Reading for Comprehension Test - Just Like High School

Pretend this is high school, and you’ve got one of those standardized tests in front of you.

There is a short excerpt below. Read it thoroughly and answer the question following (which is, in this case, a poll):

I’m a big fan of moral parity, the balancing of the ying-yang, karma. When the Pubbies have power (as recently demonstrated), they behave with sublime indifference to any such civic considerations, they grasp for power by means legitimate, illegitimate, and downright illegal.

Balance. If the Dems run totally roughshod over the Pubbies, ride 'em and spank 'em for a couple of years, three maybe, then the balance may be restored.

The Pubbies bluffed, and got called. They refused any accomodation to the facts, and dared the Dems to commit a sordid and partisan act. The Dems called, they rake in the pot and now the Pubbies play the only card they got: they blubber the tears crockidilian of the dreadful display of corruption and immorality, the little drops splashing on their freshly-starched communion dress.

C’mon. Who’s kidding who, here?

The point of such legal formalities is to protect the will of the people, no? Does anyone seriously doubt that the will of the people of Massachussets is to have a Dem take Kennedy’s seat?

If an action be perfectly legal and thwarts the will of the people, it is not legitimate. By the same token, if an action manifests that will, it carries a legitimacy. The Pubbies could have avoided this outcome by shrugging and accepting the inevitable, maybe pick up a small bargaining chip, maybe win Miss Congeniality, something like that.

But they made a fight out of it hoping for just this result, perhaps in their mind this balances out trying to corrupt the Justice Dept, I dunno. But now they get to piss and moan, bitch and perform about this travesty yadda-blah, yadda-blah…

Feh! as they say in Lubbock.

The author of this set of paragraphs is conveying, in this writing:

( ) More negative reactions to “Dems” instead of “Pubbies”
( ) More negative reactions to “Pubbies” instead of “Dems”
( ) Roughly equal reaction to “Pubbies” and to “Dems”
( ) It cannot be determined what the author intends
( ) Some other answer; explain below

Remember to use a #2 pencil and fill in the oval completely (and to answer the poll!).

Do you have some sort of point?

Seriously, what’s the point of this poll? Is this another Bricker attempt to showcase the Liberal Hypocrisy™?

I thought asking for help on homework was against the rules.

High school tests are better written.

Wha? The piece seems intended to be read as being very anti-republican (portraying them as bad, but also incompetent, spineless and selfish to a greater or lesser extent). But I get the strong feeling it wasn’t written for a like-minded audience, but written specifically for this “test”, which means the person who ACTUALLY wrote it presumably had some other aim in mind, probably to make some sort of complicated point about the way people read it, but wrote it in the style of an anti-republican rant.

In an actual high-school test I would ignore what the examiner wrote and try to guess from context what they meant. (Presumably, “yes, this is anti-republican”.) Here, I feel compelled to answer the question as written, however unwise… :slight_smile:

Mrs. Simpson, I killed my pencil.

Are you talking about the author’s reaction or the reaction of the general public?

Hey! I brought my pencil. Give me something to write on, man.

I choose not to decide.

I’m talking about what effect, if any, the author expected to have on the reader.

The point of this poll is to gather information on whether the quoted text conveys a feeling more negative to “Pubbies,” more negative to “Dems,” equally negative to both, or if the reader cannot tell what the conveyed feeling is, to gather that information.

( ) Some other answer; explain below

This poorly written screed lost my interest right around “tears crockidilian.” I do not know, nor do I care, what the author was attempting to convey.

You wouldn’t do well in high school today. The author was clearly making an allusion to this famous work.

You know very well that that’s not what is being asked.

I don’t feel tardy.

The poll reflects that the text is more negative towards the “Pubbies” than the “Dems”.

But I don’t see that as the important issue. I think the important issue is whether it’s unfairly negative towards the Pubbies. If two parties are involved in a situation and one of them genuinely acted more negatively than the other then it’s not biased to report the situation in that way. An accurate unbiased report of the situation will show one party in a more negative light because that was the reality of what happened.

Ok, but you include an option “It cannot be determined what the author intends”. That is the most true statement among your choices because that’s factually correct while the others (except for the last) require making a subjective judgement. So your purpose is not satisfied since you provided the only provable correct answer, which does not address that.

No, that’s exactly and precisely what’s being asked.

Why would you say otherwise?

Is that how you’d answer this question in a school setting?

Then that’s all I’m asking – your honest response.