Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Polls Apart

I've spent a little time reading Rush Limbaugh lately because I want to find out if conservatives have more to say these days than just "no". If they do, I haven't found it yet. Rush seems to concur with Bobby Jindal who, in his GOP response to Obama's address before Congress, famously advocated doing nothing about the present economic crisis. However, I did find an interesting aside in Limbaugh's scoffing at Obama's approval ratings when he cited a Pew Research poll: " There has never been more polarization in this country under a president than there is with Obama, including under Bush, according to Pew." So I went to the poll and it made strange reading indeed. Apparently 88% of Democrats and 27% of Republicans approve of Obama. Pew subtracted these numbers to conclude that there is a 61 point partisan gap in his ratings. The problem is that mathematically, adding and subtracting percentages makes very little sense. It's like saying 30% of my money plus 30% of Bill Gates' money equals 60% of our money…I wish! I'm sure that Rush and Pew would protest that this is just an indicator to make a very limited point. OK, but isn't that exactly the kind of "drive-by journalism" that Mr. Limbaugh claims to deplore?



Paula Slade said...

Oh, you beat me to it! I was thinking about blogging some commentary about Limbaugh! He has really been getting on my nerves. I have tried to understand where he comes from but am totally clueless and amazed at his tirades over the airwaves. I read an interesting take on him in the LA Times - from Marc Cooper: "I will grant Limbaugh one slim glimmer of genius. Unlike similar demagogues (I'm thinking of Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity), Limbaugh makes no claim to be a little-guy populist. Instead, he's a perfect mouthpiece for the most elite portions of our society. He's a virile defender of wealth, privilege and greed. The rather fabulous trick he pulls off is to attract millions of little-guy listeners and make them believe that their interests are somehow the same as those of the jillionaires Limbaugh idolizes and celebrates." (IMHO) I think he is fixated on anything that smacks of what he perceives to be intellectualism (Pew Report - even though their math is WRONG.) His whole persona is as skewed as his thinking. You have indeed discovered a chink in his armor!

TallTchr said...

Thanks for the Cooper quote. I've wondered about the same things. You should write about Limbaugh; he's very interesting. His followers are passionate about him, and I'm not at all sure why. But I give him credit--he's a spellbinder.