From data like this, we have learned that he is a poor fit. We have learned two fundamental facts about how the average American voter thinks about politics. First, he has surprisingly low levels of political information. This is the principal mistake that many pundits make. They assume that the voter knows about as much about politics as the pundit does. Not true. Not even close. This fact has become so widely accepted among professional students of political behavior that the animating research question of the last 20 years has been: given these low levels of political information, how does the average voter make rational decisions, if indeed those decisions are rational at all? Second, he is, by and large, according to Michigan’s Donald Kinder, “innocent of ideology”. The conventional wisdom is that we are a 50-50 nation. This is not true if the 50 and the 50 are ideological conservatives and ideological liberals, respectively. It is not even true if we define the 50 and the 50 as “right leaning” and “left leaning”. Much of the public lacks the information necessary to develop a coherent political ideology akin to what political elites possess. Recent work suggests that about 30% of the public can engage in ideological thinking or effectively ideological thinking. The rest of the public organizes political information in some different kind of way.
reflects an understanding of the electorate absent from the babble generated by many political pundits. His evisceration of Howard Fineman could be written about many, if not most, of those who pontificate about an electorate that pays them no attention.
The Abramoff scandal is not about a "culture of corruption" but about the fact that power corrupts the weak, stupid and proud first. I hope that Gonzales' DoJ is meticulous and thorough in its investigation and prosecution of any office holder who clearly sold a vote for money. I also hope (vainly, I fear) that Congress might realize that no new idiocy is required in the way of a "law" which would undoubtedly be a series of loopholes with tatting around the edges to give a semblance of substance. The current law seems to be functioning quite well and legislation concerning outlawing stupidity has a dubious history. Application of the current law should be sufficient to stiffen resistance to temptation on the part of all but the weakest reeds.