[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Bush is a Bad Guy

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bush is a Bad Guy

When I think of villians, you know...really bad guys, there are many that come to mind. Osama Bin Laden, any terrorist, President "Tom" of Iran, fidel castro...OK you get the idea.

Apparently, many more people would have included another name to that list:

George W. Bush
.

The results of an AP-AOL poll published today indicate that more people think of President Bush as the world's top bad guy than anyone else. Twenty-five...that's 25 percent...of those surveyed picked Dubya as the #1 bad guy. A total of 1,004 people were surveyed.

Don't worry...Osama Bin Laden and President Ahmadinedjad were on the list as well, at 8 and 5 percent respectively.

I'm often skeptical of polls, for obvious reasons. They're not scientific and the questions asked can be quite misleading. But it is shocking to me that three times as many people consider George Bush to be a worse human being than Osama Bin Laden. 43 percent of Democrats thought Bush was #1, as did 27 percent of Republicans.

It's staggering.

I can understand people's beef with Bush. I can even understand if someone doesn't like him. But to think that he's worse than Bin Laden...I don't care how much you dislike a president of the United States, it's incredibly stupid and reflects badly on this country's intelligence level. In addition, it's proof that BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) is not only alive and well, but has reached epidemic proportions.

I should add that Bush received the most responses for biggest hero at a whopping 13 percent.

I know, it's just a stupid poll. But this one reflects just how stupid we can be.

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26 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Robert: One can have all sorts of fun presenting statistics.

For instance, I can legitimately say that 57% of Dems didn't think that Bush was the world's biggest villain.

I can also say that 75% of the total people polled thought that other people were bigger villains than Bush.

From a man who loves to look at the world around him in the most positive light, it's interesting that you chose to spin the negative in this story. Of course, you then couldn't interject your BDS comment and maybe that's the primary motivation here.

There are arguments to be made by people that with all the damage that the current president has done in the past 6 years and the way he's destroyed this country's standing in the world that he deserves the title of world's biggest villain. And, quite frankly, it doesn't surprise me that some do. The emphasis there is on the word "some" and not a "staggering" amount as you state in your post.

I'm always being told that I should leave if I don't like it here. If the U.S. is too dumb for you, Robert, well....you know.

.

9:27 PM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger alesh said...

OK, I think Osama Bin Laden is a worse villain then George Bush.

But let me throw out some thoughts the other way:

Consider the damage GWB has done vs OBL's damage: much much greater, right? OBL killed 3,000 Americans. Nobody knows how many Iraquis GWB has killed, but everyone agrees that it's in the hundreds of thousands.

OBL is a terrorist, but there's a little bit of eye-of-the-beholder going on with defining who's a terrorist, too. I don't want to get all Noam Chomsky on you, but some of the stuff the US does is pretty ugly, and OBL at least has the defense that he hates Americans because they keep FUCKING AROUND with his part of the world. You know, he's, like, a freedom fighter. I'm not saying I agree with that particular perspective, but there's more to it then most Americans realize. If you play the "who started it?" game, the USA started it, no doubt.

OK having said all that, I still think those poll results are crazy. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. (I also think Rick's comment is a little crazy.)

(I also think it's crazy that I have to post this comment linked to my blogger account, not my blog.)

9:54 PM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

Rick, I bet you voted a few times in that poll, eh?

12:33 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger vbspurs said...

As Robert Browning said, "What they say. Never mind what they say. They'll say it anyway".

A very happy New Year's to you, my dear Robert. :)

See you soon!

Cheers,
Victoria

3:31 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Rick,

The fact that almost half of Democrats, and over a quarter of Republicans, thought Bush was worse than a world-class terrorist is not pointing out the negative, it's pointing out the ridiculous truth.
If anyone should know, it's someone like you who always touts and stresses reality over optimism. Your attempt to turn the tables on me is nothing but futile.

It's bad enough if only one person were to think that Bush is worse than Osama. In my limited scope, the fact that 250 Americans out of 1,000 think Bush (or any US president for that matter) is worse than Osama is indeed staggering, for obvious reasons that I don't think I need to explain to you...or do I?

And no, "I ain't goin' nowhere".

Alesh,

You can try to justify a terrorist's motives (even though I realize you're playing the role of devil's advocate), but that's like saying that a dictator like Pinochet was justified in killing his opponents, and we know how you feel about the late general.

I don't buy the comparison people make in the Iraqis killed in a war versus the murdering of 3,000 innocent Americans in a terrorist attack.

I'm sorry about you having to sign in to your blogger account...I guess the only remedy to that is for me to get off Blogger.

Victoria,

The quote is so true. Thanks! And all the best to you in the New Year.

10:56 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Rick said...

Robert: Both the 57% and the 43% numbers are truths. You chose to highlight the 43% number and not mention the 57% because of your outrage that "It's bad enough if only one person were to think that Bush is worse than Osama." I'm simply pointing that out.

I personally don't believe that Bush is worse than OBL although I would say that George W. Bush deserves his own special little place in Hell.

.

11:35 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Alex said...

That 13% of People think Bush is their biggest hero it's an even worse symptom of BDS.

12:05 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Robert, before you give this poll any credit at all, look at its methodology [pdf].

Notice that the survey sample is more Democratic than the voting population, and that the percentage of Democratic respondents who identify themselves as "strongly" Democratic is higher than the percentage who identify themselves as strongly Republican. This is an unrepresentative sample, which is what you would expect from a phone survey nowadays.

Notice also that the survey technique apparently involved asking "Who is the best/worst?" and then reading a long list of names. Guess whose names are most recognizable and memorable?

Notice also that the pollsters used different lists of names for "heroes/villains" and "best/worst" role model. (Bin Laden's name doesn't appear on the heroes' list.)

Notice also that it's not clear who commissioned the poll. It looks like it may have been the polling firm itself. I assume they did it for self-promotion. What kind of survey outcome do you think is most likely to generate some free publicity for the pollsters?

This was a crap poll.

5:02 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

I hear you Jonathan. I tried to make the disclaimer that polls can be misleading. Even taking that and the demographics of those surveyed into consideration, it's still surprising to me.

It was probably wrong of me to imply that this poll reflects the country's thinking. Nevertheless, the results do have to make you think at least a little.

6:42 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Sure. The extreme hostility expressed by some of Bush's critics is astonishing.

12:11 AM, December 31, 2006  
Blogger Rick said...

Yep, it's funny the emotions that love of country and the principles that it has always stood for brings up in people, Jonathan.

12:25 PM, December 31, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

I think Jonathan is referring to those who go to the extreme to show their hatred (that's what it is I'm afraid) of Bush, not those who disagree with the man but show it in a civilized way.

12:35 PM, December 31, 2006  
Blogger Adam said...

Seeing the world's leaders on a linear scale from bad to good is a ridiculous process to begin with, but in terms of actual damage to our country (by any reasonable standard of measurements) george bush has done far worse than OBL could ever have dreamt.

There may be people with more villainous intent than Bush, but there is nobody whose terrible policies reach further and harm more people for more years to come.

9:39 AM, January 03, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

There may be people with more villainous intent than Bush, but there is nobody whose terrible policies reach further and harm more people for more years to come.

And you know this how?

1:32 PM, January 03, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

Well I believe it to be obvious to anyone who cares to turn on the news and put aside the rah-rah-america-is-always-right mentality. You're welcome to disagree with me, but, in this case that would make you wrong.

12:46 PM, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

In other words, it's your opinion, and anyone who doesn't agree with it is wrong, but you're not going to explain why. I take it then that you don't have any evidence to support your assertions?

6:05 PM, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

lol at me having to provide evidence to support that bush's policies are more harmful to more people than bin laden could have ever been.

do you want me to prove the sky is blue too?

6:31 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

No. I want you to support your assertions with reasons that are more substantial than "lol at me having to provide evidence."

Is "lol at me having to provide evidence" the answer that you give to your teachers or students or boss or customers when they ask you about something important? I assume not. But you do it here because you're anonymous and think you can get away with it without consequence. But there is a consequence, and that is that in this discussion no one who is intellectually serious is going to take you seriously. Obviously that's OK by you.

8:54 PM, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

Actually I was not providing evidence for the simple reason that the internet is already filled with a preponderance of it and you would know this if you chose to do a simple read-through of the news or the like.

If you really need some starters try googling "Habeas Corpus," "Budget Deficit," "War in Afghanistan," "War in Iraq," or "Torture".

I have never met a person in real life that would actually take a stand for the ridiculous policies of our current administration, so I must assume that they are mostly just voting for tax-writeoffs and guiltily pretending that they didn't when it comes to other issues.

10:17 AM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Actually I was not providing evidence for the simple reason that the internet is already filled with a preponderance of it and you would know this if you chose to do a simple read-through of the news or the like.

You are engaging here in a logical fallacy that is called "begging the question." This means that you are assuming the validity of the proposition that you are arguing for. Specifically, you are assuming that your interpretation of the news and facts about Bush, the war, etc. is correct, and then you are telling me to look at the news and facts as if they automatically support your argument.

But in fact the Internet is full of all kinds of information -- facts, arguments, truth, lies -- and much of it is contradictory. So unless you explain your argument, specify facts or other evidence in support of it, and explain why that evidence supports your argument and not (for example) mine, you are saying nothing.

If you really need some starters try googling "Habeas Corpus," "Budget Deficit," "War in Afghanistan," "War in Iraq," or "Torture".

Surely you are aware that there are many arguments about these issues, and that some of these arguments contradict your arguments. Or maybe you aren't aware.

I have never met a person in real life that would actually take a stand for the ridiculous policies of our current administration, so I must assume that they are mostly just voting for tax-writeoffs and guiltily pretending that they didn't when it comes to other issues.

I'm surprised that you admit that you have never met someone who disagrees with you on these controversial issues. If everyone agreed on these issues there would be no controversy. Yet there is constant argument about them on TV, the Internet and other public forums, as anyone with common sense would realize. You need only look at the high vote percentages received by Bush and Republicans to understand how many people disagree with you -- the country is closely divided on these issues. I meet people all the time, in person and in Internet discussions, with whom I disagree on these and other issues, and I think my experience is common. So by telling us that you "have never met a person in real life that would actually take a stand for the ridiculous policies of our current administration," you are telling us that you only hang out with people who are like yourself and that you avoid people who might have different views. Given your insularity and lack of familiarity with the views of people who disagree with you, why should anyone accept your assertions at face value?

12:40 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

The proposition that I am arguing for is that Bush's policies have and will hurt more people in worse ways than osama bin laden's attacks on september 11th (and every other time) could ever have done.

Do you need examples to support my proposition? look at the news.

Do you need me to hold your hand and point out every detail?

Afghanistan: failure. More innocents dead than 911. Taliban coming back and no real effort to restore civil infrastructure. Osama bin laden not captured. Unocal oil pipeline project on schedule. Enmity of half of afghanistan now, half when we withdaw.

Iraq: failure. Boldfaced lies. More innocents dead than 9-11 by powers of 10. More terrorists than ever. Flaunting diplomacy and international conceensus. Civil war. No end in sight. Our children will be paying the price for this with their security or freedom (or both). Western oil companies to get bonanza 75% profits off new oil wells while iraqis go without clean water and electricity. enmity of entire middle east (including new generation of anti-american terrorists).

Efforts to revoke habeas corpus, due process, etc: Terrible. Absolutely horrifying.

Torture: evil evil evil.

Will not testify under Oath.
(because he is a LIAR!)

Budget: Worst spender of all time. tax cuts to top 1%. I got $300 and our national debt spirals out of control (for no good reason).

Terrible public speaking. Mushmouthed and obviously read (poorly) off the teleprompter, yet still able to give me the creeps.

Ability to ride highest public opinion into the ground and squander international goodwill on terrible meaningless backlashes at nobody and slashing of our constitutional rights.

Now if you need more examples there are plenty, but I suspect that you will be the type to boil these things down to a logical fallacy as well.


Now let's talk about that villain Osama: Got lucky and blew up some skyscrapers and the pentagon. Very bad, killed a lot of innocent people.

Blew up an embassy--also bad. more mostly innocent people.

Leads people against America from a cave. pretty bad, I guess.

Unpopular fashion sense: -1


here's more reading on the subject
if you need more to be convinced.

9:56 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

also, I would like to point out that I have met people who disagree with me on these issues, but none that are willing to stand up and actually have this argument in real life. Most of the people who I have pressed to talk about their opinions end up coming down to either feeling safer from terrorists (in rural nebraska, for example), appreciating the tax cuts, or being "morality" voters abortion/gay marriage etc.

I'm sure that the main reason that I don't meet people willing to argue for these views is that most of the people who voted for Bush in the second round are keeping their mouths shut as they realize more and more what a terrible mistake they've made.

10:02 PM, January 08, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

You continue to confuse your opinions with facts. This conversation appears to be hopeless.

12:57 AM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

There is no "Fact" about who is the "worst person."
Here is a quote from the original post: "it is shocking to me that three times as many people consider George Bush to be a worse human being than Osama Bin Laden. 43 percent of Democrats thought Bush was #1, as did 27 percent of Republicans.

It's staggering.

I can understand people's beef with Bush. I can even understand if someone doesn't like him. But to think that he's worse than Bin Laden...I don't care how much you dislike a president of the United States, it's incredibly stupid and reflects badly on this country's intelligence level. In addition, it's proof that BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) is not only alive and well, but has reached epidemic proportions.

[...]

I know, it's just a stupid poll. But this one reflects just how stupid we can be."


Now there's a real fact-based argument. My response was intentionally as unsopportedly opinionated as the original post, in order that you might see how obnoxious it was.

Now, why don't you tell me what your objective criteria are for what makes a person "the worst." I imagine that living outside the US/west would rank highly on your list.

10:09 AM, January 09, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

OK Adam, it's time to put this discussion in perspective, since we're just spinning our wheels here.

The post merely states MY OPINION. Is it based on facts (in this case a poll)? Sure. But it's how I saw it and interpreted it. You see it a different way. It's OK. Let's just leave it at that. This argument is going absolutely nowhere and you're at risk of sounding just as obnoxious as those you disagree with.

9:51 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

The opinion in your post is not supported with facts, it is about facts. There is a pretty important difference between the two.

Yes, I realize that my reply suffers from the same problem.

1:59 PM, January 10, 2007  

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