Today I read a study that sheds some light on why this might be. It isn’t just that liberals are more divided and conservatives are more united, it’s also that liberals believe they’re more divided, and conservatives believe they’re more unified, even when it’s not necessarily true. The study asked people about their opinions on a range of questions on both political and non-political topics, then asked them to guess what proportion of people who shared their general ideology agreed with them on that particular question. The results showed that liberals displayed a “truly false uniqueness effect”—they were more likely to think that their views were different from those of their peers, even when they weren’t—while conservatives displayed a “truly false consensus effect,” believing that their views were the same as their peers, even when they weren’t.
That’s so blindingly stupid I’m almost not sure where to start, but let’s give it is a shot.
I strongly suspect that Healthcare.gov is never going to be easy to use. That doesn’t mean the catastrophic problems like the site seizing up when it has too many users won’t be solved, and it doesn’t mean that people won’t be able to complete their applications without tearing their hair out. But there’s little evidence so far that the contractors who created it are capable of designing something that’s genuinely easy to use. In the end, it’ll probably be sufficient, but not nearly as good as it could be.
If someone is looking for the perfect example of how the 113th Congress functions, it doesn’t get much better than last week. The Senate beat back a filibuster to pass a popular bill with support from every Democrat in the chamber and a handful of Republicans.
The House? Oh, they took the week off.
In case you haven’t heard, in the last week or so we’ve found out that Paul gave a speech that included a lengthy description of the movie Gattaca, a description lifted word for word from the movie’s Wikipedia entry. And he gave a speech that included a description of the movie Stand and Deliver, lifted from that movie’s Wikipedia page. And he lifted a part of another speech from an AP story. And he lifted a part of a speech from a Focus on the Family report. And he copied part of a column he wrote for the Washington Times from an article in The Week. And he plagiarized reports from the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, and an article in Forbes, in his 2012 book Government Bullies.
You have to work hard to commit that much plagiarism.
He really does want to see how New York City can become less unequal and more capable of promoting upward mobility. But assuming things go the way the polls suggest, he still faces an enormous challenge.