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Politics for Dilettantes
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The Perfect World >> Politics >> Politics for Dilettantes

Politics for Dilettantes

Kawaii -- Wednesday, October 08, 2003 -- 10:08:43 PM

Apathetic? Uninformed? Don't even vote? Have your bread and want your circus?

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David Campo -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 02:47:34 PM -- 5354 of 5373
"Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism" - Howard Zinn

I'm disappointed a personal hero, Cornell West, actually expected Obama to be a progressive. Nothing in his history showed that to be the case. I knew we would be getting a black Bill Clinton, but that was preferable to more years of Bush-like creatures (god forbid Palin!)

Nicholas Kronos -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 10:08:18 PM -- 5355 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

You are giving yourself more credit than you deserve, Campo.

Here are comments you made pre-election, 2008:

Can I say it? Halleluyah, and thank fucking god. Is it possible the USA could possibly elect a decent, intelligent, qualified person in my lifetime?

Nothing election day, but you did write that you worked door-to-door for him.

After the inauguration:

"THE GOOD GUYS ARE IN CHARGE AT LAST!!!!!"

(The above was in giant red font.)

I am THRILLED to be rid of Bush. I am THRILLED with Obama's possibilities. I am NOT thrilled with Obama so far.

If you "knew that we would be getting a black Bill Clinton," how could you be "not thrilled" by what you were seeing?

I loathe Obama's cabinet picks. Daschle has always been pond scum.
I really hoped infrastructure projects would be a major part of this. You know...win/win. Unlike Bush's bailout (and his entire administration), where the goal was raping and pillaging and getting the rich richer, Obama's plan has its heart in the right place, but it's still wrong-headed.
WOW! What an excellent Obama press conference! DAMN!
After eight years of idiocy, this is enough to sense better times ahead. He understands reality. Doesn't speak in standard politicalspeak.
He's been willing to roll the dice from Day One, and no matter the result, it's been a pleasure...for a change.
Unlike Bush the Retard, Obama is genuinely TRYING to help pull the country out of the abyss. So far I think he's failing, however. Republicraps have always cared about themselves first, and fuck everyone else. Obama truly wants things to be fair. Unfortunately, he's been dealt such a bad hand, I don't see him turning the ship around. I pray I'm wrong.
It was a SERIOUS mistake to go BACK into Afghanistan. I am convinced Obama talked about it during the campaign in order to sound tough (and I was repulsed every time he mentioned it). You know...to convince a few yahoos riding the fence that he had "gravitas". Them thar' "centrists" (i.e. morons). I thought it was dumb then, and said it, and obviously that was the correct. Now...how to get out...fast?

Here we are, six years later. Who was the yahoo--you or the centrist "morons"?

As for West, I expect his journey to 0bama skepticism has been at least as fast as your own. If you read the article rather than just the excerpt, he says that he's been saying these things for a long time, and until now, he's gotten grief for it.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 10:26:07 PM -- 5356 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Cornel West is one of those guys who's never right about anything, even when people start to come around to his general point of view.

Obama is not the black Bill Clinton, unless the idea of calling someone a black copy of a white person is to show how they are markedly less competent than the original.

Clinton triangulated. He didn't believe in anything he did. He had disgusting personal personal habits. But his administration was both competent and pretty damn conservative for a Democratic administration, and most Americans eventually came to enjoy living under his presidency enough that they forgave him his disgusting habits.

Obama is not competent. He does not triangulate on matters he cares about, which is a lot of his domestic agenda. Unlike Bill, most Americans like Obama less the more they know him. They certainly don't like the direction of the country.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 11:24:58 PM -- 5357 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Obama is not popular today, but he would be considerably less popular if he were not black.

If you look at polling on his signature proposal Obamacare, and if you look at the polling on the direction of the country, the president's approval rating should be tanking. Instead, it bounces around the forty to fifty percent range in most polls. That's just slightly below average for a president at this time in his second term. Why?

The answer some his supporters would like to give is almost certainly that Obama's liked for his personal qualities in the same way Reagan was liked for his personal qualities.

But Reagan's approval rating went in the crapper in the middle of his first term during a sharp recession. It only bounced back in time to get him re-elected by a high margin. Reagan's personal qualities didn't prevent the American people from hating on him for a short period when the objective circumstances of the country were awful.

In Obama's case, I think the answer is that many blacks, who are suffering a great deal in this recession, are essentially providing him with a boost of support that keeps his approval rating from falling into the high 20s and low 30s. He's one of their own - the only one that can claim - and so they keep supporting him despite the kind of objective circumstances that would have caused them to abandon any other Democratic president.

Even Hispanics have trended in the direction of whites.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 11:26:27 PM -- 5358 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

That poll above is not up to date. It only takes us to the middle of 2011, but it illustrates the trend well.

Nicholas Kronos -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 11:46:27 PM -- 5359 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

West is talking purely from an ideological perspective. With Clinton the hope (for progressives) was people like Robert Reich would have his ear, rather than Dick Morris. Evidently, West thought Obama was going to listen to him as President, rather than people like Robert Rubin.

Clinton was clearly more interested in the job than Obama has been. I also think he's a competitive person in the way that someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger is: he enjoys it, can respect a worthy opponent, but still wants to drive his enemies before him and bang all the chicks he can. Obama wants his superiority to be acknowledged without having to make the effort and disdains his competition as unworthy. He doesn't seem to get much actual joy out of winning, either.

Nicholas Kronos -- Tuesday, August 26, 2014 -- 11:51:14 PM -- 5360 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

He's one of their own - the only one that can claim - and so they keep supporting him despite the kind of objective circumstances that would have caused them to abandon any other Democratic president.

I bet Carter's popularity held up almost as well with blacks, but they represented a smaller share of the electorate then.

0bama is not the black Bill Clinton. He's the black Jimmy Carter.

Nicholas Kronos -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 12:00:35 AM -- 5361 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

Here's the Roper exit poll for 1980 Carter v. Reagan.

The percent for each demographic voting for Carter, followed by the percent approving of Obama's job performance in Pincher's chart, post 5357.

White 36 33

Hispanic 56 48

Black 83 84

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 12:52:41 AM -- 5362 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

An approval rating is not the same thing as the vote. A voter can disapprove of a president's job performance and still help to-re-elect him because the voter dislikes the president's opponent even more than he disapproves of the president's job performance.

There's a strong correlation between the two, of course, but it's not close to perfect. The approval rating, with a couple of exception, is generally lower than the vote.

Carter's approval rating fell to 28 percent in 1979, which is significantly lower than Obama's has ever dropped. Carter then got a bump up in his approval rating because of the Iranian hostage crisis, but it settled down to the low thirties by the time the election against Reagan rolled around.

But Carter still won 41 percent of the vote, which was almost ten percent above his average job approval rating during the last few months before the election.

I doubt the pollsters were breaking down these statistics by race in 1979, but I suspect Carter's approval rating wasn't much above 50 percent with blacks in 1980. It may not have been that high.

One important reason to believe that Carter's job approval rating among blacks was low is because of the Kennedy primary challenge in 1979.

Edward Kennedy's challenge was based strongly on ethnic support.

Some may remember that Kennedy and Mr. Carter almost had a televised debate prior to the convention. Kennedy asked for the debate, thinking his primary wins in the big states of New York, Pennsylvania and California and his almost across-the-board support from black and ethnic voters proved he was, in Mr. Stanley’s words, “the soul of the Democratic Party.” [My emphasis in bold.]

Given that black voters were overwhelmingly for Kennedy rather than Carter in 1980, how high could their approval of the president's job performance have been?

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 01:02:51 AM -- 5363 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

I bet Carter's popularity held up almost as well with blacks, but they represented a smaller share of the electorate then.

Not much smaller. They were 10 percent of the electorate in 1980 and 11 percent in 2004. Ten percent larger is significant, but not when compared to the increase in other ethnic voters.

Obama, of course, has dramatically increased the overall share of the African-American vote to 13 percent. But I suspect it will drop again once the Messiah has retired to whatever golf course community he deems fit for his play.

Nicholas Kronos -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 01:34:09 AM -- 5364 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

The Kennedy - Carter primary comparison is even less evidence of anything than exit polls in the general election. To re-word your own sentence, Pincher: "A voter can approve of a president's job performance and still help to-un-elect him because the voter likes the president's opponent even more than he approves of the president's job performance."

1) I would want greater evidence of Kennedy's appeal to blacks than a sentence from a book. If "pollsters were [not] breaking down these statistics by race in 1979," then how would anyone know?

2) Kennedy would have the Kennedy name, whereas Carter was a white Southerner. Head-to-head, that might be a reason for blacks to support him over Carter, regardless of job approval. I bet black voters didn't, though, because...

3) The states mentioned in your quote went for Kennedy, but not too many others did, most notably in the South, where blacks make up a greater share of the Democratic primary vote.

Here are the Kennedy-Carter and Hillary-Obama primary maps. It appears to me that Carter states tend to correspond to Obama states, and Hillary states tend to correspond to Kennedy states.

In any case, my earlier post was to show the rough correspondence among the three demographics in job approval. That is, there is not a huge disparity such that when one number is similar, the other two are vastly different. (Hispanics show the greatest difference, but even that is relatively small.)

Carter's approval rating fell to 28 percent in 1979, which is significantly lower than Obama's has ever dropped.

All three groups, however, would have to have given him a commensurately lower rating at that time. What we're trying to examine is whether Obama's popularity is less elastic among blacks.

It probably is, but I suspect Carter's was, too.

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 01:59:42 AM -- 5365 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Nick,

To respond to your numbered points in brief:

1) Scholars such as Tim Stanley found Kennedy's black support much higher than Carter's in 1980. From the book review I linked to earlier:

Most impressive, however, is the careful use [Stanley] makes of polling data, in particular exit poll data, and he has included voting results and margins broken down into racial, ethnic and gender groupings for what seems like every important primary in the entire campaign.

So while polling data of the sort found on the internet is hard to come by, that doesn't mean evidence is lacking altogether.

I've read this book, and Stanley does a creditable job of showing that Kennedy was in good position to beat Carter until the Iranian hostage crisis and Kennedy's own fuck-ups undid his campaign. Many Democrats were unhappy with Carter in 1979 and 1980, far more than are unhappy with Obama today.

*****

2) It's highly unusual for a sitting president to be effectively challenged in his own party's primary unless there is already substantial disapproval of the president within his own party.

So while you're correct that one can theoretically support the challenger in a primary and still approve of the job the president is doing, it's defies everything we know about party politics over the last fifty years.

*****

3) But many, many, many white southerners were still Democratic in 1980. In fact, both Carter and Clinton owed their presidencies to the fact that the Democratic Party still thought it had to assuage the white south to win the White House.

We now know that's no longer true, but both Carter and Clinton were part of the modernization movement in the Democratic party which still hoped to keep FDR's coalition together by appealing to both southern whites and blacks.

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, August 27, 2014 -- 02:18:53 AM -- 5366 of 5373
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

In retrospect we know that the so-called Southern strategy Goldwater first tried out in 1964 (unsuccessfully), and that Nixon was able to use to his benefit in 1968 and 1972, was successful for the GOP. Southern whites are now mostly Republican.

But in 1980, we didn't know this result would be inevitable. Four years earlier, in 1976, Carter swept all of the south except for Virginia - a state he lost to Ford by less than two percent.

Four years later, in much tougher circumstances, Carter had an easier time of it against Reagan in the south than he did in states like California and New Jersey. A lot of the close states that year were in the south. Reagan won all seven toss-up states in the region, but all of them went for the Gipper by less than two-and-a-half percent.

Carter's support among white southerners dropped ten points in those four years, but he was still competitive enough among those voters to nearly win half a dozen other southern states besides his native Georgia.

Nicholas Kronos -- Saturday, August 30, 2014 -- 04:34:20 AM -- 5367 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

According to the Economist/YouGov poll, 26 percent of the registered voters polled believe the country is moving in the right direction.

More than 1 out of 4.

Not adults.

Registered voters.

These people should not be voting until they check into planet Earth.

Nicholas Kronos -- Wednesday, September 03, 2014 -- 05:06:27 PM -- 5368 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

Sterling Dingleberry -- Saturday, September 06, 2014 -- 01:56:01 AM -- 5369 of 5373
Jesus loves liberals. However, the rest of us know they are total assholes.

Psaki is a comprehensively vacuous dumb-fuck.

Nicholas Kronos -- Wednesday, September 17, 2014 -- 03:40:13 AM -- 5370 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

The many faces of Trey Gowdy:

(The last is not really Gowdy.)

Sterling Dingleberry -- Wednesday, September 17, 2014 -- 06:10:12 AM -- 5371 of 5373
Jesus loves liberals. However, the rest of us know they are total assholes.

Perhaps he uses the hairstylist of the former Rep. James Traficant (D-OH)?

Nicholas Kronos -- Friday, September 19, 2014 -- 03:34:22 AM -- 5372 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

Liberals on The View appear not to have heard of Charles Krauthammer. Rosie O'Donnell admits it, and Whoopi Goldberg cannot pronounce his name and otherwise seems ignorant of his career:

Nicholas Kronos -- Friday, September 19, 2014 -- 03:36:08 AM -- 5373 of 5373
“Aides said the golf game did not reflect the depth of his grief over Mr. Foley...."

Truth in Advertising: "The View...From Inside My Navel."

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