early and often

How the Other Half Thinks: Advise George Bush!


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The trouble with polls these days? They’re all biased. Those damn liberals don’t ask whether you think George W. Bush is doing a great job in office but whether you’d like to see him kicked to the curb. That, you should understand, is a rigged question. Thankfully, the Heritage Foundation has stepped in to fix the problem; the right-wing D.C. think tank has sent a survey to “Conservatives and Republicans Only,” the results of which they promise will end up on the desks of some very powerful people in Washington. Through what can only be an act of Daniel Ellsberg–like political bravery, a copy of that survey arrived at the home of a neither conservative nor Republican magazine writer in the very blue state of New York. So what can we learn about the conservative mind from this leak? Well, according to the Heritage folks, most media surveys are “inaccurate … because they don’t ask the right questions.” So what are the correct, unbiased questions?

Let’s go to the survey! It starts nicely: “Do you think we should deport citizens of hostile countries who are living here?” And then there’s this nativist gem: “As the Constitution is now interpreted, children born to temporary workers, or to illegal immigrants, automatically become U.S. citizens. Do you think this practice should be changed?” There’s the obligatory “Do you think the federal government controls too many aspects of our lives?” And there’s concern for the really important issues confronting our country: “Do you support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage?” But our favorite question is probably this one: “On what areas do you think conservatives need to focus this year?” The five options: “1. Finishing the job in Iraq, 2. Spending, 3. The war on terror, 4. Immigration, 5. Stopping the liberal economic agenda.” The liberals have an economic agenda? Quick, someone alert the DNC! —Duff McDonald

The 2007 Opinion Survey for Conservative and Republicans Only [PDF]

How the Other Half Thinks: Advise George Bush!