Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Voice Votes: Binders, Poindexters, and Henry David Thoreau Voice Votes: Binders, Poindexters, and Henry David Thoreau

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Voice Votes: Binders, Poindexters, and Henry David Thoreau

What's optimal and what's not, plus who is getting shot with real bullets.

Welcome to this week’s Voice Votes, a feature in which we grade the week’s headlines—and poke fun at them. You can join in by suggesting your own #win, #fail, and #meh candidates via Twitter. (Send tweets to @nationaljournal). Need more space? E-mail suggestions to or leave us a comment on Facebook. We’ll publish the best suggestions in this space every week and credit the authors.

Here's how we vote this week:


#Fail on Obama’s interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, when he said: “Here is what I will say, if four Americans get killed, it is not optimal.” “Not optimal” is the mapping app on the iPhone 5. This is something else.

#Win on Romney’s assertion at the debate Tuesday that he was given “binders full of women” with which to staff his cabinet when he was elected governor of Massachusetts. We can’t wait to see what Hannibal Lecter will give him if he’s elected president. 

#Win on Romney’s new ad on bipartisan leadership, “Bringing People Together.” It’s a big improvement over the slightly different original ad concept, “Binding Women Together.”


#Fail on Vice President Joe Biden’s riff at a rally Thursday on Paul Ryan’s book Young Guns, in which he told the audience, “Unfortunately, those bullets are aimed at you.” Ironically, the only one getting shot was Biden. By himself. In the foot.

#Fail on the news that the Post Office, which has already defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment, has hit its congressionally-mandated borrowing limit of $15 billion, increasing the chances of future defaults and service stoppages. Note that “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” doesn’t mention anything about Congress.

#Fail on Paul Ryan’s stop at an Ohio soup kitchen Saturday, which was criticized by soup kitchen staff as unwelcome and of little actual help to the hungry. On the other hand, if he was trying to prove that government officials shouldn’t be in the business of providing social services…

#Fail on lagging diversity among the faculties of Ivy League schools, which include paltry numbers of blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. On the bright side, the Ivy League still has very good representation among nerds, Poindexters and geeks. 


#Meh on the Secular Coalition’s Presidential Scorecard, which gave Romney an “F” and President Obama a “C” on issues like church-state separation. Sorry, but we have no faith in presidential scorecards.

#Fail on the $40,000 the federal government spent on a video game based on Henry David Thoreau’s work of transcendentalist philosophy, Walden. Some people hear the beat of a different drummer — and apparently for some people in the federal government, it triggers very strange images of Thoreau hunched over a laptop in the woods.


comments powered by Disqus