When “Progressive” Political Analysis Becomes “Junkie Logic” AKA Disinfo Rehab Time!

The election is barely past us, and already everyone’s trying to spin the results to suit Their Side. It’s been particularly amusing to watch the “progressives” try and spin this latest election as anything but a disaster. It’s a form of “junkie logic,” the same kind a drug addict uses to try and con you into loaning money, only this time the con is on the voter and anyone with common sense.

The usual people are spinning their best (instead of reporting, oddly enough) and predictably, some elected officials are upset too and are trying to contort what happened in November into some sort of a victory.

Heck you can hear it straight from the professional blog-commenters and Greens (yes, sigh, a few of them are still around..) at some event, but frankly, why bother? Junkie Logic is never much fun to listen to, neither is parroting or rubber-stamping the latest from the Politburo.

Ok, enough picking on the “progressive” kids. Let’s just look at some facts, and since I’m not in the business of defending one side or another, try and see if we can cut the nonsense one by one :

“Ranked Choice Voting will increase turnout, and be more inclusive than runoffs. It will save money and more people will participate.”

Oh really. Now let’s take a look at the numbers from our last big runoff, in 2003, supposedly evil because “less people” vote in runoffs (and yet in a twist of Junkie Logic, are the numbers now used by those who promoted RCV/IRV/WTF to say that Mayor Newsom “didn’t win”):

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 562). . . . . 562 (100%)
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL . . . . . 466,127
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL. . . . . . . 253,872
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL . . . . . . 54.46

Wow, 54%! Now lets look at how we did under the Magical Perfect RCV/IRV/WTF system the “progressives” prommised us would increase voter turnout (and cut costs!)

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 580). . . . . 580 (100%)
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL . . . . . 419,598
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL. . . . . . . . . 149,424
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL CARD 1 . . . . 149,424
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL CARD 2 . . . . 150,098
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL . . . . . . 35.61
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL CARD 1 . . . . 35.61
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL CARD 2 . . . . 35.77

That sound you here is the Junkie Intervention phone ringing, but no one is answering because they don’t want to hear the news – under the Magical RCV/IRV/WTF system, turnout was dismal, a mere 35% of voters turning out (100,000 fewer than in evil 2003!). But we were promised by radical advocates for the system that if we adopted it, more people would vote and the final vote would be a “true reflection of the people’s will.” (And whatever you do, do not note that there are actually about 40-50,000 fewer registered voters in San Francisco than there were in 2003! That’ll throw the junkie logic off even more!)

Suddnely, now that the vote result is not what some people wanted, that’s not the case, at least according to the Bay Guardian and assorted so-called “progressives.” Junkie Logic to the extreme.

Oh and that claim that this system would “save money” has been pretty much put to rest since we had to hand count, hand rewrite and handle ballots by hand because the voting machines weren’t, um, legal. The spectacle of radical so-called “elections reform” folks like Steven Hill actaully advocating for illegal machines just beacuse it made their phony RCV/IRV/WTF “reform” look bad was, well, crazy, to say the least.

Now, if that Junkie Logic were not enough, let’s take a look at the second big “Progressive” talking point, that of Mayor Newsom’s vote total:

“Mayor Newsom didn’t really win becuase he got less votes in 2007 than he did in the runoff in 2003 against Magical Matt, therefore he’s not popular and has no mandate.

So now that we’ve gone from hating runoffs to loving runoffs (see how junkie logic works), now we’re comparing an election from four years ago with today. Again, let’s look at some numbers (I’m only going to take a look at a one on one with the “progressive” candidate anointed by “progressives” and the Guardian, Quintin Mecke for now):

2007 Results

GAVIN NEWSOM . . . . . . . . . 105,570 73.66
QUINTIN MECKE . . . . . . . . . 9,077 6.33

2003 Results
GAVIN NEWSOM. . . . . . . . . . 133,546 52.81
MATT GONZALEZ . . . . . . . . . 119,329 47.19

Now, the junkies are claiming that because Mayor Newsom got fewer votes in 2007 than Magical Matt did in 2003, somehow, he’s “lost.” True he did get fewer votes – but turnout was also significantly lower, as we just pointed out, and there are 40,000+ fewer registered voters than in Magical 2003. There’s nothing to suggest if more people voted in an election that was deader than a bird in the bay Mayor Newsom would not have received a lower percentage of the vote.

As pollster Ben Tulchin pointed out (despite Guardian “reporter” Jones’ protestations) at the SPUR event a few weeks ago, Mayor Newsom’s vote turned out to be pretty much the same as any poll asking folks if they liked him or not.

That’s what this election turned out to be because….progressives didn’t bother to show up! Even with all their electoral goodies (public financing, district elections, RCV/IRV etc.), no one bothered to show up and stand up to the Mayor, and thus, we ended up with the result we got – and now “progressives” are crying foul.

News flash, proggies: By your logic, your “progressive” candidate, Quintin Mecke, got slaughtered since he got only 9,077 votes – 100,000+ votes less than what Magical Matt got. Even if you assume that all the baker’s dozen candidates were “progressive” (and they were not), and add up all their votes, you still come out over 80,000 votes behind. So suck it up kids – you lost because you were too chicken to show up and fight. Junkie logic make make the medicine go down better, but it doesn’t change the fact that you got “pwned” as the gamer kids like to say.

The success of Proposition A means that the progressives can take credit for the win, and will keep on winning!”

This piece of junkie logic wasn’t on some chatroom or web bbs, but instead in the pages of the Guardian. It’s a classic example of taking credit for a win one had little to do with – a popular tactic amongst “fellow traveler” movements, but not one you’d expect in a newspaper.

Measure A won despite the fact that turnout was extraordinarily low, especially amongst the “progressives” (God, can anyone define just who these people are anymore?) and there was no effective organized citywide turnout machine by anyone EXCEPT the Measure A campaign.

More importantly, the Measure A campaign was coasting as late as September when everyone was under the impression Big Bad Don Fisher (who apparently polls citywide as poorly as Chris Daly these days) wasn’t going to run a campaign against the measure. It wasn’t until some alleged “deal” was broken that Measure A had to get its act together, and it did because it was run by professionals who knew what they were doing, and it passed. Yay.

I don’t know that people coming together on this one issue means the progressives are saved, especially since they’re already fighting over who’s “more progressive” in District 9 (and we can expect more of this “politics by gossip” in other districts). Voters also have a nice nasty battle between Sen. Migden and Assemblyman Leno in June, and may even have the chance to see a battle between the Democratic Establishment and popular leader Jackie Speier on the westside. Woo hoo?

Something tells me that with so many candidates running so many little campaigns, each fighting and beating each other over the head about who is a “real” progressive, Other Candidates offering a positive, success-oriented message could win a few of the open seats next year. Or maybe not, it really depends on who bothers to show up, run a real campaign, and oh I dunno, talk to voters instead of talking at them the way some people in this town just love to do.

Ah, but what do I know? I still have this crazy notion Newsom won the election and will serve as Mayor, but the People Who Think They Know Everything say otherwise.

Voters will have to cut through the clutter in 2008 and make up their own minds as to who will best cut crime, improve MUNI, do something about housing, and restore the City’s greatness. Should be an interesting campaign.

Maybe if all sides bother to show up and be constructive for a change, San Francisco’s voters will win in the end.
PS: Ya know, I would have been happy to take a more positive, helpful tack with all of this but anytime I’ve tried to be helpful or constructive to “progressives” I get attacked for not sticking to the party line. Whatever.

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