Earlier this week, I blogged about comments former Colorado Congresswoman turned president of the American Association of Publishers and uber-liberal Pat Schroeder’s comments about how liberals are supposedly so much smarter than conservative because the left supposedly ‘reads more.’
Debra J. Saunders writes more about that here, and notes that Pat horribly misread the poll, which is ironic, considering the claims she made:
Maybe you shouldn’t pay any attention to me. According to Schroeder, as a conservative, I’ve got a bumper sticker for brains. Silly me, I looked into the poll — which liberals have hailed as proof of their intellectual superiority — and there’s not a lot there in “the whole picture.” The poll found that among people polled who read at least one book in the last year, liberals read nine books and conservatives read eight.
When I called Michael Gross, associate vice president of Ipsos public affairs, to find out more about the Ipsos poll, he told me the one-book difference “is within the margin of error, it’s not a statistically significant difference.”
The poll also found that moderates who said they read at least one book a year, on average, read five books a year. By Schroeder’s lights, moderates must be really simple-minded sloganeers.
As a conservative, I am not proud to read that 34 percent of conservatives — as opposed to 22 percent of liberals and moderates — said they had not read a book within the last year.
Then again, because the poll did not ask people if they read newspapers or magazines, Gross noted, “I don’t think it says anything about people’s general level of information.”
Then there’s the quality issue. A person could read nine romance novels in a year and qualify as Aristotelian by Schroeder’s logic.
In her rush to brand the right as a bunch of illiterates, Schroeder had the poor sense to go after an avid reader, Karl Rove, who has been winning a heated competition with Bush as to which of the two can read the most books. Rove recently told Rush Limbaugh that he beat Bush last year. The Score: Rove, 110 books; Bush, 94.
If Schroeder really wanted to show how big-picture her thinking is, she might have pointed out the Rove-Bush book competition as an example of what conservatives can do. That is, she might have tried to promote book sales.
Yes, Bush is so dumb he graduated from Yale, earned an MBA from Harvard, was an F-102 fighter pilot — and was elected Texas governor and U.S. president twice. All his critics should be so stupid.
Read the whole thing.