Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The Midterm Election Debunked Big Myths About Gridlock, Obamacare

Guess what. Voters don't really hate "obstructionism." They hate the other party.

White House/InstagramWhite House/InstagramGuess what. Voters don't really hate "obstructionism." They hate the other party.

If we're to believe the media-authored account of the past six years, the GOP has made rigid obstructionism of Barack Obama's policies its sole agendum. In victory and in concession speeches, candidates of both parties still claim that "dysfunction" has been the biggest problem in Washington.

Where exactly have Republicans suffered for their stubbornness? The reality is that Republicans have been generously rewarded for their tenacity in stopping post-Obamacare progressive policy. Since 2010, the Republicans have pulled together a historic string of victories—with scores of seats changing hands in the House. If anything, what we learned is that politicians are far likelier to be penalized by the electorate for passing unworkable and overreaching legislation than they are for stopping it.

That's just one myth we function under in Washington. Another talking point we heard a lot leading up to the midterm elections, most notably from Fox News channel's Juan Williams, revolved around the idea that we were experiencing some broad reaction to a broken Washington—a revolt against incumbency and politics in general.

Though it's true that most voters tell pollsters they abhor the bickering in Washington, according to exit polls more than a third of those who voted for a Republican congressional candidate claimed to be dissatisfied or angry with GOP leaders in Congress. And a quarter of those who voted Democratic claimed they were dissatisfied with Obama. The reality is that only one party was punished. American voters didn't oust incumbents; they ousted Democrats. If Sen. Pat Roberts (R- Kan.) could come back to win his race against a candidate whose entire rationale for running was to end partisanship, this was about holding not all elites accountable but Democrats.

For months, we've been also hearing how Democratic losses could be chalked up to "structural" problems. The map was the problem! "In this election cycle, this is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower. There are a lot of states that are being contested where they just tend to tilt Republican," Obama told a local radio station.

That was an arguable contention to start with, but it was certainly shattered by the results. Moreover, you can't have it both ways. When the president wins, his victory is driven by issues. When Democrats lose, they are untethered from policy or party.

That myth can be put to bed. In 2012, Obama won Colorado 51.49 percent to 46.13 percent. Today 55 percent of voters there have a negative view of the president. While liberal Sen. Mark Udall was beaten handily, a less liberal governor, John Hickenlooper—a man who was lucky enough never to have had to vote for Obamacare—squeaked it out. In Iowa in 2012, Obama won 51.99 percent to 46.18 percent, but Republican Joni Ernst won the Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Maryland, Illinois and Virginia were all Obama country in 2012 and all saw surprisingly competitive races or worse.

When you break it down, this may have been one of the least "structural" losses for any party in a long time.

Another myth we heard for weeks leading up to the elections was that Republicans had abandoned Obamacare as an issue. Turns out some of the biggest winners in the most competitive states—Cory Gardner in Colorado, Ernst in Iowa—were full-throated critics of the Affordable Care Act and never shied away. According to Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, Obamacare ads dominated TV and radio. The GOP ran about 13,000 Obamacare ads in Senate races in one week leading up to Election Day. When was the last time a single piece of legislation dominated a midterm in that way?

No doubt Democrats will continue to argue that historic Republican gains had nothing to do with the most discussed legislation in America. But it is far more plausible that Obamacare has fathered two colossal-wave elections by the GOP in a mere four years—which, by any measurement, makes it the least popular federal law in our lifetimes.

Photo Credit: White House/Instagram

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Slammer||

    Late for the 2nd day in a row. Someone needs a write-up.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Do you even know what a write-up is?

  • ||

    It's like a write-off.

  • Rich||

    Is it like a dress-down?

  • ||

    Don't mind Fist, he's just panicking, and his finger is getting sore from jabbing at F5 so much.

  • Slammer||

    Improvement Plan

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WILL NO ONE HELP ME OUT WITH A SEINFELD SCENE HERE?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Seinfeld makes me angry at the characters, so I don't watch it.

  • Rich||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wait, was that a shot at Protestants?

  • ||

    Maybe he just means Christians that celebrate holidays dedicated to the Goddess of the Dawn or thinly-veiled versions of Saturnalia and Yule.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, I'll fucking kick his ass if he's attacking the Claus.

  • ||

    What problem could he possibly have with a nice syncretic saint like Santa Claus?

    The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, whose name is a dialectal pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, the historical Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, I knew there was a reason my ancestors abandoned the papists. Time to bring Catholic hate back.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    I'm pretty sure it never left.

  • Derpetologist||

    I prefer Santa Klaus, who wears a pickelhaube and taunts you for being weak.

  • Slammer||

  • Juice||

    viking metal has to be the worst form of metal

  • Juice||

    wait, no, it's doom, that's the worst

  • Terc||

    I'm a fan of the stoner variety.

  • JWatts||

    So Commie Pope hates Santa Claus, eh?

  • sasob||

    Pope Francis: 'Pagan' Christians 'in Name Only' are 'Enemies of the Cross'

    Then love thine enemies, Father. Remember?

  • JPyrate||

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What a remarkably stupid statement. The very reason for Christianity's success, under the auspices of the Catholic Church mind you, was it's skill and talent at co-opting other, pagan, religious traditions.

  • ||

    I thought I just did.

    Seinfeld telling Kramer he doesn't know what a write-off is.

    MUST I DRAW PICTURES?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, it wasn't clear enough.

  • MJGreen||

    I think it qualifies, but it does break up the flow of the joke. We already know that write-up=write-off in this reference!

    Anyway... Hello!

  • MJGreen||

    ENB does. And she's the one writing it up.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Giddyup.

  • The Other Kevin||

    They should get guests to post the pm links. Like Amanduh one day, and Ron Paul another day. That would be fun.

  • db||

    When they get around to their begathon they should offer a prize to be randomly.selected from the commenters: each day the winner gets to contribute a link for both the a.m. and p.m. links.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I dread what the commentariat would contribute...

  • ||

    Hey, you're not the PM links!

  • C. Anacreon||

    Every comment about this article is about how it isn't PM links.

    David, you should demand a weekend prime-time reposting, so we can find out what this article is actually about.

  • Rich||

    The reality is that Republicans have been generously rewarded for their tenacity in stopping post-Obamacare progressive policy, writes David Harsanyi.

    The Party of kNOw, suckas!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, I think the slight hint of a principle or two has helped the GOP, even though it's mostly illusory. The shutdown showdown played no small role in that. People knew it was bullshit on the part of the administration.

  • JWatts||

    That's not what I read in the paper. /ducks

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That not what he even read here. At least not all the time.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    PM Links...PM Links...come on, man, just one hit of PM Links and I'll be OK...

  • The DerpRider||

    Someone left early to hit happy hour.

  • Pro Libertate||

    THIS is Ceti Alpha V!

  • The DerpRider||

    I'm not a drama critic!

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're a doctor?

  • Rich||

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The reality is that Republicans have been generously rewarded for their tenacity in stopping post-Obamacare progressive policy"

    I'd love to believe this, but which part did they stop again?

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Damn it. LYNX!!

  • Tony||

    What kind of soulless alcoholic do you have to be to go into politics with the agenda of destroying the public's faith in your own role in society just to depress voter turnout and get yourself elected by the remaining demented assholes who think you're the solution to the problem you caused?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I donno, let's ask Barry O. That does fit his track record.

  • The DerpRider||

  • Slammer||

    WTF does that have do with the lynx being late?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh look, everybody!

    It's fucking Tony!

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    "soulless alcoholic." I don't know about you, but this drunk ginger lost his faith in government by observation, not because of some cynic campaign by a politician.

  • Tony||

    What do you mean by lost your faith in "government"? Are you an anarchist? Why not just lose faith in people who are bad at governing?

  • Cytotoxic||

    "Are you against bloodletting? Why not just lose faith in people who are bad at bloodletting?"

  • Tony||

    So...anarchist? How do you reconcile that with your obvious erection for the political party that spent a trillion dollars to find nonexistent WMDs and tortured people?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm not an anarchist. Lacking faith in government does not make one an anarchist. And please stop projecting your idiotic partisanship onto me.

  • Tony||

    I know, I just think you're confused. Lacking faith in government per se doesn't make sense. It's like lacking faith in weather. History provides a spectrum of examples of governments, none perfect, but some definitely better than others.

    I suggest bad governments sometimes come from people who tell you that government per se is the problem. When people say that you should know you're being fed bullshit and that they don't have your interests in mind.

  • Brian||

    Yes, and only those people.

    Everyone else who wants power desperately wants to optimize every one else's happiness, even at the exclusion of their own.

  • Tony||

    I believe that there are people who run for political office because they want to make society better. If there are no such people, we're fucked down the line, so what's the point of even talking about it?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    I believe that there are people who run for political office because they want to make society better.

    Sweet dreams, Pollyanna.

  • Slammer||

    I believe that there are people who run for political office because they want to make society better.

    That's what I'm afraid of.

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

  • JPyrate||

    "I believe that there are people who run for political office because they want to make society better."

    "If there are no such people"

    Contradiction much ?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I believe that there are people who run for political office because they want to make society better.

    And if they have to shoot people in the head to do it,...omelettes...eggs...

  • The_Millenial||

    Cytotoxic, I don't think you lack faith in the government at all. You expect/entrust them to pursue a total war and scorched earth policy if a foreign group or entity potentially threatens your rights.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You can have little faith in government and still think it is better than anarchy.

  • Tony||

    Doesn't that mean there's only one option available: trying to make government work as well as possible?

    Of course I'd never accuse anyone here of preferring that government work poorly so their dumb little political ideology gets proven right.

  • Dweebston||

    You don't suspect ousting a bunch of lefty nitwits had something to do with improving politics, at least in the eyes of the electorate?

    It won't, of course, because like you they're insufficiently skeptical.

  • paranoid android||

    The proper response to Tony:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkQ5oARNxLU

  • Dweebston||

    Also, I spoke too soon about the tears at Politico being the best thing about a GOP-dominated Congress.

    Tony's are much more satisfying.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Doesn't that mean there's only one option available: trying to make government work as well as possible?

    Sure.

    OK, so how best should the government go about managing who your friends and boyfriends are?

    You like that idea? Oh, you don't? Do you worry that, perhaps, government might "suck" at picking your BFFs? Well, government doesn't necessarily have to suck, so you obviously don't have our best interests in mind, you close-minded individualist.

  • Brian||

    Thomas Jefferson:

    That government is best which governs least.

    You know, one of those historic political figures that progressives like to masturbate to. Or, someone who's out to get us all. Take your pick.

  • Tony||

    I'm a Hamiltonian.

    Sure some things government shouldn't do. Among those isn't paying attention to whether the economy is fucking everyone over or whether it's working to make people broadly prosperous, or ensuring universal access to healthcare and education, or making sure citizens aren't starving to death. But then we're defending specific roles and policies on their merits and not talking about an overarching theory of government.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    But then we're defending specific roles and policies on their merits and not talking about an overarching theory of government.

    Yeah, not like that stupid poser Jefferson, who didn't have our best interests at heart. People who say things like deserve good, strong lecturing, lest they go on thinking bad thoughts, and corrupting minds.

  • Tony||

    I don't think a single human literally expanded the scope of the US government more than Thomas Jefferson.

  • Brian||

    As you said, he must not have had other people's best interest at heart.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Except your overarching theory is government is steal from some to give to others. Your specific roles are just a thin skin over a solid core of envy and greed.

  • Tony||

    Except your overarching theory is government is steal from some to give to others.

    That's the only thing government does. All governments do that. You can't be a government if you don't do that. Except it's not stealing, it's taxing.

  • sasob||

    Taxation is just what they call stealing when it's done by a group - or those who claim to represent the group.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's the only thing government does. All governments do that. You can't be a government if you don't do that.

    Well, actually, that and kill people, but that's beside the point.

    Given what you just said, how the fuck is it that you think that anyone should "put their faith" in such an institution? That the only problem is the wrong guys in charge?

    If you really do believe both things, I can only conclude that you are a genuinely evil piece of shit.

  • Juice||

    I'm a Hamiltonian.

    Of course you are.

    It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity. -AH
  • ||

    Don't you be bringing in history in here.

    /prog.

  • Tony||

    Since I've said over and over that neither I nor anybody else advocates for pure democracy, I'd say Hamilton and I are pretty smart.

  • Brian||

    You do frequently make appeals to history validating the awesomeness of democracy, while conspicuously ignoring its obvious historical failures.

  • Tony||

    By democracy of course I mean what the civilized world practices and what tyrannical regimes lack. Your obsession with having this meaningless conversation indicates to me that you think tyranny would be just grand if someone like you could be in charge. God knows the will of the people is a minor concern to most of you.

  • sasob||

    God knows the will of the people is a minor concern to most of you.

    Which people? All the people except those that are being screwed over?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Your obsession with having this meaningless conversation indicates to me that you think tyranny would be just grand if someone like you could be in charge. God knows the will of the people is a minor concern to most of you.

    Meaningless conversation? You're the one who insists that your entire worldview is shaped around the principles of equality and democracy, over and over again.

    Well, your democracy has given you a legislature controlled by republicans. Enjoy that equality democracy, and deferring to the will of the people, for whatever that's worth. I assume it makes you a nice guy, or something. Better that, I guess, than claiming that being ruled by republicans is, in some way, invalid. God forbid someone suggest such a thing.

    Meanwhile, I'll avoid fantasies of running the world, thank you very much. Not interested. Part of being a libertarian.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Your obsession with having this meaningless conversation indicates to me that you think tyranny would be just grand if someone like you could be in charge.

    Exactly what "tyranny" is there in leaving people the hell alone?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    I'd say Hamilton and I are pretty smart.

    When you accomplish something accurately described as "smart", let us know.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Doesn't that mean there's only one option available: trying to make government work as well as possible?

    Oh, government is great at lots of things. Unfortunately, they happen to be evil things like war.

  • JPyrate||

    Ok Tony so now you are a Minarchist, or you support the Constitution (Limited Government) You have the same philosophy as a "dirty, racist teabagger"

  • woodNfish||

    What torture? You mean waterboarding? So what, it works. Do you mean humiliation by parading around naked raghead dirtbags in front of female GIs so the women could make fun of their small dicks? Whoopie-F'in-doo again. All those methods work and none are physically harmful. As for your "non-existant WMDs" the Pentagon was finally forced to admit through a freedom of information suit that over 600 of our troops were harmed by chemical weapons in Iraq - your non-existant WMDs. The number is probably higher as we already know the government is incapable of telling the truth about anything.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Start with bootleggers and baptists. Learn from there.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    If only we had the right people in charge...

  • Tony||

    If only unicorns shat skittles. Yeah getting the right people in charge is pretty much what we're stuck with.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Why are you bringing up Treyvon at a time like this?

  • Dweebston||

    What's with the misdirected anger, Tony? I understand that the beatdown voters gave your party must have smarted something fierce, but what has that to do with libertarians or anarchy? If anything, given that stance you're taking here vis-a-vis elections having consequences, you should be thrilled about the outcome: the voters spoke and in no election did a politician fail to take a seat. The midterms were on net politician-neutral. No radical transformation of the sort libertarians might envision took root, no office was shuttered, and no polity seceded. The electorate spoke and guaranteed business as usual for another few years. Why are you worried?

  • Tony||

    Republicans in charge should worry literally everyone on the planet. People who profess not to believe the single greatest crisis on earth is even happening are really fucking scary if they're put in charge of policy related to such. Jim fucking Inhoffe chairing the committee on the environment is a sick joke.

    Why on earth should I be thrilled? I believe not just in elections but in winning them. I also believe most libertarians have not-so-secret boners for Republicans because they are morons who believe Republicans when they talk about small government and/or are garden variety conservatives who think it's hip not to pick a team.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The single greatest crisis on Earth that hasn't been happening for the last two decades? Uh huh. John Holdren (aka Captain Population Bomb) being anyone's science adviser is the sickest joke of all.

    Tell me, Tony, what is the perfect mean global temperature? Go run to your SkepticalScience kiddies for your scripted answer. I'll wait.

  • Tony||

    I'm not doing this on this thread. Save your willful ignorance/unabashed arrogance for someone stupid enough to buy your bullshit talking points. I'm on the side of science. That doesn't mean I like what science says on this subject. But as someone living in the post-Enlightenment world I am afforded no alternative to trusting what science emphatically says.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    HAHAHAHA. You can't refute the facts so you make some senseless appeal to "science." Too bad reality is intruding in your little imaginary universe.

  • Tony||

    It is not reality that the greenhouse effect is a hoax.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's a good thing that the Greenhouse Effect isn't a hoax otherwise the mean temperature of the Earth would not allow for persistent liquid water. What you don't understand is that all of your precious models predicting the apocalypse have been falsified at 97% CI. There's your science.

    The Earth is more productive than it was 30 years ago. Your climate refugees are nonexistent. The US is currently in the longest period of non-landing major hurricanes in history. Recent trends of tornadic activity are on the decline. Population and economic value-adjusted natural disaster damage has been flat to declining for the last 60 years. More and more papers are getting published showing lower ECS and TCR values--incidentally those values are remarkably close to Arrhenius' final values and not your recent climastrololgists' scaremongering.

    All of your boogeymen have failed to materialize, and all you can do is walk around with your "The End is Nigh!" signs. You desperately want CAGW to be real. It validates your existence since surely only government can save us from our climate sins.

    Pathetic.

  • Derpetologist||

    "Republicans in charge should worry literally everyone on the planet."

    I can picture a montage of Eskimos, Hottentots, Bedouins, and Chinese peasants wringing their hands.

    "I also believe most libertarians have not-so-secret boners for Republicans because they are morons who believe Republicans when they talk about small government and/or are garden variety conservatives who think it's hip not to pick a team."

    You don't get it. Just because we despise progs like you doesn't mean we love their supposed enemy, who are just as bad most of the time.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    There is hope is the Republican Party. It is barely a sliver, but it is there. There is no hope for the Democratic Party. They are the enemy of liberty.

  • Juice||

    Either party having full control of the federal government is scurry for me. I prefer gridlock.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    Damn straight.

  • ||

    'Republicans in charge should worry literally everyone on the planet.'

    Hyperbole aside (remind me which party started more wars again?), the only problem is the main banana who matters is, you know, the President.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What do you mean by lost your faith in "government"? Are you an anarchist?

    What a remarkably sad and pathetic viewpoint. If you don't mind my asking, why do you see government as something to put your faith in? Usually, for sane people, it's just an institution created to serve a defined and limited purpose. They put their faith into their religion. They don't put their faith in Apple. Or Toyota. Are you admitting here that you worship the state?

  • ||

    Derp.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Your tears make a great sauté.

  • Tony||

    It's hard to see around all the throbbing boners for Republicans around here lately.

  • Cytotoxic||

    More yummy tears and delusion from SF's saddest retard.

  • PapayaSF||

    And yet, here you are.

  • Tony||

    I'm just here representing libertarianism all by my lonesome self as usual.

  • ||

    "I'm just here representing libertarianism all by my lonesome self as usual."

    /drops cigarette from lips.

  • PapayaSF||

    The self-delusion is strong in that one. Unless, while I wasn't looking, "libertarianism" has been redefined as "an unquenchable desire for more government."

  • JPyrate||

    Epi I hope Reason is paying you for this. =)

  • bob sacomano||

    Tony Toni Tone.

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    Keep your litte gay fantasies to yourself, dude.

  • Tony||

    Little is right.

  • ||

    Hey guys, I think Tony just made a funny sorta referring to us as the Omega Theta Pi House!

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    It's hard to see around all the throbbing boners for Republicans around here lately.

    Don't mistake the enjoyment of delicious, salty ham tears for a huge erection over republicans.

    We know that republicans suck. It's just fun to watch democrats learn that, yes, people think they suck, too.

    It's even funnier watching people who whine about the inherent virtues of equality and democracy now switch gears and start explaining how the democratic election is now allowing evil racists to control our lives through government. So much for democracy and equality. But, hey, that's what we're stuck with.

  • ||

    It's also hilarious watching the 'Democrat permanent majority' meme explode in their faces.

    Wha? Howcanibee? Peoplez arez stupidz!

    Too funny.

  • Brian||

    If only we had the right voters....

  • PapayaSF||

  • JWatts||

    Well it's the two thirds that didn't vote that really count, don't you know.

  • PapayaSF||

    The "silent majority." Obama really is the Chocolate Nixon!

  • craiginmass||

    "It's also hilarious watching the 'Democrat permanent majority' meme explode in their faces.

    Wha? Howcanibee? Peoplez arez stupidz!"

    I never heard of this permanent majority except as a statement from Karl Rove referring to the GOP.

    Firstly, people are stupid. PT Barnum was right. Money talks, BS walks in US Politics. Nothing to be too proud of.

    However, let's talk the real messages of the 2014 election....

    1. Koch money did it's job - big time. In Florida, 100 million beat 50 million by 1%.

    2. Establishment Republicans rule - and the GOP is already promoting outspoken war hawks to Congress. You'd think libertarians would cry about this...but, as Tony Said, they are too busy wanking.

    3. Gerrymanding works....well.

    None of these things seem to be valuable for true libertarianism. The same Koch money that brought in Rick Scott also will make him keep Marijuana criminal even though 58% of the state voted differently. Foreign policy hawks were swept into many offices.

    I can't see any reason to either gloat or celebrate unless "white power" is your singular theme.

  • PapayaSF||

    I never heard of this permanent majority except as a statement from Karl Rove referring to the GOP.

    Here, let me Google that for you.

    40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation by James Carville, with Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza

  • Brian||

    Yes, yes, yes. We get it: republicans wear the black hats. Democrats wear the white hats.

  • MJGreen||

    ...the Aristocrats!

  • burserker||

    Ted Kennedy?

  • JPyrate||

    /raises the Jolly Rodger

    /places hand over heart

    My name is JPyrate. I am a soulless alcoholic. I swear to subvert the law when I can get away with it. I also swear to save any soul I can, from the clutches of the collective. In Freedom, Liberty, and Charity for all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agbCspmBSWk

  • The DerpRider||

    Well, I was going to brag about getting my hands on a Dogfish 120 and enjoying it at 5pm. 18 more minutes.

  • JPyrate||

    @ The DerpRider. If you get a chance try an Allagash Farm To Face.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What was the re-election rate for Congress in these midterms?

  • kinnath||

    north of 90%

  • The Other Kevin||

    Wow, a bloodbath!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    WTF, Reason, did you hire the Obamacare IT guys or something?

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, we're still able to access the site, just not the content you're looking for.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I told everyone it wouldn't last. I told everyone way back when Cavanaugh first did them and they were called Afternoon Links that it was just a gimmick.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Do you have a link to that?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

  • UnCivilServant||

    Sorry I doubted you.

  • MJGreen||

    THIS IS ANARCHY!

    AND NOT THE GOOD KIND!

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    Tim Cavanaugh. I heard he was dead.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I remember before all of that, when all we had were Friday Fun Links.

    And when somebody forgot to post those, there would be whole threads of nothing but Haiku!

    That'd teach 'em.

  • ||

    Where are the links?

    Won't somebody think of Fist?!?

  • Slammer||

    Fist says we boycott until we get links! WHO'S WITH HIM????

  • ||

    /looks away.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone. Everyone is with me.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Lies.

    I reserve the right to remain contrary.

  • The Other Kevin||

    These are going to be some fucking amazing pm links. Probably with lots of extra selfies of sex workers.

  • The DerpRider||

    /rethinks leaving work early.

  • Florida Man||

    Male or Female? Who am I kidding, I'll look at either.

  • ||

    I like this one.

  • Dweebston||

    It's hard to look away from a man making the duckface at his phone.

  • Riven||

    I don't have that problem.

  • ||

    Does it count if I'm just an unpaid intern?

  • The DerpRider||

    Here. Stick it in your ear for the weekend.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ6rv2ZC3Kc

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

  • Cytotoxic||

    Voters don't really hate "obstructionism." They hate the other party.

    I don't know who could be stupid enough to believe the GOP could be punished for standing up to a hated regime *cough*Suderman*cough*Welch.

  • Rhywun||

    Man, tough crowd around here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, instead of all of this bitching, perhaps you all could pitch in and help out with some worthy links. For instance:

    France 4 invites nation to descend into television "Anarchy." France is in chaos after President François Hollande pulls his country, mired in record debt, out of the euro and brings back the franc. While the new currency is being minted, the population has to survive on €40 a week each. What happens next? In Anarchy, a groundbreaking interactive political fiction series on French TV, it’s up to the public to decide.

  • UnCivilServant||

    All right.

    More Shameless Self-Promotion.

    Shadowdemon is available for pre-order. It is the sequel to my previous book.

    Some of you might find them entertaining. The first book will go on sale for the first week of the sequel's release for anyone who hasn't read that too.

    /End PM Links Self-promotion blurb.

    With these delays, I might have to repeat myself later.

  • PapayaSF||

    Giving away your True Identity, eh? I try not to do that. Good luck with your book, though.

  • UnCivilServant||

    You're allowed to publish under a pen name on Amazon.

  • PapayaSF||

    Aha, *two* handles. Tricky!

  • paranoid android||

    See, I want to make a joke, but I can't figure out if "French Socialists Write Masturbatory Fantasy About the Chaos of a World Without French Socialists" or "Lazy Hack Writers Want Internet Idiots to Do Their Jobs for Them" is the better angle here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't know either. Such is the curse of ennui, the French sickness.

  • db||

    Wait, I thought that was syphilis.

  • PapayaSF||

    "That's the German disease!" /so-the-french-say

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's how you get syphilis, if you're French.

  • ||

    No evidence feds hacked Attkisson

    Attkisson says "My television is misbehaving. It spontaneously jitters, mutes, and freeze-frames". This is not a symptom of hackers. Instead, it's a common consumer complaint caused by the fact that cables leading to homes (and inside the home) are often bad. [...]

    She says "I call home from my mobile phone and it rings on my end, but not at the house", implying that her phone call is being redirected elsewhere. This is a common problem with VoIP technologies. [...]

    She says that her alarm triggers at odd hours in the night. Alarms work over phone lines and will trigger when power is lost on the lines (such as when an intruder cuts them). She implies that the alarm system goes over the VoIP system on the FiOS box. The FiOS box losing power or rebooting in the middle of the night can cause this. This is a symptom of hardware troubles on the FiOS box, or Verizon maintenance updating the box, not hackers.

    She says that her computer made odd "Reeeeee" noises at 3:14am. That's common. [...] This is a common symptom of bugs in the system, but not a symptom of hackers.

    It's not that hackers can't cause these problems, it's that they usually don't.
  • PapayaSF||

    Maybe some of what she's talked about isn't hackers, but didn't they find secret documents hidden in her computer? Wasn't there an authorized wire of some sort found installed in her house? Maybe she's just overreacting because of the real hacking.

  • JWatts||

    "CBS News announced Friday that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's computer was hacked by "an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions," confirming Attkisson's previous revelation of the hacking."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cb.....er-hacked/

    I'm not sure it's true, but she does have a third party opinion that agrees with her.

  • Slammer||

  • UnCivilServant||

    Isn't she always 'sick'?

  • PapayaSF||

  • Slammer||

    It's awesome. But a little too creepy for a national meme, I think.

  • lap83||

    Yeah I agree. It's good, but creepy. Also, what is this world coming to that orphans own a bookstore? They should not confuse their labor contribution with ownership.

  • PapayaSF||

    Thanks, both of you. I know lap83 is being funny, but I meant that "their bookstore" is the one where Mom and Dad buy them books.

    I was unsuccessful in finding a photo of kids running away from the viewer, but I found this one, and the creepy aspect seemed like a plus.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I guess she just wants to spend more time with her sister.

  • ||

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    Link fail

  • ||

    Hmm, tried it in three browsers and Grrizz seems to be able to see it.

    I hate to suggest it's operator error on your part, but you seem to be unable to click a link successfully, so we might wanna consider that.

  • grrizzly||

    It looks similar to pressing the English button on the ATM screen and getting Spanish instead. It happened often to me with one ATM, from which I used to withdraw cash. Sometimes you have to touch space just above the button on the screen.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wait, the screen on ATMs is touch-sensitive? I've always used the side buttons.

  • ||

    I agree. It's probably a miscalibration of the touchscreen, but I wonder how many voters (especially older) realize that they just have to tap a bit higher.

  • JWatts||

    Yes, I agree it's a calibration issue. However, it's still completely stupid. Poll workers are supposed to run the calibration utility before the voting starts.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    I had my electronic voting machine misinterpret a screen touch once while I was voting. It was very strange. The choice it selected wasn't even close to the area on the screen I touched. Of course, I corrected it. I had no more problems.

    But I know from smartphone experience that touchscreen devices will randomly freak out sometimes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Links are up, dummies.

  • JPyrate||

    I like this David Harsanyi guy. =)

  • craiginmass||

    "Historic Republican Gains"

    Wow, that one takes some New Math!

    Midterm elections in a POTUS second term almost always go even worse than this....in terms of actual votes. Many of the contests (Florida, for example) were won by 1% and even then only by being outspent by 50 million dollars.

    I don't think the right has much to cheer about. Frankly, it doesn't look good for the radical tea party and libertarian types.

    It does look great for the establishment Republicans - who I feel have a good chance at the POTUS in 2016 if they run their moderates like the Gov. of Ohio. It would seem hard for a Hillary type to win against a less entrenched moderate who was not part of a dynasty.

    But I'm past believing that voters or political parties do stuff which makes sense.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You can count on Harsanyi for some of the most ridiculous articles on this site, and here is another one.

    In the first place, there was one clear election in which Obamacare was on the ballot, and that would be the Presidential election of 2012. Oh, and that's right, Obamacare was vigorously supported (funny how Libertarians don't think that election was a referendum on Obamacare, but any in which the GOP wins is in fact that).

    Hey David, you should take heed of what Bailey always warns others about on this site...confirmation bias. You caught a bad case of it.

    Here is the least popular "lack of Congressional effort" in modern times, David. Refusal to put background checks on guns...something that over 90% of the American public supports. Oh that's right...on that they are just ignorant.

    So much for reality based referendums from Harsanyi.

  • Brian||

    Jackand Ace:

    In the first place, there was one clear election in which Obamacare was on the ballot, and that would be the Presidential election of 2012. Oh, and that's right, Obamacare was vigorously supported (funny how Libertarians don't think that election was a referendum on Obamacare, but any in which the GOP wins is in fact that).

    Yeah, but the implementation schedule of Obamacare was carefully timed such that, for 2012 election, it was still a bunch of rosy sounding promises. That was back before Kathleen Sibelius had mocking SNL sketches

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online