On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.
To understand just how incredible this is, remember the tea party did not exist in 2008 at all, yet now holds a 4% lead over the most popular and charismatic political figure in America in decades, President Barack Obama. Apparently, the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist, extremist terrorists has failed spectacularly, as noted by the tea party’s lead over President Obama reported today and even the favorable marks that the last ABC/WaPo poll showed for the tea party.
Last week, Rasmussen Reports released data showing that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress. Only 26% felt closer to Congress.
The new polling found that just 33% believe their views are closer to the average member of a Labor Union than to Congress. In fact, a plurality of voters were undecided when asked about that comparison. While 48% of Democrats said their own views were closer to the average union member, most Republicans and unaffiliated voters could not choose between the two.
In a head-to-head comparison, 45% felt closer to the average Tea Party Member while 35% felt closer to the average union member.
Fifty-three percent (53%) believe their views are closer to the average school teacher than to Congress. Teachers scored six points higher than the Tea Party members when compared to Congress.
In a head-to-head match-up, 47% said they felt closer to the average school teacher while 41% said they felt closer to the average Tea Party member. Once again, the results betray a heavy partisan difference. Democrats prefer the school teachers, Republicans are closer to the Tea Party, and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.
Earlier polling found that just 16% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party Movement. However, views of the Tea Party remain more positive than negative among voters. Just 11% believe Congress is doing a good or an excellent job.
All told, numbers such as these spell near-political doom for the Obama Administration. The main ally of the Obama Administration, big unions, is apparently disfavored by the American people right now, while the main political enemy of the Administration, the tea party, has been able to withstand a constant barrage of Democratic and establishment media criticism to remain popular with the American people. The “conventional wisdom” of the DC and media elites that passing Obamacare would strongly drive Obama and Dem popularity up has now been completely debunked, with only the sole Gallup one-day poll ever showing Obamacare as net approved and all other polls, including Gallup’s own later three-day poll, showing Obamacare actually continuing to sink in popularity after its historic passage.
The political toll that the partisan, acrimonious and essentially un-American means of passage of Obamacare takes on the “Obama Brand” and the Democrats as a whole may end up being higher than even some of Obama’s critics are now alleging, as governing against the will of the American people has apparently forced Obama and Democratic approval down towards American approval of Obamacare as a whole, and as long as Obamacare remains in the news, this dynamic appears set to continue. If the tea party can keep an edge on President Obama amongst likely voters up to and including the November 2010 election, America may see an unprecedented shift in power away from the Democrats for the 112th Congress starting in January 2011.
A mysterious new entity opposed to the big government agenda of the Obama Administration emerged recently, posting several large billboards on Atlanta’s main highways speaking out against the Administration. This dynamic new form of political speech, born in Atlanta, GA, may set off a new wave of political activism on both the right and left as others follow suit. The new entity, Billboards against Obama, apparently is not in tune with Obama’s call today for Americans to tone down opposition to his policies. Local Atlanta NBC affiliate 11Alive reports:
One group is taking freedom of speech and freedom of expression to the limits in a series of Metro Atlanta highway billboards voicing strong opinions against President Barack Obama.
The billboards are the latest move to sway public opinion — and for a price you can have your say.
The signs are in a series of four digital billboards ranging in price from $2,500 to $3,500 a month. They offer pre-packaged messages like “Stop Obama Socialism,” or one that can be seen at Spaghetti Junction saying “Now it’s personal.”
The group behind the billboards call themselves BillboardsAgainstObama.com.
Two of the billboard locations are on Interstate 85; one is at Spaghetti Junction and one along Peachtree Industrial.
Friends of CentristNet in Atlanta tell us that Interstate 85 is one of the highest traffic highways in the city, and Spaghetti Junction is perhaps the busiest intersection in the metro Atlanta area, meaning millions of Georgians are viewing the billboards every day. Here’s the main message from the Billboards Against Obama website:
Do you love freedom? Do you love independence? Do you value the opportunity in the United States to work hard, take risks, and succeed? If the current administration completes the process they are racing to achieve, all of this will be gone! To stop the madness, we must speak out now. BILLBOARDS AGAINST OBAMA is a practical and effective way to join the battle, be seen, be heard, before it’s too late!
The messaging appears to be standard fare of the rank and file of Americans opposed to Obama’s agenda, with a focus on maintaining a capitalist, free market system where growing government does not become the predominant in the America economy and everyday life.
It appears micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama are a reaction to Obamacare and the unsettling implications of what American life would look like ion 2016 or so if Obamacare is allowed to be implemented without a rollback of some provisions, if not an outright repeal. There is a very real possibility that America could sink into a social democratic welfare state, simliar to the many “enlightened” Western European societies that allegedly have better health care systems than America. The signs went up just a few days ago, and so far the local media has gotten little information on the site’s owners:
11Alive News contacted the Web site owners today via e-mail and they said they would not reveal who they are or where they are based. They said they simply rely on e-mails to communicate.
So far, the nameless head of the group says their Web site has received more than 1,800 hits and that contributions that go toward paying for the billboards.
There is no indication that any one person is paying for any one display.
The group does say it’s getting some negative feedback on the Web site, but the site says the amount of money being raised to expand the program.
So far on the Web site, there are three anti-Obama messages to choose from, and contributors are given the option to create more.
CentristNet predicts that this site, and sites like it, may be the leading edge of a new form of opposition to the high spending/big government agenda of President Obama, as epitomized by his signature initiative, Obamacare. On the site, people are implored to donate small amounts to a sign of their choice in a place of their choice in the Atlanta area, and site creators promise to add a national set of choices soon:
WE’VE NEGOTIATED PACKAGE RATES ON MULTIPLE BILLBOARDS TO MOST EFFICIENTLY SPREAD THE WORD — for questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
OPTION A — Buy a month on a billboard
HOW TO GET STARTED:
1. Click on PICK MESSAGE to select a billboard, or create your own message at CHECKOUT.
2. Click on PICK LOCATION 1-2 or 3-4. We currently have negotiated rates on 4 metro Atlanta billboards.
3. Click on CHECKOUT to submit an advertising application. NOTE: Not a commitment to purchase.
4. We will contact you with an advertising agreement to confirm your order, subject to payment.
OPTION B — Contribute to BillboardsAgainstObama
Your contribution will go directly toward the purchase of an ad in the Metro Atlanta area (more markets coming soon).
From the time of the publication of the 11Alive article this evening just after midnight, when the site has “1,800 hits”. Now, two hours later, the site is at 2,800 hits, as the local media attention begins to move folks to the site. In the days and weeks to come, micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama and perhaps others may assume a new and unpredictable role in the national political fight between the GOP and Obama leading up to the all-important November 2010 elections.
Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure-all and those who would claim it has no place, because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.
Of course, here Obama 2010 is condemning himself, as Obama 2005 was one of the partisan ideologues who slammed offshore oil drilling and claimed “it has no place” in energy policy in back in 2005 as Senator Obama (D-IL):
We could open up every square inch of America to drilling and we still wouldn’t even make a dent in our oil dependency. We could open up ANWR today, and at its peak, which would be more than a decade from now, it would give us enough oil to take care of our transportation needs for about a month. Clearly, this is not a solution.
Despite Obama 2005’s clear admonition that new oil drilling in America is “not a solution”, today, Obama says that in fact, it is part of his “from hybrid fleets to offshore drilling” energy solution, while also noting today that his new offshore drilling initiative will reduce dependence on foreign oil. Ironically, Obama 2005 also condemned offshore drilling as both ineffectual overall and as taking at least 10 years to have any effect at all, as did Obama 2008:
“Much like his gas-tax gimmick that would leave consumers with pennies in savings, opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3 percent of the world’s oil. It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil.”
Obama on Tuesday blasted McCain for changing his stance on offshore drilling.
“John McCain’s support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades,” he said in a written statement.
“It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil,” he said.
So, according to Obama 2008, McCain’s decision to “completely change his position” from the earlier 2000 Presidential campaign to support offshore oil drilling in the 2008 Presidential campaign was “the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades.” Obama 2008 then again slammed Obama 2010 by saying a flip-flop on offshore oil drilling is simply “short-term political posturing from Washington” and not real leadership. The multifaceted contradictions are enough to make Americans confused as to what exactly Obama stands for on any given policy at any given time.
No word, of course, from our vaunted American media on the massive level of explicit hypocrisy inherent in Obama’s offshore oil drilling announcement today, as he now proposes a policy he condemned as a “gimmick” in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Instead, the establishment media today is worshipping Obama 2010’s move to engage in what Obama 2008 called the “same Washington games” and “short term political posturing” to try to stop his crumbling approval ratings, calling it a “political coup” and heaping praise on the President for his explicit flip flopping:
Just days after Republicans fumed that passage of the health care bill tolled the death knell for bipartisanship, there was a very different message coming from some GOP quarters Wednesday: praise for President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the ban on some offshore oil drilling.
Credit Obama with pulling off a small political coup – one you could even call triangulation lite.
The price he paid in political terms was relatively small: Angry blowback from environmental activists who still support his overall climate change policy.
But the short-term benefits were large: By announcing the policy change, Obama defused a potentially potent Republican issue ahead of the summer gas spike and the fall midterms, while embracing major elements of the GOP’s “all of the above” energy approach to kick-start a stalled climate change bill.
And the drilling decision also allows the president to distance himself from liberal environmentalists disdained by some pro-drilling, blue-collar voters.
“It’s not a bad thing to show you’re willing to do something that gets liberals angry right after you pass the biggest liberal bill in a generation,” said a Senate Democrat staffer, whose boss opposes the policy.
MSNBC, of course, goes over the top in praising Obama 2010’s offshore drilling policy today, ignoring his prior statements which attack those who proposed increased offshore oil drilling while even going so far as to claim that Obama “has been a supporter of drilling” while forgetting about his prior, inconsistent statements from 2008 and 2005 entirely and finally focusing on the alleged “middle ground” Obama was trying to forge:
For a president on a roll following a big health care win, Wednesday’s drilling declaration was both aggressive and pragmatic. Even with a push for cleaner energy sources and efficient cars — and with promises of protection for ecosystems and coastal tourism — the nation still needs more oil, Obama said.
Obama has been a supporter of drilling as part of a broader energy agenda, and the White House played down any talk of wooing Republicans.
He implored people to accept a middle ground between viewing drilling as a cure-all or claiming it has no place in an energy portfolio.
Said the president: “This issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles.”
This sudden Obama lurch to embrace the McCain 2008 energy policy of “drill baby drill”, on the heels of the powerfully pro-American speech to troops in a surprise trip to Afghanistan, appears clearly designed to take the focus of his unpopular Obamacare legislation and hit notes that conservatives will be attracted to.
In terms of substance, Obama’s new offshore oil drilling policies are much ado about nothing, as they do not cut back on the massive amount of red tape inherent in the present, ineffective system for allowing domestic oil exploration, and even the decision to issue a lease, let alone actually drill anything, likely won’t be made until after the next Presidential election. Indeed, Obama’s announcement today can only be seen as a naked political play at a time when his base of support is eroding in the aftermath of Obamacare.
The long term benefit of this Obama approach politically is open to question, as the two politicians most tied to advocating increased offshore drilling – Sarah Palin (“drill baby drill”) and George W. Bush – are hated with an extreme passion by many, if not most, of Obama’s remaining supporters. Ironically, this offshore oil drilling flip flop may end up cutting into Obama’s hardcore leftist base more than it builds any additional conservative or centrist support, as Greenpeace and others have absolutely slammed Obama 2010’s offshore drilling policy:
On the heels of his victory on healthcare and student aid reform, President Obama announced today that he would kowtow to the oil industry and allow exploration and drilling in 167 million acres of coastal waters that have been protected for decades.
Obama’s proposal would allow oil and gas exploration in the coastal waters of the southern Atlantic states and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, threatening fishing and tourism industries in those regions. But the news is even worse for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, which are especially sensitive to oil drilling because they provide critical habitat for polar bears, whales, seals and other distinctive Arctic species.
Incredibly, despite dire warnings from the scientific community that we are approaching a tipping point in Earth’s climate system, Mr. Obama has set us on a course toward more dependence on fossil fuels.
The NYT shows its concern about this latest Obama move, noting that his policy will likely fail to increase domestic oil prodcution or bring over GOP support for his next massive new government initiative: cap and trade, as the NYT shows a rare inability to spin an Obama action in a positive light, concluding that “even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted“:
In proposing a major expansion of offshore oil and gas development, President Barack Obama set out to fashion a carefully balanced plan that would attract bipartisan support for climate and energy legislation while increasing production of domestic oil.
It is not clear that the plan announced Wednesday will do either.
Even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted in announcing a drilling plan that would open large tracts of the Atlantic coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Arctic waters off Alaska to oil exploration and eventual drilling.
It may be that those who remained supporters of President Obama all through the grueling health care battle will peel away with revulsion at the crass political maneuvering by Obama today that pretty clearly endorses a Sarah Palin talking point that liberals incessantly ridiculed for years: “drill baby drill”. However, in the short term, Obama’s approval ratings will benefit from his conservative rhetoric on Afghanistan and offshore oil drilling.