Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

On his FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, Nate Silver performed an analysis of all the GOP candidates' statements as graded by Politifact. Here is a graph showing all six grades (pants on fire, false, mostly false, half true, mostly true, or true) for the top eight candidates.

And here's one where all the "false" and "true" claims have been lumped together.

As you can see, the least truthful candidate is Michele Bachmann. I'll let Iago have the first word.

Thank you, Iago. My reaction is "Madame Representative, the voices in your head are not reliable sources."

Santorum is down there with her, and the two Georgians, Cain and Gingrich (at least we won't be subject to a GOP ticket that has both of them on it), aren't much better.  In fact, Cain is the only candidate without a completely true statement in the sample.  As for Perry, he barely has more true statements than false ones. As someone on Daily Kos pointed out, Perry's true statements during the debates have been about other candidates, while the false ones have been about President Obama. Compared to this crowd, Romney (you can't spell Romney without "money") looks reasonable.

Of course, the paragons for telling the truth have been Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. My appraisal of Ron Paul in 2008 was that the man can see the country's problems clearly. It's just that his solutions are delusional. I've also said that Ron Paul is a stuck clock who is right twice a day. It looks like that's enough to make him the second most truthful politician in the room during GOP debates. As for Huntsman, he has avoided making any completely false statements. Too bad for both Paul and Huntsman that neither will be nominated.

For comparison, here is the analysis of President Obama's statements on Politifact.

The good news is that he's generally truthful and more truthful than most of the GOP candidates. The bad news is that Politifact grades Ron Paul as being more truthful than President Obama. If the Paulturds find this out, we'll never hear the end of it.

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