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Para Bellum Labs Will Attempt To Make the RNC a Political-Analytics Player 212

Posted by timothy
from the 2nd-mover-advantage? dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign relied on a sophisticated data-analytics platform that allowed organizers and volunteers to precisely target potential donors and voters. The centerpiece of that effort was Project Narwhal, which brought voter information—steadily accumulated since Obama's 2008 campaign—onto a single platform accessible to a growing number of campaign-related apps. The GOP has only a few short years to prepare for the next Presidential election cycle, and the party is scrambling to build an analytics system capable of competing against whatever the Democrats deploy onto the field of battle. To that end, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched Para Bellum Labs, modeled after a startup, to produce digital platforms for election analytics and voter engagement. Is this a genuine attempt to infuse the GOP's infrastructure with data science, or merely an attempt to show that the organization hasn't fallen behind the Democratic Party when it comes to analytics? Certainly the "Welcome to Para Bellum Labs" video posted by the RNC gives the impression of a huge office staffed with data scientists and programmers. However, the creation of a muscular digital ecosystem hinges on far more than building a couple of apps. Whatever the GOP rolls out, it'll face a tough opponent in the Democratic opposition, which will almost certainly emulate the robust IT infrastructure that the Obama campaign instituted in 2012 (not to mention Obama's massive voter and donor datasets). From that perspective, Para Bellum Labs might face the toughest job in politics."
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Para Bellum Labs Will Attempt To Make the RNC a Political-Analytics Player

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  • Umm, guys... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:36AM (#46217327) Journal
    I know that 'Orca' pretty much sucked in the most hilarious ways possible, so I can understand wanting to ditch that name, and maybe cetacean-based names in general; but isn't 'Para Bellum Labs' kind of pitiful-IT-violence-nerd at best and creepy at worst?
    • by Optimal Cynic (2886377) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:42AM (#46217929)
      "Ante bellum" was just a bit too obvious so they went with something a bit obfuscated.
    • by cellocgw (617879)

      isn't 'Para Bellum Labs' kind of pitiful-IT-violence-nerd at best and creepy at worst?

      Well, it's slightly better than "AnteBellum Labs" //troll warning which would make all the Southern Repubs happy just thinking about the good ol' Dixie days //!warning

      • (Quoting from Ask.com) The term 'parabellum' refers to a type of semiautomatic pistol or machine-gun which is also known as Luger. The name was derived from a Latin saying which means ''if you wish for peace, prepare for war''.

        So: we've got the threat of war, the name of a gun, and the fact that "antebellum" -- a term which is basically synonymous with the pre-Civil-War South -- might be appealing for exactly the reason you give. Sounds like a pretty good name choice for an RNC project.

  • Waste of Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:37AM (#46217333)
    While the Republicans probably have a lot of catching up to do in the tech department, they're still clueless as to why they are losing in the political arena, and it has nothing to do with tech. They've long since given up their founding principles of being pro-liberty (remember, most Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act) and internationally cautious and have instead become a hangout for corrupt Beltway extortionists and moonbat crazies in recent decades. When they do offer a political position, it's about 75 percent of what the Democrats offer, so what's the point of supporting them? Finally, dislike of government is a prominent Republican theme, but they've never seen a defense program they didn't like (by and large). All that adds up to a brand which is more damaged than New Coke and would take a cold, hard look in the mirror before it can ever expect to be resurrected, which they are not capable of doing. In ten years, the GOP will have largely gone the way of the Whigs, maybe winning some local elections, but increasingly irrelevant on the national scene.
    • Re:Waste of Time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:03AM (#46217581)

      A lot of the Republicans Cluelessness is based on bad data. The main issue is that the Republicans are supporting the base of the groups that yell the loudest, and think they are supporting a majority.

      Part (there are other reasons too but that will get onto political rambling) of the reason why Kerry Lost to Bush, is because the Democrats didn't collect their data as well as the Republicans, and let the Liberal Crazies push the agenda, making Kerry look out of touch, while the Republicans seemed to more controlled and moderate.

      The democrats haven't been winning by huge landslides either. A small tweak from the Republicans stance, say being more open to Gay Marriage, or actually getting their act together on a good immigration policy could be enough to change the tide.

      Sure most of us Slashdotters are based in Blue States, with a strong blue influence. But there are plenty of moderates out there who may be right leaning except for that one particular issue. and if the Republicans find that issue they could get in control.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by laird (2705)

        Based on polls, Republicans are almost always the minority party, because they advocate positions that benefit the minority and harm the majority. Their electoral victories come from discouraging voting by the majority so that the committed minority can win.

        Of course, because they've painted themselves into a corner and cannot imagine that their policies are the reason for their failures, they have to keep trying various tactics to "win" despite public opposition. But until they believe that they need to ch

        • Re:Waste of Time (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @12:54PM (#46218715) Homepage Journal

          Based on polls, Republicans are almost always the minority party, because they advocate positions that benefit the minority and harm the majority. Their electoral victories come from discouraging voting by the majority so that the committed minority can win.

          Of course, because they've painted themselves into a corner and cannot imagine that their policies are the reason for their failures, they have to keep trying various tactics to "win" despite public opposition. But until they believe that they need to change, they can't change, and will keep losing.

          Though if tactics such as gerrymandering and voter suppression continue to be allowed to succeed, then they'll never change.

          When the eligible voter turnout ranges from 35% in off years to 60% in presidential races, no one is winning with a true majority, they are winning by convincing more supporters to turn out than the other side. Winning/losing in the margin hardly creates a mandate by the majority, but that's what has happened for several decades now. Americans just aren't interested enough in either party. The only real solution for that is mandatory voting (and moving election day to a weekend or running it for multiple days), but freedom to be a lazyass is one of our most cherished rights so we would rather not do anything about it.

      • Re:Waste of Time (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @12:15PM (#46218303) Journal

        The democrats haven't been winning by huge landslides either. A small tweak from the Republicans stance, say being more open to Gay Marriage, or actually getting their act together on a good immigration policy could be enough to change the tide.

        Dems are not winning by a landslide, that is true. The moment GOP moderates its stance it is going to lose a bulk of the moonbat crazy right wing that was preventing the Dem landslides. People who would prefer moderation immigration or gay issue are not going to switch in sufficient numbers to make up for the loss of crazy right wing. GOP has been riding the tiger. They have been trading away large number of moderate voters,( but whose voter turn out rate is low) to pursue the crazy nutjobs, who have smaller number but make up for it in voter turn out. But there is a limit to how much mileage you can get out of them. All that gerry mandering, bias in politics for small states with two senators each, natural accretion of dems in dense urban blocks, liberals in small red towns/counties/state moving to friendlier anonymous cities etc etc have all been exhausted to the limit. They have painted themselves into this corner, it is not easy to dig out of that hole (forgive my mixed metaphors).

      • Re:Waste of Time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @12:33PM (#46218491) Homepage Journal

        If you write down a list of position statements and don't attach a brand/party to it, and then ask people what they agree/disagree with, republican _positions_ do pretty well.

        Independent voters win elections. The politics that win in NYC don't win nationally.

        The Republican brand is toxic, because of brand association with people like Akin. And the way you get Akin's and Akin like statements is that when you ask a republican to explain some particular policy/position, they double down with expressing some moral position that seems antiquated at best and offensive more commonly, or they wander off into insanity land.

        These things just wreck the brand.

        Furthermore, there is a huge struggle for the soul and the future of the republican party. The democrats have huge piles of young energized radicals. The active republicans are almost entirely senior citizens. The young, activist republicans are dominated by Ron Paul supporters -- who are much more socially tolerant than the rank and file, but who want much less government spending than the left can accept.

        The party needs to take an active role in managing its brand better. When people like Akin open their mouths, the national party needs to excommunicate them loudly and immediately. "These views are not in keeping with the platforms and goals of the republican party or the republican vision for America". That kind of stuff.

        Social conservatives (like myself) need to give up on ever being the majority party again. That ship has sailed. Republicans, liberty advocates, and social conservatives now must settle for the subset of things they want, because getting all of what we want is clearly off the table.

        We're still arguing for what the right subset of things to go after is. The Tea Party, to its credit, mostly doesn't do moral/social advocacy or activism, and is mostly about the size of government and adherence to the constitution. That's good stuff.

        On economic policy, the modern republican establishment is somewhere between democrat lite and corporo-fascist-enforcers (but, I repeat myself), and purging those elements of the party is going to be painful and take time, and result in lost elections due to infighting. But it has to happen.

        I give Rand Paul a lot of credit for taking 80% of what people liked about his dad and making it palatable to 80% of the GOP establishment.

        In a modern election, 80% support would be an unheard of landslide. So, say what you will about him, but he's saying the right things about the NSA, about drones, about limits on executive power, and a bunch of other things. He's one of the only republicans that is talking about cutting military spending -- consistently. He's been a huge critic of the TSA from the beginning. He's being wishy-washy on drug policy, but he has said a lot of the right things there as well.

        If people could look past the tarnished brand, there's a lot to like about him.

        Absent some other factor that is a deal-breaker, I'll support anyone who puts forward legislation to rein in the NSA and to tone down or stop the drug war.

        The republicans could adopt these policies, stop talking about gay people and gay marriage, (or better yet, simply say, "we find no provision in the constitution that allows for a federal restriction on same sex marriage. Therefore, in the interest of promoting liberty for all Americans, we support complete government recognition of same sex marriage"), and adopt a "wait and see" approach on Obamacare ("we don't like it, we were against it, but the senate and the executive have rammed it through, so now we're going to focus on other matters while we see how it shakes out").

        If they got rid of the things that kill their brand, and focused on the things the democrats aren't touching (drug war, civil liberties, military spending), I think there's some chance.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AvitarX (172628)

          If you write down a list of position statements and don't attach a brand/party to it, and then ask people what they agree/disagree with, republican _positions_ do pretty well.

          This is essentially what Howard Dean said after the 2012 election. He basically said that if you could excise the theocrats (those that legislate based on their morals that come from a religious text) you'd have a party that'd be hard to beat, and that would be a good thing, because the Democrats would have to be better and on their game. Even the manifest destiny branch resonates with a huge amount of the population, it really is the theocratic branch that ruins the party.

          • by microbox (704317)
            To get my vote, the GOP would have to get rid of the anti-science bullpucky. The theocrats I don't mind in-so-far as they are science based. (They are not.) The Tea Party I can take in-so-far as they are science/data driven. (They are conspiratorial nutters who mistake armchair philosophy for erudition.) I am a true conservative, in that I do not believe in radical change. The GOP has too much credibility in recent years, and stand to do as much damage to society as the communists did to Eastern Europe, and
        • Re:Waste of Time (Score:4, Insightful)

          by microbox (704317) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:34PM (#46219805)

          If you write down a list of position statements and don't attach a brand/party to it, and then ask people what they agree/disagree with, republican _positions_ do pretty well.

          Citation need. Care to link the study that supports your position? Because the GOP is against the mainstream on all of their hobby-horses. It all depends on how you ask the questions, of course, and cue the volumous motivated reasoning. Remember, the Romney was going to win in a landslide, right? Studies showed it!

          • by bmajik (96670)

            It's based on conversations with people that run polls at state fairs, etc.

            They run into lots of people that are apolitical, and don't necessary identify with anyone.

            Remember, the broad positions of the republican party aren't necessarily what gets the republicans into the headlines.

            Your reply is at least as problematic is whatever your issue is with what I wrote. You don't describe what "mainstream" is, and you don't specify what issues you think are GOP issues that are contentious. But if I read between

        • by smugfunt (8972)

          ask people what they agree/disagree with, republican _positions_ do pretty well.

          Many Republican positions are what I would regard as American positions. Mom and Apple Pie. Their problem is people don't believe they really mean it.

          liberty advocates, and social conservatives

          It's interesting to me that you lump these two together as if they are close cousins. To me they are opposites:
          liberty advocate == liberal
          social conservative == authoritarian
          As a non-American this confusion seems to me to be behind much of the futility of US political discourse. As with most political confusions there are those who actively promote it.

          • by bmajik (96670)

            It's interesting to me that you lump these two together as if they are close cousins. To me they are opposites:
            liberty advocate == liberal
            social conservative == authoritarian
            As a non-American this confusion seems to me to be behind much of the futility of US political discourse. As with most political confusions there are those who actively promote it.

            Ok. Here's what I assert it means in the US.

            "Conservative" - someone who has a preference for tradition -- for the aspects of society, culture, and governanc

            • by smugfunt (8972)

              It is usually not worthwhile to think about political groupings on a 1 dimensional axis.

              I agree, though I favour the Eysenck chart, which seems to be the uncredited basis of the Political Compass [politicalcompass.org].

              I more or less agree with your liberal/conservative definitions except what you call a liberal is what I would call a radical. Equality of opportunity is a radical idea which conservatives are not at all concerned with. Equality of outcome is a conservative bugbear, liberals and radicals hope to limit disparity, they don't expect to eliminate it. Elimination is an authoritarian idea :-)

              All mainstream

      • Re:Waste of Time (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @12:35PM (#46218517)

        The problem the Republicans have, which is the reason Obama won by a landslide but the Republican party polls were predicting a win for Romney is a problem of demographics. For the first time in history the young are voting, millennial are voting by wide margins. The Republican polls took the view of history that even if the young said they would vote to a poll they actually wouldn't end up voting whereas the other polls predicting Obama's win took their statement at face value. They are the reason Obama was elected in both 2012 and 2008. The bad part for republicans is that the millennial numbers keep growing and by the end of the decade their voter numbers are projected to be higher than both GenX and the Baby boomers.

        That is what should scare the every loving bejesus out of Republicans. You have an entire generation that is voting close to 80% democratic, that has larger voting numbers than previous generations and is voting young. There is a real possibility we're going to go into a era of total dominance by the democratic party for the next 30 years not unlike that caused by the great depression.

        • by microbox (704317)

          For the first time in history the young are voting,

          Yeah, we're almost back to 1972 levels when 52% of people between 18 and 21 voted.

        • One-party rule will be a disaster for our nation. Detroit was ruled by one party for 30 years, and look where it got them.
      • by mspohr (589790)

        "A lot of the Republicans Cluelessness is based on bad data. The main issue is that the Republicans are supporting the base of the groups that yell the loudest, and think they are supporting a majority."

        "Yell the loudest" is best translated as "give the most money".
        They have very good data on their donors and they follow this data. Their rich donors want less government regulation and lower taxes so they can make more money. They also have a few fringe wacko social issues (abortion, racists, misogynists, et

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      maybe winning some local elections, but increasingly irrelevant on the national scene.

      Sure, that's why Democrats have both houses and Obama won by a landslide, right? Get real. The administration and Democrats have been screweing so badly that they even make idiot Bush look good. As an Independent, I think both parties are becoming increasingly irrelevant. In the future, I'll probably vote for whoever I think can produce the most gridlock in Washington, because the less either Republicans or Democrats do,

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      How do you get people to vote against their own interests? Wedge issues. IMHO, the true gop agenda is to push as much money to rich people as possible at the expense of everyone else and the only way to do that is by courting the crazies.
    • by tomhath (637240)

      they're still clueless as to why they are losing in the political arena, and it has nothing to do with tech.

      Losing? 29 Republican governors versus 21 Democrats, plus a majority in the House of Representatives.

      "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you " - Satchel Paige

    • remember, most Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act

      That's true but highly misleading. Voting on the Civil Rights Act went entirely by geography, not party. In the 60 years since, the Southern states that opposed it are now solidly Republican.

      Here's how the voting went-
      House of Representatives:
      Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
      Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
      Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
      Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)
      Senate:
      Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%)
      Southern Republicans:

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Republicans don't need tech or an agenda attractive to the majority to win elections, they learned a different tactic. They have a small hardcore of voters who do vote in local elections, unlike most. Add in Citizens United, and now money can outright buy an election with low turnout. That gave them control of many state legislatures, and that then allows them to push through voter ID suppression laws; along with ruthless redistricting in 2010 to pack democrat voters into a handful of very, very democratic

  • Parabellum (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:37AM (#46217335) Homepage

    Hmmm. What message are they giving here?
    Parabellum, n
    Definition: a type of semiautomatic pistol or machine-gun; also called Luger, also written parabellum
    Etymology: Latin 'for war'

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're one of those Gawker readers who doesn't fact check anything, do you?

      "Para Bellum" it is not *defined* as a semi-automatic pistol (the P08 Luger) or a machine gun (the Parabellum MG14, which doesn't even fire 9x19 Parabellum), the name just happens to have been applied to those weapons. "Para Bellum" doesn't simply translate as "War", it translates as "Prepare for War". It comes from the Latin phrase "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum", which translates as, "If you desire Peace, prepare for War".

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:23AM (#46217747)
      Probably thinking "Hey, cerebellum, that's part of the thinkin' meats, right? Lets make it sound like that!"
      • Close, but I would add: "But we have no idea how this science stuff works! It's all spooky... all... paranormal. That's it! Parabellum!"

    • Hmmm. What message are they giving here? Parabellum, n Definition: a type of semiautomatic pistol or machine-gun; also called Luger, also written parabellum Etymology: Latin 'for war'

      Wow... where to start...
      Semi-auto machine gun. Semi-auto is one shot per trigger pull. Machine guns are capable of full-auto fire. Semi-autos are not.

      No, Parabellum isn't a pistol of any sort. There's a pistol cartridge (9x19, 9mm Luger) that's also known as 9mm Parabellum. It's extremely common around the world.
      Yes, parabellum is Latin. But the word pre-dated its use in ammunition. Obviously.
      "bellum" is latin for war.
      Antebellum (as in after the war) and Parabellum (as in "with" or "in a war"

  • It would be an appropriate name if it were anti bellum, since nixon's southern strategy explains the disfunction of the GOP today. Para Bellum means "ultimate warfare".

    • anti-bellum would be "against war," which would be a good name for a pacifist party, but not so good for the Republicans, who are in general a pro-military, pro-war organization.
      You're thinking "antebellum," before the war; in the U.S., usually referring (with nostalgia) to the slave-holding south before the Civil War.

      • by goombah99 (560566)

        yep.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Robear (68955)

      You're looking for "antebellum", which is used to differentiate the American South in the pre-Civil War period from that of later times. It is a homophone of "anti-bellum" but has an entirely different meaning.

      • by goombah99 (560566)

        And dont' forget Auntie Bellum, that hell rais'n sister of your mother. Yes I mixed it up, even intendeding to get the right one and writing the wrong one.

    • Re:Beyond War? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nemyst (1383049) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:07AM (#46217613) Homepage
      "Para bellum" is usually known from "Si vis pacem, para bellum", which means, roughly, "If you want peace, prepare for war." The problem is I think the Republicans A) forgot that first part and B) probably shouldn't consider the democratic process as a kind of war (this is a political data analytics thing, so that's the only logical interpretation). That they do explains a lot about their thought process in the past few years.
      • by imp (7585)

        Also, it is the name of a Nazi gun more commonly known as the Luger...

        • Also, it is the name of a Nazi gun more commonly known as the Luger...

          A Nazi gun??? The parabellum (aka Luger) was patented in 1898, and began production in 1900.

          Which, if you're not aware, predated the Nazis by a few years.

          If you're looking for a real "Nazi gun", you might want to look at the Walther P-38, which replaced the Luger as the German Army's standard sidearm starting in 1938.

      • B) probably shouldn't consider the democratic process as a kind of war

        Politics is war without bullets, to paraphrase von Clausewitz. [gutenberg.org]*

        In other parts of the world, where assassinations and the like are common, that definition is a bit more flexible.

        The reality is that the top political positions in the US are the most powerful positions in the world. And they are bitterly contested. While the face the parties must present to the public is of little girls with pink bows in their hair, puppy dogs and rainbows,

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:45AM (#46217427)

    If Republicans wanted to win the last election, they wouldn't have picked Romney as their candidate. Either they had no idea that their own supporters would rather stay home than hold their noses and vote for him (and you didn't need fancy analytic software for that, just common sense), or they intentionally gave Obama the win.

    • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:54AM (#46217505) Homepage Journal

      The Republican primaries were a gauntlet of Tea Party idiots. So everyone had to steer to the extreme far right to win their support to get on the ballot.

      Then, during the general election, they had to steer to the middle. To, you know, actually get votes.

      You can't appeal to the fringe and the center at the same time. Appeal to the base of Tea Party nutbags, and middle America won't vote for you, you disgust them. Appeal to middle America, and the Tea Party nutbags won't vote for you, just as you say in your comment. A house divided, yada yada yada

      If the Republicans don't fix this problem, they are going to lose again in 2016. And 2020, 2024, etc.

      Personally, as a Democrat, I love the Tea Party: sabotaging the Republican Party from within.

      There is no bigger friend for Democratic domination of the Presidency (and, with demographic trends, increasingly the House and Senate in the long term, even with Republican gerrymandering) than the Tea Party.

      • That happens to some degree every election: the primary they swing in the direction of their party, then in the general they have to swing back to the middle. It was only unusual last time because politics have gone so far to the right.

        I'd argue that they may have lost the last battle, but they've essentially won the war. Obama's signature accomplishment was basically a republican plan.
        • Obama's signature accomplishment was basically a republican plan.

          A giant, uncoordinated cluster fuck that had no chance of surviving intact? That was the Republican plan?

          Pray, what are they thinking about for an encore?

          • Oh, good, let's get off on THIS tangent, that will be productive.
          • by microbox (704317)

            A giant, uncoordinated cluster fuck that had no chance of surviving intact? That was the Republican plan?

            True, but the ACA was the GOP plan put forward as an alternative to Clinton's healthcare plan in the early 90s.

        • So now the Democrats get the credit if a Republican plan succeeds? If I vote for a Democrat, they are willing to implement the best ideas of either party. If I vote for a Republican, they won't even support Republican plans to do "important things" and accomplish goals.
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        The Republican primaries were a gauntlet of Tea Party idiots. So everyone had to steer to the extreme far right to win their support to get on the ballot.

        If you think Romney was 'extreme right', you must be to the left of Stalin. Romney's problem was that he was trying to be a Democrat, and there was already a Democrat candidate for anyone who wanted one.

        • i never said romney was extreme right. i said he *had to appeal to* the extreme right

          he had to compete for votes from tea party loony toons with wackjobs like santorum and cain and bachmann

          and romney's problem wasn't trying to be a democrat, that's called "trying to win the election by appealing to the moderate center," which, in your bias, you've called "trying to be a democrat"

          which is exactly how and why the right will not win the white house in the future: they view being a moderate as some sort of RINO

          • It's interesting to look at the county-level primary maps prior to the point where everyone else folded and gave the nomination to Romney. In state after state, Romney won the urban and inner suburban counties (that Obama would win in the general). And lost the rural areas, usually to the "more conservative" candidate du jour. There was a steady stream of headlines of the form: "<X and Y> win primaries" with the subhead "Romney increases delegate lead". The Republicans' fundamental policy and demo
        • by microbox (704317)

          If you think Romney was 'extreme right',

          Nobody, including Romney, thinks that he is a severe conservative. And that is precisely the point being made.

    • by GodInHell (258915)
      And ... another fact-free denial. The 2012 election had the HIGHEST percentage turnout since 1968, and by raw voters, the third highest in U.S. history. One source of many you could read: Wikipedia - Voter Turnout in United States Presidential Elections. [wikipedia.org]

      America rejected the Republican party - if you cannot accept the numbers then all the analytics in the world are going to be worthless to you.

      -GiH
    • by metlin (258108)

      I thought that of all the candidates, Romney was the most moderate of them all. If anything, had he stuck to his guns, rather than try and appease the Tea Party extremists, he had a pretty good chance of winning. Post the GOP nomination, Romney should have gone back to taking a moderate stance, which would have helped him immensely with some of the moderate voters. Instead, he tried appeasing the far right, at which point he pretty much lost any chance of a victory.

      Personally, I felt that between Obama and

  • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:47AM (#46217443)

    They keep babbling about needing to do a better job of getting their message out, and using technology like Obama did to spread their message. Well, bullshit, we heard their message and said "no". No to bigotry against gays, no to the notion that a single cell can be a human being with a soul and consciousness, no to pushing the lie they call "creation science" into the classroom, no to lying to rape victims about the mechanism by which emergency contraception prevents pregnancy, no to all the anti-intellectual garbage that springs from twisted wacko interpretations of the old testament.

    But I guess they're not hearing what the voters said, and so it's going to take them using technology better, and suffering another spectacular loss, to start accepting the idea that the problem is the message, not lack of effectiveness in communicating it.

    Sigh. You see, I really would like a president who understands the limits of the ability of the government to fix all problems with massive spending, and the negative side effects of massive new spending, and who would strike (in my opinion obviously) a better balance. But as long as the republicans keep nominating candidates who toe the anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-intellectual line drawn by the party hard-liners, I will keep voting for the democrats.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You forgot anti-worker. These are the people who not only don't want to raise the minimum wage, they want to abolish it. Because in the mind of the GOP, paying people less than what it costs to feed/cloth/house yourself is their idea of 'freedom.'

      When your idea of freedom is in-practice worse than slavery, it's a wonder people don't like your message.

    • by wiggles (30088) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:19AM (#46217697)

      The two parties in this country are what are known as 'big tent' parties. The Republicans have the businesspeople/capitalists, the religious people, and the libertarians, whereas the Democrats have the environmentalists, the immigrants, labor, and socialists.

      The goals of those microparties are not always aligned - see the labor vs. environmentalists in cases such as the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest logging community.

      The Democrats have done a far better job of making their microparties play nice with each other. The Republicans, on the other hand, have had a revolt over the last few years where the Libertarians have been fighting with the Religious people, leaving the capitalists looking as the only sane ones in the tent

    • by Quila (201335)

      Well, bullshit, we heard their message and said "no".

      Except in the 2010 and 2012 elections, where we resoundingly said "yes" in the legislative elections. Or, rather, we said "no" to the false promises and failed policies of the Democrats and went with the only viable alternative.

    • by microbox (704317)

      They keep babbling about needing to do a better job of getting their message out, and using technology like Obama did to spread their message. Well, bullshit, we heard their message and said "no". No to bigotry against gays, no to the notion that a single cell can be a human being with a soul and consciousness, no to pushing the lie they call "creation science" into the classroom, no to lying to rape victims about the mechanism by which emergency contraception prevents pregnancy, no to all the anti-intellectual garbage that springs from twisted wacko interpretations of the old testament.

      You forgot the bizarre discredited economic theories as well. Hayek would call these people a bunch of loons.

      • by sribe (304414)

        You forgot the bizarre discredited economic theories as well.

        I suppose. I was already well on my way to deciding to vote for Obama for the second time, when Romney sealed the deal by announcing that he would revoke the extremely limited financial regulations Obama had managed to pass after the financial crisis. Because, economically speaking, that was the most spectacularly stupid thing I could recall any candidate ever saying--after that moment I didn't pay any attention to anything Romney said (or Obama, either for that matter). But I'm not sure most people pay att

  • by Shajenko42 (627901) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:54AM (#46217511)
    From what I remember, the Romney campaign ignored their own polls that said they were losing. How would improving the data help when you won't pay any attention to it?
    • they didn't ignore the data, they had bad data

      the last couple of decades has seen the rise of conservative news sources. which is good for morale. you fudge the truth a little, make things look rosier than they really are, and you galvanize your base

      the problem is when you start believing your own bullshit

      romney was fed the fudges the conservative echo chamber feeds itself, and was kept in the dark. so they were overconfident

      there's a respected solid analyst called nate silver at the new york times, who is very good at forecasting elections with his methods

      he called the election early, in september, for obama

      http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n... [nytimes.com]

      this analysis was pilloried on the right as a propaganda. even though he was just applying cold hard analysis

      http://www.nationalreview.com/... [nationalreview.com]

      when in fact, the right was the one creating propaganda, and silver called them out on it:

      http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

      the decision makers around romney chose to ignore cold analysis as liberal propaganda. romney had a chance to buckle down and maybe do something with his message in october and maybe eke out a win

      but just look at rove on election night: he couldn't believe the news about ohio. because the right wing media echo chamber was operating on its own bullshit, and kneejerk rejecting bad news as liberal propaganda

      again, conservative media is great for the morale of the average conservative voter. but when the conservative media is depended upon by the decision makers on the right, the right loses, because decisions based on lies are bad, losing decisions

    • From what I remember, the Romney campaign ignored their own polls that said they were losing.

      That's pretty much the last time that will ever happen again. Nate Silver's nearly perfect prediction of nearly all 50 states was a major wake-up call to the people who didn't believe in basic stats.

      More than Obama, the nerds won last presidential election and its a permanent win.

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:03AM (#46217583)

    That statement speaks volumes about what is wrong about the electoral system, and US politics in general. It's all about winning and consolidating power. Few people are really interested in the process of governance. Jesus H. Christ, where are the adults?!

    • i hate to break it to you, but politics was emotional, is emotional, and always will be emotional. the adults you seek never existed and never will. the only truth here is you fail to understand the ugly emotional game called politics. we're human beings, not robots

      please don't shoot the messenger

      • by korbulon (2792438)

        Who said anything about robots? You seem to entirely misconstrue the meaning of my original statement: being an adult involves having strong emotional reactions but it also means having the self-control and maturity to manage these emotions in a constructive manner. Being an adult means putting aside petty grievances and personal grudges to try and achieve something for the common good. Being an adult means that I no longer act nor think like a child and think it's all about me, me, me because even the stau

        • the point is you want politics to be something it never was and never will be

          it's *politics*, not polite academic debate society

          all of the ugliness in politics you dislike is the whole point of politics

          all you are telling me here is you don't understand the subject matter. you can't just wave a magic wand and make people behave like robots. of course people aren't robots. but they behave like feral beasts in politics. of course people aren't feral beasts either. but in POLITICS they are

  • The Republican party wants to play in the real world again? Someone order a truck-load of red pills...

  • What's the point this time around? They'll get 80% of the vote if they oppose Obamacare and domestic spying.
  • I would have thought GOP would have preferred the name "Ante bellum" to be consistent with their views. (I mean present day GoP's views, not the views of GOP during antebellum era).
  • where the Republicans really are, and esp. the "Tea Party"... given the phrase ante bellum, and that Sen Cruz and Ms. Palin showed up during the Shutdown in front of the White House with a Confederate flag.

    NeoConfederates, and this is the South (and my gorge) rising again.

    And if you're reading or posting here, odds are you're not a millionaire, and if you're for them, there's a name for you: "sucker" (along with racist, bigot, and wouldn't know "enlightened self-interest" if it hit them with a semi).

    • I am a millionaire, you insensitive clod!

      (No I'm not. I just couldn't resist.)

      • by whitroth (9367)

        You mean you're just sitting back and letting the computer arbitrage make your millions? You're not out there cracking your whip over us poor pee-ons?

        Need to fix that chair of yours.....

                      mark

        --
        Servitor: Sire! Sire! The peasants are revolting!
        King: They *certainly* are.

  • I hope that when they're computing pie charts, that they use 3.0 as the constant for PI, as their bible commands.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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