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Who's Afraid Of Those Big, Bad "Series Of Tubes"? (The YouTube Debate)

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 07-29-2007 03:32 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Earlier this year, my friend Balladeer brought us the hit thread "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Fox?" which looked into the Democratic Party's field of presidential candidates deciding not to attend a presidential debate co-hosted by the Fox News Network, as part of our on-going, premature, never-ending 2008 presidential campaign coverage.

Now, I am pleased to bring you the sequel, destined to be a chuckler!

The New York Times: July 28, 2007


2 Republicans Demur on a YouTube Debate


By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Published: July 28, 2007



"The Republicans’ presidential YouTube debate, scheduled for Sept. 17 in Florida, may move to another date, given reservations that some of the candidates have expressed about both the date and the format.

Sept. 17 comes near the end of the third-quarter fund-raising period and could interfere with the candidates’ intense dash for cash.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has turned down the invitation because of a heavy fund-raising schedule, Kevin Madden, his spokesman, said yesterday.

Aides to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, said he had potential scheduling conflicts.


CNN, which planned to broadcast the debate and announced its date last month, said it would work with the campaigns to find a new date.

David Bohrman, the Washington bureau chief for CNN, said that both the Giuliani and Romney campaigns had assured him they wanted to participate.

Earlier yesterday, it seemed that the candidates were fleeing the unconventional format, in which the public asks questions via video. Mr. Romney told The Union Leader in Manchester, N.H., that it could be demeaning for presidential candidates to “answer questions from a snowman,” a reference to a video question that was presented to the Democratic presidential candidates in their YouTube debate on Monday.

But several prominent Republican bloggers started an online petition (savethedebate.com) urging the candidates to stay in. They said that the Democrats had seized the online advantage, particularly in fund-raising, and warned that backing off the YouTube debate would confirm suspicions that Republicans were paralyzed by a fear of the Internet.

Mr. Madden said the Romney campaign’s decision not to participate was “not a question of format, it’s a question of our travel schedule.”

Still, Mr. Madden said, “a lot of Americans would wonder whether we should be answering questions from a cartoon.”


Matt Lewis, who is director of operations at townhall.com, a conservative Web site, and who was not part of the petition, said Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Romney had the most to lose.

“I’m sure their advisers are telling them that a lot of bad things could happen in a YouTube debate,” Mr. Lewis said. “When you’re the front-runner, you don’t think so much about how you can win but how you can avoid losing.”


*

*

Obviously, the YouTube debate garnered a lot of attention for the Democrats, with their debate last Monday garnering popular reviews among critics and the public alike so, unless there's absolutely no way these Republican presidential hopefuls can re-schedule, this seems incredibly brazen of them, as I don't understand the rationale for skipping an opportunity to answer questions that will come directly from the public.

The scope of this story gets all the more hilarious when you read of the various other, differing excuses among the candidates to why they're rejecting this debate:

*

1) The Union Leader: July 26, 2007


"Republican Mitt Romney isn't sure yet whether he'll participate in the CNN/YouTube.com Republican debate in September, but he's no fan of the format.

"I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," he said in an interview yesterday."

...

"Locally, Romney said he had not heard of the Manchester GOP's "machine-gun" fundraiser but had no problem with it.

He said he's flown F-16s and shot Uzis and an AK 47s, "and they're fun. But I don't think anyone is suggesting that these kinds of weapons are going to be in the public domain."

"It sounds to me like a novelty and a fundraising opportunity," Romney said. "We have to lighten up a bit as a society and not always be looking for 'gotcha.' "


*

So.......he says we have to lighten up a bit as a society, yet, he's reluctant about answering a simple question from a puppet snowman? Didn't seem that abominable to me!

*

2) Time: July 27, 2007

"Indeed, Governor Romney today, in the context of evincing concern over Internet predators, supported that suspicion: "YouTube looked to see if they had any convicted sex offenders on their web site. They had 29,000," he said, mistaking the debate co-sponsor for the social network MySpace, which has recently done a purge of sex offenders from its rolls."

*

Hey, if Romney wants to boycott the debate because of mistaking one site for the other as having many sex offenders, fine with me.

As an amusing aside, Rupert Murdoch owns MySpace now, so I'd like to see Romney flex that presidential integrity and boycott the next debate Fox News hosts as well!

*

3) Some party strategists also have argued that GOP candidates are deflecting from the debate because YouTube is a "liberal haven".

TechPresident: July 27, 2007

Yet, according to comscore (an Internet audience measurement tracking media matrix) YouTube attracts slightly more Republicans than Democrats, with approximately 3.3 million self-identified Republicans on the site compared to 3.1 million Democrats, along with approximately 5 million identifying themselves as Independent-affliates.

*

*

Now, as I said in Balladeer's thread earlier this year, in making my argument that Fox News has long held an ideological bias against Democrats and regularly slanders the party, thus I understood why they backed out so as to not offer Fox News legitimacy as a news network........that the GOP can play the same game as well and choose not to affliate themselves with any source for the same reason the Democrats had.

For instance, they could have made a clear and well-organized argument along the lines of: "CNN has a well-known bias that favors Democrats, thus we don't believe it is in our party's interests to affliate ourselves with this particular debate sponsorship offering!". Had they done that collectively, then the general public would have understood the point much better and would mostly have accepted it as fair. But that's not the case, and instead we have this disorganized bunch of silly excuses, the best of them being not wanting to have anything to do with snowmen.

And, frankly, it puzzles me why the GOP is so reluctant to go along with this regardless, especially when considering that, in thinking back to this time in the 2003-2004 presidential campaign cycle, everyone would have told you that the Democratic nominee, whoever he was, could expect to be outspent two-to-one by Bush.

Then what happened? Although he lost the election, obviously, 2004 also marked a remarkable turning point for the Democrats in terms of fundraising where, following the Iowa caucuses, money began flowing significantly through his web-site, becoming more torrential as he became the favorite for the Democratic nomination and, especially thanks to David Thorne (who made the big "JohnKerry.com" sign for the victory speech podium) and Josh Ross (who copied online email fundraising practices from Dean and MoveOn), the Kerry team miraculously, by the end of the campaign, had not only raised almost half of its money online; it even came close to matching Bush in fundraising.

That's a huge deal, because the Kerry campaign was initially lackluster in terms of fundraising but, in adopting the online fundraising and mobilization approach that was created by the progressive movement at large via blogs and online grassroots organizations, it was able to rise above many of the conventional odds thrown against them.

So, in the course of just four years, the Democrats have not only developed a huge advantage in terms of online fundraising; it is stronger than ever, with the Democratic Party outpacing total grosses compared to Dean's campaign at this time ago during the last presidential campaign, and the liberal interest group MoveOn.org garnering an unprecedented $27 million in 2006 alone.

Now, the Democrats are out-grossing the Republicans thus far this early stage of the 2008 presidential election season by a wide margin, and the GOP remains well-behind the Democrats in online fundraising.

*

The point is, online fundraising is one thing, but walking away from a YouTube debate is another thing that will just strike the public as though the GOP is unwilling to adjust to the changing landscape of American fundraising and people-powered politics, creating a perception among many Americans that, even when many Republicans are in fact accomodating to the changing technological shape of American politics (Ron Paul, for instance, has turned to the Internet heavily in powering his campaign, with nearly 50,000 MySpace supporters) the GOP establishment is out of touch, perhaps "technophobic".

Democracy Corps: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research: June 2007

Surveys themselves confirm that's indeed true among many Americans, especially younger demographics, such as in this recent Democracy Corps/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research one, which shows that young Americans are "profoundly alienated from the Republican Party", and it's moves like this, I believe, that will only keep maintaining that divide, simply because candidates like Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney aren’t even willing to talk to younger Americans via how they regularly often prefer to communicate, which to me is even more laughable than the Democratic presidential candidates not being willing to answer questions from Fox News anchors.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

[This message has been edited by Mistletoe Angel (07-30-2007 09:53 PM).]

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1 posted 07-29-2007 10:32 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hey, Noah! Just because the Democrats were dumb enough to go along with such a farce doesn't mean the Republicans have to follow suit. I hear the next Democrat debate will be hosted by, and with answers coming from, the cast of the Simpsons  

Hillary should feel at home with cartoon characters

You're comparing Fox news with YouTube? You part snowman, Noah?

Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 07-29-2007 03:25 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Actually, I'm part Yeti!



Ehhhhh.....close enough I suppose!

Hey, interesting you bring up "The Simpsons" (I just saw the movie yesterday myself) in that "The Simpsons" is aired on the FOX Network, thus is ALSO owned by Rupert Murdoch, who of course owns Fox NewsCorp.

Thus, maybe it's all the best after all they go ahead and boycott it! They could just get Hank Hill from "King of the Hill" to ask the questions instead, seeing he's a registered lifetime Republican who said himself he misses voting for Ronald Reagan!

Oh wait, that show's also programmed by Fox! Dang it!



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

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3 posted 07-29-2007 04:48 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Patrick Ruffini: July 28, 2007

Anyway, in returning to the general gist of this thread, I believe GOP blogger Patrick Ruffini explains what the big deal over this debate is better than anyone:

*

"At the end of the day, the issue is not YouTube. The YouTube debate snub is the symptom, not the disease. If Republicans fret about a simple debate format, which is really just the modern version of the 1992 townhall debate, how in the heck are we going to be make the really bold, gutsy decisions to transform our campaigns so we can raise over $100 million online and recruit millions - yes millions - of volunteers over the Internet?"

*

Ironically, Ruffini happened to had been the Internet campaign guru for Giuliani's campaign until early June (Ruffini has acknowledged he's still on good terms with Giuliani and supports his campaign)

THAT'S what's particularly humorous about this whole thing. As much as I staunchly disapprove of the GOP establishment right now, I'm also sympathetic with many traditional conservatives and libertarians who feel alienated from the GOP currently themselves, and actually feel I just want to help see the GOP is pushed back in the right direction.

Yet, the reluctance to attend this sort of debate is just the latest in a pattern of episodes where the GOP just seem like they want to party like its 1979, and they simply are selling themselves short campaign-wise and settling for too little in terms of opportunity, beyond this single instance.

For instance, while I am well-aware that the NAACP has evolved increasingly partisan in recent years, it also doesn't help to hope to re-claim some of the long-lost African-American vote for their party by having these same two presdiential candidates refuse to attend the next NAACP convention, as well as claim their schedules were too busy to attend the Urban League Convention. Certainly it doesn't mean they have to speak or suck up to the less well-intended individuals at those sorts of gatherings; they should understand that some dialogue and connection is necessary if they are to garner those decisive votes that can decide swing states like Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire; otherwise, they're just limiting their potential.

This YouTube matter is just the latest in a string of opportunities these GOP presidential hopefuls seem reluctant to take up, that I think will just make them look like "squares" in the eyes of a significant number of Americans, particularly among younger demographics, and just sinew that negative stereotype of the GOP presidential field being dominated by 'rich, white men".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

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4 posted 07-29-2007 05:19 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, I think it's ridiulous that you make the comparison, friend Noah. Seems like when the Demos decide to back off a debate because Fox, the most-watched news station in the country, was to host it you defend their actions but jump on the republicans for backing off from YouTube. You are showing a real bias there.

The YouTube debate was a joke. First, by the way it was set up with CNN picking all of the entries and then deciding which candidates they would go to. If you want to believe that the candidates didn't have any advance notice about which questions they would be getting in time to have responses ready, then you are more gullible that I thought. Second, it was no debate at all. The you-tubers didn't have a chance to respond to answers they were given. Third, the majority of the questions were not worth the time it took to pose them.

Just because the Democrats wanted to take a chance out of deperation on such a farce, it doesn't mean the Republicans need to go "down the tubes" with them.
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5 posted 07-29-2007 06:05 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Well, I think it's ridiulous that you make the comparison, friend Noah. Seems like when the Demos decide to back off a debate because Fox, the most-watched news station in the country, was to host it you defend their actions but jump on the republicans for backing off from YouTube. You are showing a real bias there.


Though I did indeed defend their actions, I also mentioned in the same thread (most eloquently in Reply #23) that the GOP have every right to do likewise with debates whose sponsors they believe do not represent their party's interests.

Thus, I don't believe I'm being biased here. The GOP can do whatever they want with the debate, and I'm not "jumping on them" for considering dumping the debate altogether. I'm simply arguing here that I think their excuse for doing so is hilarious, and I can't understand strategically why they'd want to drop this debate considering all the opportunity to it.

quote:
The YouTube debate was a joke. First, by the way it was set up with CNN picking all of the entries and then deciding which candidates they would go to. If you want to believe that the candidates didn't have any advance notice about which questions they would be getting in time to have responses ready, then you are more gullible that I thought. Second, it was no debate at all. The you-tubers didn't have a chance to respond to answers they were given. Third, the majority of the questions were not worth the time it took to pose them.


Call it a joke if you wish. I can certainly understand how this debate was "different" to many, and they're still getting used to this new sort of format. What I will add though is not to underestimate the debate either.

At any rate, the debate received great reviews all around, and I happen to think it was the best Democratic debate of the 2008 presidential campaign thus far.

Firstly, the quality of many of the questions that night, to me at least, were reminiscent of the quality of the questions at the second of three 2004 presidential election debates at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; where it was a town-hall session style debate, unlike the more private two debates, and many people in the crowd got to ask their own questions in their raw, unedited form, like that one posed to Kerry saying: "Senator Kerry, would you be willing to look directly into the camera and, using simple and unequivocal language, give the American people your solemn pledge not to sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 a year during your first term?" and one posed to Bush saying: "Mr. President, since we continue to police the world, how do you intend to maintain a military presence without re-instituting a draft?"

I felt that same sort of thoughtfulness and honesty (brutal as it was sometimes) permeated plenty of the questions in the YouTube debate, and I believe it's especially important those tougher questions be addressed to our candidates. There is definitely a way you can be blunt while also not being defamatory, and I saw a lot of that last Monday.

Secondly, I strongly disagree with your second and third points you bring up over why the debate was a "joke". Regarding your second point, from all the debates I've seen on C-SPAN especially, the moderators that ask the questions aren't supposed to respond to the answers the candidates give anyway. It isn't "Hardball With Chris Matthews". And regarding your third point, though we can indeed argue over how to construct much better questions worth responding to, the questions were nonetheless thoughtful and held some emotive depth I believe.

So, in my opinion I don't believe the debate was a "joke" at all. Then again, many of us Americans don't understand British humor either, so I guess it depends on what type of sense of humor you have to understand what's a joke or not!

quote:
Just because the Democrats wanted to take a chance out of deperation on such a farce, it doesn't mean the Republicans need to go "down the tubes" with them.


And the GOP establishment doesn't have to, if they don't want to.

Save The Debate: Official Web-Site

However, the fact remains there are many who believe the first YouTube debate was anything but a "farce", as is made clear on the "Save The Debate" activism site a coalition of GOP bloggers and campaign directors have formed, where I believe they make a good argument to why the debate would be good for the GOP.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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6 posted 07-30-2007 03:11 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

As an aside, I wanted to point out a rather remarkable statistic, regarding the number of YouTube subscribers for each of the GOP presidential hopefuls:


*****Republican Presidential Candidates (Total YouTube Subscribers To Date)*****

Sam Brownback: 480
Newt Gingrich (Not Yet Declared): 1,266
Rudolph Giuliani: 2,079
Mike Huckabee: 725
Duncan Hunter: 569
John McCain: 1,483
Ron Paul: 22,650
Mitt Romney: 2,596
Tom Tancredo: 652
Fred Thompson (Not Yet Declared): 756
Tommy Thompson (No YouTube Channel)

*


Now, here are the number of actual views for these same four GOP hopefuls:


*****Republican Presidential Candidates (Total YouTube Homepage Views To Date)*****

Sam Brownback: 474,127
Newt Gingrich (Not Yet Declared): 30,345
Rudolph Giuliani: 588,101
Mike Huckabee: 170,517
Duncan Hunter: 352,822
John McCain: 452,656
Ron Paul: 2,524,859
Mitt Romney: 697,092
Tom Tancredo: 414,953
Fred Thompson (Not Yet Declared): 26,803

*


Finally, let's compare these statistics with those of the Democratic presidential hopefuls on YouTube, first in terms of total subscribers followed by total views:


*****Democratic Presidential Candidates (Total YouTube Subscribers To Date)*****

Joseph Biden: 1,073
Hillary Clinton: 4,983
Christopher Dodd: 587
John Edwards: 3,567
Mike Gravel: 2,358
Dennis Kucinich: 2,596
Barack Obama: 9,587
Bill Richardson: 1,372

****Democratic Presidential Candidates (Total YouTube Homepage Views To Date)*****

Joseph Biden: 265,124
Hillary Clinton: 776,642
Christopher Dodd: 406,938
John Edwards: 595,441
Mike Gravel: 566,648
Dennis Kucinich: 447,016
Barack Obama: 11,025,040
Bill Richardson: 522,018

*


These statistics reveal two things: 1) the Democrats overall have a clear advantage to date over the GOP in terms of online campaign communication, yet it also proves 2) that many Americans actually want to hear the messages of secondary presidential candidates like Ron Paul, but the media refuses to acknowledge his existence. It's especially remarkable, given that Mitt Romney has actually made a valiant effort to connect to the on-line world unlike much of the GOP establishment itself, and yet still trails a candidate with barely any media ID by over a 3-to-1 margin on YouTube.

I still am most skeptical Ron Paul has ANY shot at ever winning the GOP nomination. I just can't see him winning when much of the left will come down hard on his positions on abortion and much of the right will come down on his position on non-interventionist foreign policy during the "war on terror".

However, Ron Paul would be playing brilliant politics, simply by showing up at the debate despite other candidates perhaps declining (if the debate survives despite lacking other candidates) and sinewing the perception among many YouTube subscribers that he is the people's candidate among the GOP field.

The GOP establishment, in trying to cancel this debate, will literally be turning a deaf ear to the thousands turning to on-line campaign community-building for the GOP, who have helped mobilize a clear underdog candidate into the leading presidential candidate force in terms of total YouTube subscribers, and THERE shows clear potential if only their own party establishment and the media would listen.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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7 posted 07-31-2007 11:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WALL STREET JOURNAL...

Snowman Video In YouTube Debate Chills Some Politicos
By Amy Schatz
Word Count: 1,111  |  Companies Featured in This Article: Time Warner
MINNEAPOLIS -- Just a week ago, Nathan and Greg Hamel didn't know whether their talking snowman would be picked to ask a question during the CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate.

Now, their 18-second video, which asked candidates about their environmental policies, has turned "Billiam the Snowman" into a cold, wet symbol of all that's good and bad about efforts by voters and politicians to use the Internet to reach one another.

"Snowman Wins," declared the Chicago Sun-Times after the debate. MSNBC personality Tucker Carlson, wrinkling his nose at "these homemade videos," nonetheless declared: "This is the future." The unemployed Hamel brothers, ...

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8 posted 07-31-2007 02:15 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I think when you tried posting that article here, something happened where only the first three paragraphs showed up.

YouTube: Snowman Question & Response

YouTube: Gun Control Question & Response

Look, I believe when you look beyond that individual question regarding the snowman (available for streaming at the link above for those who missed the debate) as well as one particular question on gun-control which featured a man who called his assault weapon his "baby", which I agree were misguided attempts at entertainment amidst a considerably serious early presidential season, the debate overall was very good, and had more high points than low points.

YouTube: Health Care Montage Questions & Response

YouTube: Diplomacy Question & Response

Firstly, there are plenty of other individual questions that I believe were great and most thoughtfully and honestly asked. For one, there was this video montage of very personal healthcare questions that I found very poignant and touching. And another question regarding diplomacy with the leaders of countries who have had challenging relationships with the United States, which has inspired the public debate between the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

YouTube: Genocide In Darfur Question & Response

YouTube: Iraq Question & Debate

YouTube: Nuclear Power Question & Response

YouTube: "No Child Left Behind" Question & Response

YouTube: Taxes Question & Response

YouTube: Religion Debate Question & Debate

YouTube: Women In The Draft? Question & Response

Plus, I found questions on the topics of the genocide in Darfur, Iraq, nuclear power, education, taxes, religion, and even more obscure topics like institutioning women in the draft very meaty and well-articulated, questions which, on occasion, also inspired good answers (though I was more impressed by the questions than the candidates responses overall)

I believe the YouTube debate was a welcome change. It has its flaws, of course, but I believe any first-time experiment is bound to have them inevitably, and believe this to be a great experiment that thus far I believe is the best debate of the 2008 presidential election cycle to date. The debate certainly wasn't worse than any where only journalists ask the candidates, and in events like that, you often get more stilted questions, influenced by talking point rhetoric, with stilted answers. Yet, with this format, you had more unstilted questions that make stilted answers feel robotic rather than human.

Even a Billiam the Snowman question I believe is a great way of testing the candidate. If any of the Democrats found that question inappropriate (or any candidate from either party finds a question inappropriate in future debates) the candidate should say so, and answer along the lines of: "Look, global warming is a serious issue, and it is in my opinion this network has demeaned the subject by having a snowman ask the question. Having said that, here's what I would do as president to deal with the issue of global warming......." I think even the most silliest questions like that one can prove to be meaningful in testing the candidate's likeability and how presidential he/she looks where, if a candidate can't even keep a straight face and hold his/her own to an animated snowman, how can he/she expect to keep a straight face and hold his/her own against al-Qaeda or the needs of over 300 million Americans?

*

Which leads me back to a point I made earlier, where the simple matter of "showing up" to a debate with a format like this is ultimately much more about party image than anything else.

Both parties, obviously, continue to battle popular stereotypes to this day. While the Democrats undoubtedly have their own problems to deal with, including continuing to battle the stereotype than they're weaker in fighting terrorism and thus cannot be trusted to lead, the GOP continues to battle a stereotype of their own that their party has become the party of rich, white men, who resemble more of Frasier and less of Willy Loman (Obviously the Democrats are not a stranger to this perception as well, particularly with the recent revelation that John Edwards receives $400 haircuts despite always talking about poverty and "Two Americas", still the Democrats hold wide margins over the GOP in terms of who they trust more to solve issues reflecting the basic needs of the people, particularly health care, jobs and education)

For years, the GOP have been put on the defensive from this stereotype, where proponents of the stereotype point to how Herbert Hoover was responsible for the greatest economic hardship in our nation's history, how Ronald Reagan's supply-side economics policy represented the interests of Madison Avenue more than Main Street, how Bush Sr. raised the capital gains tax and caused a recession in result, etc. and thus have abandoned their traditional conservative, populist roots, which were central to the Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt eras.

But not only has the party abandoned their roots, they have literally shunned that populism out of their doors. Look at how they've outsourced many manufacturing jobs under the guise of free trade, or how they've labeled factory jobs, the very jobs that actually provide put meals on the tables of millions of Americans, as industries of the past, while at the same time, CEO's at ExxonMobil and many other corporations that have been stereotypically friendly to the GOP have made record profits on a consistent basis.

Skipping this debate, rather than attending it, only reinforces that negative stereotype among many Americans, especially younger potential voters who just might define the next generation in politics, and make them appear as though they would rather get questions from blue-blooded anchors coated with Washington elitism than the average Joe and Jane, who ironically they will need his/her vote come February and beyond.

For candidates like Mitt Romney to critique the quality of a question is one thing. But the idea that Mitt Romney, or any other candidate regardless of party affliation, would use one snowman question to avoid a debate where citizens are the ones who ask the questions via online video is ridiculous, and utterly hilarious I'd add, and the fact that 7/10 of the presidential field is running from the debate faster than Lindsay Lohan from a rehabilitation clinic will only broaden the belief among many crucial American voters that the GOP IS the party of "rich, white CEO's", and will continue to lose elections beyond the 2006 mid-term.....and deservedly so.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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9 posted 07-31-2007 04:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Plus, I found questions on the topics of the genocide in Darfur, Iraq, nuclear power, education, taxes, religion, and even more obscure topics like institutioning women in the draft very meaty and well-articulated, questions which, on occasion, also inspired good answers (though I was more impressed by the questions than the candidates responses overall)

Noah, I won't deny there were good questions but did you see any responses that were not sound-bytes or offered concrete answers to those questions? No, because they had no one to answer to - no one to question them. It was just a case of a question being broadcast followed by a candidate giving whatever canned answer he had for that particular topic. Hillary speaks of health care. Was there anyone to ask her why she didn't get anything done when she was in charge of health care for years? Nope, she was just free to continue screaming 'We need health care!". Anyone have any concrete answers on Darfur, Iraq, nuclear power, etc? Nope, it was the same old song and dance. "We need to be energy non-dependant!!!!", blah blah blah, without specifying how.


he GOP continues to battle a stereotype of their own that their party has become the party of rich,

I've always found that to be incredible. The party of Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards setting themselves up as the people "for the little guy." Edwards, juggling his financial records to avoid paying almost a million in taxes, Gore abusing all of the energy conservation and usage he is pleading with other people to practice, Kennedy throwing fits over windmills to ocnserve energy being set up near his propertybecause they would ruin the esthetic value.....these guys and Hillary set themselves up to be the champions of the downtrodden....and people buy it.

how Ronald Reagan's supply-side economics policy represented the interests of Madison Avenue more than Main Street,

Excuse me, Noah? Reagan's tax cuts were bad for the "common man"?  Probably as much as W's tax cuts have hurt the economy.....this economy which is one of the most robust in recent history, the economy that the Democrats are even afriad to bring up...those same Democrats who used to use the mantra "It's the economy, stupid!"   C'mon...ya gotta laugh.

Look at how they've outsourced many manufacturing jobs under the guise of free trade  Yeah, one would think they came up with NAFTA, or somethin'....


Actually, I can understand the republican dilemma with regard to the YouTube debate thingy. Poor fools are in a no-win situation. They can't just come out and say a debate conducted by you-tubers is ridiculous because, after all, you-tubers are ordinary people and that would sound offensive to the "masses" and yet they don't want tot participate in such a farcical endeavor....so they are scurrying around for excuses to not be available. In that I will agree with yiu, Noah. It IS a little hysterical
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10 posted 08-01-2007 12:10 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Noah, I won't deny there were good questions but did you see any responses that were not sound-bytes or offered concrete answers to those questions? No, because they had no one to answer to - no one to question them. It was just a case of a question being broadcast followed by a candidate giving whatever canned answer he had for that particular topic. Hillary speaks of health care. Was there anyone to ask her why she didn't get anything done when she was in charge of health care for years? Nope, she was just free to continue screaming 'We need health care!". Anyone have any concrete answers on Darfur, Iraq, nuclear power, etc? Nope, it was the same old song and dance. "We need to be energy non-dependant!!!!", blah blah blah, without specifying how.


I'll agree with you in general on that point, although I believe, unfortunately, that's just the nature of modern political campaigns; the desire to get elected is a far more important priority than actually show genuine interest in solving the issues that matter most to each average Joe and Jane. Thus, candidates rely on their "canned rhetoric" or carbonated talking points so that they don't get caught up in embarrassing off-script situations where the risk of making a gaffe is all the more probable, which obviously is a defense mechanism for the candidate's own interests more than anything, and to control any damage on the campaign trail.

I believe most Americans are smarter than that and can see through that superficiality a good deal of the time, as well as stereotypes every candidate conjures up (I'll get to that in just a moment here). Nonetheless, rhetoric seems to always take the center stage in any political campaign, because I think campaigns are always on a defensive-offense from the very beginning, and establishment candidates know that the best way to boggle voter's minds are to compose simple, acessible messages in the forms of soundbytes and keep repeating them in a drumroll sort of style so that the rhetoric eventually seeps into the voter's minds, something both parties always do.

The bottom line is, candidates nowadays are pretty much expected by the public NOT to explain meaty solutions for meaty problems facing our country, and candidates resort to this "canned rhetoric" because they're scared going off-script and speaking the truth, for they know there's always a serious risk to that that could jeopardize a campaign. So, like I said, I liked the questions much more than any answer that was given by the candidates in the debate.

As an aside, I'd say that perhaps the reason Ron Paul is enormously popular on YouTube, Google and other grassroots communities on-line right now is because he is a congressman renowned for his independent thinking; there's a truthful tone in how he talks and answers questions that aren't saturated by the familiar soundbytes you hear pundits from either party shout in media echo chambers, as his voting record reflects.

Ron Paul isn't like that; he speaks the truth regardless of how others will attempt to make his views appear unpopular, whether it's a GOP or Democratic pundit, and while I believe you should NEVER put your full trust into ANY politician, I will say I believe Ron Paul, if elected, would stay true to his word in protecting and preserving our Constitution; something I can't confidently say for most of the other presidential candidates from both parties.

I think it's great Ron Paul is enjoying immense cult popularity on-line, and while I still don't think he has a chance in getting elected, I want him to stay in this race through the very end, and I'm optimistic he can successfully continue to get his point across to many more Americans, and make an effort to push the GOP establishment back in the right direction.......even if only one baby step at a time.

quote:
I've always found that to be incredible. The party of Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards setting themselves up as the people "for the little guy." Edwards, juggling his financial records to avoid paying almost a million in taxes, Gore abusing all of the energy conservation and usage he is pleading with other people to practice, Kennedy throwing fits over windmills to ocnserve energy being set up near his propertybecause they would ruin the esthetic value.....these guys and Hillary set themselves up to be the champions of the downtrodden....and people buy it.


As we've discussed many times before, I myself find political stereotypes distressing and harmful to social and political discourse, and obviously don't believe the stereotype that all Republicans are "rich, white men" or uneducated hillbillies, nor do I believe the stereotype that all Democrats are defeatists and weak on terror. They're just the grand design of the political PR machine of both party establishments to dilute public discourse to the lowest common denominator.

Unfortunately, stereotypes like those continue to have the damage done, and nonetheless drip and imbue public discourse and taint politics. And the bottom line is, while I certainly believe anyone who actually does their research rather than watch cable television all day can go and find facts that rebut the stereotype that the GOP establishment caters only to elitist interests or the Democratic Party establishment is entirely defeatist and weak on fighting terror, the stereotypes nonetheless persist in our culture and continue to be echoed tirelessly from pundits on both sides.

That's just the point I'm making; too many Americans from both sides of the aisle DO buy into these superficialities. Thus, it is up to the party and its candidates to step up into the public spotlight constantly and combat them, for any long duration of inactivity or idleness only provides fodder to the stereotype machine.

Rasmussen: July 25, 2007

I, myself, don't trust the Democratic Party any more than the GOP to resolve most issues that matter most to everyday Americans. Despite that being my personal belief, however, when you look at all the recent polls within at least the past six months, the Democrats nonetheless hold an advantage on all ten major issues, including national security by a slight margin, a category which the GOP used to mop the floor with the Democrats on by margins of over 30 points up through beyond the 2004 presidential election.

Thus, for whatever reason, a considerable number of Americans still trust the Democrats more than the GOP in solving issues that matter to them most, despite the GOP no longer holding control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Ergo, there's great reason to believe that it's something about the GOP's image that's especially turning off many voters, moreso than the Democrats at this time.

quote:
Excuse me, Noah? Reagan's tax cuts were bad for the "common man"?  Probably as much as W's tax cuts have hurt the economy.....this economy which is one of the most robust in recent history, the economy that the Democrats are even afriad to bring up...those same Democrats who used to use the mantra "It's the economy, stupid!"   C'mon...ya gotta laugh.


And yet, when you look at recent polling trends as I explained above, the public generally speaking currently trusts the Democratic Party more than the GOP on handling the economy by anywhere from an eight point to a thirteen point margin from all the polls I've looked at since January of this year, despite my belief both parties have their mediocrities on this issue.

I think a majority of Americans will surely agree our economy's current shape is a mixed blessing. I believe there are both signs of encouragement and/or success currently, as well as signs of caution and/or setbacks.

I believe the economy isn't doing that badly at the moment, yet it's also important to note that while our federal deficit is on the decline, according to a report that came out almost three weeks ago, our trade deficit, also in a report that came out about three weeks ago, continues to grow (currently at $60.04 billion, 2.3% higher than in April) and our deficit with China continues to widen, which are not trends we want to see persist in the long-term for our economy.

The bottom line is, I believe there are some things going right with our current economy, but some things going wrong as well and some details that are deceiving. We are doing good in terms of the exporting and importing of goods especially, and the number of laid-off workers filing unemployment claims has been decreasing recently as well, another positive sign currently.

Having said that, I believe many Americans do very much also have the right to remain skeptical, even pessimistic, about the shape of our current economy right now as, while all may seem glorious for someone who works on Madison Avenue right now, life may be exceptionally difficult for a middle-class family in Arkansas in contrast, as there's an overwhelming mountain of evidence that the tax cut policy has widened the chasm between the rich and poor of this nation.

Also, the federal deficit and the national debt are NOT the same thing, and while we're surely recovering from the deficit, the national debt continues to rise, including another increase of $38.7 billion in June (which is less than $100 billion from the current limit Congress has allowed). In fact, federal debt was less than 40 percent of gross domestic product in 2000, but under current tax and spending policies, it will reach 231 percent of GDP by 2050, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of government numbers.

Then you also have to take personal borrowing into account, where most Americans continue to struggle keeping up with the wave as real earnings have been slipping recently.

I don't think the economy is in terrible shape right now, but it's not in great shape either, and the sooner we begin resolving these debt and economic disproportionality issues, the better, or otherwise we'll be setting ourselves up for much greater troubles in the near future.

Most Americans I'm sure share that mixed bag view, and while I certainly can't explain right now why the Democrats hold a considerable margin in the polls over the GOP on handling the economy, I'm sure many respondents have reasonable explanations, as the shape of things for a lobbyist on K Street currently just isn't the same for a single mother living in Arkansas or Mississippi.

quote:
Actually, I can understand the republican dilemma with regard to the YouTube debate thingy. Poor fools are in a no-win situation. They can't just come out and say a debate conducted by you-tubers is ridiculous because, after all, you-tubers are ordinary people and that would sound offensive to the "masses" and yet they don't want tot participate in such a farcical endeavor....so they are scurrying around for excuses to not be available. In that I will agree with yiu, Noah. It IS a little hysterical.


I just don't see this is as the "no-win situation" as you do. I would respectfully disagree with you on that.

I believe it would be a winning situation for the GOP if they simply show up to the debate. Like I said, there will likely be certain questions asked that are too fluffy and appear to dumb down politics, and the candidate asked those sort of questions can simply respond in a two-fold manner where 1) the candidate starts by saying that he/she believes a serious topic has been demeaned by the network by having a snowman, yeti, Paris Hilton, etc. ask the question, then immediately follow by saying 2) how he/she will nonetheless handle the issue in a serious and assuring tone.

Showing up, and doing this, I believe will truly help the GOP, by making them appear more humanized, not being afraid to exhibit a little sense of humor on the podium in front of millions of people, and combatting that persisting stereotype that they only care about big oil fat cats, evangelical fundamentalists and their own pet projects, and truly care about young aspiring voters and volunteers as well.

I can't see how that would be a losing situation for them in any way. What WOULD be a losing scenario for them, however, is turning their back on this public opportunity. Given my heavy criticism of the GOP establishment as of late (which I defend) it may seem like I'm merely teasing and taunting the GOP and nothing more, but in fact I am rooting for the underdogs of the party; the young Republicans, the traditional conservatives, the populists, the libertarians, etc. and I want them to succeed and make the GOP the "Grand Ole Party" not just in name only again, and resist letting the whole party get hijacked by elitism and neoconservative ideology. On the contrary, I believe I am only trying to help begin to steer the party back in the right direction again, just as I hope the various rejected factions of the Democratic Party can find their voice again and rid the Democratic Party establishment of Northeastern elitism and San Francisco special interest influences.

Having said that, I'm glad Tommy Thompson and Mike Huckabee have agreed to join the debate now with John McCain and Ron Paul. That's four out of ten, making progress!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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11 posted 08-03-2007 05:50 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

As an aside, I thought I'd share a new poll that has come out today that relates to something you were arguing earlier in this thread, which I already began arguing a bit in my previous response:

quote:

Excuse me, Noah? Reagan's tax cuts were bad for the "common man"?  Probably as much as W's tax cuts have hurt the economy.....this economy which is one of the most robust in recent history, the economy that the Democrats are even afriad to bring up...those same Democrats who used to use the mantra "It's the economy, stupid!"   C'mon...ya gotta laugh.


*

Wall Street Journal: August 2, 2007

America's Economic Mood: Gloomy


Broad Public Pessimism
Spurs Democratic Candidates
To Target Business Interests

By JOHN HARWOOD
August 2, 2007; Page A4



[i]"WASHINGTON -- Americans are feeling decidedly sour about the economy and those in charge of it, fueling Democratic efforts to target business interests in the 2008 election campaign.

More than two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. economy is either in recession now or will be in the next year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows. That assessment comes despite the fact the economy has experienced sustained growth with low inflation and unemployment and generally rising stock values ever since the recession that ended early in President Bush's tenure.


[Edit - Copyrighted Material Removed You can quote an article, you can summarize an article, you can post a link to an article, but let's please stop COPYING an article we don't have the rights to copy. - Ron ]

*

*

Like I said, I'm among the sample of Americans who don't trust the Democrats any more than the GOP on handling most economic issues, primarily because I believe both parties have kowtowed too much to large corporations, lobbyists and oil and pharmaceutical interests and are plagued by corruption in result largely of that.

However, I am also am among the two-thirds sample here who believe the economy is not in that great of a shape and could very well be heading for a recession in fact, for reasons I listed in the latter portion of Reply #10 of this thread, and polls like this show that most Americans aren't as optimistic as you are on the economy, and that the Democrats actually have a lot to gain currently in bringing it up because, for whatever reason, they have the advantage in the polls on every major issue, including taxes (an issue that the GOP has historically been most successful with) and a small edge on national security (an issue that the GOP wiped the floor with the Democrats on in 2002 and 2004, where they used to hold 30+-point margins over the Democrats, until the war in Iraq began resulting in the gradual wearing away of the party's advantage on this issue to the Democrats now neck-to-neck with them on it)

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa



[This message has been edited by Ron (08-03-2007 06:56 PM).]

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12 posted 08-03-2007 08:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, you are the greatest poll cat I've ever known! Your thoughts and determinations seem to revolve around them

Whoever looks at this economy and calls it bad or worrisome is either paranoid or a Democrat and I can assure you that, if there were a Democrat sitting in the Oval Office with this economy, the same people would be crowing like roosters....and the WSJ would be calling it amazing. I don't need a poll to tell me that
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13 posted 08-03-2007 10:35 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Whoever looks at this economy and calls it bad or worrisome is either paranoid or a Democrat...


Yea? Or maybe they just live in Michigan, Mike?

(For the record, however, I'm not blaming either the Republicans OR the Democrats.)
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14 posted 08-03-2007 11:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, tens of thousands of jobs lost in the automotive industry certainly makes a difference, doesn't it? I sympathize with them but it seems like more of an industry issue that could happen in any economy, robust or not. (which makes absolutely no difference to those who lost their jobs, I know.)
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15 posted 08-04-2007 03:44 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Noah, you are the greatest poll cat I've ever known! Your thoughts and determinations seem to revolve around them.


I don't believe polls ever at all fully fathom and make justice of what Americans think and believe on the most local and individual of dimensions. Polls aren't scientifically foundated, and thus I believe each one requires some critical thinking.

Nonetheless, I don't make conclusions based on one individual poll, I begin to make some general consistency arguments based on polling trends, and the trends I've seen within the past seven months reveal despite the Democrats now having control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respondents still seems to be very angry at the GOP in that they trust the Democrats more than the GOP on all the major issues. So when you look at polling trends as opposed to individual polls, I believe there are nuggets of general truth to be found, which this latest poll is just the latest bead on a strand of them, and it's pretty clear the Democrats have the advantage on economic issues, even if the American public is quite weary and skeptical of both parties.

quote:
Whoever looks at this economy and calls it bad or worrisome is either paranoid or a Democrat and I can assure you that, if there were a Democrat sitting in the Oval Office with this economy, the same people would be crowing like roosters....and the WSJ would be calling it amazing. I don't need a poll to tell me that.


Is that your final answer?

The American Research Group: July 23, 2007

Explain then, why polling trends, including this one from the American Research Group pollster, show that more Americans have disapproved the president on the economy every month within the past year at least, including in the latest July 23, 2007 poll almost 1/3 of Republicans and an overwhelming 86% of Independents, while 58% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse?

I suppose, by that logic, that would make Independents unanimously the ideology of the paranoid, where a sizeable fraction of the GOP would also fit.

In any case, I think it's actually fairly insulting, in my opinion, to accuse everyone, in this case 71% of Americans, who's worrisome or even merely skeptical about the current shape of our economy as either paranoid or partisan. I believe there are plenty of legitimate reasons to have some concern right now, including the continuing rise in federal debt, personal borrowing and the rising income disproportionalities.

Also, while I certainly agree with you that there are some non-fair minded Americans, currently criticizing this economy, who would be crowing this same sort of economy if a Democrat were in the Oval Office currently, I also believe most Americans are above at least that kind of partisan demeanor. If you look at many polling trends on the topic of "Economic Outlook", you'll find that in the latter half of 2000, when President Clinton was in the last six months of his second term and the recession was beginning to take shape in the third fiscal quarter of that year (one which had been predicted by economists for years due to the Asian economic crisis in 1997 following the great 90's technological boom) a significant fraction of Americans who previously believed the economy to be in good shape soured in their view of the economy to worsening.

Then, after the pessimistic numbers stabilized through the end of 2002, where the recession continued to occur, Americans' moods on the economy began lightening up again and President Bush enjoyed higher ratings on the economy than he had in his first two years in office, until going on the decline again more recently.

Polling Report: Direction of Country Polling Trend

Also, I ask you, why do you believe over two-thirds of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction? I'm absolutely sure there are many different answers circulating out there, among all ideologies alike, on why Americans are largely pessimistic right now, whether being the war in Iraq, the President himself, the Congress itself, high gas prices, etc., but I'm curious what YOUR hunch is on these numbers.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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16 posted 08-05-2007 08:40 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, you are asking me to comment and give my opinion on more  poll results?

I'll tell you this. Begore you start putting so much emphasis on polls, I suggest you look at all of the questions that comprised these polls, instead of just the inferred bottom line. One can make the polls say what they want. I can assure you that I can make your opinion anything I want by designing my questions in specific ways. There are professionals doing that constantly. Do you look at the details or just go by what whatever pollster gives as their implied final results?
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17 posted 08-05-2007 02:16 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Noah, you are asking me to comment and give my opinion on more  poll results?


Yes, but most specifically on these polling trends that show over two-thirds of Americans believing this country is heading in the wrong direction.

I'm asking for your take on these results, specifically WHY it is you think every polling trend reveals this same "wrong direction" result, and your hunch of WHY most Americans believe that, according to the polls.

quote:
I'll tell you this. Begore you start putting so much emphasis on polls, I suggest you look at all of the questions that comprised these polls, instead of just the inferred bottom line. One can make the polls say what they want. I can assure you that I can make your opinion anything I want by designing my questions in specific ways. There are professionals doing that constantly. Do you look at the details or just go by what whatever pollster gives as their implied final results?


I agree with your assessment on how we should look at polls, and I assure you I also examine closely how the questions are structured and asked, as some are unquestionably more detailed and well-constructed than others, while others are either slanted or generic.

That's why I read the PDF version of the actual poll transcript, rather than the article that concludes and summarizes the results, whenever it's available, so you can see the anatomy of the questions posed to the respondents.

It's more difficult to find the PDF transcripts of older polls, yet when you look at trends based on the numbers, there nonetheless are consistent signals often that match up.

Though I certainly admit to bringing up poll results and polling trends a lot, I've seen you, yourself, tout some poll results in some previous threads; particularly at times when the president's approval rating bounced up after periods of downward movement, you'd bring it up in your responses. For instance, though I forget exactly which thread you brought it up in last year (I can certainly go through the archives and find out) just under one year ago today you mentioned that Bush's approval rating was now around 40% after being lower than that for a while, in arguing that Bush's policies weren't as unpopular as some were making them out to be.

Unlike Karl Rove, I don't claim all the polls I look at are "THE math". What I will say, though, is that I believe it would be a critical mistake for the GOP to continue to dismiss the immense public anger towards the war in Iraq especially, as reflected in every poll recently, who in fact are way ahead of politicians of both parties in Congress in demanding that we form a genuine exit strategy that's neither "stay the course" nor a precipitous withdrawal. Even in the minority of states that remain more warm to Bush like Alabama and Wyoming, who trust the GOP more than the Democrats on the war in Iraq, more respondents in polls there disapprove of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq than approve.

The bottom line is, the war in Iraq was one of two major issues (corruption being the other) that drove voters to the polls last November and had the GOP lose the House and the Senate; they saw that the GOP establishment chose to keep offering the President a blank check on his Iraq strategy when the public demanded a change in strategy, and thus decided that, while the public doesn't exactly like the Democrats much either, they at least trusted they would come out tougher than the GOP on the president's war (Obviously, the Democrats have sucked up to the President under this Congress as well in originally attaching a timetable to an Iraq supplemental spending bill which most Americans approved, which the President then vetoed and, rather than standing their ground and continuing to insist in a popular timetable strategy, they flinched and gave Bush all the money free of conditions)

Even after that most unfortunate moment of cowardice by the Democrats, in my opinion, which ran against everything in why they were elected to the majority and given a chance to begin with, the public still is angrier at the GOP on the war, and apparently the leaders in the party's establishment still haven't gotten the message, and should they fail to by early 2008, there's no doubt in my mind the GOP will lose more seats, and it's not because it'll be a pro-Democrat election by any means, it's because it'll be an anti-GOP election because they won't listen on the issue of Iraq.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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18 posted 08-05-2007 06:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting that you think the GOP will lose more seats when those precious polls give the current Democrat-led congress a much lower rating than they give the President.   
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quote:
... when those precious polls give the current Democrat-led congress a much lower rating than they give the President.

Speaking of which, did you know that negative numbers go all the way back to 100 BC?

(Of course, if you're referring to imaginary numbers, those are a much more recent mathematical innovation.)
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20 posted 08-05-2007 08:26 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Interesting that you think the GOP will lose more seats when those precious polls give the current Democrat-led congress a much lower rating than they give the President.


You're right than the overall job rating of Congress remains pathetic, and hasn't improved since the Democrats took control of Congress (and I'm not surprised of that whatsoever, in that though much of it has to do with Bush's stubborness to accept any change in the Iraq war strategy and will veto anything and everything that's even remotely related to "timetable" or "drawing down of forces", the Democrats have not done enough on changing the Iraq strategy than the public demanded)

Washington Post-ABC News Poll: July 23, 2007

Yet, there's another important statistic behind these Congressional polls, and that is despite Congress overall remaining at lowly depths in the polls on average, when respondents are asked about the two parties in Congress in the polls, such as in this Washington Post/ABC News poll, despite both parties having higher disapproval ratings than approval, Democrats in Congress have a higher approval rating (46 approval-51% disapproval) than Republicans in Congress (34% approval-64% disapproval) for whatever reason, which my educated guess would be the war in Iraq in the most part explaining the difference.

Obviously we have a long way to go before the 2008 elections, but unless the GOP establishment doesn't shift its positioning on the Iraq war and gets more aggressive in advocating an exit strategy by early next year, and nothing "huge" or monumental happens event-wise before then, that double-digit difference between the two parties in terms of approval ratings can be the decisive statistic that will have the GOP losing more congressional seats in result, especially in that anti-war fervor is more stronger than ever right now.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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21 posted 08-05-2007 09:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

(and I'm not surprised of that whatsoever, in that though much of it has to do with Bush's stubborness to accept any change in the Iraq war strategy and will veto anything and everything that's even remotely related to "timetable" or "drawing down of forces", the Democrats have not done enough on changing the Iraq strategy than the public demanded)

Aw, Noah, you were being so sensible up to then. So that's the excuse now? The Democrats can't get anything done because nasty Bush just sits there and vetoes everything? Don't look now, sir, but they haven't come up with anything! They haven't even come up with anything they themselves can agree on! They demand a timetable but they don't know when...or how. Some who are demanding a timetable have said in the past (like obama) that we must stay the course and flipflop whenever they think the public wants to hear the opposite. Stop blaming it all on Bush...again.

Ron, the number zero doesn't go back that far. congress is re-inventing it, too

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22 posted 08-06-2007 04:10 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Aw, Noah, you were being so sensible up to then. So that's the excuse now? The Democrats can't get anything done because nasty Bush just sits there and vetoes everything? Don't look now, sir, but they haven't come up with anything! They haven't even come up with anything they themselves can agree on! They demand a timetable but they don't know when...or how. Some who are demanding a timetable have said in the past (like obama) that we must stay the course and flipflop whenever they think the public wants to hear the opposite. Stop blaming it all on Bush...again.


I absolutely agree with you on the point that even though the Democrats may be united on the belief that we must begin getting out of Iraq soon, the party is also heavily divided on how they go about doing so. You have some Blue Dog Democrats who may not be happy with the war but nonetheless aren't thrilled with "timetable" rhetoric as well, you have the Big Tent Democrats who prefer to follow the line of the Baker-Hamilton Report and pull for a more modest phased withdrawal, you have the MoveOn Democrats who want all the troops out of there by the end of this year or March 31, 2008, and then you have the most ardent anti-war Democrats who want an immediate, full withdrawal, etc. The party is undoubtedly divided multiple-way on this, and of course none of them should be spared of the blame, especially those who voted for the war to begin with.

I also agree that the Democrats also share some of the responsibility into getting us in this mess to begin with. Half, or 22, of the Seante Democrats on October 11th, 2002 voted with Bush on the Iraq War Resolution, as did about 2/5 of House Democrats (81) thus they're just as responsible as every Republican (minus Ron Paul and Lincoln Chafee, the only two Republicans to vote against the war from the very beginning) for getting us here to begin with.

Ultimately, however, this is mostly Bush's war, and so I stand by my statement that much of the failure for any phased withdrawal or exit strategy to become official is because Bush keeps obstructing anything remotely related to a phased withdrawal, and the GOP (with the exception of a minority of courageous Republicans who have consistently challenged the President on the war as of late, including Chuck Hagel, Ron Paul, Walter Jones and Wayne Gilchrest) have sucked up more than the Democrats have overall on his "stay the course" policy.

I stand by my belief that this is mostly Bush's war in that, while I do strongly agree both parties have clearly not been aggressive enough in challenging the war policy, and neither have used the power of the purse to cut off funding for the war that doesn't go toward equipping and armoring our young men and women in uniform, it is the Commander-in-Chief nonetheless who decides war policy, and he won't budge from his current course.

When the House of Representatives was actually able to pass a supplemental war spending bill that includes an August 31, 2008, deadline for combat troops to leave Iraq on March 23rd of this year, the President vetoed it, and has promised to veto any bill related to a timetable or deadline. And then, of course, Harry Reid and many Democrats rolled over backwards and allowed the spending bill to pass free of conditions, despite a majority of Americans supporting such legislation with a timetable and/or deadline like that one, rather than pushing the same bill forward again until some compromise was made.

Without a doubt, anti-war fervor continues to rise, even if gradually, as Republicans who initially didn't endorse the Baker-Hamilton Report recommendations now strongly favor them, and some Senate Republicans have shown increasing public signs of dissatisfaction with the war policy, including Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, Norm Coleman and George Voinovich. Yet, all in all, a vast majority of the congressional GOP chooses to continue to stand behind Bush's war policy as it is, as reflected in their votes in Congress.

Which brings us back to that congressional poll I shared, and why I believe there's a difference between the current favorability ratings of the two parties in Congress in polling trends. It's because while the American public is ahead of both parties on the war, in demanding we get out of there faster, they nonetheless see, overall, despite the Democrats being at fault themselves, that they are the party more insistent on changing the course in Iraq than the GOP is, and thus are more likely to entrust them into eventally getting us out of Iraq, and they see that, for over four years, when the GOP held the trifecta, they failed to even merely challenge the President on his war policy, even when things were obviously souring there in the later years under control, and instead offered him a blank check every step of the way, that they cannot be trusted to do anything about changing the course in Iraq.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
 
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