Brendan Nyhan

Will Americans Blame Bush for the Economy in 2012?

Matthew Yglesias takes heart in polling showing many Americans still blame President Bush for the state of the economy: One gripe I hear fairly often around DC is the idea that President Obama has failed to do an adequate job of reminding the public about the disastrous legacy of the George W Bush administration. The… Read more »

Thomas Friedman Turns Lemonade Into Lemons

Yesterday’s Thomas Friedman column featured this clunker of a lede: While President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have gotten a lot of things right on foreign policy, they’ve made quite a mess in Israeli-Palestinian relations… Then again, the actors they’ve had to work with were both lemons… But you know what they say… Read more »

Does Legislative Gridlock Cause Scandal?

On Tuesday, the blogger Nicholas Beaudrot suggested that the lack of legislative productivity in Congress was an underlying cause of the frenzy over Rep. Anthony Weiner’s online behavior: A conversation with a friend of mine helped me put a finger on just why it is that DC news coverage has felt like it’s had zero… Read more »

Where are the Obama Scandals?

I have a new column in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball on the striking absence of Obama administration scandals. Here’s how it begins: One of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals. Since Watergate, presidential and executive branch scandal has been an inescapable feature of the American presidency,… Read more »

The Use and Abuse of Bar Graphs

Ken Schultz, a political scientist at Stanford, was inspired by the misleading Wall Street Journal graphic and disappeared Tax Foundation blog post to illustrate just how easy it is to manipulate bar graphs by changing the boundaries of the bins: I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see how easily someone without scruples… Read more »