For Congress now speaks a full grade level lower than it did in 2005. Falling from grade 11.5 to 10.6. Using the Flesch-Kincaid test that gives your kids the “reads at a 10th grade level” score, the Sunlight Foundation has measured the vocabulary used in Congressional speeches over the years and found that the level has dropped suddenly. For both parties, but particularly amongst Republican Congressmen, particularly amongst the newest batch, such as Rand Paul (3rd worst, speaks at an 8th grade level.) Indeed the entire worst ten are Republicans (eight of those are freshmen.) And the more conservative they are, the worse their speech (dropping by three full grades from center to fringe.) Interestingly, amongst Democrats with less than 10 years in Congress, the trend is similar, those closest to the political centre have the most complex speech, while those further to the left drop by about a grade. But for Democrats in Congress for more than 10 years, the trend is sharply reversed. Are candidates dumbing down their speech, or are parties dumbing down their candidates?