Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Grading Presidential Evilness (JM)

On January 12th, 2008 I put a poll in the field (field=Facebook) to determine which presidential candidate is perceived as most evil. The following are the results:

First of all, let me congratulate everyone on their total insanity. All told I received a total of 35 votes. Either y’all are very political conscious or have very little time on your hands, I suspect both Column A and Column B here. Before I get to the results, a little bit on methodology. I took top five rankings in to account, as that was pretty much the average number of people ranked on the ballots. If people had less I just did not register the extra points on their ballots. I used the same system MLB uses to calculate the MVP award: a first place vote netted 14 points, second place 9 points, third 8, fourth 7 and fifth 6. Another point on methodology is that I removed any candidates from consideration that are not currently still eligible for the debates or polling above five percent nationally. So while, I agree that Alan Keyes is evil and that Bill Richardson (the hell?) was a candidate at some point, neither of these guys qualified. As a result I just bumped lower ranked candidates in to their place. Lastly, most of my friends are liberal, this is probably reflected in the vote. I was hoping to find out candidate support from everyone so I could analyze and compare that, but not enough people provided me with that data (though I do have an interesting fact to share towards the end. If you have any problems with my method keep in mind that this is an unscientific poll, not for commercial use and also seriously? Anyway, without further ado, the results:

1. Rudolph Giuliani (505 points): Forget Florida, Hizzoner’s real firewall is the “Who is Most Evil Primaries”. Seriously, this was barely even a contest. Apparently years of fear-mongering, police-stating, racial discrimination and just plain nastiness earn you a spot a top the list. I mean what is there to even analyze here, this spot was always pretty clear, it’s pretty much Rudy’s home state. Rudy e-mailed me an acceptance speech: “9-11, this allows the terrorist to win, 9-11, compassionate conservative, Go Yankees!” That was pretty much the gist of it, the part that pissed me off the most was the “Go Yankees!”.

2. Mitt Romney (345 points): A respectable showing for Mittmentum, pretty much the only other candidate to get more than one first place vote. I am way more obsessed with the Republican candidates in this race than the Democrats, in fact there are two in particular, Gentleman Mitt is the first. You cannot get more unintentionally hilarious than the Romney campaign. The level to which he has taken cynicism and lying is phenomenal. He has changed his mind and lied about his position on so many things that the only two potential explanations are : a) full frontal lobotomy or b) complete religious conversion. Don’t think for a second that is he wins Michigan and Huck is running close behind him in Florida that we might not see the latter. I love him! Go Mittmentum, let it carry you all the way to the general!

3. Mike Huckabee (229 points): Ahh, the Huck. He is fascinating candidate number two. Everyone underestimates this man, he’s funny, he’s clever, he’s got Chuck Norris, but that’s only part of it. He just doesn’t lose elections, he’s a very very good politician, by far the most similar to Reagan in the entire field. In fact, he has another very real similarity to Reagan, he has managed to convince people he has populist tendencies while not being terribly populist at all. Sure, he likes taxes, but his “fair tax” is little more than a regressive tax on consumption. Wealthy folk save, they don’t consume nearly as much. More than that, he is doing pretty darn will in the GOP primaries without totally dodging his populist reputation. I warn you this man will be a nightmare in the general, far worse than even John McCain.

4. Barack Obama (138 points): I was very, very surprised that Obama was voted most evil Democrat. In fact, I suspect it would be the reverse: Edwards, Clinton, Obama instead of Obama, Edwards, Clinton. Most people who voted Obama high said that they felt there was something mistrustful about him and they it always felt like, in the words one voter “they were being played”. I cannot help but note that I think many of the people who voted Obama high on their lists were Hillary supporters, which calls in to doubt completely the legitimacy of this poll. That said: Obama=super evil. Also his middle name is Hussein and I don’t know where, but I heard the man has used drugs before.

5. Hillary Clinton (112 points): The usual litany of complaints: she lies a lot, she’s running a dirty campaign, she killed Vince Foster, all women are evil and trying to hurt me… Hillary: moderate in politics, moderate in evil.

6. Fred Thompson (102 points): First theory: Some people seem to be buying in to the “I am just a simple country rooster…” act. Second theory: You can’t hate the guy who was in the movie Feds (Haven’t seen it? Netflix, now!). Third, and mostly likely theory: Everyone forgot you existed.

7. John McCain (89 points): His likeability in polls is 80 percent, that’s insane. The press treats him with kid gloves. Reason? He might just snap at any second… I suspect that played in to the voting. But seriously, McCain seems like a pretty decent guy.

8. John Edwards (81 points): The hell? Seriously?!! I have way way too many lawyers and lawyer apologists as friends. And or this list is just going in order of attractiveness, but…

9. Ron Paul (76 points): People have mixed feelings about this man. Some people hate him for his anti-Semitic screeds and I guess some people love him for it. That and calling for us to leave Iraq.

10. Dennis Kucinich (0 points): Congrats little man, your last minute lawsuit in Nevada saved your spot on this list. There were at least 14 people who specifically made mention of him as the least evil person and he was in nobody’s top five. Good news, everyone likes you. Bad news, you’ve just lost another primary.

Well, that was certainly marginally enlightening, feel free to discuss, debate, complain or whatever. All I know is that this is one entertaining political season.

1 comment:

G Thomas said...

Hey Johnny,

Great bunch of posts and a great start.

I have a few comments.

On the subject of Obama, I'm a little surprised about his showing as most evil democrat, but only a little. I get the same sense as some of your voters that he'll play the game hard, and I think he's the natural heir of Bill Clinton more than Hillary is.

Obama's evil strikes me as being of the ends-justify-the-means sort, and that this little ruthlessness may be the reason for his success thus far, i.e., why he has credibility as someone who can be tough enough to make presidential decisions.

Hussein means "fox," by the way, so it's a fitting name for a canny player.

On the Mitt item I wanted to add an option to your list of explanations for his egregious lying: (c) he's seen that it works for the sitting president and that any time one is caught in a lie one can simply deny it and say something different and never suffer any consequences at the hands of the mainstream media. (Only The Daily Show subsequently presents us with those juxtapositions.)

Speaking of political heirs, I think this calculation on Romney's part represents an unstated claim to the inheritance of W's legacy and an implicit appeal to the 30% of the population who still approve of W.

So Romney earns my vote for the most evil of the bunch because I believe he doesn't think himself evil (while Rudy knows himself to be), and I think W has shown that there's more potential for harm when one is evil but thinks oneself good.

Keep up the good work!