READER COMMENTS ON
"POLL: Protest Voters in MA Voted Against Dem's WEAK Healthcare, Wall Street Initiatives"
(37 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 3:24 pm PT...
There ya go, Frank. And even with this poll, you add in the FACT that Croakley (egads, what an awful name!) Won in EVERY hand-counted ballot, you've got the picture. It's certainly NOT the pouty Lefties you'd like to blame for this debacle! Thanks all, back to sleep again!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/20/2010 @ 3:39 pm PT...
I heard Anthony Weiner on air with Stephanie Miller on my way back from court this afternoon, slogging through the SoCal rain. His take was essentially the same --- especially as it relates to the health care bill in which, piece-by-piece, out of a purported need to satisfy Lieberman/Baucus, everything that was popular (single-payer, public option, ability to purchase prescription drugs --- Dorgan amendment) was stripped from the bill --- that voters are not stupid; that they understand that this was not "change we can believe in."
Weiner thinks Dems need to regroup, come back with something simple like a measure that simply provides all Americans over 55 with the option of a Medicare buy-in and the Dorgan amendment as a separate measure; that the President needs to do what he hasn't --- get out on the stump in explain that type of bill to the American people so the wing-nuts no longer frame the debate.
I took from Weiner's remarks that the Progressive Caucus, so close to capitulating to the Senate monstrosity, may now be emboldened to, finally, take a stand.
And if that's what comes from Diebold's selection of Brown, I suppose its a good thing.
Slogging through the rain? What am I saying? This is SoCal. We don't get rain; just liquid sunshine.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/20/2010 @ 3:45 pm PT...
The poll Brad cites is consistent with the numbers I provided back on 08/18/2009 with respect to one of my health care articles:
An Aug. 17, 2009 front page article in The New York Times, “’Public Option’ in Health Plan May be Dropped,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, reveals how the corporate media has conflated the health insurance industry-funded, wing-nut mobs into an excuse for describing “betrayal” as “compromise” --- justified because the “’public option’…emerged as a flashpoint for anger and opposition.”
Stolberg conveniently forgets that a June 2009 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that 76% of all Americans support a "public option." A Feb. 2009 New York Times/CBS News poll [PDF] revealed that 59% of all Americans favored a national health care system. A Feb. 2009 Grove Insight Opinion Research poll [PDF] found that 60% of all Americans favor Medicare for All, the single-payer concept embodied in H.R. 676.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 3:54 pm PT...
Obama and Co aren't going to 'get it' - do not hold your breath for meaningful reform in the wake of this MA election.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 4:17 pm PT...
The bill, or whatever the hell we're calling it at this stage, is outright corporatist crap, and we should be banging pots and pans in their ears until they regain their hearing. If the Brown victory wasn't loud enough, we need to run in there and get louder still.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 4:57 pm PT...
I supect that the Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod team will simply expect to lose a few mid-term seats (and that's not really THEIR problem, is it?) and move on into the 2012 election.
They figure (probably quite accurately) that the Rethuglicans will put up something truely disgusting and/or appalling, and that progressives (just like most other thinking centrists) will have no wary to turn but the Democratic Party and their corporatist candidate, Obama.
They know they'll lose a few of their supporters from 2008, who will "sit on their hands," but that they'll gain a few centrists who were scared of Obama but now see he is no threat to the status quo.
And, of course, through all of that, they will ignore the totally broken electoral system, and pretend that all the votes DO get counted, right up until Obama concedes defeat at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, while the votes in Hawaii and elsewhere are still being collected.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 5:06 pm PT...
I think to anyone sane this was totally obvious.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 5:19 pm PT...
[Howard] Dean was arguing this exact point with Chris Mathews and Tweety was just flat out calling Dean nuts, he couldn't understand the point that Dean was making. Admittedly, Dean did not use the word 'punish' which he should have regarding the seemingly contradictory statements Dean was making. But Dean was exactly right. The dems were 'punished'.
The actual name of that kind of action as I recall from my days as a negotiator is 'working against your own and the opposer's best interest'. It is, in the hierarchy of negotiating tactics, both the most dangerous and potentially (in the long term) successful tactic that one can use. Unfortunately with the 2 party system we have it doesn't have much chance of being effective until such a voting trend breaks the system down to the point that conditions devolve to the point that civil unrest is a possibility (IMO) unless necessary change is forthcoming.
Just look at history, there were EO and Civil Rights laws on the books in the late 40's and many years thereafter but real change wasn't forthcoming until cities started to burn in the late 60's ('68) after Dr. King was assassinated after several years of concerted, public agitation for civil rights. I have little hope that real, fundamental change will come without the same at some point in the future.
The lack of viable 3rd, 4the, 5th parties assures (IMO)that the power of the ballot box will not succeed in bringing us the changes we need on a national level.
[ed note: You meant Howard... —99]
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
Off the Grid
said on 1/20/2010 @ 6:42 pm PT...
Hope'n for Healthcare! Yeah!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 6:44 pm PT...
Hearing those tea party footsteps, folks? You know --- the ones you wrote off as redneck racists?
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
Off the Grid
said on 1/20/2010 @ 6:49 pm PT...
Anyone watch the USDX today? Remember all those health care stocks going through the roof....
They are the same party (D&R) because they use the same FRAUDULENT monetary system. You don't get to vote against that.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 6:52 pm PT...
You mean Dr. Howard Dean...he couldn't understand why Chris Matthews couldn't understand the reasons the poll showed a protest vote. Chris didn't WANT to understand, he was trying to be right,simply, about a very complex vote. Howard made sense. Glad DFA (Democracy For America)polled so they can refute the know-it-all pundits.News organizations were too sure and too lazy to poll.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 8:05 pm PT...
On Mr Schaeffer's blog site, I and others recently had to "correct" his gratuitous swipe at teachers' unions. Here a response must be offered to his use of the Mass vote to smear "the Left," as have others.
Mr Schaeffer is courageous, and has come a long way, but a little too frequently he is unable to repress the knee-jerk talking points of his political beginnings.
(If anyone knows the whereabouts of "the Left" please leave the coordinates at this thread.)
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 9:16 pm PT...
I commented on Matthews last night - he is a complete dipshit. Tonight he was talking about how hard (heart and soul, I think he said) Obama has worked to get health insurance reform passed. Come again, where is the evidence for this. Shut up, Matthews, you nitwit.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 9:24 pm PT...
OMFG I thought Dean was going to reach across the table and bitch-slap Matthews! (I just watched it on the west coast.) If he could have shot daggers out of his eyes he would have.
I'm gonna start a "Dump the Chump" campaign to get Matthews booted from MSNBC. What a third-class citizen he is on that network.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 10:05 pm PT...
99 @ #8- [ed note: You meant Howard... —99], Yes, Yes, thanks- I'm was just freaking out when I wrote that, sorry about the error.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 10:18 pm PT...
the dems were punished, not by the voters per se but by a fraudulent electoral system. Not that the dems are out to do any good anyway, lesser of two evils scumbags, present company excluded i'm sure.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 10:38 pm PT...
So, thanks to Frank's "flame-bomb" (*props to Soul Rebel for the apt description) the brightest minds of the election integrity community at BradBlog have spent the entire day after a potentially wonked election refuting, rebuking, and round-robin-arm-chair-psycho-analyzing one man and his ill-advised, insensitive, and just plain wrong article.
What an unfortunate waste.
Add to that the vexation I feel at the early extinction of the exit polls (to nary a peep raised in protest, as tragic to my psyche as the killing of habeas corpus in 2006) - just one more nail in the coffin of our former Democratic Republic. Sorry, Mr. Adams. I guess we couldn't keep it, after all...
Factor in the TeaPeople here like Brook, stupidly chest-beating over what he/she wrongly perceives as some kind of partisan victory while deluding her/himself that they are not playing right into the hands of their not-at-all-partisan enemies...
I'm going to go crawl under the covers and I'm not leaving bed until a neighbor has to come and knock on my door about the smell.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 10:50 pm PT...
It is my hope that you folks (and Obama) sincerely believe that he has to go farther Left.
It will make November 2010 even nicer than what happened yesterday.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 1/20/2010 @ 11:29 pm PT...
I live in New Haven and I went to school in Boston. Coakley lost because she is utterly incompetent. Anyone who knows Boston knows the intensity of their feelings for their sports teams, especially the Red Sox. In the radio interview, when Coakley was asked about Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, she dismissed him as a "Yankees fan." Schilling was a major reason the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino and won their first World Series in a hundred years. HOW, I ask, can you live in Medford, MA and not know who Curt Schilling is? I make an exact analogy to the gaff by then President George Herbert Walker Bush when he was baffled when asked the price of a quart of milk or a loaf of bread. Many analysts think that was the turning point where he lost his re-election. I say the Schilling thing was the reason, above all else, that Coakley lost her election. She is OUT OF TOUCH with her prospective constituents.
We have got to get rid of the dweebs and elitists in the Democratic Party like Coakley, Reid, Pellosi and Kerry. Leave it to us in Connecticut to get rid of Lieberbush in a couple of years.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 1:58 am PT...
I was listening to Abomina last night (evening where you folks are), and heard him saying he understood that we are angry and frustrated. So far, so good. Let's see if the dumb fuck can figure out what has so angered and frustrated us. Apparently he hasn't made the connection that HE is the cause of our anger and frustration. Duh! He's dumber than duhbaya...
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
John R Brakey
said on 1/21/2010 @ 3:09 am PT...
TO ERNEST A. CANNING
HI ERNEST, I’M JOHN R BRAKEY WITH AUDITAZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections) would like to talk. PLEASE COULD YOU SEND ME YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION? HERE IS MY EMAIL AUDITAZ@COX.NET
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 4:36 am PT...
Seeing Barney Franks initial reaction to the Brown election and the others in congress makes me realize how utterly stupid they are. Not unwise (that too but not my point her) but just plain thick. They just believe the conservative meme and freak out.
So here are the outliers in MA:
Horrible Dem candidate and she's a woman in MA
Good handsome, moderate record Repub candidate (how many Repubs making it through primaries will have a similar cross appeal to independents)
Mass unlike almost any other state in union already has univeral health insurance and it polls fairly decently so they have no local skin the HCR game.
Short, non-scrutinizing election.
And there are also motivations of voters and non-voters that are different than media as this article shows, many Brown democrats were to left of congress on HCR and many Dems stayed home was because HCR was way to right of them. And poll says main reason people in general voted for Brown was national security not his no to HCR stance.
So you have an outlier state on the issue MSM claimed was on referendum, you have a clueles candidate, Dem voters stay home cause of their dissappointment on health care, a chunk of other Dems and Independents that voted for Obama now vote for Brown because they hate the HCR bill from the left (providing Brown nearly 1 in 5 of his votes) and congress concludes Brown won because they were not centrist enough on HCR...whatever. The fact that Leiberman said confirms to me that meme must be completely false.
And to all those that think people are just angry at Obama from the right and nothing else, wake up. Conservatives and Tea Partiers are angry at him from the right. I get that lots of people think he is way worse than Bush and he is a Nazi, or worse socialist ever and whole new bunch of people have suddenly, miraculously became honest deficit hawks on 2009 but excuse, those people and everybody else have nothing else to be angry about than Obama being too lefty!. Its clear in these polls that Obama is losing support from left, not for being generally incompetent but for not trying hard for more pogressive moves - he's escalated wars, he's continue Bush Wall Street love fest, their dissappointed in HCR. And there is the general state of our economy. Lots of people are angry given bad economy, not everyone of those are mad at Obama.
I'm a person who is not a fan of Obama from the left, from where I'm sitting, if we were to make a lump statement about who people are angry it is obviously Wall Street. The angry from the right and left agree. Yes Tea Parties, you hate Obama, but you are not whole country. You guys probably hate Public Option too, but is continues to poll well, easily getting majority.
Tea Partiers, your dissaffected anger with Obama gets front and center attention on Fox and CNN but for 6 long years progressive anger at Bush, despite absolutely huge anti war protests way way in excess of any demonstration you guys have done, get virtually ignored by MSM. Shoot truthers had a bigger march than you at nearly the same time as you that got virtually no coverage in any poll.
Our dis-satisfaction from left is ignored, as you will not see these poll numbers discuss on networks, CNN. So its easy for me to see why you're confused, but do not conflate MSM coverage of you, and not us, with some indication of universal identification with your brand of anger. When I see a poll that 70 percent of population's number one concern is Obama doing to many lefty things, I will agree with you, but no such poll result will happen, and yet you act like that is reality.
I can comprehend you Tea Partiers exist in large numbers and I understand (do not agree but understand with most) what you are angry about, how is it then that you can't even know my type, populists of the progressive form, exists, let alone we exist in large numbers.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 5:10 am PT...
Nate Silver at fiverthrityeight.com points out the the various effects of this particular campaign and tries to quantify them, his conclusions:
"...If you follow through on the math....It suggests that the Democrats would have won by 9 points, rather than losing by 5, had the candidate been someone other than Coakley. And it suggests that the race would have been a 1-point loss (that is, basically too close to call), rather than a 5-point loss, even if Coakley had run such a bad campaign and even if the national environment had deteriorated as much as it has, but had there not been the unusual circumstances associated with this particular election."
So this was a outlier situation greatly impacted by lame candidate and polling shows a significant chunk of Dem lack of voting or shifting to Brown was due to progressive populist dis-satisfaction of Obama from the left but somehow this was a repudiation of health care reform from the right...whatever.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 6:02 am PT...
#19 says:"It is my hope that you folks (and Obama) sincerely believe that he has to go farther Left.
It will make November 2010 even nicer than what happened yesterday. "
Only a complete idiot (read; Teabagger or extreme reich winger that has been fully Foxified) could possibly believe that having a Democratic president that ran on fully progressive democratic ideals, that was elected overwhelmingly by a huge out pouring of very progressive, very left wing voters, actually has to go even further REICH and completely ditch every single voter that put him in office.
Sadly that is exactly what he has done which is exactly why Democrats are paying the price now, NOT because they are too far left, but just the opposite. Obama has abandoned everyone that put him in office by basically from day one becoming BUSH LITE. If he went any further Reich then he would be further to the reich than 75% of the Rethuglican candidates.
What happened yesterday was clearly because of independents pissed off at democrats for completely abandoning the progressive democratic ideals, by throwing out Single Payer health care when the first rethug raised the first eyebrow.
By NOT putting Bush and company on trial for crimes too numerous to mention, by keeping most all of Bush's corrupt & illegal policies, by continuing to wage a corrupt and fake "war on terra" for the sole purpose of making the war profiteers 100s of billions of dollars.
Obama has blatantly lied to every single democratic voter that voted him in office BECAUSE he has ran to the middle right as fast as he possibly could and still keeps shuffling sideways further & further reich.
Let me try to put it to you in way that maybe even a reich winger can understand.
Lets just say that McCain got into office by telling the reich wing extremest base that he was going to continue Bush policies, reverse Woe V Wade, install extreme reich wingers on the Supreme court, destroy Medicare and Social Security and make absolutely certain that the top 2% will remain making 95% of every dollar made in the USA.
Then when he gets in he then proceeds to do exactly the opposite, he does nothing to reverse Roe V Wade in fact he says he is all for it.
He does nothing to destroy Medicare and SS but in fact helps Democrats strengthen it, he bends over backwards to help democrats (that are a small minority) to get about everything they want even though they don't have even close to the votes to do it.
Now, do you think my response to that would be:
It is my hope that you folks (and McCain) sincerely believe that he has to go farther Reich.
It will make November 2010 even nicer than what happened yesterday.
Of course McCain would have to go further Reich because he has completely abandoned the Reich wing lunatics that voted him into office so that he could finish destroying the country.
and the big caveat to all of this is the fact that we really have no idea if Brown won in the first place, in fact I would say the odds that he did are probably about maybe 10-20% tops.
It is far more likely that this election was stolen through election fraud which is so easily done today that it is pathetic.
Especially when we have a mainstream media that denies anything wrong has occurred in fact worse than that is an active participant in the crimes & cover ups.
What we have here is a totally worthless, defunct Democratic party and a corrupt mainstream media.
Think about it.
The minority party has absolute totalitarian control over the government with a 41% "majority".
Even though at least 65+% of all Americans want exactly the opposite of what they are doing.
We have 41% of the Senate, about the same in the House 40% and 0% in the executive that are rethuglican, a total minority in every respect.
Republican voters are a minority of the country between Democratic voters & left leaning Independents they out number the Reich wingers by a solid 15+%.
So reich wingers are a minority of 40ish% in Senate, House and voter population and zero % executive branch and even some right wing voters that aren't completely insane even agree with wanting Universal Health care for all.
Yet somehow magically the small minority has totalitarian control over the entire process.
There is only ONE way that can happen and it is called corruption.
We have the top 2% which make basically all the money in this country that want everythign to stay exactly like is has under the republicans which is why they now make 95% of every dollar made in this country.
So just whom are members of Congress going to defend, going to fight for, going to side with?
The bottom 98% that have no money to speak of or that top 2% that have so much money they cant possibly even spend it all if they wanted to?
Therein lies the problem.
The entire system is corrupt to the core.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 6:21 am PT...
COAKLEY WON THE HANDCOUNTS
So why won't they hand-recount ALL the opscan votes?
Once again, for the upteenth time, the assumption is that there was ZERO fraud. Just like in 2000, 2002, 2004,2006,2008.
WHEN WILL THE SYSTEMIC FRAUD BE COUNTERED BY COMPLETE 100% VOTE RECOUNTS? AFTER ALL, WE HAVE THE PAPER BALLOTS. WHY NOT JUST LOOK AT THEM?
According to preliminary media results by municipality, Democrat Martha Coakley won Massachusetts overall in its hand counted locations,* with 51.12% of the vote (32,247 hand counted votes) to Brown’s 30,136, which garnered him 47.77% of hand counted votes. But this is nothing new.
As a point of reference in the Maine gay marriage issue recently there was no significant overall difference between machine count and hand count locations.
Look at the 2008 primaries. Obama won the handcounts in the New Hampshire primary by exactly the same margin that Clinton won the machine counts. It was just like the caucuses, where humans were counted- Obama won all of them easily.
In 2004, there was a 2% exit poll discrepancy in handcounted paper ballot precincts, 7% in electronic voting machines (DREs and optical scanners), 6% in punched card and 12% in mechanical lever precincts (NY and CT voted 100% using levers).
BUT THERE WAS NO EXIT POLL IN THE MA SENATE RACE. I WONDER WHY.
The pattern is consistent: Democrats win elections when humans count the votes in full view. They lose when machines count and there is no paper to prove if they actually won or lost.
They could re-count the optical scanner ballots in MA if they wanted to. But the Dems never want to -except for Al Franken. And you know what happened in MN.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 8:18 am PT...
I listened again to Abomina's speech about our bing angry and frustrated, and in my earlier anger at and frustration I didn't hear him saying that we're mainly angry and frustrated about the "last 8 years" - what a bunch of hooey! We were all optimistec and filled with joy a year ago, based on his promises on the trail, and here we are, a year later, filled with gloom and doom, as he has reneged on every single promise, and he has the cojones to say it's all duhbaya's fault. Would that he could find the cojones to do his damn job. I want my money back!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 9:20 am PT...
Obama's just been introduced to the "Get-a-Backbone" faction (yeah, they call these MFers either liberals or Progressives, and believe it or not, there still is one) of the Democratic Party! I mean, why spend your money supporting somebody who then cowardly refuses to spend "your" money on you(us) first(those tax revenues buying all those shiny new bombs STILL ARE your[our] money ya' know)?
I've said this before and even more firmly I believe it now, Obama is just a new-age White House-negro who's obeying his "massah" by fulfilling Bush's third term so much more photogenically than ANY Bush ever could have. It ain't the pemanent suntan however that I'm disenchanted with, instead, it's the sycophantic cracker side of the boy that I find so disgusting. He keeps bringing his kum-bai-ya toy balloon to a political knife fight! Didn't I read something somewhere that suggested a blood relation between Barry and GW?
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
Jon in Iowa
said on 1/21/2010 @ 9:45 am PT...
Nunyabiz @ #26 said, "Only a complete idiot . . . could possibly believe that having a Democratic president that ran on fully progressive democratic ideals . . . "
This has been the most baffling idea of the last two years to me. In what campaign did Obama express fully progressive ideals? The man ran on a center-right platform, including an "America first" military policy and an assurance he wouldn't pursue single-payer healthcare. The truth of the matter is that he's kept a lot of his promises; they've just been astoundingly misremembered by the left.
That's not to say that I disagree with your bigger point. I think Obama will accept the prevailing "wisdom" that he needs to "moderate" by moving even further right, rather than reading the road signs pointing him back to the humane and humble demesne of the left.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 11:23 am PT...
Jon in Iowa @30
I think Obama will accept the prevailing "wisdom" that he needs to "moderate" by moving even further right, rather than reading the road signs pointing him back to the humane and humble demesne of the left.
Obama and the Dems got their asses handed to them Tuesday...because his Progressive base decided to stay home...and your advice to Obama is to "move further to the right"
I'm chortling with laughter....
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 11:31 am PT...
I'm still chortling over the construction:
back to the humane and humble demesne of the left
but I don't think that was Jon's "advice". I think he was being rueful about what he thought Obummer would do.
Please read the commenting rules, and don't personally attack other commenters. I'm sure Joseph was just a drive by from Hot Air, and won't be back, or would only be delighted by your insult, but well, it's against the rules. Thank you.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 11:55 am PT...
Jon, you are correct about only ONE thing Obamas "military" policy other than that I believe you are incorrect.
All his ideas were entirely progressive, wanted Single Payer health care etc.
He has not kept even ONE promise that I can think of.
99, Sorry bout that but just couldn't help myself, I did at least try to skate around the outside of direct insult though, unless of course he believes he is a "Foxified Teabagger" in which case what I said would probably be considered a compliment.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 2:27 pm PT...
Why, like a broken record, are we always questioning why Dems don't ask for recounts? What does this tell us about the Dems? ONCE...a Dem had the BALLS to request a recount, and he WON! Al Franken!
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 1/21/2010 @ 2:28 pm PT...
Actually, throw in that woman from Oregon (Gregoire?) and SHE won on a recount! WTF???
[ed note: That was Washington state. —99]
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
Jon in Iowa
said on 1/21/2010 @ 3:35 pm PT...
BlueHawk, you misunderstood me. That's not my advice; it's my expectation.
Nunya, Obama's own fact-check website offers a number of quotes from the campaign in which he states opposition to single-payer: http://www.barackobama.c..._obama_consistent_in.php
Granted, he seems to hold it as ideal, but it was never a plank in his presidential platform. As far as promises kept, politifact.org has a handy-dandy "Obameter" tracking his 500-some campaign promises. They show in the neighborhood of ninety kept promises--and, to be fair, a lot of them are relatively progressive, apart from the anti-terror hysteria and sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Compare that to a mere fifteen broken promises. The other 400 or so are somewhere in between: in progress, compromised or stalled.
I didn't make up the bit about Obama having run a center-right campaign, either. Politicalcompass.org compiled a couple of charts of the 2008 candidates at http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008. Sure, by the standards of an American politician, he's decently left. But in a broader historical context, he's just plain not that progressive.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 1/22/2010 @ 8:06 am PT...
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 1/28/2010 @ 9:03 am PT...
Two other polling paradoxes came to mind when I read this piece of coverage from Brad Blog involving the Senate race in MA:
'In a somewhat paradoxical finding, a plurality of voters who switched to the Republican --- 37 percent --- said that Democrats were not being "hard enough" in challenging Republican policies.
It would be hard to find a clearer indication, it seems, that Tuesday's vote was cast in protest.'
The two polls:
On 10/31/86, the New York Times reported on polls that showed a ‘double-think’ style paradox. "[T]hose who approved of lying were much more likely to believe the Administration (Reagan's Iran-Contra Administration) tells the truth...The paradox was explained by the fact that almost all of those who approved of not telling the whole truth were supporters of the Administration." - Paul Slansky, The Clothes Have No Emperor, Fireside books, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1989, p. 174.
A second poll was described by Al Franken, in his book on Rush Limbaugh (Island Books, Dell Publishing, New York, 1996, pp 14 - 15), this way: Kathleen Hall Jamieson (working at the Annenberg School of Communications, U. Penn) reported that pollsters did a study for 9 months with 360 respondents, having them follow political issues however they wanted to, media-wise. Then the university asked them objective facts at the end of the nine months, (for example: ‘Which groups [the elderly, poor, middle class, etc.] are the most likely to be uninsured by health insurance?’ The people who relied on Limbaugh and Fox were ‘highly likely’ to give the wrong answer, incorrectly saying ‘the elderly’, who are covered by Medicare. It seems important to note here that repubs were opposed to the creation of Medicare, and want to end it). So the respondents were asked questions about national and international events. The U. of Penn team came up with an interesting result, a concept that social scientists called ‘pseudo-certainty’, which they described this way: they found that those poll respondents who were most certain about the correctness of their facts (the people thought that they were the best informed), and whose ‘facts’ were certainly incorrect (they were actually the least well informed), those individuals were the same respondents who listened to Rush Limbaugh and Fox news. In other words, the state of being more highly ignorant, while being more certain you knew what was going on, was directly connected with how much you liked and trusted the repub party’s house organ for your news of what was really happening in objective reality around you. And the repubs have been bragging, throughout 2009, about how Rush Limbaugh is the de-facto head of their party. Their partisans have recently been lambasting Senator Reid for use of the word ‘negro’, though the head of their party (a black man) issued a public apology to Limbaugh, who was selling taped music on his show: a song called ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ (to the tune of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’). In other words, this current repub ‘issue’ of ‘Reid-Negro’ is just a third double-think paradox from their party. The 1996 poll from U. Penn and Jamieson didn’t just show us how little the repubs know about health care (their MA Senate candidate just ran successfully on the platform of stopping health care). The poll also showed us the phenomenon called ‘pseudo-certainty’, where people that are woefully lacking in the basic facts of an issue, think simultaneously that they are the best informed. The phenomenon was caused by getting information from the repubs. This is just ‘double-think’ by another name.
A bit over a year ago, Massachusetts state reported 62 to 36 %, for Obama over McCain, in the 11/08 Presidential election, with 1.526 million to 896 thousand voters. This was an extremely generous estimate of the percentage of population who were in favor of Bush's third term, with McCain. 100% of the voters was 2.422 million people, in a record turn-out presidential election year, and Senator Kennedy strongly backed Barack Obama’s election. This Senate race, and the poll paradox we are discussing, is in a seat that the Mass Dems kept giving, resoundingly, to Ted Kennedy for over four decades. The Senator’s 2009 memoir (True Compass, page 448) said that his most competitive of 8 re-election races was against Romney in the ’94 Gingrich ‘revolution’, which wound up 58% to 41% (sorry, no voter numbers) in favor of the Dems. This election, the Boston Globe reports that the repubs won MA's Senate seat, 52% to 47%, 1.16 million to 1.059 million voters. 2.22 million is 100% of voters. The ‘37 % of swing voters’ statistic is just a way to crunch the numbers so they make sense, to salvage something positive out of the debacle where the Dems snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, again. Taking it to the logical conclusion with simple math means we have to play ‘let’s pretend’, and it goes like this: every voter from ’08 who stayed home this election was a disgruntled Dem, 202 thousand or ~ 8.5% of the voters. Now we have the 2.22 million voters for this race, which is equal to 100%. Of that number, pretend that only 47.7% of blue MA is reliably Dem, then pretend that a whopping 40.4% are reliably Repub (completely on board, mentally, with all the poll paradoxes presented by the repubs in the prior paragraph). Pretend further that the rest are voters who flipped, 12% of the voters, or 265 thousand. The 37% of swing voters statistic comes into play by multiplying the 12% of all Senate race voters by .37, and we get: pretend that 4.4% or 100,000 of all MA voters are embittered progressives who voted for the people whose policies made them so bitter. Then we have the rest of the swing vote. This is 7.6% of all voters in the last election, 169 thousand people. They are not committed Dem, are not committed poll paradox Repub, are not embittered progressive Dem voters that stayed home, are not embittered progressive Dem voters that voted to cut off their nose to spite their face. Who are they, and what is the explanation? Please tell me how to pretend. If the Repubs actually held 40.4% of the voters in MA, committed to poll paradox style thinking, that wouldn’t be a garbage truck you hear coming down the street, it would be a tank. They only need 10% of the population for that, according to reliable Third Reich statistical research estimates. If we play pretend with the stats for this election, the logical conclusion is: if the Repubs had just the 12% of MA voters who ‘swung Repub’ this year, the Repubs would own the country. They would have their committed 10%, because they would have a hard core minority who went where directed to go in political thought, any time. Since they don’t own the country, we have to do an awful lot of pretending, in order to make sense of the results. As an alternative, we can also explain the results statistically with one simple ‘pretend’: pretend that what has been said by watch-dog organizations (like Brad Blog, Bev Harris at Black Box Voting, Fitrakis and Wasserman at FreePress, Mark Crispin Miller, John Conyers et al, etc.) is true. Pretend there is something wrong with the repub-owned electronic voting machines. I’m almost sure that Ted Kennedy would see some humor in quoting, in defense of the official results at this moment, the quip or punch-line of an old Irish joke: ‘who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?’ But I’m also almost sure that Obama was born in the village of Ballyporeen, in County Tipperary, and his real name is O’Bama. Orly Taitz told me so.
So 37% of those voters who switched to repub, after 4 decades of putting Ted Kennedy in, after one year of putting Barack Obama in, believed that the way to send a protest vote was to elect the candidate who wanted to steer the US back in bush’s direction, though the successful candidate was afraid to say that particular four letter word while campaigning. This poll shows that less than half (43.7%) of Mass is opposed to the bush way, but 40.4% is hard-core repubs. On a positive note, if we pretend this, the flip side is that we have a real shot at the Dems carrying Dallas this year, because a 3.3% difference in voter party affiliation seems to be within the margin of error of most polling statistics. With all the money I gave to the Franken campaign this year, my start-up e-voting outfit, DemsWin, ought to be able to get the contract to count that vote. The US government can send me the check, and I’ll send back the results. I’ll tip Brad Blog off if anything unusual occurs during the vote count.