The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

Blog Posts

Elusive Trope's picture

There is No Evil

Megan McCardle provided a prime example, as linked to by Michael, of one particular take on what transpired in Newtown as well as other mass shooting that tends to get in my craw [emphasis mine]:

Most crimes are motivated by unlovely impulses that are at least comprehensible: the desire for money, sex, respect, revenge.  We don't do these things...But we can understand why people want to--we know what someone is after when they hold up a liquor store, or even kills their spouse for the insurance money.  Understanding is not sanction: these crimes still have the power to anger and horrify.  But they're comprehensible, and that comprehensibility is surprisingly comforting.  

The alternative is Newtown.  When one tries to picture the mind that plans it, one quickly comes to a dead end....Trying to climb this mountain of wickedness is like trying to climb a glass wall with your bare hands. What happened there is pure evil, and evil, unlike common badness, gives an ordinary mind no foothold.

Since we can't understand it, we can't change it.  And since we can't change it, our best hope is to box it in.

Elusive Trope's picture

Memo to Texas: Please Oh Please Secede

All I can say to you Texas, please take your 38 electoral college votes and go away.  This will guarantee the Dems will hold the WH for the next decade or so.  And since we have lost the Berlin Wall globally, we will now have at the Austin Wall. 




Elusive Trope's picture

The Raging Rockefellers Do A Flea Flicker

Team Romney, faced with 9 point deficit with 10 minutes left to go, and staring at that first debate moment in the game, changed their teams name to the Raging Rockefellers, referring to moderate Republican Nelson Rockefeller.  They figured this was better for the general election than their their previous name of the Frothing Buchanans.   The mascot wasn't going over well in internal polling, nor was it playing well in the swing states.

Elusive Trope's picture

The Denial of a Platform

One of the intriguing facet of the debate is why Obama didn't bring up of the 47%.  The Obama team claims that was a calculated decision.  They didn't want to give Romney a platform before 55 million+ Americans to do a mea culpa. 

The result is that Romney has to do the mea culpa on Hannity (whose audience is already not voting for Obama), and America gets just the headline about Romney admitting being "completely wrong" in his own words.

The commercials about the 47% still continue.

Obama and Biden will still use the 47% at their rallies.

Elusive Trope's picture

The Hail Mary was Successful but Costly

Romney down by 9 with 10 minutes left to go, not trusting his defense, went for the Hail Mary pass (just lie through your teeth and hope no one notices).  It was successful.  But the only wide receiver that put fear into the hearts of the defense's backfield was injured in the process.  So there is now 9:41 left in the game, Romney, down by 9 and in field goal range at Obama's 14 yard line no longer has a sigificant passing game.

Does he play it safe over the next few days and settle for the field goal?

Elusive Trope's picture are you feeling right now?

Talking with the folks around me, there is weird energy.  On the eve of the debate, liberals are "in general" feeling good, but also know "anything can happen" during debate. At the same time there is a sense Obama, Warren et al will pull it out in the end.

For a moment so happy together.



Elusive Trope's picture

The Infamous Football Analogy

Nate Silver has a great blog today, using the infamous football analogy, claiming that Romney is down by 7 early in the fourth quarter with possession of football on his own 20. 

According to the win probability calculator at, an N.F.L. team down by field goal with 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter has a 34 percent probability of winning the game. A team down by a touchdown wins just 16 percent of the time.

Elusive Trope's picture

Romney's Rock and Hard Place

As the two the presidential candidates prepare for the first debate, Romney finds himself between a rock and a hard place.  Obama is dealing with the same rock, but unlike Romney he lacks a similar hard place. 

The rock is the apparently small number of actual undecided voters, maybe as little as 2%.  This means to make significant gains in the poll, one has to go after the swing voters.  Romney is not going to pass Obama in places like Florida and Ohio just by grabbing all of the undecideds (many who could very well not vote at all).  He  has to convince those who have tentatively leaned toward Obama at the moment to change their mind and swing over to him.

Elusive Trope's picture

DNC Convention - Open Thread - Watch and Post

"A good first day of speeches and videos, right?"

Will day 2 match yesterday?

Time will tell.

With Bill wrapping it up, whatever it is said will get little coverage in the day after. But if the right zinger (or blunder) could break through.



Elusive Trope's picture


Member for
13 years 10 months

Latest Comments