Every third diary on the front page today, and I'm not exaggerating, has made reference to the PPP poll which purports to show what, to use Grover Norquist's phrase, "poopyheads" dumb old GOP voters are because 49% of them believe that ACORN, a non-existent organization, is responsible for stealing the election for Obama.
So I will grant you that (a) there are some people out there who believe the election was stolen, (b) there are still a few people confused enough to think ACORN is still among us, and (c) the intersection of these two subsets is probably heavily, heavily Republican, teabagging, and bloviatingly stupid. It is also probably VERY SMALL.
Because the question in that poll had these as the only three options:
Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election this year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?This is a LEADING poll question. The word "legitimate" has a whole host of interpretations, and anyone who had any question about any aspect of the election, and is still bearing any kind of a grudge so shortly after the event, is likely to respond to that word.
Obama legitimately won
ACORN stole it for him
And then, that is paired in the very next clause with only ONE option, "or do you think ACORN stole it for him?" Well, maybe you were paying attention or not to ACORN's demise, but if you're a Fox voter you certainly were trained to believe that such an organization was in the vote-stealing or delegitimization business at one point or another. Or maybe you didn't, but you thought maybe you'd missed something. Or maybe you just missed the second half of the question, and you just want to express doubts about the legitimacy of the election. You will be inclined to take what seems like the least of two badly-worded choices.
Let me give you another example. Please take this scientific poll:
Do you think Barack Obama stopped beating his wife?
- he has stopped beating his wife
- he never stopped beating his wife
- not sure
There is, of course, NO correct answer here. Same thing with this idiotic PPP poll.
So that's one thing - but why do we have to keep quoting or doing shoutouts to the poll? There's plenty of evidence of GOP inanery, and at the same time we have prided ourself recently - gobsmackingly often and in self-congratulation - at being Silverites and data-driven and concentrating on science and methodology.
So front page authors, commenters, diarists -- please let's just drop making references to this. We will look better, we will feel better, and we will be better.
If you won't abandon this dumb-ass, non-reality-based-community poll and just stick to the ample facts of an ignorant Republican electorate for me, won't you do it for Stephen?