Friday, 16 April 2010

THE GENERIC DRIFT

Ken Berwitz

Here, for whatever it is worth (and with political polls that's a big question) is Rasmussen Research's table showing generic preference for the two major political parties, from the beginning of last year to the present:,

(NOTE:  Since Im having trouble cutting and pasting these data Ill just put up the percents for January 2009 and now.  You can see all the data by clicking here):

-January 18, 2009:  Democrats 42%, Republicans 35%

-April, 11 2010:       Democrats  36%, Republicans 45%

On January 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama became President, Rasmussen showed Democrats with a 7% lead in the generic ballot.  Today Republicans hold a 9% lead.

And as bad as that looks for Democrats, it is worse.  There are dozens of congressional districts, including, I believe, every primarily Black district, where Democrats get almost all the vote.  That was true last year and is true today.  Republicans do not have a prayer of winning in those districts.

Therefore, the 16% swing (from Democrats +7% to Republicans +9%) is disproportionately coming from districts which are more likely to be competitive.  

If these data are correct, Democrats are looking into a major disaster - maybe even worse than 1994 when Republicans got 52 new house seats and took over that body for the first time in 40 years.  They might even get the 10-or-more seats necessary to win the Senate.

Having said that, I remind you that, even if Rasmussen's data are correct, a  lot can happen between April and November. 

But barring a huge event which could not be anticipated, the mid-term election will be based on jobs and the overall economy.  Since just about every economist acknowledges that the unemployment rate is unlikely to improve appreciably (if at all), it is hard to see how they will come back. 

Does anyone in his/her right mind seriously believe that a grinning Obama or Pelosi or Reid, telling you how many new jobs have been created/saved, or talking about overall economic indicators (assuming they're good, which they may not be) is going to supersede the actual unemployment rate in people's minds? 

Does anyone in his/her right mind think that blaming President Bush again, almost two years after he left office, is going to fly?

If Democrats think that's going to happen, they are whistling past the political graveyard. 

My advice to Democrats is, stop whistling and start either praying, or doing something that will generate real jobs, not the phony "save or create" ones that nobody believes in the existence of.

steve schneider the 2 years since bush is nonsense. the dems have been in power for 4 years, why the repubs are not pointing this out on a daily basis is incomprehensible to me. steve (04/16/10)


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ARROGANCE OP

Ken Berwitz

Give Barack Obama a microphone, a teleprompter and a crowd of his supporters, and you give him an opportunity to let his enormous arrogance level come out -- as shown by the following excerpts from an Associated Press article:

Obama makes light of anti-tax protests


Apr 15, 10:30 PM (ET)

By ERICA WERNER

 

MIAMI (AP) - President Barack Obama said Thursday he's amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.

Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he's cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.

"You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.

At that, many in the crowd at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts stood and yelled, "Thank you!"

Obama cheered the special-election victory of Florida Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch in Tuesday's special election to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler. It was the first House election since passage of his controversial health care bill and Obama noted that commentators viewed the election as a referendum on that legislation or on Obama himself.

"And it was!" he said.

Mr. Obama has read his audience very accurately.  It certainly is true that a crowd of people who paid money to fawn over him will shout out approval of what he claims to be doing - even when he lies to them about lowering their taxes. 

It is just as true that they will pretend, along with him, that Ted Deutch's special-election win  is a referendum on health care - even though Deutsch ran in one of the safest Democratic districts in the country, one that is a virtual lock for any Democrat who runs there.  No problem at all when you have an audience of Obama lovers.

And then there is his smug "amusement" at a movement which a) is entirely against him and b) appears to be growing by leaps and bounds every day - in spite of the relentless attempts to demonize it by Mr. Obama, his party and his ever-loving media sycophants. 

If that isn't arrogance, what is. 

Let's see how "amused" he is after election day.


MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE WASHINGTON DC TEA PARTY EVENT

Ken Berwitz

For the better part of a week I have been blogging about how biased our wonderful "neutral" media have been in covering the burgeoning Tea Party movement. 

Now I'll hand the ball to Brent Baker of www.newsbusters.org, who has a telling report about how those media covered the event which took place yesterday in Washington DC:

White NBC Reporter Confronts Black Man at Tea Party Rally: 'Have You Ever Felt Uncomfortable?'

 

By Brent Baker (Bio | Archive)
Fri, 04/16/2010 - 00:42 ET

 

There aren't a lot of African-American men at these events, NBC News reporter Kelly O'Donnell, a white woman, told Darryl Postell, a black man at a Tea Party rally held Thursday in Washington, DC, pressing him, in an exchange she chose to include in her NBC Nightly News story, to address her prejudiced assumptions: Have you ever felt uncomfortable? Postell rejected her loaded premise that race must divide Americans: No, no, these are my people, Americans.

 

O'Donnell's story noted skepticism over how the Tea Party is judged and labeled, letting an attendee assert: We're not racists, we're not any of the above that people claim us to be. We're ordinary citizens that love our country, and we're fighting for it. O'Donnell soon wondered if it all may peter out, asking a man in the crowd: Do you think this has enough energy to really last to November and to make a difference?

 

Over on ABC, Jonathan Karl highlighted how many of them blamed us, the news media. A woman demanded: We want honesty from you. We want fair time from you. We want you, the media, to represent all the people, not just a certain portion of the people.

 

Karl, however, only fueled that skepticism toward the media as he focused on disagreement among the Tea Partiers themselves, showing a poster that had images of both President Obama and Hitler: This woman thought a fellow Tea Partier's poster went way too far. Karl did at least allow the woman to point out such a poster was the exception: If you look around, though, there are literally thousands of signs that say nothing about Hitler, say all about how we're going to get even in November.

 

The CBS Evening News, which led Wednesday night with a Tea Party story (CBS Gives Tea Partiers Top Billing, But Sees 'Inconsistency' in the FNC-Watching, White Gun Owners), didn't touch the topic on Thursday night.

 

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide these transcripts of the Thursday, April 15 stories:

 

NBC Nightly News:

 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: In this country, April 15, it's Tax Day, or tax extension day for some. For others, this was Tea Party day. All across this country, Americans gathered in parks and plazas and in Washington, D.C., to show their government they're fed up with the way things are going. Our own Kelly O'Donnell is with us from the National Mall tonight. Kelly, good evening.

 

KELLY O'DONNELL: Good evening, Brian. For the Tea Party movement, this is something of a political holiday, using Tax Day to make their case. They don't like where the country is headed. They don't like the size of government, and more than one was willing to tell me they don't like the media. But they all do want to be heard. Going right to the source, Tea Partiers rallied in Washington, the very place their movement wants to change.

 

TOM TERRY, TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: Five years ago, I would never have been here. Now, I feel a responsibility to stand up and at least with these other folks here, and say someone listen.

 

O'DONNELL: Wading through the crowd, there are at least two different kinds of issues all the political distrust. Is it frustration, anger?

 

LINDSAY FLOWER, TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: Total frustration, total frustration with a health care plan that does nothing to reduce costs.

 

O'DONNELL: And skepticism over how the Tea Party is judged and labeled.

 

SHIRLEY FORD, TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: We're not racists, we're not any of the above that people claim us to be. We're ordinary citizens that love our country, and we're fighting for it.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I've lost count how many Tea Parties I've been to.

 

O'DONNELL: With rallies across the country today, the Tea Party mobilized a year ago in opposition to health care reform, government spending and taxes.

 

O'DONNELL, TO MAN: There aren't a lot of African-American men at these events.

 

DARRYL POSTELL, LAUGHING: Right.

 

O'DONNELL: Have you ever felt uncomfortable?

 

POSTELL: No, no, these are my people, Americans.

 

O'DONNELL: A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds 18 percent of Americans say they support the movement. Within that group most are white men over 45, better educated and wealthier than the general public.

 

O'DONNELL: Do you think this has enough energy to really last to November and to make a difference?

 

RICK WILLMORE, TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: Yes. Oh, yes.

 

O'DONNELL: Why?

 

WILLMORE: Because it's the people. It's not a party. It's the people. The people are angry and they're organized.

 

O'DONNELL: Rallies like these were held all over the country today, from Denver to Chicago, Wisconsin to Alabama. And in the poll and conversations I had today, Tea Partiers say they don't want to see this movement become a formal third party, but do hope they can influence elections.

 

ABC's World News:

 

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to politics now, and the political storm this tax filing day.

Members of the Tea Party movement have zeroed in on April 15, calling attention to what they say are sky high taxes and a bloated government. Tea Party rallies were held in several cities today, the biggest one in Washington, and Jon Karl was right in the middle of it.

 

JONATHAN KARL: Meet the Tea Partiers: a nurse from Pennsylvania with her daughter, an American Airlines pilot from Texas with his son, a property manager from Atlanta. I mean, why are you here? What's the one issue that-

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Why am I here? Because I work hard. It's my money. I want my money to go where I want it to go.

 

KARL: They came to Washington, angry about President Obama's policies, to be sure, but also angry at the way they've been portrayed.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We've been called racist. We've been called everything.

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Don't even, we've been called a lot of things we're not.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The only thing we want is Obama to be more cautious with our money and not be wasteful. That's it. It doesn't make us racist.

KARL: Many of them blamed us, the news media.

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: You know what, back off, back off.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: Where is the angry mob?

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: Give us some space. We don't want to talk to you.

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #4: We want honesty from you. We want fair time from you. We want you, the media, to represent all the people, not just a certain portion of the people.

 

KARL: No shortage of passion here from the Tea Party critics, too.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: But don't come out here and say that you're speaking for all Americans when you don't.

 

KARL: Is that what you guys are saying, that you represent all Americans?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: We represent a majority of Americans. It's not Obama. It's not, it's against Bush, as well. These people were mad at Bush, which is why-

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: The sign here says "Impeach Obama." The sign here says "Repeal ObamaCare." You can't tell me that this is not against President Obama.

 

KARL: There was disagreement among the Tea Partiers themselves. This woman thought a fellow Tea Partier's poster went way too far.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: I wasn't degrading him at all. I was just saying that-

 

KARL: Well, now, wait a minute. By comparing somebody to Adolf Hitler, you're degrading him.

 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #5: Well, that's my point. And that's what I said. If you look around, though, there are literally thousands of signs that say nothing about Hitler, say all about how we're going to get even in November.

 

KARL: Here at another Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., a group of activists is going to unveil the Contract from America, outlining the movement's top 10 demands. One of those demands, George, is to do away with the entire federal tax code and replace it with one no longer than 4,543 words long. That's the length of the U.S. Constitution.

 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, echoes of 1994 and the Contract for America. Jon Karl, thanks very much.

I don't care whether you do or do not like the Tea Party movement (or, like me, you find reasons to feel both ways).  This kind of "journalism should be appalling to you.

And do you have any doubt that the mainstream media "coverage" will stay just as one-sided throughout the year and the election season?  Me neither.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


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