Is that some completely irrelevant number in your ass?

The Washington Post shows why the decision to hire William Kristol wasn’t the stupidest thing an op-ed page could do. Writing about le Président Bush, he writes:

Between 2000 and 2004, the president increased his total vote by 23 percent.

Before we move any further, we’ll start with: You may remember this non-argument from such columns as August 17, 2007:

From 2000 to 2004, this approach excited conservative enthusiasm; boosted President Bush’s support among Hispanics, Asian Americans, Catholics and women; and increased his popular vote total in his reelection bid by 23 percent.

In case you’re wondering how a pretty unpopular President managed such an impressive increase in support, well, it turns out that he didn’t. Popular vote total, of course, is the kind of thing we were told doesn’t matter because the electoral college votes are what matters. And there’s a great deal of irony in having a guy whose President lost the popular vote in 2000 draw attention to that particular statistic. But the more disturbing (disturbing means dumb in this case) thing is that comparing total votes without adjusting for the size of the voting population is like comparing prices without adjusting for inflation. Which is to say:

In 2000, 105.4 million votes were cast for a presidential candidate. Bush received 48% of those, aka 50,456,169.
In 2004, 122.3 million votes were cast for a presidential candidate. Bush received 51% of those, aka 62,040,606.

So while it’s true that Bush “increased his total vote by 23 percent,” it should have been obvious that given the total number of votes cast itself increased by a healthy 16%, making Bush’s gain not quite that impressive. 48% + 7% = 51%, but that isn’t quite as sexy, is it? (Did you know that Kerry did better than Bush’s 2000 total vote by 16%?)


Comments: 26


Well, when you bring up things like that, it’s of course irrelevant. But when Bill Kristol brings up facts like that, it’s a searing indictment of the failure of the Democratic Party before the glory and majesty of Dubya’s imposing wang.

Typical Republican

Freedom isn’t free, traitor.

Typical Republican





Patkin, I believe you mean the failure of the Democrat party. Let’s keep our fact free slurs consistent.



Mentioning Michael Gerson’s name would be good.


when I read stuff like this, I really regret being born with a soul. Because if I didnt have one I could write crap like that and be getting teh sweet sweet wingnut wellfare.


48% + 7% = 51%

That math looks fuzzy.


No one anticipated the breach of the popular vote.


I say Billy Kristol is just jealous of HTML’s extensive, probing attention to Rich Lowry’s history of lies, distortions and bullshite. Billy can only *dream* of attracting that kind of attention, albeit negative, and that dream will stoke many future fact-challenged columns, at least until the FBI investigations force Kristol to slither off under the radar or to Paraguay for a while.


and what TR said.


Is that some completely irrelevant number in your ass?

…or are you just glad to see me?


48% + 7% = 51%

That math looks fuzzy.

He’s in Germany, so I’m guessing that’s metric percent…


You guys are being dorks.

48 + 3 = 51

7% of 48 = 3

Are you having difficulties reading Seb?



SN: “Did you know that Kerry did better than Bush’s 2000 total vote by 16%?”

So, that means that the number of people who voted against Bush in 2004 increased by about 15%? Good.

Pity it wasn’t enough.


More fun with statistics:

The war hawks liked to scream about how “Saddam killed a million of his own people!!!”

Leaving aside the fact that something over half of that number represents soldiers killed in the Iran/Iraq war rather than at the hand of Saddam’s evil torturing henchmen…accept the 1 million figure, and Saddam’s 24 year reign, and we find that Saddam killed Iraqis at an average clip of some 41,666 per year, every year of his reign.

Bush’s war has killed a million Iraqis in less than 5 years, at an average clip of 200,000 per year. Which means Bush is killing 4.8 times as many Iraqis per year.

Or as I like to say, this proves that Bush is 480% more eviller than Saddam Hussein.

Arky The Blasphemer

But Jennifer, Bush is killing them so the terrorists don’t kill them first. And anyways, when we kill them it’s because they failed to hand over the terrorists, which makes them terrorists so they’re all terrorists, so massive Iraqi casualties are a sign that the Victory Pony is Trotting across the Fields of Freedom, nibbling on the Daisies of Democracy.

You like ponies, don’t you?


You like ponies, don’t you?

Sure I do!

But after 5 years of digging through the shit, I still haven’t seen any ponies.


Jennifer, I’d also like to break out the figures into two eras:

1) Saddam was killing everybody, including gassing the Kurds, but he was Reagan/GHW Bush’s best buddy.

2) How many were killed by Saddam after he invaded Kuwait and suddenly turned into Hitler?

Point being, if we’re going to execute Saddam for his crimes all these decades later, why should enablers like Rumsfeld get off the hook?



Because Rumsfeld is a WHITE REPUBLICAN. Doy.


Patkin, I forgot the link (which lives at my own notta-blog, amongst other places).

In early September the Senate unanimously passed the Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988. In its original form, the legislation called for the following changes in US policy toward Iraq:

However, despite the unanimous support of the Senate, over the course of the next few months, the sanctions bill was systematically watered down, and it eventually died under the heavy influence of both the Administration and opponents within the House of Representatives.

Smells like Freedom™, doesn’t it?


But after 5 years of digging through the shit, I still haven’t seen any ponies.

Oh, they were there. Just decomposed. Mostly killed in air strikes…



Is that some completely irrelevant number in your ass?
If Kristol wants to give himself a chloroform enema, don’t discourage him with questions of relevancy.


(Did you know that Kerry did better than Bush’s 2000 total vote by 16%?)

Did you know that none of this matters so long as the American electorate behaves as if they’re dumber than shit?

(Keeping my fingers crossed that this fall they have a semi-lucid moment.)


I still think that mentioning Michael Gerson’s name would be good, given that he wrote the articles linked to.


Now I must write a grovelling letter to Kristol, apologising for my unthinking assumption that he was the author of the articles and the recipient of the irrelevant rectal anaesthetic. I will blame Seb and use the phrase “Mistakes were made”.


Now I must write a grovelling letter to Kristol

If he replies then you have definitive proof that he reads smut.


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