Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Game 312: President Elect

Our alternate historical fiction begins in April 1968, two tumultuous weeks after United States President Lyndon B. Johnson shocked the nation and left newscasters speechless with his announcement, concluding a 40 minute broadcast on Vietnam, that he would not run for re-election.

Bernard Sanders, a young Brooklyner and alumnus of the University of Chicago, where he joined the Socialist Party of America, campaigned against war, segregation, and police brutality, and helped re-elect Hyde Park alderman Leon Despres, has moved to Vermont for a homesteading life, one of many middle class urbanites to do so in the 60's and 70's. But one night, he's visited by the Ghost of Passover Future, showing visions of a nation where New Deal liberalism is politically dead and reviled, materialism and Gilded Age economics have returned, evangelism is firmly rooted on the national stage, and popular culture is pervaded by a zealous attitude of a mythologized past, a simpler, but idealized and fictitious era of rugged individualism and triumph.

This new national order's champion, warned the spirit, would be a Hollywood has-been, long on personal charisma, quips, and grit, but short on practical knowledge and ideas.

When John Wayne publicly rebuked the offer of Alabama governor George Wallace to run with him on a segregation platform, and immediately renounced his support for Nixon, declaring instead his own candidacy, "Bernie" knew what he had to do.


SSI's President Elect, released first in 1981 for the Apple II and then updated in 1984 and 1988, is another game I hadn't planned on covering initially. Our instigator is, once again, The Wargaming Scribe, who pointed out that between him, myself, and CRPG Addict, we've covered every SSI game released between 1980-1982 except for this one.

The game is, typical of SSI's output at the time, an abstractly modeled, dryly-presented, numbers-heavy simulation of the U.S. presidential election cycle, and an obvious precursor to Stardock's more irreverent The Political Machine series. Designer, programmer, and amateur political scientist Nelson G. Hernandez Sr. cites Theodore White and Garry Wills as influences, and credits months of intense mathematical analysis with enabling a credible simulation.

President Elect '81 offers seven built-in scenarios, simulating every quadrennial presidential election from 1960 to 1984. More than half of these were historically one-sided blowouts, which was a somewhat common occurrence for most of U.S. electoral history but is unheard of today.

  1. John F. Kennedy beat vice president Richard Nixon in a closely contested race that began in Nixon's favor. This upset has often been credited to the debates, the first televised debates between candidates in history, in which Kennedy had a better understanding of television style and photogenicity, but has more recently also been attributed to an overextended campaign on Nixon's part.
  2. Lyndon B. Johnson, promising to carry JFK's legacy, would have been difficult for any Republican to defeat in 1964 at the height of post-WWII optimism. He had earned his reputation as an astoundingly effective politician, so gifted at wheeling and dealing with congress that he could talk a senator into voting against his own pay raise, and had already passed unprecedented amounts of landmark legislation for civil rights, healthcare, education, and environmental protection. His challenger, Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, was seen as a terrifying, social security-slashing, civil rights-opposing, nuclear warmongering hardliner, and lost every state except five in the Bible Belt and Arizona.
  3. Following months of bad news from the east and intense civil unrest, public approval of Johnson's handling on Vietnam had dropped to an all-time low, with American disillusionment growing, and hawkish critics rebuking still that he had not committed nearly enough. The assassination of Martin Luther King, the face of America's civil rights movement, sparked hundreds of protests nationwide. When Democratic hopeful and civil rights champion Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated months later, support coalesced around vice president Hubert Humphrey. Segregationist George Wallace split off and ran as an independent, and anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy failed to rally enough support to contend. Humphrey secured the nomination even as protests became bloody clashes with security and made the convention a war zone - a gift that Nixon would capitalize on to position his party as a peaceful restorer of law and order. Nixon, whose nomination was comparatively uneventful, won the general election narrowly, producing an electoral map that seems insane today, where California voted Republican, Texas voted Democrat, and the third party actually won some states, even dominating a region.
  4. Richard Nixon began his presidency with strong overall ratings, and although approval of his domestic policy had dipped by 1972, his foreign accomplishments including the ongoing withdrawal from Vietnam and re-establishment of diplomatic relations with China mattered more to the voters. Challenger George McGovern, the most socially liberal candidate of a fractured Democratic party, ran a weak campaign that drove donors and moderate Democrats to Nixon, losing every state except Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
  5. Watergate ruined Nixon, left the GOP in shambles, and Nixon's pardoning by his own vice president Gerald Ford only embittered the public attitude. Ford himself was seen as a boring and undistinguished politician, and faced challenge from within his own party. Jimmy Carter, a self-described political outsider, held and kept a very close lead over Ford, winning the presidency.
  6. Carter had presided over an economic rut and endless international misfortunes. His administration was criticized as weak and ineffective, and his gloomy prognosis for America earned him no political favors. Enter B-list actor and two-time primary loser Ronald Reagan, whose polemics had once been too extreme for the Republican Party's endorsement, but now seemed poised to revolutionize American conservatism. Reagan ridiculed Carter while cheerleading American exceptionalism, winning over 44 states and 489 of the 538 electors, and building a "red wall" of nigh-immovable Republican stronghold states spanning latitudinally from North Dakota to Texas and eastward to South Carolina.
  7. If there's any proof of the efficacy of Hernandez' simulation modeling, it's that the 1984 scenario, then set in the future, made a Democrat upset nearly impossible no matter how many advantages were given to them. Reviewers criticized it at the time, but in the actual election, Reagan beat challenger Mondale by almost 17 million votes and won every single state except D.C. and Mondale's home of Minnesota, making one of the largest electoral slaughters in American history.

President Elect also features ahistoric scenario options, where the conditions from any given year are set and open to some modification, and presidential candidates from any year can be selected and assigned to any party. Candidates not on the disk, whether historical, anachronistic, or entirely fictitious, can be created through answering a series of questions on their views and charismatic qualities. This is how I decided to play and cover President Elect.

The actual historical 1968 outcome

"D" and I simulated a nine-week 1968 campaign with ahistorical conditions and candidates - Bernie Sanders (her pick) vs. John Wayne (my pick), and we allowed the computer to play George Wallace as an independent spoiler, set on preventing a majority election and turning control to the House of Representatives.


Obviously, neither Sanders nor Wayne exist as candidates on the disk, so we had to generate them. First, they are ranked on 25 issues on a scale of nine degrees of support.

Sanders Wayne
Environmental laws
8: Supports aggressive Green New Deal commitments 6: Has been photographed riding the unspoiled plains a lot
Consumer protection 7: "Fair Banking for All" would cap loan interest rates at 15% 4: Suck it up if you got a bad break
Gun control 6: Would re-institute assault weapon bans and prohibit high-capacity magazines 1: Wouldn't be caught dead without his Colt Peacemaker '73
Equal Rights Amendment 9: Cosponsor of its reintroduction 1: Google "McLintock poster" and see
Desegregation busing 9: Favors stronger integration policies such as fairer housing laws 2: Contends that black students already have adequate schooling opportunities
Affirmative action 9: Rated 97% on affirmative action by the NAACP 1: Accuses Hollywood of tokenism
Abortion rights
9: Cosponsored Women's Health Protection Act 3: Evangelical Christian, probably opposed
National health insurance 8: Supports Medicaid-for-All, opposes for-profit insurers 3: Recommends eating more beef to grow strong and healthy
Unemployment benefits 8: Voted to extend unemployment benefits 1: Proud workaholic, unsympathetic to bellyachers on hard times
Welfare benefits 8: Supports expanding Social Security, SNAP, affordable housing, and refunding pensions 3: Opposes all welfare except for government work programs
Tax cuts for businesses 1: Voted against business tax cuts, opposes preferential rates on capital gains 5: Indifferent
Tax cuts for individuals 4: Favors higher taxes, especially on the wealthiest, but opposes property taxes 5: Indifferent
Business deregulation 3: Supports EPA's power to regulate businesses 4: Just leave his ranch alone
Slashing the budget 4: Favors stimulus spending, but supported fiscal cliff compromise 7: Finds social welfare spending distasteful
Prioritizing business productivity 5: More interested in addressing income inequity 3: Scorns businesses that put profit above values
Decrease defense spending 8: Would reallocate tens of billions annually to fight climate change 1: Favors total war against NVA
SALT treaty 9: Cosponsored disarmament bills more thorough than SALT
7: Died of cancer from nuclear radiation, so maybe
Trade with communist countries 5: Opposes NAFTA, TPP, & PNTR, but supported end of Cuban embargo 1: Would only trade lead with communist countries
Third world aid 8: Supports development aid as a proactive diplomatic tool 6: For nations on friendly U.S. terms only
Condemnation of South Africa 9: Actively anti-apartheid 3: Seemed pretty down with apartheid in Hatari!
Recognition of P.L.O. 7: Favors two-state solution 2: Fought to get "Cast a Giant Shadow" made
Non-intervention in world affairs 6: Opposed Monroe Doctrine, Vietnam & Iraq Wars, but supports NATO 1: Indochina megahawk
Congressional oversight of CIA 2: Voted to continue intelligence operations without oversight 4: Applied to OSS, probably opposed
Prioritizing human rights 9: Imperatively supports democracy and human rights 1: Callous disregard for oppression of Native Americans
Subtle diplomacy 8: Favors diplomacy over direct military engagement 1: Knows neither word


Sanders summary

Wayne summary

Sanders' rating of "79% mainstream liberal" puts him to the left of every U.S. president including Democrats JFK, LBJ, and Carter, who rate 59%-61% here, but not as far left as a number of losing candidates including Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, and '88 edition candidates Walter Mondale & Michael Dukakis. This is a bit at odds with Sanders' firebrand reputation, but by pre-Clinton standards, sounds about right.

Wayne's rating is more puzzling. Granted, his lack of strong economic policy skews the overall rating toward moderation, but I would have expected this staunchly anti-welfare warhawk to be at least comparable to Reagan on social and foreign policy, who rates 10% borderline "extreme conservative" for both. Instead we get something comparable to Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, though still more right-wing than Nixon.


Next, there are three questions concerning their more intangible qualities.

Sanders Wayne
Speaking ability 4: Energetic, unpolished, unrehearsed style 5: Iconically laconic
Personal magnetism 5: America's disappointed Jewish grandfather 7: Oscar-winning Hollywood star
Poise 4: Doesn't tolerate bullshit terribly well 4: Ask Sacheen Littlefeather

Hernandez considers "personal magnetism" to be the single most important personal attribute, outweighing the issues themselves, and while Sanders' dour style certainly resonates with a growing breed of grumpy, disaffected liberals, the '81 model predicts this to be a big disadvantage in the general election. On the other hand, Wayne's jingoistic pro-war attitude and extreme reactionary social views may be too toxic for the political climate of 1968.


The final part is to pick the home states of the candidates and their running mates. The vice president has no other attributes in this game, not even a name. Hernandez feels, according to the manual, that the vice president's role in the election is negligible apart from giving a slight advantage in his home state.

Sanders, of course, hails from Vermont, and for this scenario picked a running mate from the notoriously fickle New Hampshire in otherwise reliably blue New England. Wayne, from California, picked a Texan running mate in the hopes of flipping its 25 electors, who historically voted for Democrat Humphrey in 1968. For Wallace, we picked California, being the home of his historical running mate General Curtis LeMay.


Turn 1 begins:

For readers outside the U.S., who make up roughly half of DDG's readership, an explanation of the process may be helpful for context. Since 1868, the U.S. has operated as a representative democracy. Every four years, electors are chosen by voters to represent each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., and the candidate that receives over half of them will assume office for the next four years. An incumbent president is allowed to run for re-election once, usually will, and enjoys a significant advantage over any challengers unless deeply unpopular or has fallen out of favor within his own party.

The electors - 538 of them since 1968 - are distributed in a manner that reflects the government's bicameralism, where larger states receive more of them, but not proportionally. For example, California, the most populous state at over 39 million, will receive 52 electors in 2024, and Wyoming, the least populous at 579,000, will receive three. The intent of this system had been to grant smaller states greater power than they would have in a direct democracy, but because most states' elections are all-or-nothing, it means in practice that the most important states aren't the largest, but the most closely-contested ones, and the smaller states get ignored anyway. Florida often becomes a fulcrum for the general election, not for representing the nation, but for being politically diverse. The most infamous example in recent history was Florida's controversy-wracked 2000 election, in which the final recount put Bush at a graphene-thin 537 votes ahead, a 0.009% marginal victory, awarding him the state's entire electoral vote and the presidency by just one elector past the goalpost.

The system encourages strategizing, and if nothing else, potentially makes for a better computer game subject matter than a direct election would. Do you, as a Democrat, go all-in on that all-important swing state Florida? Do you even bother trying flip Texas? As a Republican, do you focus on securing the tenuously reliable southern voting bloc with pro-religion, anti-communist messages, do you spend your budget and time carving out weak bricks in the mid-Atlantic blue wall with targeted ads and campaign stops, or do you address the whole nation, get the most out of your capital to reach the most ears, knowing that in some regions, your message will fall on deaf ones?


In this scenario, Sanders has an uphill battle with any strategy. Wayne is expected to gain 268 of the 270 electors needed to win. Sanders must win back some of these votes as well as gain the majority of the close states to have a chance.

Next, an electoral map is drawn slowly. Very slowly. It takes about a minute and a half to do a proper bucket fill on every region. Here, solid blue indicates safe Republican territory and red Democrat! This is exactly the opposite of the universally accepted color scheme today, but it wasn't standard in 1981.

Black lines mean Independent-leaning

During the first campaign week, and only then, candidates have the option to visit a foreign country. I have no idea why you would want to do this, but none of us did.

Every week, there's campaign spending to manage. Available funds, which tend to diminish week to week, may be spent in four ways - there's national advertising, which is the most efficient in terms of overall impact per dollar, but is untargeted. There's regional advertising, which concentrates on a particular cluster of states but is less efficient. There's state advertising, which is the least efficient method of them all, but allows up to three specific states to be targeted, and could be just the thing you need to flip a key battleground state, such as Pennsylvania. Finally, there are state campaign stops, which have a cost in both dollars and stamina, and the more spread out your stops are in any given week, the greater the toll.

For this first week, Sanders went for heavy national advertising, focused regional campaigning in the mid-Atlantic, and multiple stops and ads targeting New York, Texas, and California. Wayne spent most of his time in Texas, but also targeted Pennsylvania with focused advertising. Both virtually ignored the heartland. Wallace, strapped for cash, did some campaigning in Idaho and little else.

The week can be wrapped up with a televised debate, if two or more candidates agree to it.

Sadly, there's no way to answer the questions given - all you do here is decide how much time to allocate to your available debate tactics.

Wayne, I figured, would spent a lot of time bloviating to compensate for his unnuanced position on foreign aid, and wouldn't bother attacking Sanders' position, having little to know understanding of what it even is. AI-controlled Wallace killed most of his mic time too. Sanders spends most of the time talking about considerations and policy, sternly pointing fingers every moment of it, but not one second on filler.

The manual for the 1988 edition is rather unhelpful in illuminating what difference your choices here make, merely advising that each tactic boosts your debate performance up to a point of diminishing returns, and can harm it if you go too far (e.g. too much time discussing facts makes you look indecisive, too much time spent attacking will make you look like a bully). Notably, it outright states that there is, in theory, an optimal time division to maximize your performance which could be mathematically determined by analyzing the code, but recommends not doing that.

Rebuttals follow, and operate similarly.

Did Mr. Wayne even make an argument? I was busy thinking about lunch. Roast beef. With one slice of Vermont cheddar, which is all you need.

The debate phase isn't very well designed, frankly. There's no point in giving you such granular control over a limited set of options if the game isn't going to give you feedback beyond a one-dimensional performance metric at the end of it. Nevertheless, Bernie impressions were made, beer was consumed, and something approaching fun was had in this dry, dusty political simulator, but the debate phase didn't seem to produce a winner.

Week 2 began, and the only difference in the polls was a slight disadvantage to Wallace, who was starting to lose Arkansas.

Sanders 94, Wayne 268, Wallace 39, unprojected 137

Sanders' ad campaigns hit New England, mid-Atlantic, and the south, while Wayne targeted the pacific coast to strengthen his grasp there. Wallace turned his attention to the northern steel belt states. As usual, nobody paid any attention to the midwest.

This helped Sanders a bit, who picked up some of Wallace's slack in Maryland, but Wayne held his ground, even solidifying a few states.

Sanders 104, Wayne 268, Wallace 39, unprojected 127

Random weekly events can include foreign news, economic news, and gaffes

In week 3, Sanders focused on picking up undecided states in the mid-Atlantic and industrial midwest, while Wayne campaigned in the south to try to get some of the support Wallace was losing there, plus some Colorado TV ads where support was faltering. Wallace, inexplicably, went all in on Rhode Island.

Sanders made some significant gains from this strategy, taking West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and shaking off Wayne's hold on Wisconsin and Minnesota. Georgia went to Wayne.

Sanders 151, Wayne 258, Wallace 27, unprojected 102

In week 4, Sanders targeted New Hampshire, whose support was once again faltering, Pennsylvania, and campaigned more in the industrial midwest. Wayne went Pennsylvania too, making multiple campaign stops, as well as in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama, where Wallace seemed weak. Wallace put his attention on the south as well, but couldn't come close to matching Wayne's funds.

This undid Sanders' gains from the last week, putting Wayne as the projected winner.

Sanders 108, Wayne 286, Wallace 27, unprojected 117

For week 5, all candidates battled in the mid-Atlantic, with Sanders outspending the rest in most of its states. Sanders and Wayne fought over Texas and Arkansas, with Wayne also targeting Mississippi and Alabama. Sanders had a net gain from all this, but not enough to shake Wayne's expected victory, which seemed to only tighten even as Texas remained a wildcard.

Sanders 154, Wayne 286, Wallace 27, unprojected 71

By week six, money was starting to run low. Sanders once again toured the mid-atlantic through Ohio. Wayne did no touring, but focused on regional advertising. Wallace toured the western breadbasket states for some reason.

We opted into another debate this week.

Sanders cites Bartley-Fox and GCA 68 before somberly reminding everyone about MLK and JFK. Wayne brags about bringing his own revolvers to the set and doing his own stunts. Wallace is also there.

Sanders gaffed badly on a question concerning business growth, costing him debate performance points through no fault of "D", but once again, press analysis deemed nobody the winner.


Wayne's campaigns brought gains, flipping New Jersey.

Sanders 154, Wayne 303, Wallace 27, unprojected 54

On week 7, Sanders' funds were running thin, with only $8m left to spread out to the remaining three weeks. Wayne was in a somewhat better spot with $11m. Sanders targeted the mid-Atlantic region less aggressively than usual with ads and campaign stops, and placed ads in Texas and Ohio. Wayne campaigned in both the mid-Atlantic and industrial midwest, and Wallace once again toured the south and Rhode Island.

Wallace was the winner this week, winning Georgia back, while Sanders lost Maryland's favor. But Wayne remained far ahead, and re-tightened his hold on Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Sanders 144, Wayne 291, Wallace 39, unprojected 64

Week 8, and money is running out for Sanders. Other news is positive - unemployment is down, foreign news is favorable, and Wayne made multiple gaffes to the press. With limited funds, though, Sanders focuses on winning back Maryland, while Wayne aggressively tours the mid-Atlantic and targets ads in Georgia, and both fight over Texas some more. Wallace tours New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the industrial midwest.

Sanders consequently lost West Virginia.

Sanders 137, Wayne 291, Wallace 39, unprojected 71

For the final week, where campaign finance finally came down to use it or lose it, Wayne sent ads towards New Hampshire in a final, unnecessary attempt to shift it, and toured neutral West Virginia and Maryland. Sanders, more strapped for cash, put ads in the same states and toured Michigan and Ohio, while Wallace toured the south one last time. One again, nobody gave a thought to anything west of Texas.

We opted for one last debate before election night.

Bernie has so much to say and nearly runs out of time just from curating his top ten.

"Nossir. Next question."

Once again, no winner was declared.



Election night simulates a TV broadcast of the event. In realtime.

Or you can skip that nonsense and jump to the final results. We did.

Goddamnit Texas. I fought hard for you! - "D"

Final results: Even in a war-weary nation, jingoist John Wayne wins with 391 electors to Bernie Sanders' 108 and George Wallace's 39. Wayne has 50% of the popular vote at almost 33 million, Sanders 41% with 26.7 million, and Wallace 9% with 5.7 million.

For the sake of our mutual curiosity, we tried tweaking Wayne's "personal magnetism" stat to see just how much of an advantage this is given the same scenario parameters otherwise. At 7, Wayne begins with 268 projected votes, nearly enough to win. At 1, he begins with only 36, and Sanders with 240. And at 4, he has 162 votes to Sanders' 168.

We also tested to see how well Bernie Sanders would do against other candidates historically, at least in the opening campaign week.

  1. Sanders 98, Nixon 262
  2. Sanders 301, Goldwater 179, but it's close in the popular vote.
  3. Sanders 172, Nixon 188, Wallace 45
  4. Sanders 21, Nixon 502
  5. Sanders 218, Ford 149
  6. Sanders 56, Reagan 383
  7. Sanders 20, Reagan 507

GAB rating: N/A. This is much more of a simulator than a game, and what it simulates is, to me, the single most uninteresting aspect of American politics.

Taken as a computer game, President Elect is dreadfully boring. So boring that I would actually rate it "bad" were I to go by its merits as a game intended to amuse, which is something I have never done before on just the basis of being boring. The week to week action is repetitive and tedious, and the strategic options shallow and unsatisfying. The path of the game is all but determined by the starting conditions, and there's not much to do past that but hedge your bets on key swing states and hope it works, with precious little feedback to let you know how much the results of the election had to do with the decisions you made or the events you had no control over. Even the debates, where President Elect could have taken a fun, freestyling approach where you might have Pat Buchanan accuse you of being a commie who hates baseball and apple pie and have to figure out what to retort ("how appropriate, you fight like a cow" would be mine), you have instead an abstract guessing game of numbers.

As a plausible simulation, though, this is to be expected. Campaign strategy in real life revolves around spending millions of dollars to sway thousands - and sometimes fewer - of undecideds in the ficklest states, and those constituents are, by definition, unpredictable. A campaign manager can do everything right and still lose key states due to factors beyond their control, or even beyond quantification, and that's reflected here.

President Elect feels plausible, if nothing else, and its predictive power remains accurate going as far into the future as 2004 by one player's account, though Hernandez himself admits his model would not ever predict a victory for Trump.

Beyond that, I'm not going to critique President Elect too much as a simulation. This, joined only by Computer Quarterback and Computer Baseball, was one of the very few early SSI titles to break 20,000 sales, though that figure includes sales of the expanded '88 edition. It clearly found its niche success as a sim, an appealing mental exercise to anyone that ever wondered if LBJ might have won in 1968, and it's difficult to imagine this product being published by anyone other than SSI.


  1. First : Thanks for covering it. We can even expand our full coverage of SSI on 1983, I am ready to take a bullet for the team by reviewed Queen of Hearts :).

    Second : Outstanding article. Hilarious, a breeze to read despite the dry topic. I really loved "US Post-war Electoral History, Abridged. Great characterization of John Wayne, I had to check whether Bombs-Away LeMay may have been his vice-president.

    I did not know the game had been so accurate and had a following for so long. Really a fascinating "game".

  2. D here! My Bernie impression is unmatched.

  3. "This is exactly the opposite of the universally accepted color scheme today, but it wasn't standard in 1981."

    It's not "universally accepted". In the 2000s, the media handed the Republicans red as a "fuck you". Red was always the color of labor, of revolution, of the side of Marxists.

    I can't believe in this day and age people still believe in Bernie Sanders as anything other than a Judas goat for the DNC. He was cheated twice and both times endorsed the person who ripped off his voters. One of the highlights of my political life was watching the video where Jimmy Dore, a huge Sanders fan, realized that he'd been had.

    Let's have a look at Bernie's writing and attitudes towards women at the time of this election. He wouldn't have gotten the Democratic nomination anyway, as at the time he was part of the socialist Liberty Union Party, and got kicked out of a hippie commune for being too lazy.

    Remember when Bernie Sanders blamed the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords on a map from Sarah Palin's website? Remember when his wife tried to evict a disabled group of home residents after purchasing it for her college? Remember when the DNC, led by Wasserman Schultz, admitted in court they rigged primaries against Sanders?

    1. Everyone with an inkling of American politics knows what "red state" means, and I doubt all those placards and hats were red for solidarity with Marxists. The electoral color scheme is universally accepted, regardless of international conventions.

      Your first link is broken, and your second link goes goes to a fringe source that reports hoaxes as news, like Biden To Fund Crack Pipe Distribution.

      Sanders' statement brought up Palin's cross-hairs map as indicative of the political climate in which Giffords and others were targeted, not the cause of it. Reading it should make that clear. And I don't know of any smoking gun court admission to the effect you claim, but I do remember when social media posts quoted "the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton" from federal court and held that as smoking gun proof, unaware that this was a dismissal motion, and that standard court procedure for such is to assume all allegations are true. It's like being told "even if you could prove you were fired unfairly you'd still lose the lawsuit" and only quoting the words "you were fired unfairly."

    2. "It's like being told "even if you could prove you were fired unfairly you'd still lose the lawsuit" and only quoting the words "you were fired unfairly.""

      In this case, specifically a lot of it was "The DNC didn't like Sanders but bent over backwards to accommodate him because they knew they were liable to be accused of bias" begin reported as "The DNC didn't like Sanders ... The knew they were liable to be accused of bias".

      And the color associations with the parties were pretty much random, changing from year to year and even network to network. It just happened that the configuration was Red=Republicans in 2000, when the damn election went on for an extra couple of months and the color scheme calcified in the public consciousness.


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