Thursday, December 08, 2005

Idiot Limbaugh (First of a long series, I'm sure)

Rush Limbaugh is one of the conservative idiots out there doing major damage to our political discourse. Beyond the fact that he can't come up with a solid argument to save his life, he distorts the facts beyond recognition when he doesn't outright lie.

Here's an example from today. In reporting the results from the latest New York Times/CBS poll, he tells his audience that there are contradictory findings. For example, here's one question from the poll:

66. Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq?

Should Should not DK/NA
7/13-14/05 CBS 55 40 5
12/2-6/05 58 39 3

Note --The question asked about setting a timetable, not withdrawing now. Yet, that's what Limbaugh indicated to this audience. A timetable may be established so that troops are withdrawn months or years from now. That's not the same as immediate withdrawal.

Another question.

67. If the U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq now, do you think the threat of terrorism against the United States would increase, decrease, or stay about the same?

Increase Decrease Stay about the same DK/NA
8/29-31/05 32 11 54 3
12/2-6/05 40 8 49 3

The question asked about withdrawing troops now, not setting a timetable for withdrawal, which is John Murtha's position (plus, he calls for redeployment, not withdrawal). Yet, Limbaugh says this finding contradicts the first one.

Another question:

68. If the U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq now, do you think there would be more violence in Iraq than there is now, would there be less violence than there is now, or about the same amount of violence as there is now?

More Less About the same amount DK/NA
8/29-31/05 CBS 48 11 37 4
12/2-6/05 46 12 38 3

Again, the question asks about withdrawing troops now, not according to a timetable. Still, Limbaugh states that if we follow what John Murtha wants, the American people believes that there will be more violence. But, that's not what the question asked.

One more question Limbaugh tackled:

73. If your representative in Congress called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would that make you more likely to vote for that representative, less likely to vote for that representative, or wouldn't it make much of a difference to you?

More Less Not much difference Wouldn't vote (vol.) DK/NA
12/2-6/05 21 36 40 1 2

Limbaugh made a big deal about how 36% would be less likely to vote for a representative of Congress who called for an immediate withdrawal. He claimed that representatives taking this position would be "punished" at the polls. Yet, 40% said it would not make any difference, and 21% would be more likely. And, again, the question talked about immediate withdrawal, not about a timetable.

Here's a question Limbaugh didn't report. Wonder why?

70. Do you think George W. Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq, or hasn't hedeveloped one yet?

Has a clear plan Hasn't developed one yet DK/NA
12/2-6/05 25 68 6

Two and one-half times as many respondents don't believe the president has a clear plan for victory in Iraq. That's pretty bad news for the president. That's not newsworthy according to Rush.

It's times like these that I wish there still was a Fairness Doctrine.


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