I’m not counting this President out yet, and you’d be a fool to bet against him.
This clip shows the mentality of the Grand Old Party, like when I was 8 years old and saying the opposite of everything my older brother said. It was a fun game for me because it drove my brother nuts. I don’t think that grown women and men really should be playing this game with the future of our country, no matter how much fun the adolescent Republicans are having. After all, only adults can vote.
Above is the full question and answer from the meeting in Baltimore which put President Obama face to face with the opponents, the obstructionists, the party of no. You have to see it or read the transcript. (courtesy of KayinMaine)
The opening address by President Obama is below.
I’m going out on a limb here, I think the democrats are in great shape going into the 2010 elections. I say it despite the various pundits and bloggers who are saying the opposite. I’ve been watching the dynamics of the health care reform battle, the tea party movement, the Sarah Palin phenomenon, Michael Steele, Newt Gingrich, the Obama haters, the polls and I’m beginning to think that when the dust settles in November of 2010, we will see a much different picture than people are painting right now.
The Tea Party movement will split the republicans. In many areas they are threatening to challenge republican candidates in the primary if you don’t agree with them on nearly everything. They are infiltrating the party at ground level. If they succeed in getting their kind nominated, a whole lot of republicans and independents will vote for the democrat in the general election. If they form a third party, which may happen, it will split what’s left of the conservative vote and democratic candidates will fair better. The “Tea Partiers” could have a significant effect in the primaries by selecting more extreme candidates which will turn off many moderate republicans in the general election. Both parties rely on the middle to get elected, except in districts that are solid one way or the other.
I’ve been studying election polls for years both in college courses and independently and they are used and abused by the media in many ways. My theory on polls is that they are not reliable at predicting voter behavior on election day except within a month of the election. The main reason for this is the vast majority of voters don’t really pay attention to candidates or issues until the election gets near. There are us political junkies who follow way too closely, but I keep telling myself that polls fluctuate wildly and the methodologies of many of them are questionable. For a great example of this, go read Nate Silver’s analysis of a poll commissioned by the off the rail blog Firedoglake. It’s revealing of how a poll can get you the results you want, if you write the questions and order the questions in the “right” way.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight is the absolute best at interpreting and analyzing polls and whenever a new poll comes, I rush over to Nate’s blog and see what he has to say about it. He’s honest and tells it like it is, whether it’s what you want to hear or not.
I’m not feeling doom and gloom for the democrats in the next election. If you look at the non “horserace” questions, you get a much more accurate picture of what might happen in the future. Drawing any conclusions about what might happen 10 months from now is a fools game. My optimism for the democratic party isn’t based on polls, whether they are good ones or not. It’s based on the dynamics of many variables including the “Tea Party Movement”, health care reform and all the rest.
So having said all that, here are some numbers from polls that are revealing. The generic democratic versus republican question in regards to congress has dems at 38, reps at 37 according to PollingReport.com. My theory, which isn’t original, is that in our two party system, both parties have about 35% solid support. There is another 10% or so that are pretty reliable for each party. The last 10% can go either way. Now depending on what part of the country you live in, these can vary quite a bit, but when you average it all out, the numbers above are pretty close. This poll shows republican support at the lowest in a decade. So the battle is generally in the middle with independent and moderates from both parties. The Democratic party has been swinging towards the middle when it comes to candidates whereas the republicans are clearly swinging to the right with the Tea Party crowd, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and all the rest of the loudest, most conservative wing of the party. The independents and moderates will go towards the candidate that shows that moderation.
Now some on the left have had some success at getting the base riled up, especially about health care and Afghanistan. If we look at the health care debate in particular, the people who don’t want any reform and the ones who want the most drastic reform, have teamed up to make the president look unpopular in the current moment. That’s what happens when you compromise, you get it from both sides. But that won’t translate into a massive change in votes in the next election, I am sure of that. People will return to their base principals and vote the way they always do, except for that moderate middle, they will swing whichever way depending on lots of things. The Jane Hamshers of the world who like to threaten candidates, hold guns to their heads, smear their wives, a petition every other week demanding something or another…they have their loyal little following who may not vote or may cast a “protest” vote for a Republican. But for the most part, this effort won’t have an effect on any elections. They may try to claim they do, but they are just trying to get clicks and then more clicks on their “donate” tabs which litter all the “non profits” they seem to run. Public Policy Polling has a great post with poll results that show the democratic faithful are just that, faithful. So when these Obama haters like Hamsher, Uygur, Marsh and the few others start over-inflating their impact, throw this poll in their face and tell them to read it and weep, real democrats support their party.
Maureen Dowd needed a Daddy after the exploding panties event.
Maybe the repugs will support gay marriage if it creates jobs.
Arrgh Paine has an excellent post on his blog My Take, thanks to Bob Cesca for catching it. It talks about the split in the left that is pitting those who are pragmatic, realistic and wisely using the power that the democrats have – to try to get some changes in our country against the “pure” left who have unrealistic fantasies of what democrats can do in their current power structure. Here is a piece of his excellent concise post.
On one hand we have those who have been justifiably disappointed with the administration on a number of issues in what they thought would be a very progressive agenda. On the other hand we have a group that is justifiably upset at progressives who attack the administration in what they see as a scorched earth policy that will harm the agenda moving forward.
Both groups are correct and the intent of this post is not to convince anyone to abandon their belief or the passionate defense of that belief. The point of this post is to sow understanding. We need to debate the facts in good faith, not the fantasy we want to make those facts mean.
Personally, I look to motives of the people who spew the most venom towards the president. I wonder where that anger and irrational hatred comes from, the kind normally reserved for republicans.
Here are a few links to some stories that caught my eye recently.
Here is a link to an article that analyzes the Gallup daily tracking poll and although there has been a slight dip in his numbers among his base, it is very minor and considering the blistering attacks he’s gone through, he seems to be teflon coated. Check out this groovy graph from Gallup.
He certainly has some work to do before the 2010 and 2012 elections, but coming off such a bloody fight on health care, I think he’s still doing pretty well, especially with his base. So stop listening to those bill-killers when they try to say he’s in big trouble with his base. Like I typed in a previous post, they are exaggerating that anger and trying to project it on others.
I used to be a very loyal Huffington Post reader, it was my home page on all 3 of my computers. I loved how they bashed Bush and Co. I only go over there now to check how the progress is going on them switching to being a conservative blog. I was eating dinner and I pulled out my iPhone, (yes, I’m one of them) and I pulled up my HuffPost app and this screaming headline said “Dems’ Only Hope for 2010: Make The Race About The Other Guy.”
I started reading it, of course, and came across this in the first paragraph…
Voters are shifting to the right; white antipathy to the President has intensified; the popular consensus backing Obama and his agenda has collapsed in less than a year…
Really? Go look at this post at Public Policy Polling that says just the opposite, his numbers remain strong, regardless of people not liking what the senate passed on health care reform. And of course, congress always polls low and even within the article on HP, they say republicans numbers are also slipping, but they wouldn’t let some facts get in the way of their agenda to portray President Obama and the democratic party negatively. Read more »
Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog has another great post up defending Obama against unfair attacks. Enjoy!
In an effort to counter the “Republic party” and faux-progressive assault on our president as a failure, here is a partial list of some of the accomplishments he has either started or has implemented. Many of them happened in the first 100 days, but many more have slipped under the radar of the MSM over the entire 11 months of his presidency. I know many bomb throwers will deny that many of them really happened, I guess that’s the political environment we now find ourselves in, just deny it or lie about it. Feel free to add to this list in the comments. Many thanks to bacalove at Daily Kos.
- Reversed Bush ban on federal funding of stem cell research.
- The 787 billion dollar stimulus package provides hundreds of billions
of tax cuts and helps fund state programs already in place
- the stimulus package helps repair a decayed infrastructure
- The education secretary has five billion of Discretionary spending to improve education
- is much more science friendly with the energy secretary being a scientist
- reversed Bush global gag rule on doctors and provided funding for international family planning groups
…there is a lot more after the break Read more »
Jamie over at Intoxination made a prediction just over year ago that is very eerie. Go read it here, if you haven’t seen it yet. Thanks to the Awesome Bob Cesca for bringing it to my attention. Here are some excerpts from Jamie’s prediction.
“This will be the first year that we have a Democrat in the White House in the modern blogging age, and with that I do have a rather dire prediction. As the year progresses and we start seeing exactly how soon to be President Obama governs, some of the groups and organizations we all cherished for their work these past several years will quickly turn into something we can’t understand, maybe even bordering on entering the wingnut-o-sphere.
I predict this will start when/if Obama decides to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. People quickly forget the key points of campaigns, and bloggers are no exception. We will hear a big out cry from some bloggers screaming that Obama is breaking campaign promises on Afghanistan, when in fact he will be doing exactly what he said…
…If you suddenly find yourself on opposing views of one of your favorite blogs or political action committees, the best thing to do is walk away. Giving them attention, even if it is as simple as disagreement, is the equivalent of giving a beer to an alcoholic. I also suggest the other bloggers out there simply stop linking them and even remove them from your blogrolls. If these individuals don’t get the attention they crave then eventually they will realize that their lust for fame has deeply clouded their love for blogging, and hopefully they will wake up and realize that commons sense is the best part of any blog…”
I, for one, have taken his advice and walked away from a few blogs that used to be among my favorites. And it’s not because I disagree with them, it’s because they seem to have become exactly like Jamie predicted, driven by clicks, money, sensationalism and fame.
The hold up on the new head of the TSA, Erroll Southers, by Senator Jim DeMint is because of the fear that he will allow the TSA workers to unionize. Check out this awesome exchange on CNN (full transcript) where James Carville does what he does best, goes for the jugular.
ROBERTS: We’re getting, James, potentially a look here at how things are going to go next year. The former vice president has rung in this morning on what he calls the, quote, “low-key response” by the president to all of this, saying that President Obama’s trying to pretend that we are not at war with terrorists.
Do you think that this is going to be recurring theme from the Republican side as we head into the mid-term election here?
CARVILLE: Let’s go invade Sri Lanka. That would be their — look, I think what he said is that there was a systemic breakdown, and I think we ought to have a hardcore investigation.
By the way, on this question of TSA being unionized, I think every fireman that went in on 9/11 was a union member. And I would like to ask Senator DeMint, how did being in a union member affect them, because like 1,100 of these guys lost their lives running into a burning building.
I think this whole idea of blaming the unions for this is absurd. I don’t think Senator DeMint has any idea what he’s talking about. Captain Sully was a union member. It sure didn’t stop him from landing that airplane in the river.
Pow, take that MF’er. Being a union member myself, NEA and MEA, I am appalled at the all out attack on unions by the repugs over the last 30 years. It seems pretty counterproductive for their party, since so many working class folks are union members. This trend of bashing unions needs to be attacked head on with arguments like James Carville’s above. Love him or hate him, he has some pretty great moments.
Check out this post by Michael O’Hanlon on the President’s first year in foreign policy. Here’s an excerpt…
But in fact, Obama has had a solid first year in foreign policy matters. By one measure, comparison with other first-year presidents in modern history, Obama ranks with the three or four best since World War II by my estimation – and I write this as someone who opposed Obama during the Democratic primary process of 2007-2008 largely because of fears at the time that he would not be strong on national security.
Personally, I’m thrilled by his approach to foreign policy. The Bush swagger created a lot of animosity towards the United States and our president has already done a lot to repair that image. Cheney, the puppet-master behind W., of course thinks the president is all wrong in not acting cocky. It seems that every time Cheney opens his mouth, I disagree with him.