Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some Important Information

Glenn Greenwald has a nice post up today that points out the futility of electoral defeatism among progressive voters. His argument, that Democrats can't stay away from the polls on the assumption that their candidate will lose anyway is an important one. Pessimism can often lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. We have to fight that.

This post is not about Greenwald's argument, though. It is about this graphic he linked to, shown above. From the University of Minnesota, it is an accumulation of results from several polls during the Bush Presidency occupation of the White House. If there is one thing that we in the reality-based community like, it's facts. Graphs, charts and maps fascinate us, because they provide a large number of facts in a way that can be analyzed and interpreted. From this analysis and interpretation we derive more facts and conclusions that have a high probability of being valid, based as they are on reality.

Conservatives on the other hand have opinions, which are based on nothing more than the opinions of other conservatives. They titter derisively when they hear the word analysis, because it happens to contain the word anal. And yet, ironically, conservatives like Limbaugh, Coulter and O'Reilly get most of their own 'facts' by pulling them out of their ass. They mumble and turn away when they hear the word interpretation because it reminds them that other languages than English exist. For some conservatives even one language is too much of a challenge. Take the pResident as an example.

Update: from our comment threads, the idea to include this video in the post earns a tip of the revolutionary headgear for Macaca Doodle Doo!! - Great Handle, BTW

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." -- John Stuart Mill

So what facts can we derive from the graph?

#1) The more people get to know George W. Bush, the less they like him.
#2) Standing on a pile of rubble with a bullhorn makes you look Presidential, and hugely increases your popularity. (a 35% bump)
#3) Starting a needless war in Iraq makes you look Presidential, and increases your popularity (a 20% bump)
#4) Polls taken by FOX "news", ABC/WP and ABC/Ipsos consistently show Bush approval higher than other polls. Harris, Zogby and PEW often show lower approval, but not quite so consistently.
#5)Differences between the highest and lowest poll results often exceed 10%, despite the standard claim of 4% accuracy.
#6), #7), #8)...For our visitors in comments.

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