Thursday, August 20, 2009

trend lines

It's always good to have a talking point, even if there is no real 'point' to it, since otherwise it become apparent that you're just jabbering away for the noise value, and worse, failing to see the crux behind the verbiage.

The latest hot topic animating the jowls of serious conservatives (these are the ones, like Buchanan and Krauthammer, who chuckle at the teabaggers and consider the TownHallers little more than useful idiots) is the decline in public approval of the Democratic party. Indeed, before I cropped it, the Pew Research chart below was labeled 'Democratic Party Favorability Falls Sharply'.

What a difference that small edit makes. Please understand how to read this chart. It is not a composite - you don't add the two lines together and come up with a hundred. In the context of a well functioning two party system - where a term like 'loyal opposition' didn't ooze sarcasm - you might see both lines trending toward the eighties. This chart shows that a majority of those polled don't like anything on the table. And to tell you the truth, I think it trends unrealistically high due to some respondents confusing party loyalty with approval, a suspicion born out by that uptick during the height of the 08 election.

What Krauthammer and Buchanan probably see but don't verbalize is the fact that this is not a zero sum game. Bad news for the Democrats does not mean good news for the flat-lined Republicans, but it does signal a strong and clear opening for third parties, and it sure as hell adds fuel to the fire that burns in the hearts of all the crazies who live amongst us.

The Ramones - I'm Against It

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