Crazy moderates

By this point it's probably uncontroversial to say that Bush is the worst president in memory, and yet his approval rating is holding steady in the low thirties. Relatedly, pick the nuttiest wingnut proposition you like (e.g., 'Bush has been anointed by God to lead the West in a clash of civilizations against the Islamofascists') and you can bet that 15-20% of the electorate is going to agree with it.

Obviously, though, the right doesn't have a monopoly on crazy thinking. I love my lefty brothers and sisters, but some of us are a little bit irrational some of the time. Let me just point to aromatherapy and leave it at that.

But here's a more controversial claim that came to me in a dream about Cokie Roberts:

Resolved: Ten to fifteen percent of self-described moderates will believe the nuttiest proposition you pick so long as it is delivered in a carefully measured tone.


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