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Friday, 12 February 2010 06:00

Dr. J.’s BF Commentary No. 133: The Daily Kos Poll and the GOP Response

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BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH  

The Daily Kos does a good deal of polling on a regular basis.  Not too many of their polls get much attention in the what now passes for the "Mainstream (otherwise known as the 'we make our choices very carefully') Media."  However, one that was published a couple of weeks ago (Feb. 2, 2010) got quite a bit of publicity.  It had surveyed a reasonably random sample of self-identified GOPers to see what their views were on a number of policy and political issues known to be dear to at least some GOP hearts.  Among the findings, not necessarily in order of anybody's ranking of importance, with brief comments from yours truly, were:

  • 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 29 percent are not sure, 32 percent said he should not be voted out of office.

Impeached for what offenses was not specified. Nor was there any indication that any of the respondents knew what the Constitutional requirements for impeachment are, even though presumably the bulk of these folks supported the impeachment attempt on President Clinton.

  • 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 22 percent are not sure, 42 percent think he is a natural citizen.

No surprise here.  The GOP Privatized Ministry of Propaganda (PMoP, otherwise known as the Fox "News" Channel) was trumpeting this one for months, and it is still popular with the "Tea Partiers."

  • 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a "Racist who hates White people" -- the description once adopted by Fox News' Glenn Beck. 33 percent were not sure, and 36 percent said he was not a racist.

Hey, Glen Beck says it, on the selfsame PMoP, so it's got to be true, no?

  • 63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist, 16 percent are not sure, 21 percent say he is not.

Hey, Sean Hannity says it, on the selfsame PMoP, so it's got to be true, no?

  • 24 percent of Republicans believe Obama wants "the terrorists to win," 33 percent aren't sure, 43 percent said he did not want the terrorists to win.

From Dick Cheney, Rep. Hoekstra and Rep. King on up, GOPers will be trumpeting this one 'til the cows (or right-wing terrorists like the killer of Dr. Tiller and the Oklahoma City bombers) come home, so that one's not          surprising either.

  • 21 percent of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, 55 percent are not sure, 24 percent said the community organizing group did not steal the election.

Again, the PMoP was going on about this one from just about the start of the 2008 Presidential campaign, and from time-to-time still is.

  • 23 percent of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States, 19 percent aren't sure, 58 percent said no.

The GOP governor of Texas, Rick Perry, proposed this one as a possibility, so why not?

  • 53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama. 

Hey, she was a governor who really ran things, she could see Russia from somewhere in her former domain, and she speaks in Modern American, so why not?

  • 73 percent of Republicans think gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools.

This is a position taken during his Senate campaign by South Carolina's Jim DeMint, who might just win a poll as the Radical Right's favorite Senator (although he would get plenty of competition from Cornyn, Coburn, and Inhofe).

  • 31 percent of Republicans want contraception to be outlawed. 

That's a prominent feature of the religiously based "abstinence-only" programs that are such favorites of folks like Ex-Gov Palin.  (Railing against contraception was not a feature of the supposedly successful program that got so    much publicity recently; it did not discourage condom use if you weren't going to be abstinent).

Well the GOP went bonkers over this one.  "Not fair," "Why didn't they do a similar poll of Democrats," "Mis-represents us," and so on and so forth.  First, it wasn't meant to compare GOPers and Democrats.  It was intended just to find out what GOPers really think.  Second, and much more importantly, one wonders why GOP officialdom, at least those who are on the air, were so upset.  After all, this poll shows nothing more or less than that their policy positions are getting through.  In fact, they might be upset that more GOPers do not agree with the positions cited above.  After all, a number of these questions, like discrimination against gays, abstinence only, and the illegalization of abortion (the latter apparently not even covered by the poll because everyone knows what the result would be on that one) appear prominently in the GOP Party Platform and have done so for quite some time.  Just consider the following:

One of the two leading political parties in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of one particular type of human based on sexuality.

One of the two leading political parties in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of one particular type of human being based on skin color (very well disguised, of course --- code words are rampant on a field of red --- states).

One of the two leading political parties in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of women of child-bearing age and hatred of all people who believe that life begins at a time other the moment of conception (a matter that God him/herself has never been clear upon).

God is so full of wrath that the American people as a whole have let this particular political party in the United States gain such a position of dominance, with no real opposition from the other major political party, that both the Constitution and the Rule of Law are at risk.

One of the two leading political parties in the United States has put at the center of its program policies concerning the whole matter of environmental balance that have put at risk the preservation of the human species and all of the other species as well.

One of the two leading political parties in the United States has allowed such un-God-like people as those known as the "Christian Right," people who preach hate and bigotry, violence and the use of force on the people's thinking, to gain such an unprecedented position of power in the country.

And then some of its political leaders are upset when the predictable results of its politics are very much put out there.  Oh my, what a shame.  Now if only the Democrats could figure out a way to get across to the majority of the American people just what the GOP really stands for.  But hey, they haven't done it in all of these years, so I guess that I'm asking too much.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also Managing Editor and a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY