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 email@example.com
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.
Despite oft-repeated claims by many economists in the establishment media that 50,000 private jobs would be added this month, the American private sector lost 23,000 jobs in March 2010, again throwing cold water on the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that their policies are creating jobs. Bloomberg has the story:
Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly cut payrolls in March, according to data from a private report based on payrolls.
The 23,000 decline was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 24,000 drop the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today.
Apparently America’s companies, both big business and small business, simply do not believe that the Obama economic recovery is any more than “just words” and accordingly they are not hiring:
Companies are still hesitant to add workers until they see sustained sales gains and are convinced the economic recovery has taken hold. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News anticipate the government’s report April 2 will show payrolls increased by 184,000, in part due to temporary hiring by the federal government to conduct the 2010 census and because of better weather compared with February.
“The economic recovery has not been long enough or strong enough along the way yet to produce the kind of rapid employment that people are hoping for,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the figures with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters after the report.
The ADP figures were forecast to show a gain of 40,000 jobs, according to the median estimate of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Projections ranged from a loss of 20,000 to a 100,000 gain.
Economists also predicted job creation in February 2010, and were wrong, but, amazingly, blamed the weather. The Obama Administration picked up on that weather excuse and has run with it for the entirety of March while claiming that March 2010 would see very substantial job creation. Now that ADP, the nation’s largest private payroll processor and premier private jobs data source, has “unexpectedly” shown yet more private job loss, it will be interesting to see what type of spin or excuse the Obama Administration creates to explain away the latest evidence of the failure of their economic policies.
Stock fell early Wednesday after a payroll company’s report provided a sobering reminder that the job market remains weak.
ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs in March. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast the report would show employers added 40,000 jobs during the month.
The ADP report is seen as an early indicator of the Labor Department’s employment report due out Friday. However, there can be wide variations because ADP only accounts for private-sector jobs.
Economists expect the Labor Department’s report to show employers added 190,000 jobs in March. It would be only the second monthly increase in jobs since the recession began in late 2007. The number could be somewhat inflated because the government hired temporary workers to conduct the 2010 census.
During an interview yesterday with CNBC, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, “I think you can say generally that as the economy is getting stronger — and the economy is getting stronger. You know, we’re probably just on the verge now, of what we think to be a sustained period of job creation, finally.”
The Obama administration will keep up its efforts to “reinforce that recovery” and also preserve recent gains in financial stability, Geithner also said.
As it is almost certain the hundreds of thousands of three-month temporary Census worker jobs will result in an overall jobs report that shows job creation in March 2010 on Friday (the DOL release), it is clear from the ADP data today that sustainable, private sector job creation has not been spurred by 14 months of Obama economic policies, notwithstanding Obama Administration commentary from Geithner and others. Even CNBC, well-known Obama Administration cheerleaders, admits this:
ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs from payrolls in March, which came as a surprise to economists, who had expected to 50,000 jobs were added last month.
The ADP report is closely watched ahead of the government’s jobs report on Friday. Economists currently expect that report to show 200,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls in March. And, that report could still show job growth, largely due to heavy hiring of government workers to conduct the Census.
The bottom line is that the establishment media will ignore the ADP private sector jobs report from today, and herald Friday’s DOL report as evidence that the Obama Administration jobs policies have succeeded, despite the clear evidence to contrary that only temporary Census workers will artificially push up the jobs numbers. The key question now is whether the American people, who feel the pain of continued private sector job loss every day, will buy what the Administration and establishment media are selling.
Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.
Such elevated levels of disapproval for President Obama remind some of the net-negative approval ratings of his predecessor, George W. Bush, that consumed the Bush Presidency as public concern over the Iraqi war mounted. Indeed, Obamacare may end up being Barack Obama’s Iraq should the public’s views on Obamacare not reverse themselves in the near future. Before long, many national congressional Democrats and state-level Democrats may begin to resent the OBama Administration for saddling them with such a massive, unpopular policy in the lead-up to the November 2010 elections.
For Obama, it is the public’s concern with his massive comprehensive health care plan known as Obamacare that is driving up his disapproval and causing the number of his supporters to shrink. While USA Today and Gallup, along with the remainder of the establishment media, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs and most other Democrats did push a very shaky and perhaps misleading one-day poll last week showing Obamacare improbably at 49% approval/41% disapproval, one week later this fresh, multi-day poll shows Obamacare as unpopular as ever at 50% disapproval. Several of the criticisms of the prior one-day Gallup poll are, ironically, reprinted today by USA Today in its release of the new Gallup numbers:
The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.
Half call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% “a good thing.” That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”
“Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects,” says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”
The undeniable problem for Obama and the Democrat is that a two-thirds majority of the American public simply does not believe their talking points on health care reform, making any increase in popularity unlikely and further declines probable:
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.
There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power;” 40% say they are appropriate.
And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.
As the details of the still largely-unknown Obamacare package continue to dribble out, such as the fact that the ban on insurer denials of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will not take immediately as claimed by Obama but instead 2014 and the rolling announcements of first quarter losses taken by America’s blue chip companies because of Obamacare (as epitomized by AT&T’s one billion dollar loss), it is very possible that the popularity of Obamacare will decline even further, as “continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.”
One week after the House of Representatives passed the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, 54% of the nation’s likely voters still favor repealing the new law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% oppose repeal.
Those figures are virtually unchanged from last week. They include 44% who Strongly Favor repeal and 34% who Strongly Oppose it.
Repeal is favored by 84% of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters. Among white Democrats, 25% favor repeal, but only one percent (1%) of black Democrats share that view.
Only 17% of all voters believe the plan will achieve one of its primary goals and reduce the cost of health care. Most (55%) believe it will have the opposite affect and increase the cost of care.
Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the new law will reduce the quality of care. Sixty percent (60%) believe it will increase the federal budget deficit. Those numbers are consistent with expectations before the bill was passed.
Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, notes that “the overriding tone of the data is that passage of the legislation has not changed anything. Those who opposed the bill before it passed now want to repeal it. Those who supported the legislation oppose repealing it.”
More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.
Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.
About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.
Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.
Considering these numbers, President Obama has a steep uphill climb to convince Americans that this broad claims that Obamacare will be a “historic” deficit reduction plan, that Americans can keep their doctor and plan if they like it, and that Obamacare will reduce costs and increase the quality of American health care. Key Democrats are not making the President’s job easier by explicitly stating that the true intent of Obamacare is to redistribute wealth in America, something that went unmentioned by Democrats prior to the passage of Obamacare.
Indeed, such wealth redistribution policies are strongly rejected by Americans, with 84% rejecting that approach according to Gallup:
When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today’s consumer, Americans overwhelmingly — by 84% to 13% — prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.
It seems Senator Max Baucus let slip the real purpose of health care reform efforts – the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Baucus said of the health care bill, “This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.” According to the influential Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “The last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind.”
Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean then chipped in on Thursday March 25, 2010 by admitting that “this is a form of redistribution” and Obamacare is intended to cause wealth redistribution in the American economy because the economy is “like a machine. You always got to tune it right.” Of course, as the establishment media is well aware such explicit Democratic admissions that Obamacare is intended to tinker with the economy to bring about wealth redistribution would be damaging to Obamacare’s popularity, so the claims of Dean and Baucus have gone virtually unreported in the media. However, Americans continue to oppose the Obamacare package, as evidenced by today’s poll showing 54% favor its repeal.
On a recent Fox News appearance, retired US Army Colonel Ralph Peters may have been the initial well-known person in America to claim that President Obama is the “first anti-Israeli President” in US history. Media Matters, a far left organization funded by billionaire Democrat George Soros, inexplicably posted the video of Peters making the claim and inadvertently feeding oxygen to the narrative. Here are portions of the comments by Colonel Peters in response to questioning by Megyn Kelly on “America Live” on March 26, 2010:
“This is something about a chip on the President’s shoulder…Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors, its neighbors want Israel destroyed. The President refuses to understand that…It’s become a credo of the left…that Israel is always the oppressor and that Palestinian terrorists are freedom fighters…You have to look at the President’s background…. His mother, extremely left, his university chums, on the left, Bill Ayers, left, 20 years with Reverend Wright. All of their doctrines say the Palestinians are wonderful and the Israelis are basically Nazis…and I think the President has got that by osmosis… Beyond the armchair psychoanalysis, you have to look at what people do, listen to what they say, and this is our first anti-Israeli President. Its bewildering its astonishing.“
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”Today, five years later, Obama is a U.S. senator from Illinois who expresses a firmly pro-Israel view of Middle East politics, pleasing many of the Jewish leaders and advocates for Israel whom he is courting in his presidential campaign. The dinner conversations he had envisioned with his Palestinian American friend have ended. He and Khalidi have seen each other only fleetingly in recent years.
And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor’s going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.
At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”
But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than either of his opponents for the White House.”I am confident that Barack Obama is more sympathetic to the position of ending the occupation than either of the other candidates,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow for the American Task Force on Palestine, referring to the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that began after the 1967 war….“That’s my personal opinion,” Ibish said, “and I think it for a very large number of circumstantial reasons, and what he’s said.”
“Barack’s belief is that it’s important to understand other points of view, even if you can’t agree with them,” said his longtime political strategist, David Axelrod.Obama “can disagree without shunning or demonizing those with other views,” he said. “That’s far different than the suggestion that he somehow tailors his view.”
The video of the Khalidi going away party remains under lock and key at the LA Times to this day, adding an element of mystery to the analysis of Obama’s true feelings towards the Jewish state. However, the recent meeting at the White House between President Obama and Prime Minimster Bibi Netanyahu provides some fresh, direct evidence of the President’s feelings towards Israel, as described by the British press, which is much more willing to honestly report on Obama’s activities than the American media:
For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
The American media, of course, completely ignored the shameful treatment of the democratically elected leader of Israel by Obama’s White House, although CentristNet did issue a piece comparing the treatment of Israel’s democratically elected leader to the treatment of Saudi’s dictator King Abdullah by Obama. Apparently angered by Netanyahu’s failure to immediately agree to Obama’s demands for an immediate freeze to construction in East Jerusalem, Obama left the Prime Minister to go have dinner without him, stating that ““I’m still around” and “Let me know if there is anything new” as he left the Prime Minister.
Obviously, this type of extraordinarily harsh treatment of the democratically elected leader of one of America’s closest allies, Israel, in the White House is strong evidence that President Obama may indeed have negative feelings towards Israel, perhaps the most negative feelings of any occupant who’s ever occupied the Oval Office, as theorized by Colonel Peters. Perhaps the many years of hearing from Khalidi, Ayers, Wright and others about the “abuses” of the Israelis and the righteous nature of the Palestinians had an effect on Obama, and led him to the harsh treatment of the Israeli prime minister.
Indeed, from the Israeli perspective, the Obama Administration has been quite disappointing, if not infuriating, regarding its failure to take any significant action to contain or rollback the Iranian push to acquire nuclear weapons. Obama’s first meeting as President with Netanyahu resulted in a pledge to work on negotiations with the Iranians until the end of 2009, and then move towards strong sanctions thereafter if negotiations did not bear fruit. Obviously, Obama has not made such sanctions a priority since the turn of the year, which must be quite unnerving to our Israeli allies. Indeed, Iranian nuclear proliferation is the number one national security threat to Israel, not the Palestinian issue, and Bibi stated as much to then-candidate Obama when the two met in July 2008:
One substantial piece of evidence is the conversation that occurred earlier last week at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem between two men some might think are on opposite sides of the spectrum: the supposedly diplomatic Barack Obama and the uber-hawkish Bibi Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party and a fair bet to return to the prime minister’s office. According to Netanyahu advisor Uzi Arad—a former Mossad official who was present at the 45-minute talk—Obama agreed with Netanyahu that “the paramount and most urgent issue is Iran,” and that “a nuclear Iran is unacceptable not only to Israel but to the United States.”
Netanyahu “also made it clear to him that on the Iranian threat there is no dissension in Israel; this is a national attitude.” In a telephone interview on Thursday, Arad told me that he believed that the Democratic candidate for president concurred with Netanyahu as well about the sequence of events that must occur: On Iran “the clocks and centrifuges are clicking and spinning, and not only is time of the essence but the order of things is as well. Should one fail to neutralize that Iranian threat now, it would undercut anything that would be achieved with the Palestinians, Syria or Lebanon.”
As Arad put it: “If you follow that logic, the current efforts to move on the Palestinian issue are pathetic, because they would not be worth the paper they’re written on if Iran is not contained. If Iran became nuclear it would mean the victory of the militants in Hamas and Hezbollah and undercut the moderates.” Obama, for his part, said he was for the use of “more carrots and sticks” and wanted to have dialogue and engagement policy with Iran before taking any other action, according to Arad.
“Netanyahu reacted by saying that what is essential here are not means but the ends. … They are in agreement about the overall objective. Then Netanyahu added his considered judgment that the more credible the military option, the more likely it is that diplomacy with sanction will succeed.” Obama’s “body language conveyed” that he agreed with that as well, Arad said.
So Netanyahu clearly expressed his view that the immediate focus of US foreign policy in the Middle East must be Iran, not the Palestinians, and apparently Obama agreed. Netanyahu made this point again, very clearly, when he visited the White House for the first time in May 2009:
U.S. President Barack Obama set a rough timetable for his diplomatic outreach to arch-foe Iran for the first time on Monday, saying he wanted to see serious progress by the end of the year.He also held out the prospect of tougher sanctions against Tehran “to ensure that Iran understands we are serious.”
Obama’s comments came after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the new Israeli leader was expected to stress Israel’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Israel believes it is a cover to build atomic weapons.With many Israelis skeptical about his efforts to engage Iran diplomatically, Obama stressed that attempts by the previous Bush administration to isolate Iran had failed, “so what we are going to try to do is do something different.”
Sitting next to Netanyahu in the Oval Office, Obama said he hoped to begin negotiations with Tehran soon, after Iran holds elections next month. Iran’s leaders have so far rebuffed his efforts to reach out to them and toughened their rhetoric.“The important thing is to make sure there is a clear timetable, at which we point we say these talks don’t seem to be making any serious progress,” Obama said.
“By the end of the year we should have some sense whether or not these discussions are starting to yield significant benefits, whether we are starting to see serious movement on the part of Iranians,” he said.
While little to no progress has been made in the Iranian negotiations front, as Iran has dragged out the negotiations month after month but failed to make an agreement, Iran has continued to threaten the existence of the State of Israel on a regular basis, most recently earlier this month:
The Palestinians and the nations of the Middle East will be rid of a “bad omen” once Israel is annihilated, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, in a speech communicated by Press TV.Israel, a foreign presence and a “Western prodigy” in the region, had “reached the end of its road,” Ahmadinejad told supporters in southern Iran.Israel was not as useful for “its masters” – apparently a reference to the United States and Europe – as it was at its inception, he said.Calling Jews who immigrated to Israel before or after the founding of the state “the most criminal people in the world,” he said it was now clear that there was no regime more hated than Israel.
How would you advise Obama? I would tell him that the process cannot be unilateral and that there must be mutual concessions. For example, the Obama administration has falsely blamed the naming of a Ramallah square after a terrorist who murdered Jews on Hamas, rather than on the Palestinian Authority.
The Obama administration has to make as substantial demands of the Palestinians as it does of the Israelis. If you think this crisis is severe, you should know it is nothing compared to what could happen with regard to the Iranian issue at some future date. I’m afraid [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is one of the happiest men these days thanks to the many incidents between the United States and Israel. [PA Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas, by the way, is also pretty happy.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will continue discussions with his senior ministers in the coming days, looking for a way out of the crisis with the US. He received some badly needed support on Friday from 327 congressmen, who signed a letter expressing concern that “the highly publicized tensions” in US-Israeli ties will “not advance the interests” of either state.
Meanwhile, in Washington, 327 congressmen – three-quarters of the House of Representatives – signed a bipartisan letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing solid support for Israel and the expectation that differences between Jerusalem and Washington will be smoothed over quickly and in private. “We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension,” the letter read. “A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East.
“We are concerned that the highly publicized tensions in the relationship will not advance the interests the US and Israel share. Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.”
Regarding the Iranian threat, an Israeli security expert’s comment to Newsweek in July 2008 really brings home the explicit threat that Iran poses to the continued safety of Israeli citizens and indeed the existence of the state of Israel:
As Ron Tira, an Israeli security expert, puts it: “If you look at the really big picture, there’s not only an Iranian aircraft carrier in Lebanon [Hezbollah], but there’s another one 45 kilometers from Tel Aviv in Gaza [Hamas]. With those two Iranian aircraft carriers in place and Iran proceeding with its nuclear program, with the prospect of America withdrawing from Iraq in the next two years, and Iran becoming a dominant force there … Israel is in position where it needs to act unilaterally and pay whatever the cost.” Miller adds that these huge problems will remain the same “not only for Olmert’s successor but for Bush’s.”
Despite this existential ongoing and growing threat to the State of Israel from Iran, Obama has chosen to publicly humiliate the Israeli leader for failing to move on the Palestinian track to Obama’s liking, even though Obama himself has failed to move on the Iranian track as promised to Netanyahu at their first meeting in July 2008, the subsequent meeting in May 2009 and thereafter between lower level officials. Perhaps all of the anti-Israeli rhetoric pouring out of White House officials and Obama’s treatment of Netanyahu is simply an expression of the widespread left wing ideological thinking that Israel is the wrongful aggressor and the Palestinians are the innocent victims.
However, the optics of a US Administration harshly condemning a close democratic ally like Israel, and even going to far as to humiliate the Israeli leader at the White House, while sending sweet messages of conciliation to the Iranians and bowing publicly to the Saudis, paints a troubling picture of a historically negative state of US-Israeli relations. Considering all of these facts, from an Israeli perspective or that of an American supporter of Israel like Colonel Peters, it is not hard to conclude that President Obama could indeed be the first anti-Israeli President in American history.
When Obama met the king of Saudi Arabia, a nation in which no one votes, women are subject to severe and demeaning restrictions and it is against the law to have a Christian church, Obama bowed in deep respect.
When Obama ran into Venezuela’s murderous despot, Hugo Chavez, at a summit, there was a friendly greeting observed by all.
But there is one leader whom Obama draws the line at. He will not be seen in public with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Astonishingly, when Netanyahu saw Obama at the White House this week, all photographers and all TV cameras were banned, a level of humiliation almost completely unique in modern White House practice.
You might even conclude that Obama is trying to interfere in internal Israeli politics and bring down a government. This is something post-colonial, post-multicultural Obama would never do with Iran, but with Israel, the US’s longstanding ally, it’s fine.
And what was Netanyahu’s crime, this act of infamy that Obama’s senior staff described as an “affront” to America? It was that the relevant housing authority passed another stage of approval for 1600 Israeli housing units to be built in East Jerusalem in about three years’ time. It was very foolish that the Israelis allowed this announcement to take place while US Vice-President Joe Biden was in Israel. But they apologised to Biden at the time, Biden kissed and made up with the Israelis and was back to delivering fulsome pro-Israel speeches before he left.
After that point, though, the US reaction went into overdrive. Impeccable American sources tell me this reaction was driven by Obama, and to a lesser extent the Chicago mafia around him.
We must ask why this is so, but first let’s get Netanyahu’s infamous crime into perspective.
Last November Netanyahu announced a 10-month moratorium on all building activity in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel has already promised not to take any more land for settlements but there is the question of renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones in existing settlements.
As Hillary Clinton acknowledged in her speech this week to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, East Jerusalem was never part of this agreement. The two main peace offers Israel has made to the Palestinians in recent years were the Camp David/Taba proposals and the accompanying Clinton parameters in 2000, and Ehud Olmert’s offer to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. Both plans offered essentially the same formula. The Palestinians get all of the Gaza Strip, about 95 per cent of the West Bank and a compensating parcel of territory from Israel proper to make up for the small amount of territory in the West Bank that Israel would keep which houses the main Jewish population blocks. The Palestinians also get some parts of East Jerusalem as their capital. This principle of territorial swaps was accepted by Yasser Arafat and Abbas.
East Jerusalem has always had a different status from the West Bank and some Israelis certainly don’t want to give any of it to a new Palestinian state. But everyone accepts that some Jewish neighbourhoods would remain part of Israel. These are mostly neighbourhoods, as Netanyahu pointed out this week, which are five minutes from the Knesset and a couple of blocks beyond the 1949 armistice line. The administration of George W. Bush had formally agreed with the Israelis that these areas would be permanently part of Israel. Bill Clinton had negotiated an offer to the Palestinians in 2000 which accepted this.
It would be a radical change of policy for an Israeli government to decree that no building would ever take place in Jewish areas of Jerusalem. It would also be a change of American policy.
Moreover, no serious analyst could believe that such building is a roadblock to peace. Peace negotiations have gone on with such building taking place in the past. And all the things that truly make peace impossible – Arab and Palestinian refusal to accept the legitimacy of any Jewish state, Palestinian insistence on certain deal breakers such as the right of return of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel proper, the insistent and violent anti-Semitism of Palestinian and Arab propaganda and the regional ambitions of players such as Iran and Syria – will be completely unaffected by any decision to build apartments in a Jewish neighbourhood in East Jerusalem in three years time. So why has Obama gone into full jihad mode against Israel? Three explanations suggest themselves. Obama has had a terrible year in foreign policy. He has achieved nothing on Iran or China or anything else of consequence. He is too smart to believe this intimidation of Israel will advance peace, but it might get peace talks going again. The Palestinians only made settlements a roadblock after Obama did. They are refusing to join Israel in peace talks, which Netanyahu would be happy to participate in. They have said they might engage in proximity talks – which means not talking to the Israelis directly but to mediators who will shuttle back and forth carrying messages between them and the Israelis. This is primitive and ridiculous stuff, but if such talks get going Obama could claim some kind of victory, or at least progress.
And Obama is showing that his personal popularity, not America’s standing, still less matters of substance such as Iran’s nuclear program, is what motivates him.
This leads to the second explanation of his behaviour, and that is to make himself personally popular in the Muslim world. Beating up on Israel is the cheapest trick in the book on that score and it can earn him easy, worthless and no doubt temporary plaudits in some parts of the Muslim world.
And thirdly, Obama is the first post-multicultural president of America. In his autobiography he talks of seeking out the most radical political theorists he could at university. For these people Israel is an exercise in Western neo-imperialism. Obama makes their hearts sing with this anti-Israel jihad.
Accompanying Obama’s own actions has been some of the most dangerous rhetoric ever to come out of a US administration, to the effect that Israeli intransigence endangers US troops by inflaming extremists in the Islamic world. No serious analyst anywhere believes that Israel is an important source of the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq. Using this type of argument comes dangerously close to the administration licensing a mutant strain of anti-Semitism – it’s all the Jews’ fault.
Obama also properly pointed toward the 9/11 attacks as the motivating force behind the American mission in Afghanistan, and the President deserves credit for strongly stating these pro-American positions in front of our nation’s troops in Afghanistan and for saying “thank you” on behalf of Americans to our troops.
“We face a determined enemy, but we also know this. The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don’t quit, the American armed services does not quit, we keep at it, we persevere, and together with our partners, we will prevail, I am absolutely confident of that.”
Obama here sounds an awful lot like President George W. Bush in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when discussing the need to “stay the course” and win the war in Iraq. Indeed, Obama’s comment about how America “does not quit” once the country engages in a battle overseas is quite jarring when compared to candidate Obama’s campaigning throughout America for two years calling for a quick withdrawal from Iraq without a military victory there over Al-Queda and the insurgents. Here is a portion of Obama’s January 2007 speech, which kicked off his campaign for President, advocating a military withdrawal from Iraq by March 2008, which of course did not occur:
But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it’s time to start bringing our troops home. It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war. That’s why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace.
I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.
Ironically, despite his above-referenced political attacks in 2007-8 upon President Bush for ordering the surge and his active opposition to then-President Bush’s surge plan, today Obama stated that while “politics at home may look a little messy” there is “no daylight [between Democrats and Republicans] when it comes to support of all of you” and “no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops“. While these sentiments are indeed correct, the GOP strongly supports the Afghanistani mission to eliminate the Al-Queda threat, his comments today are quite jarring when compared to the President’s own actions and statements in 2007 where he created a giant shaft of daylight between himself and President Bush regarding the American troops in the field in Iraq at the time.
Further, Rasmussen’s numbers this morning confirm this dissipation of any alleged “bounce” from the passage of Obamacare, with Rasmussen finding Obama’s approval numbers now at the same level as before the passage of Obamacare:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16 (see trends).
The President enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls following the passage of health care legislation last week. However, his Approval Index rating is now back to where it was last Sunday, just before the House voted in favor of his health care plan. All the bouncing of the past week has come among Democrats. There has been virtually no change in the opinions of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
White House spokesman is sure to face questions about this post-Obamacare collapse in the President’s approval ratings, as Gibbs himself last week tweeted out the Gallup one-day poll on Obamacare as a truthful and reliable indicator of the public’s views.
This continued collapse in Obama’s approval, with an all-time low of 46% in Gallup and a near all-time high in Rasmussen of 44% strong disapproval today, demonstrates the failure of the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist extremists as well. Indeed, ABC/WaPo’s numbers this morning show the tea party is favorably viewed by the American public, despite this smear campaign by the Democrats and the establishment media. Numbers such as these are sure to encourage the Republicans to continue to attack the Obamacare package as a historic mistake and ensure that the cry of “replace and repeal” is heard in every congressional race across the nation in the leadup to the November 2010 elections.
As many are undoubtedly already aware, the polling outfit Gallup, as well as all Democrats and establishment media, have been pushing a one-day poll done on Monday, March 22, 2010, the day after the House of Representatives’ historic passage of Obamacare, to “prove” that American opinion simply shifted overnight to support Obamacare by a 9 point margin, 49%-40%. Anyone who has seen Gallup boss Frank Newport interviewed or read a Gallup release is well aware of the left-leaning nature of Newport’s views. As will be described in detail below, this over-reliance on a one-day poll, taken on perhaps the most positive media day for the Obama Administration ever, appears to be an attempt by the Democrats and the establishment media to actually shift public opinion in America in favor of Obamacare based on a poll that is dubious at best.
The ObamaAdministration, Democratic politicians and the establishmentmedia have been harping on the one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approved of the House’s actions by a 49%/40% margin since Tuesday and up to and including today, as Gallup trumpets favorable polling to Obama on its front page asking whether Obamacare was a “good first step” or not and cable networks continue to discuss the Monday poll. Amazingly, the media and the Democrats continue to trumpet these one-day results from Monday nearly a week after the poll was taken while Gallup fails to do any further polling on this issue. This conduct clearly begs the question: why not continue the polling on Tuesday and Wednesday to do a proper three day sample? Perhaps the left-leaning Gallup obtained the results it and its left-wing allies wanted on Monday and feared a dilution of the outlier results obtained on Monday with additional days of polling, which, of course, would have enhanced the accuracy and reliability of the polling overall.
Many factors point towards a conclusion that this one-day Gallup poll is an outlier at best or an manufactured result at worst, as every other poll released since the House vote has shown Obamacare remaining unpopular with Americans, clearly contradicting the one-day Gallup results. For instance, Quinnipiac did a poll over two days, March 22 and 23, demonstrating that Obamacare remained quite unpopular with Americans, with 49% opposing and only 40% in favor (the exact opposite of Gallup’s findings). That same Quinnipiac post-Obamacare poll showed President Obama at the low of his Presidency for approval, 45%, which is “President Obama’s worst grades so far, tying his 45 – 46 percent approval February 11.” It certainly defies belief that Obama himself would be less popular overall (45%) than his signature initiative which has been his primary focus for his entire Presidency so far (49%, according to Gallup’s one-day sample). Indeed, today Gallup itself shows Obama’s approval is down to 48%, again casting doubt on the legitimacy of their one-day poll on Obamacare approval.
Americans remain skeptical about the health-care overhaul even after the U.S. House passed landmark legislation that promises to provide access to medical coverage for tens of millions of the uninsured.
At the same time, most say the government should play a role in ensuring everyone has access to affordable care, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. A majority also agree that health care is a private matter and consider the new rules approved by Congress to be a government takeover.
The poll found the percentage of Americans who favor the almost $1 trillion 10-year plan remained at about just four in 10 following the House vote on March 21 to send the bill to President Barack Obama, who signed it into law today.
The poll of 1,002 adults was conducted March 19-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. There was no meaningful movement of opinion the final night of interviewing, after the vote was taken.
Just before the House of Representatives passed sweeping health care legislation last Sunday, 41% of voters nationwide favored the legislation while 54% were opposed. Now that President Obama has signed the legislation into law, most voters want to see it repealed.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on the first two nights after the president signed the bill, shows that 55% favor repealing the legislation. Forty-two percent (42%) oppose repeal. Those figures include 46% who Strongly Favor repeal and 35% who Strongly Oppose it.
In terms of Election 2010, 52% say they’d vote for a candidate who favors repeal over one who does not. Forty-one percent (41%) would cast their vote for someone who opposes repeal.
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly favor repeal while most Democrats are opposed. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 59% favor repeal, and 35% are against it.
Despite four other pollsters directly repudiating the results of the one-day Gallup poll showing Obamacare favored by the public by a 49%/41% margin, the establishment media continues to this day to trumpet the one-day Gallup poll to “prove” that Americans now support the Obamacare package. Epitomizing the establishment media’s extraordinary over-reliance upon this one-day Gallup poll, national newspaper USA Today used its entire front page above the fold on Wednesday to push the idea that Obamacare has suddenly become popular, literally overnight, based on the single day of Gallup polling. Of course, USA Today makes no mention of the contradictory Bloomberg results in its “objective” report on Americans’ views on Obamacare on Wednesday. It appears that the establishment media and Democrats are attempting to push low information voters who are not paying close attention into supporting Obamacare by bombarding such voters with the message that Obamacare is now favored by most Americans.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, amid the glee of the healthcare bill signing Tuesday, tweeted @PressSec “In the polling obsessed town of Washington, DC this will give the nattering nabobs of negativity something to chew on” with a link to a story about the USA Today/Gallup poll that said 49 percent vs. 40 percent saw passage of the bill as “a good thing.”
The White House lashed out at the Gallup Poll on Tuesday after the survey’s daily tracking numbers showed President Obama’s approval rating dropping to a new low of 47 percent.
Asked for a response to Monday’s tracking poll, which placed Obama’s approval numbers among the lowest of any recent president in December of his first year in office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs mocked the reliability of the widely respected polling firm.
“I tell you, if I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs said. “If you look back, I think five days ago, there was an 11-point spread, now there’s a 1-point spread. I mean, I’m sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that. I don’t put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend.”
He added: “I don’t pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it.”
For the White House, it appears, Gallup’s daily one-day samples are “meaningless” and comparable to what a “6-year-old with a crayon” would do, unless, of course, that one-day sample supports the Obama Administration. Then, as Gibbs tweeted out after the publication of the full, front page USA Today story on the Gallup numbers, Gallup’s one-day sample should be treated as irrefutable truth that “will give the nattering nabobs of negativity something to chew on.” Such explicit hypocrisy and doublespeak from the Obama Administration has gone completely un-noted in the past week by the media, and it falls to a tiny centrist blog such as this one to point out the objective facts surrounding this matter.
Indeed, most pollsters agree that one-day polls are less reliable than samples taken over several days because of the natural variability of the polling sample obtained in any given day, which of course is smoothed out by having multiple days of polling. ABC News, another left-leaning pollster, explains this “night to night variability” in its polling experience:
Our practice is informed by the fact that, in all our polling, we see night-to-night variability in party ID that appears to represent trendless sampling variability rather than actual changes in partisan self-identification.
Gallup, of course, did not release its methods in weighting, or not weighting, the data it obtained for its one-day poll on Obamacare’s approval. However, the application of simple logic indicates that the day after the passage of a massive legislative package which has been a “dream” of Democrats for nearly a 100 years, the sample obtained would skew towards Democratic voters whose enthusiasm was surely spiking. Conversely, independents and Republicans, who both strongly opposed the Obamacare package before its passage, would have been more likely to avoid any pollster calls on Monday as the depressing news sunk in that the Democrats managed to ram through the massive legislative package. This type of self-selection bias, on perhaps the most favorable media coverage day of the Obama Administration ever, is again ignored by every mainstream media report on the Gallup poll.
Finally, as is obvious to anyone who was watching the news or reading newspapers or websites on Sunday night and Monday, the establishment media has been in full celebratory mode regarding the passage of Obamacare, with newspaper headlines screaming in 6 inch print about the “historic” nature of the passage of Obamacare as finally completing the century-long “dream” for such legislation. Monday was perhaps the most positive media day ever during the Obama Administration, with the possible exception of Inauguration Day. Regardless, such overwhelmingly positive, saturation coverage of the Sunday night passage of Obamacare by the media undoubtedly had an effect on those polled by Gallup on Monday. Despite this, Gallup chose to only poll on that one day, and thereafter the Democrats and establishment media have focused solely upon this one-day outlier poll while ignoring all other polls which explicitly contradict its findings, four of which are noted above.
It remains to be seen if this gambit by the Obama Administration and the establishment media to shift public opinion in favor of Obamacare via the use of the dubious one-day poll taken on perhaps the most favorable media day ever for the Obama Administration will work. In the history of the United States, never before has any poll, let alone a one-day poll, been afforded such prominence in reporting across all media sources and in repeated use by a national political party. What is certain is that the media is ignoring the other polls which all contradict the Gallup results, and the facts on the ground, such as today’s overflow crowd at the tea party rally in Searchlight, Nevada, and the million folks who signed up to oppose Obamacare within 11 days on a Facebook page, continue to indicate strong opposition to the Obamacare package, notwithstanding the preferences of the Obama Administration and the establishment media.