07 June, 2012

Dumb and dumber

In case you missed it, Congress has been growing more stupid over the years, if we are to go by the quality of their speeches.  Here's a graph of the grade level of Congressional utterances, plotted by time and Party:
For particular Congresspersons, your mileage may vary.  And while there seems to be a precipitous drop for the Republicans, nobody comes out looking very good.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a Republican from South Carolina, speaks at the lowest grade level, registering just less than an eighth-grade level. Rep. Dan Lungren, a Republican from California, speaks at the highest level — about a 16th-grade level.  
Here are some notables: Rand Paul is among the lowest 20 members of Congress, at just above an eighth-grade level. Nancy Pelosi speaks around the average of an 11.5 level. House Speaker John Boehner is 12.6, Marco Rubio is a 9.4, and Rob Portman is at an 11th-grade level. Finally, Harry Reid is at about a 9.75 grade level. 
In the good news, maybe the rise from 2011 to 2012 is the beginning of a trend.  I wouldn't bet on it, though.

So what's going on?  Are politicians reaching out to an increasingly ill-prepared electorate?  Is it the influx of new members?  It looks like 2006 was a critical year.

Congress Is Getting Dumber And Dumber - Business Insider


Anonymous said...

"Of the people. For the People. By the People.", I always say. However it could just be pandering too. Not quite sure!

Daniel McIntosh said...

Aren't those two ways of saying the same thing?