Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

EVEN FOX NEWS’ POLL: U.S. Prefers Obama to Reagan

The GOP talking point that “we are still a center right nation,” keeps running into a small problem: data to the contrary. You know: FACTS.  Now, even a Fox News Poll (which I saw online, I NEVER watch  Fixed Noise/Faux News) shows direct evidence to the contrary.

When asked whether the nation needed the economic policies of Reagan or Obama, Obama won  49% to 40%–even in a Fox News poll.  Other polling shows a  much higher approval of Obama’s policies–and that the country expects it to take awhile to clean up this mess. 

Other aspects of the poll, as Talking Points Memo points out, show how different results  come from different phrasings of polling questions.  The poll asks a number of questions about taxation policy. When asked whether or not people preferred to pay higher taxes for big government or less taxes for smaller government, the latter option wins–but it assumes that YOU, PERSONALLY will pay the higher taxes. When asked, instead, whether those who make $250k a year an up need to pay more taxes for their fair share and to level the economic playing field, the answer is a resounding YES.  Even 41% of REPUBLICANS surveyed thought it was a good idea for the rich to pay more!!

So, as of now, the public believes the president inherited this mess (84% according to a Wall Street Journal poll, only 8 % blaming the president) and will give him time to fix it. (It looks like until the middle of 2010 when they expect the recession to end. So, if the economy recovers by then or before, good news for Obama and Dems in the midterm elections. If it takes longer, or is such a mess that it can’t be fixed,  bad news.  This is more patience than the U.S. public  usually gives Democratic presidents–but expect Obama’s numbers to go down until the recovery sinks in. This is why he’s smart to try for big programs like healthcare reform, NOW, while his approval rating–68% to 75% depending on which poll–is so high.  He can use that popularity to push an aggressive agenda that will pay off. If he waits, he loses the opportunity.)  And, at least as far as economic policy goes, the public is willing to turn somewhat left–and maybe move the center back toward the days of my childhood. If Obama is successful, expect that leftward drift to continue.  If he is not, then, of course, we will probably swing back to the right–maybe  even the far right, God forbid.

On  the other hand, Gallup notes that Chinese Communists are now more popular with the American people than Congressional Republicans!  So, that whole, “Obama is a socialist” meme must be really working, huh?

UPDATE: And the GOP continues to NOT GET IT.  Rep. Boehner (R-OH), the House Minority Leader just called for a complete freeze on all new government spending! (One assumes he is exempting the military since he is a hawk.  Without such an exemption, we would have to pull all troops home tomorrow.  That’s a move that might unite the Ron Paul (R-TX) Republicans with the anti-war Left, but it would have  little support from the majority of either major party. And if most of the returning troops immediately left the service in this economy, it would double the unemployment rate!)  Did Boehner flunk economics or what? We are in a DEEP RECESSION sliding toward Depression.  Sales of everything are down because people aren’t buying. This leads to job cuts, which leads to less spending as people either don’t have  job or are worried about losing theirs. It’s a vicious cycle.  Investors are fleeing the market and parking assets which should be going into the economy in gold and silver. In this kind of a situation government MUST BECOME THE SPENDER OF LAST RESORT to break the cycle.  That’s how we got out of the Great Depression (falling back in 1937 when conservatives convinced FDR to take his foot off the spending accelerator and work toward balancing the budget)–the spending first of the New Deal and then the massive spending of World War II which gave us a full employment economy.  If the Republicans unite behind Boehner as they did with opposition to the stimulus bill, they couldn’t stop the budget in the House (they don’t have the votes), but they could derail  it if Senate Republicans follow suit or if enough conservative budget hawk Democrats follow them in the Senate–and that is a recipe for another Depression!  YES, we need to work on the deficit–AFTER WE GET THE ECONOMY MOVING AGAIN!  If Boehner was worried about the deficit, why did he support the GOP tax giveaway to the rich, then borrow and spend like drunken sailors spree that was the 8 years of Bush budgets?? The neo-Hooverite economics needs to be laughed out of hand or we are in BIG TROUBLE.  We are losing over half a million jobs a month and he wants a government spending freeze!!!!!!???  God help us, I hope the American people see through this idiocy and back the pres.

March 5, 2009 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. At the moment a lot of Americans are in a honeymoon period with BHO and that is as it should be. However, I prefer to let history judge him.Call it OBAMALOT (remember Camelot). I doubt that he will be a messiah or another Lincoln, but he could become a good president. And Reagan turned out to be a good President.

    Comment by Paul | March 6, 2009

  2. PAUL, you continue to misunderstand. I KNOW he’s no messiah and I’m not trying to make him one. I’m trying to counter the GOP talking points: Obama’s scaring the markets; We’re still a center-right nation; we need to return to Reaganomics (which got us into this mess).

    Those talking points and the false belief that the public is behind them are leading to GOP obstructionism (“I want him to fail!”) that could turn us from a recession to a depression quickly.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | March 6, 2009

  3. Michael read “How Democracies Perish” by Jean-Francois Revel. Polarization is killing this country.

    Comment by Paul | March 6, 2009

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: