Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Crazification Factor

Kung Fu Money uses the socratic method to explain the seemingly hard floor of %27 in Bush's approval rating:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --

Tyrone: 27%.

John: ... you said that immediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgment. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

(via MeFi)


Blogger Tyson said...

Ezra Klein and Atrios have written about stuff like this before too (sadly, I don't have any more specific references). The basic idea being that the reason Bush doesn't slip even further down the polls, despite the Lusitania-grade disaster that is his administration, is that there's basically a third of the country that's so ideologically committed that they'll believe him no matter what, even if he announces a nation-wide nut-punching initiative or something. It's tempting to think of these people as a solid bloc, but I think it's probably more of a composition of overlapping nutjobs, if that makes any sense. And if it does, it's probably not a surprise.

Actually, now that I think of it, Glenn Greenwald has written about this too. For him, the real marker of nutjobiness was the José Padilla case and the astonishing disregard for Habeas Corpus. Ugh. I mean, Alberto Gonzalez actually said there was no implicit guarantee of Habeas Corpus in the Constitution! Good thing that's not a foundational element in the rule of law and democracy or anything.

Ack. Tired.

9:56 PM  

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