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New NPR Poll: Two Takes

The two pollsters -- one Democrat and one Republican -- who conducted the latest National Public Radio poll on the state of the American electorate have each released a memo analyzing the results.

A look at the two memos reveals that polling is equal parts science and art. While Glen Bolger, a partner in the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies, and Stan Greenberg, a partner with the Democratic Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, agree on most points (the danger to Republicans of the right direction/wrong track numbers, President Bush's increased approval ratings), they draw different conclusions on the survey as a whole, with Greenberg sounding decidedly optimistic and Bolger adopting a more measured and cautious tone.

The memos show several areas of general agreement.

In Bolger's analysis, he points out that "perceptions of the economy are improving -- albeit slowly" since the last NPR survey in July. Those rating the state of the economy as "excellent/good" rose five percent, with those rating it "not so good/poor" fell by four percent. 

Greenberg, too, cites the improved perceptions of the economy in his memo, arguing that it is the sole factor for the recent rise in Bush's job approval numbers. "Bush's improvement comes from an improvement in the economy," Greenberg writes.

Both pollsters also highlight the right direction/wrong track number, which stood at 35/60 in the NPR survey.  Greenberg concludes that despite Bush's "real" gains in his job approval, the wrong track number still argues that the "structure for a change election seems largely intact." Bolger writes that the country remains "decidedly pessimistic," and adds: "With one party control in Washington, it is quite possible for unhappy voters to punish the people running the show."

The widest divergence of opinion between the two men comes on the question of how Democrats' "culture of corruption" argument is playing with voters. In the poll, 63 percent said that ethics and corruption issues were the "same as usual" and 65 percent said the problems fell "about equally with both parties."

Greenberg says how corruption will play in 2006 remains an open question since the various scandals in Washington "have hardly penetrated the public consciousness." He adds that Democrats should see the numbers as a "warning flag" to candidates who must position themselves as "reformers -- differentiated from the special interest cesspool in Washington and prepared to advocate real change."

Looking at those same numbers, Bolger concludes that "Democrat attempts to drive the message that there is a Republican 'culture of corruption' have failed miserably thus far." As evidence, he points out that President Bush has a 43 percent to 41 percent edge over Democrats on who would do a better job of "improving ethics in Washington, D.C."

The summaries provided by the two men differ only slightly in content but diverge widely in tone. Greenberg insists that the data in the poll shows "the desire for a new direction, the greater intensity and unity of Bush opponents, the swing of independent voters and the Iraq war all continue to move voters toward a change vote in 2006."

Bolger is more measured in his final assessment. "Republicans looking for a 'glass half full' set of data will find it here," he writes, noting the improved image of the economy and the failure of the "culture of corruption" message. But, Bolger adds: "It is always more prudent as a pollster to be paranoid -- and there are numerous challenges facing the Republican party in these data."

Take a look at the NPR survey and post your own thoughts on what it means in the comments section below. And make sure to check back tomorrow for the latest Fix presidential line.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 29, 2005; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Parsing the Polls  
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Next: The Friday Line: Grading the White House Hopefuls' 2005


what a callow youth you are.... most people are on the inside not because they have ideology they have clout of some sort...

Cain, Dean, although nice people sort of don't use words that would get them examined with the same microscope...

what part of cutting deals don't you get......oh year this if for you:::

Hi, I'd like to say that if anything it should be about avoiding impeachment and going straight to jail,,,,,........

I'd like to say that the united states needs to change it's acronym from us vs them to WE....we will work together as a nation and a world...that we will do the best for _ourselves_, as a people at all church ladies setting policy because gawd is a tool, not a freedom.

IF we have friends that need help, we will require them to do what it takes to meet our standards, not meet theirs by becoming like them.....we will not bribe, murder, under the guise of freedom....we will torture those guilty of that with the truth until they surrender to the WEareontoyou marshall....and stay in jail long enough to pay back all the medicare benefits that they've siphoned off to feed their rich cronies, bush got the medicare change passed before the 2004 election so that healthcare wouldn't be an issue....he persuaded AARP that what he was doing was to the benefit of the elderly, while average benefit payment was reduced by $30 dollars....on a fixed income, that might as well be a house payment. Those living off of social security go without medicine, eye repair, whathaveyou, and watch their loved ones die....

Multiple reasons for healthcare being an issue, but the orchestration of events is pretty basically as I've outlined.....AARP sold you out on your presidents say-so....some people learn too late not to trust the wolf....or the wolf has cubs and puts them into positions of power ala PBS....remember??????? GOT TO BE FAIR AND BALANCED..........hee hee hee....cap'in you.

We will entertain no oligarchial third world truths to be self evident and foist them on the uncultured andy griffiths that depend upon their fathers in washington dc having their best interests at heart....

IF we find that they have not been completely honest then will begin asking them to get on their knees and squeal like a pig ala ned......and we won't leave until they quit squealing....and they give back what they've taken, our liberties, our benefits, our retirement, our future....with these guy chief seattle ain't nothin but something to put on your quarter to make people feel like you care about 'em.....

Peace on earth, always comes after you out the liars, and jail em.

but hey that's just me, belief systems die hard, the pigs trust the farmer he always feeds them....

Posted by: The I word...... | January 1, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

You must be one of the toothless rednecks that have sold out their country because they get hard everytime they hear the word gay.....

I suggest you take your hand off your brain and try learning what it means to be alive in the united states nowdays by driving around it a little bit, and working in a factory.

Posted by: Hello mr bush supporter.... | December 31, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I have talked to a number of people in numerous economies....

Many people have dropped out of the economy. SSI numbers have increased enormously because people couldn't find work.

I haven't checked recently, but computer jobs used to take up 6 pages of the washington post, and I got 4 unsolictited phone calls a it still that way. Or do your web pages get made in India?

Is it true that Capital ONE moved all of it's customer service work to India and closed out jobs for 3,000 in Fredericksburg VA, about 45 minutes south of DC? Or am I imagining things?

Did San Jose CA, Portland OR or Seattle WA regain their losses? I haven't checked.

I know of a number of people working for computer companies that are doing the work of 3 companies downsized.

I know of at least 12 people that I can point at personally that left the white collar work and became SSI recipients, service sector, working two jobs, grocery store clerks, walmart, etc...not exactly interesting jobs....diminished everything and fear increased, no job security at all....they have been talking for some time about doing away with retirement for many that a lie?

Middle class blue collar:
There are entire industries moved off shore.........customer service is not an option as a job for many people nowdays...can't compete with 3rd world country prices.....have your insurance or card rates dropped? Why not....don't they care about you? or are assholes like you making up stories that say that we're all well off? 28 percent of those still employed?

Are you too stupid to know that they count seasonal/christmas workers as being employed people?

Check out VA HOSPITALS and see how they feel about the it.

Posted by: Hello....prosperous economy? | December 31, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

There is no new conspiracy, just the oligarchy loosing it's mask. It's not the government that is against the citizens. It's not the Republicans or Democrats that are trying to feed you lies and disinformation.

It's the people that have control of the economies of the world using the governments of their friends to control resources and create subtrefuge to make things happen thier way.

Old money talking to money and cutting deals so that their money network gets fed....the fact that your country used to have enough to share with you has gone by the by....

They're selling land to Saudi's, Japan, Germany, Italy at a record pace.

Whoever can pay more gets the benefits of being an American citizen now.

They don't need you to turn the wilderness into something useful.

You'll slowly be turned out to pasture and begin getting less and less for your buck. The elections will become more noticably fixed and your candidates preselected.

Dennis K. never had a chance, and Kerry rolled over on the electorate....what deal did he cut?

NSA is an extension of the ruling class, not a government agency.

War was declared to sidestep certain procedures that include disclosure....the reason for the war is simple:

1. controlling scarce resources

a. making sure China and Pakistan don't
form an alliance, either
economically or tradewise.

b. with a military presence they can
under the guise of fighting a war
control a region that is evolving in
a way that benefits their contacts
and alliances.

2. changing policy in the united states to
reflect the agenda that best serves the
monied... point: any citizen that lied
or used corruption to do the things
that these politicians have done to the
citizens of this country would be
jailed. fraud, chicanery, embezzelment,
constitutional murder, murder...

your president and his staff would be
on trial at the Hague if he was
president of Venezuela....and he would
be found guilty. No cause has been
delivered that would justify the current
occupation of Iraq. That's a fact.
Anyone saying otherwise is doing a fan
dance to make sure you can't see what
you want to....the current adminstration
is corrupt....nothing new, but the level
of inadequacy and obviousness.

That's thanks to a loving father who
bought his kid the presidency. Thanks
Dad from all of if you'd
just treat us the same way.

ANALyze this. !

Posted by: Healthy viewpoint regarding the truth...I tell it like I smell it....poo poo | December 31, 2005 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The last President who was so arrogant that he thought he was above the law was Tricky Dick Nixon, the dirtiest politician this country has ever known.

Fast forward 30 plus years, we have the dumbest President in modern history sitting with his hand on the button and has surrounded himself with the slimest dirtiest political hucksters since Tricky Dick.

Three years is a lot time in a presidency this corrupt and arrogant, Bush still has time to resign before the Dems who will take over the house and senate in 2006 start impeachment proceedings. Just look at todays Post story on the new Delay-Abramoff connection and the front man company that was set up to accept $1 Million of donations from the Russians and to employ Delay's wife.

So VivaBush, I wouldn't be so cocksure of your self. The GOP is at the center of the culture of corruption and have the most to lose in 2006.


Posted by: ImpeachBushNow | December 31, 2005 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Are we arguing poll results or policy?
Looking at the poll, here's what I see:

1. The poll only looked at Registered Voters. Bush's numbers have been significantly higher in polls of registered voters than polls of the general population. What does this mean? That there are a lot of unhappy people out there that don't bother to get off their duff and do anything about it. Second, peole who voted for George Bush haven't really changed their mind - neither did those who voted against him.

2. Bush's improved standings on Iraq probably have more to do with the recent elections than any speeches made by either party.

3. The economy IS doing great - lowest unemployment rate since before Jimmy Carter and almost no inflation (other than gasoline). But the media has been talking down the economy all year long, making people pessimistic. It's interesting to see that the majority (59%) of the poll respondents reported incomes of greater than $40K per year, with 28% making over $80K. Yet a majority of these same folks think the economy is doing poorly. What gives?

4. Only 17% of the respondents considered themselves to be "Liberal". The "base" of the Democratic party - the hard core activists and donors is moving farther left. Even anger at George Bush is not going to change the perception that the Democrats are too liberal. Don't discount Conservative turnout, either.

5. The Right Direction/Wrong Direction question is a silly one. A good 60-68% of Americans will always say that this Country is on the wrong track: 30% think we're headed to far left and 30% think we're head to far right. This will always be the case.

6. Democrats always do better than Republicans nationally in the generic congressional vote. Yet this poll is consistantly meaningless in predicting which party will win more seats in Congress and the Senate. That is because very few seats are actually competitive in any election year. In most cases, the incumbants win easily.

Anyway, I predict that the Republican party will lose a few seats in both chambers and will retain control of the House but lose the Senate. I predict this because it is unusual in American politics for one party to control the White House and both chambers of Congress for this long.

Posted by: Mike | December 30, 2005 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Back from Chicago where a blow to the head is not a foul unless it is a severe head injury requiring hospitalization.

Hillary will win the nomination with the name Clinton and the election because she only subltely has changed her position on the Iraq war

Gonzaga Hoops

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I also love when people say read the Constitution, and you'll see impeachment will go nowhere because Republicans control Congress.

Yes, it's called one-party rule, and it has nothing to do with the constitution. It's the same reason China's leaders don't get impeached.

And if there warrantless searches are not impeacheable, why did Nixon resign? All he did was order the FBI to do a warrantless search, in the name of national security of course.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 30, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Paul B. Are you saying that the Republican leadership is not wealthy elite?

Do you see why it's hard to understand what kind of thinking leads to this conclusion, that Dems are wealthy elite, but Bush, Cheney, Rove, et al are just down-home boys on the ranch? Now that is ignorant.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 30, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Let me give you another bit of political jerky to chew on VWRC, if your brain cell deficient condition will permit it.

Virtually every poll we have seen over the past two years--even ones taken prior to the election--reflects consistently that solid majorities of Americans feel we are on the "wrong track". That means that they think Bush's agenda sucks. Yet, all Bush has to do is come out and make a few clever, well worded speeches, sound contrite, and promise in ambiguous, generic phrases poll tested by his hired experts, that he "hears you", and Voila!--the polls start to look more favorable!

Now put aside your own snotty partisanship for a minute if you can and tell me honestly what that tells you about the intellectual conditon of the American electorate. Remember, he didn't really change any policy. His agenda remains virtually the same. And also remember that if Bush can turn poll numbers that easily, so can a wily democrat like Hillary Clinton.

One has to wonder then, what would your assessment be if it were Hillary in such a fix and using precisely the same tactics as Bush to the same effect in the polls. Would you say that such an electorate, who could be so easily manipulated with just a few choice words and a few key interviews with schmoozy media whores like Brian Williams on NBC who are motivated to make her look like a strong leader, is an electorate that you could be proud of?

Posted by: Jaxas | December 30, 2005 10:28 AM | Report abuse

VRWC, it is infinitely more likely that some swilly, gun toting, Bible thumping moron with a hard on against "liberals", the "left", "homos", "pinkos", "jewboys", "abortionists", etcetera, et cetera, et cetera and blah, blah, blah will end my life than any crazed, Islamic terrorist.

And no. I have no intention of leaving my country, and it is my country too every bit as much as you flag kissing blowhards on the right think it is yours. My obligation is to speak out when I see the nation's leaders engaging in conduct more appropriate to the right wing banana republics of South American and Africa.

My point was that in America, too many people listen to the daily blitz of disinformation, misinformation, uninformation that is preached in Elmer Gantry fashion every day on talk radio in this country and think that they are getting some approximation of reality. To the credit of the Europeans--as hopelessly detached from reality as they often are--they have not yet descended to the pedestrian level of talk radio in America.

To be sure, maybe they can be infuriating in their sanctimony, but on Bush they are 100% correct. The man is completely nefarious, completely ignorant, completely and supremely blissful in his idiotic certitudes and disturbingly well matched to another past megalomaniacal inspired leader who led his country into ruin owing to his ridiculous belief that he had been selected by Providence for a great work--Napoleon.

And like Napoleon, he looks ridiculous when he tries to look bigger than his modest frame allows.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 30, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Let me praise Paul B for one of the few intelligent comments made on this topic.
Many, most of these posts qualify for Michelle Malkin's best-seller, "Liberals Unhinged." No shortage of over-the-top emotion void of any facts.

For the unhinged "impeachBush types, if you knew your constitution you would know how the impeachment process works and you would know that given the present composition of Congress, beginning with the House which holds a sizeable GOP majority...well impeachment goes nowhere, nevermind that there is nothing imeachable to begin with. That you hate Bush and his actions does not constitute impeachable offenses. As whacky and far-left as Howard Dean is not even he has uttered the I word.

Given the above "the sky is falling"comments of the far-left, is it any wonder why so much of the America map is "Red?"

Posted by: VIVABUSH04OH | December 30, 2005 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I think the most interesting numbers in the poll are the numbers for liberal v. conservative, and self-identifed Dems v. R's. I think that what voters think of as being conservative or liberal and what Washington thinks of as conservative are not the same. I think this apparent contradiction is explained by values. I think a lot of values voters think of their values as conservative, but reject the Elmer Gantry moralizing of today's R's, and do not share the R's affection for the really wealthy and disdain for the rest of us.

Of course, the reason that the D's don't understand this is that the national Dem leadership is composed of wealthy, highly educated bi-coastal liberals who enjoy their economically elite status and are alienated thereby from the general electorate.

Only liberals who haven't a clue about the way the rest of the country lives would first elect Terry McCauliffe and then replace him with a guy like Howard Dean.

Posted by: Paul B. | December 30, 2005 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Just say "NO" to the fear, the corruption, and failure.
I am tired of being told that Americans have to be afraid, that we have to give up our liberties, our rule of law, doing things the right way just because a group of terrorist flew planes into a couple of buildings.
This is how it worked for Italy and Germany and you see what happened to their liberty, freedom and lives in WWII.
It isn't going to happen here, on my watch.
Say "NO" to fear.

Posted by: MH | December 29, 2005 11:30 PM | Report abuse

middle class jobs that have been exported have been replaced by service sector jobs (forexample Burger King) or jobs in support of the offshore temp jobs where you put tennis shoes made in China into a plastic bag and then into a "BrandName" tennis shoe box. They only call you when they have a shipment in, you don't come they don't call you any more. No job security, no benefits and the emergency room is your attending physician.

In the old days you could work most places and get benefits and retire, and things were still selling well and americans and america was the class split is heading back to the old days of pre 1900's. Miniscule middle class heavy lower class miniscule upper making within the priveleged is making sure of that. Republican and Democrats dealmakers making sure that they have a better world for themselves tomorrow while they give your country away....while they sell what your ancestors put into their companies and turn their backs on you.

Things are deterioating, and there is much less in the way of resources to pick up the slack....third world lifestyles are replacing the you can own your own home lifestyle...unless you come to this country with your own money and buy a piece of it.

Posted by: oh yeah, outsourcing | December 29, 2005 11:26 PM | Report abuse

First off, regardless of politics or religions, or intellectual prowress, lying as a way of life is not good for anyone.

IF your leaders do it, it sets the tone. If you leaders are bigoted, hatemongers and bait and switch the electorate based upon whatever dead horsemeat that they want to sell by calling it "patriotic"...

I think that if you are actually concerned about your country then you need to examine the effects of policy and who it most benefits....ask some veterans how they feel about the rising benefits cuts since desert stormfront....go to a VA Hospital, talk to the men who fought your do they feel?

How many middle class jobs have been sent overseas? Middle class includes manufacturing...nice to see that you're interested in something besides butressing by denigrating.....are you against the patriot act or just using the fact that the destruction of the bill of rights makes you unpatriotic if you're against it?

If you're patriotic, why aren't you slamming the patriot act? If the Heterosexual act made it illegal to have sex with women when you're a man, and only allow you to have sex with men have you feeling friendly towards males because it was your patriotic duty? Try actually thinking instead of make me sick. Thinking is not allowed if your a rhetoric freak....and borrowing someone else's is all that amounts to.

And thanks for the work Chris....I only get them when I post here....may whoever is on your staff, find a pink slip in their mail box that isnt' lingerie....I need to talk to your IP people. See yah, have a pleasant experience tonight.

Posted by: Sometimes an ignorant hick is just an ignorant hick.... | December 29, 2005 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Dont trust the polls. People are waiting for the other shoe to fall and they are not ready to jump to conclusions.. So far only Duke Cunningham a relatively obscure representative has pleaded guilty.

Lets keep in mind, Delay has not been found guilty neither has Libby. However, once Rove is indicted and found guilty which he is IMO, and the Abramoff scandal unfolds, the message is already in place and folks will make an issue of it. The real investigation that Republicans have thrarted is what intelligence did Bush and Cheney have they ignored that could have prevented the war in Irag. If this investigation is allowed to go forward, then I think you will see an entirely different picture.

Last but not least, an investigation into various spying activities and organizations that have absolutely nothing to do with National Security rather are politically movtivated will be the clincher. I may be wrong, but investigating or spying on PETA or Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with national security. Any bets these liberal organizations were spied upon by Karl Rove and Co. Bush is too stupid and arrogant to know if they did or did not and he is stupid enough to have given them carte blance authority to do something this immoral and illegal. One question: why wouldnt an administration not at least tell the secret spy court after the fact about who and why they eavesdropped unless they knew it was illegal. A full independent investigation by a panel of court judges and prosecutors in necessary IMO.

Take this poll to OHIO and I bet you the culture of corruption would resonate even louder.

Last but not least, what goes up must come down and it will. Polls around the holidays when spririts are high and people are more optimistic should be dismissed. Check back in the spring when the average Joe six pack receives no pay increase, has fewer health benefits that cost him more, and has to take on a second job to make ends meet. This is what is really happening in Amererica. Wages are stagnat but one can find a job at McDonalds. SO when I here about consumer confidence, and all this great economic news, what it really means is the wealthy americans are doing better but the middle class is still struggling but thank GOD McDonalds is hiring.

Posted by: ImpeachBushNow | December 29, 2005 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Right now, the message of the culture of corruption imbued in the Republican Party hasn't gained much ground for the simple reason that Bush has the bully pulpit and is pushing his fear-mongering button as he did in the runup to his vanity war in Iraq.

Fear and the threat of mushroom clouds over all our cities have dominated the news to the point that some pundits have actually endorsed the idea that Americans should give up their Constitutional freedoms and liberties if it means keeping the country safer from terrorist attacks.

Fear is the engine which is driving home the message that has always been Bush's and his administration's ally and friend.

It is no less so today as the debate over domestic spying is swinging much closer to the Bush edicts which he perceives as his constitutional right and his decision to make who decides to spy on.

What Bush is saying, and some are agreeing with him, is that in order to preserve our freedoms and liberties he must take some, and maybe all or most of them away. You know, we heard it from Condoleezza Rice, we've heard it from Cheney and Bush, that this is a "different kind of war."

Yes, it is different for American citizens in the year 2005 because we now are being told that the protections for individual liberties and freedoms contained in the Constitution are "quaint and obsolete" and that Bush has every right to deny, suspend and circumvent them.

As far as the economy is concerned, the numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (which I've bookmarked)on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index, Producer Price Index and statistics showing unemployment and wage increases the news is far different from the rose-colored glasses worn by the Bush acolytes.

The biggest engine for the GDP, at least two-thirds of it according to expert economists, is consumer spending. Without this massive spending and insatiable demand for items like SUVs, homes, appliances and other creature comforts like computers, Ipods and camera cell phones, and of course volatile fuel costs, this economy would be in big trouble. And it is mostly unsustainable.

If you remove government spending for war-related items such as Humvees, missiles, helicopters and all sorts of military equipment which, by the way, have practically no oversight and only loose accounting, is in the billions, the GDP would drop at least by a third.

But the biggest ticking time bomb of all is the gluttonous and unprecedented borrowing and spending spree by the Bush government combined with the almost record monthly trade deficits with countries like China and Japan. Add in the other lurking disaster, personal bankruptcies due to whopping consumer debt and now you're talking big, big trouble.

And how will all this play out with the voters once the Bush mob starts to demagogue the cause of their profligacy? We will know soon enough once the bills and credit card interest in the post-Christmas binge spending start to roll in.

Bush and his corrupt, depraved Republican-controlled U.S. Congress will once again blame it all on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and a whole slew of their favorite whipping posts, senior citizens, the poor and neediest and screech to high heaven that they, not the Bush greedy $1.35 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of the population, are to blame for all the ills in the economy.

Election 2006 is close at hand. Look for the Swift Boaters to come out early and often.

The only way to counteract these Bush propaganda proxies and thugs is to out them for all the corruption that will emerge during the early part of 2006.

The year 2006 will start off with the trial of Enron president Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay, money launderer and criminal extortionist Tom "The Hammer" DeLay, the traitor who jeopardized national security, by blowing the cover of a CIA undercover agent's identity, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Bill "Teri Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state" Frist and his so-called blind trust selling off of his shares in HCA stock shortly before the price tanked.

This entire Bush mob should be impeached for their assaults against all Americans' freedoms and liberties which he alone now says he has a right to limit and even take away.

Bush lied about Iraq's possession of W.M.D. and made the equally false claim that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda before 9/11 as his reason for preemptively bombing Iraq, killing over 30,000 men, women and children and putting 2,170 U.S. military in bodybags for his unjust and ignoble war. These are all reasons enough to charge this administration with high crimes and misdemeanors and remove them from office asap.

Posted by: Richard | December 29, 2005 7:15 PM | Report abuse

>> A Manhattan Project to develop alternative energy.

While I'm familiar in a passing way with the phrase, I admit ignorance to exactly what such a thing would entail. I won't stoop to going to Google and acting more knowledgable then I am, I'll just ask questions:

1) From its name, does it imply a vast and near total gathering of the scientific (and in this case, perhaps, economic) community in order to develop and implement alternative fuels?
2) Does it imply absolute secrecy? If so, why?
3) Assuming at least the first question is correct, what are the costs?
4) How does one shift from a petroleum-based fuel system? Is it incremental, or do you suddenly pull hundreds of millions of cars off the road and change the systems of hundreds of millions of homes overnight? If incremental, do you mandate a certain year by which all vehicles and/or homes must be fueled/heated/cooled by alternative energy? Regardless of overnight or incremental, who pays and how much?

>> Pushing our advantage in Tora Bora (woulda coulda shoulda) to catch bin Laden.

Look, you and I can play woulda coulda shoulda all day with regards to bin Laden. I don't know why he wasn't caught, and neither do you. I don't even know if he's alive, and neither do you. I would go out on a limb, though, and say that if we could've gotten him, we would've.

Pay as you go (Paygo -- Bush ridiculed this idea).

Because it's largely ridiculous. It's not entirely without merit, I'll grant you, but it's also not remotely plausible.

Missile defense for commercial airplanes (proposed by Sen Boxer, now under study).

It's not the worst idea Sen. Boxer's ever had, but from a cost-benefit analysis, a loser.

Homeland Security Dept (Bush flip-flopped and eventually supported this)

And he shouldn't have. DHS was doomed by design to be a mess of bureaucracy, and it is.

A recognition that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere will warm the earth.

Pure junk science.

As to your second post: We can argue all day about the "hubris" of "Bring it on," and, since I'm sure it would be your next point, "Mission Accomplished." The only thing I'll say is that it is (they are) at least arguable. You won't persuade me and I won't persuade you, so I'll call that a draw if you will.

But "with us or against us" as jingoistic??? Come on! It is, to my way of thinking, a clear statement of fact, at worst perhaps a bit overblown. But what you (liberals) always fail to realize is that sometimes the world really *is* black and white. There's very little point and very little accomplishment in navel-gazing. I'm not remotely interested in why people want to bomb or otherwise do harm to the U.S. and its interests, I'm interested in doing whatever is necessary to vanquish those people. Quite intolerant, I know.

Posted by: VWRC member | December 29, 2005 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Nancy has been all over TV talking about this, introduced a House Resolution decrying it, and still can't get folks to believe she and her cohorts will do a better job of cleaning up the city?

I find that hillarious.

Posted by: Crazy Politico | December 29, 2005 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Ordinary citizens do not apprehend that the economy has not improved, but worsened. It has worsened badly for most citizens.

The GNP, median business-activity volume, corporate income, and other, like "indicators" have risen. Consumer spending increased recently (though we cannot know how much the Christmas season explains the spending increase).

But, except among the very, very rich, income has fallen, markedly. The business activity/product increases have not improved, but worsened, substantially, the financial condition of the not-too-rich, any of the middle class, or the poor.

If ordinary citizens appreciated these facts, Bush's poll numbers would be lower than ever. NPR and the other pollsters ought to tell poll-subjects these facts, before they ask "economy" questions.

Posted by: Leonard R. Jaffee | December 29, 2005 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Bring it on" -- hubris.

"With us or with the terrorists." - jingoism.

Need more examples?

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 29, 2005 4:16 PM | Report abuse

In 2004 Bush consistently used the phrase, "What do you expect from a Senator from Massachussetts?" That's dismissive. Kerry said no such thing.

As for leftist positions, do you dismiss the following:

A Manhattan Project to develop alternative energy.

Pushing our advantage in Tora Bora (woulda coulda shoulda) to catch bin Laden.

Pay as you go (Paygo -- Bush ridiculed this idea).

Missile defense for commercial airplanes (proposed by Sen Boxer, now under study)

Homeland Security Dept (Bush flip-flopped and eventually supported this)

A recognition that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere will warm the earth.

And true, after years of abuse from the right, we are hitting back. As long as the term moonbat is in play, all is fair game.

Now, compare this to the Clinton years. Did Clinton's supporters spew the kind of hateful vitriol we hear today from Bush's supporters? No. Was there a Clinton-Derangement-Syndrome, legions of loud Clinton-haters? Most definitely yes. If you want to debate ideas, they are on the table. But to claim that Democrats have no ideas is simply false.

So you keep on claiming that all you hear is Bushitler etc. And we'll continue to point out obesity rates (good decision making skills for the red states), literacy, and tolerance for other cultures.

A large percentage of Bush supporters still believe we found WMD in Iraq, that Saddam helped plan 9/11, and some of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis. Sorry, but that is ignorance defined.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 29, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hubris? Jingoism? DISMISSIVENESS?

I fail to see either of the first two in conservative postitions, and if we're dismissive, have you ever considered the possibility that that's what the left deserves? I've failed (and believe me, I've tried) to find a liberal, leftist or progressive position that merits serious consideration. Everything - and I mean everything - I've seen is blathering against "the theocrisy," "King George," "BusHitler" "JesusLand" and so forth. Do those *really* strike you as cogent thoughts upon which to build an argument? Do you expect many people to find this persuasive? If not, is it because they're ignorant hicks? Does calling people ignorant hicks tend to win friends?

Posted by: VWRC member | December 29, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats had any balls they'd be demanding that Bush and his administration be impeached along with who ever gave him the legal advice that it was okay to spy on Americans. Impeach the Carpetbaggers and the top Republican lemmings.

Posted by: Deuces | December 29, 2005 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats had any Balls they'd be demanding that Bush and his administration be impeached and who ever gave him the legal advice that it was okay to spy on Americans. Impeach the Carpetbaggers and the top Republican lemmings.

Posted by: Deuces | December 29, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republican strategy is starting to take form. Bush would never use the word "moonbat" but his legions of supporters are mobilizing to say love it or leave it, and impugn the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with Bush's policies -- the so-called "Bush derangement syndrome."

That, and the old strategy of deliberately misstating your opponents' positions and arguments (cut and run, anyone? surrender to terrorists?) should make for an interesting political season to say the least.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 29, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

VWRC, you proved his point. Hubris, jingoism, dismissiveness, and the Scopes Monkey Trial are legitimate issues today. Rather than address them, you pull out the "love it or leave it" jingoism.

Case closed.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | December 29, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a pretty appropriate way to respond to yet another victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome. It's not as though, "Frankly, I think George W. Bush and the American electorate are a perfect intellectual match: ignorant and proud of it, bigoted against anyone who does not share their narrow worldview, soaked with a jingoistic hubris concerning their military power, dismissive of all other cultures and mired in dead-from-the-neck-up certitudes that more properly belong to the era that brought us the Scopes Monkey Trial" is a paragon of intellectualism. Then again, to a moveon-type moonbat, perhaps it is.

Posted by: VWRC member | December 29, 2005 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Can we be more precise when reporting Republican and Democrats participation in the culture of corruption. If 65% of the voters don't recognize the difference between Republican and Democratic party participation, it is because the folks reporting on the story haven't been clear.

As you recall, the insistence on 'false balance' is an issue. This false balance muddies the waters. While it is true that 'some Democrats' are involved in this 'C-of-C', the overwhelming majority are Republicans, and this should be highlighted in the reporting. Otherwise, YOU are not doing YOUR job -- informing the readers.

It is not 'a horserace'. It is political graft, influence peddling, illegal back-scratching -- not politics as usual. Tom Delay (R-TX) has tried to rewrite the rules to make it the new Republican politics as usual, but the public has not bought off on the changes. Hopefully, a bunch of congress folk will be sent to the slammer and the Delay-rules will be repudiated at the polls.

Posted by: anonymous coward | December 29, 2005 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans will most likely lose seats in both houses. For two factor off year elections favor the party not in power, and two the recent failures of the Bush administration. If Bush and the Republicans coast into the 2006 elections in the shape they are now the Democrats will pick up modest gains, two or three seats in Senate, 10-15 in house, but will not take back the congress. If the economy tanks, and Iraq erupts into civil war than the Democrats may take back both houses in congress. My guess is that the Democrats will have the modest game scenario, which like now they will stonewall anything Bush does in upcoming years. In 2008, if the Democrats field a uniter candidate like Mark Warner/Wes Clark ticket who offer best of both worlds, they will make a huge gains and will take back both houses of congress. If they field someone like Hillary the Republicans will pick up seats even if Hillary wins, which is doubtful. Nonetheless, this Bush administration days are numbered on hopes of being major reformers, they can only hope to coast through the next three years. The Democrats if they play their cards right, they can have a united government and if the next Democrat President unites the country, and finally is a President for the people, we could see a lasting Democrat majority that is powerful, but not as powerful as the days of FDR.

Posted by: Josh | December 29, 2005 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The proof that Republicans are doomed can be found right here in "the fix" comment board...

"Viva Bush" states that "I believe that corruption is a non-starter for many reasons."

In the opinion of many upstanding citizens those who believe "corruption is a non starter" are fooling themselves, ethically challenged, and dangerous to the American Way. Lots of Republicans use this argument, however.

Posted by: Here is your answer... | December 29, 2005 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, VRWC, what a perfectly non-constructive, obnoxious, anti-intellectual comment. Congratulations.

Posted by: Venicemenace | December 29, 2005 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Republican or Democrat, I'm an American. The majority of foreign fighters in Iraq are US Occupation Troops/Terrorists. We need to tar and feather the entire US Government and its Corporate State Controlled Media.

The 2nd American Revolution will not be televised.

Posted by: Zionist Hoodlum | December 29, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Jaxas, please move. Go to Europe, maybe you'll get really lucky and have your throat slit by a Mohammedan.

Posted by: VRWC member | December 29, 2005 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I also find it curious how the media is covering this PR blitz. Much as they would some stupid football game where the team down in points is evaluated as to what they have to d to get back in the game. A dizzying array of expert strategists and tacticians are brought on the air to bore the crap out of all of us as they blow on and on about all of this "process" BS which effectively takes their attention away from the truly serious abuses of power this rotten, corrupt Presidency engages in.

I have no doubt that with the media's help, Bush will be right back up there in the polls. And frankly, the American people deserve just what they are getting from him. Just wait until the bill comes for this big party they have been on.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 29, 2005 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Any ethically challenged lawmaker should be worried. The "Church on sunday covers my ethical lapse on Monday" crowd should be selling their illegally gotten assets for a legal fund deposit. Abrahmhoff is about to end their career. Look for the cockroaches of DC to run for the shadows, or be hammered making a break for it, scuttling across the kitchen floor... If they truck with Abrahmhoff, Kidan, Scanlon, DeLay, Norqiust, Rove, Cheney, Ney, Brownback, Rohrbacher, etc... "RAID" is coming to crash their career party's very soon in the form of the US Justice system... Don't agree? Ask Duke Cunningham. Are ALL Republicans besides John McCain ethically challenged scum?

Posted by: You'd Best Duck and Cover | December 29, 2005 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Chris, all the improved poll numbers concerning Bush's standing tell me is that the Europeans are dead on concerning the sorry state of the intellect of the American electorate.

Any group of people who can be so easily swayed by a few speeches and minor adjustments in polemical style on the part of Bush is a group of people who fit nicely into that catefory of people P. T. Barnum referred to when he said that thatere was a sucker born in American every minute.

Frankly, I think George W. Bush and the American electorate are a perfect intellectual match: ignorant and proud of it, bigoted against anyone who does not share their narrow worldview, soaked with a jingoistic hubris concerning their military power, dismissive of all other cultures and mired in dead-from-the-neck-up certitudes that more properly belong to the era that brought us the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 29, 2005 12:42 PM | Report abuse

From the Heartland.

Don't kid yourself that the President's improved numbers are seasonal and tied to CHRISTMAS sales. The President's 4 speeches prior to the December 15 Iraqi elections helped rebutt MSM and Dem negativeism.

I believe that corruption is a non-starter for many reasons.
First, unless corruption is directly linked to a specific candidate, it goes nowhere. In most cases it is hard for the average voter to follow, e.g. Abramoff, Plame,Coingate in Ohio, etc. Ohio Democrats and outside-Ohio far left forces tried to use so-called Republican corruption to pass 4 "reform" ballot amendments which all failed by an average of 2-1. Voters are more likely to dismiss at-large corruption issues as meaningless since they believe that corruption, dishonesty are inherent in both, all political parties.

Yep, it comes down to individual candidates in each race to determine winners and losers. Money and the lack thereof matters greatly and then there are issues. Going into 2006 the state of the Iraq war and the economy, i.e. taxes, inflation, the price of gas, employment v. unemployment, interest rates. There is no present indication that either Iraq or the economy are backsliding. It is not enough to withdraw troops. Casualties and the lack thereof influence the public's perception of the war. 2006 should see a reduction of these numbers.

There is no doubt that Republicans see the glass half-full while the Dems see the glass half-empty. In order for Dems to succeed they need to convince the voter that things are bad and that they are the solution, though I am yet to see anything positive issue-, or strategy-wise that the Dems have offered. They are simply about GOPs are bad and the Dems are not GOPs so vote for us.

As usual, the Dems need to hope for bad things to happen in order to have a chance to win anything in 2006.

Posted by: vivabush04OH | December 29, 2005 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris on Wall St it's called a "dead cat bounce". A slight up tick in the numbers before they continue to fall. Even a dead cat will bounce once, so we will wait for the next set of numbers for any trends.
Any word on little Froomkins?

Posted by: Sam Ellison | December 29, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It should be understood that this survey came in the runup to Christmas when commerce and the economy almost always looks good. It was, also, before the latest NSA snooping scandal sank in (indeed, it may be months before the full weight of that scandal sinks in).
This survey is going to be used as a baseline for the next year/election cycle. As the lobby-gate, snoop-gate, Iraq-gate, Plame-gate and the slow rebuilding in New Orleans continue to roll on, the Republicans will have so many "gates" to fix that they will need an army of Tom Sawyers working double time to try to stem the tide. The recent bond inversion could indicate an upcoming recession. The administration will be forced to accelerate withdrawals from Iraq to manufacture good news to try to prevent an electoral landslide. As long as Democrats put up good candidates and don't allow swift-boating to go unanswered...

Posted by: Capemh | December 29, 2005 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Chris- I have been campaigning door to door for 4 months for MD's 3rd CD ( have been hearing the change theme from voters since the summer. Dem voters not only feel that the Republicans are leading the country in the wrong direction, they are also highly dissatisfied with lack of leadership from democrats. There is a strong sense that Congress as a whole is not dealing with issues important to voters. Iraq is the biggest concern with health care next. Murtha is right, the people are way ahead of the politicians on Iraq. Oz

Posted by: Oz Bengur | December 29, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

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