The Jon Ossoff schadenfreude-palooza is the gift that keeps on giving. Less than a week later, I could write an entire column on the sweet, sweet aftermath of just that one story, and what we can learn from it.
So I will.
A couple of weeks before the election, when several polls showed Ossoff up around 7 points, one lefty blog commenter crowed that June 20th was going to be like Sherman marching through Georgia again.
Yes. Exactly like that.
Except if this time, when Sherman sat astride his horse at the head of the Union column and gave the command to begin the march, his horse immediately slipped in the mud and broke a leg, pitching Sherman into a puddle. And in the puddle was a deadly snake, which then bit Sherman in the face, causing him to flail about in death throes that then spooked all of the other horses, causing them to charge off in all directions, throwing their riders and trampling infantrymen. And sending an ammo wagon full of black powder careening into a mess tent, where a cooking fire set off a gigantic explosion which killed all the Union soldiers.
And then Robert E. Lee marched on Washington unopposed, conquered it, and renamed it Jefferson Davis-ville, and the Democrats won the Civil War, and so we’d still have slavery, which they were quite fond of.
Because for the Dems, June 20th was just like that. Only much, MUCH funnier.
Or maybe the lefty blogger was talking about Sherman from the cartoon featuring a smart dog named Mr. Peabody and a nerdy guy (who looks a lot like Jon Ossoff) who was coincidentally named Sherman. (If you’re under 40 and never saw those cartoons, google them and see how we learned history back when there was less of it to learn.)
Ossoff’s election night was a lot like what would have happened if THAT Sherman had marched around in Georgia. Only funnier.
Anyway, after I thought I’d milked all of the enjoyment out of 6/20 that I could, I saw a link to a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times – usually a quick double “nope” in my book. But the title sounded good – “Donald Skunks the Democrats” – so I took a chance, and clicked on it.
And it was like a brilliant chemist had somehow combined laughing gas, morphine and the little blue pill into one magical elixir, and then poured it into my coffee. Which I was drinking out of my new Mad Dog Mattis mug. (By the way, my world-champion wife tells me that she found that mug at fullpatriot.com, for those of who you asked.)
At the top of the story is a picture of five presumably liberal women (and one guy in the background) – different ages, races, etc. But they have one thing in common: they look like they just sat down to dinner, where they were told that their cat was run over by Donald Trump driving a Hummer with a MAGA bumper sticker, and their teenage son just came out as straight, and their daughter announced that she’s converting to Christianity, and both of them have started following the Cautious Optimism Facebook page.
They look very, very sad, is my point.
The text is pretty enjoyable, too. My favorite line comes from Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel has done so well – Chicago is so peaceful and prosperous and well-run – that he now counts as a Wise Elder among Democrats.
Quoth the Rahmbo: “We congenitally believe that our motives are pure and our goals are right….Therefore, we should win by default.”
Yes, we’ve noticed that you congenitally believe that. And how’s that congenital smugness working out for you?
Maybe even more fun—if that’s possible — has been watching the professional pollsters maintain their Pelosi-like record of incompetence. Just Google “Hillary predicted to win election,” and bask in the laughable wrongness back in November. The Moody Analytics “highly reliable election model” predicted a Hillary landslide. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Electoral Map (whatever that is) said Hillary would win 332 electoral votes. The LA Times’ final poll gave her even more, at 352 electoral votes. The Huffington Post (I know, but still) gave Trump a 2% chance.
The Dean of Pollsters Nate Silver and his vaunted 538 Blog gave her 2-1 odds on the day of the election, and in the early evening the NY Times was still giving her a 90+% chance of winning.
I could do a better job of predicting election outcomes by slaughtering a goat and reading the entrails.
Or using a Oujia board.
Or reading tarot cards.
Or by spreading tarot cards on a Oujia board and pouring goat entrails over them.
Of course, the trend of delusional Dem predictions continued – hilariously! – in the Georgia race. In words that should go down in infamy, Nate Silver proclaimed that, “…there’s a 70% chance Ossoff wins and a 30% chance that MATH IS DEAD AND DATA IS BROKEN.”
You’d have to try pretty hard to come up with a better example of a determined obliviousness than that.
Which makes it that much more delicious to poke fun at the “experts’” wrong predictions in the aftermath. The day after the election, Politico ran a story with this headline: “GOP turnout confounds pollsters in Georgia election.”
For those of you keeping score at home, here’s a partial list of more things that confound pollsters:
- Where babies come from.
- Where the sun goes at night.
- The “I before e, except after c” rule.
- Cause and effect.
- Supply and demand.
- Most other things.
Perhaps my favorite election day theory came from Rachel Maddow. As early returns started to suggest that Handel might win, Maddow asked a fellow commentator, “If there was a turnout effect from the bad weather today in the district, does that have any partisan implications…?”
Because it rained in the 6th District on election day. And, I guess, Democrat voters are made of sugar, and can’t go out in the rain to vote?
I’m going to quote something that I’m pretty sure Rachel hasn’t read, because it wasn’t written by Saul Alinsky, Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky.
“…your Father which is in heaven… maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
So no, Rachel, it wasn’t the rain that did smite the Pajama Boy, and brought a plague upon the land. And it wasn’t the orange-headed Anti-Christ. And I’m pretty sure that you don’t know the difference between the just and the unjust.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Simpson, you’re funny, and brilliant, and the world would be a better place if there were more people like you in it. But what makes you think that you’d do any better than Nate Silver or Rachel Maddow at predicting elections?
First, thank you for your insightful observations.
Second, let me point you to part of the entry I posted back in April, after Ossoff fell just short of 50% in the general election:
“4. Ossoff doesn’t quite win. Pajama Boy is all grown up – or as grown up as he’s going to get, anyway — and he’s running for congress. The Dems pony up over $8 million, a bunch of celebrities throw in their support – because that always works! – but the empty suit wunderkind comes up short of the majority he needed, which means that he’ll likely lose to the GOP nominee in June.”
Did you get that? “He’ll likely lose,” said Mr. Non-Expert, Non-Professional Pollster me (along with a lot of other people, of course.) To discern that, I didn’t have to go to Georgia, or talk to any Georgians. The sum total of my Georgia-related knowledge is pretty thin: “Sweet Georgia Brown,” is a catchy tune, as is “Georgia on My Mind;” peaches are tasty; the Falcons had a good year, and trying to take I-75 through downtown Atlanta anytime other than between midnight and 4 a.m. is a mistake. That’s it.
So how was I able to see what brainiacs like Nate Silver and savants like Rachel Maddow couldn’t? I’ve been pondering that question for almost a week now, and I’ve come up with an answer, in the form of The Simpson Face Punchability Index (SFPI) (copyright right now, by me).
Human faces can elicit strong reactions. We’ve all known some guy who gets in a lot of fights, not because of his actions, but because people just don’t like his natural expression. And we’ve all known unfortunate women who have been stricken with the heartbreak of resting b**ch face.
I’ve taken those facts, and through a proprietary process of rigorous thought and research, arrived at the conclusion that all human faces can be assigned a punchability value on a scale of 1 (a face that even a sociopathically violent person would be disinclined to punch) to 10 (a face that even a Buddhist monk so committed to nonviolence that he goes out of his way to avoid stepping on a bug can barely restrain himself from punching.)
For example, I have a pretty low SFPI. I’m not very attractive, but small children and animals are drawn to me, I always got along well with my girlfriends’ parents, and strangers regularly ask me for directions, even though I am never the least bit helpful with directions. On the other hand, thin-skinned, humorless leftists really REALLY want to punch me, so I can’t be a 1 or 2. Thus, my SFPI is 2.5.
This is not a partisan issue, either. Rush Limbaugh and Ted Cruz both have SFPIs of 8, while Trey Gowdy is an 8.5 – and I like all of them! By contrast, NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and actor John Cusack all are 2s, even though they all could objectively use a good pummeling. Trump and Hillary are both 7.5s, which is what made the November contest so close.
Because I know you’re curious: the highest SFPI ever recorded was Harry Reid, with a 9.9. If Gandhi and St. Francis were walking down a hallway and Dingy Harry were walking the other way, Gandhi would set him up with a left jab, and Francis would put him down with a right cross. And Harry’s mom, if she were inexplicably still alive at age 125, would high five both of them. (I think that that mysterious eye injury that Harry had during his last year in office came from his own fist, when he saw himself in the mirror and couldn’t avoid the sudden instinct to punch himself.)
Anyway, I know that you see where this is going. Karen Handel is the PTA mom or sweet, quietly competent lady who does your taxes; her SFPI is 1.5. Jon Ossoff is the Eddie Haskel kid that annoys everybody, and even his girlfriend won’t let him drive when they are going anywhere; his SFPI is 8.5.
Thus, $30 million thrown into a small district on his behalf could only get him to within 4 points.
Now I sit back and wait for the nation’s pollsters to come to me, offering millions of dollars for access to the Unified Field Theory of politics that is the Simpson Face Punchability Index©. Bring your checkbook, Nate Silver, or continue to embarrass yourself.