November 04, 2008

Last night Olbermann had a beautiful dream


Enjoy it while you can, crazy man.

I hadn't heard of Sean Malstrom before today, but I like his style. He has put into words all the stuff I've been feeling for weeks now but haven't been able to express. Here's a taste:

One thing that is very different about this election is the omnipresence of polls and how polls are the axis around all political analysis is conducted. This has never been the case in previous elections. Real political analysts (meaning not hacks or unprofessional pundits), use historical trends, demographical data, and other 'truths' of past elections. Much of this cannot be translated into a chart or graph. It is a myth that analysis is done via math or graphs or computer models. The original economists, for example, used only words and essays. Political analysis is not about math. Political analysis is about people. To analyze politics, you must be able to analyze people. In other words, the poet and novelist becomes the political analyst, not the mathematician and software engineer. Politics is all about people.

It seems no one is interested in studying 'people' anymore. Look at the political analysis currently. There is very little analysis of the current 'liberal' or 'conservative', for example, or the person from Pennsylvania or person from Iowa. In fact, there are no people. There are only numbers. Stark, lifeless, numbers. The problem with leveling political analysis to nothing more than a soup of numbers is that it cannot measure intensity. What does intensity have to do with politics? Well, everything. Intense people are those who vote.

And right now I am feeling pretty freaking intense.

I've been going around and around with my friend Allahpundit about this stuff. He keeps pointing to the polls as if they're scripture, and I keep saying: "But this guy isn't acting like he's winning. His minions do not display the sort of confidence you would expect from the winning side. The harder the media tries to convince me they're presenting the full picture, the more beads of sweat I can count on their foreheads. It just doesn't feel right."

Please read Malstrom's thoughtful, sensible, incisive analysis. After you've voted, that is. I'm not kidding around here. Do not let me find out you didn't vote.

P.S. Malstrom says: "FiveThirtyEight Is a Propaganda Site Masquerading as a 'Calculation' Site"

Posted by Jim Treacher at November 4, 2008 08:41 AM