Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obama Less Popular Than You Think

Unintentionally revealing quote of the day from someone called Byron York (via Matthew Yglesias) who, I must confess, I'd never even heard of before this brouhaha:
On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.

Hmmm. How can something be more popular than it actually is? What on earth could that possibly mean? The closest translation I can come to is: "If you exclude people who think Obama's great, then Americans' opinions of Obama are not as great as you previously thought." A less charitable interpretation would be: "If you exclude people who don't really count because of their skin color, then Obama is less popular than previously thought."

Similar twists of logic:

1. The presence of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Yaya Toure make Barcelona appear a bit better than they actually are.

2. World War I and World War II make the German state seem a bit more war-prone than they actually were.

3. Closet racists masquerading as pundits in the American media make the discursive space in American politics more laughable than it actually is.

By the way, York responds to charges of racism here. I will let you be the judge of whether or not it is a convincing defense.

3 comments:

Saesneg said...

What he really meant to say is:

"If we continue to divide US civil society into separate social and racial groups, then I can prove my own prejudices."

Gigi said...

You may want to read this article 'Obama and Limbaugh Are The Wash-Men' in the Vanity fair magazine with an unflattering cartoon of the US president which is usually very hard to find.

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2009/03/the-washmen.html

A new breed of superheroes are at large in Washington, D.C., battling one another for dominance even as they wage a desperate war against their common enemies: Mortgage Mash, Mr. Credit Freeze, and the un-tame-able Afghanistan. Will they save the world, or kill each other trying? Meet ... the Wash-Men--Dr. Chicago,Phantom Pantsuit The Jokerer,Megalomandias and Rushhack.

Anonymous said...

I made a comment. I guess you didn't like that. Anyway that was to prove the counterpoint.