Barack Obama

Nate Silver Speculates on Why Silicon Valley Denizens Voted Overwhelmingly for Obama

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Infotech votes against its interests

Stats guru extraordinaire Nate Silver delves into the campaign contributions from employees of leading infotech companies headquartered in and around Silicon Valley in the New York Times. It turns out that employees of Fortune's top ten "most admired" IT companies threw 83 percent (Obama: $2,734,063—Romney: $554,470) of their campaign contributions at the Obama campaign. Now why might that be?

There is always the "herd of independent minds" phenomenon in which colleagues anxiously signal their political rectitude to one another. In effect saying, "I am NOT one of those people." But given the entrepreneurial derring-do that animates the culture of Silicon Valley one might hope that knee-jerk support of a Big Government liberal is not a foregone conclusion.

I think that Silver is onto something when he concludes his article with this observation:

Perhaps a different type of Republican candidate, one whose views on social policy were more in line with the tolerant and multicultural values of the Bay Area, and the youthful cultures of the leading companies here, could gather more support among information technology professionals.

Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican, raised about $42,000 from Google employees, considerably more than Mr. Romney did.

Well, yes. In fact, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has correctly warned that the GOP "risks extinction" unless it becomes more libertarian.

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  1. The GOP to nerdy, Silicon Valley-types: “This Bra Bomb better work, Nerdlinger!

  2. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican, raised about $42,000 from Google employees, considerably more than Mr. Romney did.

    Way to excise the amount that BO raised ($720,000). Selective quoting FTL.

    1. He was talking about Republicans. What the shit does that have to do with Obama?

      1. It’s Tulpa. What do you expect?

      2. Tulpa is still bitter over reason’s coverage of his hero Mitt Romney.

      3. Sure they are.

        It turns out that employees of Fortune’s top ten “most admired” IT companies threw 83 percent (Obama: $2,734,063 – Romney: $554,470) of their campaign contributions at the Obama campaign. Now why might that be?

        RP raised less than twice as much as Romney, while BO raised 17 times as much as RP. Yet they think going in the RP direction will win over Si valley?

        #idontthinkso

        1. RP who only raised funds during the primary?

          1. Right, I’m sure he would have increased his fundraising 17x had he been nominated.

            1. Yeah, but Paul had no hope of winning. There’s a difference between money donated to an also ran and money donated to the leading candidate of a major party. If the party as a whole moved leftward on social issues it would be different than having one candidate who’s farther to the left on social issues.

              It’s not going to happen until southern Socons die off, but you’re comparing apples to oranges.

            2. How are you this fucking stupid?

              1. This was @ Retardo aka Tulpa

        2. John H. Galt you’re dense. Silver is making the point that Republicans might do better if they offered a more socially liberal candidate, that’s why the comparison between Paul and Whatshisnames donations is relevant. The comparison between Obama and Whatshisname has nothing to do with that.

          1. Brand O has 17x the market share of Brand P. Brand P has less than twice the market share of Brand R.

            Marketing says that the way for Brand R to overtake Brand O is to emulate Brand P. Should marketing be fired?

            1. If there is a significant percentage of people who only purchase Brand O because of their sheer disgust for Brand R, then Brand P might indeed cut into that market.

              1. And why haven’t they already?

                I don’t think Silicon Valley is aching for a libertarian, ether. They love net neut, for starters.

                1. And why haven’t they already?

                  Because frankly Brand R and Brand O are just rip-offs of eachother, and Brand R would rather shut it’s doors than produce a heretical product such as Brand P.

              2. And there is no one, no one, who would vote for brand R and not brand P.

      4. I mean seriously?

        The title has Obama in it, but no Republican names. The part I just quoted focuses on Obama vs. Romney. But what does this have to do with Obama, the man asks.

        1. TD: Perhaps I confused you with my headline – the “why” Valleyites voted overwhelmingly for Obama is explained by Silver’s observation that the Republicans did not run a socially liberal candidate, aka, a libertarian-leaning one. Clear now?

          1. I’m clear, but I disagree. Si valley voted for BO by a 17-1 margin with their dollars against Paul. Even if Paul’s total would increase had he gotten the nom, he’s not going to come close to overcoming that.

            1. Who said he had to beat Obama? He could lose 60-40 to Obama and it’d be better than Romney did.

              1. He’d have to increase his funding by a factor of 12 to even get to that point. Not gonna happen.

          2. I’m convinced that another reason has to do with Orwell’s observation that there are some ideas so stupid that only intellectuals will believe them. Beyond his social liberalism, Obama was certainly the candidate with lots of stupid ideas that appeal to many young smart and educated people.

    2. Romney’s fundraising in September was 7 times that of his April total. As you can see, fundraising overall was fairly back-loaded with Romney getting a huge bump once Santorum was out of the way.

      So, despite not being the nominee and presumably receiving far less in contributions after being eliminated (or effectively eliminated) from the process, Ron Paul still out-raised Romney.

      So, he didn’t out raise Obama, who was the unopposed nominee for the Democrats. I’d say that’s an apple to oranges comparison.

      1. OK, it’s possible RP’s fundraising would have been higher. But that’s just conjecture, and it would have to have been many times higher to even approach BO’s fundraising.

        Of course, if I’m comparing apples and oranges so is Silver.

        1. You are right we can’t know if Paul would have raised more than Obama. You, though, are the one who keeps making that comparison.

          To underscore my original point, if Ron Paul had been the GOP nominee it is not a reasonable conjecture to suggest that Romney would have raised more or Paul would have raised less. Paul raised more than Romney despite having the distinct disadvantage of not advancing to the general election, which is when Romney raised the vast majority of his contributions.

          1. If Paul were nominated, who would he be competing against?

            Isn’t the comparison between Paul and the person he’s competing against the important one in this context?

            1. Not only did he have the distinct disadvantage of not advancing to the general, he had the distinct disadvantage that no one THOUGHT he could advance to the general.

              If he’d been a legitimate contender in the primaries, he would have made more money in the primaries than he did. The amount of money he raised is not an accurate measure of how much he would have raised had he been a front runner.

              1. Not only did he have the distinct disadvantage of not advancing to the general, he had the distinct disadvantage that no one THOUGHT he could advance to the general.

                He also had the distinct disadvantage of a GOP party/fundraising machine that gave him zero help whatsoever, and in fact, cock-blocked him at every step in the game. Because Romney was their man!

            2. If Paul had won the nomination:
              – He would be competing against Obama.
              – He would also very likely have raised much more in campaign funds.
              – Romney would have raised far less.
              – The gap between Romney and Paul would have been much greater.
              – The gap between Paul and Obama would be much less or perhaps non-existant.

              Hence:
              Paul would have been far more competitive with Obama among nerds like myself and the folks from Google.

              Sure, it’s based on conjecture, but it’s reasonable conjecture made in the interest of providing meaningful comparisons.

              Comparing Paul to either Obama or Romney when Obama and Romney had the advantages is only interesting if you account for those advantages or show that Paul triumphed despite being at a disadvantage.

              1. – The gap between Paul and Obama would be much less or perhaps non-existant.

                We’re talking about increasing Paul’s haul by a factor of 17. That’s not a reasonable conjecture. Even 10x would be very hard.

                1. This is pathological. Your mind won’t let you admit that you were just wrong. Your comparison between Paul and Obama is not germane to the debate. Even if it were, you are still wildly exaggerating the significance of the disparity.

  3. TD: It’s Silver’s observation. BTW, Romney raised just a bit over $25,000 from Google employees. It would have been better and more interesting had Silver provided the figures for the Paul contributions from the employees of ten companies he cites.

    1. It’s yours too, since you wrote

      I think that Silver is onto something when he concludes his article with this observation:

      I’ll see your BTW, and raise one of my own: RP raised less than twice as much as MR and BO raised 17x what RP raised.

      1. We didn’t need another reminder of what a Johnny One Note you are, but thanks for the reminder.

  4. People don’t vote in their self interest. Go read Katherine’s article on this from a few months back; it’s spot on. They vote to signal things to other people; to make a social statement. The actual value of their vote is so low that using in your self interest is pointless; but its social value is much, much higher–so people use it for that.

    Voting is an expression, nothing else.

    1. So since you’re a non-voter, does that mean you’re nothing?

      1. It means I don’t care what you think. So there!

        1. So why did you reply to me? Ha!

          1. He cares what I think.

          2. He cares what he thinks about what you think. Like Anonobot says, it’s all just an enfolding field of recursive signifiers bouncing off one set to another and back again. But, then again, you would expect him to say that.

        2. But you want us to know that you’re a non-voter (since you told us), so you obviously do care what we think.

  5. Perhaps the Silicon Valley types didn’t take the Borg as a warning, but rather, as the shining promise of what could be.

    No greed, no fear, no anger, hatred, religious intolerance. Mankind perfected, at last.

    I bet they even have free abortions and never circumcize.

    1. *circumsize

    2. The Borg were at least honest and up front about their collectivist intentions, unlike the Federation, which allowed only enough freedom to join either Starfleet or Starfleet Medical.

      1. Here’s a question: if everyone in Starfleet had to go to Starfleet Academy, why is everyone not an officer? Can you enlist in Starfleet? Why does a supposedly non-military organization have an entirely military structure?

        1. O’Brian being demoted from an officer to an enlisted man in DS9 indicates that yes, there is some way to enlist in Starfleet, though what that entails is never explained.

          And Starfleet is a quasi-military organization, just not a dedicatedly military one.

          1. And Starfleet is a quasi-military organization

            Right. Like the Boy Scouts.

          2. So what you’re saying is that Starfleet is incredibly stupid. Because that’s what I’m hearing.

            1. Really? Because all I can hear is Jim being incredibly stupid.

              1. I’ve learned to interpret the stupidity that lies within JJ’s stupidity. It’s kind of an art, actually.

                1. Would you say that’s one of the advantages to being a 600lb shut-in?

                  1. What, being stupid?

            2. So what you’re saying is that Starfleet is incredibly stupid. Because that’s what I’m hearing.

              So I see Jim sees the Star Trek light…

              1. There are five lights, nicole. Five.

        2. You uncultured clod. They were bettering themselves, joining up. Rank only matters to the chronically insecure.

          1. According to many episodes, only the best get into Starfleet, like when Wesley almost didn’t get in. Yet Barclay made Lieutenant. And tons of mediocre people are in Starfleet. So which is it? Riddle me that, Batman.

            1. I would think Wesley getting in would be evidence that they do, in fact, let anyone in.

              Except for O’Brien apparently.

              1. O’Brien worked for a living, he didn’t have time for that academy shit.

                All Wesley knew how to do was whine. He probably got in because his mom headed up Starfleet Medical for a season.

                1. Nah, he got in cause the captain of the flagship wanted to bang his mom.

            2. Barclay was like an autistic genius though, so he doesn’t count.

              1. That one time he became a regular genius too. Just evil. Which is, of course, the way a regular genius is.

                1. Apparently to JJ and Auric, being retarded is being a genius. That must be why they both think they’re geniuses.

                  1. God Epi, are you so retarded that you have forgotten The Nth Degree?

                  2. Can we please do one thing and not give that jackass the respect of calling him Barclay? It’s Lt Broccoli, people.

                    1. Nicole, the men are talking now. Go back to manning the comms station, wearing a skintight outfit, and being quiet unless we have a message from Starfleet Command or you want to chime in to let us know that you sense the aliens shooting at us are angry.

                    2. No way. I’m going to go in the holodeck and play that creepy Turn of the Screw-esque program Janeway liked. With a bigass skirt.

                    3. Dude, we rip on each other here and all, but equating nicole to Troi? Holy shit man, there are limits, even here! That’s like me equating you to Wesley or something. Which I am totally doing.

                    4. Thank you, Epi. Especially since I would totally not be able to sense anyone’s feelings. I mean, I am here after all.

                    5. You’re welcome, Deanna.

                    6. I’ve been called worse (Star Trek female characters). But fuck you anyway.

                    7. You’ve been called worse? Who is worse than Troi? Her mother?

                    8. Dr. Crusher, Seven of Nine, Tasha Yar, etc. etc.

                    9. Other than Seven, those would be worse, but…man, I should not admit this to you guys, but it was fucking B’elanna or however you spell her stupid bitch name.

                    10. You’re right. You never should have admitted that. B’elanna.

                    11. I seriously did withhold sex for that shit.

                    12. Thanks, now my Barclay comment below makes no sense, because you had to spawn an entire sub-thread about your vag.

                      This is why I hate women. That, and they have the parts that I wish I had.

                    13. Great, look who just ruined the thread. You know, JJ, you’re like the A-bomb, everyone’s laughing, having a good time and you show up BOOM! Everything’s dead!

                    14. If only there had been any Star Trek episodes about the folly of nuclear weapons, this might never have happened.

                    15. Seven of Nine? I didn’t know you were gay. Huh.

                    16. The woman who can’t be captain in “Turnabout Intruder”, the final TOS episode.

                    17. I prefer to call him Arachnis, the Half-Man Half-Spider.

            3. According to many episodes, only the best get into Starfleet, like when Wesley almost didn’t get in. Yet Barclay made Lieutenant. And tons of mediocre people are in Starfleet. So which is it?

              Both, which makes sense when you realize that Star Fleet exists in the same universe and time as Idiocracy.

        3. Abram’s Star Trek (2009) makes this incredibly confusing. First, Captain Pike tells James Kirk to “enlist” in Starfleet. But in the flash-forward, Kirk is a cadet in Starfleet Academy. His studies are interrupted when he is forced into active duty, but instead of returning to school to complete his training, he receives an automatic commission after the end of the film.

          Also, in the original series and in Wrath of Khan, Starfleet Academy students are referred to as “midshipmen.” Ever since TNG, they have been referred to as “cadets”, even in the current pre-24th century storylines (such as Abram’s Trek).

          1. Also, we see a number of enlisted members of Starfleet, but nothing is really elucidated about where and how they are trained.

            1. Yes, but no sergeants anywhere. Or chief petty officers either.

              1. What about Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien?

              2. O’Brien was a (Senior) Chief Petty Officer. I always liked him best for being a noncom.

              3. O’Brien is a CPO in DS9.

                1. NO ONE CARES ABOUT DS9.

                  1. NO ONE CARES ABOUT DS9

                    Except people who like much better shows than Voyager and Enterprise.

                  2. It was the best Trek series, is all I’m saying.

                    1. It was. Even if it doesn’t hold the special place in my heart of hearts, it was.

                    2. Because none of the series outside of TOS matter, I simply rate them by the hotness of their female cast. TNG isn’t even on the list and DS9 is only on it at the bottom because Terry Farrell at least brought its game up.

                    3. Nicole De Boer Terry Farrell.

                    4. Damn you HitampersandRun!

                      That should read:

                      Nicole De Boer [greaterthan] Terry Farrell.

                    5. You’re demented. Go watch Back to School again, then watch Cube, and make that statement to my face. I’ll laugh in yours.

                    6. Also, yeah, I didn’t realize who Nicole de Boer was, but Dax #2 is definitely not as awesome as Dax #1.

                    7. Whatever to both of you. When you go to hell, I hope the only entertainment is the complete series of Becker on DVD.

                    8. Terry Farrell should bring DS9 up in your rankings. YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT KIND OF A WOMAN JADZIA WAS, EPI.

                      I have a similar system, except instead of rating them by hotness of female cast, I rate them by overall logicality of cast. DS9 gets a pretty big hit because Bajorans are so fucking retarded. And Voyager does unusually well by this method because of the Tuvok/Seven combo. Even though ST logic is often illogical. (And yes, it gets a LOT of minus points for Neelix.)

                    9. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, nicole, not its end.

                    10. Uh, nicole, having a hotter female cast is logical. It is the most logical thing they can do.

                    11. Look, it’s not my problem if you want some hottie who can barely read. I don’t fuck retards.

                    12. But as you can see from JJ–I do.

                    13. I don’t fuck retards.

                      Aaaaanndd thus ends my courtship of Nicole.

                    14. It may have ended when you preferred talking about Barclay to my vagina, but whatever.

                      Actually, probably not.

                    15. So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…to talk some more about Barclay?

                    16. You know I love the holodeck.

                    17. Your vag never pwned Riker, so Barclay does kinda win that one.

                    18. Your vag never pwned Riker

                      Not completely sure what this means, but very sure it’s a good thing.

                    19. Riker’s trombone pwned Riker. And I say that as someone who…played the trombone.

                    20. I’m going to go write some erotic Nicole/Barclay fanfic, so she can review it on her sight.

                      I’m actually a decent writer, when it’s a subject I care about.

                    21. Blarg, should be, on her site.

                    22. That’s actually an interesting idea, JJ. Start writing TNG slash fic, but every single story includes nicole. And fisting. All women like fisting, right?

                    23. You get lamer every time you post, Epi. At this rate, Jimbo’s gonna be the alpha male around here, and he’s been neutered.

                    24. I see you creeping up on my harem when you think I’m not looking, Hugh. You better remember what happened last time I caught you humping one of my bitches.

                    25. Or, to put in language even you can understand, you’ll be the Chakotay to his Janeway.

                    26. Absolutely true fact: 7 of 9 went to my highschool in Kentucky.

                      Never realized it until I saw her on the Jon Stewart show once and he asked her about her favorite teacher, and she mentioned the guy who was actually my biology teacher there. Crazy stuff. It’s just a podunk little town, and we finally produced somebody famous! (and not famous for a school shooting)

                    27. You’ll be famous too someday, Jimbo. Especially if they ever look in your crawlspace.

                  3. DS9 has Quark, we have him and Ron Swanson for “what liberals think of libertarians” TV charters.

              4. Or chief petty officers either.

                Don’t forget the best chief engineer ever.

          2. I can’t believe Star Trek, of all franchises, fails to be internally consistent. I mean, sure, I expect that from Harry Potter, but Star Trek?

            1. How many Star Trek threads are there going to be today?

              1. As many as I can possibly start.

                1. I started this one, you don’t date take credit for it!!!

              2. “How many Star Trek threads are there going to be today?”

                One is ‘way too many and those who quote Trekkie trivia should be forced to listen to themselves 20 hours a day.
                Sorry folks; tired, boring TV show. Give it a rest.

  6. The SF Bay Area is a place where the Democratic party meme that all other parties are filled with intolerant jerks has a stranglehold on the populace. As a result, many people here do not attempt to educate themselves about the issues if such education runs counter to this meme. The Bay Area was the only part of CA that voted for the Democratic candidate for governor after the recall of Gray Davis.

    And you have to factor in that the heads of Silicon Valley companies see themselves as part of the elite of society that needs big, intrusive government in order for the elite to lead the world into a social utopia.

    1. The SF Bay Area is a place where the Democratic party meme that all other parties are filled with intolerant jerks has a stranglehold on the populace.

      Preach it, brother. Around here I can’t even publicly admit I’m not a Democrat without eliciting smirks and mothers shooing their children to safety.

      1. No kidding. The number of women in my cohort who are intolerant, closed-minded, left-wing haters is astounding.

        1. True, but you have to parse that considering the context.

          Are they hating on Republicans because of social issues (pretty much all of them), or economic ones (only some).

          I find that there’s a significant percentage who really ONLY care about the social issues, and are mum about economics, or just apolitical except for issues like gay marriage.

          There’s always a few proglodyte ringleaders who follow politics obsessively, and will whip up the hate over every little thing, but then there’s a large circle of people who only respond when the issue is gay marriage or things like Akin’s rape comments. People who essentially are only nominally in the D column on economics.

  7. “But given the entrepreneurial derring-do that animates the culture of Silicon Valley one might hope that knee-jerk support of a Big Government liberal is not a foregone conclusion.”

    As a Republican in Silicon Valley, I can attest that knee-jerkism is alive and well.

    I think there’s something to the idea that a libertarian-leaning candidate could do relatively better than the candidates our determinedly cro-magnon state GOP puts forward. But frankly there’s such a widespread and unthinking rejection of everything but standard big-government liberal ideas out here, it would take someone really remarkable to win.

    1. “But frankly there’s such a widespread and unthinking rejection of everything but standard big-government liberal ideas out here, it would take someone really remarkable to win.”

      As a libertarian in the bay area, this.
      Any suggestion that, for example, Austrian econ has value is not rejected, it simply is not even heard. Ignored. Not registered on the radar.
      How David Friedman teaches in the valley is a mystery to me.

      1. The entire Economics department at Santa Clara University is a nest of libertarians. It helps that it is a private, Catholic university.

      2. From the outside in Silicon Valley doesn’t really look like a Progressive haven. Some of the big names such as Bezos and Peter Thiel are libertarians.

        Culturally liberal sure. But do you really see Silicon Valley tech leaders advocating more welfare? Most of the time SV seems almost narcissistically focused on itself, almost to the exclusion of government. It’s almost like most of SV view government as an archaic institution that technology is going to render obsolete.

  8. Man, I can’t wait for Cali to slide into the ocean.

    1. California pays 50 billion more in federal taxes than it receives in federal benefits yearly.

      Cali sliding into the ocean would make the budget deficit worse.

      1. Fuck off, joe, you pathetic little pussy. Don’t have some children to go threaten because they’re shorter than you?

      2. And that’s supposed make me want California to disappear less? The faster and more spectacularly this fucker burns to the ground, the better.

      3. The Derider| 11.29.12 @ 6:19PM |#
        “Cali sliding into the ocean would make the budget deficit worse.”

        Can’t hold a candle to the efforts of Obozo.

      4. California pays 50 billion more in federal taxes than it receives in federal benefits yearly.

        Cali sliding into the ocean would make the budget deficit worse.

        So Californian’s are even dumber than I thought…

  9. But given the entrepreneurial derring-do that animates the culture of Silicon Valley one might hope that knee-jerk support of a Big Government liberal is not a foregone conclusion.

    Silicon Valley’s entrepeneurial ‘derring-do’ is a relic of the past. It’s now an established big-business corridor that already-going-concerns locate to– so they can be in Silicon Valley.

    I’d bet real money that the thing that made Silicon Valley great isn’t happening there at all any more. At all. Do we really believe that the next Jobs/Wozniak venture is occurring in a suburban garage down in Silicon Valley on a couple of banquet tables? Sorry, ain’t happening. The thing that made Silicon Valley great will never happen in Silicon Valley again. Because it’s occurring somewhere else and we don’t yet recognize it.

    1. Jacksonville is the new Silicon Valley.

    2. No, it’s still going strong here.

  10. Ummm… isn’t Ron Paul a soc con? Isn’t he strongly against abortion? Does Ron Paul think the GOVERNMENT should get involved in yet another layer of Marriage?

    So what’s the diff again on social issues between R.Paul, Romney/Ryan, S. Palin, M. Bachmann, GWB, Todd Akin and just about every other single American ever born 1700 to 1970?

    Oh, right. You fuckheads don’t mean social issues. You mean SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Yeah, because that’s the only place, except for Fantasyburg, in this universe where Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are far apart on social issues.

    You clowns mean weed. Right on, daddy-o! Yeah, you’re right. Ron Paul is basically Jack Herrer, Ron Kuby and Cheech all rolled up and into one big doob… but with a Texas twang! I read all about it in the Fantasyburg Gazette.

    Let’s be honest, shall we? Silicon Valley, much like 51% of the nation, is functionally retarded but with more XKCD cartoons.

    1. Yes. That’s why the libertarian-leaning but socially conservative Ron Paul did much better than the libertarian leaning but socially liberal Gary Johnson, in California and elsewhere.

    2. If you’d done your research, you’d know that Ron Paul is against abortion but thinks it should be up to the states to decide if it’s legal.

      When the federal government can’t even balance it’s own check book and votes to make pizza a vegetable, what makes you think they can make intelligent decisions when it comes to questions like “What is a human being?” and “What is life and when does it begin?”

      So, you try to handle those issues on as local a level as possible.

      And yes, I’d say Ron Paul is a social conservative, but he doesn’t want to use the government to make everyone be as socially conservative as he is.

      1. Unfortunately, this “If you’d done your research, you’d know that Ron Paul is against abortion but thinks it should be up to the states to decide if it’s legal.” is the same to social liberals as wanting to ban all abortions because it means overturning Roe vs. Wade.

        So they (and the media) would have tarred him with the same feathers they used against Romney.

    3. Public library started letting you in again?

  11. I think the real reason is that BIg Business love Big Government. Corporations wield influence, but they wield even more influence when the government does, as they can bribe the government into doing whatever they want.

    Look at Google being able to violate the privacy of millions of people (collecting Wi Fi info via their street camera cars), and not even get a slap in the wrist

    Or say, piracy. Google can apparently scan in any book they want and make it available. Yet if someone else tried that, they could end up like Megaupload.

    1. Look at Google being able to violate the privacy of millions of people (collecting Wi Fi info via their street camera cars), and not even get a slap in the wrist

      How is that a privacy violation? If you’re broadcasting unecrypted data into a public street, it seems a bizarre to suggest everyone has to pretend they can’t see it. If you want your Wifi to be private, lock it down.

      1. It’s like saying that Google was violating your privacy by snapping a photo of your house.

  12. When will you delusional naifs ever get a clue, huh?

    Wake the fuck up, Reason, both staff and commenters.

    The Left uses Ron Paul as a bullshit “Gosh, if he only won the nomination” campaign tactic to make them seem less partisan and to make the Right seem bonkers.

    They hate Ron Paul and his limited government views. They hate his Constitutional rhetoric. They hate his accent. They hate his supporters. They hate his son. They hate. They hate. They hate.

    And you idiots fall for it every time. If Ron Paul ever got viable as anything other than a Congressman, the Left would immediately turn him into Grand Kleagle Dr. Ron Paul Goebbels. Then they’d find some other limited government type and say: Gosh, if only he/she was the nominee instead of that asshole RP, I’d vote for him/her.

    1. Yeah, we fall for it every time.

      So, tell me how voting for the establishment Repub. candidate turned out for you?

      Dick.

      All you needed was a body with pulse to beat Obama, and you couldn’t even accomplish that.

      1. All you needed was a body with pulse to beat Obama, and you couldn’t even accomplish that.

        The reason I kept predicting a Romney loss was that the people who thought Romney would win seemed to be seriously underestimating the depth and breadth of the Obama Cult. It’s one thing to have a cult of supporters built around a president, but when the media are fully-functioning members of that cult, the uphill-ness of that battle is daunting indeed.

      2. All you needed was a body with pulse to beat Obama, and you couldn’t even accomplish that.

        Name a body with a pulse that could have beaten Obama (and isn’t a Democrat).

    2. Right. The reason that Romney got 12 million fewer votes than McCain is because of a vast left-wing conspiracy. You’re a fucking idiot, go back to stormfront.

      1. Romney outperformed Mccain in all but a handful of states. This was covered in the WSJ. White voters who lean center right DID NOT stay home in droves.

        Ron Paul is not really a socially liberal candidate. Pro life, leans mostly right on immigration issues, and personally supports traditional marriage. Obamacare, now way. BOOM, instant right wing maniac to the media if he actually was the nominee. And the racist newsletter? Yeah.

        Gary Johnson is more or less Luis Fortuno, who actually did lay off govt. workers and got trounced in the election. If you actually did limit the size of government, you’ll probably lose even worse than someone who paid lip service to it. Who did NM vote for president again?

        The bay area is in an alternate universe. They’re the only CA region that actually voted in favor of the terrible food labeling law, if memory serves. That they reject the notion of limited government has been known for some time.

      2. Still repeating that misinformation, I see?

        Nominee Barack Obama Mitt Romney
        Party Democratic Republican
        Home state Illinois Massachusetts
        Running mate Joe Biden Paul Ryan
        Electoral vote 332 206
        States carried 26 + DC 24
        Popular vote 65,088,332 60,569,093
        Percentage 50.9% 47.4%

        Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
        Party Democratic Republican
        Home state Illinois Arizona
        Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
        Electoral vote 365 173
        States carried 28 + DC + NE-02 22
        Popular vote 69,498,516 59,948,323
        Percentage 52.93% 45.65%

    3. And you idiots fall for it every time. If Ron Paul ever got viable as anything other than a Congressman, the Left would immediately turn him into Grand Kleagle Dr. Ron Paul Goebbels. Then they’d find some other limited government type and say: Gosh, if only he/she was the nominee instead of that asshole RP, I’d vote for him/her.

      Mmmno, we haven’t “fallen” for anything. We know exactly what the left would do if RP became “viable”. We saw what happened with Romney.

      What small-government types need to do is work around the press. The Press has become openly hostile to the notion of smaller government. I don’t have any answers on how a campaign like that would work, but it needs to be done… somehow.

      1. Libertarians need a propaganda machine every bit as good as the dems have.

        We need a cult of our own. Currently, Rand Paul is the best we’ve got that I’ve seen. We could use someone equally as likeable, but irreverent. The progressive narrative needs to be painted as ridiculous.

        The republican establishment has the resources to do this, but they’ve been too busy jerking off in the corner. They’re trying to make their own narrative seem viable, instead of attacking the dem narrative.

      2. I don’t have any answers on how a campaign like that would work, but it needs to be done… somehow.

        A necessary start would be to stop railing against anyone who doesn’t agree with you on more than 60% of the issues.

        1. How about 20% Tulpa? This is why you piss people off. You give way too much credit to Mitt Romney and the establishment GOP

          1. The same ones that Reason is demanding to fight the Obama ogre?

            1. Yeah, because they should. I don’t know why you think it’s contradictory for Reason or anyone else to say the Republicans should do something, and at the same time acknowledging that they won’t (or are unlikely to)

    4. Wholly Holy Cow| 11.29.12 @ 6:42PM |#
      “Then they’d find some other limited government type and say: Gosh, if only he/she was the nominee instead of that asshole RP, I’d vote for him/her.”

      Really? “They” would do that?
      Was that you on the grassy knoll?

  13. Everyone seems to be missing the fact that Obama won by promising money to selected voting groups rather than collecting donations from Silicon Valley.

  14. I live and work in Silicon Valley. I think Silver is catastrophically wrong about this.

    The reason that young technology professionals donate to and vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers is because young tech professionals are, for the most part, beta-male nerds and dorks. They’re enormously insecure, even about their own success. That makes them susceptible to Democratic identity politics and class warfare. They don’t want to be thought of as being uncharitable souls unwilling to spare a few bucks for the needy. They don’t want to be thought of as standing between pussy and birth control (if for no other reason than the remote possibility that pussy might spontaneously fling itself at them, if they grovel sufficiently).

    A more libertarian Republican who was less of an asshole about gays and immigrants might peel off a few of these people. But I doubt he’d meaningfully budge the overall needle, because ultimately these people vote for Democrats by way of seeking political absolution for their guilt about prospering. For a libertarian Republican to make non-trivial inroads with these people, he’d need to convince them that their success is nothing they need to be self-conscious about, and that’s a much more difficult row to hoe.

    1. To put it another way, when Obama goes on one of his, “You didn’t build that,” riffs, young tech professionals nod in agreement — not because they agree with Obama on the substance (they don’t; most of them aren’t so stupid as to imagine that they owe their success to government more than to themselves and family), but because they fear being thought of as a bunch of selfish greedy assholes.

      Running a more libertarian Republican is a necessary but not sufficient condition for attracting these people. You need to convince them that no, we’re not all in this together, and that not wanting to foot the bill to insure some total stranger with a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t make you a selfish greedy asshole. It makes you normal.

    2. tl;dr: SV is chock full of exactly the type of people that visit hacker news and reddit.

      1. “tl;dr:”
        It is worth the read; there’s a lot there.
        “not wanting to foot the bill to insure some total stranger with a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t make you a selfish greedy asshole. It makes you normal.”

        1. But that will be perceived as being an asshole. Their attitude is: “Someone is sick, and so something must be done.” This is understandable and even admirable. The problem comes with the leap to: “Therefore the federal government must do it.”

          What I try to do (usually fruitlessly) is explain that the best ways to solve such problems are through distributed systems and experimentation: Different states, counties, businesses, charities: encourage those, and expand on what works. Avoid a giant monopolistic system that inevitably becomes sclerotic. Food is more essential than medicine, but nobody with a knowledge of history thinks that the solution to hunger is to have the feds run every farm, restaurant, and grocery store. So why should the government run medicine?

          1. “Their attitude is: “Someone is sick, and so something must be done.” This is understandable and even admirable. The problem comes with the leap to: “Therefore the federal government must do it.”

            Disagreed about the Fed. The problem comes with the leap to ‘someone other than me must do it’.
            It might be admirable if Joe X sees Sam Y in trouble and says ‘I’ll do what I can there’. It is execrable when Joe says ‘You should do what I can there’.

            1. I’d be thrilled if I could just get leftists to stop thinking that the more centralized the solution, the better.

          2. “What I try to do (usually fruitlessly) is explain that the best ways to solve such problems are through distributed systems and experimentation: Different states, counties, businesses, charities: encourage those, and expand on what works. Avoid a giant monopolistic system that inevitably becomes sclerotic.”

            This. What makes it so frustrating is that most of them understand this in other contexts. Most of them appreciate the limitations of highly-centralized solutions in the context of, say, software development.

            But nobody’s going to vilify them as selfish greedy assholes for supporting open source, whereas people will vilify them as selfish greedy assholes for supporting market-based healthcare reform. And they’re deeply insecure about being thought of as selfish greedy assholes, especially by moderately pretty women who theoretically might sleep with them.

        2. eh, just summing. OP posted beautiful prose.

    3. This is the shiznit. And the vast difference between the Paul haul and Obama’s loot makes it clear.

      1. Yeah, those apples don’t look anything like oranges…

        1. Yawn. If I’m comparing apples and oranges, so is Silver, but his “observation” lines up with what Reasonoids want to believe so he must be right.

          1. Except I don’t think anyone here is claiming Ron Paul would have won a majority of the vote or dollars of the people we’re talking about. Just that he would have done better than Romney in that regard.

    4. I don’t believe this at all.

      As a female in the tech field, I’ve met more than my share of cocky alpha-nerd geeks. The kind of people who live constantly at comic-book-guy level of sarcasm towards anyone without their level of knowledge of the innards of TCP-IP.

      I’ll state as a categorical fact that ALMOST ALL tech geeks are exceptionally arrogant. It goes with the territory.

      Now, maybe the ones who live in SF are cowed by all the hipsters around them whom they long for acceptance by. But I just don’t see it out in the rest of the world. And it’s certainly not evidenced by the behavior of tech leaders from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg.

      Personally, I suspect the reason has more to do with the Democrats relative willingness to pass out favorable targetted tax breaks to people that donate to them. The same reason the D’s make more money from hedge funds than Republicans. It’s all about the cronyism.

      1. The arrogance is a pose. There is absolutely no such thing as a “cocky alpha-nerd geek” outside of geekdom. Show me someone who lives constantly at comic-book-guy levels of sarcasm towards anyone without their level of knowledge of the innards of TCP-IP, and I’ll show you somebody who will immediately adopt a thoroughly beta, White Knight attitude the instant a moderately pretty girl asks him to buy her a drink.

        Arrogance among techies is about status-jockeying vis-a-vis other techies. It has zero relevance to their politics.

        1. I am a moderately pretty girl. And I’ve met and been annoyed by arrogant alpha-geeks. Essentially because, although I’ve got an engineering degree, I don’t have the level of internet knowledge of a web developer. (Frankly, I couldn’t give a crap about PHP… I live my life in C++ and MATLAB).

          Seriously. I’ts amazing to me that as one of the rare geek women – and I used to be a wizard on a MUD! – the number of geeky guys who couldn’t figure out that the best way to a woman’s heart is not to insult her programming skills.

  15. “one might hope that knee-jerk support of a Big Government liberal is not a foregone conclusion.”

    Big Government Liberal?! Obama is to the right of Nixon. The reason Obama won is that he is a centrist moderate and public recognized that fact. Our hyper-politicized media machine refuses to recognize this but it remains a fact.

    1. Spokanite| 11.29.12 @ 8:53PM |#
      “Big Government Liberal?! Obama is to the right of Nixon.”

      Ho, ho and ho!
      Is it Christmas time already?

    2. S: Nixon was a big government liberal too.

      1. Ron Bailey| 11.29.12 @ 10:04PM |#
        “S: Nixon was a big government liberal too.”

        No doubt (price fixing, anyone?) but claiming Nixon was to the left of Obama is, well, not what sane people do,

        1. They are equal in their authoritarianism. Same shit, different colored corn.

    3. Absent baseline political budgeting, that makes no sense. What government intervention that Mr. Nixon initiated has Mr. Obama moved to repeal or even moved to downsize? OSHA? The EPA? Anything? If Mr. Obama were “to the right of Nixon”, one would expect to see him limit these interventions. In fact, he hasn’t.

  16. I was mildly worried about the delusion floating in the libertarian world following the election, but now it seems to really setting in.

    Neither the libertarians nor the GOP will benefit if “Socons” (many of them who are Dem voters) just left their ranks, unless there is a corresponding increase of libertarians to replace their rank, which is unlikely. Most people who are “offended” by them are already hardcore leftists who won’t come to the GOP when they libertarianize. You may not like Scocons, but they’ll vote for someone like Rand Paul.

    You can’t win minority voters by supporting amnesty AND opposing Obamacare. They want the latter, which is becoming just as important to them as the former. Repeat after me – “minorities want big government”.

    What happens if the GOP nominated a gay / TRUE libertarian candidate? Nothing. 99% of black will vote dem instead of the usual 96%. Some Republicans will stay home. The left will call the candidate a sell out or a corporate fiend.

    “If you limit it, they will come” seems to be this site’s suggestion for the future. Not likely. There’s not a scintilla of evidence that suggests that making deregulation, massive cuts to medicare and defense, and entitlement reform will win you long term support. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s rejected by the voters.

    1. Realism is not welcome around these parts, friend.

    2. “minorities want big government”

      If you replaced the word “minorities” with “American voters” I would agree with you

      1. Since I was talking minority voters, who are among American voters.

        At the very least, they game winning Steve Nash assist to the dems in the election. Yeah, white people like entitlements too, I get. That’s not the point.

        1. I would agree that minority voters are obviously crucial to Democrats winning elections. I just don’t think Democrats winning election is the crux of the problem facing this country

      2. Minorties are American voters, unfortunately. If you only consider white Americans, Romney would have won ina landslide. What white Americans want is some form of “big government.” They think that old people who have payed all their lives into the system deserve something back.

        1. “Minorties are American voters, unfortunately.”

          Good to know.

          I should clarify that I thought it would be more correct to use the general term “American voters” as the statement isn’t incorrect as is

          “What white Americans want is some form of “big government.” They think that old people who have payed all their lives into the system deserve something back.”

          It’s still big government. How about not forcing people to pay into the system their entire life? A lot of people die before enjoying these benefits, and that money is lost. People who live a long time, meanwhile, get a lot more than they paid in. Over time, that’s becoming less true for SS as it becomes less sustainable. Per person Medicare spending is skyrocketing. Most voters, however are resistant to change it despite the problems, and the best the GOP can offer are half-hearted optional “reforms” of modest value at best. And then there’s the military, where we needlessly waste hundreds of billions every year, which Republicans, and whites, are perfectly ok with. “Defense,” SS, and Medicare are over half the budget, you can’t just wave these things off. And how many white people want to get rid (or even substantially reduce) of even means-tested welfare spending? When was the last time Republicans made a serious attempt to do something about those programs. How much did welfare spending increase under Bush? Not to mention agriculture subsidies, the EPA, the Fed, (insert random agency/program here), etc

    3. No, the socons in the GOP give these people the fig leaf they need to vote for more free shit for themselves and their friends. So stop giving them a fig leaf.

      If the fight way really solely over more welfare or less than their naked self-interest would be exposed.

  17. The reason Obongo wins amoung cultural liberals is not his views on “social policy.” It is his percieved cultural liberal views. To many of these people Paul is another one of “those people.” Those people being Christian, white, middle America Americans. The Christian hating Jews and Gays, southern-hating Yankees, tradition hating feminazis, and white-hating minorities will never vote for the GOP, or the LP. They don’t wany freedom of abortion, they want free abortion. They don’t want “marriage equality,” they want Europe-style hate-speech laws. I know this because I have lived amoung them. You can’t be a “big tent” party. Blacks, for example, usually think that there are black parties and white parties, and the LP is a “white party. Ask any average person on the street in a black area what they think of Keynesian economics. They won’t understand you, but they’ll say that whitie got it good and whitie need to give them money. Ask any random female what she thinks about libertarianism. If she is a feminazi she’ll say something like “men are jerks and I’m sick of them thinking they don’t have to do anything and telling us what to do. They need to stop being so mean.” How do I know? I’ve done it before.

    1. I don’t think the majority of people, of any race, is aware that the LP exists or if they do, could really explain what they stand for. I think people really underestimate how many apolitical and/or politically ignorant people there are out there

  18. RP is not a libertarian. He just believes everything should be decided at the state level. He’s a confederate.

    1. He’s a federalist. One can be a libertarian and be a federalist or an anti-federalist. It’s just that many libertarians think liberty is, overall, going to flourish a lot better in a system of decentralized power where this isn’t one giant entity that controls everything

      1. I think most libertarians believe the Bill of Rights should be enforced on the whole country. How many libertarians do you think would oppose the Heller and McDonald decisions and say states should be allowed to ban guns? Very very few. “Federalist libertarians” are in the distinct minority.

        Whats frustrating to me is that most libertarians and most of Ron Paul’s supporters don’t know this about him. If they did know they wouldn’t support him anymore.

  19. I don’t think “federalist” is the term you are looking for if “a system of decentralized power where this isn’t one giant entity that controls everything” is your answer.

    1. Do you know what federalism means? It’s a political system where power is dispersed into regional subdivisions and the central government doesn’t have total control over the entire country, which is the case in a unitary state

  20. Yes. I do think there are a large number of “free-market democrats” who basically vote D more because of social issues than because of economic ones.

    The GOPs backwardness on cultural issues, ESPECIALLY all sorts of things related to sexuality, drives away younger voters. I’m not just talking about homosexuality, but the GOP’s culturally conservative attitudes towards all things sex-related, from advocating abstinence education to freaking out over Janet Jackson’s nipple.

    And then on top of that there’s the culturally conservative attitudes towards alcohol, drugs, and music. Always busting raves and bitching about hip-hop lyrics. So Republicans are the party of no sex, no drinking, no partying, uptight people who only like lame stuff like “Christian rock”, and are constantly dispproving of other people’s behavior.

    I have plenty of “liberal” friends whose primary if not ONLY reason for voting D is because of cultural issues. They aren’t all progressives demanding free health care. Many just can’t vote for some bible thumping hill billy who wants to ban abortion and gay marriage because of overriding concerns about personal liberty.

  21. Most Californian’s I know are naive about politics. A couple of anecdotes:

    I have many friends who live in California. Virtually all of them are democrats for social reasons and are oblivious about fiscal issues. They all bought the rhetoric about Romney’s war on women, minorities, etc. Several of them posted on FB about Romney’s “hate” during and after the election.

    Steven Levy’s book, In The Plex, about Google, concludes shortly after the presidential election in 2008. In it a bunch of Google employees, including some executives left the company to work for the Obama administration, inspired by Obama’s rhetoric. If memory serves, all, or nearly all of them left within a year or so, disillusioned with the experience. They realized that Obama’s various promises were BS and that Washington DC is very, very different than Silicon Valley.

    1. Washington DC is very, very different than Silicon Valley.

      No shit, Sherlock.

      People in Silicon Valley are driven by the market. They’re all about upsetting established interests with new technologies. And nothing works unless people voluntarily use your product.

      Washinton is all about power. It’s about protecting established interests and using power to benefit your friends and supporters. Creative people who want to upset things with creative, innovative ideas are positivly unwanted. NOBODY in Washington wants a smart, young, innovator to come along and fuck up their gravy train.

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