Romney Defeats Obama!

The rise of Unskewed Polls and why right-wing pundits never have to say they’re sorry.

In the age of Obama, we’re used to those on the conservative side not trusting the mainstream media. We’re used to the nuttier precincts refusing to believe that the President is really an American, that he’s the religion he says he is and, more recently, that his father is really his father.Now that the polls, with just over a month to go, nearly unanimously have Mitt Romney trailing President Obama both overall and in key swing states, add polling to the list of institutions that many conservatives just don’t trust.

Take UnskewedPolls. A Virginia-based blogger for Examiner.com named Dean Chambers saw the polls favoring Obama, didn’t believe them, and came up with new ones of his own. He weighed all of the national polls according to the Rasmussen poll’s turnout model—a tactic, for what it’s worth, rejected by Scott Rasmussen himself—and presto: Romney was leading, sometimes comfortably, in every poll.

Aside from blatant factual inaccuracy, UnskewedPolls represents several especially destructive trends on the right: the tendency to propagate outlandish conspiracy theories; the way pundits can build entire business models on misleading their own audience; and the problem that people who practice such dishonesty are rewarded rather than punished.

The mathematics of Chambers’s system has been pretty widely debunked. And on top of that, the methodology implies a massive conspiracy on behalf of the entire polling community—one that includes the likes of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and Rasmussen Reports—and takes as a given that every one of these pollsters is more concerned with helping Obama than they are with accuracy, or for that matter their professional reputations.

UnskewedPolls is a lot like arguing that the Phillies were in first place in the NL East all year, if you only count the first inning of each game. And then blaming the maliciously biased ESPN and Comcast Sports Net for conspiring to screw the Phils, on behalf of the Washington Nationals, by counting all nine innings instead.

I’m not saying it’s an absolute lock that Obama is going to win the election. He may very well not. But to argue that the entire polling apparatus—which has been around for decades, has gotten more scientific with time and technology, and isn’t usually all that far off—is at best completely wrong and at worst corrupt is a whole other leap altogether.

Chambers told Buzzfeed in an interview that he plans to expand the idea to unskewedpolitics.com and unskewedmedia.com, indicating that he has ambitions of becoming the next big conservative media entrepreneur, in the tradition of Andrew Breitbart. Give the guy credit; he knows his audience. I wouldn’t bet against him. Because when the election comes, and if Obama wins by the margin projected in the polls, will Chambers find his reputation in tatters? Of course not. Because in right-wing media, there’s no punishment for being horribly wrong.

Dick Morris, author of the 2005 book Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race is still brought on Fox News as a polling expert, despite getting just about every major prediction incorrect in his entire career. Even more morbidly, just about everyone who was a cheerleader for the Iraq war is still welcomed in conservative media with open arms, often to urge a similar war against Iran. I even saw Donald Rumsfeld on some cable show the other week opining about Libya, as if, post-Iraq, he has any standing to criticize foreign military adventures.

I know not everyone who’s a conservative believes in this stuff. Some are skeptical of the polls while not buying into the Unskewed delusion wholeheartedly. And yes, when you’re behind in an election it’s necessary to keep up a positive and optimistic attitude.

Overall, I still see a lot more conservative commentary of the “Romney is losing, and I’m worried” variety than the “Romney is secretly winning and why won’t the lying media admit it” position. But it’s very clear that the latter sells more books, gets more TV and radio ratings and draws more web clicks than the former. And that’s why, even in the event of an Obama win, we’re not likely to stop hearing this stuff anytime soon.

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  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    To think that any coach that has a one time Pro-Bowler who has not been able to recreate that success would NOT point out a players flaws would be asinine. Problem lies with DRC for not being able to take the coaching and get his flaws fixed.

    I think DRC is a gifted athlete but with limited football IQ and is extremely prone to confidence isssues in regards to his play on the field. If he gets burned early, the rest of the game is an uphill battle. I think he made a good choice going to Denver, he has a chance to play on a defense that can create pressure on the QB thus making his job easier. Not to mention being able to play against Peyton in practice.

    Even if this were true, and this is first time anyone has every pointed out his flaws to him… I’m sorry DRC… my (now ex) girlfriend used to point out my flaws every day. It did not help.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Everybody in Philadelphia pointed out DRC’s flaws, over and over. Didn’t do him much good.

    • Richard Colton

      DRC is in the perfect spot. Denver has the best fast food in the country – even the stuff you can’t get on the East Coast, like Jack-in-the-Box and Whataburger

  • nicksaenz1

    Michigan committed a recruiting violation by using Jon Sr. to get his son. Where’s the NCAA?

  • Birds24/7

    I like the fast tempo idea. My concerns are not with fatigue, but rather with how frequently the game is stopped due to commercial breaks, timeouts, ect. Going to the game you actually see there is alot of standing around and down time Inbetween plays. I wonder if that will throw things somewhat out of sinc.

  • GEagle

    Hate seeing people trash our defense every day. yesterday I watched the “body bag” game for the first time…what a treat.
    We might not have a great defense, but believe it or not, I wouldn’t trad our defense for any other defense in the NFc east…If you can swap defensive rosters with any team in the division, who would it be? Aets say JPP and cox cancel each other out, would you really want the rest of the giants defense? Who the ell do the redskins have? Orakpo coming of an injury? What about the cowboys defense? Our HC made cowboys defensive coordinator HIS BITCH! Demarcus ware is the only player worth a damn and he is getting up there in age. we can have the best defense in the division, THIS YEAR! …and all you needto do to be a decent team is win your division..Let’s see:
    1) We could very possibly have the best Oline in the division.
    2) We have the best group of TE’s…cowboys only team that could possibly compare to our TEs
    3) We have the best group of RBs and it’s not even close
    4) We probably have the best Linebacking corp
    5) and as bad as we perceive our secondary to be, I don’t see a secondary in our division that on blows us out the water on paper

    PARITY will rule the NFC East, but the division is up for grabs and every team has as good a chance as anyone to win it…

    I wonder how much different the world would view this eagles team if it had stability at the QB position.
    ..
    Question to the Eagles fans…..Is there any position group where we could question if we have improved since last year? is there ANY position that you think will be weaker then it was in 2012?

    • Richard Colton

      How had you never seen the BodyBag Game?!? It’s an all time great. I remember watching it with my dad – he’s high-fived me (maybe) 3 times in my life. One of them was when the Redskins had to use Brian Mitchell at QB.

      To answer your question – O-line was terrible last year, but still too many questions to assume it’s going to be as good as the 2010-2011 line. I’d also question the D-line in the 3-4; will Logan be a player? Is Sop anything more than a stopgap? Can Geathers play?

      • GEagle

        Saw highlights of it but never it in its entirety….what a treat that was!!! golic was balling lol…1st defensive possession, he tips a ball on 3rd down, gets us off the field. next possession, a stunt with Jerome gets golic to the QB, hits him and forces an INT on 3rd down…lol golic was ballin!! has a player ever been in a better position than Golc with Reggie on his left and Jerome and Clyde on his right? Lol

        • Andy124

          How ’bout Nate Allen with DRC on his left and Coleman and NA on his right?

          • GEagle

            Hahahahaha let’s just call that a close 2nd

          • Andy124

            On a more serious note, I could name one player who was in just as good a situation as Golic… Mike Pitts.

        • Ben

          I posted it on PE.COM recently under the Redskins Opening game Season Preview. Well most of it’s there. I found it on you tube.

      • GEagle

        Ok, it’s fair to question our Oline….but can you really NOT question the Oline of the giants, skins and cowboys?

        • Richard Colton

          nope. your point about parity was well made

    • docboy75

      the “Body Bag” game… I was there.. one of the best game I ever watched..after the game.. some poor dude who was either the redskin mascot or was dressed up as a mascot was literally being chased and stripped of his… “feathers”…..

      good times… good times….

      • eaglepete

        I was there also and was sitting about 10 rows behind that guy. He had to be escorted out by security is how I remember it. It was the lower level so not sure how it looked as he was leaving but fans in the section were super rowdy screaming at the guy so much he was practically forced to leave although nothing physical that I saw. What a game indeed.

        • GEagle

          Can’t tell you how jealous u two are making me. I’m hatin

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Our defense compared to other defenses in the NFC east is irrelevant. We don’t play D vs. D. It’s the offenses we need to worry about. We’re playing teams with RG3, Eli, and even Romo at QB, who are for the most part either proven vets or a rising star. We were 1-5 against the NFC East last year with a defense that really didn’t upgrade the talent that much. We’re adding new questionable pieces, and on top of that a new scheme with players that don’t all fit in it. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned. I’m preparing for the worst. Anything better than that will be a bonus. This isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s going to get ugly before it gets better.

      • GEagle

        We didn’t upgrade talent? I’m expecting you to be wrong on this one bud….let’s see:
        1)I expect Cox to be much better than last year
        2)expect Kendrick’s to look like a completely different player
        3) I expect Graham to continue to improve the next two seasons as long as he doesn’t get hurt(I heard some very high expectation regarding how our coaches really feel about him)
        4)Barwin is a major addition in talent. he is the type of guy that coaches and players value significantly more than the media
        5) Not only will the safety position be significantly upgraded from last year just do to scheme and coaching, but Talent wise, Chung(and I’m not even a fan of his) is a MAJOR upgrade to Coleman, and I won’t list Kenny Phillips n his own, but depending on his knees he could potentially be an upgrade(Dudes a playmaker but I would be foolish to count on him)
        6) Cary Williams…He isn’t in the same “talent” zone as DRC but he will play significantly better than DRC did last year..
        7) B-Fletch is a significant upgrade to NNamdi of the past two seasons(Curtis marsh is pro an upgrade to NNamdi)

        Now, I don’t know if these 7 improvements I expect from last year are good enough to field a good defense in 2013, and I certainly can’t predict how long it takes to Gel..Have no idea what level they will play at, but if we are comparing it to what we saw last year, then I’m expecting a WORLD of a difference…Last year was HISTORICALLY bad!!! just bringing accountability back will give these players no choice but to be better then last season. billy Davis is in a very fortunate position, because of last years CRAP, I don’t see how Davis can’t point to significant improvement at the end of this season. What that means in terms of how good we will be this year compared to the rest of the 2013 defenses your guess is as good as mine.

        You said our defense doesn’t get to play against other NFC east defenses? can you really point to the Giants as this GUARENTEED well oiled Machine on Offense in 2013? As far as I’m concerned the Redskins offense has 3.5 players..Trent Williams, RG3( who knows what level he plays at this year), Alfred Morris(who shanny is destined to run into the ground) and Pierre Garson as the half a player…They could field a high Octane offense in 2013, but would you honestly really be surprised to see them struggle? And I don’t care what your Defense looks like, Every year I expect it to beat the living crap out of Tony Romo, and ALWAYS ATleast split the series with the cowboys… Because of the parity and the question marks in the offenses and Defenses in the NFC east, this was a great year for the Eagles to make a coaching change..

        I know this is supposed to be a down year for us, and I don’t even know who the QB is but I took a long hard look at the rosters in the division, and they just don’t strike fear in me

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          1) Cox could very well be great. But the sophomore slump is a real thing and is also a possibility.

          2) Same for Kendricks.

          3) Graham has yet to show us he can play a full season worth of snaps as more than a rotational player. He’s looked great doing it, Can he play stand up linebacker? Can he cover? Can he rush premier LT’s?

          4) Barwin is a solid player and a good locker room guy. He in no way shape or form is major talent. Besides his spike in sacks 1 season, he’s been an average to slightly above average player.

          5) Chung and Phillips are both castaways. While I agree Chung may be an upgrade over Coleman, I’m not about to say it’s major. Considering NE was in the basement of the league for passing defense, and he got benched there, I’m not exactly holding out for a miracle.

          6) Cary Williams is a more physical player, but like DRC and Nnamdi he was picked on big time last year and burnt often. He played well in the playoffs but that doesn’t erase the regular season struggles.

          7) What are you basing this off? Fletch was the 4th corner. Same with Marsh. While I believe he (Fletch) does have the potential to play at a high level, a higher level than Nnamdi did, it’s not something I’m ready to bet the bank on.

          You’re only looking at the upside of all these situations. For this all to work out and for the team to have stellar defense we need a lot of stars to align. Unfortunately I think it’s more likely that they do not. But that’s just me.

          • GEagle

            same for Alfred Morris, same for RG3!!!!
            ..
            Please stop with the can he stand up, can he cover…Graham is not going to be asked to do anything he can’t do. Plenty of 3-4 OLBs NEVER drop back in coverage. if he surprisingly grows to be great at it, we will see him drop..If he can’t, we will see him play down hill…The only question with Graham is can he play more snaps and not get injured. dude really cares about his game, and works very hard…I also heard some off the record stuff about the way our coaches view Graham, and it was very exciting to hear…
            …Graham is a strength, bullrusher…How in the world is it not an advantage for a bullrusher to get more of a running head start when rushing the passer?

            too many fans I don’t think realize just how good Connar Barwin is….Like I said, he is one of those players that concedes and playrs rate much much higher than the media. Dude played a premier position for a top defense….fans should be more excit about that addition then they are…That’s going to change after the 2013 season. believe that!!! there will be a lot of Barwin chasing QBs into the hands of Cox and Graham

          • GEagle

            After 2013, fans will be wondering how the hell they we’re able to get Connar Barwin

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            It’s not the only question for Graham at all. If he’s not going to cover, then he’s going to have to rush against left tackles, which he’s never done successfully yet in the NFL. He’s made his rep so far on rushing RT’s. If he’s going to rush from there, then he needs to cover. I’m not sure what you mean by a running head start as far as being a LB goes. If he’s rushing the passer he’s still going to be at the LOS, only difference is the hand in the dirt, which I would argue is better for Graham as he is short and needs to get leverage initially. He’s not going to be lining up back with the safeties and getting a running head start.

            What do you know about Barwin that the rest of us fans don’t? I’m lost on this one. Look at this numbers last year. They were average at best. His contract speaks to that as well. He went to FA looking for big money but he didn’t get it. He signed here for 6 years with only 8mil guaranteed? He needs to prove that 2011 wasn’t an anomaly, but it seems as though teams think it was.

            I’m not saying he won’t be a solid addition. He’s our only OLB with 3-4 NFL experience. He’s a good locker room guy as well. But I do not see him as major talent.

    • knighn

      Excellent posting. I love to read excellent, well-thought out postings on this board, even when I disagree with the conclusions a little bit.

      I would definitely take the Giants defense over the Eagles. Their defense led the division in fewest points allowed per game, by a fairly large margin. Their defense also knows how to play on the largest stage and has been a huge part of their recent post-season successes. There is no question that I would take the Giants defense over ours. I would probably take the Redskins defense over the Eagles. I wouldn’t take the Cowboys… even if they actually were better.

      I am not going to question the offense, but I can absolutely question how much stronger this defense has become!
      - Have we really improved the safeties? Kenny Phillips may not be able to contribute in any meaningful way. Patrick Chung doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement over Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman.
      - Now let’s look at the CBs. Cary Williams’ struggles last season have been well documented. OK, he can tackle better than DRC and Nnamdi Asomugah. What does it matter if he has more struggles in coverage? Bradley Fletcher should be an improvement, but the guy has been seriously injury prone. No matter how badly Nnamdi and DRC performed, we’re still giving up two former pro-bowl caliber players for guys who have never sniffed the pro-bowl.
      - And I’m going to lump the front 7 all together now. The team has lost, in all, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Darryl Tapp and Jason Baboon. You may not like all of those guys, but they have been productive members of the NFL. We cannot guarantee that the rookies & the youth that has replaced these veterans will be equally productive. Trent Cole is now another year older and will have to learn a new position. Brandon Graham, who seemed to be coming into his own, will have to learn a new position. Connor Barwin, for me, is a big question mark, especially when matched with the rest of this defense. While Mychal Kendricks should be a better all around player, Demeco Ryans will no longer be the defensive play-caller.

      The NFL, as a whole, is a league of parity. For the Eagles, that’s not necessarily all good news. When a team reaches the special level of “BAD” that is 4 or fewer wins, it takes a little while to truly bounce back from that (I’ll share the math if you’d like). The Eagles were not only a 4-win team, they were pretty bad for a 4-win team (only winning those 4 games by a total of 6 points). While the Eagles may legitimately be good enough to make the playoffs this year, you cannot expect that they’ll go far in the playoffs. Even in a league of parity, there is a limit to how much total improvement you can realistically expect. Still, there is reason for long-term optimism. At least three teams in the last decade had seasons with four or fewer wins and turned around to win the Super Bowl a few years later. I believe Chip Kelly has the team headed in the right direction. Maybe the Eagles can finally get a Lombardi Trophy of their own?

      • GEagle

        Thank you kind sir….Kind of surprised to hear that response tho. I mean the Giants Dline is getting up there in age and they lost some good players and replaced them with two guys chip kelly didnt want to keep, JPP also has injury problems and not yet proved he can be dominant against the extra attention he sees..NO WAY, I would want there LBs more then ours, and IMO, there secondary has as many questions as ours.

        Cowboys? What players on their Defense would you really want to swap for ours besides the obvious Demarcus Ware? Sean Lee is a good player, but I don’t want him instead of Meco and Kendrick’s? Morris Claiborne is supposed to be better than what we have at CB, but he was pathetic last year so I need to see something before I just annoint him..

        And what do you really want from the Skins defense?

        I like the offensive players from those teams much more than their defenders…

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          Geagle, I disagree with you re: Sean Lee. Loved him in college, hated to see the Cowboys draft him, and unfortunately have to root against one of the bright young MLB stars in the NFL. Before his injury last year, he was playing at a pro bowl level. Don’t get me wrong, I love Demeco and Kendricks, but I need to see Kendricks prove more (especially in this new scheme) before I can say he’s “better”. Also, I think Kerrigan and Orakpo are better than our OLBs as it stands today (only because they’ve both played well in a 3-4)

          And of course, I’d love nothing more than for Mychal to make me eat my words.

          • GEagle

            Today, you are probably right about Sean Lee….but I expect THE WORLD out of Kendrick’s. I’m talking about a top NFL LB….,Btw, this scheme is a godsend for Kendrick’s compared to how terribly he was used last year..l.so While, Today, I can’t argue with you…let’s re-hatch the Lee vs. Kendrick’s debate at the end of the year, because hopefully Kendrick’s play this year allows us to have an interesting debate about it

        • knighn

          I would clean swap the entire Eagles defense for the Giants defense in a second. They’ve just got a better track record, even recently. Players come and go and the Giants D just remains solid when it counts the most. As for JPP… even with his back issue I would swap him for any player on the Eagles D. The guy is still young, is big, and super athletic. He should fully recover from his surgery by next year and be back to getting double-digit sacks in 2014. Is there any player on the Eagles D that you can confidently project to getting double-digit sacks in the near future? If there is, I wish I shared your confidence.

          “theycallmerob” covers what I would take from Washington.

          As for me: I wouldn’t touch anything that has the taint of Jerry Jones or the Dallas Cowboys. Even if it looks better or paper, it’s not, because it’s from the Dallas Cowboys. Matt McBriar was a mistake last year. He may have only been the punter, but I’m convinced that his mere presence somehow made the Eagles much, much worse. The Cowboys team is just a giant pile of crap in a very nice toilet bowl with some very hot women cheering on that giant pile of crap. I’m exaggerating, of course, but only by a little bit.

          • GEagle

            I honestly want NOTHING from the Giants except JPP.
            They don’t have a single linebacker that could take the spot from our starters, and would we really want Amukamara at CB?

          • knighn

            If you’re only talking individual players, JPP might be the only one I would take. If you’re talking about the whole enchilada, for now: the Giants get the nod. “The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts.” The Giants had the best defense in the NFC East last year (in the most important category: points scored against). The defense has also stepped up big-time on the biggest stage twice in the last 6 seasons. You can discount the individual players, but not what the Giants defense has been accomplishing. The proof is in the stats. The proof is in the results.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        I couldn’t agree more with your concerns re: the secondary, and the team as a whole. I think you’re spot on in terms of the Kelly direction as well. Love him or hate him, Lurie’s track record and the contract all point towards Kelly being given the reins for ~3-4 years. Everything to me screams long-term.
        I’d love for Barwin to produce here, but I’m curious how he’ll do without many of those fantastic HOU defenders around him. Best case scenario? He becomes our ‘queen’ on the chessboard; can play either outside linebacker spot, hand-down d-end, rush and cover. Also, him and Demeco reunite, form like Voltron, and develop the culture before passing the torch to young leaders like Logan and Kendricks next year.

        Worst case? He struggles, as does the D overall. Hopefully two things work in the team’s favor- (1) a high scoring offense with the bonus of conditioning from practicing said offense, and (2) Chip and Davis’ strategies lead to more turnovers from an aggressive, opportunistic defense.

        IMO, I see 5 starters on the defense this year who are “placeholders” for either stud FA’s or, more likely (and hopefully), future Kelly-inspired draft picks beginning 2014. These starters are: Sopoaga, Barwin, Cole, Chung, and C. Williams. Granted, any or all could become stars and earn a new contract while the youth movement sputters, but I would not be surprised if none of the above are on the team this time next year. Of those 5, I’d most like to see Barwin succeed and stay beyond next year.

        But each of those players represent a position of extreme need for the team moving forward

        (And that doesn’t include “prove it” guys like Thornton, Fletcher, and Philips/Allen/Coleman; they are also all candidates to struggle in the new scheme). quite the long list of names……I hope at least 1 or 2 establish themselves.

        • knighn

          Well said. I couldn’t have put this any better.
          Plus extra Kudos for the chess and the Voltron references. Nerdiness, football and a great 80s cartoon references – a great way to start the day!

    • prowler

      Your point on the D….

      I think it will be better..It will be a new system with a new DC, but BDavis has bucket-loads more time to teach and implement than Todd Bowles did, comparatively (thrown into the fire mid October).

      Eagles were giving up 20.3 ppg under Juan in ’13, then after his firing gave up a whopping 29.5 under Bowles. A dumb hire of Juan with no experience followed by an even worse knee-jerk firing on Oct 16.

      Giants scored only 17 against Juan’s lousy D, then 42 on TBowles system that never had a chance to get set.
      Point is, even though Billy Davis doesn’t have knockout career stats, he does have a ton of experience. In his 1st year, having training camp, etc, he’ll have a lot more time to prepare, teach, and implement than what Bowles had (a week).
      There is no reason he can’t match Juan’s 1st half, and do a better job slowing down the NFCE QB’s – Romo, RGII and Manning that Bowles faced 5 times.
      It won’t be great, but if people are expecting the worst, they might be pleasantly surprised.

      • GEagle

        Totally agree..Not only does Davis have more time and experience to implement his scheme, I’m also in AWE of the defensive assistants that Chip loaded him up with…

        on one hand I hate the public just conceding that we are going to have a bad defense all summer long, but on the other it’s a good thing we are fling under the radar. the more disrespected our defenders feel the better

  • eaglepete

    in other words DRC was just telling the Broncos and local Denver media…”hey its not my fault Im the most over hyped cornerback to ever lace em up” Yet, Bronco fans think this guy can be better since they have a good squad because you know, guys like DRC always welcome the mentoring.

    Per Clayton, the Patriots ran the most plays last season, were their O lineman worn out? Maybe they do get worn out come playoff time, could that be part of the reason for their recent playoff declines? Worthy points imo. Agree with his point about the NFC East. It still goes through Atl, SF, GB and Seattle now then NO getting their coach back. Long uphill battle for sure. I see Keapernick winning it all here soon, dudes size and arm are really impressive, seems to have it all and can maybe hold up to the grind more than RG3 and Wilson.

  • prowler

    I can point out a DRC flaw….a 6-2, 4.29 40, all-pro, #16 pick shouldn’t stink.

  • Jason A Hines

    Actually I meant to ask this question about DRC’s comments – Is it possible that he meant that when they were trying to sell him they were willing to point out his flaws? The whole construction of the comments at least lends credence to the possibility that he is talking about teams before he got somewhere, not necessarily that he had never been coached about his flaws before.

  • MediaMike

    John Runyan has launched just about the most despicable non-criminal post-Eagles career of any guy to ever play for this franchise. Every time I see his work in Congress it makes me sick that I ever cheered for the guy.
    And F Michigan too.