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Oh, God.

[ 67 ] September 5, 2012 |

Paul Ryan, among many others, is evidently dismayed that the 2012 Democratic Party platform has performed a third-trimester abortion on Baby Jesus, whereas the GOP platform has been cleverly inscribed on a tortilla miraculously bearing the toasted image of the Virgin Mary.

For shits, I devoted a needlessly long chunk of time this morning reviewing the archive of party platforms available through the invaluable American Presidency Project, and — well — here you go:

A few observations:

  1. The 2012 GOP platform is a total outlier, presumably designed to intimidate the Saracen hordes biding their time for Obama’s re-election.
  2. Judging entirely by the text of its platforms — for by their words, or works, or whatever, ye shall know them — the party clearly had no use for God from its founding through the 1960s. By my sophisticated calculations, the godlessness of the Republicans from 1856-1956 likely accounts for the successful passage of 93 percent of Progressive Era legislation and 97 percent of the New Deal.
  3. I have new-found, albeit limited, appreciation for the Nixon-era GOP.
  4. How did Reagan manage to win in 1980 with 66 percent less Jeebus than 1976?
  5. How did Bush manage to win in 2000 with 75 percent less Jeebus than 1996?
  6. I don’t know what that weird green dash is to the right of the graph, but fuck it! I made a graph!


UPDATE: Here’s another meaningless graph:


Comments (67)

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  1. catclub says:

    “I don’t know what that weird green dash is to the right of the graph, but fuck it! I made a graph!”

    Either “Then a miracle occurs.” or evidence of the God particle, spring to mind as explanations.

    • Minty says:

      The green dash is probably your graph-generating program of choice hoping you were going to add more lines to the graph, and preparing to make you a table of what different line colors represent. My second or third step of making a graph in Excel is usually deleting that thing, pretty though it may be.

  2. rea says:

    Saracen hordes are usually quite okay with god references.

  3. Hogan says:

    So the Democratic platform mentions God as many times as the Constitution does. And this is a problem why?

  4. Warren Terra says:

    Could’ve sworn I just commented – about the hypocrisy of Holy Joe Lieberman – but it seems not to have appeared. Are we not allowed two hyperlinks in a comment, maybe?

  5. Major Kong says:

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

    Susan B. Anthony

  6. Malaclypse says:

    I don’t know what that weird green dash is to the right of the graph, but fuck it! I made a graph!

    While I must commend you on effort, most graphs do not have the X and Y axes labelled basically the same.

  7. c u n d gulag says:

    And last night, I guess in response to the GOP’s calling out the “Godlessness” of their platform, every single feckin’ Democrat had to say, “And God bless America!” everytime a speech ended.

    I don’t remember, did Governor ‘Democrat’s need to a grow a backbone’ Patrick, end his the same same way?

    One might think a person with grown and developed backbone wouldn’t have needed to.

  8. mark f says:

    Next you’ll be telling me that Barack Obama wasn’t the first presidential candidate since Jesus-times to not wear an American flag lapel pin.

  9. vacuumslayer says:

    The Dems give almost no mention to the last unicorn or Sasquatch either. Such assholes!

  10. herr doktor bimler says:

    So for the last few elections, the correlation between the Democratic God Number and their electoral success is actually negative.

    • scythia says:

      It’s not just the Dems’ number. With the exception of ’96 the party that mentioned “God” the most in their platform has lost every presidential election over the last two decades.

      Which makes sense, if you think about it: it’s a pretty good indication of how much the party is pandering, either to its base (R) or “swing” voters (D). When voters like and trust you, you don’t have to broadcast “I SHARE YOUR VALUES SEE SEE???” at every opportunity.

  11. […] unforced error. And totally irrelevant, if you pay any attention to history. From Dave Noon: A few observations:The 2012 GOP platform is a total outlier, presumably designed to intimidate […]

  12. […] David Noon reviewed Republican Party platforms going all the way back to the GOP’s founding in 1856, and came up with this graph: […]

  13. Mr Meadows says:

    Of course God wasn’t mentioned much before 1944. Back then everyone in politics from both parties was Christian, or assumed to be. Platforms are to distinguish your party from the other guys. Now everyone’s got to pander religion. In 2012 it would appear the DNC tried to pander to the atheists. I didn’t know they were a considered a swing vote, but I’m not the one with the social media data mining tools.

    If you want to do something interesting then track how many times slavery was mentioned in the Democratic Party Platform in the 19th century. You’ll remember, of course, to find all the PRO slavery planks.

    • jackd says:

      In 2012 it would appear the DNC tried to pander to the atheists.

      No. Failure to pander to the religious is not pandering to the nonreligious.

      I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to imagine what real-world pandering to atheists would look like.

  14. […] on party platforms and found that the Republicans were not always so god-obsessed.  Actually, they were never so god-obsessed as they were this year.  Here are the number of God references in the party platforms going back to […]

  15. Anonymous says:

    For your next meaningless graph, try to correlate the mention of god in either party with which party won that year…would be interesting to see how mention of god affected the election…since you like making graphs and all. :)

  16. Gradivus says:

    Mentions of God in American political party platforms is a comparatively recent phenomenon.

  17. […] Democrats initially weren’t going to mention God in the party platform. Well, here’s a look at how often past Republican platforms have brought up the subject–another example of how far […]

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