politics (and a great link)

OK, I haven't been posting about politics much, partly because I'm trying to save my energy for the fall.

Since I haven't been talking about it, I'll first get my opinions out of the way in two paragraphs. As for the Democratic primary, I've felt all along that the most important thing is to get a Democrat in the White House in 2009. This hasn't changed one whit. If we want to get out of Iraq, end the tax cuts for the rich, move toward universal health care, keep the American middle class from dying a slow death, address poverty, keep abortion legal, and not have an irretrievably right-wing supreme court for the next generation, we need someone in the White House with a (D) after that person's name. The details of who that person is matter much less. This is a consequence of the American political system that I feel is unfortunate but real.

I've supported Obama for several months. I've liked his policies a bit more than any other candidate's ever since I made this decision in late winter. Clinton was pretty close for me at one point, but the tipping point then and since was that I think Clinton is more entrenched in the inside-the-beltway world, with lobbyists and a lack of grassroots, crashing-the-gate-style support. Since April, I especially haven't liked how she's campaigned. I am not sexist. Back when I supported Dodd and Edwards a bit more than Obama, I was not racist either. However, I feel that Clinton has been right to stay in the race up until now, and I feel that her presence in the race has been a net plus for the Democratic party as a whole and the Democrats' chances in this race in November in particular.

Now, the main reason for this post is to link you to a site that I found recently and loved, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/. The author of this blog recently revealed himself to be Nate Silver, an employee of Baseball Prospectus, my favorite baseball website of all time. Nate and the other BP guys revolutionized the way I (and many others) look at baseball, by taking statistical analysis and performance measurement to a level of rigor never seen before. Nate has apparently been blogging about politics in the same way.

A few good links from FiveThirtyEight from the past few days: a popular vote calculator where you get to pick the counting method and it counts the votes for you, a discussion of the turnout in the Michigan primary, and a detailed calculation of how many delegates are needed to win the nomination and how the media might be a bit off.

Feel free to leave comments to this post, though I warn you that I probably won't participate too long in a discussion about policy or campaign strategy. As I said, I'm trying to save my energy. It would be bad if I exhaust my limited interest in this stuff over the next few months, and have no energy left in the fall to help the Dems win the White House.
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