Blatant Misidentification Of Incompetence

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Memo to Jim DeMint, Mick Mulvaney, and David Schweikert: YOU ARE DUMB.

I believe it was the great sage P. W. Herman who said it best, when he proclaimed for all the world to hear, "I meant to do that." In the wake of the shutdown debacle, two things are going on simultaneously. On Thursday, we discussed the inevitable blaming and battle for supremacy, but there's also the denial. The belief, or at least the attempt to convince us all, that the people who fucked everything up did the right thing. Which is a perfect opportunity for a bonus edition of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, ObamaCare will now be the issue for the next few years." - Former incredibly dumb senator Jim DeMint, now the incredibly dumb head of the incredibly dumb Heritage Foundation.

Now, DeMint has a deep vested interest in this delusion, because whenever any Republican, through this entire debacle, doubted themselves and wondered if they were maybe going too far, they'd turn, look quizzically in Jim DeMint's direction, and DeMint would answer with a thumbs up and a wink.

But if Jim DeMint really thinks Obamacare, and not the shutdown triggered by it, is going to be the issue even in 2014, he's worse at his job than he seems, and he seems like the guy in the mailroom who keeps sending the envelopes to the wrong building. Oh, the wingnuts will still run on hating it, but now that it's under way, with a half million newly-covered people in the first three weeks even with a "disastrous launch", there won't be any changeable minds by year's end, much less November '14.

"It depends on whether or not we’re able to articulate why we did what we did. We believe we did it for the right reasons. We believe it was good policy. We believe good policy makes good politics. But we have to be able to explain that policy in order to accomplish it. I did an interview with a local radio station back home a week ago, and it started with them saying it was ‘just seven days until default.’ That was an indication that our message was not getting out.” - South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney, revealing a fatal flaw.

The message, of course, was that there would be no default, and that they weren't actually holding the economy hostage, just negotiating in good faith. Mulvaney thinks that message didn't get out, because Mulvaney, like many Republicans, don't recognize when their message has been rejected.

And it's understandable. The bullshit they've managed to get people to accept over the years makes me almost as incredulous as Mulvaney that the GOP message didn't get swallowed hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, hat, fisherman, boots, and 75% of the fucking pier by the American people. But it didn't happen, and it wasn't because the message wasn't out there. It was because that message was a pile of crap.

"We were in the field last week doing some polling,” he said. “I think the left and some of the media supporters on the left are going to be shocked when they look at these underlying numbers—the margin against the health care law among swing voters. The left hates me—the left has always hated me!—the right is with me, and the swing voters are moving. There was some amazing data in there.” - Arizona congressman David Schweikert, swearing that if he just keeps grasping, he's gonna come up with a straw any minute now.

In 2006, Karl Rove had his own math. In 2012, the GOP had their own adjusted, "unskewed" polls. All those things took into account the same factors Schweitzer cites here - the liberal bias of the media and the left's hatred of Republicans. And we all know how that worked out, didn't we?

When you have to cite deep poll internals and weird crosstabs and margins and underlying data - the parts of polls where the sample size shrinks and the margins for error grow like a goddamned Totoro is egging them on? Well, that's a sign of desperation. And unlike most Tea Party signs, this one is spelled correctly.