Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Something Between A Quarter And A Third Of Americans Are... Just Hopeless


Polls look pretty decent these days for progressive positions. The new Pew Poll for the Washington Post shows that most Americans blame the congressional Republicans for the "fiscal cliff" fiasco. Still, fully 27% of our fellow citizens must be getting their information from Hate Talk Radio and Fox. They tell pollsters if we go over the so-called "fiscal cliff" December 31, it will be the fault of the most compromising figure in American politics since Henry Clay. The Post posits that the numbers "explain why Republicans privately fret about the political dangers of going over the cliff, while Democrats are more sanguine about the prospect... Republicans are well aware of where the public seems ready to put the blame if no deal on the cliff is reached. It’s why House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) offered a counterproposal Monday to the one President Obama laid out last week. Simply letting stalemate stand for the next 10 to 14 days is unacceptable to Republicans who know they have to do everything they can to avoid the cliff-- and the blame for it that seems likely headed their way." What I fret about is how such a big chunk of Americans can be so consistently wrong about everything. I mean 27% is a lot of people. And 27% is the bottom of the sample that usually marches lockstep with Limbaugh and Michael Savage and Sean Hannity.

Yesterday's National Journal poll meant to track public opinion on the important issues Congress is dealing with, tracks the stupidity of this solid third of Americans who can charitably be lumped in with a long-dead political party, the Know Nothings. Overall, the poll showed a sane and steady public-- most Americans fine with raising taxes on the wealthy and absolutely opposed to cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
Concerning the fiscal cliff, the poll, which dives deeply into policy issues, asked voters what they thought the best way was to raise revenue from higher-income earners. A plurality, 39 percent, said that both their tax rates should be raised and their tax deductions should be scaled back. In addition to raising tax rates on income above $250,000—something the president advocates and something that will happen if Congress doesn’t act to prevent it—Congress is considering an overall cap on deductions.

...The survey found that 77 percent of respondents believe Social Security should not be cut at all. The results were remarkably consistent along lines of race, income, gender, age, and political affiliation: Even 74 percent of Republicans polled felt that way. The results were similar when the question was asked in February-- perhaps suggesting that the efforts of groups dedicated to reducing the debt had failed to convince the public that cuts in Social Security were in the national interest. An even higher percentage-- 79 percent-- did not want cuts in Medicare, the medical coverage program for the elderly. When it comes to “means-tested” programs, 51 percent didn’t want “food stamps or housing vouchers that go to low-income families” to be touched. A full 63 percent wanted hands kept off Medicaid, which aids the poor and  the disabled.

There was much more openness to cutting defense spending. Only 33 percent of respondents didn’t want defense spending cut at all, while 47 percent were willing to cut it some, and 17 percent said it should be cut a lot. By contrast, only 3 percent of respondents wanted Social Security cut by a lot.
And no matter what the poll or what the questions, there's almost always 25-35% of Americans with this Fox-manufactured stance on anything and everything. It's a fact-free world out there. Even someone as delusional as Michael Savage admits that Hate Talk Radio is "committing suicide" by incessantly criticizing Obama and forgetting about doing entertaining talk radio. And the equally credible Pat Buchanan reminds us that a quarter of Republicans are so angry about Obama being reelected that they want to secede.
While no one takes this movement as seriously as men took secession in 1861, the sentiments behind it ought not to be minimized. For they bespeak a bristling hostility to the federal government and a dislike bordering on detestation of some Americans for other Americans, as deep as it was on the day Beauregard's guns fired on Fort Sumter.

... The social, cultural, moral and political revolutions of the 1960s, against which Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan inveighed to win their 49-state triumphs, have now captured half of the country.

One America believes our history is a catalog of crimes against people of color, that women have an inviolable right to abortions, that condoms should be handed out to sexually active teens in schools where Darwinism should be taught as revealed truth, while Bibles, prayers and religious symbols should be permanently expelled.

The other America sees all this as unpatriotic, godless and decadent.

One America believes in equality of rights; the other demands equality of results brought about through the redistribution of income and wealth, affirmative action, racial and gender set-asides, and quotas.

One America believes in gun control; the other in gun rights.

Now that Christmas and Easter have been expunged from public schools and the public square and the popular culture has been thoroughly de-Christianized, we Americans seem to have but one holy day of obligation that brings us all together: Super Bowl Sunday.

Where one America divinizes diversity, the other seeks out our lost unity and community. Half the country pays no federal income taxes, but half depends on federal benefits.
I guess as long as small minds like Buchanan and Savage, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly are given huge megaphones we're going to wind up with like-minded politicians-- your Jim DeMints (SC), Ron Johnsons (WI), Kelly Ayottes (NH), Jim Inhofes (OK), Buck McKeons (CA), Patrick McHenries (NC), Michele Bachmenn (MN)... And we'll also wind up with politicians manipulating this ignorant "sheeple," as Limbaugh calls them, for their own purposes-- purposes that rarely coincide with policies that benefit the voters. Nancy Pelosi, we're told by Brian Beutler, is trying to keep Obama on the straight and narrow when it comes to the Grand Bargain.
As the controller of an overwhelming number of Democratic votes, she’s there to warn all negotiators, including Obama himself, not to cut a bad deal.

“Leader Pelosi is playing offense on the middle class tax cuts bill,” says a House Democratic leadership aide. “She’s unifying the House Democrats around an action they can all support, while also reminding all the negotiators at the table that you can’t reach a deal without changes in tax rates on the wealthy.”

That’s as much a warning to Obama as it is to Boehner. Until recently Obama had left himself enough wiggle room to accept a deal that would raise revenue from top earners by limiting their deductions instead of increasing their income tax rates.

Because Senate Democrats passed legislation in August to permanently extend middle-income tax cuts, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have been sidelined for the moment by dint of circumstance.

Pelosi’s role, in effect, is to make sure the Senate bill comes up for a vote in the House, ideally unchanged, so it can go straight to Obama’s desk for a signature. Most recently, she rejected House Republicans’ counteroffer to Obama, which would include benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

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At 6:24 AM, Anonymous NRIII said...

We have to reach them while they are young, so they are less susceptible to right-wing talk radio stupidity, when exposed to it. We can focus on reforming the K-12 educational environment, so that we teach a more critically and theoretically diverse curriculum, and thus radically reduce the percentage of the 'hopeless.' Alas, Obama's 'Race to the Top' and even the 'Common Core State Standards Initiative' miss the mark.

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous me said...

One America believes in equality of rights; the other demands equality of results

The same old crap we always hear from scumpublicans. What lying sacks of shit they are.


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