On bullshit

I was, for reasons that I can’t quite reconstruct at the moment, looking through my blog for everything I’ve ever written about Joe Biden the other day, and then this tweet came across my feed:

This irritated me at the time, and I snarked at the tweet, and for some reason it’s still on my mind a couple of days later so I’m going to piss on it again. This chart is bullshit, orchestrated by a media that is absolutely desperate to manufacture some drama about this upcoming election and whether Biden will be the nominee, which he absolutely will if he is still alive. First of all, let’s look at the actual claim: that Biden has the second-lowest “ninth quarter,” which as we all know is a super important fucking metric, of post-WWII presidents. Second-lowest? Yeah, Reagan’s was worse.

You may not be old enough to remember the 1984 election. I am, though. It looked like this:

So this is already a bullshit statistic, because the worst “ninth quarter” performance by a president since WWII led to a fucking ass-whupping in 1984 unseen since, what, fucking FDR? (EDIT: Yep. I looked it up.) Mondale won his home state and Washington DC, and he only won Minnesota by eighteen hundredths of a point. It was 49.72% to 49.54%. Less than four thousand fucking votes. A bad storm in Minneapolis that day and he’d have lost.

That’s already fucked up, but it gets worse. The next two worst results also lost, but the two after that were Clinton and Obama, both under 50%, and both of whom won reelection comfortably. And the highest approval rating on that chart is George H.W. Bush, who lost. Humiliatingly, frankly.

I’m not quite pissed enough to run the statistics and figure out how related “ninth-quarter approval” is to reelection, but that’s at least partially because it’s obviously not. OpinionToday needs to shut the entire fuck up, and I really need to kill my Twitter account.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.