Monday, September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden

One out of six Ohio Republicans thinks that Mitt Romney is responsible for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. No, really. Go here, open the linked pdf, then scroll down to page 15 of that document.

47 percent of the Republican electorate is "not sure." Taken together, this means that 62% of Ohio Republicans don't understand that the death of Bin Laden happened on Obama's watch and by Obama's order. They don't understand that Mitt Romney held no political position whatsoever at that time.

I'm trying to understand how anyone can conjure up an alternate reality in which Mitt Romney had anything to do with the Bin Laden raid.

I'm also trying to understand how 13 percent of Democrats can be unsure about the identity of the person who ordered that raid. One percent of Dems credits Mitt Romney.

I've spent the past hour trying to think of something to say about these poll results, but every time I contemplate the numbers, my mind sizzles and fries. It's like trying to figure out how Dr. Lao managed to get that huge circus into just a few saddle bags.

Dylan Matthews, writing in the Washington Post, blames these poll numbers on "sampling error." Ridiculous, sayeth I. If "sampling error" can produce results of this sort, then no poll would ever offer any worthwhile information. That said, the column offers some troubling insights:
What’s more, correcting peoples’ factual misunderstandings doesn’t seem to help at all. Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth and Jason Reifler of Georgia State ran experiments measuring whether partisans who read news articles with correct information that ran against their ideological views were likelier to hold the right factual beliefs. They found the opposite effect — correcting people, in other words, doesn’t inform them, it creates a backlash.

Telling conservatives that there were no WMDs in Iraq made them more likely to say there were weapons, and telling them that the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue made them more likely to say they increased revenue.
Maybe it doesn't matter who wins the upcoming election. Can democracy function in a country where the vote of a nescient ninny has the same value as a vote cast by a person of normal intelligence?
Jesus ordered it.

I have been known to lie when polled---just to keep 'em guessing. On one occassion I lied so they wouldn't take my issues for granted and keep the candidates on game. I know that's awful, but so is interrupting my privacy for a poll. I am more or less powerless in this so-called democracy-it's the one tiny fragment of power I have in the election.
But I do understand that many will rally to the defense of their faith when attacked. No matter how many facts are given to them. It's all really rather cultic.
Benazir Bhutto was mistaken?
Ask her again...oh, that's right.
Vindication for Goebbels at last!
Does the option Not Sure leave room for a third party?

The hunt for bin Laden stared under Bush the Lesser.
This is why I've said for over a decade that ALL, every bit, of our attention should be focused on and born down on the news agencies.

Our airwaves. We need to reclaim them. In the case of a revolution? Journalists at the head of the line to the guillotine. Every last talking head needs to be on a spike.
Oh, Christ. Not that Benazir Bhutto shit AGAIN. How many times do I have to do this?

You can make a strained argument to try to prove me wrong. You can also make a strained argument that Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden. Strained arguments favoring bullshit theories that people WANT to believe are precisely what is sending this country straight to hell.
Goebbels would have been proud!
Unbelievable.....stunningly unbelievable!
RedDragon -- don't slip away. Tell us: WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GO?
This could just be the result of categorical thinking. Killing Bin Laden was good and (if one is a Republican) Republicans are good so attribute the good act to the good guys. People demonstrably think in terms of categories (such as stereotypes) when they don't have detailed knowledge. So if they are vague to begin with they could just assume the good guys must have done it. It is the reason why people say Reno is East of San Diego when it is actually West -- they don't have a map in front of them and thus have no detailed knowledge so they reason that because Reno is in a state that is East of California (where San Diego is), Reno itself must be East of San Diego. These errors result because people use heuristics in their thinking and these shortcuts cause errors in certain situations (also called cognitive illusions). You can expect that Democrats do it too under comparable circumstances, so calling Republicans morons isn't warranted.
Corby, you're right -- Dems have been known to do it to. I've reprinted fairly often a poll published on Democratic Underground in 2008, in which some 90 percent of respondents said that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the death of Benazir Bhutto.

But I did not hesitate to call THOSE people morons. Why should I hesitate to use that term to describe the people who think Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden?

I'm still here brother. Life got in the way. You know how that is. Deleted old blog and ramping up to start a "new" one. I'll come roaring out of the blocks in the next few weeks.

Obama didnt kill osama. He just happened to be our commander in chief when it went down. America as a whole ( metaphorically speaking) killed osama
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