What does science have to do with it?
Hug Hewett, who is not a nitwit, suddenly has had the selfsame “Paul on the Road to Damascus” blinding revelation that all other Republican bigwigs and bigmouths have had: Polling is like evolution — it’s only a theory. And all the “there’s no such thing as global warming” analysis has been brought, conveniently, to bear. Entirely TOO conveniently:
After a few weeks spent tracking down and questioning pollsters and the reporters of polls, I can assure the reader that pollsters are the modern-day alchemists. They promise to turn numbers into predictive gold. We’d all like to believe these magical powers exist, but we shouldn’t. The pollsters of 2012 just don’t know who is going to win in November any more than did the pollsters of 1980 know that Ronald Reagan was headed towards a landslide in that late-breaking year.
Which is a lie. Oh, Time magazine ran a scathing piece in the December 1, 1980 issue, but it was horseshit. Look:
The Washington Post
October 13, 2008
… a review of the late 1980 polls shows that while Reagan soared over the final week (following the campaign’s one and only debate on Oct. 29), the contest up until that point was tightly competitive, not trending toward the incumbent Democratic president. At the time, the Associated Press reported “new polls say the race between the two men remains too close to call.”
A post-election summary of polls by then-CBS News pollster Warren Mitofsky shows that at no point over the final two weeks did Carter have a lead bigger than three percentage points. There is a published Gallup poll not included in that report showing Carter up six among likely voters in a poll conducted Oct. 24 to 27. Whether six or the eight points cited today, Carter’s advantage in Gallup polling was offset by similarly large Reagan leads in NBC-Associated Press or DMI (Reagan’s pollsters) polls….
Now, why is this important?
Why, golly, Hugh must know
what he’s talking about!
Because you’re being conned. Flim-flammed. Hugh Hewitt isn’t interested in facts, even though he claims that he’s the Bees Knees of Journalists:
… Democrats would like to believe Quinnipiac (used by the New York Times and CBS) or Marist (used by the Wall Street Journal and NBC) that Obama has surged to a lead in Ohio and other key battleground states. They’d also like to believe that Gallup’s finding that the president has a six-point lead among registered voters means a six point win in five weeks.
But none of these beliefs are good journalistic practice.
No, but doing your fucking homework IS good journalistic practice. And, while I have done mine, Hewitt carefully neglected to do his. Why? Why would this louse want to pretend that scientific polling hasn’t worked worth a tinker’s damn over the past seven or eight decades? And why pretend that polling today is no better than allegedly it was thirty two years ago? Quick, Hugh, run to your CP/M portable computer with its three inch screen and crunch the numbers!
Oh, wait. Portable CP/Ms weren’t available commercially until 1981, with the Osborne 1, and PCs weren’t introduced until IBM PC, Model 5150, on August 12, 1981.
The Osborne 1 ran CP/M Wordstar 1.0, but since DEC wouldn’t
license CP/M to IBM, IBM contracted with Bill Gates and his
“Microsoft” startup to provide a Disk Operating System, and the
rest is history. CP/M was dead by 1990. DOS ruled o’er all.
Gee, you suppose that scientific polling and data processing have gotten any better in the past 32 years? Well, that’s what Hewitt is implicitly proposing. If you don’t buy that line of horseshit, you aren’t going to buy the rest of his horseshit.
But there’s more, and it’s a form of scientific libel, aimed at destroying the credibility of statistical analysis and polling samples. IF, as Hewitt and Rove and Dick Morris and Scott Rasmussen and Rush Limbaugh and the rest claim, p0lling is actually suspect and not merely un-credible but actually INcredible, you have to believe that A) the largest corporations and every politician in America has been gulled by scientific con artists for the past 32 years, AND B) that ALL of the national pollsters are CONSPIRING IN A SECRET CABAL to elect Obama!!!!!
It’s all a CONSPIRACY!!!!
Don’t believe me? Ask Hugh Hewitt to hew to the witless party line of the second proposition:
These two bits of info undermine the credibility of the Obama booster polls, as did the interviews I conducted with key leadership from both polls and with other informed observers….
The pro-Obama pollsters don’t have answers as to why their skewed samples are trustworthy beyond the fact that they think their approach to randomness is a guarantee of fairness, and they seem to resent greatly that the questions are even asked. Like Madoff would have resented questions about his stunning rate of return…
Ah, they’re Bernie Madoff. Swindling and cheating demographic marketing, advertisers, corporations and politicians nationwide with false and concocted polling results. Never mind the facts. And merely ASSERT that anyone whose polling suggests that Obama has a lead over Romney IN ANY STATE is, obviously, Pro-Obama, and, therefore untrustworthy, since they are, by definition, pro-Obama pollsters conspiring to LIE to us.
You mean like Hugh Hewitt?
Er, maybe not.
Tell you what. Why don’t you take a look at the accuracy of Gallup polling in presidential elections since 1936 and I’ll patiently wait for you to return?
I am taking a lot of time to swat this fly very precisely, because I want you to understand just HOW lunatic this fundamental proposition is. A and B.
So, we return to the question: If it’s horseshit, why is it being sold as lemon meringue pie, and state-fair-winning lemon meringue pie, at that?
(There’s more psy-ops false information, cross-linked, of course, to various MEETOO Rightiesneer blogs. But you get the idea.)
Let me tell you a little story that’s a few thousand years old:
The Blind Men and the Elephant
Long ago five old men lived in a village in India. Each was born blind. The other villagers loved the old men and kept them away from harm. Since the blind men could not see the world for themselves, they had to imagine many of its wonders. They listened carefully to the stories told by travelers to learn what they could about life outside the village.
The men were curious about many of the stories they heard, but they were most curious about elephants.
Finally, the curious men arranged to visit the palace of the Rajah to learn the truth about elephants. A young boy from their village was selected to guide the blind men on their journey.
When the blind men reached the palace, they were greeted by an old friend from their village who worked as a gardener on the palace grounds. Their friend led them to the courtyard. There stood an elephant. The blind men stepped forward to touch the creature that was the subject of so many arguments.
The first blind man reached out and touched the side of the huge animal. “An elephant is smooth and solid like a barn!” he declared.
The second blind man put his hand on the elephant’s limber trunk. “An elephant is like a giant snake,” he announced.
The third blind man touched one of the elephant’s four legs. “What we have here,” he said, “is a tree trunk.”
The fourth blind man felt the elephant’s giant ear. “I believe an elephant is like a huge fan or maybe a leaf,” he said.
The fifth blind man gave a tug on the elephant’s coarse tail. “Why, this is nothing more than a stick!”
The gardener led his friends to the shade of a tree. “Sit here and rest for the long journey home,” he said.
While they waited, the five blind men talked about the elephant.
“An elephant is like a barn,” said the first blind man. “Surely we can finally agree on that.”
“A barn? An elephant is a giant snake!” answered the second blind man.
They began to argue and their shouts grew louder and louder as each refused to budge from his own “truth” about the elephant.
“Barn!” “Snake!” “Tree!” “Leaf!” “Stick!”
“Stop shouting!” called a very angry voice.
It was the Rajah, awakened from his nap by the noisy argument. ”How can each of you be so certain you are right?”
The five blind men decided to say nothing at all in the presence of the Rajah.
“The elephant is a very large animal,” said the Rajah. “Each man touched only one part. Perhaps if you put the parts together, you will understand the truth.”
These “Photo ID” voter suppression laws are part of a larger scheme launched in 2004 by Karl Rove in the wake of the questions about the exit polling. The Arizona operative (Nathan Sproul) “fired” by the GOP and FL GOP was another part of it. In all probablity,the hacking of voting machines is another part of it, the Tea Party vigilantes being organized to challenge voters another part, and the sudden attack on polling part of the “exit” strategy. Stop looking at the stick, the snake, the leaf, the tree and the barn and see the elephant.