Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Harris Poll Shows Gullible Righties

A Harris poll released today shows that, in fact, there are some nutty people out there. From March 1st to March 8th, in the middle of the health care debate, the pollsters asked Americans what they believe about President Obama, and found the following agreement with these statements in the general population:
  • He is a socialist (40%)
  • He wants to take away Americans' right to own guns (38%)
  • He is a Muslim (32%)
  • He wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government (29%)
  • He has done many things that are unconstitutional (29%)
  • He resents America's heritage (27%)
  • He does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do (27%)
  • He was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (25%)
  • He is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of (25%)
  • He is a racist (23%)
  • He is anti-American (23%)
  • He wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (23%)
  • He is doing many of the things that Hitler did (20%)
  • He may be the Anti-Christ (14%)
  • He wants the terrorists to win (13%)
"Wingnuts" and President Obama

These results reveal some profound insanity going on. Almost one person in eight believes the President of the United States wants the terrorists to win. I cannot comprehend the kind of mind that could reach that conclusion. What must it be like, walking down the street knowing that most of the people around you voted for the guy who wants the terrorists to win? What kind of evidence does a person come up with to support the conclusion that the President of the United States wants the terrorists to win?

And even more people than that think he may be the Anti-Christ. Unfortunately they didn't ask if he might be a changeling, or an alien, or a shape-shifting unicorn. The Anti-Christ! Because he wants to stop health insurance companies from canceling policies when people get sick?

And those are the low-ranking items. Nearly a third of people -- that is one out of every three of your neighbors -- believe that the church-going President is a Muslim. More people than that think he wants to take away our right to own guns. Where do they get that?

The political breakdown is not surprising. Blogger doesn't let me make HTML tables, so I'll try to format some results as well as I can from the Harris press release (R=Republican, D=Democrat, IND=Independent):

He is a socialist 67 14 42
He wants to take away
Americans' right to own guns 61 17 39
He is a Muslim 57 15 29
He wants to turn over the
sovereignty of the United States
to a one world government 51 12 28
He has done many things that
are unconstitutional 55 9 27
He resents America's heritage 47 12 27
He does what Wall Street and
the bankers tell him to do 40 15 27
He was not born in the United
States and so is not eligible to
be president 45 8 24
He is a domestic enemy that the
U.S. Constitutions speaks of 45 8 24
He is a racist 42 7 22
He is anti-American 41 7 22
He wants to use an economic
collapse or terrorist attack as an
excuse to take dictatorial
powers 41 8 21
He is doing many of the things
that Hitler did 38 6 19
He may be the Anti-Christ 24 6 13
He wants the terrorists to win 22 5 12

I think it is most telling to see how results shake out by education level.

(<=HS = high school or less, <BA = some college, BA = college graduate, >BA = post graduate):

He is a socialist 45 38 42 20
He wants to take away
Americans' right to own guns 45 37 32 19
He is a Muslim 43 30 24 9
He wants to turn over the
sovereignty of the United States
to a one world government 37 28 21 12
He has done many things that
are unconstitutional 35 28 26 13
He resents America's heritage 31 26 25 18
He does what Wall Street and
the bankers tell him to do 35 24 20 11
He was not born in the United
States and so is not eligible to
be president 32 22 21 7
He is a domestic enemy that the
U.S. Constitutions speaks of 32 23 17 10
He is a racist 28 22 20 9
He is anti-American 27 22 20 9
He wants to use an economic
collapse or terrorist attack as an
excuse to take dictatorial
powers 28 21 18 11
He is doing many of the things
that Hitler did 24 20 18 10
He may be the Anti-Christ 18 13 9 4
He wants the terrorists to win 16 11 11 6

Not surprisingly, people with fewer years of education tend to believe more of the crazy stuff, that the President of the United States is a socialist, a Muslim, the Anti-Christ, that he wants the terrorists to win, and so on. One theme that you will hear from the conservatives is contempt for "the elite," that is, educated people, as if those folks think they know more than the rest of us. In fact, people with advanced degrees do know more than people with high school diplomas or less, that's what the concept of education is all about.

This interesting survey shows Republicans and less well educated people holding bizarre beliefs about the President, beliefs that have been shown to be false, though perhaps not on Fox. We don't know if there is a third variable, for instance, certain kinds of people may tend to choose not to seek an education and also believe that the President is a Muslim, but I think it is likely that education itself is the causal variable, individuals learn through education to seek out correct information, to hold a higher standard for information they allow to influence them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of these things are probably true, some are not

Jim using his usual association technique

there is ample reason to believe, for example, that Obama is a socialist

March 24, 2010 3:46 PM  
Anonymous hilarity reigns said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 24, 2010 3:47 PM  
Anonymous more global warming refutation said...

(March 24) -- After such a memorable winter in many parts of the U.S., it should not be surprising that there is the potential for one more snowstorm in the East before March ends.

Some of the same players that resulted in major snowstorms during the heart of winter will be on the meteorological playing field early next week. They include an upper-level storm system moving from the Midwest into the East, cold air from Canada and moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.

If those ingredients come together properly, then accumulating -- and potentially significant -- snow will spread from the Midwest through the Mid-Atlantic and to New England from later in the weekend into Tuesday.

March 24, 2010 5:44 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


"some of the things are probably true." Which ones? You only mention one, that "there is ample reason to believe . . . for example, that Obama is a socialist." Any other assertions you agree with?

Also, what is your definition of a "socialist."

March 24, 2010 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gullible and misinformed righties shout

"Down with Socialism"

"No government take-over of health insurance!"

"Keep your hands off my Medicare!"

But what is Medicare? Medicare is government controlled health insurance shared by anyone over the age of 65 who wants it, regardless of health status.

March 25, 2010 8:18 AM  
Anonymous surrrprize, surprize, surprize said...

I knew my health insurance would go up this year

I knew Democrats would try to raise taxes

what I didn't know is that Democrats would vote to increase my health insurance premiums

it's the Big Barry Bamboozlement!

yesterday, Democrats voted to allow child molesters to get their Viagra paid for by the new health insurance plans:

"Democratic senators received word just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning that the reconciliation portion of the health care reform bill will have to go back to the House of Representatives for a second vote once it passes the Senate this week.

The Senate parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, ruled in favor of Republicans on two objections to portions of the student loan reform section of the bill, a decision that changes the text of the reconciliation bill and thus requires the House to vote again.

The ruling followed a 10-hour marathon voting session that began in the Senate at 5 Wednesday afternoon and dragged on until 3 Thursday morning, during which senators voted on 29 separate Republican amendments to the bill. Democrats agreed to break from voting and reconvene at 9:45 a.m. Thursday to consider more Republican amendments.

The delays were a victory for Republicans, who have made no secret of their desire to derail the bill.

Among the Republican amendments defeated Wednesday were a measure from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to prevent convicted child molesters and rapists from getting reimbursed by the government for drugs to treat erectile dysfunction; an amendment from Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) to require all members of Congress to enroll in Medicaid; a measure from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to certify that no households earning less than $250,000 will see increased taxes as a result of health care reform; and an amendment by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) to certify that Americans will not have to change their health insurance as a result of the bill if they do not want to.

After Coburn's amendment failed, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out press releases to the home states of Democratic senators who voted against it. "Every Democrat senator that voted a short time ago to block the Coburn amendment and allow convicted rapists and child molesters to receive taxpayer-funded Viagra can also be assured that voters in their states will hear about that," said a spokesman for the committee.

Democrats dubbed the GOP amendments "poison pills," but Republicans had carefully designed them to be as unobjectionable as possible, and even wrote some to reflect promises made by Barack Obama on the 2008 campaign trail.

Members of Congress have been told to plan to be in Washington all weekend.

Although President Obama signed the $871 billion health care reform bill into law Tuesday, the Senate still must pass the package of "fixes" to that measure in the reconciliation bill. The changes were demanded by House Democrats in exchange for supporting the Senate version of health reform in a vote on Sunday afternoon.

Included in the reconciliation bill are billions of dollars in additional subsidies for middle-class Americans to purchase health insurance; a delay until 2018 for implementing the 40 percent excise tax on expensive insurance plans; reducing the states' share of expanding Medicaid rolls; and a major overhaul of the federal student loan program.

Get the new
PD toolbar!"

Stupak and his group are planning to block the reconciliation bill unless his original abortion amendment is replaced.


March 25, 2010 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The delays were a victory for Republicans, who have made no secret of their desire to derail the bill.

LOLOL The GOP has sunk so low that is has to call a couple of temporary delays in the final passage of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act "victory!"

Glub glub glub

Congress is set be in recess from March 29-April 11, 2010. We'll all see how much of their Easter vacation the GOP is willing to give up to continue their fight to gain a *real* victory. I predict the last "amendment" the GOP offers to delay passage of the health care reform bill will be scheduled in time to get every GOP member home this weekend.

March 25, 2010 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to hear you're LOLing, inane

every one of those amendments Dems are voting against will haunt them like a banshee in November

the bill was sent back by the parliamentarian anyway

they can't use the excuse that they didn't want to stop the bill by passing amendments

since it is being voted again by the House, they could have added any of the amendments without hindering the process

they'll have to explain to their constituents why child molestors are entitled to government-paid Viagra

politically, they're already dead

keep dancing at the wake, though

March 25, 2010 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Eric Cantor, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said Thursday that a bullet had been shot through the window of his campaign office in Richmond, Va., in the last week.

Cantor, the Republican whip, revealed the attack in a statement decrying violence and threats of violence directed at members of Congress this week. He also demanded that Democratic leaders stop blaming conservative protesters or Republican members of Congress for the heightened tension in the Capitol.

"I have received threats since I have assumed elected office, not only because of my position, but because I am Jewish," Cantor said. "I have never blamed anyone on this body for that, period. Any suggestion that a leader in this body would incite threats or acts of violence against other members is akin to saying that I would endanger myself, my wife or my children."

In addition to the shot fired at his office, Cantor said that he had received threatening e-mails, but declined to release them because he felt it would only encourage more of the same.

March 26, 2010 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For every dollar's worth of health care that Americans received last year, they paid a dime and somebody else paid 90 cents. If you bought food the way you buy health care—where 90% of everything you put in your basket was paid for by your grocery insurance policy—you would eat differently and so would your dog. We have the best health-care system in the world, but as rich as America is we can't afford it.

Any real debate about health-care reform has to be centered on solving the problem of cost. Ultimately, there are only two ways of doing it. The first approach is to have government control costs through some form of rationing. The alternative is to empower families to make their own health-care decisions in a system where costs matter. The fundamental question is about who is going to do the controlling: the family or the government.

President Obama and his congressional allies systematically excluded every major proposal to empower consumers to control costs. From beginning to end, they insisted on a government-run system. That's why compromise was never possible.

The plan signed into law by the president on Tuesday is simply a hodgepodge of schemes to expand insurance coverage and government power with no coherent program to control cost.

Even though the Obama bill became far more unpopular than the old Clinton bill ever was, the daunting size and rigid commitment of the Democratic majority to a government-run system was such that they could override public opinion. Now the Democrats are out to make Americans like their plan—or at least get them to acquiesce to it. But as Gandhi once explained, 40,000 British troops cannot force 300 million Indians to do what they will not do.

Republicans have a job to do. They must make it clear to the American people that this is only the beginning of the debate. There will be two congressional elections and a presidential election before the government takeover is implemented in 2014.

I believe that Republicans should take the unequivocal position that if they are given a majority in Congress in November, they will stop the implementation of the government takeover. And if a Republican is elected president in 2012, they will do with Mr. Obama's health-care bill what the American voters will have done to the Democrats: throw it out. If the voters demand change in November, even the Democrats who remain in Congress will help give it to them.

If Republicans don't want America to follow Britain and Canada down the road to socialized medicine, they must change the system so that families have more power to control their own health-care costs. This will entail real changes like tax deductions for health insurance, not for prepaid medicine; refundable tax credits for families to buy their own insurance; freedom to negotiate with insurance companies; rewarding healthy lifestyles; tort reform; and reforming Medicare and Medicaid so every consumer has deductibles and copayments based on their income. This system will require Americans to make choices in health care—just as they do in every other area of their lives.

There is one more overwhelming reason freedom is so critical in health care. In the end, even the greatest health-care system in the world fails. At 92, my mother decided to stop going to the hospital, stop going to the doctor, stop taking her medicine, and to die in her own bed. It was a free choice, and she made it. For her family, it was a painful choice, but she died as she lived—proud and free. Government bureaucrats did not make that decision; she did. And that made all the difference.

March 26, 2010 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Post.

Cantor's bullet: The round struck with enough force to break the window but did not penetrate the blinds.

Currently there are no suspects in the case, and it is unclear whether the bullet was targeted at the office or simply landed there at random. Police say a single detective is assigned to investigate the incident.

Somebody somewhere in Richmond shot a gun and the bullet reached an unmarked office that Cantor uses with such force that it ... couldn't break through the venetian blinds. Hence we conclude that Democrats are doing the same things Republicans are.

March 26, 2010 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

they'll have to explain to their constituents

Yes, the GOP will have to explain to their constituents why they think kids with birth defects should be denied health insurance coverage due to their pre-existing condition or why they think insurance companies should be able to rescind coverage and force you to pay for you own chemotherapy, dialysis, and the like, medical treatments you can't get in an ER.

There was no **attack** on Cantor's office.

The Richmond Police Department has issued this statement about the incident:

"The Richmond Police Department is investigating an act of vandalism at the Reagan Building, 25 E. Main St., Richmond, Virginia. A first floor window was struck by a bullet at approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23. The building, which has several tenants including an office used by Congressman Eric Cantor, was unoccupied at the time.

A Richmond Police detective was assigned to the case. A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman.

The Richmond Police Department is sharing information about the incident with appropriate law enforcement agencies.

At this time there are no suspects."

On the other hand, the protester who *really* spat on Representative Cleaver was detained by Capitol Hill police and released when the Congressman declined to press charges. We all saw and heard the video of *real* racial and anti-gay taunts being used by tea baggers directed toward honorable elected officials in the Halls of Congress. And now we have Representative Cantor using a stray bullet to make a victim of himself while Anone touts Liz Cheney's partner in Al Qaeda Seven infamy, Bill Kristol. The GOP, with Kristol's blessings, plans to run in support of a return to the status quo to allow health insurance company death squads to deny coverage and to come between their own paid up customers and their doctors, etc.

Good luck with that!

March 26, 2010 8:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

“One theme that you will hear from the conservatives is contempt for "the elite," that is, educated people…”

Thanks, Jim, I’ve been wondering what they meant by that.
From my msword:


1. belief in concept of superiority: the belief that some people or things are inherently superior to others and deserve preeminence, preferential treatment, or higher rewards because of their superiority

2. belief in control by small group: the belief that government or control should be in the hands of a small group of privileged, wealthy, or intelligent people, or the active promotion of such a system

3. control by small group: government or control by a small, specially qualified, or privileged group
Christian conservatives like Palin are walking definitions of the word elitist.

Projection: When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, they may project these onto other people, assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target.
This Daily Show coverage of a Tea Party protest says it all.

I don't know what parallel universe she'd just flitted back from, but Faux News darling, Laura Ingraham, actually invoked the Holocaust homily to claim victimhood of the rich.

“First they came for the rich, and I did not speak out, because I was not rich.”

Apparently she thinks the filthy rich are the true victims in all this. Who, pray tell, is going to "come for" them, the filthier rich?

She’s a disservice to dumb blondes everywhere.

March 27, 2010 9:47 AM  

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