October 24th, 2009
|12:18 am - Recent Polls & a Nation Divided|
Today, I ran into this article on Obama's popularity, it was by a political humorist, and so I decided to double check the data he mentions, and indeed I found the data in the article was completely accurate. So rather than Obama having a sort of middling popularity, & Congressional Democrats have significantly but not vastly greater popularity than Congressional Republicans, we have a nation where in the Northeast, Midwest, and West, Obama's popularity is very high (for a combined total of 67%) and Congressional Democrats are vastly more popular than Congressional Republicans. Then, there is the South. Here, Obama is clearly deeply loathed (28% popularity) and where Congressional Republicans are regarded considerably more favorably than Congressional Democrats. Especially wrt presidential popularity, this is unusual. Of course, President Clinton was from the South, which clearly helped his popularity there. In any case, what we have no is a deeply divided nation, which is divided clearly along regional lines. One result that I'm hoping to see is that this means that the Republican Party becomes what a number of moderate Republican commentators feared it would become after the last election, a largely regional party with little national-level influence. I am definitely feeling considerably more confident about the 2010 election, and a bit more about Obama's chances for re-election. OTOH, a nation this strongly divided is asking for trouble, and it's even more troubling to realize that much of the difference in Obama's popularity is likely due to his race. It's very difficult to know what to do about this, other than be exceedingly thankful that I do not live in the South. It's also very sad to see the marks of what james_nicoll rightly calls "the slaver's rebellion" remains so vividly with us.
Current Mood: thoughtful
The conservative spike in the 30-45 age range is odd.
Recent Polls & a Nation Divided
Children of the Reagan Revolution?
I saw the same article, though I did not know Sarasohn was a humorist. I think the polls show an Ugly truth, that the South is still blatantly racist, and still need to "Get Over" the civil war. (heard a rumor that re-enactors for the union side are denied service at restaurants)
As for the Republican Party, Sarah Palin is their best popular name in the lights at the moment. I hope she is nominated to the 2012 election bid. It will mean a landslide on the order of Nixon's second election in Obama's favor. I think my favorite commentary on her was from the Willamette Week, who ran a cover of Sara Palin done in the style of the Obama "Hope" poster, but instead the word "Nope" was there instead.
|Date:||October 24th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)|| |
Indeed. I suspect that Palin won't get the nomination, but I'd be exceedingly pleased if she did, for exactly that reason.
I think a lot of it is a matter of patience. Gradually, the population are getting more and more used to the notion that people who are different from the steadily-disappearing white-Protestant-male-dominated norm are still people.
|Date:||October 24th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)|| |
Absolutely, and the under 30 demographic is exceptionally encouraging (especially for 2012, when this will be the under 33 demographic). However, the South is clearly lagging drastically behind the rest of the nation, and that's the sort of division that can lead to (in the short term at least) various forms of violence. I'd personally be happy to let them secede and form their own impressively hellish little nation, but I suspect that the changes of this happening w/o actual warfare (and perhaps not even then) are remarkably low.
I think we should support letting Texans follow through on their secessionist rhetoric: allow them to undergo a trial separation if the majority of the population of Texas chooses to, and at any time, allow either the governor, a majority of the state legislature, or a majority of the population to rejoin. A year of no federal funding or services would teach them a great deal.
Sad to say, but there are times when I think we should have just let the South go their own way. The rest of us would have nice comfortable social democracies by now with same sex marriage, public healthcare, and all the nice conveniences of a modern first world nation.
I lived in the South for 3 miserable years and will never move there again. In fact, when I was laid off from my job in Jacksonville, FL, I made the decision then and there to get the hell out because I didn't want to raise my child in that kind of an environment. Coming from Baltimore, I was shocked the first time I saw people making racial jokes out loud in a public restaurant and the stares inter-racial couples got confused the hell out of me. The worst was the Lebanese guy I worked with that was continually called "Camel Jockey" by members of management. I tried to get him to file a complaint, but it was the days after 9/11 so he was understandably a bit apprehensive even though I volunteered to be a witness.
A good part of the reason I moved to Vegas after I left Jacksonville was because I wanted to go completely in the other direction. I wanted to live in a city that wasn't controlled by the First Baptist Church and where people were pretty much just left to live and let live.
Yikes! I thought Martinsburg was scary...
|Date:||October 25th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)|| |
As a woman in Dallas said on election night, "Joe the Plumber, how do you like your president now?"
|Date:||October 25th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)|| |
You know, the anti-South rhetoric is getting kind of nasty on this thread. I am from the South. Bill Clinton came from the South. Sarah Palin is a Yank. The South is not "hellish." If it weren't for anti-communist hysterics, the South and Midwest would probably still be the leading the nation in progressive government.
Obama's low poll numbers in the South do not simply reflect racism in the South. It reflects that there is enough racism in the South to muddle the news coverage. Many people simply do not have the knowledge to understand how they have been manipulated. If half the South is not absolutely sure Obamba was born in the USA, it's often because they know at least one otherwise sane friend or relative who believes he was not. It would be a huge mistake to think most Southerners are nasty racists.
If more than one in four people in the South approves of Obama, that means more than one fourth of the South rejects the legacy of Southern racism. That is not moral failure, that is heroism in the face of misinformation, hatred, and denial.
|Date:||October 25th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)|| |
I agree, but what it does mean is that on average, Southern viewpoints are significantly different from the those of people in the rest of the US, and when I see differences that extreme, that worries me.
I also would love to see the US balkanize, but that's mostly a separate issue.
I'm of mixed feelings about 2010. Older voters generally dislike Obama and are more conservative, and older voters tend to dominate mid-term elections. Between that and dismal unemployment numbers, it wouldn't surprise me if Republicans did well next year, although I think becoming a majority in either the House or Senate is beyond their reach.
In the long term, I agree that the Republicans are in trouble. But -- especially working with blue dogs -- they can cause a lot of harm in the meantime.