Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mandate? What Mandate?

Hi Everyone,

In a recent thread, a roving Republican commenter posted that in her opinion the country voted clearly to "stop Obama." As vague as that might be, it's probably a fair expression of where the Tea Party/Republican activists are. But what about the country as a whole?

I looked up some things on and found these little tidbits:

A poll by Pew Research Center found that 55% of Americans want Republicans to work with Obama while only 38% want Republicans to "stand up to Obama." That 38% is about the same as we see for any issue where the Republicans really differ from the rest of the country. So what this suggests to me is that the only people who think President Obama "has to be stopped" are the hard core of Republican activists. In other words, they are not riding a wave of broad support.

Similarly, 62% of Americans want Democrats to work with Republicans. I think we can assume that the 62% who want Democrats to work with Republicans overlap somewhat with the 55% who want Republicans to work with Democrats. I take this as an indication that the center of the political spectrum is sick and tired of the politics of intransigence and obstruction. It's a pity they keep voting for divided government.

When Pew asked Americans who should "take the lead" in Washington, 49% said Obama compared to just 30% who said Republicans. Again, not exactly what we'd expected to see if the 2010 election was really a broad based movement of opposition to President Obama.

Recent Polls by Pew and CBS both found that the number of Americans who approve of President Obama is about the same as the number who disapprove of him. Again, not really what we'd expect to see if there was really a fundamental change in American attitudes in general.


USwest said...

There is no mandate for Republicans. In fact, as I said in a previous comment, since these parties won't work together under normal circumstances, then voters have decided to lock them in a room together and force them to work together. If they fail to do this, both will come out with egg on their face.

The real problem for Americans is that you only really have two viable parties. So the voters are revolting by declaring themselves independant or by refusing to declare at all, which is just another shade of the same grey. So we bounce back and forth. What we need is for ALL eligable voters to vote. Otherwise, politicians won't be held accountable by all of us, only the electorate- white, upper middle class, etc.

The Tea Party, as screwy as it is, is an expression of blind frustration and anger at a governemnt that is by and for the politicians rather than the people. So rather than seeing the difference between good government (Regulators who can stop big banks for breeching laws or FDA inspectors that keep our safe) and bad government (Pork fat for special interests, lobby power and money, etc) they just see all government as bad. This is dangerous. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Now we have new tax proposals. I don't mind giving up my home interest deduction if stock holders have to declare dividends. I don't mind closing tax loopholes if that means EVERYONE pays fair and square. If this is not done, this country will see another tax revolt because the middle class is gettign squeezed out of existance.

USWest said...

Yesterday I was listening to Talk of the Nation and some hack/wing nut was on there talking about "Obama's failed administration". 1) It hasn't failed, just the opposite. 2) It's only been 1 year 11 months. 3) that type of short-termism is what hurts this country more than anything. Things take time to heal, government programs take time to get running. And worst of all, no one called this guy out. Not even the callers.

I don't recall who the guy was, but he had to be part of the subtle, yet powerful peanut gallery that is seeking to ensure there is no Obama re-election.