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White House Cheat Sheet: Polling Polarization



President Obama: Polarizing or popular? AP Photo by Gerald Herbert

President Obama was elected overwhelmingly last November thanks, at least in part, to a pledge to do things differently in Washington -- to break down old divisions and get government working again for the average American.

Now, Republicans are seizing on new poll data from the Pew Research Center as proof positive that Obama isn't what he claims.

Are they right? That depends on who you ask.

Let's start with the basics.

The poll in question shows that while 59 percent of the overall sample approve of the job Obama has done in office, there is a wide split between how he is viewed by Democrats and how he is seen by Republicans. Eighty-eight percent of Democrats approve of the job Obama is doing while only 27 percent of Republicans do -- a 61 point difference that in Pew data is the largest of any modern president going back to Richard Nixon.

Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, seized on the poll in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Wrote Rove:

"His campaign promised post-partisanship, but since taking office Mr. Obama has frozen Republicans out of the deliberative process, and his response to their suggestions has been a brusque dismissal that 'I won.'"

That sentiment was echoed in conversations with several Republican strategists including Jan van Lohuizen who served as Bush's pollster in the 2004 reelection race.

"You can't put this entirely on [Obama] because the public itself is more polarized," said van Lohuizen. "But he does own a big piece of this -- what with his chief of staff running the campaign to make Rush Limbaugh the face of the Republican party and co-ordinating message strategy with MoveOn. "

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, made a slightly different case -- casting the Pew numbers as a sign that while people like Obama personally, his policies are far less popular. "He allowed the stimulus to start from the left, and move just far enough to the center to get passed," argued Ayres. "That, and his subsequent budget proposal, have been extremely polarizing."

A number of Democratic pollsters (as well as the associate director of the Pew survey), however, insisted that drawing any conclusions about the success or failure of Obama's post-partisan messaging from the Pew poll alone was a faulty exercise.

Fred Yang, a partner with Garin Hart Yang Research, pointed out that Obama's approval rating among independents in the Pew poll was at 57 percent -- hardly the score of a divisive chief executive. "It's not the President who is polarizing as much as it is the times we live in," said Yang.

Yang's point is an important one. Context matters in all things but especially in political polling. The simple fact is that since the presidency of Bill Clinton, polling has shown time and again that the bases of the two parties are growing further and further from one another in how they view the leaders of the their respective sides.

As Post pollster Jon Cohen helpfully notes, the last job approval score for George W. Bush -- from a mid-January Post/ABC survey -- showed 68 percent of Republicans approving of his performance and just six percent of Democrats, a partisan gap of 62 points. Cohen also said that on several occasions during Bush's presidency the partisan gap in the Post poll was higher than 70 points -- peaking at a whopping 78 in the wake of the 2004 election.

The reality is this: Obama was able to skirt traditional partisan type-casting during the election thanks to a combination of personal charisma, political savvy, an abbreviated record in public office and an electorate ready to believe fundamental change was possible.

Now that Obama has been president for 11 weeks and has governed as a Democrat (no surprises there), hard core Republicans, who might have been attracted to Obama's profile at one point, are returning to their natural posture of loyal opposition.

Geoff Garin, a longtime Democratic pollster, puts it best: "Democratic voters and Republican voters disagree on a lot of things, and have for a long time, but disagreement does not necessarily mean polarization."

To be continued.

What To Watch For:

Friday's Fix Picks: Now in the top left hand corner of the blog too!

1. Obama asks for $83 billion more for Iraq/Afghanistan.
2. Larry Summers: It's getting better all the time.
3. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to beat Lisa Madigan unveiled.
4. Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus says there are socialists in Congress; 17 to be exact.
5. Damn the torpedoes! Jim Calhoun is coming back.

Retiring Hillary's Debt: Hillary Rodham Clinton may have put her unsuccessful presidential bid behind her but the debt from that race remains. Seeking to remedy that problem, James Carville, a longtime Clinton confidante, sent an email out to supporters late Thursday asking for contributions to cut into Clinton's debt. By making a donation of just $5, you can be eligible to win one of three "exclusive prizes": a day in New York City with former president Bill Clinton, tickets for you and a friend to attend the final episode of "American Idol" (!) or a weekend with Carville and Paul Begala in Washington. (To our political junkie mind, that last prize would be the most fun.) "This means a whole lot to Hillary, and I know she appreciates everything you do for her," wrote Carville. As of the end of 2008, Clinton owed $5.9 million to a variety of vendors; the vast majority of that sum ($5.36 million) is owed to the firm of chief strategist Mark Penn while another $397,000 is due MSHC Partners, which handled direct mail for the Clinton campaign.

LaCivita Jumps Into S.C.: Just when you thought the South Carolina Republican primary for governor couldn't get any better comes word that Chris LaCivita, the hard-charging, wine-loving GOP consultant has signed on with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's campaign. LaCivita made a name for himself in Virginia circles with his work for former Gov. George Allen and emerged as a major player on the national scene as one of the lead strategists behind the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ads during the 2004 presidential election. Bauer had used Rod Shealy as his consultant in previous races but LaCivita is taking over the strategic reins as Bauer prepares for a terrific primary against Rep. Gresham Barrett and state Attorney General Henry McMaster. (Where does this race fit on our Line of the top 10 primaries of 2009/2010? Make sure to check this space later today for the answer.)

Bob Smith -- Heeeeee's back!: Just in case you've been wondering what ever happened to former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith after he lost a Republican primary to John Sununu in 2002, we have answers! Smith has moved to Sarasota, Fla. and -- lo and behold -- decided to run for that state's open Senate seat. "I have agonized as to whether to re-enter national politics," Smith wrote in a letter to supporters obtained by John DiStaso, New Hampshire's best political reporter. "I have concluded that I can no longer 'sit on the sidelines' in this fight for the soul of America." Okey doke. Smith is, to put it mildly, a long shot for the Republican nomination given the increasing likelihood that popular Gov. Charlie Crist will run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez (R).

Click It!: Happy Easter!

Virginia Gov Primary Wide Open: A new poll conducted by Research 2000 for Daily Kos, a leading liberal blog, shows the three way race between former state assemblyman Brian Moran, former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and state Sen. Creigh Deeds as a pure tossup with less than two months to before the June 9 Democratic primary. Moran led the field with 24 percent followed by McAuliffe at 19 percent and Deeds at 17 percent. An undefined race could well play into McAuliffe's hands as he is almost certain to have twice or three times as much money to spend on the race as either of his opponents -- allowing him to define himself and them first and often. Deeds, it's worth noting, did raise some eyebrows with a surprisingly strong fundraising showing -- announcing on Thursday that he had ended March with $1.2 million cash on hand. While the poll provided inconclusive news in regards the Democratic primary, it did show that Moran is the strongest general election candidate against state Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R). McDonnell took 37 percent to Moran's 36 percent while McDonnell carried leads of seven points over both McAuliffe and Deeds.

Say What?: "This is like the bar scene from 'Star Wars.'" -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs comments on Thursday's unruly daily press briefing, which was repeatedly interrupted by ringing cell phones.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 10, 2009; 5:31 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Friday Line: Primary Colors

Comments

http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/jobapproval-obama-inds.php

Check out the pollster tracking of approval/disapproval among independents.
The opinions by GOP and Dems have been basically unmoved. But independents do show that stronger feelings are emerging. Approval rates aren't changing much but disapproval are rising somewhat. This perfectly explains the environment that Rove is spinning as polarization. National politics is covering maddening issues right now. Someone has to get pissed off and right now it's the GOP.

Posted by: theamazingjex | April 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

GOV'T 'FUSION CENTER' SPYING: PRETEXT TO HARASS AND CENSOR?

Special bonus: the original commentary written for "The Fix" that has twice elicited the "held for blog owner" message (?) and has failed to post here.


http://my.nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor


OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):


http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe, now you've gone too far, you can say what you want about the congress, the President, pundits and other world leaders..But don't you EVER, EVER.......ever talk like that about Al Pacino!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Posted by: JRM2 | April 10, 2009 8:23 PM
________
Noted.

Al is the best(Attica/Fredo, I know it was you/Just when I thought I was out they pulled me back in/Oompah--and beating up jerk Bradley Whitford in Scent of a Woman--an incredible Brandoesque body of work).

Just saying that since "Scent," Al has been mailing it in. "The Recruit" was awful. Al, step your game up.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 11, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk wrote: "Has become a laughingstock. I mean, more than
Before."

Well, being a laughing stock is the one thing I would trust koz to know something about. So we may have his first pertinent post here. Then again, maybe not.

Posted by: nodebris | April 11, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

marshmellow obambi is so busy bowing and scraping and
Picking out dogs he hasnt heard a US mariner has been kidnapped.

Meanwhile Biden
Has become a laughingstock. I mean, more than
Before.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe, now you've gone too far, you can say what you want about the congress, the President, pundits and other world leaders..But don't you EVER, EVER.......ever talk like that about Al Pacino!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Posted by: JRM2 | April 10, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

As Chris's article points out, the Pew poll numbers were misused by BHO haters to support a false thesis he is a polarizer.

BHO's approval numbers are through the roof at 68% (Daily Kos, 4/10) so he must be attracting a lot of independents and Obamacans (including C. Luther Powell).

What people respect about 44 is that BHO has a personal connection with the real-people issues (he has had to pay a mortgage and a student loan and drive a kid to school) and he is making good on virtually all his campaign promises (e.g., stimulus, Gitmo, torture, health care, global warming). He gets it.

Winners
BHO
Mrs. BHO
Lee Haney
Gil Arenas (for snookering the Wizards out of 100 mil; don't hate the player, hate the game--way to go, Gil, sittin' out the game tonight, too?)

Losers
Texas politician "Betty" Brown (for demanding Asian American change their names to make it easier for her, see Michele Maglagang)

The idiot at CNN who asked Gibbs about "bowing" to the Saudi king (what, no questions about flagpins?)

Beck (for an ongoing series of dangerous dog whistles to ultra-violent supremacist groups)

The Post for fronting a bogus story about a "schism" in the AA community over BHO (on the basis of one dissenter, veteran Uncle T and O-hater Tavis Smiley--yeah, 34 million v. 1 is a schism)

Hand-picked Hannity AA "Jesse Lee" [did Hannity give him a last name?](for his weekly semi-literate appearances on Hannity to trash BHO)

Arizona State University (for refusing to bestow an honorary degree on BHO when earlier they had given one to a mid-level Chinese official--aren't they one step lower than the "schools" that advertised on matchbook covers?)

That moronic Congressman who claimed he has a list of 17 "socialists" in the House of Representatives (Joe McCarthy (who in the 50s boasted of a make-believe list of 205 commies in the State Department) is not the greatest person to channel)

Ms. M. Maglagang (for hosting a hate rally, er, tea party--make sure you check in with Betty Brown--she may suggest you change your name to...Malkin)

Al Pacino (for making a series of films since "Scent of a Woman" where he just screams and rants--no plot, no story, just ranting, then straight to video)

Becky Buckwild

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 10, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"Incidentally, did anyone get an email from Newt Gingrich promoting research for Alzheimer's Disease? This never struck me as one of his key issues."


Nope. But the subjects make me think of Nancy Reagan bucking the party line on the subject of stem cell research.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"newt wouldn't dare email me..."

Its weird. Somehow I found myself on some conservative email list. I get messages from Ann Coulter and stuff. They don't send too much stuff to where it gets annoying and its good for a laugh. The Alzheimer's email really threw me for a loop.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 10, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

newt wouldn't dare email me...
(muuhhaaahhaaa)))

i wish mccain's words meant something to me. but i've been in arizona off and on for 33 years. mr. mccain is like the wind here, he comes and goes. sometimes makes a stir, but most times not...

yeah, hainan incident - just another "ever so slight happening" that we have seemingly forgotten.

did I mention the news story on the Rahmster? (hearty laughs)))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mark in Austin. (Although I wish I didn't use the word "thing" so much. I blame it on lack of sleep)

McCain has actually been complaining quite loudly about the lack of dialogue recently. Before McCain went into campaign mode, I always had the impression that he would say things that I disagreed with, but he would say them because he genuinely felt that way. Especially with Iraq. Obviously that wasn't the case during the campaign, but I saw him on Meet The Press a few weeks back and it does seem like he's back to how he used to be. Which made me take notice when he said that there was no dialogue. I'm wondering how much truth there is to that. McCain's words carry some weight with me, but I also know that tax cuts were added to the stimulus in response to Republican concerns. I guess we'll see if this becomes a recurring theme. There are very few Republicans I'd trust I'd be getting anything close to an honest assessment from, but McCain would be one of them.

Incidentally, did anyone get an email from Newt Gingrich promoting research for Alzheimer's Disease? This never struck me as one of his key issues.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 10, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

tbn: April 1, 2001. The Hainan Island Incident:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan_Island_incident

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

bsimon- yeah -2001. no telling what deals were made on that one.
/////
i know much of the home foreclosure crisis was based in breaking of regulatory requirements (that's the code-which translates into law) by mortgage companies and loan institutions.
but the 2 wars don't help either---
it's expensive to fight and to police the world. don't forget we are in indonesia and the phillipines big time (along with other hot spots globally)...

i wish it was as easy as telling citizens to get their government under control. The "common man" of America hardly understands the legislative process, much less "how" to do anything about elected officials when they "do wrong". Or how to get involved.
It takes time, running around, and work to get involved. And believe it or not, it takes brains and acquiescence. The vote is the most powerful tool but it seemingly gets lost in translation when "policies" come into play--whereby folks don't believe their vote counted, etc. etc. or why did i vote for him---look what he is doing.
And finally, guess what, the common man is starting (began a ways back) simply not to care.

Barack is heading to 100 days and all we are going to hear from the press is what he failed to do.
To look for negativity is the new American way. We see it everyday on the blog here at WaPo too. This negative outlook is so prevalent in America now. Everyone is depressed and their glasses are half empty.
It's going to be a long hot summer with no jobs. Husbands will blow away their families instead of subjecting them to homelessness. Maybe even mothers will kill their children because they cannot feed them.
It is not going to be pretty.
And you know what, President Obama is NOT to blame for it.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 says
"That's what I'm thinking too. I was unaware of the China/Paki aircraft project; there's a bit of info at the wikipedia page on the chinese air force. Most of their fleet are older Soviet designed MiG & Sukhoi aircraft. re: eurofighter; I was thinking in terms of potential adversaries."

The Chinese have been trying to build their own aircraft more recently, based off the 4th generation Russian fighters (MiG-29s) with some accoutrements from other fighters.

As for the Typhoon, you never know when we're going to invade Germany again -- or Saudi Arabia, for that matter, BHO's "obsequiosness" not withstanding.

Posted by: mnteng | April 10, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked what was the big deal with Obama bowing to the King of Saudi and then compares it to Bush holding hands. In Arab countries it is a sign of friendship to hold hands, and sometimes plant kisses on the nose as a sign of respect and friendship. This should not be confused with Obama bowing at the waste in a subservient manner as clearly shown on the video. Muslims do not respect weakness. Obama displayed weakness and that he really is an empty suit.

I did not vote for Bush. I did not vote for Obama. I think they are both inadequate for different reasons. Obama is a flake and incompetent and that is becoming more clear to everyone as each day goes past.

Contrary to what this article says Obama did not win in a "landslide". The popular vote was not that far apart. A part of his victory was how independent voters went. That will change come 2010.

The bite of the idiotic spending spree has started hitting everyone in taxes on every level including local, state and federal. There is going to be a major shift in 2010. Independents that were tired of Bush and the Republicans that voted Democratic will be looking for fiscally responsible candidates.

The financial crisis is not Bush's fault. It is the fault of the Congress and the Senate. Go back and get a list of every House Member and Senator that voted in 1999 to do away with the Glass Segal Act. There were members of both parties involved.

Citizens need to unite and bring the government under control. It is not a Republican versus Democrat issue. It is a Citizen versus Government issue. The government is making decision to better the interests of bankers and Wall street over the People. Until we send a new group of representatives to Washington this will not change.

At this point the only ones that are fighting to stop bankrupting our country and passing the debt of the bankers and wall street to the people are the republicans and a small group of democrats. I support them wheither red or blue.

The taxman is going to be carnivorous when they start trying to collect the trillions of dollars to pay this back. Here local city and county governments are already announcing tax increases. It is happening all over the country. Any of you that think you will not be paying out the nose for this spending are very foolish. Anyone between 18 to 30 will be paying for this the rest of your lives. Taxes will take the form of sales taxes, fees, penalties and every form of increase imaginable. It will not be the top 1 or 2 % that pays for this, it will be We the People.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"so what year was it that China captured one of our planes and dis-assembled it?"

Are you referring to the surveilance aircraft that had an emergency landing in China in spring/summer of 2001? I don't think the story was ever fully told about what equipment the crew disabled, and what the Chinese may have learned. That was an early foreign policy test of the young Bush administration that most have forgotten, due to the September attacks.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Ddawd, I enjoyed your post. It reminded me that both BHO and McC were process candidates, and that I thought that was what carried them through to their respective party nominations. There was much to distinguish between them on policy ideas, but both promised to listen to other voices.
McC lamented that he had a longer and deeper record working across the aisle than anyone else, but he still did not win. The repeated notion that politics was dialogue and debate, not a rock fight, was heard from both nominees. I think that they were both serious about process, I think the Prez will continue to offer dialogue and debate.
I would like to see Congress get back to operating under the "general rule", of course.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama's support among republicans is so low because the GOP has turned obstructionism into a virtue and republican registration has declined as the GOP lost moderates. Obama still maintains high approval from independents, which shows that voters actually interested in bi-partisanship don't feel like Obama sold them out.

Posted by: theamazingjex | April 10, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

so what year was it that China captured one of our planes and dis-assembled it?

maybe they learned something.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"I had given you more credit for being a thinker who questions and challenges everything before forming an opinion"

Like how you questioned and challenged everything before lying about how the Obama Administration "cut the defense budget?"

It's kind of interesting. You've stopped moving the goalposts and have resorted to ad hominem. One could literally do a study on logical fallacies from your posts in this thread alone.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Obama looks at bipartisanship a lot differently than the media does. To them, bipartisanship means to do half of what each side wants. To Obama, its more of a process thing. It means listen to both sides and treat them both respectfully, but come up with the best solutions, not just some arbitrary 50-50 thing. The Republican ideas are pretty much what led to this mess in the first place. Obama certainly should listen to what they have to say. Obama may have campaigned for bipartisanship, but he also campaigned against the failed policies of the Bush presidency. It would be a far greater reneging if he were to start embracing these failed policies in order to please the pundits while the country suffers.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"I think Gates is preparing for the next miltary action and not fighting the last war. I cannot foresee an instance where we would invade a country that we would not have air superiority over with our current fleet, particularly supplemented by the F22s and F35s."

That's what I'm thinking too. I was unaware of the China/Paki aircraft project; there's a bit of info at the wikipedia page on the chinese air force. Most of their fleet are older Soviet designed MiG & Sukhoi aircraft. re: eurofighter; I was thinking in terms of potential adversaries.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes
"To assume everybody in power knows more than the rest of ua is dangerous to a democracy. You disappoint me BSIMON, I had given you more credit for being a thinker who questions and challenges everything before forming an opinion."

Coming from a guy who hasn't yet defended his argument beyond catchphrases and name-calling, I'm not exactly offended.

Here's a question for you: who should be determining DOD spending - Pentagon Brass & the Sec Def, or Congress-critters trying to bring pork to the home district?

More comical is your own inability to maintain a cohesive woldview. You went from "deficit spending is bad!" to "Pentagon cuts are bad!" to ignoring the fact that the Pentagon is actually requesting a larger budget. Sounds to me like you're just another partisan hack who repeats anything critical of the current adminstration, whether its based in fact or not. Feel free to respond next time you have an original thought.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal with the bow? Bush kissed, held hands and danced the "sword dance" with the King of Saudi Arabia. Did we care? margaret Thatcher curtsied every time she met the Saudi King so did the Brits have a conniption? Republicans are grasping at straws to complain about. First it was the teleprompter, then the bow, then the "polarization" and other crap.

Posted by: mstratas | April 10, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess if you were old enough BSIMON you would have trusted Robert McMamara and Gen Westermorelands' advice over their critics. To assume everybody in power knows more than the rest of ua is dangerous to a democracy. You disappoint me BSIMON, I had given you more credit for being a thinker who questions and challenges everything before forming an opinion. You reveal yourself to be just another kool aid drinker who is ashamed to call himself what he is. A dem.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

You guys have to see this Youtube video making the rounds on Youtube. Its called the Obama Bow Remix Video. It is very funny. It has Obama Bowing to the Saudi King, Then the WhiteHouse Trying to explain it. All mixed together on while a music track play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88wP-9puAD8

Posted by: pastor123 | April 10, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

The Eurofighter Typhoon came out in 2004 (?) and is probably the best air superiority fighter out there next to the F22.

Sukhoi has a couple of fighters in the late development stages (maiden flights in the late '90s). In particular, the SU-47 has vectored thrust nozzles like the F22. It also has a rear-facing radar to shoot missiles at trailing planes.

MiG is also developing a multi-purpose fighter (1.42) and the Chinese have a couple under development (one with Pakistan?).

More importantly though, I think Gates is preparing for the next miltary action and not fighting the last war. I cannot foresee an instance where we would invade a country that we would not have air superiority over with our current fleet, particularly supplemented by the F22s and F35s. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban do not have air forces to my knowledge.

Posted by: mnteng | April 10, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It is not the partisan divide reflected in the polls that concerns me; it is the vitriolic, personal and hateful manner in which that partisanship is expressed. A rational and well reasoned debate between differing views is useful, indeed necessary, to a robust democracy. Personal attacks, insults and threats are not constructive to the national discourse.

Extremists from both sides appear addicted to to their partisanship, unable to recognize any good in those who disagree with them and unable to recognize any flaw in their own positions.

This is to be expected in a society where we are exposed daily to, and inclined to emulate, the hardened partisans of our airwaves who talk over, and shout down, one another rather than engage in civil conversation. Our nation would be the better for more civility and less rancor, but I do not see that in our near future.

Posted by: gshpc | April 10, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
" Without control of the airspace, troops on the ground would be far more vulnnerable. "

I trust the Sec of Defense more than you. The record demonstrates that we can & do control the airspace. Has there been any significant investment in weapons technologies by potential opponents since the early 80s? Last new fighter I'm aware of was by Sukhoi in about 1984. Again, if the Sec of Defese says we should shelve the F22 program in favor of the F35 program, I'll take his word for it.

Trying to put a partisan spin on that assessment is a weak argument. Gates, after all, was appointed by Bush.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Hello??? The Republican Party, representing the oil, pharmaceutical, banking and insurance industries and the superrich, decided soon after Obama was elected that they would fight him tooth and nail on behalf of the special interests. They have put forward the likes of Limbaugh, Cheney, and Rove to criticize and badmouth him at every turn, continuing their venomous, polarizing practices of the past eight years. So of course the polls show that Americans are polarized. Democrats, Independents, and thinking Republicans see how hard Obama is working to undo the damage of the Bush administration. Hardcore neocons parrot the talking points of their angry, hateful leaders, resisting any CHANGES that Obama tries to accomplish.

It's not the Obama administration that's polarizing. It's the loudmouthed neocons who are desperately trying to preserve the privileged existence they led under the Bush administration.

Posted by: bamccampbell | April 10, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Its not an either/or Bsimon: Without control of the airspace, troops on the ground would be far more vulnnerable"

You're begging the question. This statement is assuming that you can't control the airspace and protect the troops on the ground without the F-22 (at an aforementioned cost of $140 million apiece). The Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense both disagree with you. They have come to the conclusion that the F-22 does not provide an acceptable cost:benefit ratio.

What's your evidence to back up the claim that the F-22 project is integral to "controlling the airspace?" I'd love to take a look at any links or references you could provide.

That said, you still haven't admitted that you were lying about the "cutting the defense budget" thing. You just moved the goalposts when you got called out on it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So there are 17 "socialists" in Congress, now? Which kind of socialists are we talking about here? The kind that re-distribute wealth to the poor (which you could call "socialist"), or the kind that re-distribute wealth to the rich (which you should call "Republican")?

"Socialists". Right. Somebody please tell these morons that this is not 1951......

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

republicans polarizing? naah, course not...

"While touring his district yesterday, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, declared that 17 of his House colleagues “are socialists”, according to the Birmingham News:

But he said he is worried that he is being steered too far by the Congress: “Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists.”

Asked to clarify his comments after the breakfast speech at the Trussville Civic Center, Bachus said 17 members of the U.S. House are socialists.

Roll Call reports, “An e-mail to Bachus’ spokesman about the names of those 17 Members was not returned.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) could ask Bachus if he would support her call for a McCarthy-like investigation into the “anti-American” views of her peers in Congress."

Posted by: drindl | April 10, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you are spending too much time with Fox News Bhoomes, and not getting anything but propaganda. Obama's plan including spending MORE on the military, including increasing the size of the Army and Navy.

Posted by: drindl | April 10, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Its not an either/or Bsimon: Without control of the airspace, troops on the ground would be far more vulnnerable. I now know why I thought you were a dem. You are. You may be technically registered a an independent but when all of your views are aligned and attuned with the democratic party your a dem. I do not know who are trying to kid; us or yourself.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Polarizing"?

Yeah, when the GOP can't make up their collective minds over which canard to lay on Obama this week -- is he still a socialist, or is he a communist, or have we moved on to calling him a fascist? -- I suppose you could say that's kind of polarizing....

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 10, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

26% out of 100% electorate are Republicans. Statistically, who cares about this insane group of people? They are a scourge to America for the following reasons: very pro big business (no matter how corrupt & greedy the corporations are, the Republicans cling to them); fanatically fundamentalist Evangelicals (religion has not place government; belief in God is personal); morally hypcritical (wide stance and Vitter), pro-war and pro-big military spending. Pres. Obama is the right leader for this time. Bush so damaged America that it will take decades to correct Bush's shenanigans abetted by his Republican minions.

Posted by: mstratas | April 10, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

hoomes writes
"Today's force is constantly rotating between Iraq, Afghanistan and home.Some do as many as 4 or 5 tours. Its unfair to put so much burden on so few. We need to spend our money to grow the size of our forces, so they can get a break. Defense spending creates good paying jobs, better spent there than hiring people to plant trees along the highway."

Given that, I would think you'd support cancellation of wasteful spending programs in order to be able to afford more troops' salaries. If the F-22s are $140 million each, how many soldiers can we hire by killing that program?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"It's not the President who is polarizing as much as it is the times we live in," said Yang."


The polarization is coming from the rabid right -- from Fox, from Limbaugh, from hannity, from O'Reilly. Just think about the hundreds of rightwing talk radio hosts, TV hosts, every single person on Fox -- all of them rabidly hating Democrats -- and talking now about overthrowing the government, actually encouraging armed revolution.

"loyal" opposition, my as*.

Posted by: drindl | April 10, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

As others have noted, the country isn't more partisan; the GOP is just more uniformly controlled by its right wing, moderates having largely left the party.

I don't really think it's possible for there to be bipartisanship between the Democrats and the GOP. That presumes they share a middle where there is some substantial degree of overlap in interests and approaches.

But the rise of independent, non-aligned voters has created, in essence, a third party that lies between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats can be "bipartisan" with independents because their right overlaps with left-leaning independents. Republicans can be "bipartisan" with independents, because their left overlaps with right-leaning independents. But there is no significant overlap between the Democrats' right-wing and the Republicans' left wing.

The two parties are locked in a zero-sum competition for independent voters (although only Democrats seem to realize this at present), which encourages them to maximize the differences between themselves. Democrat/GOP "bipartisanship" is fool's gold.

Rather than the fairy dust of bipartisanship, I would settle for a minimal level of civility and respect for process. Obama offers this. Republicans . . . less so.

Posted by: nodebris | April 10, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"Just to politely remind you, we have more than one enemy out there"

You're ignoring the point - You made a big deal about "cutting defense spending" when defense spending has increased. We can argue the validity of the F-22 program just as soon as you admit you were lying about the "cutting defense spending."

Secretary Gates Decided that the F-22 program wasn't worth what it cost, and that the money would be better served defending out nation through other programs.

That said, government spending to create jobs is government spending to create jobs. Whether your "planting trees" or "building bombs" at the end of the day, your job is still reliant on sustained and increased government spendign to exist. Arguing that one is "better" than another simply because it aligns with your political views is faulty.

Hint: This is what got the GOP in trouble in the first place - Acting like Democrats and employing their ends to a different means.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

These early polls during a new presidents honeymoon are meaningless. President G.W. Bush's poll numbers were the same as Bozo the Clown Obama's after his first several months in office, and only dropped over time. While Bozo Obama's Marxist ideas haven't hit the American people in the wallet yet, once it does, and our economy goes into the tank, his poll numbers will go down to his shoe size and his single-digits IQ.
By the way, Rassmussen had Independants split at about 50-50 approval/dis-approval for Bozo Obama, last week, and not the 57 that the Democrap Socialist Garit Hart Yang Research group had it.

Posted by: armpeg | April 10, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

BSIMON/VTDUFFAMN: Just to politely remind you, we have more than one enemy out there. THE DOD is given charge of protecting against ALL THREATS, which includes not just terrorist cells but nation/states such as NK, China, etc. The F22 was intended to replace the aging F16. Total domination of the skys is necessary if you want win wars. China with its new found wealth is drastically increasing what they spend on defense. In Mark and my days, you only had to do 1 tour in Vietnam or some isolated post and you were done. Today's force is constantly rotating between Iraq, Afghanistan and home.Some do as many as 4 or 5 tours. Its unfair to put so much burden on so few. We need to spend our money to grow the size of our forces, so they can get a break. Defense spending creates good paying jobs, better spent there than hiring people to plant trees along the highway.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, who are these people that are polled?

Rove is a FOX special, are they the folks that are polled?

Until proven otherwise the SMART money is with the YOUTH of America who wanted and will get change. 80 days does not make a PRESIDENCY.

I do not know a single person that has ever been POLLED????

Polls, Polls, Polls, have not been right lately. The Stock Market is coming around, like that young guy in the White House said it would. Polls inspired by FOX predicted the that young guy would fall on his face at the G20.

The 27 percenters are too busy Hiring Newt and Firing Palin. Who has time for Polls?

Posted by: msgbill | April 10, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

so summers says the "free fall" is ending.

that's because we have all hit the freaking ground and splattered our guts all over the place....

have a nice fall, see ya next year

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I see duffman anticipated my question.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Nemo-

From what I am hearing, the concresscritters in districts that rely on certain wasteful programs (like the aforementioned F-22) are howling to the hills about "cuts" because it directly affects their constitutents. I assume that the critz from districts that saw increased funding are keeping their mouths relatively shut.

The bottom line is that the "Obama is cutting military spending!" talking point is just completely untrue no matter how you look at it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"That said I am disturbed we are cutting money to the Defense Dept while we are fighting two wars."

Isn't that just another argument for throwing money at the problem? Shouldn't the Sec of Defense direct funds towards programs that will help win the conflicts we're fighting? His argument for shutting down the F-22 program is exactly that: F-22s don't help us fight insurgents, so he's killing the program. F-35s have more uses, so he's promoting that program as one that will better serve our needs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but while killing certain programs with high costs, isn't he actually asking for an overall funding increase for DOD?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

VT--
not really cutting...
HR 1 stimulus...when it hit senate,
they made sure all defense agencies got money. 450 pages worth of "funding the military"
so HR1 is covering it..

press loves to make you think that because they got NEW money, that the OLD money was cut. it really wasn't

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

bsimon- i would like it if their arguments were based in factual data or even scientific data. agreements would be easier to make.

our elected officials, after elected, unfortunately let their GREED "read the bills"....

we have actually had it - in arizona, an elected official on a city council or something local ---in going to work down at phx's capital---had a hard time getting off the freeway exit and turning left (instead of right). He would stop at the light that took forever to turn green, etc. etc.
He gets elected and makes sure that the freeway exit is re-built to have an automatic curved left hand turn lane off the exit.....get what i mean???
just one example.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"That said I am disturbed we are cutting money to the Defense Dept while we are fighting two wars."

We aren't. Funding to the DoD in the current budget is actually 4% higher than it was last year.

We are cutting wasteful programs that do little to nothing to help us fight the Global War on Terror, and re-appropriating that funding to programs that will help us. When all is said and done, an F-22 isn't going to help you fight a terrorist in a cave. This is something that Gates not only believes, but has been promoting over the course of his tenure as SecDef.

A little intellectual honesty would be appreciated, please.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, When I say "thoughtful and rational" my hope is that sometimes Ds will not automatically say "Throw more money at it right this red hot minute in a bill we just made up and passed without reading" and sometimes Rs will not jerk their knees and say "Don't tax the rich because untaxed they will create jobs for everyone if they can put more money off shore".

To me, thoughtful and rational would lead to more compromises, where necessary, but I would not expect that regularly, nor would I think Ds or Rs would be pleased.

I am thinking that you and I are not that far apart. But you and I probably would have less difficulty cutting a domestic policy deal than do Pelosi and Cantor. Imagine Drindl and KOZ trying to compromise.

Having said that, I see your point as well as my own - we want Congress to act like responsible adults.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

the election of 2000
(supreme court case #949) -
this was the questioning of the electoral college, which in turned made the public question the validity of the system....

if we are polarized today, it began in 2000.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with Mark about the need for us to have semblenace of unity in dealing with Wars and adversaries. I wish Obama nothing but total success in Iraq and Afghanistan, as Presidents do not go to War, nations do. That said I am disturbed we are cutting money to the Defense Dept while we are fighting two wars. I saw Gates' press conference on the budget, his facial glimaces did not indicate he really believed what he was saying. As a pro, he was trying to sell Obamas' defense cuts as best as he could. I do not understand how we can blow money on everyting but our National Defense. PS. Still waiting for those severe consequences for North Korea promised by the Obama administration.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


we will cease blaming bush when there is nothing to blame him for...

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

While a large majority of the Republicans disapprove of Obama, there are less respondents in the survey claiming Republican party identification. PEW reported 28 percent of respondents identified with the Republican Party, a new low in the PEW data. Those that remain identified with the Republicans are the hard core types who would never approve of anything done by a Democratic president. These were most likely the same respondents who strongly approved of the job George W. Bush was doing in December of 2008.

Posted by: blpeyton | April 10, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin asks
"Why should the parties agree on domestic issues? What is the point of that? Better that we demand that their arguments be thoughtful and rational than that we demand tey agree."

In normal times I would agree. But these are not normal times. Decades of bickering and petty disagreement has created a mess. It has to be cleaned up, and to accomplish that, people on both sides are going to have to give up their ideology for a bit in order to develop pragmatic solutions.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse


get over it republicans...

they are all still mad at the freezing of the regulations.

go rahmster.

did anyone see the CNN story of "all the Presidents' millionaires"????
The Rahmster looks wonderful!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 10, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think the poll is of very limited relevancy. There is only reason for long term bipartisanship in foreign policy, so that we can present a consistent face to the world. In that, with a team that includes Jones and Gates, the Admin has steered carefully. Henry Kissinger approves. Really. So does Jim Baker.

Why should the parties agree on domestic issues? What is the point of that? Better that we demand that their arguments be thoughtful and rational than that we demand tey agree.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 10, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

It shouldn't be a surprise to any regular Fix readers/commenters that we are becoming more and more polarized politically. We're slowly losing the ability to talk to each other rationally and reasonably about our differences in policy. Certainly, talk radio and MSNBC/FOX have contributed to this decline.

But the media (and we readers) are guilty sometimes of treating politics as if it were sports, with each side "scoring points" so that we can define winners and losers. But in the end, "we must hang together ... else, we shall most assuredly hang separately".

Posted by: mnteng | April 10, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Some of us are offended by a Prez showing unusual deference to foreign royalty. This Prez bowed to a Saudi king. Bad.

The previous Prez kissed the Saudi king. Bad.

The big question is why our recent presidents feel any obligation to show this kind of deference to, of all people, the king of the nation that produced 19 of the AQ air pirates of 9-11.

If we can cure this behavior by complaining about it, we should complain. It may NOT be of any long run consequence. That does not make it less irritating, right now, or when GWB kissed him and held his hand like a romantic swain.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ceflynline writes
"That 61% split may actually represent exactly the opposite of the polarization interpretation."

If you're the minority party, its a worrisome number. Their base is shrinking. If you look at the base as a floor for electoral success, the GOP needs to win over the independants 2:1 compared to the Dems. But the independants support the President at about 3:2. So, from a strategic perspective, is it a rational strategy to claim the president isn't living up to post-partisan expectations, when you're a shrinking minority of dissent? Or do you instead end up further marginalizing yourself?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"THEY are mad because they lost, and, given the choice of reexamining their platform and their party's performance over the last thirty years, have decided to go sit in a corner and heckle."

It's pretty brilliant, actually:

"He can't be bipartisan if we don't agree with anything! Then we can criticize him for not being bi-partisan!"

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

That 61% split may actually represent exactly the opposite of the polarization interpretation.

It is highly unlikely that either party could draw in the more radical elements of the other, and so such a big split suggests that only the dedicated 25%ers aren't basically in support of the President. Note that the Republicans who are crying "Polarization" are the most polarizing, and polarized, of the lot. THEY are mad because they lost, and, given the choice of reexamining their platform and their party's performance over the last thirty years, have decided to go sit in a corner and heckle.

The country might like it better if they just sulked instead.

Posted by: ceflynline | April 10, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for providing a more intelligent analysis of the poll. I was annoyed by Gerson's WP piece this week, which ignored several obvious issues involved in interpreting such polls. Why do partisans always sweep things under the carpet to score points? Do they know they are lying by exclusion, or does party/ideological loyalty render them truly purblind to the complete picture? In any case, I recommend going to the original Pew Research piece (which you thoughtfully linked to), where one finds an intelligent look at what the numbers might (or might not) mean. Your own collected observations here are also excellent, Chris. :-)

Posted by: kingpigeon | April 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

That 61% split may actually represent exactly the opposite of the polarization interpretation.

It is highly unlikely that either party could draw in the more radical elements of the other, and so such a big split suggests that only the dedicated 25%ers aren't basically in support of the President. Note that the Republicans who are crying "Polarization" are the most polarizing, and polarized, of the lot. THEY are mad because they lost, and, given the choice of reexamining their platform and their party's performance over the last thirty years, have decided to go sit in a corner and heckle.

The country might like it better if they just sulked instead.

Posted by: ceflynline | April 10, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

That 61% split may actually represent exactly the opposite of the polarization interpretation.

It is highly unlikely that either party could draw in the more radical elements of the other, and so such a big split suggests that only the dedicated 25%ers aren't basically in support of the President. Note that the Republicans who are crying "Polarization" are the most polarizing, and polarized, of the lot. THEY are mad because they lost, and, given the choice of reexamining their platform and their party's performance over the last thirty years, have decided to go sit in a corner and heckle.

The country might like it better if they just sulked instead.

Posted by: ceflynline | April 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure that drivl and other moonbats have a direct line to ET so this could work out well. Call it the loony moonbat productive activity act of 2009.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure that drivl and other moonbats have a direct line to ET so this could work out well. Call it the loony moonbat productive activity act of 2009.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I hope that once the "blame bush" anachronism wears off, that the libs are able to find a replacement skapegoat for all their flaws and faults.

Bigfoot, clear your schedule.

Who inserted all that spending? Bigfoot did it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

As usual, some facts emerge indicating a trend in the US, in this case, that mr bipartisan and everyone get along is not. The libs reply- it's the repubs fault. And you thought broken records were obsolete.

Is there one thing ever done in this country that is attributable to obambi?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"VT, it goes to their veracity, why lie about something that is clearing a bow."

Who cares though?

Did you care this much when Bush lied about WMDs? Why do you care now? The White House Press Corps lied for 8 years, were you whining this much then?

Just be honest, it's not your guy, it's not your party, so you're going to grasp at any straw you can. The biggest problem for your team though? It's not working. All you're doing is distancing yourself further and further from the mainstream.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Classic.

Let's get both sides of the argument.

From the GOP operatives: "MoveOn! Limbaugh! Socialist!"

And now from the folks who *aren't* GOP hacks:

"80+ among Dems. 60% among Independents. 30% among the racists, dittoheads, and Christian militia members who comprise the rump of the GOP."

Let's be clear: Obama polls low among GOP dead-enders, and quite high among everyone else. This is as it should be.

Even FDR had a GOP opposition who argued vociferously against war with Hitler. That's what they do.

Posted by: icoleman | April 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, so far it does look like our destroyer missed the opportunity to blow the pirates and their "inflatable hard shell" out of the water. We do not know why they missed the opportunity, yet.

This, for me, brings up a related contention of mine. The international laws of the sea and air - the piracy laws - are not nearly so rife with safeguards as the Geneva Convention, which does not apply to pirates. Without going into detail, much harsher and quicker justice is permitted. AQ's attack on 9-11 was first and foremost an act of air piracy. Instead of declaring a "war on terror" and bringing AQ even arguably under the Geneva protections, we should have, while the iron was hot, declared AQ to be pirates. The world would have followed, we never would have had to deal with Geneva, and we could have started a movement to have all non-state terrorism dealt with under the piracy laws.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 10, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

sfcpoll writes
"Conversely, Obama's immense support among Democrats whose ranks are their highest in recent years should worry Republicans for elections to come."


That, and that middle group of voters that don't identify with a party - which is where the former Repubs have presumably gone - still support the President at nearly 60%. If I were a Repub strategist, that is the number that would worry me. You don't win elections with the base, you win them with the swing voters.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I think this is the poll that Nate of 538 discussed earlier this week. His point is a good one: While the aggregate scores look damning, the more interesting data is in the cross tabs. According to Nate, the number of self-identified republicans has shrunk - significantly. It is among self-defined repubs that the President scores poorly; but those people make up a much smaller part of the electorate than they did early in the Bush administration, for instance. Point being: perhaps the Repubs promoting this poll as evidence of Presidential failure at post-partisanship are playing a bit at partisanship themselves, trying to find something 'positive' in numbers that do not bode well at all for them.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 10, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

VT, it goes to their veracity, why lie about something that is clearing a bow. Blarg: I have not heard any "Impeach Obama" talk. Their may be a few people on the very fringe who advocate such nonsense(see dems wanting to impeach Bush)but nobody in the mainstream of the Republican party. Also welcome to democracy. All public officials get critized and we are better off for it. We don't worship Kings in this country, at least not yet.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what conservatives think of Obama. He is going to be re-elected. Why would anyone want the gravy train to stop?

Posted by: aperkins1 | April 10, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Pew also reports that Republican party identification is very much on ebb- only 26% identify as Reps vs. 33% in 2004 and 38% who identify as Democrats currently- http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=757 - And that those that still identify as Republicans are more conservative. So maybe the issue is less whether Obama is more polarizing, but whether the Republican party has become limited to a more conservative cadre, even less likely to be receptive to his advances. Conversely, Obama's immense support among Democrats whose ranks are their highest in recent years should worry Republicans for elections to come.

Posted by: sfcpoll | April 10, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Speaking of do not believe your lying eyes drewbitt, did you catch the WH point blank say Obama did not bow to the Saudi King."

If he did or didn't who really cares? Did you care when Bush kissed the Saudi king and strolled around the rose garden with him holding hands?

You people are making a mountain out of a molehill and it reeks of straw-grasping.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Republican elected officials and pundits have spent months criticizing every action Obama has taken as president. During the campaign, they attacked him on every statement he made (and many he didn't), every person he's ever met, etc. And for years, they've called the Democrats traitors and socialists and fascists.

And now, they point to a poll showing that Republicans don't like Obama, as evidence that Obama is the problem! Absolutely ridiculous. There's nothing Obama could do to get these people on his side. There have been "Impeach Obama" groups online since BEFORE THE INAUGURATION. This polarization is a caused by the political mood of the country and the actions of Republicans, not by Obama.

Posted by: Blarg | April 10, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of do not believe your lying eyes drewbitt, did you catch the WH point blank say Obama did not bow to the Saudi King. Karl Rove called out Joe Biden because he was lying about GWB. Easy enough to prove, have WH release the time Biden said he lectured GWB by releasing if was alone Pres. at that time. Of course Biden is the same constitional expert who cannot seen to keep straight what article refers to Executive Power and Legislative power. KOZ: I waiting for Obama to give amnesty to all the pirates as a prelude to giving legal US citzenship to them down the road.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

And besides which, Karl Rove has to be the most hilarious hypocrite of all time. Accusing Obama of being *more* polarizing than W is like saying the moon is made of green cheese or the Earth is flat-- there isn't a single fact that supports this stupid, hyperpartisan piece of rhetoric. As Chris points out, W was MORE polarizing than Obama is, according to this single poll.

I give Rove points for chutzpah but on the evidence, he's about as credible as Chicken Little or the Boy Who Cried Wolf. That doesn't mean, though, that his lies and distortions should be ignored; we have to keep slapping him in the face with the truth as often as he pops up. (He's sort of like a toxic Whack-a-Mole, isn't he?)

Posted by: drewbitt | April 10, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Be there no doubt, Obama *IS* a polarizing President.

There are some who would support and vote for Obama no matter what. (Facetiously, even if he were to murder someone).

There are others, myself included, who would not vote for Obama under any circumstance. (His ideology, ideological mentors, positions on crime and *LIFE* issues, where he is taking this country fiscally, other).

I did not vote for Obama on Nov. 4, 2008.

I will not be voting for him during Nov. 2012.

Posted by: furtdw
**********
This supports my belief that there is no Democratic contender, living or dead, who would enjoy significant Republican support. The right simply cannot tolerate the idea of one of "them" in the White House, no matter how often it's shown that their side led us into absolute disaster.

Bipartisanship is a nice idea but in the current climate, it's impractical and unattainable. Obama *should* govern as a Democrat, since that's what he was elected (by a definite majority--remember, he WON the popular election, unlike W) to do. If Republicans don't like it, that's too bad; their guy lost.

In the meantime, the majority who DID vote for Obama can expect to see him govern in ways that the right will never accept. Which is just fine with me.

Posted by: drewbitt | April 10, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes. I have heard that someday, eventually, in good time, perhaps in heaven, these pirates will experience serious consequences. Obambi is considering flying the white flag on all US ships. How dare that crew fight back against liberal policy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Polarization started with Newt Gingrich and it continues. You can't call the president polarizing when Republicans have been made to vote against anything and everything in lock step. The party of no has no business calling anyone polarizing.

Posted by: rambostilskin | April 10, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

You have to be deaf, dumb, blind and stupid to be a lib anymore. But I repeat myself: lib, stupid.

You have to be unable to recognize a "bow ". You have
To think joe biden is grounded in reality. You have to believe the government is not running GM. You have to have faith there will be consequences. You have to support killers and shun allies.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 10, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Re. the Pew poll - aren't we missing something? Not only are identified Republicans fewer than identified Democrats, identified Republicans are fewer than for many decades.

The remainder are the 'unshiftables', more loyal to their ideology than to anything else. They would have opposed any Democrat president - Hillary, Joe, Chris or Dennis.

Democrats have the luxury of diversity, of nuance. Republicans don't.

Posted by: strum | April 10, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs to reach out to those that are disgruntled.. this is President 101 .. don't punish people who did not vote for you! If you want to label yourself as a man of the people.. that should be all people!

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 10, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove is bashing the "politics of polarization"? Seriously? What a jerk...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 10, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

As someone who was impressed early on with Obama after his convention and Iowa Caucas speech, I am really disappointed with his blantant partisanship since taking office. He told us during the campaign he would bring us all together. I guesss like his VP. he was liaring. Mark in Austin, with the caveat, we do not have all the facts yet, its looks like the Navy may have been caught napping. Surely they must have the dingy under 24 hour surveillance, why didn't they blow that lifeboat to kingdom come when our good Captain jumped over board. In fairness to the Navy, they may have been under orders from Pres Obama not to harm these criminals as he did not want to violate their civil rights and be charged with war crimes by some spanish judge.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 10, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I didn't vote for Obama to be bipartisan- I voted for him because his ideas were better than the Republican Party's ideas. I would almost love if he told the Republicans to keep their failed selves at home, except that I agree that listening to debate is educational and purposeful.

However, it should also be mentioned that the Republicans haven't exactly made much of an effort to alter their stance on issues either-- being bipartisan requires effort from both sides.

Posted by: novahokie2004 | April 10, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Be there no doubt, Obama *IS* a polarizing President.

There are some who would support and vote for Obama no matter what. (Facetiously, even if he were to murder someone).

There are others, myself included, who would not vote for Obama under any circumstance. (His ideology, ideological mentors, positions on crime and *LIFE* issues, where he is taking this country fiscally, other).

I did not vote for Obama on Nov. 4, 2008.

I will not be voting for him during Nov. 2012.

Posted by: furtdw | April 10, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

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