The 2006 George W. Bush Dead Kitten Survey
Participant: Dr. Rusty Shackleford - Blogger, "The Jawa Report" (mypetjawa.mu.nu)
Dr. Shackleford responded to the initial survey with the following:
Oooh, this sounds fun!
> Were the event detailed above to occur, would you still support the > Presidency of George W. Bush?
Meaningless question since elections are moments in time. Bush is not up for reelection so whether I support a particular policy or not has nothing to do with him being a cat killer. Please consult U.S. Constitution Article II. If (and this would be a better hypothetical) he were up for reelection, probably not (of course, depending on the alternative).
> If the answer to Question #1 is yes, is there a number of kittens President
> Bush would kill with a hammer that would change your mind?
I understand what you are trying to do, and I think it's a legitimate question boiling down to just how far partisans are willing to carry their loyalty. But, again, I don't think your question actually operationalizes your research question.
> If the answer to Question #2 is yes, what would that number be?
Again, see above.
I would simply point out that historically President's have done far more during war time than Bush. For instance, FDR ordered censorship of all media during the war. Was that impeachable? Lincoln ordered prominent Northern Peace Democrats to be jailed. Did he violate his oath of office. Wilson ordered the jailing of antiwar protesters during WWI. Did that make him Hitlerian?
Very interesting hypothetical, I hope you get plenty of response.
While suprised and pleased with his cordiality, I felt that Dr. Shackleford misunderstood the questions, and for clarity I offered the following response:
Thank you for your response. I feel there may have been some confusion, and so in fairness I am following-up with clarification to allow you an opportunity to alter your answers, if at all.
For the first question, there was no connection implied to any election. The question was not querying any decision to vote for Mr. Bush or not, but rather if the President killed a kitten with a hammer under the 7 guidelines stated, would you still agree he was suitable for the position of President of the United States and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Opinions on election or impeachment are moot; the implication is that you currenly support him (if this is incorrect please advise), and this is to ask if such an event would alter your current viewpoint on that matter. The question of "support" is implied as a boolean notion that you agree/disagree George W. Bush should be President and if the act of him killing a kitten with a hammer would alter that position.
Having said that, questions 2 and 3 are to establish the limit to which the killing of the kittens could commence as suggested by your affirmative response to question 1. For example, you may still support the President had he killed one kitten with a hammer, but once he reached seven or eight, you would feel he should not be in the position of power that allows him to kill kittens with hammers anymore.
I hope this makes the initial inquiry more clear, and if you choose to respond with any amended answers I will refer to those rather than your original ones in the final tally. Thank you.
Dr. Shackleford responded:
I understood your original question, I just believe they do not operationalize the concepts you are trying to get at, that is all. Further, I don't "support" Bush's presidency because such a concept is impossible in off election years in my mind. It's why I don't pay attention to polling data.
Result: Results invalid; participant declined to answer.
Apologies to Dr. Shakleford if he feels slighted by this conclusion, however he twice responded to the questions with the accusation that the questions themselves were invalid and effectively refused to answer. The essence of the survey was to determine if the participant's support of the President would fluctuate on his killing of a kitten with a hammer; Dr. Shackleford decline to offer a response to that.
That said, thanks to Dr. Shakleford for being willing to participate in the survey.