So, last Tuesday was a pretty big day around The Aerie. Naturally, the election was big news (although actually the race for our Congressional seat is still going on – that is still being tallied, it’s that close), but I also had the surgery for the basal cell carcinoma that I had on the top of my head.
The surgery went well and many thanks to those of you who sent warm messages and thoughts my way. Everyone at the clinic was very nice and the team did a great job. I even got to see how they stained the cells to determine whether they were normal or cancerous. I mean, as a scientist, I see images of cells all the time in journals, but to see it with cells just excised from your head? Pretty damn cool. Even better was that the carcinoma was small and hadn’t spread. I was stitched up (with three levels of stitches) and home in time for a late lunch. Actually, today I’m heading back over to the clinic to have my first level of stitches removed.
Over the past week I’ve been reflecting on the election. I mean, it was a good day for Team Donkey and I’m glad the President was re-elected. And I’m especially glad that it was not a litigious election (three in a row! Go America!). I chuckled at how the punditry was, of course, trying to decide if the election was a “mandate” for Obama. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but winning every “battleground” state, picking up seats in both houses of Congress, the “rape guys” all losing, and winning every marriage equality referendum seemed to me like winning the World Series in four one-run games. Sure, it was close, but it was still a sweep.
But I think the thing that I will remember the most though is how the GOP-punditry and the Romney campaign seemed utterly blindsided by the results. This was not the traditional Mondale-ian stiff-upper-lipping through an Election Day you knew wasn’t going to go your way, it was clear that they thought that they were going to win and that the majority of pre-election polls that showed the President doing well were all “skewed” in that they over-represented Democrats (or those leaning) or how likely those people were to vote. Fox analyst Stuart Varney famously said, “look, [you] can go through all the scientific gobbledygook you like, I don’t believe them!”
Believe me, I’ve got a post or two about the GOP’s lack of respect for the scientific method, but that’s for another day. But as a scientist, you quickly and sometimes painfully learn that if nine experiments refute your hypothesis and one supports it, it’s probably that lone one that’s the outlier and incorrect — no matter how much you don’t want it to be true.
I wonder if it will be enough to make them change their practices.