Tag Archives: plumline

Poll finds many Republicans disconnected from reality; Wapo calls Obama disconnected despite its own polling data

David Kurtz at TPM and Greg Sargent at The Plumline note that, sadly unsurprisingly, a Washington Post article is disproved by the paper’s own polling data. If anyone wonders why people turn away from these corporate mouthpieces when good alternatives exist on the web, this fiasco says it all.

As Sargent points out, when asked whether Obama “understand the problems of people like you,” 57% said yes, 42% said no and 2% were undecided. And the Post chooses to portray this by asserting “almost half” of the respondents feel he is disconnected. They’re not even trying anymore; just like the guy on Hardball yesterday who, in explaining his opposition to ending DADT, said he wanted to outlaw homosexuality.

All of this comes on the heels of the Research2000/DailyKos poll showing how fringe most self identified Republicans are:

Should Obama be impeached?
no: 32%
yes/not sure: 68%

Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist?
no: 21%
yes/not sure: 79%

Do you believe Barack Obama wants the terrorists to win?
no: 43%
yes/not sure: 57%

Do you believe ACORN stole the 2008 election?
no: 24%
yes/not sure: 76%

Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama?
no: 14%
yes/not sure: 86%

Do you believe Barack Obama is a racist who hates White people?
no: 36%
yes/not sure: 64%

Do you believe your state should secede from the United States?
no: 58%
yes/not sure: 42%

Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world?
no: 15%
yes/not sure: 85%

Should contraceptive use be outlawed?
no: 56%
yes/not sure: 44%

Do you believe the birth control pill is abortion?
no: 48%
yes/not sure: 52%

Do you consider abortion to be murder?
no: 8%
yes/not sure: 92%

Do you believe that the only way for an individual to go to heaven is though Jesus Christ, or can one make it to heaven through another faith?
other: 15%
christ/not sure: 85%

These are not people who have the slightest interest in compromise or bipartisan unicorns and rainbows. If Democrats want to achieve legislative and further electoral success, they must bring this craziness out in the open.

Call them on it. Force votes that make Republican incumbents and candidates to stake out a position on wedge issues that will force them to choose between the fringe elements in the base and moderates and independents who will not support the extremist positions that titillate the base.

Call into radio shows; go to forums, rallies and townhalls and make the Republicans stake out a position on these issues. Don’t let them have their cake and eat it too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Narrative of new Republican revolution probably peaking too early

I’ve been writing that I think the chatter of a coming Democratic doomsday is not likely to actually come to pass. The Republicans and rightwingers are hugely overconfident. They are emboldened and are getting set to let their freak flag fly even while they are heading into primaries and other internal fights that are going to be very unseemly and public and that will also cost them a lot of blood.

They will almost certainly move even further to the right, thinking they need to ramp up the tantrums of August and treat the entire country to NY-23 redux. If the extremists win the bloody infighting that will be prelude to November, then independents will turn away in droves.

If the preferred candidates of the Republican party ‘elites’ and ‘establishment’ survive the circular firing squads of spring and summer, the extremist base will be angry and disillusioned and just might, perhaps in several races, support third party candidates that will in fact serve up a repeat of NY-23.

The redstaters are very busy patting themselves on the back over Sens Dorgen’s and Dodd’s announcements of retirement as well as Republican’s prospects next November, with only one advocating caution.

Greg Sargent, differentiating between the comparative number of retirements from each party and the chances of the Dems keeping a senate super majority, notes that more Republicans than Democrats are retiring.

Eric Kleefeld at TPM, along with others but not the rightwing true believers, notes that the the Democrat likely to run for Dodd’s seat, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, is way ahead of any Republican.

Republicans still aren’t offering much substance

[from Politico via The Washington Monthly] “You are saying someone should be held accountable. Name one other specific recommendation the president could implement right now to fix this,” host George Stephanopoulos said to King.

“I think one main thing would be to — just himself to use the word terrorism more often,” said King, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

This charge is not only exceedingly silly, it’s demonstrably untrue.

And their internal conflicts are just heating up, especially in the Texas governor’s race, the Florida senate race and the primary for a Republican challenge to Barbara Boxer.

The funding numbers aren’t looking good for the Republicans and even Michael Steele is cautious about regaining majorities.

One Minnesota Republican says Democrats are worse than terrorists and another thinks it’s a good idea to call Obama “an arrogant black man.”

These are not the actions of a party that is in fact on the brink of a resurgence.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The trap of absolutist health care reform opposition will hurt Republicans

Greg Sargent at The Plumline has a piece up about the upcoming HCR litmus test the rightwingers are going to hold Republicans to over the next eight months.

He describes how anything less than absolute rejection and opposition from the likes of the already intensely disliked Mitch McConnell will not go over well with the empowered rightwing fringe:

That’s not good enough for right wing activists. Erick Erickson of redstate.org criticized McConnell for dodging the question. “Politicians should actually say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when they mean ‘no,’ instead of dancing around the issue,” he wrote.

Newt Gingrich threw down the same gauntlet on “Meet the Press” yesterday when he said, “I suspect that every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.”

By insisting on ideological purity and making a bet that the bill will be universally unpopular, conservatives are leaving Republican candidates with no room for flexibility.

Igor Volsky at Think Progress has the Gingrich video:

Volsky writes:

While the exchanges don’t go into effect until 2014, the Senate health care bill spends approximately $10 billion between 2011 and 2014 on interim benefits. The bill immediately prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage, imposing life-time or annual limits or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Applicants who are unable to find insurance in the individual market, can purchase catastrophic coverage and young adults can stay on their parents’ policies until their 27th birthday. Small businesses that provide health coverage will also be eligible for tax credits beginning in 2010.

The bill requires health insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of all premium dollars on medical care and reduces the size of the coverage gap in Medicare Part D “by $500 in the first year.” The bill also guarantees “50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap.”

These benefits could also improve as the Senate bill moves into conference. Several House progressives have pledged to push the conference committee to move up the implementation date of the exchanges in the final bill and front load more benefits into the interim period of the final legislation [original links not included here].

It seems redundant to add in all the links Volsky includes in his post since anyone interested in checking his claims can follow the links from his post. Also, sorry for the long quotes but they’re necessary to drive home the point: rightwingers and Republicans are over confident in general and specifically incorrect in their assumption that a majority of voters in 2010 and 2012 will adopt their absolutist opposition to HCR.

They have succeeded — only temporarily, I believe — in making a lot of people nervous about reform. However, they appear to have overly discounted the effect of the interim benefits kicking in immediately. Almost everyone will know at least one person who’s situation will be improved, perhaps very greatly, by one or more of the early benefits.

They will then weigh those tangible improvements in the life of someone they know and interact with against the abstract charges of communism, fascism, union thuggery or whatever bircherite nonsense some rightwing Republican is spouting off.

They will know that, if the rightwingers and their Republican lackeys had got their way, those improvements in the life of someone they know and maybe even care a great deal about would never have happened. And these voters will know that the rightwingers and Republicans have explicitly promised to rescind those benefits if they vote for them.

That will be an intensely powerful incentive to not vote for any Republican, even the few who are not such rightwing extremist on other issues. It doesn’t mean everyone will vote for Democrats, just that some voters who would be otherwise inclined to vote for Republicans in 2010 will instead stay home or withhold their votes in congressional elections.

Rightwingers and Republicans shouted all the same nanny state socialism charges when social security, medicare and medicaid went into effect. Now, of course, they pledge to safeguard those very programs. Democrats are now betting that the same will happen with HCR, and to a measurable degree before 2010.

Rightwingers and Republicans are betting not enough such benefits will kick in before next November, although they are really really frightened that enough actually will do just that. By instituting this purity test, they are putting all their eggs in this basket.

But I think this tactic will not succeed. It will be a concrete reminder that elections really do have consequences and most people are not so ideologically hidebound that they will inflict clear and immediate pain on others just to remain true to the health insurance industry’s best interests.

Of course, for this to happen, the benefits must kick in before the first Tuesday of next November.


Filed under Uncategorized

‘GOP’ officially repudiates reality

Most rightwing Republicans have such a casual relationship with facts and the truth that this news from Huffington Post, TPM and The Plumline shouldn’t really come as a surprise.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is running doctored ads of Al Franken on the stump and threatening to use what it knows is a doctored photo of Franken making it look like he’s dressed up in a diaper with a stuffed animal and funny headgear. Franken drives them so crazy that they abandon all pretense at being connected with reality.

It’s another manifestation of a long standing rightwing acknowledgment that appearances are more important than reality. It is being played out on a larger scale in the current debate on the right about how they need to take advantage of such technologies as teh twitter and teh facebook to “reach teh young people.’

It’s not that they need to, y’know, actually change their positions to be more in line with what people actually believe. No, they just need better marketing. Rebranding. Repackage the same old crap and the idiot Americans won’t know the difference.

Such a strategy was successful at one time. But they still don’t get it. Teh intertubez changed all that. It’s the modern day equivalent of both the town crier and the scribe rolled into one — it both distributes new messages to an incredibly vast — though still limited — audience and records all past messages in an unprecedented archive accessible with a few keystrokes.

Their continued failure to grasp this concept costs them dearly every single day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized