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The Republicans’ Real Agenda? Surprise: It’s Not the Economy

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Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has weighed in on what he believes to be the most important issue for Senate Republicans during the next session of Congress. No, friends, it’s not the economy; it’s not jobs; it’s not the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; it’s not national security or energy independence. 

In an interview with the National Journal’s Major Garrett, McConnell said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  The most important thing, he said, was to give the Republican 2012 presidential candidate the easiest time possible to defeat Barack Obama. 

If you had any doubt about what’s really at stake in next week’s mid-term election, now you know. Maybe, deep in his heart, McConnell really believes making Obama a one-term president is best for the country. He’s certainly entitled to his opinion and his opposing viewpoint.

But to declare as the current Senate minority leader (and potential Senate majority leader if the Republicans win big enough next Tuesday) that above all else, the Republicans’ Job #1 is to destroy the Obama presidency is disturbing (at the very least). Not even conservative MSNBC host and commentator Joe Scarborough could believe that McConnell admitted it, calling the statement “embarrassing” and “pathetic.”

Think about it. Is this the party you really want in power for the next two years? The man is essentially guaranteeing gridlock. They will block everything and anything that has on it Obama’s hallmark, whether it’s an appointment to the court or a way to move the economy forward. If it’s good for Obama, it’s bad for the Republicans—and it will be blocked, destroyed or made impotent. Game playing while our country is strangling. Lovely.

And this, of course, is before we factor in the Tea Party effect on the coming Congress. McConnell is apparently the voice of mainstream Republican values; why else would he be Majority Leader?

Two years. Can our country afford it? 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • John Lake

    It’s so obvious! And so typically Republican. By simply saying that the occupant of the WH is racist, we immediately know that the Republican utter antipathy toward the president certainly is NOT based on race. Which it of course it is!

  • zingzing

    i wonder if dan could quote any passages that show “what a virulent racist [obama] is.” it might be highly entertaining stuff. of course, if dan can’t show us any examples, maybe he ought to reconsider some of his other opinions.

  • Dan, I have read President Obama’s books and you, I suspect, have not. There is not a sentence in them that conveys to any reasonable person that the president is a racist. You and Glenn Beck say he’s a racist [and even Beck walked that back], but hardly anyone else.

    There is plenty in both his books to convince anyone how smart, how thoughtful Barack Obama is, and that he is a really wonderful writer to boot.

    Nearly all of your comments are in some fashion about race. It seems to define your world view. Have any black friends? Neighbors? What’s this all about?

  • Dan

    Bartle Bull was simply one witness. All witnesses who testified, Poll watchers, roving election officials called in by the terrified poll workers, (some were threatened by the thugs thinking they were voters.) No witnesses disputed any part of Bulls account and some gave even more startling testimony.

    The obvious reason why this is a HUGE story is because Obamas justice department let the injunctions go even after the black panther mental deficients did not bother to respond to their subpoenas. They had them and the case was won. Instead they totally dropped charges on three, and the one with the cranium cracker was told not to bring his weapon next time. Something that is already against the law.

    This is after all the stonewalling, deceit, and phony misdirecting by Holders so called “justice” Department. Coincidentally this is the same tactic handyguy employs regularly.

    It’s pretty obvious to me why Obama is losing support from white voters. All they would really have needed to do was to read his books to find out what a virulent racist he is.

    Whatever became of Shirley Sherrods defamation suit she assured us she would pursue? Not much there I guess. The video does show the racist crowds approval of Sherrods previous tactics, and there wasn’t any editing to make sherrod look bad. So, mission accomplished.

    No one has yet explained how the billboards intimidate legal voters. A lot of dancing around, no logical persuasion. I’m not even asking for proof. Just an explanation. I’m sure there isn’t one, or I would have thought of it myself.

    It’s probably just that the billboards will suppress illegal voting. The kind that disenfranchises Americans who work hard and play fair. For handyguy, that’s “not cool”.

  • The point is not whether “reasonable” people would or would not be intimidated by the [utterly cynical and gratuitous] billboards.

    The entire purpose of the signs is to suppress turnout [if they help perpetuate the unproven myth that fraud is rampant, the people who put up the money are happy with that as well].

    Facts are irrelevant to these types of political dirty-tricks manipulations. Affecting the vote totals is all that matters.

  • The MediaMatters Bartle Bull quotes were directly from interviews on Fox News. Even though he is a weird Dem-turned-Republican who despises Obama and Holder, he could conceivably be telling [or exaggerating] the truth. But the fact that not one voter chose to step up as a witness does not strengthen the case.

    But let’s say for a moment that Bull is not speaking GOP-bull, but the unvarnished truth. Are there any other credible stories of voter intimidation at polling places? Anyone else arrested or charged? If this was an isolated incident involving a tiny fringe group [even the original Black Panthers want nothing to do with them], why is it so significant?

    It’s just another Breitbartian shouting point. The tactic, in which Dan is well schooled, if self taught, is clear: just shout your message, with the most vituperative language possible, over and over again, until your opponents give up and shut up. Facts are secondary; the incendiary accusation is all.

    If the NAACP calls Tea Partiers racist, don’t bother with a reasonable argument. Instead, post a video that “proves” the NAACP is itself racist. The video did nothing of the kind, but it did sully the news for a few weeks and came close to ruining a woman’s life. Thus Breitbart thinks he “won.” And Dan believes every syllable, every comma, that Andrew feeds him.

  • zingzing

    well, at least it’ll remind people to vote.

  • Unless you’re planning on engaging in vote fraud, there is no reason to be intimidated by the billboards.

    In an un-nuanced world, no.

    In this one, advertising is targeted to the intended audience. That’s why you will find copious ads for cosmetics in Cosmopolitan and none in FHM.

    So, do we know if any of these billboards were posted in areas without high concentrations of minorities and young voters?

  • Dan

    Unless you’re planning on engaging in vote fraud, there is no reason to be intimidated by the billboards.

    Al Franken most likely owes his seat to fraudulent voting. If voter fraud did not change election results, there would be no reason to engage in it.

    You’re right, MediaMatters has no credibility. If they are now smearing another semi-iconic civil rights leader, it only demonstrates how rigidly fascist the left is becoming. Same thing with NPR throwing a perfectly honest liberal (and hard headed one at that) like Juan Williams under the bus.

  • I don’t find voter fraud cool, I find it rare. Your paranoid feelings to the contrary, there is little or no evidence that voter fraud has changed election results. Those billboards are not public service announcements; they were bought with anonymous political money to intimidate voters in select neighborhoods.

  • I’m sure the fact that this comes from MediaMatters will invalidate it for you. Nonetheless, Bartle Bull is not exactly a liberal Democrat these days. He has an ax to grind, and he was a poll watcher that day on behalf of the McCain campaign.

    He said, “Character in the White House should be more important than charisma on the campaign trail… Barack Obama does not want to ‘change’ America. Barack Obama wants a different country.”

    Bull declared, “Obama’s notion of economic fairness is pure Karl Marx plus a pocketful of Chicago-style ‘community organization.'”

    Recently, on Fox’s America Live, Bull said of Obama: “I didn’t like Obama from the beginning, I thought he was a hustler and I think he still is.”

    Bull [this year chaired] a campaign to draft Rudy Giuliani to run for New York Governor. What a Democrat.

  • It wasn’t a campaign rally, it was a debate between Paul and Conway. There were lotsa people there supporting both sides.

  • Dan

    “Billboards showing people behind bars with the slogan ‘Vote Fraud is a Crime’ — not cool”—handyguy

    So then, for handyguy at least, vote fraud *is* cool. Of course, in this misguided admission, he tacitly acknowledges that vote fraud is near exclusively the province of Democrats. If Republicans were cheating, vote fraud would then become “uncool”, and a sign acknowledging vote fraud illegal, “cool”

  • Dan

    “I seem to remember a whole lotta Tea Partiers boisterously demonstrating… I salute their first amendment rights.”—handyguy

    As already examined in #111, The tea partiers had something to protest. There was legislation (probably unconstitutional and against the will of the people) being signed in to law.

    The unfortunate, Soros funded, brainwashee crashed a campaign rally with the intention to disrupt. The only thing she could logically be “protesting” is the right of people engaged in the democratic process to peacefully assemble and select a legislator, who may, if elected, go on to legislate something that is protestable.

  • Dan

    “The incident was very minor and widely misrepresented by Fox News…there never was a voter who claimed to be intimidated.”—handyguy

    Bartle Bull, a civil rights veteran who ran RFK’s 1968 presidential campaign, was publisher of the Village Voice, was awarded the 2003 civil rights medal by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for his voting-rights work in Mississippi didn’t think it was a “very minor” incident. He was a poll watcher for about an hour at the precinct in question. He called it “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s.”

    Of course it’s possible in light of all of the liberal exaggerations of historic revisionism that there really wasn’t much voter intimidation in Mississippi in the ’60’s.

    Some more of his testimony:

    “BULL: One of them was waving a baton like that, slapping against his hand, pointing at people. And several people – I was more or less at the end of the driveway, and several people began to walk up the driveways, saw these guys, and then went back and didn’t go on to vote.

    QUESTION: Did the individuals that you saw turn around, those were people that you believed were coming to vote?

    BULL: Oh, yes, yes. That’s the only reason you walk along that long block on the pavement, and then go in the long driveway. And several walked in, saw this at the door, and walked back out the drive.”

    Once again handyguy reveals his cluelessness. More judicious people who know which news outlets to trust have been informed of these facts since the start.

    Even slightly more judicious people would not pretend to be informed, get caught, then carry on as if they are experts. On any subject.

    It is the act of a ideologue zealot clown.

  • Not to be picky, but only one guy waved a club. He is now under federal court injunction to stay away from polling places. Considering that no ‘victim’ stepped forward as a witness, that seems an appropriate resolution.

    And I consider the rhetoric and tactics used to suppress voter turnout in minority districts just as disturbing and serious as a weirdo with a club. Billboards showing people behind bars with the slogan ‘Vote Fraud is a Crime’ — not cool. TV ads suggesting that Latino voters should stay home because Obama is not on their side — not cool.

  • Baronius

    Handy – You’re trivializing two guys waving a club outside a polling place. Think about that.

  • zingzing

    situational freedom of speech:

    side a: let’s prank ’em!
    side b: let’s fucking curb-stomp the bitch.

    (respond to the situational evidence of the video you were instructed to view.)

    question 1. which side (a or b) is fascist?

    answer (circle one):



    question 2: is one side expressing the first amendment of our constitution in the intent it was intended?

    answer (circle one, although both are acceptable):


    absolutely not

    question 3: who needs their head curb-stomped?

    answer (understand one, you human):

    no one, asshole.

  • Allegations of fraud [which can be false or true] and real, proven fraud are two very different things.

    The Bush DoJ issued a report on voter fraud during a 3-year period, 2002-2005, a period during which it was a “top priority.” A total of 95 indictments, and 70 convictions. Maybe this meets your definition of widespread fraud.

    Even if that had been a much higher number, it wouldn’t have changed any election results.

    Some conservatives can’t believe a liberal could ever win a fair election. The Dems always cheat, and the media are all liberal shills. The cards are all stacked against our poor right-wing buddies. Their paranoia is boundless.

  • I seem to remember a whole lotta Tea Partiers boisterously demonstrating, many with colorful signs. Some of them may in fact be deranged, but this has nothing to do with demonstrations or signs. I salute their first amendment rights [even though some of the signs offended me].

    Similarly, the [rather soft spoken, mild mannered] young woman has the same right as other Americans to ‘peaceably assemble’ and express her opinion. She was never very likely to stop all those shouting, excited Paul supporters in their tracks.

    Her avowed purpose was a photo op, her sign [a satirical congratulatory certificate concerning Republican-corporate intertwining] in the same frame as Paul. She ran close to his car in this attempt.

    This is your definition of deranged? You borrowed this description from your hero Mr. Limbaugh possibly.

  • zingzing

    “Progressives oppose free assembly to engage in the American tradition of democracy.”

    because someone came to voice her opinion (even if as a prank), you say we’re the ones who oppose free assembly? excuse me, but who curb-stomped whom here, hrm?

  • Dan

    another interesting sort of observation that is tangently relevant with this articles premises of questioning why Republican and Independent candidates are running in opposition to Obama, is the tactic of MoveON sending the deranged woman to disrupt the campaigns of progressive opponents.

    On the face of it, Rand Paul is only running for election. He hasn’t had a chance to vote for or against any policy to protest against. Even though Republican candidates usually seem more forthcoming about what they plan to do in office than Democrats, As a candidate they are still untested.

    The answer to this seemingly odd, unexamined strategy is that progressives simply want to disrupt the democratic process. People are there to hear what Rand Paul has to say to determine if they will vote for him. Progressives oppose free assembly to engage in the American tradition of democracy.

    It’s a lot like vote fraud. Which Democrat city officials have just now been arrested for in Daytona FL. It looks like they’ve been caught changing a large number of early ballots.

    Here we go, allegations of Democrat voter fraud all over the place and confirmation of fraud in Daytona.

  • I mean, thanks for answering the comment I made last night, not the one I just made, because…I really do need to stop making comments for awhile.

  • No, not themselves. himself? herself? At least I didn’t say theirself, at whom I am laughing now. Thanks for answering El Bicho. See ya ’round.

  • Handyguy, the explanation is that the electoral college example I gave you was a really bad analogy to work with. Sorry about that. Dead horse though, I’ll let someone else give it a try.

  • If the 3085th person you polled about Alan said he was a good egg, you’d be pretty dang surprised, given that the first 3084 had told you he was a jerk, El Bicho, even if there were more than a million OTHER BC readers you didn’t poll (in this thoroughly hypothetical scenario) who knew enough about his online activities to have an opinion. If I were better at explaining, this horse would not be so badly beaten up, so I’ll give up now!

    But it’s a hypothetical situation. I think Alan is pretty funny, as I’ve said before, the same way Triumph the Comic Dog was funny: it’s sometimes hard to be on the receiving end of the sarcasm UNLESS you roll with it and try to give him back as good as he’s given you. I’ve watched some of the people here do that (even if Alan might have had to supply the “some of the people here” himself) and they often turn out to be pretty hilarious conversations, and even helpful for people who want to be better writers and critical thinkers.

    Everybody could learn to laugh at themselves a little bit more often. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody is flawed–probably DEEPLY–in some way.

  • If you reject anything to the left of Breitbart and Limbaugh as ‘kook,’ and accept everything B & L broadcast as gospel without critical examination, how does that in any way qualify as “honorable intentions of ideological exploration”?

  • The kook websites I consulted were news stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times.

    I know that Dan actually believes Breitbartian propaganda is truth and anything a liberal or MSM reporter says is automatically a despicable lie. It makes having a conversation with him very nearly impossible, and he must be just a joy at parties.

  • Dan

    “The thing is, you really believe the MoveOn demonstrator was “violent,” don’t you? Without evidence.”—handyguy

    Fox has obtained some new video of this MoveOn employee psychoticly bum rushing Rands car and repeatedly jabbing the sharp rigid corner of her sign into the face of a passenger who’s window was open. Just before she was wrestled to the ground and held there with a foot on the shoulder that only inadvertantly slid off, barely grazing her head. she’s fine. and she’s already impugned her character by lying about what she didn’t know was videotaped.

    “look at what i said. look at what you said. who’s confused here? you don’t even know what you say, or what the hell i’m complaining about.”—zingzing

    you said: “it’s pathetic. if all you’ve got is lies, you don’t even have a damn point.” I then went on to clarify that my “point” was the answer to what the author of this article was questioning.

    That point has since become the main focus of examination on this thread. Are you just pretending stupidity again?

    “Got any support for this or just running your idiotic mouth?”—el bicho

    saying “idiotic mouth” is in and of itself idiotic. You should go back to using a comment space to announce that you don’t know why anyone responds to my “foolishness”.

    Top award for “progressive” nitwittedness goes to handyguy for clumsily revealing that he knows next to nothing about the stunning racial hatred exhibited by those new black panthers in intimidating white (mostly the old and female) voters right out in the open.

    Then he goes on, after hastily consulting his kook websites, to tell us all about what went down. And he’s wrong again on multiple accounts.

    I miss when BC lefties could feel shame.

    You guys spend an unhealthy amount of time patrolling these boards. Running interference for each other. Antagonizing more legitimate points of view as a gang.

    Not only is it pathetic to make this activity a focal point of your lives, but it drives away people who have real and honorable intentions of ideological exploration.

  • “Your fate was written…”

    If God wrote our fate, how was it not sealed at that same time? Was God leaving some wiggle room? Makes me doubt whether our fate is actually sealed. And why wait so long to write our fate? If you are all-knowing, shouldn’t that have been known long before the Bicentennial?

  • Yes, “thinker [sic] hide” is an excellent description of Irvin. But, no, he’s not my persona.

  • “In the case of El Bicho, it’s obviously just a matter of being ignorant of the science of statistics.”

    I am not ignorant of it. Just don’t take them to be always be definitive. For example, I polled a few people and 100% find you to be a jerk. Does that mean everyone does? Maybe that’s a bad example.

    But who are we kidding? You are just upset that I disagreed with you and stated you were wrong. You should get a thinker hide like your Irvin persona instead of the frail flower who flies into a tizzy every time that happens.

  • Your fate was written in 1979 in Teheran. It was stamped in 2001 in New York, and sealed in 2005, in New Orleans.

    Not exactly quick on his feet, God, is he?

    Even the legal system works faster than that.


  • Anyhow, apart from the numbers themselves, my larger point is that you misrepresented matters of fact on this thread in support of your pro-Obama position. I’m sorry you don’t like the term “liar,” but it seems to fit.

    Interesting, isn’t it? As often as you’ve criticized my anti-Islamist positions, I can’t recall that you ever called me out on a question of fact. That’s because I don’t have to make stuff up about Islam; the unadorned truth is so abhorrent that fabricated embellishments are unnecessary.

    For example, the October 19 report of an Islamic Court in the United Arab Emirates ruling that it’s perfectly OK for a man to beat his wife and children, as long as he doesn’t leave any marks visible when they are dressed and go out in public.

    Or the October 24 report that Iranian authorities cut off the hand of a 32-year-old convicted thief in front of other prisoners, in accordance with the Iranian judiciary’s strict reading of Islamic law.

    I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. My imagination is not that twisted.

  • I don’t know how to break this to you gently, but when you round the number 46.4%, you do not get 50%. You get 46%, which under the circumstances is significantly less than 50%.

  • Alan, I told you I was using the RealClearPolitics average and I quoted the figures, 48.6% disapprove, 46.4% approve. And I was using this to extrapolate to the election, where the numbers will add up to 100%, more or less…thus the 45-50 and 50-55 ranges.

    You just like to argue, and no point is too tiny. Percentages in polls are not precise measurements of the population — they are estimates, with margins of error. And different polls have different figures, as we have seen.

  • zingzing

    “Clearly, you meant that we haven’t re-written the Constitution to allow the President to be directly voted out of office.”

    the point was more that he’ll be up for reelection in 2 years, but he isn’t now. he’ll be there, no matter what happens next tuesday. and remember who signs the bills.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “My mistake was that when you said it’s not a referendum on Obama, I thought you meant it in the manner that everyone uses the expression.”

    call me a stickler. and never call yourself a liberal.

  • Today’s Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval poll (repeat: GALLUP) shows 48% disapprove and 44% approve. Your original contention on this thread (comment #35) was that “45-50% still support the president’s policies.”

    So how did you get from Gallup’s 44% to handyguy’s 50%? Remember, in such polling, each percentage point represents millions of people.

  • By the way, George Gallup started polling in the 1930s and formed The Gallup Organization in 1958 after some mergers. Louis Harris worked for Roper in the 1940s, formed Louis Harris and Associates in 1958, and started the Harris Poll in 1962.

    Harris Interactive is a more recent company formed by mergers in the 1990s. Obviously Harris hasn’t always done Internet polling — they did phone polls for decades; online polling started in 1999. And they still do some phone polling as well.

    Gallup and Harris have both been well known names for a long time. The fact that recent polls by the two companies have very different results is the basis for an interesting discussion — not name calling.

  • I didn’t say any individual poll is definitively reliable or unreliable. Averaging a number of polls, and making note of the range of numbers, makes more sense to me than just quoting the one poll that backs up one’s argument.

    And I’d appreciate your dialing back the “asinine” and “lies” venom. I really do try to put some thought into my comments and as with the New Black Panther issue, I’ll happily acknowledge an error. Thanks.

  • I don’t claim any definitive knowledge of poll methodologies, but I believe most of the best-known, most widely reported polls are done by phone. I did find this article by a Harris executive defending their online polling.

    RealClearPolitics includes the following 9 polls in their average:
    Gallup, Rasmussen Reports, Newsweek, Politico/GWU/Battleground, NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl, Pew Research, Associated Press/GfK, FOX News, Reuters/Ipsos.

    I can’t find any reference as to why they don’t include Harris.

    Wikipedia has a pretty good article: look under “Opinion Poll.”

  • It’s revealing that two commenters in this thread have questioned the reliability of the Harris Poll. In the case of El Bicho, it’s obviously just a matter of being ignorant of the science of statistics. With handyguy, however, it seems to be a misunderstanding of the history and methodology of public opinion polling.

    Specifically, it should be noted that Harris Interactive, headquartered in New York City, has 800 fulltime employees and generates annual revenue of $168.4 million. Tracing its roots to Louis Harris & Associates, founded in 1956, Harris Interactive maintains over 40 years of polling data, spanning a wide array of social issues. The Harris Poll is the world’s longest-running proprietary survey of public opinion. Harris Interactive services clients in over 200 countries, and has repeatedly won the prestigious David Ogilvy Research Award for its work on behalf of such corporate giants as General Motors and Bank of America. To suggest that Harris Interactive is unreliable is simply asinine.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Baronius

    My mistake was that when you said it’s not a referendum on Obama, I thought you meant it in the manner that everyone uses the expression. Clearly, you meant that we haven’t re-written the Constitution to allow the President to be directly voted out of office.

  • zingzing

    heh. well. stop having a tantrum and vote for my side (where you true priorities are actually reflected, even if you don’t know it). problem solved? sigh.

  • Baronius

    Yup, Zing. When voters vote for your side, they’re expressing their true priorities, but when they vote for the other side they’re having a temper tantrum.

  • zingzing

    that said, the fact that we’ve devolved into curb-stomping and prank antics as public “debate,” and that most of the candidate debates just involve he-said/she-said accusatorial shouting matches, maybe people are just seeing red and blue these days, damn any real issues.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “I was responding to Bicho and Zing’s absurd claim that the decline in President Obama’s popularity is unrelated to the decline in Democratic candidates’ poll numbers.”

    but that’s not even close to what i claimed, or what eb claimed. go look up the definition of a “referendum.” the relationship between obama’s poll numbers and the candidates poll numbers is clear, if a bit misleading. many people do think obama is a dem, and this guy’s a dem, so if this guy is in the same party as that guy, they’re the same thing. but many people don’t think that. these are local elections with local issues. but i’m sure that if you take a look, not all dems are going down in the polls. and not all reps are going up. there’s a lot more going on. but to simplify and draw dubious connections has been a republican trait as of late, so maybe you could be more correct than i think. sigh.

  • But why do you (#84) validate the Gallup poll and discredit the Harris poll? You must believe telephone polls are inherently more reliable than online polls. If so, then El Bicho’s complaint about insufficient sample size is irrelevant. The difference between believability and incredulity is based solely on the poll being conducted by phone instead of online.

  • The electoral college is not a poll or a sample, so I don’t understand what you mean.

  • Irene Athena

    Maybe the political/history buffs could tell you how often the vote of the electoral college differs from the popular vote, AND by how much–that second part’s really important. That ties into the discussion you and I, El Bicho, have been having: can you get at the truth of how a yes/no decision would be answered by everyone in a large population were asked, by taking a poll from a relatively small sample of that population?

  • The Harris poll is an online poll, which may be why RealClearPolitics doesn’t include it in their averaging of polls. The Gallup telephone poll for the same dates as the Harris showed 44% approval, 48% disapproval.

  • Irene Athena

    take out “living in” in the first sentence.

  • Irene Athena

    El B — if they’d interviewed 3084 people coming out of the same living in a city of population 1 million, no I wouldn’t consider it an adequate sample size. That’s like picking 2 orange balls out of a bag of 100 balls, some blue and some orange, and assuming they’re all orange.

    If however, participants in the poll were taken at random from all over the U.S., I would have much more confidence in the results. Much, much more.

  • #80
    I wasn’t arguing with you, just pointing out how frequently political winds shift. I think you enjoy political history/trivia as much as I do.

  • Baronius

    Come on, Handy! What are you even talking about?

    I’ve made reference to those specific elections because they were the subject of the NJ article, which is what we’re talking about. Of course I know who won the presidency after those elections. That’s the point of the article!

    I was responding to Bicho and Zing’s absurd claim that the decline in President Obama’s popularity is unrelated to the decline in Democratic candidates’ poll numbers.

  • #76:
    No, I will not.

    The NBPP themselves claimed to be there to “protect” black voters. They are a tiny fringe organization, and their actions are ridiculous and irrational. The guy didn’t attack anyone and no individual claimed to have been harassed. So how is this deliberate or documented? [And this was a mostly black precinct; not the most likely place to intimidate white voters, since there were few if any!]

    This is yet another example: if the conservative propagandists push a story, you swallow it with little skepticism or critical thinking.

  • Ruvy

    Here’s to hoping that the more responsible Republicans will take over both houses and do the right thing by cutting all funding to Israel.

    So many fools think – “ooh let’s threaten Ruby that we won’t send money anymore – that’ll shut him up”

    Ruvy WANTS your government to cut off ALL its funding and get the hell out of my country.

    Ruvy is sick and tired of American imperial control exercised over bought out traitors with Jewish names – traitors like Netanyahu, Barak, Livni.

    When you Americans get the hell out of my country, shut your damned mouths about how we should live and where, and take your fuckin’ worthless money and shove it up some Frenchman’s asshole, THEN Ruvy will have no further comments to you on your fate, and you can go down the toilet with his blessings.

    In the meantime, the last page full of comments demonstrate how utterly stupid you Americans have become.

    Your fate was written in 1979 in Teheran. It was stamped in 2001 in New York, and sealed in 2005, in New Orleans. Nothing you can do will save you.


  • Baronius #73: Note that Truman, Clinton and Eisenhower all won reelection too.

    And Reagan already had to deal with a Dem Congress before the 1982 midterms when he lost many additional seats, and he was at least as low in the polls as Obama now [only 31% of the public at that point even wanted him to run for reelection]. Yet he was reelected in a landslide.

    Two years is a long time in politics.

  • Baronius

    Handy – Will you admit that, unlike the accusations against Florida in 2000 and against Diebold in 2004, this case involves a deliberate, documented attempt to violate civil rights?

  • I was wrong about the Bush DoJ not filing the NBPP voter intimidation lawsuit, sorry.


    This sentence from Alan’s rebuttal is misleading. It’s a quote from the Washington Post:
    The dispute over the Panthers, and the Justice Department’s handling of it, was politicized from the start, documents and interviews show.

    In context, “from the start” means from Election Day 2008, and “politicized” refers to both Democrats and Republicans — conservative activists who kept the [non-]story alive; Bush DoJ staffers who filed the suit less than two weeks before Obama’s administration; as well as to the Obama DoJ later in 2009.

    The incident was very minor and widely misrepresented by Fox News and others. For one thing, this alleged ‘intimidation’ of white voters took place in a mostly black neighborhood/voting precinct. For another, there never was a voter who claimed to be intimidated. All the ‘evidence’ was the same cell-phone video clip replayed endlessly on Fox and the Internet, showing the guy with the nightstick at the polling station.

    Furthermore, the DoJ didn’t drop the lawsuit; it won by default when the defendants didn’t show up. Then the DoJ made the [politically] questionable decision to drop charges against the unarmed defendant and the two defendants who weren’t actually at the polling station. They kept the charge against the armed man, and won an injunction keeping him away from polling places for several years.

    Tell me why this is a big issue. Voter intimidation where no one claims to have been intimidated? I understand the concern that the DoJ may be determining their handling of cases based on race — but the officials involved said the actual reason was that the case was so minor and insubstantial — which it certainly is.

    It has been kept in the news by conservative propagandists. By all means, let’s get hot and bothered over nothing again. It accomplishes so much.

  • Alan, RealClearPolitics maintains an average of multiple polls, and I consider them more useful than individual polls. [Clavos, to name one non-liberal, is a fan of RCP. At any rate, it is certainly not partisan.]

    Their most recent average of polls for Pres. Obama’s job approval:

    Approve: 46.4% [range: 43-54%]
    Disapprove: 48.6% [range: 40-54%]

    The country appears to be fairly evenly divided.

    My point at any rate was not about specific numbers, but about the apparent impression, especially among conservative commenters here, that there is a stampede of all voters away from Obama’s policies.

    About a third of independent voters have indeed moved away from the president. Many of these same voters moved away from Bush and the GOP in 2006 and 2008. They may well move again in 2012. They are neither happy nor satisfied — nor loyal to parties.

    My message was simply not to exaggerate the reasons for the probable election results, or jump to conclusions about future-year elections just yet.

  • Baronius

    Let’s take it further. Truman was hugely unpopular when he lost Congress in 1946. Clinton was unpopular in 1994; Bush, in 2006. The lone exception to the pattern was Eisenhower in 1954, but his party lost less than 20 seats to lose the majority.

  • Baronius

    It’s true that correlation isn’t causation. But the speculation that correlation implies causation is the foundation of scientific thought. Certainly there’s no fallacy in noting that a Democratic congressman and a Democratic president are both Democrats. President Obama’s agenda wasn’t implemented in a vacuum. His agenda roughly follows the Dems’ platform. As you note, Democrats in Congress have been more willing to promote the President’s agenda than Republicans have. So on what basis would you deny a relationship between the President’s popularity and that of his party’s candidates?

  • zingzing

    i don’t know what obama’s attempting to possess in that third paragraph, but i can tell you with absolute authority that it is, indeed, absolute authority.

  • zingzing

    well, unfortunately, baronius, if that’s what “the voters” (obviously meaning “conservative voters,” as if they were the only ones out there…) think they’re voting on, the voters are confused. obama’s leadership is not in question during this election. unless y’all is planning some sort of coup…

    “The fact that the president’s poll numbers fell at the same time as those of the various Democratic candidates suggests a relationship.”

    as clavos is fond of pointing out, mere correlation is not causation. although, sometimes it is. but that still doesn’t change the basic fact that there is no presidential election, and obama’s cannot be recalled on this vote. so it’s not a “referendum on obama” in any real way.

    but, given what republicans are wont to believe these days, i guess that’s no surprise. sigh… such ignorance… what next? obama has somehow fused the notions of fascism and communism into a great, america-destroying fireball of lies? that his father was a billygoat from tangiers who later, it turned out, was revealed to be satan himself, making obama not only the anti-christ, but also the son of a furry? that obama likes to pick out a bit of freedom each morning from the basket his proto-slaves leave bedside for him, stand up, put his hoof into his favorite pair of jackboots, then crush that little bit of freedom into the presidential seal in the oval office, smoke curling from the corners of his smile?

    really, we should just be making this stuff up for you, so we can better identify where the fuck you people get your shit from. because that’s the biggest question of the day. where the fuck do you get your shit from?

  • Baronius

    “the voters see this election as a referendum on Obama’s idiotic leadership.”

    Got any support for this or just running your idiotic mouth?

    The fact that the president’s poll numbers fell at the same time as those of the various Democratic candidates suggests a relationship.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Polls are slippery things, without question, but they can also be very revealing as to the ignorance of the respondents.

    When we’re talking about Obama’s approval in terms of the general public, it pays to demonstrate how informed the general public is with respect to Obama’s actual work as president.

    Consider a recent New York Times poll (from last month) that revealed “fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans. Half of those polled said they thought that their taxes had stayed the same, a third thought that their taxes had gone up, and about a tenth said they did not know.”

    Now there are many reasons for people not to recognize the tax cuts, sure, but the fact remains that most American people are grossly underinformed as to what their government officials are doing and not doing. Getting real facts in the spin machine has got to be frustrating and I think most people simply tune out.

  • thanks, zing. No might about it. I knew it didn’t look right. I now see my PC’s calculator had some code that was telling me to move over five places as you have done. I don’t use such big numbers so I had no idea.

  • zingzing

    might have fucked up your math there, eb. .00002 might be closer. 3,000 is a small sample, but it’s not statistically insignificant… nor is it conclusive, of course.


  • “What sample size for a poll of that nature would you suggest, El Bicho?”

    Doesn’t sounds snippy. About 130 mil voted in the Presidential election last time. 3084 is about 2% if I did the math right. That doesn’t seem to be enough people to make any declaration what the other 98% or higher feel about anything. Does it to you?

  • Sorry for not sticking around for your answer, El Bicho. It’s 1 a.m. and I have more procrastinating to do in other venues. Like bed.

  • …because if it sounded snippy, then people might suspect that I’ve actually been Alan Kurtz all along, which, to the best of my knowledge, I have not been.

  • El Bicho, a question better than “who knows if it’s right?” might be “what is the confidence interval (CI) associated with those results?” or “on what basis was the number 3,084 determined to be a sample size large enough with respect to the voting population?”

    To determine whether 45-50 percent of the electorate support the president’s policies, we’d have to have an actual presidential ELECTION. To determine the effectiveness and safety of pre-FDA approved medications, statisticians (the ones HONEST pharmaceutical companies employ) can have a high level of confidence that the drug is safe if they test on a sample size that is large enough, but WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY smaller than the total number of people who will ever take the drug.

    What sample size for a poll of that nature would you suggest, El Bicho?

    I hope that didn’t sound snippy.

  • “the voters see this election as a referendum on Obama’s idiotic leadership.”

    Got any support for this [Edited]?

  • Handy says “45-50% [of the electorate] who still support the president’s policies.” Who knows if it’s right but considering the electorate is slightly more than 3,084 adults so the Harris Interactive doesn’t disprove his statement.

  • #54 is more fooling around with statistics

  • zingzing

    in the end, much as i hate to say it, it might actually be a good thing if the republicans gain a bit of power. if they have any hope of getting their own ideas (we’ll just have to wait and see what those are in legislative form) enacted, they’ll have to actually do some negotiating, some debating and some GOVERNING, rather than the ridiculous stonewalling and hyperbole they’re currently engaged in.

  • handyguy, you’re spreading outright lies on this thread so fast that it’s impossible to keep up. In comment #35, you write, “… you don’t like Obama’s policies. About 50-55% of the electorate will probably agree with you. But that leaves 45-50% who still support the president’s policies.”

    In fact, when Harris Interactive surveyed 3,084 adults online from October 11-18, they found that “two-thirds of Americans (63%) have a negative opinion of the job President Obama is doing while just over one-third (37%) have a positive opinion. This continues the president’s downward trend and he is now at the lowest job approval rating of his presidency.” (See Table 1 [2010] for corrected figures.)

    Similarly false, in comment #44, you write, “it was the Bush administration that declined to prosecute” Philadelphia’s New Black Panther Party for voter-intimidation.

    In fact, the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed that lawsuit before President Obama was sworn in, and dismissed it only after he assumed office. “After the new administration took over,” reports The Washington Post, “high-level political appointees relayed their thoughts on the case in a stream of internal emails in the days leading to the dismissal. … The dispute over the Panthers, and the Justice Department’s handling of it, was politicized from the start, documents and interviews show.”

    Practically the only thing you’ve written on this thread, handyguy, that rings true is this: “All these unsubstantiated crazy ideas and phony charges become utterly real in people’s minds. Our political speech has become permanently, chronically debased.”

    You certainly are doing your part to sustain that debasement.

  • You have the floor, Dems.
    C ya.

  • Freedoms going one by one. Click your heels twice and pretend it’s five years ago. Can I get a WITNESS hee-ya?

  • “Why can we not, SIMULTANEOUSLY and thus EFFECTIVELY, for a change, and in a manner both straightforward AND hot-blooded (not violently, of course, but I’m all for a little pitch-fork brandishing) express our displeasure with Democrats and with Republicans and with the Shadowy Entities who own ALMOST ALL OF THEM (to Obama: not just the Republicans.) They’ve all been destroying our freedoms one by one for quite some time now,” someone suggests unrealistically.

    “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for his eye is on the sparrow”…and his kingdom is not of this world. I’m not even convinced he feels at home at Tea Parties.

  • zingzing

    because they have no real argument except the hyperbole. if they had something sensible to say, they’d say it. all we get is empty slogans and utter bullshit. if they really had anything to say, they’d say it. but they don’t. so they don’t. but it’s effective. look at the amount of people who suck it up like so much pigslop. look at how effective the propaganda is. republican politicians are good at what they do. there’s no other explanation.

  • It’s hard for me to even reply to the “Obama is destroying our freedoms one by one” line because it seems so laughably far from reality. Why use this hyperbolic, apocalyptic rhetoric? Why not debate the issues more straightforwardly and less hot-bloodedly?

  • zingzing

    and really, i think the “????” bit in there is just the realization that their freedom was never been crushed. or “mashed,” as they say down south.

  • zingzing

    the republican plan:

    step 1: stop the crushing of freedom

    step 2: ????

    step 3: liberty!

  • “The crushing of freedom” is just another echo-chamber meme: repeat repeat repeat until you believe it.

    Obviously, no one could belong to MoveOn or Acorn or even the Democratic party without being a kook worthy of verbal if not physical attack. They are The Other, a target for all the pent-up frustrations that draw people to propaganda based on negative energy. Facts are secondary or even completely beside the point: shout “The Truth” at your Enemy until he crumples.

    … and then what?

  • zingzing

    if republicans weren’t so blatantly full of shit and actually had their own ideas, rather than just a headfull of lies and ignorance, maybe they could actually contribute something to society.

    but you know what? ignorant hicks do as ignorant hicks do. it’s not surprising in the least.


  • Tonight Maddow interviewed several Joe Miller supporters in Alaska.

    The thing that really bugged them about Lisa Murkowski? “She voted to confirm Eric Holder as attorney general.”

    And why do they dislike Holder? “He’s the most anti-gun AG in US history.”

    And what has he done concerning gun rights? Blank stares and stammers…they had no idea [because he hasn’t done anything].

    Then another reason popped up. “I’ll tell you why! Because of him not prosecuting the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation!” And this woman was 100% convinced that the NBP party was going to change this current election by intimidating voters — even though it was the Bush administration that declined to prosecute and even though the NBPP consists of maybe 11 people in a room somewhere [if that many].

    All these unsubstantiated crazy ideas and phony charges become utterly real in people’s minds. Our political speech has become permanently, chronically debased.

  • zingzing

    dan: “zingzing, I don’t give a shit about what it may or may not be that you give a shit about. You flatter yourself.”

    go fight dragons, don q, because that’s what you’re doing.

    “I explained to the author the thing that she didn’t understand, which is that the voters see this election as a referendum on Obama’s idiotic leadership. That is why running a campaign opposing Obama’s idiotic leadership is a winning formula.”

    ah, but you said “freedom crushing agenda,” which is the specific part i quoted and the specific thing i’m so sick of. you know that’s not what he’s after, but you continue to frame your dissent within that lie. why? name a freedom that you have lost. you can’t.

    “Your simple minded confusion over such a basic concept is obviously the more “pathetic” waste of time and space.”

    look at what i said. look at what you said. who’s confused here? you don’t even know what you say, or what the hell i’m complaining about.

    although you may be right about said “waste of time.” what’s the point anymore? the only thing you counter with is nonsense and lies.

    “What treatment should a violent MoveOn.org kook get?”

    are you talking about the 20-something GIRL who got her head stomped? the GIRL? the one in the fetal position on the ground when that beer-bellied nut tries to give her the old curb kick? that’s sickening, dan.

    what if that was you? or your daughter? what if that had been a rand supporter instead of the other way around? this is why people who think like you just cannot get their way this election. the hatefulness of that act… that’s a woman, you know. you think that’s ok?

  • The thing is, you really believe the MoveOn demonstrator was “violent,” don’t you? Without evidence.

    Have you ever placed any importance whatsoever on any other president’s birth certificate? You swallow this non-issue as meaningful on faith, because someone told you to.

    You really believe Acorn made a difference in previous election results. Without evidence.

    You accept someone else’s propaganda as the gospel truth. In some ways, propaganda is your gospel. Or your drug. Or something.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    I rest my case. ACORN has been defunded. The Koch organization, not so much.


  • Dan

    Who is it that won’t provide the birth certificate? What treatment should a violent MoveOn.org kook get? etc.

    I give a shit. Just not about what you think. I’m hoping the “pathetic process” that achieves the results isn’t subject to the usual vote rigging by democrats. I’m optomistic about that now that ACORN has been defunded.

    good night.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    Which voters would that be Dan? The ones who are still asking about the birth certificate? The one who stepped on the woman’s head? The ones who yell for reduced government but won’t cut the defense budget? The ones with the “Comrade Obama” bumper stickers? The ones who line up for Sarah Palin to sign her book?

    You don’t give a shit, eh? You should. Not so much for the results but the pathetic process that achieves them.

  • Dan

    zingzing, I don’t give a shit about what it may or may not be that you give a shit about. You flatter yourself.

    I explained to the author the thing that she didn’t understand, which is that the voters see this election as a referendum on Obama’s idiotic leadership. That is why running a campaign opposing Obama’s idiotic leadership is a winning formula.

    Your simple minded confusion over such a basic concept is obviously the more “pathetic” waste of time and space.

  • For those who may be interested: Rachel Maddow broadcast her show from Anchorage tonight…and got interviews with all 3 candidates [Miller was somewhat, um, reluctant]. One of her best shows ever, and a great showcase for her smarts.

  • Baronius

    Handy – That’s pretty much the point that McConnell made in that article.

  • People on the verge of winning an election often make the mistake of assuming that means everyone agrees with them now. Newt Gingrich did this, disastrously in 1995-6, and some would say Obama has done it the last two years [surprise, I don’t agree].

    I would caution our conservative friends: yes, you don’t like Obama’s policies. About 50-55% of the electorate will probably agree with you.

    But that leaves 45-50% who still support the president’s policies. It’s not 99% of the electorate ‘turning against’ him. It’s a significant group of independents anxious about unemployment and deficits — that’s who has turned on Obama.

    An improvement in unemployment numbers, and/or some ugly overreaching by Republicans, and they may well switch right back.

  • Dan (Miller), re: disingenuous.

    You quoted Obama, out of context, relegating the Republicans to the back seat. You then began writing in some sort of dialect, implying that the president was painting the GOP as ignorant rednecks.

    The president’s point was that the GOP represents corporate interests, not those of the middle class, even when the GOP pretends otherwise. And Obama, continuing his “car in the ditch” metaphor for the economy, said now that we are finally moving forward, the middle class gets to sit in the front seat, not ‘special interests’ [i.e. lobbyists]. And the GOP can come along, but they have to sit in back.

    Several other ‘rightward’ commentators [on other sites] have taken offense at this remark as a deliberate echo of blacks sitting in the back of the bus in the Jim Crow era.

    I assumed you were doing the same, while knowing you were not reprinting the full quote. It got my goat, and when you pretended not to understand why this would be offensive [i.e., you were disingenuous], you made it worse.

  • zingzing

    dan, you’re just like archie. you don’t know your enemy, so you’re fighting against the wrong thing. when you just spout nonsense about “freedom-crushing” this or “fascist-commie” that, we don’t give a shit. hit us where it hurts. don’t just make up bullshit.

    it’s pathetic. if all you’ve got is lies, you don’t even have a damn point. but that’s par for the course with the empty rhetoric of conservative thought in this nation at this point. you don’t do anything but fight shadows and shout invective.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    “what folks” would probably refer to the significant majority of voters who elected him instead of McCain.

  • Further to my Comment #28, it turns out that the quote attributed to President Obama was actually made by The Reverend Mr. Sharpton; President Obama replied, “Absolutely.”

    He also noted, If we don’t have strong leaders who are supportive of this agenda, who are supportive of moving the country forward, and instead we have folks who want to move backwards to the same failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place, then it’s going to be very difficult for me to keep making progress and do what folks want to see me do over the next two years.

    President Obama did not elaborate on “what folks” he had in mind.


  • Arch ConscienceStain

    And Barabara, you are truly a fool to fall for any bullshit a politician picks up and throws around.

    Here’s to hoping that the more responsible Republicans will take over both houses and do the right thing by cutting all funding to Israel.

    Then maybe Ruby will shut his fucking overlubricated pie hole. Huzzah!

  • Dan

    NPR listeners may not have gotten the straight story yet, but running against Obama and his freedom crushing agenda is a winning strategy with a majority of american voters now.

  • Doc, according to President Obama,

    “My name may not be on the ballot, but our agenda for moving forward is on the ballot, and I need everybody to turn out,” Obama said Tuesday afternoon during an appearance on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show.

    Obama made the remarks to appeal to African-American voters to show up for Democrats at the polls. The president has made appeals to young voters and Latino voters in recent days in order to try to drive high voter turnout and replicate the coalition that propelled him and congressional Democrats to victory in 2008.

    President Obama is very much the Republican opposition, and even He recognizes that His policies are very much at issue.


  • It is the job of the opposition to give the incumbents a hard time. That’s how democracy works.

    Mr McConnell, however, would do well to remember that his opposition is the Senate Democrats, not the President.

  • Re # 24 — Disingenuous much? A+ for brevity, which is of course good, but that’s about it. I gues I’m just to stopid to understan. Will you be kind enuf to explan what yu mean? Or is that just one of them all purpose comebacks?


  • Ruvy

    Oh, the pain! The pathos! For about a year Americans bellyache about getting screwed over by whatever politician happens to own the headlines…. Then magically, they forget the fact the the Republicrats have been stealing their money for decades – since the 1970’s at least – and that both parties have been the dancing boys for the investment bankers and oilmen who have been soaking them dry.

    It matters not what any of these idiots say or whether Obama has one term, two terms or is dictator for life. They are stealing your money – what little is left to you, and so long as there is a government of these thugs, you will all be mugged daily – until the dollars you value will deteriorate to fancy toilet paper.

    Sorry guys. That is the painful truth. And Barabara, you are truly a fool to fall for any bullshit a politician picks up and throws around.

  • Disingenuous much?

  • Re # 22 — racial spin? — I don’t see any, perhaps because I am one of them racist rednek dummies; that’s just the way us stupid, fearful and ungrateful redneks talk, don’t you know. Or maybe anything less than adulatory said about “The Won” is racist. Sigh, words have so many different meanings it’s difficult to get, let alone stay, current. I had better go buy a bible to cling to.

    And no, I’m not offended, just amused.


  • Dan, as is often the case, dishes out plenty of narrow-minded sarcasm, but selectively finds it offensive when it is aimed back at his side.

    And of course he quotes the president out of context. The first part of that paragraph in the Yahoo article reads:

    He said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, “we can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front.’

    So give it a superfluous racial spin which apparently you find quite amusing. [I suspect others may not.] But that spin came only from you, not from Obama.

  • The current problem is that the Republicans have been such a hinderance the last two years, stopping every piece of legislation they worry might give Obama some type of victory. And the other problem is that the Democrats won’t stand up to them. I’d like to think if the Dems keep control of Congress that good things might happen, but when they won’t fight when they have a majority, why fight when they loose or lessen their control? The alternative is not attractive either, as the GOP wants to take us backward. I think I’ve resigned myself to the next two years of nothing positive getting done in our nation’s capital, and maybe Obama and the Dems can capture that great spirit they started with in 2008 again in 2012.

  • President Obama said on Monday, We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.

    Our truly post partisan president; 2012 – 2013 should be lots of fun no matter what happens next month.

    Since us gredy igorunt contry hatin’ konservitives gotta git out o the way and sit in the back no matter what gonna happn, it probably don’t matter nun whut we mighta thunk if we ever don bothered to thunk which we ain’t. We jus better say Thank you! And, of course, git outa tha way.


  • Baronius

    Jules – Don’t knock yourself out looking for shades of gray in Glenn’s comments.

  • Jules

    My main point was that I don’t really think it’s all that surprising that a republican would say the goal is to make sure Obama is a one term president. That was the democratic party goal in 2004. I’m sure someone said it out loud.

    Barbara – I don’t think it implies anything. I heard democrats saying the same. I heard them say the world was ending… Now I hear the same from republicans. When it’s election time there are always blanket statements made.

    Speaking of blanket statements…

    Glenn – what you said doesn’t have anything to do with my point. I guess you are saying you don’t care what the democrats say about republicans because they are just echoing your own thoughts.

    I am not a republican by the way. My parents are democrats and my dad is involved with his district. I agree with many of your points (though not all). My political feeling don’t have much to do with the point I was making.

    I also have republicans in my family. There are not stupid, mean, racist, uncaring, uncharitable people. They just happen to have a different viewpoint.

    My democrat dad is not for gay marriage. My republican family member says they don’t care one way or the other. My dad leans conservative when it comes to jobs vs the environment.

    So why are you using the word “they?” Not everyone thinks the same even in the same party. That’s why I call myself in the middle. Yeah, I might lean one way, but I don’t go party line on everything. I think for myself.

  • Baronius: me too. Not very nice of the NJ is it? My subscription ran out.

  • Baronius

    Did you guys read the article in National Journal? It’s quite moderate. The point of it is that the Republicans shouldn’t be too obstinate with their agenda and destroy their chances in 2012.

    What I’d really like to read is the interview, which unfortunately is behind the “subscribers only” wall.

  • Barbara, I’m sorry you have the ‘Tea Baggers’ and the GOP to deal with in the United States.
    I’d say, ‘thank god I’m Canadian!’, except Stephen Harper is our Prime Minister.

  • Here is a pretty good YouTube spoof of President Obama.


  • PH

    The gold star goes to Glenn !

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jules –

    Both sides say nasty things all the time. I guess you have to be in the middle to see it.

    The key, however, is to see which party stands for what policies…and frankly, the policies of the Democratic party are (for the most part) eminently sensible, whereas the policies of the Republican (and Tea) party would lead the country right back down the toilet where we were headed in late 2008.

    We say let LGBT’s have the same rights as everyone else.

    They are dead set against the idea.

    We say reward companies for bringing jobs back from overseas to America.

    They think that’s a fool’s errand.

    We say don’t give tax breaks to companies who outsource American jobs overseas.

    They think that’s an unfair tax hike on corporations.

    We say that there’s nothing wrong with having the wealthy pay a greater portion in taxes (which worked just fine at the 70% to 90% range from the early 50’s till Reagan took office).

    They think that will drive us into another Depression.

    We say that workers should be paid a living wage (which idea Adam Smith supported in his Wealth of Nations).

    They want to get rid of the minimum wage.

    We say that regulation is needed to protect people from the excesses of corporate greed.

    They think that regulation is bad, bad, bad (and they even try to blame the Great Recession on regulation!).

    We (along with 97% of all climatologists and the vast majority of scientists in the world) know that global warming is largely driven by human civilization.

    They think that it’s (1) all a grand left-wing conspiracy, (2) a communist plot, (3) actually global COOLING, (4) real, but due in no wise to human civilization. To them, ANY explanation – no matter how outlandish, as long as it’s against the Left – is sufficient.

    We say that Fair Trade is far more sensible than ‘Free Trade’ wherein we get taken to the cleaners by countries who will NEVER play by the ‘Free Trade’ rules that the Right supports…which is one reason why we have such a massive trade deficit. We say there’s nothing wrong with implementing the same trade policies with any particular country that that country implements against us.

    They think that we should just believe in Free Trade and ignore the taxes, tariffs, and subsidies that the other countries impose while laughing at our refusal to do so.

    So…Jules – one side is really trying to do what is best for America and the world, whereas the other side is doing whatever enriches the individual (and whatever’s against the Democrats).

    Your choice.

  • Jules,

    But when the other side’s leader fires the salvo that the #1 goal is to make sure Obama is taken out, what does that do to the issues important to the country? Disagreement and debate is crucial, compromise as well, but when it’s strongly suggested that anything seen as an Obama win on anything is bad, what is that saying?

  • Jules

    I’m saying this as someone who is sick of the endless vilifying all around – he’s saying that because he doesn’t agree with any of Obama’s policies on everything listed in the first paragraph.

    Doesn’t the other side always want the other party out of office? It’s always the goal. And really after the last election I not only heard people saying it was time to be rid of Bush but of the entire Republican party.

    Both sides say nasty things all the time. I guess you have to be in the middle to see it.

  • Indeed!

  • Actually, I think it was a bit of refreshing honesty! I’d like to hear more of it. From all sides. Then the public might see clearly whose policies (or lack thereof) would be in their best interest!

  • When he was a congressman, he was pretty damn conservative. Certainly far from a liberal. He may have reconfigured his rhetoric a bit since becoming a TV host, but no liberal I know would claim him. Note the exasperated look on Mika Brzezinski’s face much of the time: “Now Joe…”

    It’s like calling NPR ‘leftward.’ They are certainly to the left of you, as is much of the population. But their stated and I think successful intent is to report the news well, and not to worry about staking out a dot on the ideological scale.

  • Baronius

    Handy, Joe Scarborough is always surprised when he hears that he’s not conservative. But he hears that a lot. From the little I know of him, he falls into that David Brooks / Christopher Buckley zone of people who claim to be conservative while defining the word in such a way as to disparage most conservatives. I don’t know if that’s just because he has a softer style, but then again he does toughen up when he’s on the attack. That attack always seems to be against the right though.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Barb –

    You know what it is? The Republicans remember what happened after the Depression – FDR for 4 terms and a Democratically-controlled congress for close to 40 years. To them, it really is all about the power…and if that means they’ve got to oppose that which is good for America and the American people in order to take back the power, then so be it.

    To them, it really is the Republican Party Uber Alles.

  • Agreed. Joe Scarborough would indeed describe himself as a very proud conservative (although I’m not sure he owns the title so proudly these days).

  • Joe Scarborough would be surprised to hear that he is not conservative.

    This malarkey about liberty being destroyed is truly tiresome and ludicrous. Find yourself another meme.

  • Where were the Democrats? Compromising and giving Bush an awful lot of what he wanted. Too much, to be perfectly honest. Obama has no “statist” agenda. Destroy liberty? Big Brother started listening on Bush’s watch.

  • Joereg4

    Where was Barbara when the democrats tried to make Bush a one term president? Why in the world the author is surprised one political party wants to defeat the other?

    Obama has been trying to destroy what liberty we have left, his defeat can’t come quick enough. Stopping the statist agenda should be #1,2,3,4,5 because it is that agenda that is killing jobs and the economy.

    And Joe Scarborough is not conservative.