Surprise victory for McCain.

by Harry on November 4, 2008

According to Arnie, McCain has 100% of the vote. Well, it made me laugh.

Take Marx… Take Jesus… Take Hope…

by Harry on November 4, 2008

Shortly after the Republican convention, I received the following complaint about CT:

How is it possible that the Housemartins have NEVER been mentioned on Crooked Timber?

A mystery indeed. My correspondent was reminded of the Housemartins by the people who were grinning themselves to death. in St Paul. But why complain to me?:

I know, I know, Holbo is random pop culture guy, but you seem to be the best candidate for CTer with (at least prior) affection for “Take Marx… Take Jesus… Take Hope.”

That’s probably right (and I like the gentle suggestion that I am the not-popular culture guy, or, as one of our readers said to me, the “archaic lower-middle-brow British culture” guy). I even saw the Housemartins once, which given my record of attending live popular music events demonstrates remarkable affection (none for 15 years, and only about 10 which didn’t involve Loudon Wainwright III or Richard Thompson before that). I’ve even got all their albums (well, both of them).

But, I thought, is there a song for today? Sitting on a Fence?; Get up off our knees?; Heaven Help Us All (introduced by Peely)?; We’re Not Going Back? (The Christians among you are bound to recognise the sentiments in Sunday isn’t Sunday — I have a “Antidisestablishmentarians for Obama” button, which I got because I figured it announced my membership of a vanishingly small minority group.. My friend told me I was being elitist. “Why, antidisestablishmentarianism is a non-elite view, here”; “Yes, but only elitists know what it means”. What can you do?)

Take your pick. And, sure, the world will be a little bit better tomorrow, but not enough better that you can’t make it better still.

Update: Doug K nominates Caravan of Love. I could go with that.

Go Vote!

by Brian on November 4, 2008

Recently Aaron S. Edlin, Andrew Gelman and Noah Kaplan wrote “an article in The Economists’ Voice”: setting out their argument that rational altruists should vote. A more careful version of the argument is “here”:, and if you like there is also a “mocking response by Andrew Leonard in Salon”:, and a more sensible “counter-mock by Gelman on his blog”:

There’s something right about the argument Edlin et al are making; it being rational for you to vote does require a degree of altruism. But I think their model (a) makes some fairly heroic assumptions, and more importantly (b) doesn’t explain why so many people in America should go vote today. Below the fold I give a slightly different reason for voting, one that applies in all 50 American states. The short version is that you should vote today because it increases your chances of getting a good outcome next time.
[click to continue…]

Last minute, pre-election rhetorical note

by John Holbo on November 4, 2008

Pejman Yousefzadeh: “Vote to remind a certain Presidential candidate that he and his surrogates can’t get away with the claim that they only intend to raise taxes on the rich.”

I guess Pejman Yousefzadeh endorses Barack Obama for President. Because, after all, the only way to hold Obama accountable for claiming that he only intends to raise taxes on the rich is, presumably, to gather evidence that this was not his true intention. I fail to see how it will be possible to gather more evidence about his true intentions than we’ve got already if he loses.

But seriously: I think it’s significant that the complaint against Obama is not that his tax plan is bad (who would say that, if they wanted to win over voters?) No, the complaint has to be that Obama’s tax plan isn’t Obama’s. Republicans have had such a rhetorical advantage on the tax question for decades that it’s remarkable to see them so hobbled this time out. That’s change I can believe in!