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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Although the Nobel thing has pretty much crested by now…

…this Reason article (“Praise Our Nobel Laureate, You Churlish Anti-American:” H/T: Instapundit) is still worth linking to, for two reasons. The first is this paragraph:

[NPR correspondent Don] Gonyea argues that because he is receiving the award for not being George W. Bush, and for changing American foreign policy by continuing super peaceful Predator drone attacks on the Taliban and pouring more troops into Afghanistan, this might “remind swing voters” that “he has done a lot for the United States around the world.” Well. Having Norwegian lefties reminding fence-sitting Americans that Obama makes Europeans swoon will probably be as effective as encouraging readers of The Guardian to write condescending letters to voters in Ohio, informing them that most people who pay a television license and subscribe to The New Statesman think George W. Bush is a mentally retarded Nazi.

The second reason is for revisiting the Guardian’s infamous Operation Clark County – which was easily one of the top five Left own-goals of the 2004 election. For those who weren’t paying attention then: the paper tried to micro-target a swing district in Ohio by having their readers send pro-Kerry letters to random voters in that county.  And how did that go?

[Guardian editor Ian] Katz also said he knew all along that the letter-writing project could backfire. So, did it? Almost certainly, yes. In 2000, Al Gore won Clark County by 324 votes. And since Ralph Nader received 1,347 votes, we can assume Gore’s margin would have been larger without Nader on the ballot. On Tuesday George Bush won Clark County by 1,620 votes.

The most significant stat here is how Clark County compares to the other 15 Ohio counties won by Gore in 2000. Kerry won every Gore county in Ohio except Clark. He even increased Gore’s winning margin in 12 of the 16. Nowhere among the Gore counties did more votes move from the blue to the red column than in Clark. The Guardian’s Katz was quoted as saying it would be “self-aggrandizing” to claim Operation Clark County affected the election. Don’t be so modest, Ian.

About how you’d expect, in other words. This is one reason why so many people are desperately trying to preemptively shut up the derisive laughter over this; it’s because they know that regular Americans are predisposed to derisively laugh about this sort of thing.

We certainly did, at the time.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.

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