Study: “”The most ardent tea party Republicans” in Congress speak “at about an eighth-grade level.”

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Today's L.A. Times has an article that confirms what we all know: Congress is sophomoric. There has, indeed, been a noticeable "dumbing down."

What? You're surprised? No way, no how, no you are not, stop that! Not after all that GOP obstruction and tea tantruming about big bad Obama "taking away our guns," screaming about the dreaded, non-existent "death panels" and the endless and renewed jaw-clenching birth certificate blather. In fact, how have we EVER managed to survive President Obama’s evil presidency?

New research is showing that all that head-butting and speechifying has devolved to eighth grade levels, and no, that's not hyperbole:

Discourse in the House and Senate has dropped a full grade levelto the equivalent of high school sophomore, according to a new study. [...]

"Congress is changing as an institution, and what you see is more and more members gearing their speeches as sound bites or YouTube clips," said Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which compiled the study released Monday. [...]

In an analysis of floor debates over the last several years, the study found that newer lawmakers tended to speak at a lower grade level than the veterans of congressional speechifying.

Guess who scored the lowest! Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.

Give up?

[I]t should come as no surprise that the lawmakers at the bottom of the list, speaking at the lowest grade level, are among the most ardent tea party Republicans in the freshman class. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Rep. Robert Woodall of Georgia and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were the bottom three — speaking at about an eighth-grade level, the study found.

Californians ranked among the better spoken overall, and the No. 2 slot went to Rep.Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles), at almost a 16th-grade level.

And because we try to be even-handed here at TPC, it's only fair to point out that it was Republican Rep. Dan Lungren who made it to number one with the highest level of speech. Kudos to him.

Communicating clearly and accurately, using proper language, and articulating carefully and meaningfully are all so important, especially in an era of 140-character tweets and rushed text messages. Can we at least expect our elected representatives to strive for the ability to do that at ninth grade levels?

Oh, but I kid. I meant tenth.

Now if you'll excuse me, Twitter calls.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Albert-Kapustar/100000878647888 Albert Kapustar

    You have got to admit the tea party knows their audience.To speak with child like minds you have to talk to their level

  • gopfree

    The scary part of the story is that the tea-bags rally their base with utter STUPIDITY.  

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Kettle, Kevin, eighth grader.

    Please. I posted a study and congratulated a Republican. Save it for something that matters.

  • Kevin Schmidt

    According to the chart, the Democrats are only five months older than the Republicans, so what is your point?

    As long as people like you continue to blame only the Fascist Republicans or only the Fascist Democrats, then you too are speaking at a fascist eighth-grade level.

  • http://twitter.com/MeLoseBrainUhOh W. Brian Tucker

    Tea Party Republicans (after reading the headline): What does "ardent" mean?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DW7LHDQQLRH5RQG2AGEXP35QGM Mr. B

    Study: “”The most ardent tea party Republicans” in Congress speak “at about an eighth-grade level.”

    And the sad thing is, that's still about two grade levels higher than the teabaggers who voted for them -- just look at the spelling on some of the signs they carried . . .