Sunday, April 04, 2010

April fools every day of the year

"Tea Party Survey: Old, Conservative, Hate Obama, Like Fox News".

I think they must have left out "Caucasian, obese, and lacking a high school education".

The individuals who make up the Tea Party movement are largely conservative and get their news from Fox; they're generally old and of moderate to low income; and they're fairly convinced that their taxes are going to rise in the next few years, even though they likely won't.

Those conclusions are part of a new study put together by The Winston Group, a conservative-leaning polling and strategy firm run by the former director of planning for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. And they provide a telling new window on the political force that has revamped the Republican Party and altered the landscape of the 2010 elections.

Quick: what was the percentage of those who voted for Debra Medina a month ago?

In the course of conducting three national surveys of 1,000 registered voters, Winston was able to peg the percentage of the public that identifies itself with the Tea Party at roughly 17 percent. (Emphasis mine.) The group pledges that it is independent of any particular party (indeed 28 percent of Tea Party respondents in the Winston survey labeled their affiliation as such). But on pretty much every defining political or demographic issue, the movement lines up with the GOP or conservative alternatives.

Sixty-five percent of Tea Party respondents called themselves "conservative" compared to the 33 percent of all respondents who did the same. Just eight percent of Tea Party respondents said they were "liberal."

Forty-seven percent of Tea Party respondents said that Fox News was either the top or second source of news they turn to, compared with 19 percent of the overall public who said the same thing.

More than 80 percent (81 percent) of Tea Party respondents expressed very little approval of Barack Obama's job as president, which exceeded disapproval levels held even by Republicans (77%) and conservatives (79%).

The GOP has even funded paraphernalia at TeaBagger rallies, but don't pay any attention to that. What's important is that TeaBaggers say they aren't Republican.

All these data points suggest that the Tea Party crowd is comprised predominantly of conservatives. And, not surprisingly, the demographics of the movement seemingly align with those who traditionally vote for the conservative candidate as well. Fifty-six percent of Tea Party respondents are male; 22 percent are over the age of 65 (compared with just 14 percent who are between the ages of 18 and 34); and 23 percent fall in the income range of $50,000 and $75,000.

It's the type of group that would likely benefit the most from Democratic governance, with commitments to Social Security, Medicare, and middle-class job creation. But the Tea Party crowd is decidedly sour on the Democratic agenda. Fifty-six percent of Tea Party respondents said they believe cutting spending will create jobs. And while a huge chunk won't see their taxes affected if the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $250,000, 82 percent think they will, in fact, go up.

You used to have to go deep into the bowels of Appalachia to find ignorance this powerful, but now it is spread far and wide throughout the South, and of course we have our particularly rancid strain prevalent here in Deep-In-The-Hearta.

Update: Geoff Berg of Partisan Gridlock has more on this "oppressed" minority.

Sunday Funnies

Friday, April 02, 2010

A little secular teasing for Good Friday

If the Jews hadn't killed Jesus, then there would be no Easter. And that means no Easter Bunny, no Easter chocolate ... and no Peeps.

So thanks, Chosen People! (I'm certain the potential retail sales bonanza was merely an unintended consequence.)

Another observation, this one thanks to Gary Wright: do you think -- had Jesus been capitally punished in, say, the 1960s -- that Christians would be wearing miniature electric chairs around their necks?

It's long been my perception that Christians are only slightly less easily offended by aspersions cast against their Savior than Muslims, who will death-panel a person simply for drawing a cartoon or writing a book. It's those damn Zen Buddhists whose feathers don't easily ruffle.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stay Bailey Hutchison

Who does this surprise? Well, me. But then I've never been much of an insider, either.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said this morning that she will stay in the Senate until her term ends in early 2013, reversing repeated pledges made during her failed campaign for governor that she would resign early.

Hutchison said she had changed her mind and decided not to leave Washington because the country needs her to stand against the liberal agenda of President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress.

Speaking for the country, we would prefer it if you dried up and blew away, Kay.

"My experience will be better used fighting this effort by the president and the Congress to do so much to take away the essence of America," she said in an appearance with her Texas Republican colleague, Sen. John Cornyn, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Hutchison, McConnell and Cornyn took no questions. Aides said they had pressing obligations elsewhere. Congress is not in session this week.

She appeared between two burly henchmen bodyguards named Cornyn and McConnell, who made sure she said what they wanted her to say, and then she and Mitch piled back on the plane after her 90-second announcement. Corndog stayed behind to spin.

Reaction to this latest flip-flop was typical.

"This is a selfish decision but not a surprising one,” said one Republican who was eager for Hutchison to retire. “The wind is at our backs this year, and it was the best chance we had of getting a solid Republican in this seat. Sen. Hutchison has put the seat at greater risk by pushing the vacancy off until 2012. We have no idea what the political landscape will look like two years from now."

Florence Shapiro withdrew, Michael Williams collapsed in a heap of hysterical crying, Roger Williams sighed heavily and went back to selling cars.

Rodney Ellis told a funny, though.

Even conservative freak blogger Douchebag Robbie -- continuing his contempt for everyone and everything that doesn't shoot bullets -- let fly some invective:

2010: The year that Mark McGwyer announced he used steroids. Ricky Martin announced he's gay. Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison (RINO-TX) announces she lied about resigning from the Senate. Let's just call 2010 "The year stuff that everybody already knew is considered news."

The lamest duck in the United States Senate -- formerly the 'most popular elected official in Texas' -- gets to sit in Washington a couple more years, draw a paycheck, and keep doing what she has done since 1993: tell her purse boys to make certain her nail polish and makeup are refrigerated.