The Left bloat-o-sphere blog-o-sphere took a Lynn Bartels hyperbolic tweet and ran with it as a condemnation of the Tea Party. But, like any good story from the Left, they don’t bother to let facts stand in the way of the fairy-tales they utter.
The Bartels tweet highlights a Washington Post article that is as lazy as it is sloppy.
— Lynn Bartels (@lynn_bartels) April 10, 2014
The article examines slides put out by a lobbying firm arguing redistricting has made America more partisan. They do this by using National Journal vote ratings for the House of Representatives to see how much of an overlap there is between the most conservative Democrat and the most liberal Republican.
This method of judging bipartisanship is completely sophomoric. Take this year’s current score of just four. Now imagine there is one outlier, a Democrat who votes to the right of Boehner, or a Republican who votes to the left of Pelosi. Just because of that one Rep. according to the above method the “bipartisan score” of the current Congress would jump up into the 200’s. By that measure the current House would become one of the most bipartisan congresses ever though nothing substantive had changed. There’s a reason statistics excludes outliers. This entire moronic exercise and graphs are built on nothing but outliers.
We can see this played out in 2002 when the “bipartisan score” was 137. Yet, examining the actual raw data behind it (don’t worry Colorado Lefties, we did the heavy lifting for you, since we know how hard math is for you) over 70 of that 137 is from two outliers alone—Republican Connie Morella of Maryland and Democrat Ken Lucas of Kentucky. If you eliminate the next two outliers, a further 29 of the overlaps are eliminated. Between just four Reps, over a hundred of that 137 bipartisanship “score” is eliminated.
The bigger story here isn’t how less bipartisan Congress is, but how the elimination of the last few Blue-dog Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans is complete. A couple of northeast Republicans and a couple of southern Democrats were never wielding that much influence on the bipartisan nature of Congress. And, until Minority Whip Hoyer starts beating Majority Leader Cantor with a cane on the House floor, we ask everyone to put the hysterics aside and recognize this is just politics as usual.