November 21, 2010

Byron York, tipped off by a post of mine, takes aim at a UW professor.

"Political reporters often rely on University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin for expertise," says York:
If you read his quotes in mainstream publications, you'll find a series of measured statements on political trends.  Democrats appealing to the youth vote in the run-up to the midterms are "betting long odds, given the very long history of low turnout in midterms among young voters," Franklin told the Washington Post recently.  Final pre-election polls suggested "a Republican wave of genuinely historical proportions," he told USA Today.  Feingold's problems had "more to do with the mood of the country than with Feingold himself," he told the Boston Globe.

It's all pretty unremarkable stuff.  And readers would have no idea what Franklin really thinks about the voters whose opinions he's measuring and commenting on.  But now they do.
Here's the post of mine that York read, and here's the Isthmus article that I drew to his attention to Franklin's opinion of the voters ("They're pretty damn stupid.").

ADDED: Professor Franklin appears in the comments section of yesterday's post and says:
Sigh. Bill's Lueder's quote is exactly accurate. I said exactly what he says I said. Normally I would just let it go at that since once such a quote is out it will spread no matter what. The only complaint I have is that Lueder's subsequent conclusions from that quote are his own and not mine.

The context was the Senate race and the point I was making, which I've made numerous times before, was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him. In a June 26-27 poll by Public Policy Polling, Johnson trailed Feingold by just 2 points, yet in the poll 62% said they had neither a favorable nor an unfavorable opinion of Johnson. I've used that poll frequently to illustrate the fact that voters were ready to embrace a Republican they knew almost nothing about over a three term incumbent Democrat. The race wasn't about specific details of Johnson vs Feingold, it was a rejection of Democrats more or less regardless of what voters knew about the GOP candidate.

That was the context in which I said voters are "pretty damn stupid". Too hyperbolic indeed, but I said it and have no complaint that it was quoted when I knew I was speaking to journalists.

But I wish what I said next had also been quoted. I went on to say that despite not knowing the details of Johnson's policy positions, the voters did NOT make a mistake in choosing Johnson as the more conservative candidate and certain to be more favorable to cutting government. That was indeed the correct connection by an angry electorate, even if the details were quite vague.

Voter's often act on little information and can be astonishingly unaware of things one might consider "facts". A post-election Pew poll finds less than half (46%) know the GOP won only the House but not the Senate. And at times voters appear to vote for candidates who are likely to take positions at odds with the voter's interests.

But in the Johnson-Feingold race, I think despite lack of details about Johnson, a majority of Wisconsin voter's picked the guy they wanted, and for basically the right reason. Dems may be astonished at the rejection of a favorite son, but in making this choice I think voter's properly expressed their preferences and matched them to the right candidate.

So I wish I had phrased this differently but that's my bad, no one else's. But I do not agree with the conclusion that voter's were "stupid" to pick Johnson over Feingold. In fact I believe a majority got the Senator they wanted, and that is always good for a republic.

115 comments:

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shoutingthomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Zrimsek said...

And readers would have no idea what Franklin really thinks about the voters whose opinions he's measuring and commenting on.

That's a point in his favor, isn't it? Possibly the only one, but a point in his favor.

Ann Althouse said...

Resetting the subject here.

Please address the topic.

chuckR said...

Political science professor calling the voters pretty damn stupid? How many of those voters spent 4 years getting a doctorate in a worthless 'discipline' ?
Political science is a term that makes as much sense as religion science. Just a different kind of goober believes in it.

shoutingthomas said...

Look for the money.

York is supported in his sub-rosa leftist agitating by the tenure system of academia.

Anything that undercuts his meal ticket is "stupid."

What's to figure out here?

The Democratic Party's welfare and transfer system pays off the recipients of that system in return for electoral success.

It's absolutely corrupt, and what are you going to do about it?

mesquito said...

"Thank you, professor," I responded. "That's the answer I was looking for."

Once you understand this about journalism and "experts", there's little else you need to know.

Alex said...

Althouse is snippy this morning!

On topic, yes we know the professariat hate normal Americans.

garage mahal said...

Looks like I struck a nerve. Sorry.

Quayle said...

A two faced jerk.

JAY said...

"the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires, for instance by electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit with fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich."



Hysterical.

I guess this smart person missed the fact that the Democrats have tripled the deficit in 2 + years.

These people beclown themselves daily.

virgil xenophon said...

Yeah, Mesquito, Alex, short ans is: From Professariat /Journalists to "unwashed masses": "You're stupid and we're not!"

JAY said...

fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich.

Yes, how dare anyone not pay 39.6% in federal income taxes!

It is a giveaway!!!!

JAY said...

electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit

I love this.

How can a political science professor not understand that the Democrats have driven up the deficit to historical levels?

It is almost as if he has blinders on.

Alex said...

From Professariat /Journalists to "unwashed masses": "You're stupid and we're not!"

Well only 45% of the public knew that the GOP won the House on Nov 2nd, so there is a lot of truth to that notion.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

How can a political science professor not understand that the Democrats have driven up the deficit to historical levels?

Let's not pretend that the GOP hasn't played their 50% role in this. Of course I don't really blame either political party for the debt. It's the American peoples' insatiable appetite for welfare goodies that drives this, not politicians.

former law student said...

I'd put it this way:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Maguro said...

UW-Madison Poli Sci professors understand it's in the hoi polloi's best interest to live in Democrat-run utopia like Detroit. If only the peons were as smart as they are.

JAY said...

"the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires,

Yes, because health care reform with a trillion dollar price tag, insurance mandate, associated 40% increases in insurance premiums, with few options, are all in your own interests!

And stated desires!

garage mahal said...

I guess this smart person missed the fact that the Democrats have tripled the deficit in 2 + years.

This may be one reason Franklin thinks some voters [and apparently you too] are stupid. Instead of "tripling" the deficit, it was reduced down over 100 billion dollars . Remember, Obama walked into office with a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit.

damikesc said...

I don't, personally, care what somebody believes if it doesn't impact their work.

That being said...I don't take his professional vopinion very seriously now.

AJ Lynch said...

The internet has made it impossible for the Wizard wannabees to hide behind a thin curtain. It's great to see the curtains pulled aside by bloggers and citizen reporters and paid reporters like York.

Alex said...

This may be one reason Franklin thinks some voters [and apparently you too] are stupid. Instead of "tripling" the deficit, it was reduced down over 100 billion dollars . Remember, Obama walked into office with a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit.

If you multiply 90.5 billion * 12 you get over a $1 trillion annual deficit. Wow that's amazing work.

damikesc said...

Gm, given that Bush didn't sign the budget in 2008, it was proposed and passed by Dems...how is that deficit anybody but Obama's fault?

And, to be cute, track the deficits from the day the Dems won the control of the money in 2007 and tell us how they did?

Ann Althouse said...

"Looks like I struck a nerve. Sorry."

You undercut my work in setting up a topic, appropriating my forum to your agenda in the first comment. I rejected that. You didn't say anything interesting or powerful. Don't flatter yourself.

hawkeyedjb said...

Not to worry because stupidity, just like smartitude, comes and goes. Voters were smart in 2006, and extremely smart in 2008. Now they're stupid, but by 2012 they might be really really brilliant.

wv: peilingi - if you know what it means, you're really really smart.

former law student said...

UW-Madison Poli Sci professors understand it's in the hoi polloi's best interest to live in Democrat-run utopia like Detroit.

Was Milwaukee ever better run than from 1910 to 1960, when Socialists ran it?

JAY said...

Remember, Obama walked into office with a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit.

He did no such thing.

He was a part of the Democratic Congress who wrote the budgets.

He signed supplemental spending bills in 2009 adding to the deficit.

You are a propagandist and a liar.

JAY said...

Instead of "tripling" the deficit,

I like how you pretend Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn't run congress since 2007.

They are Democrats.

The Democrats wrote the budgets that tripled the deficit.

You are a propagandist and a liar.

Michael Haz said...

A tenured professor of political Science at the University of Wisconsin is witness to an extraordinary political event that will in all likelihood occur only once in his during his tenure; and perhaps only once or twice in his lifetime.

The event presents an opportunity for once-in-a-career analysis, research, writing and opining.

In what apparently passes for careful, objective scholarly research in the U of W Department of Political Science these days, the professor concludes of the American voters: "They're pretty damn stupid."

No, professor, it's not the American voters who are stupid, it's you.

The Crack Emcee said...

Well for goodness sake, people are pretty darned stupid, the problem is Franklin's talking about the wrong people.

JAY said...

Again, here is where we were in 2006.

An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.

On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year's levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago. The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year.

Tax revenues are climbing twice as fast as the administration predicted in February, so fast that the budget deficit could actually decline this year.


In 2007 Nancy & Harry took over.

The deficit has more than tripled since they were elected.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

What a dishonest dumbass. Althouse you should start a drive to get him canned. The only way we will wrestle these universities from these socialists is if we hit them were it hurts.

TosaGuy said...

Folks without PhDs and who don't live in lefty enclaves know exactly how those people think of them. Although in a sad way, its funny how the supposedly smart set knows so little about how most of the people in this nation.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

If Scott Walker has any balls he would fire this turd. Who does this idiot Franklin think pays his salary? The taxpayers of Wisconsin who he has the nerve to insult. Asshole!

AJ Lynch said...

Kudos to what Michael Haz said!

Palladian said...

"Mississippi Truck Driving Man" is a "Moby"-type troll, as I detailed here. Trust no one.

garage mahal said...

Gm, given that Bush didn't sign the budget in 2008, it was proposed and passed by Dems...how is that deficit anybody but Obama's fault?

Bush did sign the budget in 2008, and 2009.. FY2009 ended 8 months into Obama's watch. Unless we cano blame Republicans for the deficit on Obama's next budget?

AJ Lynch said...

Also, can one of Russ Feingold's supporters [perhaps even Professor Franklin could chime in here] please point out a few of the senator's greatest achievements from his 18 years in the Senate? Thanks in advance for your help.

former law student said...

please point out a few of the senator's greatest achievements from his 18 years in the Senate?

Feingold's Senate record is, sadly, no more distinguished than John McCain's.

JAY said...

FY2009 ended 8 months into Obama's watch

And then what?

The FY 2009 budget was written by Democrats.

Obama signed supplemental spending bills adding to the deficit in 2009.

The Democrats have more than tripled the deficit since Nancy & Harry took over.

former law student said...

Ah, I see: Franklin, "Voters ignorant(of who and what Ron Johnson was), not stupid (because they wanted a more conservative Senator, which they got)." People often confuse the two.

Mary Beth said...

fls, that is about what I was thinking.

Voters were ignorant and he calls them stupid even though they probably made the same choice they would have if they were fully informed. Is he just implying they got lucky?

Milhouse said...

The context was the Senate race and the point I was making, which I've made numerous times before, was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him. In a June 26-27 poll by Public Policy Polling, Johnson trailed Feingold by just 2 points, yet in the poll 62% said they had neither a favorable nor an unfavorable opinion of Johnson. I've used that poll frequently to illustrate the fact that voters were ready to embrace a Republican they knew almost nothing about over a three term incumbent Democrat.

Knowing "almost nothing" is very far from knowing nothing. Compared to everything that could be known about a candidate, almost every voter knows almost nothing about any of them. If voting for someone without knowing everything about them that could conceivably be known is stupid, then there has hardly ever been a smart voter in the entire history of elections.

Franklin may claim that voters knew "almost nothing" about Johnson, but they knew one crucial thing: he wasn't Feingold. Having seen Feingold's performance they found it wanting, and knew that anyone challenging him from the right was likely to be better. And that's really all they had to know in order to cast a vote that was more likely than not to reflect their opinion. Calling this stupid is, well, stupid.

paul a'barge said...

Um, Franklin? You lost me at "sigh". The first word in your comment. I have no respect for snark, especially from a moron caught with his intellectual pants down.

edutcher said...

Alex said...

How can a political science professor not understand that the Democrats have driven up the deficit to historical levels?

Let's not pretend that the GOP hasn't played their 50% role in this. Of course I don't really blame either political party for the debt. It's the American peoples' insatiable appetite for welfare goodies that drives this, not politicians.


When the Demos spend as much in one year as the Republicans did in eight, the R share comes out to 11%.

Try again.

paul a'barge said...

Fire UW professor Franklin.

AllenS said...

Professor Franklin, when you say voters are "pretty damn stupid", I don't think that you're taking into consideration that a lot of voters want incumbents removed from office. Republicans and Democrats. Voters are willing to take a chance on someone new, because, to be quite frank, voters are tired of the status quo. The deficit/debt that we are taking on is unsustainable. A lot of voters understand this, and have come to the conclusion that we need new people in there.

former law student said...

Having seen Feingold's performance they found it wanting, and knew that anyone challenging him from the right was likely to be better.

If this is true, Wisconsinites might just be a tad bit slow on the uptake, considering it took them eighteen years to come to this realization.

Or they could just be amazingly patient.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

I agree with you 100%. McCain is like Feingold - neither has much of a record of substantive achievements after years and years in the Senate. Unless we count the exponential increase in federal spending, failure to manage Fannie, Freddie, Wall Street/ banking failure, 911 intelligence failures, looting of social security funds, etc etc etc as "achievements".

hombre said...

Wow. Garage (9:42) apparently thinks Obama has reduced the deficit, that his link supports that conclusion and that someone other than Democrats passed the budgets immediately preceding the Obama ascension to his throne.

Fortunately for Obama part of being a dupe is that you don't know you've been duped.

former law student said...

I am shocked that Democrats are spending more money after the economy crashed than Republicans did when the sailing was smooth.

AllenS said...

McCain is like Feingold

Yes he is. I wanted McCain to lose his primary. People said that the person who would have replaced him was unelectable. Which meant that the Democrat would have won. That's ok, becuase McCain is another politician that needs to be replaced.

Pogo said...

Professor Franklin took several obfuscatory paragraphs to restate that he thinks the voters were indeed stupid.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

The taxpayers of Wisconsin are Scott Walker's new boss. Walker should not allow one of his employees call his their boss stupid in public. Walker must fire Franklin as soon as he takes office. He should also cut UW's funding by half to drive the point home that the people of Wisconsin are sick of these socialist elites!

avwh said...

By Franklin's standard, voters were stupid to elect Obama in 2008.

Two years into his term, we still know less about him than any POTUS in the modern era (all grades, transcripts, papers hidden, medical reports hidden, etc.).

Although by Obama's actions, voters knew enough to reject the Dem agenda in 2010 just about everywhere except California.

hombre said...

I am shocked that Democrats are spending more money after the economy crashed than Republicans did when the sailing was smooth.

Well, of course, fls, we all know that the way for a government to deal with an economic downturn is to spend and spend and spend some more.

hombre said...

Addendum to 10:43: And let's not forget that Democrats have always been known for their frugality with taxpayer dollars. LOL

JorgXMcKie said...

Odd for me to agree with fls, but he's right. It's ignorance, not stupidity.

However, some ignorance may be rational, even if it drives your opponents crazy.

The logic of parsimony says that all you need is enough info to make a good [not perfect] decision most of the time [not every time] so long as the decisions themselves aren't dangerous and can be amended.

Sounds like the average voter to me.

The problem is, of course, that those with more education and a belief that they have more intellectual firepower [i.e. either the "credentialed elite" or jerks like garbage] want to show you that you're wrong by beating you up with 'data' and 'facts' that you 'don't know' or 'don't understand' in the hopes that you'll just give up and let them have their way.

I love politics and teach poli sci, but I certainly don't expect everyone out there to have as much information as I do. *THAT* would be stupid.

I do expect and hope that they understand what outcomes they'd prefer and what vote will, on average, help them get those outcomes.

Others, of course, prefer perfection in policy and therefore wish the "unwashed" to sit down and STFU while they run things.

Sorry, I don't care if garbage's IQ is 3 times that of Hawking and Einstein combined, he still wants outcomes that I don't, and I won't give in no matter how the twists 'facts' and 'data' and such.

garage mahal said...

Wow. Garage (9:42) apparently thinks Obama has reduced the deficit, that his link supports that conclusion and that someone other than Democrats passed the budgets immediately preceding the Obama ascension to his throne.

Sorry but it is just fact. Just as Obama is responsible for his budgets. If he or Bush wasn't satisfied with the budget, they didn't have to sign it.

How many people knew the deficit went down last year?

How many know the health care bill cuts the deficit? Ron Johnson calls himself an accountant, but to my knowledge was never asked why he is against a bill that saves money.

How many people know Scott Walker's decision to kill the train project will cost money instead of save? It will take 133 yrs for his decision to pay off!

The reason people believe this crap is because it is drilled into their skulls and the not-liberal media never corrects it. I almost don't blame Republicans for lying about everything, it's what they do. But it would be nice every once in a awhile if the media could fact check something.

edutcher said...

It's the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" thing writ small.

AJ Lynch said...

I think Garage has blown a vacuum tube or transistor or whatever was used to give him half a brain.

Paul Zrimsek said...

At least Garbage is giving us a half-truth instead of an utter lie this time. The FY10 deficit was smaller than the FY09 deficit-- but not smaller than the FY09 deficit was before Obama piled the 2009 portion of the stimulus on top of it.

Christopher said...

I'm being really lazy by not reading this thread, but this topic begs for a link--which I don't have time to provide--to Volohk Conspirator Ilya Somin's Rational Ignorance of Voters theme.

Lincolntf said...

Of course he meant that the voters were stupid. And angry. And confused. And didn't know his "specific policy positions" and blah, blah, blah.
I think the so-called political classes are in for a rude awakening when they realize that people are beginning to vote based on PRINCIPLES, not on which candidate tells the nicest fairy tale.
We're not as "sheepy" this year as we were last, and I have a feeling that momentum is gonna roll for a while. Maybe it's time for the "experts" to stop talking and start listening. Every thing they've learned/taught up until 2008 is pretty much useless now.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Drinkwater said...

JorgeX says:

The logic of parsimony says that all you need is enough info to make a good [not perfect] decision most of the time [not every time] so long as the decisions themselves aren't dangerous and can be amended.

Certainly, and also voters are aware that they are not making the decision about who will be in office, they are only making the decision about who they will vote for. This makes it even easier to choose, since the rationally ignorant voter knows that a serious mistake of fact is likely to be countered by other voters contrary decisions.

WV: paskede - what your 3-year-old wants for lunch. Another rationally ignorant decision.

garage mahal said...

At least Garbage is giving us a half-truth instead of an utter lie this time. The FY10 deficit was smaller than the FY09 deficit-- but not smaller than the FY09 deficit was before Obama piled the 2009 portion of the stimulus on top of it.

I have the number from the CBO on the amount of money spent in 09 on the stimulus. What is yours?

caplight said...

"You undercut my work in setting up a topic, appropriating my forum to your agenda in the first comment. I rejected that. You didn't say anything interesting or powerful. Don't flatter yourself."

Geez, I love the smell of napalm in the morning!

Ken said...

"You undercut my work in setting up a topic, appropriating my forum to your agenda in the first comment."

Should we call you a whambulance? So much for open discussion. Are you now going to delete comments because the commenter talks about things you don't want to talk about?

Guess what? Your blogs will bring commenters to comment on things that seem off topic to you. Stop being such a pussy and let people post what they want. I'm pretty sure your readers can make up their own minds on what is "interesting or powerful".

JAY said...

I am shocked that Democrats are spending more money after the economy crashed than Republicans did when the sailing was smooth.

This makes no sense.

An "economic crash" doesn't mean you have to bailout GM and such.

It is a leftist idea that is no grounded in reality.

JAY said...

If he or Bush wasn't satisfied with the budget, they didn't have to sign it.

Um, you're dishonestly trying to assign responsibility for a budget to President Bush that he did not write and Obama modified.

How many people knew the deficit went down last year?

Yes, I think you should crow about a deficit reduction after successive 1.2+ trillion deficits.

How many know the health care bill cuts the deficit?

Laugh out loud funny.

Um, nobody knows this because it is not true.

Anthony said...

Yeah, like anyone who voted for Obama knew diddly squat about him. . . .

AJ Lynch said...

www.usgovernmentspending.com is a pretty good website for fiscal facts. It reports our federal deficits as follows:
2007 $161 Billion
2008 $459 Billion
2009 $1.141 Trillion
2010 $1.556 Trillion
2011 $1.267 Trillion
2012 $829 Billion

ps. I don't know if liberal Soros or the conservative Koch Brothers funds that site. Heck it may be non-partisan.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

"garage mahal said...
Looks like I struck a nerve. Sorry."

Nah that was a left over from yesterday. I told you that PMS thing was out of bounds. The blogger lady is very sensititive about that menopause thingy. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

Hey Professor Franklin that was really well said. It is not often that you come across such nuanced discourse from a weasel.

Well done buddy.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Borrowing Byron's word, after knowing the fuller context of Professor Franklin's remarks, I find them unremarkable.

The advantage of incumbency is a gigantic obstacle for an opponent to overcome. For example, the Democrats controlled 255 House seats prior to the election. They lost 62 seats to Republicans. That means that even in this "historic" election, the Democrats retained control of over 75% of the seats they controlled prior to the election.

The point is, when incumbents don't win re-election, it is usually because they lost, not that the opponent won. Stated differently, when incumbents lose, rarely is it because voters have fallen in love with the opposition. It is usually a rejection of the incumbent. Whether voters were sufficiently informed about Johnson isn't particularly noteworthy. Whatever they knew about Feingold they didn't like and and they wanted to make a change.

I used to hate the idea of term limits because I felt they restricted my freedom to choose. But that was before I better understood the power of the imcumbency. Now I both fully embrace term limits.

MayBee said...

Charles Franklin said...

Sigh....

Voter's often act on little information and can be astonishingly unaware of things one might consider "facts".



Voter's r stupit.

MayBee said...

Charles Franklin said...

But I do not agree with the conclusion that voter's were "stupid" to pick Johnson over Feingold.


Oops! Maybee's bad. Voter's r not stupit.

Pogo said...

It's just how stupid they are when they vote, Maybee.

See the difference?

Maguro said...

They're only stupid when they vote for Republicans. When voting for Democrats, the American people are wise and benificient.

MayBee said...

It's just how stupid they are when they vote, Maybee.

I'm all for professors telling us whether or not we're stupid, Pogo.
I just expect proper apostrophe placement when they are doing so.

Voter's. Twice!

Mike said...

What MayBee said, X2. How does someone get past a PhD dissertation without knowing that " 's " designates not the plural but the possessive?

garage mahal said...

I told you that PMS thing was out of bounds

The PMS thing wasn't directed at her.

Trooper York said...

Oh sorry my mistake.

Quick look over there.

It's Brett Farve. Hee.

garage mahal said...

It isn't getting easier for Favre is it. Haha.

former law student said...

I'm still waiting for transcripts from Eureka College for Dutch, and from Southwest Texas State Teachers College for LBJ.

I mean I knew that Reagan liked 20 Mule Team Borax, but what did I really know about the man? I mean besides having a son who was a ballerina.

Synova said...

I had to work today so I missed everything...

Franklin sounds like he's saying about Johnson what I've said (and I think I said in the comments yesterday) that people make the right choices. They may not make the choice I make or agree with me, but they do make the essential choices that they intend to make. Ie., they aren't duped into "voting against their own interests."

Mr. Forward said...

I think Franklin stepped into a meme. He's not Bill Maher who can barely get through a show without calling Americans stupid. I've read his blog and heard him on Public Radio, Prof. Franklin may be a liberal but he doesn't come across as a condescending academic. Usually, anyway.

Big Mike said...

That's probably about as good a walk-back as the guy could do under the circumstances.

un said...

The prof's more detailed explanation was interesting and good for him for owning up to the original quote and for offering up the detail.

As for the Left's notion that anyone who disagrees with them or who votes against their policies is 'stupid': yeah, well keep it up and see how long your candidates stay in office.

As for the rather simplistic that it is Americans' 'desire' for programs that drive up the deficit: what nonsense. These programs and benefits are generated by lobbying groups and NGOs; they are NOT being called for by any general public demand.

I get so tired of these lies being presented as 'truth'.

Ric Locke said...

For those wanting numbers, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis is a good place to look. You can even download the data to your very own spreadsheet.

Now if we could just get the people who maintain that site to take over the Bureau of Labor Statistics, too, nobody would ever need to feel data deprived.

Regards,
Ric
TW: yaper -- ironic agreement

Martin said...

No reason for the Professor to have gone there, but I am curious if, to the extent he thinks what happened in WI is typical (i.e., a liberal Dem rejected in favor of a not-very-well known but probably more conservative Republican, as he understands it), would he also say that the 2006 and 2008 elections with their big Democratic gains were similar-- voters rejecting Republicans without necessarily knowing what they were voting FOR?

Because, at this point of the train wreck known as the Obama Administration, that is a REALLY critical issue, as Obama and Pelosi/Reid claimed a mandate for all sorts of very radical stuff.

Or is this just the Professor's way of saying 2010 isn't a mandate for anything, but he was fine with the Dems claiming a mandate after 2006/08?

Just curious.

jelink said...

Funny how the perfesser jeers at people who didn't know much about Feingold's opponent, when in 2008 we had a national electorate that didn't know much about Obama, yet voted for him anyway.

jelink said...

Ken said...
"You undercut my work in setting up a topic, appropriating my forum to your agenda in the first comment."

Should we call you a whambulance? So much for open discussion. Are you now going to delete comments because the commenter talks about things you don't want to talk about?
*************************
Lemme 'splain it to you, Ken:

* it ain't your blog

* Ann sets up the topics

* your idea of "open discussion" would include the ravings of the Cat Lady on The Simpsons. You don't get to talk about everything YOU want to talk about. Again, it's HER blog.

* Last time I looked, "Ken's blog" didn't have a national readership. Why should you piggyback Ann's success?

* you are now free to return to your cardboard box shelter under the overpass

atlharp said...

"The context was the Senate race and the point I was making, which I've made numerous times before, was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him."

Like when people voted for Obama? It it is not so much that voters embraced Ron Johnson, it is that they rejected a Senatore who was supposed to be looking after their interests, but in the end was looking after his own. I think Franklin misunderstands this by thinking this is about Feingold's track record. It isn't, it's about his inability to do his job when his constituents needed him the most. Just as one night of unfaithfulness will ruin a marriage, Feingold's whoring to Obamacare sealed his fate. If Franklin cannot see then he has no political instincts at all.

pettyfog said...

Voters are stupid.. (for voting against their own interests)
Yeah, often..and 'The Law is an Ass', according to Dickens
- Now you can interpret THAT several different ways but I think Yale maverick Law Prof, Fred Rodell had it right:
In tribal times, there were the medicine men. In the Middle Ages, there were the priests. Today, there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trades and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of the trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day.


Now, considering most of my favorite bloggers seem to be lawyers, I grant there are exceptions, but just look at the companion to poli-sci... the Juris Doctor.

Warren said...

This all sounds like a Pee Wee Herman movie...

"You're stupid!"

"I know I am, but what are you?"

Or, grade school...

You're stupid!"

"Am not!"

"Aew so!"

"Am not!"

etc. and argumentum ad infinitum,.

Whether political science perfesser, Republican, Democrat, Soccer Mom or Joe the Plumber, let's raise the bar just a wee bit folks.

Alex said...

Warren - hey why don't you start?

mrs whatsit said...

Four times, the man wrote "voter's" as the plural form of "voter." This is a guy who can't grasp fourth-grade grammar -- but WE are the stupid ones.

donttread2010 said...

Therefore it must also be true that democrats elect democrats not because they 'know' all about their candidate, but simply because they are democrat.

Dripping. Elitism. Franklin.

luki said...

Are voters stupid only when they vote conservative/republican. I thought voting Hope and Change in was pretty damn dumb. And Professor's Franklin statement that voters knew almost nothing about the Wisconsin vs Incumbent candidate I believe applies to Hopey/Mc Cain too. I agree with the professor, voters are pretty dopey.

FrancisChalk said...

When Comrade Franklin called the voters who removed the Communist Feingold "stupid," he was already tremendously tempering his speech so as not to express his true thoughts. After all, he wants to keep his paying gigs at the various leftist rags he opines for. Truth be told, like all Leftists, he despises democracy, free speech, liberty, property rights, Christianity, the concept of the American family, Capitalism and pretty much anything traditionally American. Virtually everyone who can keep a job at a mindless re-education camp masquerading as a university like UW (sorry Ann) feels the same way. He only regrets that he almost spoke his mind. Deceit and dishonesty are core values to most college professors and the Left in all its forms--ACORN, environmentalists, liberals, Democrats, etc…

Renal Doc said...

As a Professor myself, I know the important of precise language. Charles Franklin defends his statement of calling voters remarkably stupid, when he meant (assuming he isn't lying) remarkably ignorant. His defense now refuses to withdraw the "stupid" pejorative, an strangely admits they picked the right guy if they wanted smaller government, indicating they were not ignorant of this primary fact. Stated another way, Professor Franklin smeared voters because they disagreed with his view, while proving he isn't smart enough to realize he admitted they made an informed decision. Astounding!

Random Musings said...

I don't think the good Professor is off base. As others have said, how is Obama's election explained other than too many ignorant voters. And many of the "elite" who grace us with their presence were among the "pretty damn stupid" in 2008.

Original Mike said...

"But I wish what I said next had also been quoted."

Bill Lueders knew what he was doing; he was mischaracterizing Franklin's meaning, either in pursuit of his agenda or for dramatic effect. I don't know why people talk to journalists. I really don't.

Roux said...

A political science professor should know the difference between voters and the general public when he looks at the results of the Pew poll.

I'd love to see his comments post the 2008 election. My guess is that year voters were brilliant.

pbuxton said...

Bygones be bygones, and I've never know a reported story that was not wrong in some very basic facts. I'm not at all surprised an alt-weekly twisted a man's words, and I offer Prof Franklin a hand in peace.

PD Quig said...

Let's see: I can vote for a successful businessman who is a Republican that I admittedly don't know much about. Or, I can vote for an insanely leftwing ideologue who was the co-perpetrator of an egregiously anti-First Amendment law, and who will continue to march lockstep with our radical-in-chief as he leads the country into an economic abyss.

Tell me who, again, is the pathetically stupid one here, Mr. Franklin?

What an idiot.

RebeccaH said...

How does Franklin know that the voters who picked Johnson didn't have all the facts that were available about him? I have news for him: we voters have other sources of information now than what the gatekeepers of the media have always allowed us previously. So I agree that he should be called out for saying the voters are stupid, because maybe he doesn't have all the facts.

JAL said...

Good point RebeccaH.

And I sense a theme here that Professor Franklin might want to pursue:

...the point I was making, which I've made numerous times before, was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him.


avwh said...
By Franklin's standard, voters were stupid to elect Obama in 2008.


Anthony said...
Yeah, like anyone who voted for Obama knew diddly squat about him. . . .


Martin said...
voters rejecting Republicans without necessarily knowing what they were voting FOR?

Because, at this point of the train wreck known as the Obama Administration, that is a REALLY critical issue,


atlhrp said...
was that voters embraced Ron Johnson before they knew much about him.

Like when people voted for Obama?


dom Musings said...
As others have said, how is Obama's election explained other than too many ignorant voters.
=========

Got that Professor? We have a train wreck because a lot of stupid (<--strikeout) ignorant voters voted for someone they didn't know a lot about. And why?

One reason -- Because the media did ran interference for their "star."

And everyone else was a racist.

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