Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Morning Fix: As California Goes. . .


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom shakes hands during the 39th annual gay pride parade June 28, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

California has long served as a leading indicator of national political trends.

It was California where the battle over illegal immigration began in earnest in 1994 with the passage of Proposition 187, an initiative that was designed to ban illegal immigrants from taking advantage of social services.

It was California where the debate over affirmative action became a national issue thanks to a ballot proposition pushed by Ward Connerly in 1996 that banned all public institutions from granting "preferential treatment" to anyone on the basis of race, sex or ethnicity.

And, it was California where the issue of gay marriage reached a national crossroad -- after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples in late 2003 -- and where the fight has been centered ever since; witness the fight over Proposition 8 last November.

Given that (brief) history, a new Field poll that analyzes the changes in Californians' attitudes toward several divisive social issues over the past thirty years piqued our interest.

The Field poll compared how Californians felt about same sex marriage and abortion in the mid to late 1970s and how they felt today and found, not terribly surprisingly, that Golden Staters are far more socially liberal now than they were back then.

In 1977, for example, just 31 percent of registered voters approved of same-sex marriage while 62 percent disapproved; in 2009, 49 percent approved and 44 percent disapproved of gay marriage.

The really striking finding in the Field data, however, was that the change in attitudes toward same-sex marriage came almost exclusively among Democrats and so-called "non partisan" (independent) voters.

Non partisans have gone from being opposed to gay marriage by 55 percent to 38 percent margin to being supportive of it at a 57 percent to 38 percent clip. Democrats went from opposing the idea at a two to one rate (29 percent/63 percent) to supporting it by roughly the same number (64/30). Republicans, interestingly, have grown more against same sex marriage with 65 percent opposing it in 1977 and 68 percent opposing it in 2009.

The same trend is born out in the Field data on abortion. Seventy percent of California voters in the 2006 numbers approved of the right of a woman to seek an abortion, a 19 percentage point jump from 1975. Democratic support for the right to have an abortion skyrocketed from 52 percent in 1975 to 82 percent in 2006 while non partisans experienced a more modest, but still significant, increase from 59 percent support to 73 percent support. Republicans grew slightly more supportive of abortion rights during that time -- from 50 percent in 1975 to 55 percent in 2006.

As we wrote earlier this year in regards gay marriage, there are some indications in polling that the potency of wedge social issues with a general electorate may be waning. And, even some Republican strategists have told us they would prefer not to talk about gay marriage (or abortion) in the context of a campaign because they view it as a no-win argument.

"The world is changing and I don't think people, particularly swing voters, care as much either way," one high level Republican strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly, told us back in April about gay marriage.

Many conservatives will, rightly, note that Prop. 8 passed last November, and suggest that Californians' attitudes on social issues have not changed as much as some observers like to think.

Fair enough. But, the trend line in the Field poll is striking.

Thursday's Fix Picks:

1. Clinton-Gore!
2. Bill Jefferson convicted on 11 counts.
3. Republicans ready for the next SCOTUS fight.
4. An analysis on whether Texas is truly competitive.
5. True love on "True Blood".

DCCC Expands Health Care Recess Spending: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is expanding its effort to win the August argument on health care, launching robocalls against eight Republican House Members. The calls seek to link campaign donations from the insurance industry to GOP members' opposition to health care reform; "Call Congressman [Pete] Sessions today," says the call's narrator. "Ask him to stop standing up for insurance companies and start standing up for us." The calls will target Reps. Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Ken Calvert (Calif.), David Dreier (Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balert (Fla.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Mike McCaul (Texas), Frank Wolf (Va.), Bill Young (Fla.), Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Mary Bono Mack (Calif.).

Grayson a "No" on Sotomayor: Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R), who is seeking the state's open Senate seat in 2010, came out in opposition to the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, citing her "long record of judicial activism" as the main reason for his decision. Grayson is the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination next year although he will likely be opposed by Rand Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), who is almost certain to run to Grayson's ideological right. Grayson joins Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who is also running for the Senate in 2010, in opposition to Sotomayor. Former Pennsylvania representative Pat Toomey (R) surprised many people by coming out in favor of Sotomayor's confirmation in an op-ed earlier this week.

Meehan, DiMartino Cross the Blue Line: Longtime Democratic strategists Michael Meehan and David DiMartino have formed Blue Line strategic communications, a name that cements them as the last two people in America who care about hockey. (We kid!) "We are most comfortable in a campaign environment and believe that campaign-style strategic communications can be applied successfully in corporate, public advocacy or association environment," said Meehan. Both men most recently did stints with lobbying giant Barbour Griffith Rogers, helping to set up the firm's Democratic practice. Meehan has served in a variety of role including political director for then Sen. Tom Daschle (S.D.) and as a senior adviser to Sen. John Kerry's (Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign. DiMartino made a name for himself as communications director and deputy chief of staff to Sen. Ben "The Benator" Nelson (Neb.).

A Little Jesmer: National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Rob Jesmer, his wife, Kendall and their son Jack (age 2) welcomed Lila Reaves Jesmer -- she'll go by Reaves -- to the world in the early hours of Wednesday morning. A possible Charlie Fix love interest in 25 years or so?

Say What?: "When people ask me if I enjoy what I'm doing, now is the time that I try not to answer the question." -- North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is a little too honest in an interview with the Herald-Sun (N.C.) newspaper.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 6, 2009; 6:02 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: Fix Political Hall of Fame: The Mayors Edition!

Comments

@nodebris - CC actually warned Zouk specifically on off topic posting recently. Not that it made much of a difference.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 7, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Paraphrasing: " the *institutionalized* opposition to abortion... [is] as inseparable from bigotry against women as opposition to Sotomayor is inseparable from partisanship and racism."

I completely agree with the analogy, though completely disagree with the conclusion. Although Sotomayor was being caricatured on the "wise Latina" comment, opposition to her appointment is not racism and can indeed be principled. If completely wrong.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 7, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

The lesson of California is: don't give a minority veto rights over legislation.

Posted by: nodebris | August 6, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I should hope Cillizza reads the comments on occasion. He cannot be ignorant of zouk, no one should have to "report" him.

Posted by: nodebris | August 6, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox -- first, Report Abuse. Then write Chris Cilizza about the sexual harassment personally. If you don't have his email address, I'll get it for you.

If enough readers complain, perhaps he will do something. You can always go to the ombudsman, as well. I've seen people have some success with that.

==

I'd be surprised if it did any good.

At least the Report Abuse emails no longer bounce.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 6, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

drindl - Thank you for the kind words. Most people here, today, seem to be unusually thoughtful and serious. I agree with your comments to and about Mark_in_Austin and chrisfox, too. While I genuinely appreciate KOZ's sense of humor, and his different viewpoint is sometimes valuable, he seems to have misplaced both lately and I worry that he has experienced some sort of personal tragedy or problem. Either way, I want the old KOZ back.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 6, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox -- first, Report Abuse. Then write Chris Cilizza about the sexual harassment personally. If you don't have his email address, I'll get it for you.

If enough readers complain, perhaps he will do something. You can always go to the ombudsman, as well. I've seen people have some success with that.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

If California is setting the trend for the rest of the nation, then America is in huge trouble. Liberals love to quote this old saying of 'As California goes ...' but the state is bankrupt and borderline ungovernable and the so-called leaders of the state are largely a bunch of goons who have little concept of reality. I think that every American, conservative or liberal, should be hoping that we're not on track to follow California's descent into the abyss.

==

Maybe popular initiatives aren't such a good idea. Y'think?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 6, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, as long as zouk gets to do this sexually explicit crap I really don't think you should be badgering anyone else here about civility or hijacking.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 6, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Margaret, I take your point. I did not know that

"We know that now, most abortions are performed on older women who already have a child."

But it does not surprise me at all. I also favor the formulation of the phrase as "legal, safe, and rare", thinking, as I do, that non-legal means of social control and safety networking and health care and contraception information would lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies and more options for the unforeseeable change of circumstance.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I have parrots, birds with the intelligence of small children, and I've seen birds (African Greys) with the intelligence of five-year-olds.

chrisuxcox

you have got to be the most ignorant poster on this board. any bird is likely to be more intelligent than you. but it is clear you have never been around children very much. I don't wonder why, what parent would want a freak like you influencing their progeny.

god is indeed great and benevolent for permitting you no offspring. Of course the future shrinks of the world must do without.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I think abortion needs to be legal and safe. The person making the decision is guided by her discomfort. The moment the discomfort of others features, it is no longer a right. I agree with the simple requirement of making your decision early.
We know that now, most abortions are performed on older women who already have a child. Fewer are performed because of the old-fashioned social pressures but are now because of finances. I suspect Bush will get to see an uptick in the number because of the choices he made for our country during his 8 year mess.

The few women I know of who have had abortions have never had them lightly. They were another marker of a bad time in their lives.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

If California is setting the trend for the rest of the nation, then America is in huge trouble. Liberals love to quote this old saying of 'As California goes ...' but the state is bankrupt and borderline ungovernable and the so-called leaders of the state are largely a bunch of goons who have little concept of reality. I think that every American, conservative or liberal, should be hoping that we're not on track to follow California's descent into the abyss.

Posted by: miyago123 | August 6, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, as California goes, so goes the nation. It's because the State makes it so easy to place "initiatives" on the ballot. We really don't need a legislature! Every kook, liberal or conservative, can go out, at very little expense, and collect enough signatures on a petition to get it placed on the ballot. This relieves the Assembly of its responsibility to do anything. I have personally known the "minority leader" from childhood. He sits on his laurels, and asks his constituents what he should be doing at a time when the State is falling down around his ears!

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | August 6, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any moral problem with abortion for any reason. I would rather that women who didn't want to bear children would exercise that choice with condoms and birth control pills but should these fail, or should she make a mistake in the heat of desire, I would much rather she got an abortion than go ahead and bear an unwanted child.

The "it's a human life" argument cuts no ice with me. I have parrots, birds with the intelligence of small children, and I've seen birds (African Greys) with the intelligence of five-year-olds. No law prevents their killing and there is no punishment for those who neglect them to death. Any argument based on human life being more valuable even before the awakening of self-awareness I hold as beneath contempt. Speciesism is just racism in more general terms.

No mind, no murder. If it's human DNA that defines sactity, then we need to stop the slaughter of intestinal lining and fingernail parings too.

And yes I include abortion as population control. With over seven billion people in the world I don't want to draw any line this side of murder to slow it down.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 6, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

>>That's an interesting ending to your story of your friend, Mark, that her son would help his biological father, even though he had abandoned him.

Actually read the story again. It was to help save his half sibling, and not the father.

Just pointing out.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 6, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox, Mark is a friend. He is not attacking women. I think he was just referring to someone he knew who had been casual about it. There are such women, but I firmly beleive they are rare.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at you, mark_in_austin. "Abortion of convenience" is dog-whistle. Shame shame shame.

While discomfort with abortion has a slightly more solid moral foundation than anti-gay bigotry and science denial, the *institutionalized* opposition to abortion, e.g. its role in GOP platform planks, the organizations like Randall Terry's, these are as inseparable from bigotry against women as opposition to Sotomayor is inseparable from partisanship and racism.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 6, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Gay marriage will be legal in California and most states within ten states where a majority of the population supports basic human rights for all people. Gay marriage may not legalized for decades in states where a majority or large minority are homophobic, bigoted and opposed to individual liberty, equal protection under the law.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | August 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Lovely, sane discussion.

Posted by: nodebris | August 6, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That's an interesting ending to your story of your friend, Mark, that her son would help his biological father, even though he had abandoned him.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yep, RickJ, that too.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

>>For me, a world where prenatal care and adoption were really and truly within reach for all would be a better one.

It's also pre-natal and pre-sex education that's important here. I agree with mibrooks. And I also think it's a very difficult decision for women (and for men if they are involved...

Posted by: RickJ | August 6, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

>>For me, a world where prenatal care and adoption were really and truly within reach for all would be a better one.

Agreed. I know wonderful adoptive parents, who through no fault of their own just couldn't concieve or have children live. My grandparents had much the same problem until my mother and her sister were born. Adoption is something people misunderstand when they point to it as an option. It's expensive for all parties involved which is it's biggest drawback. Not to mention funky laws in place in some areas.

Making it easier and cheaper to adopt would probably increase it's appeal. More prenatal care is a no brainer for me. I just thank God it's something we have at least tried to make more available in the US. It's still not enough though especially with the limitations of funds at the state level.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 6, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks,

That was the most thoughtful post you have ever made, and I agree with you.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Abortion for convenience" is common -- among the daughters of "respectable" rightwingnuts who find themselves pregnant. This is the case whether or not abortion is legal.

White trash rightwingnuts just tell the kid, "Have the baby, you're a loser anyway."

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 6, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Most people's feeling about the abortion debate is similar to their thinking through the "gay" marriage debate. Both the proponents and the opponents purposefully try and confuse the issue. Virtually everyone would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is on the line. I don't think there is any debate there at all. But, toss in a 14 year girl, and most of us wouldn't want to put a child through that trauma, either, so that would be allowed. Too, most people wouldn't want to force a woman to give birth to a profoundly handicapped baby, either. If you sit back and think about it, other than "abortion as a form of birth control", or ignoring the father's right are pretty much the only things we universally abhor. And who is to decide when that is the case? Not some politican and certainly not some special interest group. So, most people, using common sense, simply want the government out of the process and this made a personal decision. Now, that certainly doesn't mean that most people think abortion is "okay". They don't. It's an awful choice, but it is one best left up to the woman (and her family) involved.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 6, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, before you were a regular here, during a wide ranging and not terribly heated discussion of abortion, I related how I and two other male law students supported a female law student who was pregnant so that she could give the baby up for adoption. The dad was a grad psych student who claimed no responsibility and who also moved to Canada to avoid the draft as soon as he earned his PhD. 20 years later he called me from Vancouver to find his "son" who had been adopted because he needed a genetic match to save the half sibling born later, during his marriage [to a different woman].

My assistant found the young man - an engineering student a A&M - by getting the court to open the records. He was happy to help.

Not every young woman has a network of friends who will support her when a man abandons his responsibility and this could have turned out very differently. While I am pro-choice, I am very sensitive, as I think you are from what you wrote, to the legitimate concern for prospective infants. For me, a world where prenatal care and adoption were really and truly within reach for all would be a better one.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Margaret -- agree with everything you said. My kid is the best thing that ever happened to me. But it is not for me to decide what other women should do -- every circumstance is different.

Mark -- well, I'll give you that one. Pretty damn casual, and during a bridge game too. Guess I just don't know anyone like that.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Margaret and drindl, I do not think abortion-for-convenience is widespread and the last one I knew of personally was a realtor here in Austin - married and in good health - in her mid 30s, and carrying her husband's kid, who tried to explain to her pastor and her friends how inconvenient it was for her to have conceived at that time. I was playing bridge with her when she tried to explain this to me. This was in the early 1980s."

Honestly, if someone wants to get a convenience abortion within the first three weeks of conception, I can't say I'd even have a moral problem with it, much less a legal one. It's kind of dumb given the costs, but it's just a clump of cells.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 6, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Joked, if you have made a statement that qualifies you as a misogynist, noting that is not a personal insult, merely an observation.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

TO: bsimon1 @ 11:15 a.m.

You don't get it. The comments would not post, despite repeated attempts. I have posted the apparently (government) censored comments at the end of the comments section at the ACLU thread contained in my earlier post.

Here's another link that may help clear up your apparent confusion:

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 6, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The Field Poll initially said that Prop 8, which constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in California, would lose by 14% two days after the Los Angeles Times Poll said it would pass by 15%. It passed by 5%. The Field Poll is generally accurate on many subjects but their polling on same-sex marriage has a very bad track record.

For those who wish to support the federal rights of marriage for same-sex couples they should go to www.NationalMarriageEquality.com

Posted by: lelandt | August 6, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Pretty much. I'm not that far removed from High School, but I do recall that there was really only 3-4 students with overt political leanings. Mostly Republican but I'm from the rural South so that's really unsurprising right? I was really good friends with one of them, he was a brilliant guy and really ambitious. He's been trying to run for minor public offices lately but isn't your typical anti-intellectual we get down here. I'd like to see him win something to shake things up down here. I have a lot of admiration for the fiscal and federal conservatives. I just draw my line in the sand at the social conservatives."

Nothing wrong with having Republican friends. Living in the south, I'd be pretty lonely if I were to exclude them. My only line is that being against gay marriage would probably bother me too much to make a friendship possible. When I was living in DC, Republicans were in the definite minority, but those who were were more overly political than the background. They were so-called intellectual Republicans (how intellectual can you be if you're so wrong on economic issues?)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 6, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

On Prop 8, and I live in Oregon, where people aren't that many people think differently, you fail to provide an adequate assessment of how people think. Evangelicals, liberals, nearly everyone agrees that basic fairness dictates that there be some mechanism that allows homosexual couples to have rights of inheritance, the right to visit a loved partner in a hospital, the right to claim a partner as a dependent for medical insurance coverage, and the dignity to have their relationship recognized and celebrated. The problem, is how to achieve this. There are four options I see - a Swedish "Sammy", for which we have no tradition or mechanism for legal precedent, a series of legal contracts which would be burdensome, expensive, and all but unworkable, domestic partnerships or traditional marriage. I see partnership and marriage as the only two viable options and, like most people I vacillate between them. The "poll" numbers reflect that and the California poll CC refers to actually rolls those two options together in their result.

The conflict occurs because a lot of people do not want traditional marriage to refer to anything other than a male-female relationship, but we full well understand that a domestic partnership is a new kind of "separate but equal" mess that was so awful when we finally got around to ending the second class status of blacks in this country. It's insulting AND I think it is a greater danger to marriage granting homosexual couples the right to marry. (And, if that is the case, let's please stop referring to "gay marriage", it's just a plain "marriage", okay.) So, I tend to come down on the side of those who wouldn't even allow domestic partnerships, but would legalize traditional marriage for homosexual couples. But, that's just me and I have spent a lot of time thinking through this issue. If you talk to people here, you will hear the same debate going on, often internally, and they simply don't know. Like it or not, most of those people do not want the government making that decision for them and I am pretty sure that is why 8 passed. Most people are not bigots and they do not dislike gays and lesbian's. Most have gay and lesbian friends. They want to do what is right and that is going to involve public discussion and careful thought.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 6, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

drindl:

Careful with personal insults.

Posted by: JakeD | August 6, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Margaret and drindl, I do not think abortion-for-convenience is widespread and the last one I knew of personally was a realtor here in Austin - married and in good health - in her mid 30s, and carrying her husband's kid, who tried to explain to her pastor and her friends how inconvenient it was for her to have conceived at that time. I was playing bridge with her when she tried to explain this to me. This was in the early 1980s.

I do not know another way to describe that decision.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Jake, I cannot know what is in the heart of every woman having an abortion. I think we need abortion to be legal and safe and that the moral baggage (if there is any) is carried by the person who makes the decision.

I would like it if every pregnancy was a planned a pregnancy. Being a mother is the best part of my life.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 6, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank god for the Jefferson conviction. Now we're certain that he's not going to run again. Hopefully this means LA-2 goes blue again. (another moderate R bites the dust)

Posted by: DDAWD | August 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

By the way, scriv, I think we can kill two birds with one stone here. Gov Ventura needs your help, and we need you to find a productive way to spend your time. The Body is involved with a new TV show that investigates exactly the kind of things you write about. Clearly he will need researchers with your skills and abilities in order to generate new investigations for each episode. Your first challenge is to find out how to submit him a resume. Consider this the first step of the interview process:

http://www.reuters.com/article/peopleNews/idUSTRE5726GD20090803

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Joked's 'loose women' comment tells us all we need to know about him -- which we already knew. He's a misogynist as well as a racist.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe not 95% but SOME loose women do use abortion as a form of casual birth control, right?"

At $250-500 per, not many. And while it is certainly morally abhorrent for doing so, it's still no justification to put at risk the millions who are not casually doing so (does help prove the point that sexual morality, and not life, is the true motivation of the Republican Party, though...).

Posted by: kreuz_missile | August 6, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

scrivener writes
"Each of three attempts to post political comments to this blog elicited a "held for blog owner" full-screen message."


Go ahead and post the messages & we'll discuss whether they were rightly withheld.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 6, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"There is a distinct difference between an election based on many facets followed by a poll on a specific policy."

Which is why we are a Republic. Policy is complicated and can't be based on a poll. Elections matter, remember?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | August 6, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

NOTE TO "FIX" READERS ABOUT APPARENT GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP

Today, a disturbing record was set here.

Each of three attempts to post political comments to this blog elicited a "held for blog owner" full-screen message. WaPo does not "hold" posts unless foul language is detected by its software.

I believe the evidence strongly indicates that this message was a "spoofed page" inserted into my data stream by government surveillance operatives at a Homeland Security- administered "fusion center."

Apparently, I, like many other Americans, have been unjustly "targeted" for surveillance and harassment via telecommunications.

This comes as Chris Cillizza has deemed it necessary to ask posters here to cease their constant personal attacks and, presumably, the juvenile cross-talk that appears to be intended to pollute discourse here -- driving away serious readers who can't be bothered to wade through a constant stream of silly cyber-effuvia.

The apparent censorship and/or prior restraint of my political speech had been diminishing in frequency until very recently. Now, it appears, the pendulum has swung back toward suppression of political speech on the web.

Empirical evidence convinces me that powerful people scan the "comments" section here. Perhaps that is why the apparent censorship persists. The nagging question is, what does this portend, politically?

Those who have read my articles know that I have been warning for some time about a disturbing neo-fascism that is quietly insinuating itself in American society, within government and within key segments of the private sector.

Please take a moment to read some of my recent censored postings and ask yourself: Who would want to suppress the airing of these views -- and why?

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

Maybe not 95% but SOME loose women do use abortion as a form of casual birth control, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Not surprising people are running from the conservative label when it's increasingly associated with birthers, deathers, teabaggers, and frauds like Ensign and Sanford.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 6, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm with drindl about the "abortion for convenience" phrase. The right likes to spread it around that 95% of abortions are performed on loose women as a form of casual birth control. A real look at the statistics on abortion in America belies that.
The reason the topic is divisive is that you either believe abortion is legal and you leave the moral baggage to the person making the decision, or you want it banned.
(I used the word "s1ut" in my first attempt at posting and got bounced to the web master!)

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 6, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

drindl:

You personally have not met them, but they are on-line. Google: abortion Costco "big jars of mayonaisse"

Posted by: JakeD | August 6, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I heard Paul Berka speak in early 2008 and he acknowledges that in the long run Texas will break Democratic. He correctly predicted the 2008 Senate race outcome, but predicted that 2014 was wide open. The key is the Hispanic vote. If the Texas Democratic Party is smart it will spend some money on Spanish language radio and TV for a voter registration drive this spring. Use the Sotomayor votes and comments as examples of anti-Hispanic racism get that population registered. If the Democrats get population voting like the black community Texas could go blue sooner rather than later.

Posted by: bradcpa | August 6, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- agree with you about abortion being in a different category than the anti-science and gay bashing, certainly.

But that you can even say the words, 'abortion for convenience' is chilling to me. Perhaps you have never met a girl who has had one.

I have known several. And it was out of desperation, not convenience. Especially the very young ones. I remember one 16 year old pleading with me to help her [I was also 16 but could drive] because she said her father would kill her if he found out she was pregnant. Since he beat the crap out of her on a regular basis, I beleived her.

The others were older, but both had fetuses with multiple major chromonal defects which would not have survived in any case. Perhaps your experience is different, and you do know women who are cavalier about it, but i have never met one.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

mtcooley, that was cool.

Andy, Perry cannot schedule an election until KBH quits.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

drindl posted:

"Nationally, I do not see a growing number of people who identify themselves as conservative, Mark. According to all polls I have seen, that number is shrinking while the number of self-identified independents is growing, and this is the trend."

Let me be precise because I confused you - persons who previously identified themselves as conservative and who maintain the very same perspectives they had previously, but who are not social and religious conservatives, persons who really have no truck with creationism and gay bashing, especially recent veterans, now identify as Is, not Rs, in increasing numbers.

These are conservative leaning Is. The Blue Dogs gain from the same disaffection with creationism and gay bashing.
----------------------------------------
BTW, I and many others, do not place the abortion issue in the same category as the creationism and gay bashing issues, and I think discomfort with the notion of abortion-for-convenience is broad based enough to
keep this discussion on the table - long after we are teaching evolution in the public schools without the threat of having to teach the Baptist version of the Bible in science classes.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

>>At my own daughter's high school there are several openly gay and very popular young people. I asked my daughter what people though about that, and she said, I honestly don't think anyone cares. Why should they?

Pretty much. I'm not that far removed from High School, but I do recall that there was really only 3-4 students with overt political leanings. Mostly Republican but I'm from the rural South so that's really unsurprising right? I was really good friends with one of them, he was a brilliant guy and really ambitious. He's been trying to run for minor public offices lately but isn't your typical anti-intellectual we get down here. I'd like to see him win something to shake things up down here. I have a lot of admiration for the fiscal and federal conservatives. I just draw my line in the sand at the social conservatives.

I did clash with some of the other social conservatives, especially the girl that thought going to an anti-abortion rally was a valid excuse for missing school.

Posted by: mtcooley | August 6, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mark,
Have they scheduled the special election yet? That may have a lot to do with turnout, and the outcome. For example if the economic signs continue to grow and the Congress passes healthcare reform the democrats may have a strong chance to pull the upset.

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 6, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Brainz missing. There is a distinct difference between an election based on many facets followed by a poll on a specific policy. And the situation where the election is on a specific proposition. Why are libs so logically challenged. History major?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"California has long served as a leading indicator of national political trends."

So, this means, the US will eventually go broke, too?

Posted by: Gray62 | August 6, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Nationally, I do not see a growing number of people who identify themselves as conservative, Mark. According to all polls I have seen, that number is shrinking while the number of self-identified independents is growing, and this is the trend.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I would expect drivl and the loons to gloat over the conviction of another corrupt pol. Is the culture of corruption now over?

Oh wait. That was a dem. Oooopps.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile, obimbos ratings fall another ten points this month. Expect libs to dodge their constituents and vote against their wishes. They can join them in the unemployment line next year."

And KoZ proves my point: why listen to elections when he has polls??

Yet still in the mid-50's (and righgt about where Dubya was at the same time, and well above Clinton who was around 37%). The only people whose poll numbers are falling faster? National Republicans. I can't remember who said it, but it's so true, Americans are torn between a party they are disappointed in (Dems) and a party they hate (Reps).

http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/party-id.php

Posted by: kreuz_missile | August 6, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Andy, the two Ds in the Senate race, Bill White - Mayor of H - and John Sharp, hero of the S&L crisis, are both stand-up [conservative by national D standards] guys.
White has a bigger base as a current Mayor of Houston but he is such a laid back campaigner as to be soporific.

TX Ds think White is the stronger candidate because of his Houston base and $$$. I think Sharp is the stronger candidate because of his personality. I have posted interviews with both of them by Evan Smith of Texas Monthly here so people could get a feel.

Either is likely to make it out of the Special Election into the runoff unless there are only two Rs, Abbott and Dewhurst, running when the dust clears.

Does Bill White have a chance to be Senator? Yes. Should he be favored in a runoff with Dewhurst or Abbott? No. He or Sharp might be favored if Florence Shapiro or Michael Williams make the runoff [but neither will].

In special elections, turnout is an even more critical variable than in general elections. Will Is turn out?
The R base, at 39%, far outnumbers the D base, at 29%.
It is the one third of Texans who are Indies that must be sold.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Why not ignore an actual election if some funny poll results yeild the results you seek. More lib math cc?"

Like Republicans and virtually every poll they tout on any issue these days??

I'm ignoring no election results, I'm all for another election next year.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | August 6, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

It looks like drivl's paranoia has spread to peloony, boxer and obimbo. The public has had It with them. Their take- voters that disagree are crazy, stupid, paid off and need to be reported to the central party.

Meanwhile, obimbos ratings fall another ten points this month. Expect libs to dodge their constituents and vote against their wishes. They can join them in the unemployment line next year.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, that was a telling personal vignette and I think your experience tracks the marginalization of the so-called culture wars in most places, including urban TX.

Let me suggest that it will be short-sighted for either party not to recognize the growing number of persons who would personally identify themselves as "conservative" but who have no stake in religious or social conservatism. The Ds are a temporary resting place for some of them because the Rs are abandoning them, especially at the local level, by running anti-evolutionists for the school boards. In a short time, those who would have been Gerald Ford Rs become
"Blue Dog" Ds or conservative leaning Is.

This seems unstable to me. There are several scenarios possible.

1. Loyal, socially moderate Rs, especially military and ex-military Rs like vbhoomes, take back the R Party from the creationists and anti-gays, which could become more likely if the D base rejects the Blue Dogs.

2. The Rs completely and finally succumb to the creationists, creating a vacuum that will be filled.

I cannot now tell how this will play out twenty years from now. In the current drift, we will see more conservative leaning Is and Ds than we have in forty years. I do not imagine, however, that we are seeing a fruitful ground for continued expansion of the social conservative movement outside of its current still very significant boundaries. If we see a devolution into two socially moderate parties it will be over a long period of time in which social conservatism will have shrunk in size and influence. Not yet. Not soon.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

RickJ -- oops, you're right. But Idaho will eventually, too. Whether the party likes it or not, a lot of Republicans are gay.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Drindl: I think you mean Iowa rather than Idaho. I think the GOP would have collective heart failure if Idaho allowed same sex marriages....

Posted by: RickJ | August 6, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's another reason Republicans are a dying breed. They think lynching is funny. They think violent teabaggers threatening elected representatives is funny. Most Americans don't.

"At a town hall meeting yesterday, Todd Akin mentioned that some of his Democratic colleagues in Congress "almost got lynched" when talking to constituents."

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

There was a small but solid core of waaay right wingnuts in So. California, especially Orange County which was traditionally owners of large ranches, home of Richard Nixon and the John Birch Society. However, this is changing rapidly, as the ranches are nearly gone, replaced by less ideological suburbanites. So that hold is broken.

But Margaret had it exactly right, it's irrelevant to young people especially. At my own daughter's high school there are several openly gay and very popular young people. I asked my daughter what people though about that, and she said, I honestly don't think anyone cares. Why should they?

Indeed. One more reason why the GOP, in it's current iteration, is a dinosaur. When even Idaho permits gay marriage, you know it's only a matter of time until everyone does.

Posted by: drindl | August 6, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Mark,
I keep hearing good things about the Mayor of Houston. Could he step up as possible leader for the Democrats in Texas? I thought he was contemplating running for the open senate seat when Kay resigns.

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 6, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

WHY DID SCRIVENER'S COMMENTARY ON HEALTH CARE 'RENT-A-MOBS'
ELICIT A 'HELD FOR BLOG OWNER' MESSAGE...
WHEN WA-PO DOES NOT 'HOLD' POSTS UNLESS FOUL LANGUAGE IS USED?

Please click on the following link to the American Civil Liberties Union "freedom blog," scroll to the bottom for the latest postings, and decide for yourself who is apparently censoring political speech on the internet:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 6, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Why not ignore an actual election if some funny poll results yeild the results you seek. More lib math cc?

it should be pointed out that California, the leading light of out of control liberal spending, is also leading the nation in bankruptcies, foreclosures, unemployment, broke government, illegal aliens and more than anything else, arrogance. Except dc of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Why not ignore an actual election if some funny poll results yeild the results you seek. More lib math cc?

it should be pointed out that California, the leading light of out of control liberal spending, is also leading the nation in bankruptcies, foreclosures, unemployment, broke government, illegal aliens and more than anything else, arrogance. Except dc of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 6, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3: I stand corrected. MA was certainly the leader here (as well as in healthcare..)

Posted by: RickJ | August 6, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

There's also no information in the poll about age break-outs.

At 46 I returned to the worforce after my youngest child hit 1st grade. I work with every age, race and education background possible. I do work with an unusual number of men and women with the military or law enforcement in their background (steady stream returning from their 2nd and 3rd deployments). These are pretty solid, conservative people; many of them are very boot-straps self-made.

You know what? For the most part they don't particularly care about gay marriage, abortion, what religion you practice or don't practice, where your parents were born, or what color your skin is. And this attitude is more pronounced in the younger employees.

The big challenge is getting these young people to vote, and this is one of the many ways the Democrats have it all over the Republicans. The "Young Republicans" we see look mighty old, while the Democrats are hauling in truly young voters in high percentages.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 6, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The TX link concludes:
===================================
I don’t see any reason to back away from what I have written previously.
1. The state Democratic party has no credibility.
2. Without a public face for the party, it cannot be competitive in statewide races.
3. What makes Texas competitive is that independents have abandoned the Republican party.
4. But, as the UT Poll has established, independents tend to break in favor of Republican on election day.
5. The Democrats cannot even generate turnout. Hispanics aren’t voting.
The best indication of the Democrats’ moribund state is that no one is lining up to run for statewide office. Politicians know which way the wind blows.
==============================
I think this analysis by Paul Burka is exactly correct.
I said I did not believe the Gallup result the other day but I did not try to define the TX snapshot. This is it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 6, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

RickJ, in defense of the Northeast Massachusetts was the first place in this country where same-sex marriage was legalized. I know because I lived in Cambridge down the street from the townhall when the mayor opened the doors at midnight to bestow the first marriage lisence.

That being said California is definitly one of the leaders in the area of public policy especially in environmental policy.

Posted by: AndyR3 | August 6, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Economic issues matter and marriage is an economic issue. Studies show that married people are slightly healthier (less costs) and wealthier (pay more taxes) than their single counterparts and this is true for gay people as well. Therefore, it is in the state's best economic interest to grant marriage equality. This is because there are thousands of rights and responsibilities that come with the legal contract of marriage (yes, marriage is a legal contract). Gay people deserve these rights and responsibilities.

Posted by: boarderthom | August 6, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Just another batch of data showing Republicans are increasingly out of touch with Americans...

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 6, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I think the right also overplays Prop 8 and what it says about California voters. Sure, it passed 52-48, but there are a couple of issues with that. Beyond what has already been said about the unusual demographics of that vote, the problem for conservatives were how misleading they were with the framing of the debate, first insisting it wouldn't affect existing marriages, then suing after the election to have those marriages annulled.

But beyond that, the real issue that I think they're ducking:

2000 - Proposition 22, defining marriage solely as between a man and a woman:
Yes - 61.4%
No - 38.6%

Prop 8 virtually restated the same thing to overturn a SC ruling, and in eight support dropped by about 9% (52.47%-47.53%). It's really just a matter of time. No wonder California Republicans are so insistant that the issue has been 'decided by the people' and should just be dropped. They know they're going to lose the next time it comes up for a vote.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | August 6, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

I think the Field Poll underlines how conservative the GOP has become in California. Obviously, the moderates have left the California GOP, leaving the social conservatives to define the party. (Unfortunately, the poll details don't provide information on the number of Dems v. Rep in this poll or in 1977 or any information on their idealogy.)

Overall, the results aren't too surprising. California does set trends, quickly followed by the Northeast.

Re Grayson 'No' on Sotomayor: just spouting the standard party line. Not sure why these nut jobs feel she's a judicial activist. She's as much of one as Scalia, if that's the case....

Posted by: RickJ | August 6, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company