Monday, February 4, 2019

Why Virginia Governor Northam has to go

And why it's for the greater good that he's going to hang around twisting in the wind for a while before he goes.



Not for nothing is Tam known as the Queen of Snark.  Northam is trying to hang on but that's really just embarrassing and damaging his party now.  Five years ago this all would have been dealt with quietly, with Approved tut tutting and "mistakes were made" noises from the GOP side.  No more:


Northam has done what few pols accomplish - stepping into it up to his chin twice in two consecutive days.  The last time a Governor has been this amusing was when South Carolina Governor Mark Stanford hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way to his mistress' apartment in Buenos Aires.  

The Press is, of course, outraged.  Not at Northam, although privately they're mad that he's peed in their punchbowl - no, they're mad that people like Tam are mocking a Democrat.  And that she's being joined in the free for all by the Mocker In Chief.

What they're really mad at is that the tools that they used to monopolize - mockery of your political opponent - are now available for everyone, and are being used against their political allies.  And quite frankly, this is why Northam has to go after a long, agonizing, and damaging time (weeks?) of twisting in the wind.  You see, the power that the Press used to monopolize was used corruptly, and there are mathematical proofs that using this back at them will tend to reduce their corrupt use of it in the future.

Really.  I've written before about this:
Game Theory is a field of mathematics originally developed to try to mathematically derive optimum solutions for card games in the 18th century.  It has developed into a major field of analysis used in computer science and even the design of crypto systems.  Any of you who saw the film "A Beautiful Mind" have at least a passing familiarity with the subject. 
You probably even know the most famous example of Game Theory: The Prisoner's Dilemma.  Two prisoners are (separately) offered a deal - rat out the other guy or keep silent.  If they rat and the other guy doesn't, they go free and he gets a long sentence.  If neither of them rat, they both get short sentences.  If they both rat, they both get long sentences.  And most importantly to the prisoner, if he doesn't rat but the other guy does, he gets a long sentence while the other guy walks. 
It's a one-time deal, which makes the math simpler.  Real world situations are not so simple, and a variant of the Prisoner's Dilemma has incorporated this.  Tit For Tat is a sequential set of prisoner's dilemma events where the strategy is to play what your opponent played in the previous round.  If your opponent was cooperative, you will be cooperative; if he screwed you, you will screw him back.
What's interesting about Tit For Tat is that mathematical proofs have shown that it leads to the outcome with maximum combined utility.  If your opponent always screws you, you're no worse off playing Tit For Tat, but if your opponent is always cooperative or also plays Tit For Tat then both of you derive the maximum benefit.
Politics has been played as a disconnected series of Prisoner's Dilemma rounds.  The Republicans have pushed their own to resign in the face of scandal, but it's only been the last year that the Democrats have shown a sign of doing the same.  This has been good politics for Democrats over the last 15 years or so.

This is why Northam has to go.  House GOP leader Steve King was stripped of his posts within a day or two of an interview that (depending on who you listen to) may or may not have been taken out of context or misrepresented for political purposes.  If these are the new rules, then Northam has to go because he admitted to (and later changed his story) the events.

I don't think that the Republic is well served by scalp taking, but it is even less well served by scalp taking applied to only one side.  The math tells us that we maximize the Republic's welfare by taking scalps from both sides.

9 comments:

ASM826 said...

Okay, but I want every yearbook since WWII scoured for things that someone might take offense with.

Otherwise, it's time to rethink the whole "victims are victimized by thought crimes" mentality. I'm even willing to start with a Democrat.

Rick C said...

There's an old story about a desert tribe--maybe Bedouin, maybe something else--that broke a key rule: in inter-tribe fights, you never mess with oases. They poisoned one to gain advantage against a rival, and every other tribe in the area joined together to exterminate them.

The Democrats have been abusing the rules for as long as I can remember. They need to suffer until they agree to stop behaving like savages. If that means losing a Governor here, a Senator there, so be it.

Beans said...

Well, I think this will blow over and he'll still be governor. Why? How many people remember Hillary Clinton in blackface for a Halloween party back in the 70's? (Apparently, they ruled her actual face too scary...)

No, seriously, Hills was in blackface, but the media and the Dems conveniently forgot and continue to conveniently forget this.

Meh...

Now, if it was that Starbucks dude... Hanging would be too good for him.

Would be funny if Fauxahontas had a blackface picture hidden somewhere... Hmmm...

zuk said...

Take the scalps about 10 inches lower....

waepnedmann said...

That's Empress of Snark© if you please!
It is a suitable title earned in the meritocracy of snark and snark is our best weapon at this point.

The dems have won "the long march through the institutions", so maybe they really are going for a Cloward-Priven strategy to wipe out American culture.
They cannot be that arrogant and historically ill-educated...can they?
If they are not playing tit-for-tat they do not wish to continue the game and have began their endgame.

I feel like I am riding in the passenger seat of my SIL's car that has a bumper sticker that says:
SIT DOWN SHUT UP AND HOLD ON.
Like the Dollar Auction the only way to win is to not play, so you don't get in the car and for that it it is too late.
We are bound for a spectacular crash unless some folks are snarked into thinking about the consequences.
The other alternatives have been discussed elsewhere.

Bob said...

He'll brazen it out. The window for resigning has passed, and today is the State of the Union. If Trump mentions him at all, the Dems will circle the wagons and rally round him as if he's a martyr.

Murphy(AZ) said...

He's a racist. Period. He knows it. thirty-some years down the road, after it's not a joke among the "good ol' boys" anymore, after he figured folks either forgot or just don't give a damn any more, he's still a racist.

Look at his apology/denial speeches: first he's sorry, then he says that's not him in that picture! Sounds to me like there's other pictures with him in blackface that folks just haven't dredged up yet.

He's right about one thing: that's a stain you just can't wash off.

Richard said...

Trump's other tweet was more significant.

To paraphrase: What was wrong with Gillespie's oppo research operation.

Brigid J. said...

If he's just owned up and said "that was just something really stupid" and apologized. But no, he has to say "yes it's him" then "No, it's not him even though it's on his page and you can tell by body and facial features that it IS him.