Thanks To The Widespread Absence Of Competence, Honesty, Integrity And Trustworthiness, I Have No Idea What This Story Really Means, If Anything

The Hill tells me that Democratic pollster Mark Penn claims that a vast majority of Americans don’t really support sanctuary cities. The one-time chief strategist for Hillary Clinton‘s 2008 presidential campaign says that a poll he took revealed that 84 percent of Americans favor turning undocumented immigrants over to federal agents.

“I asked them, ‘Do you think notifying ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] would in fact increase crime because it would inhibit people from reporting crimes or does it decrease crimes because it takes criminals off the street,’ and they overwhelming said ‘decrease,’ ” Penn told Hill.TV’s “Rising.” “When someone’s arrested, they expect someone will notify federal immigration authorities just as they would expect someone who violates state tax law will find out that they notified the IRS,” the pollster said. This is supposedly summed up by The Hill’s headline, “Ex-Clinton aide: 84 percent of Americans support turning undocumented immigrants over to authorities.”

That headline is being widely reported as fact in the conservative media, as with Drudge’s “84% support turning illegals over to authorities.” Naturally the rest of the news media is largely ignoring it. It is an excellent example of how difficult it is to figure out what is going on.  Here are my problems with it:

  • I had to read Penn’s question three times to figure out what he was asking. I’m pretty sure the question involves illegal immigrants who are also criminals. If that’s what Penn asked, then he slanted the poll from the start.
  • How do you get from favoring taking criminals off the street to reporting illegal immigrants? Why didn’t Penn ask, “Do you support reporting illegal immigrants to ICE?”
  • Do polls mean anything now? After the 2016 election, why would anyone trust polling, or pollsters’ interpretation of the results?
  • What does “support” even mean?
  •  Why would anyone believe a Clinton pollster? Dick Morris was a Clinton pollster!
  • Why would anyone trust Mark Penn? Now that it’s clear that he hitched his wagon to a dud, Penn is trying to rebrand as the “one-time loyal Democrat who has seen the light and now makes headline-worthy proclamations that support Republicans and their policies.”  We’ve seen these convenient flip-flops before, notably with Jimmy Carter’s ex-pollster Pat Caddell, who emerged during the Reagan Administration as a sudden convert. It got him on a lot more TV shows, but never was entirely convincing.

In the end, we have a dubious interpretation of a murky poll question promoted by an untrustworthy messenger with suspicious motives. And that, my friends, is how we get fake news.

21 Comments

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21 responses to “Thanks To The Widespread Absence Of Competence, Honesty, Integrity And Trustworthiness, I Have No Idea What This Story Really Means, If Anything

  1. Jack wrote, “Why didn’t Penn ask, ‘Do you support reporting illegal immigrants to ICE?’ “

    I completely agree. What he asked was heavily biased to get the results he was looking for, it was very intentional. In my opinion it makes the data collected invalid because the participants really didn’t know what was being asked. This is why statistical sampling political polls suck.

    Jack wrote, “In the end, we have a dubious interpretation of a murky poll question promoted by an untrustworthy messenger with suspicious motives. And that, my friends, is how we get fake news.”

    I hate statistical sampling polls, especially ones that have anything to do with anything political, it’s all propaganda, I’ve always hated them and I always will. The only political “poll” that has any really true value, outside of being a biased propaganda tool, is the voting booth.

    • Chris Marschner_

      Z

      If the question was “do I support reporting illegal immigrants to ICE” my answer is “that depends”. If the question is “do I support law enforcement coordinating with ICE to ensure detainees are held for federal adjudication the answer is yes. I bet 84% of U.S. citizens would agree with the latter but not the former.

      • Chris Marschner_ wrote, “If the question was “do I support reporting illegal immigrants to ICE” my answer is “that depends”. If the question is “do I support law enforcement coordinating with ICE to ensure detainees are held for federal adjudication the answer is yes. I bet 84% of U.S. citizens would agree with the latter but not the former.”

        I think you’re either saying that you support others reporting illegal immigrants to ICE but you wouldn’t do it yourself, or you’re saying that you support law enforcement reporting illegal immigrants to ICE but you don’t support non law enforcement individuals reporting illegal immigrants to ICE.

        As you can tell I’m not completely clear what your opinion is.

        • Chris Marschner_

          No, the response ” it depends” is a prompt for requesting clarification which is what I did with the rewording of the prompt. Asking if I support reporting x to y is too imprecise a query for me to answer without having my response misinterpreted. I do not know who I am supposed to support- me or someone else.

          Very much like do I support abortion, again that depends. If the question is do I support a woman’s right to choose I would answer no and I could offer a range of non-theological reasons support my position. Conversely, if someone asks me if I believe abortion as a medical procedure should be banned my answer is again no.

          • Chris Marschner_,
            Do you support requiring all law enforcement officers to report all known illegal immigrants to ICE and not doing so is a dereliction of duty? My answer is yes.

            Do you think it’s the civic responsibility of all non law enforcement individuals to report all known illegal immigrants to law enforcement? My answer is yes.

            • Chris Marschner_

              I understand your perspective but if I have nothing more than suspicion I will leave it to LEO’s to sort it all out.

              • Chris Marschner_ wrote, “I understand your perspective but if I have nothing more than suspicion I will leave it to LEO’s to sort it all out.”

                I wrote “known” not “suspicion” for a reason.

                • Chris Marschner_

                  How does one know for 100% certainty? Deputizing citizens to ferret out illegals could present innumerable issues and civil liberty problems. If I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt someone was here illegally I might inform ICE. Local LEO coordination can include what you would allow. I don’t think that ferreting out illegals by local law enforcement is the best use of their time.

                  The issue before me was regarding imprecise queries not on a particular topic. That is why I said it depends on what is really being asked. You asked precise question and I answered to the best of my ability

                  • Chris wrote, “Deputizing citizens to ferret out illegals”

                    Why did you extrapolate what I asked to that absurdity?

                    • Come down to Texas! There is no ‘ferreting’ required… just sit at Home Depot around sunrise, or watch a home building site around sunset, when cash is handed out.

                    • slickwilly wrote, “Come down to Texas! There is no ‘ferreting’ required… just sit at Home Depot around sunrise, or watch a home building site around sunset, when cash is handed out.”

                      I catch your drift but that’s happening in a lot more states than just Texas.

                      To stop the practice the “employers” need to be held accountable and fined huge amounts for every one of the people they hire that are illegal immigrants.

                    • Fines will not matter: those will just be passed on to the consumer, whoever they are.

                      Jail time is the best deterrent.

                    • The fine needs to be well higher than the cost savings the employer is getting by “hiring” the illegal immigrant; thus encouraging the employer to hire legals.

                      Let’s toss out some numbers. How about at least $5000 per day per illegal immigrant hired and after an employer is fined 10 times then they are thrown in jail and the business is fined $100,000. That’ll put a huge dent in the ability of any company to actually compete.

                      Hit them really hard in their pocket book and in-turn encourage them to hire legal employees.

                    • I agree with your fines, but jail on first(!) offense really sends the message better. Say, one week for first offense, with additional days for multiple hires at same time. Thus, two weeks for the landscaper who hires seven illegal aliens as day labor.

                      Nexts offenses can go up in fines and terms served. This extends to whoever in the company is responsible for hiring and hiring policy.

            • Zoltar,

              I think your questions are more narrowly tailored than the pollster’s queries. From what I can tell the poll is useless. It is like asking, “Which is better, a tasty hamburger or a boring hotdog?” Pointless questions geared toward a determined result: “See?! 84% of those questioned prefer hamburgers.”

              Your questions would lead to much more meaningful results.
              jvb

      • I HAVE reported illegal aliens to ICE: they did not care. This was under Bush the elder.

        Wonder if the attitude is the same today?

  2. Chris Marschner_

    A lot of “fake” news is just sloppy journalism and lack of understanding of how to create a precise statemeny. When our “Communications” degree recipients don’t know the usage difference between lie and lay or less and fewer what should you expect.

    As a result of such sloppiness, people read the information and comprehend the message through the lens of their own biases. I am not immune. I understood the question to mean if a local police department has an undocumented arrestee then 84% agree that ICE should be notified. I never interpreted the question to mean report all undocumented persons. Why would I interpret it that way? Perhaps because I assumed people/police would have no reason to suspect a person is undocumented unless if became known during the course of arrest. I had to go back and reread the post very carefully to find parts of the story that I had filtered out that could lead one to understand that 84% wanted all undocumented reported. From that reread I found that if someone wants to use this as a rationale to support or believe their wiill be mass inquiries into the status of people living here who look differently then they would interpret this report far differently.

    The lack of precision in language can be traced right back to our educational system. That is why I voted both in your recent poll.

  3. Illegal aliens are criminal, per se. However, they are only a portion of the overall issue.

    Jail time for those hiring them (not fines, which will get passed along to consumers… maybe fines WITH jail time) is the only solution that will work. When the jobs dry up, illegals self deport, as they did during the Great Depression of the ’30s and the Great Recession of 2008.

    Dry up the benefits and a great many will also leave. I know of many here who survive quite well with their families, simply because you can live better in Texas with a below minimum wage (under the table, cash paying) job with free medical care (ER: I have seen them come in for a cold, clogging the works), free education for their kids, and free welfare benefits (no one checks that the identification they supply is bogus or stolen).

    Hell, in many places they can use that stolen ID to vote themselves more ‘bread and circuses!’

    Build the freakin’ wall already!

    (or maybe just a few well publicized minefields, at undisclosed locations… /snark)

  4. What really bothers me about this illegal immigration is that there is roughly 2.5% of the United States population that is here illegally, they are literally breaking the law every second of every day that they remain in the USA, and there is a huge percentage of the population that just doesn’t give a shit that they are breaking our laws and another percentage that is actively encouraging and enabling illegal immigrants to break the law. Where the hell do these people draw the line as to what laws should be enforced and what laws should be ignored?

    In my opinion, it’s the responsibility of responsible adults to report known illegal activity to authorities and my understanding of the law is that a person can be charged for knowingly withholding information regarding known illegal activity.

    There are direct and indirect consequences to ignoring and/or not enforcing laws.

    • This is an area where progressives can take advantage of emotionism and demonization of their opponents to destroy the rule of law. Immigration is one area where they are desensitizing the public to Rule of Law violations: make the law (or regulation) egregious, then ignore it ‘for the children.’

      They intend to rule by fiat, like every other socialist/communist regime that ever existed. They would have laws, of course: they just want to be able to ignore them if they desire, on a case by case basis.

      The USSR had ‘free elections:’ but who voted, about what, when and where were tightly controlled, and even if you were of the chosen few, you either put a ‘yes’ vote in one box or they put YOU in the other.

      China had freedom of association and speech for a short while: then those who used those ‘rights’ were rounded up and destroyed, having fallen for the ruse set by the communists. See ‘Cultural Revolution’

      Venezuela had ‘free elections’ (and still does) but the opposition is either jailed or killed, with only the socialists in power on the ballot.

      Robert Mueller has a reputation for malicious prosecution to get what he wants: taking sworn testimony and charging that you lied as leverage to either punish you or pressure you into bearing false witness against another target. The example I have heard is thus: You, a government official, are at a party with a Federal agent, which trips some obscure rule and invites a routine investigation. During that perfunctory questioning you are asked the color of the car in which you arrived at the party. You reply ‘red.’ Mueller can take your statement and find that the car you used was actually called ‘scarlet’ by the manufacturer. You should have known this, and thus your assertion that the color was ‘red’ is a lie… to a federal agent. Mueller now owns you. Remember, lying at ANY TIME to a federal agent is a crime, even if you, in casual conversation at the grocery store idly mention a fact they can dispute later. No investigation is needed, technically. This is socialist.

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