Saturday, February 6, 2010

Welcome to Gilead

A recent poll conducted by DailyKOS/Research 2000 of 2003 self-identified Republicans found some interesting results:
Should Barack Obama be impeached, or not?
Yes 39
No 32
Not Sure 29
Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist?
Yes 63
No 21
Not Sure 16
Do you believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Yes 42
No 36
Not Sure 22
Do you believe Barack Obama wants the terrorists to win?
Yes 24
No 43
Not Sure 33
I'm sure many of these questions would have had mirror-image responses among Democrats if you had asked them about Bush in 2004 (except for wanting the terrorists to win - that's just nuts). The really worrying responses were these:
Should same sex couples be allowed to marry?
Yes 7
No 77
Not Sure 16

Should gay couples receive any state or federal benefits?
Yes 11
No 68
Not Sure 21

Should openly gay men and women be allowed to teach in public schools?
Yes 8
No 73
Not Sure 19
Should sex education be taught in the public schools?
Yes 42
No 51
Not Sure 7
Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world?
Yes 77
No 15
Not Sure 8
Should contraceptive use be outlawed?
Yes 31
No 56
Not Sure 13
Do you believe that the only way for an individual to go to heaven is though Jesus Christ, or can one make it to heaven through another faith?
Christ 67
Other 15
Not Sure 18
Anyone care to ask Ron Paul these same questions? I think the answers would tell you what the real "Ron Paul Revolution" would entail.

Note that Sarah Palin isn't doing much to distance herself from these views, either. This is from the Q&A session at a recent Tea Bagger - er, I mean Tea Party convention:
"I think, kind of tougher to, um, put our arms around, but allowing America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we're not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we're not afraid to say, you know, we don't have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren't afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that you know -- they have to be afraid of what the media said about them if they were to proclaim their alliance on our creator."

Here's my analysis of the Tea Party movement: the GOP has realized that courting the Religious Right is no longer sufficient to guarantee them the White House or even a majority in Congress. As such, they need to re-brand themselves to attract the independents (and perhaps even Democrats) and make them actually believe that the GOP is the party of small government and fiscal responsibility. Nevermind that government actually grew (by 61,000 positions) under Ronald Reagan, the poster child of the small government movement. It shrank by 373,000 under Clinton. Reagan also greatly expanded Social Security. Taxes went up. But none of this fits the established Republican-Democrat narrative.

Link to the full poll results is here.


  1. A couple of very nice analyses showing why these results should be taken with a large dose of salt:

    As for the Tea Party movement, I'd say it's far too incoherent to be an orchestrated, top-down effort.

  2. I think many of the same criticisms about Research2000 could be leveled at, say, Rasmussen Reports. But yes, the poll would have been far more informative had they not restricted their sample to self-identified Republicans.

    Regarding the Tea Party movement, it may not have begun as a top-down movement (although having Glenn Beck and Fox News on board didn't hurt), but it seems the Republican Party - or at least Sarah Palin - sees it as a tent-expanding opportunity.

  3. One example of the Tea Party influence on the GOP:

    "Amid increasing criticism, embattled Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer announced Tuesday that he plans to step down from his post next month, saying his resignation is an effort to heal the current acrimony among Republican Party members in the state.

    "I have always put the party first even when criticisms were misdirected and accusations were false," Greer said in a quickly-planned conference call with reporters.

    During the call, Greer also acknowledged that critics within the party have been pushing for his removal over the last couple months. Greer, a supporter of Gov. Charlie Crist, pointed to "a very vocal group that has been very active in seeking efforts to oust me as chairman" in part because of his support for Crist's Senate campaign."

  4. I think the Tea-Party movement has yet to be co-opted by the GOP. It seems to be more of a non-aligned pressure group with a more natural affinity for the GOP, kind of a NARAL on small-government issues.

    Once it gets co-opted, or tries to branch out to any broader issues, I think it will crumble.

  5. And here's a bizarre poll result: 79% of Democrats support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. However, only 43% were in favor of allowing homosexuals to serve openly.

    Very odd.

  6. On the subject of the Tea Party, here's the CSM:
    "Contrary to some of the spin, the tea party movement is not part of the independent movement. Anyone playing the political game, from the president, to the politicians, to the pollsters, confuses them at their peril.

    As the country becomes more and more dissatisfied with the two parties and anger and disappointment among Americans grow, it’s important to see the ways these two movements are diametrically opposed and seek to accomplish different things. That’s how Americans will come to understand the difference between a tempest in a teapot and a broad-based movement to dramatically reform the political system."