home > archive > 2001 > this article

Public opinion, liberal style

By Bruce Walker
web posted July 2, 2001

The latest impartial, object mainstream poll gleefully notes that approval for President Bush's job as President has "slipped" to a level about equal to Bill Clinton's approval at this point in his wretched presidency. Are any conservatives losing sleep over this "bad" news? Does any conservative today believe that putative snapshots of public sentiment in the mainstream media have only a accidental connection with political reality? If so, then recall how long it took to call Ohio for Bush last November, and how quickly (and wrongly) Florida was called for Gore.

The purpose of this sort of "news" is not to inform or to enlighten, but rather to isolate and to demoralize. Liberals have long since given up trying to win arguments or convince people. Liberals, indeed, have long since given up even calling themselves "liberals" choosing instead "progressives" or "ecologists" or "feminists" or some other misdirection from their overwhelming unpopularity. Gore, for example, did not run as a "Compassionate Liberal" but rather as a "moderate" who would prevent "extremists" like our current President.

The patent idiocy of calling a man who received about half of the vote of the American people in his election "extreme" would stir any serious thinker. Gore was not so much "extreme" as "amoral" and "power hungry" - which are sadly much in the mainstream of government and politics. Words like "healthy" tend to push out "accurate" in the liberal's lexicon, which presents images of smiling, blond Aryan lads, and "sick"which conjures up dark shadowy images of us scurrying rats who infect the Volk with our free-thinking ways.

The poll which shows support for President Bush "dipping" is intentionally misleading as well. A quick perusal of the "favorable" and "unfavorable" would indicate that if it were re-election time today, President Bush would carry about forty states and win by a landslide. We should not even dream that mainstream media will take a poll of Bush v. Rodham, Bush v. Gore, or Bush v. Gephardt these days. The President probably has a twenty point spread over these creepy characters, which is not exactly the picture of America that liberals want to present.

While limit this to the old gray faces, how about a match-up between President Bush and Governor Gray Davis? How far would Bush lead him? Or Senator Edwards or Senator Kerrey? This is the point when liberals usually have these misleading polls which show - surprise! - the Leader of the Free World and man on television all the time usually thumps "Senator Who?" and "Governor What?"

What ever happened to those odd polls that the liberal media suddenly considered valuable in 1995. "How do you approve of the job New Gingrich is doing as Speaker?" or "Do you approve more of the job Bill Clinton is doing as President or the job Newt Gingrich as Speaker?" We need those polls now! Where are they? "Do you approve of the job Tom Daschle is doing as Senate Majority Leader?" and "Do you approve of the job Dick Gephardt is doing as House Minority Leader?"

Take heart that polls show President Bush has a favorable rating clearly above a majority and that the spread between favorable and unfavorable is quite wide. That means reality is much more positive for conservatives. Much evidence which liberals cannot hide suggest just this.

There has been precisely one meaningful election since last November, and the Republicans picked up a Congressional seat held by the Democrats. These are headlines if Democrats retain their seat, but filler if Republicans perform the more difficult task of capturing a seat from the Democrats.

Good news, but here is better news: consider how terribly Clinton had failed electorally by June 1993. The Democrats lost a Senate seat in Georgia only a few days after Clinton won his "mandate." A few months into his term, Democrats lost a stunning blow when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson captured yet another Senate seat from the Democrats in the Texas, the nation's second largest state, by a Texas sized landslide.

Soon Democrats would have more bad news - Governorships in New Jersey and Virginia, Mayoral races in New York and Los Angeles, followed in early 1994 by calamitous losses of House seats in Oklahoma and Kentucky (including a seat Democrats had held for 128 years). Republicans have yet to suffer a single electoral unpleasantry in the Bush Presidency, while Clinton by now in his term had Democrats glum and soon much glummer.
If polls and elections are not painting an "appropriate" picture of American politics, liberals will just have to find a better measurement. They have had precisely one deed to show the tenor of public opinion - Senator Quisling from small, quaint Vermont (recall that was the state in which octogenarian Fred Tuttle ran as the Republican candidate in 1998 against Senator Leahy - as a pure joke - and which captures, perhaps, the seriousness with which Vermonters take these matters)

Diluting even Senator Quisling's actions, he did not even join the Democrats, but simply left the Republican Party. If Democrats wish to measure political momentum this way, then they had best grasp the brief flicker of Quisling, because the trend lines all go the other way. Excepting Michael Forbes, the now ex- Congress from New York, Jeffords is about the only elected official to leave the Republican Party. Contrast the exodus of Democrats to the Republican Party at every level of government.

Last year Republicans gained control of the Kentucky State Senate for the first time in history when several State Senators switched and became Republicans, meaning legislative and congressional districts in Kentucky will not resemble asymmetrical monstrosities for the first time in a long time. No less than six House Democrats and two Senate Democrats switched parties after the 1994 election. Two House Democrats since then have voted to organize with Republicans, and these politicians who bid adieu to the Democrats have not found re-election difficult. The flow of party switchers has been almost entirely a flow from Democrat to Republican.

So what is left of liberal public opinion making? Not much. Europeans look down on our President (oh, that will sure hurt the President politically in America!) and the President has the audacity of including in the refunds tens of millions of Americans will receive a short, factual statement of his signing the tax reduction which made this possible. Sneaking conservatives, again using that vile stratagem: Truth.

Clearly the liberals have President Bush rattled and confused, although - as with most liberal analyses - there is virtually no evidence at all anywhere to remotely suggest that he is not confidently and joyfully moving on with what he promised in his campaign.

Plurality Leader Pro Tempore Tom Daschle will doubtless try to use his tiny political edge to embarrass Republicans, although it rather seems like Republicans are more embarrassing him - and soon he will be clinging tearfully to an indicted Senate Democrat, insisting that Torrecelli hang on until Democrats can recapture the New Jersey Governorship (oh, what a wonderful campaign theme for Democrats in New Jersey this November!)

Liberals sense that history is passing them by, much like their old pals with Red Stars and Iron Curtains. We are not isolated, frightened, or suffer from a lack of confidence. Each liberal outrage shows us more the rightness of our cause. Each desperate ploy by liberals shows how desperate they are. Each chameleon change by liberals looks more like an escaping convict trashing prison clothes for something, anything, to hide his true identity.

So Quisling and a statistically insignificant shift in public opinion in big, big new for liberals. Sounds a lot like the Japanese propaganda in the death throes of their brutal empire, in which troops for "advancing to the rear" and other such nonsense. Which power over others is everything, then losing power is everything, and any lie - even to oneself - that buys a bit more time, a few more hours for odious pardons, a few more minutes to abuse the privileges of office, because everything. That is what liberals are doing now: staring at a long "advance to the rear" and saying anything, pretending anything, that can stem the inevitable victory of freedom.

Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.

Current Issue

Archive Main | 2001

E-mail ESR




1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.