Saturday, April 27, 2013

Background Knowledge

The Pew Research Center gave slightly more than one thousand adults a thirteen question true/false test to assess the general population's scientific background knowledge. Only 7% of those taking the test got all thirteen questions correct. You can take the test yourself here.

How did you do?

Most people got between 7 and 11 answers correct. One percent of respondents answered none of the thirteen questions correctly. An analysis of the results can be found here.

The Coming Insurrection

I recently shared a thought with a reader during an email exchange that I'd like to also share with the VP audience. I told the reader this:
I'm going to make a prediction. I think that there'll be an increasing estrangement between legislative Democrats and the White House over the remainder of Obama's presidency. As things stand now their alliance is one of political necessity, but I don't think there's much fondness flowing in either direction in their marriage. If the Democrats fail to retake the House in 2014 Obama will be a very lame duck, and I think the cumulative frictions and irritations that have been festering privately between his party and him are going to become less endurable, and their relationship will grow more noticeably frosty.

I also think that now that Obama is safely reelected media cheerleaders will begin to feel freer to criticize him for his manifold shortcomings. I expect that we'll see less adulation and more impatience from journalists who wish to salvage their tattered reputations and make themselves appear to be something more than frenzied groupies pleading with Obama to toss them a sweaty handkerchief from the stage or to permit them to touch the hem of his garment.
If the Dems also lose the Senate in 2014 Mr. Obama will spend the last two years of his presidency playing golf and jetting around the world with his family, and the Democratic Party will privately, and maybe even publicly, seethe at his imperiousness, their abandonment, and his indifference to their political fate. It'll be interesting to watch.

Indeed, there are signs that the disaffection is already well underway. One indicator is the growing Democratic disillusionment with Obamacare. Of course, the Democrats were eagerly complicit, at the White House's behest, in ramrodding this socialist grotesquerie through the legislature. Never having taken the time to actually read the legislation themselves, they simply trusted the administration that it was good, well-thought-out policy. Now that it's turning out to be quite otherwise, they're embarrassed by their support for it.

With every passing week the Dems are realizing that they've created a monster that's going to have very painful consequences for the American people and, consequently, very painful political consequences for the Democrat party. They're angry, some of them, that they've essentially been compelled to sacrifice their political careers on the altar of the President's progressive ambitions, and they resent him for it.

Another indication, perhaps, that the days of blindly doing the President's bidding are over was the recent thwarting by Senate Democrats of Mr. Obama's desire to see gun control legislation enacted.

I suspect we'll see other such instances in the months ahead, especially if the Democrats get spanked in the 2014 midterm elections. If that happens rank and file resentments might turn into outright hostility toward the administration. I hope so. It'd be good for the country.