Tuesday, October 18, 2011

American Jobs Act

CNN recently completed a poll that included asking Americans what they thought about the various components of the American Jobs Act. Jed Lewison put the responses into graph form.

And what about Republicans in the Senate?

Any questions?


  1. Yes, I have a question. Generally Republicans vote for Republican policies, regardless of what democratic voters thing and democrats vote for Democratic policies, regardless of what republicans think.

    Therefore, shouldn't the polls have only polled Republican voters or either we should have looked at the vote of all senators. Otherwise, the results are meaningless, are they not?

  2. The poll shows how out of touch the republicans are with what the American public wants.

  3. Jerry Critter has it exactly right. On top of that, jobs are the issue most of the public cares the most about right now. Going into next year, we need to emphasize this contrast -- put it before the people constantly and show what it means.

    The last two graphs, on raising taxes on the rich, are especially significant since this is the very thing the Republican politicians most fanatically oppose.

    Oh, and even polls of just Republican voters give very different results from how Republicans in Congress are voting. Even many Republican voters favor measures such as raising taxes to protect the social safety net, and many prioritize jobs over the deficit.

  4. John - as Infidel says, the CNN poll included breakdowns of what Republican voters think. And they don't agree with Republicans in the Senate. Here's a good breakdown of those results.


  5. I'm reposting your visuals [with attribution] over at my blog to give this wider exposure.

    Will post your site on my fb page as well--even more folks will read it.

    We've got to keep this in front of the public because the MSM will not.

  6. I visited the site, and you are right. However, the disconnect is far less than the original charts suggest.

    Anytime we add in the opposing party's senate only, but with the entire voter base, we are going to get an exaggerated tale. This is the case if we use examine how democrats vote or if we examine how republicans vote.

    Oddly enough, one of the main talking points that Repbulicans make using their own dubious sources, is that most Americans say they are against the Affordable Healthcare Act, and yet Obama made his presidency about. I consider that irrelevant, even if it were true. I don't Obama's goal was to produce the Affordable Healthcare Act. I think it was a stepping stone, or so he hopes, to Universal Healthcare. The objection is the same kind of thing, only made on the other side of the aisle.

  7. John - I think this is much more nuanced than you are suggesting. The CNN poll broke down the components of the AJA. Overall, they are very popular with the public and get majority support from Republicans.

    I say all that as an example for the ACA. Polling on that one showed the same thing. A majority of Americans support the individual components of health care reform (except the mandate of course, which is how we pay for it). But due to other factors, the entire bill doesn't get majority support.

    I think sometimes people forget that throughout the 2008 campaign - up until the economic collapse - health care reform was up there as a top concern of people and was discussed at length. People wanted to see something done about it until the Republicans demagogued the issue - much as they did during the Clinton presidency.

  8. I think sometimes people forget that throughout the 2008 campaign - up until the economic collapse - health care reform was up there as a top concern of people and was discussed at length. People wanted to see something done about it until the Republicans demagogued the issue - much as they did during the Clinton presidency.

    I completely agree with that statement. The desires of the populace is sculpted by the commentary of our chosen media, and not by the need of the populace or by its concepts of what's right.

    Like the rest of America, conservatives are not rich and they too struggle to get by in varying degrees. Amazingly, astonishingly, the GOP political machine has convinced the majority of republicans that even though they do not represent the vast majority of their real-world needs, they represent them.

    I think this is pretty obvious and inescapable. The charts were biased in my opinion, nonetheless. Again, I see this done on both sides. I usually detest charts because they almost always leave out the rest of the story to make situations seem more extreme than they are. Don't misunderstand me, the real situation is extreme enough. However, charts with weaknesses provide legitimate targets for the opposition to attack. Additionally, when the opposition sees them, they genuinely think that their side is misrepresented, and that this misrepresentation is the primary source of any disagreement. It takes the argument from a philosophical idea and makes it about a chart.

    In other words, when you make a forcefully argued chart, you make your side more convinced than ever that they are right, but you also make the opposition more convinced than ever that they are right. Who do you wish to persuade?

    There is a goal in sales: “Always try to make the customer think it is he who is deciding to purchase something. Do not allow him to think it is you who are selling it to him.” Subtlety is key, and never more in any area other than political disagreement. Everyone loves discovery of truths they reject if it is handed to them. Why? Because in one case you are right and in the other they are, and being right feels good.

    Additionally, in political philosophy, subtlety is often the real answer. The situation is always bad and never as bad as it looks in charts, which cannot be questioned or tell you the rest of the story, such as a chart that charts republican vote vs. the wishes of the entire populace.

    Again, who are we trying to persuade? In debate, exaggeration tends to confirm what one already believes. It helps convince us who are already convinced. In debate, only subtlety can be persuasive to the opposition. Everything else succumbs to confirmation bias and ego. What is it the famous philosopher Commander Spock said: "Those who cannot hear an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper."

  9. 'Afternoon Everyone

    I saw some film clips of PBO yesterday as he toured some of the Southeast. At a particular stop, the crowd broke in a chant of "four more years". PBO responded that, while he was appreciative of this, he was much more concerned about the next 13 months.

    I've had, of late, an interesting back and forth with a couple of folk re: "the narrative". I would present factual accomplishments that the PBO had done. They would talk about the effectiveness, regardless, of how good the Republicans are with shaping "the narrative" (and, as Ms. Pants points out, they were aMAzing re: the ACA).

    As I see it, in addition to PBO having a SOLID history of attempting to be reasonable with the Republicans - and them not going along no matter what - , what he is doing now is taking back "the narrative".

    Bill Plante of CBS, during PBO's last presser, said it looked to him like PBO was duplicating what Truman did by running against a do-nothing Congress. PBO said that, if Congress passed his Bill, he really couldn't do that. But, if they didn't....

    Understanding that you don't like charts, John, but, in a number of ways, including PBO now actually saying that it IS the Republicans, what these charts and other devices, imo, are gonna say to a growing number of people is that, even though this is something that you want, the Republicans are not letting you have it.

    This is simple and to the point and this, at least as it appears to me, is just how a lot of the country likes it.

  10. Blackman,

    I am completely convinced that it "is the republicans." I just found the charts to be biased, that's all. I think the repulicans in Congress now are the nuttiest in history. Even without a chart, I think this.

  11. Hey, John

    No, no....

    It's quite clear that we are in agreement. Which, frankly, is nice in starting off a discussion for a change. I'm just saying that while, because you think like you do and would break matters all down and dissect and, welllll.....you know....be you....any number of people aren't gonna do all of that.

    What, from the narrative perspective - that PBO appears to really be winning for a VERY nice change - seems to be quite clear is that the Republicans are not wanting what many in the country want. Their obstructionism, which as we know, is quite real appears to be FInally being noted by a very nice amount of the American public. In spite of the Republicans sayin': "nuh uhhhh...we're not doin' that".

    Is there bias in the charts? Perhaps so. But, I don't care. I believe, more and more - and PBO is gonna make them vote over and over - people are going to see the "nuttiest in history" for what they are.

    Trusting matters in the family way are moving right on along right nicely for you and your wife.

  12. Mr Blackman,

    As an indicator, it is good, if even exaggerated. Again, it all comes down to whom we are trying to persuade. I think I generally target the enemy for persuasion. Those who make those charts target friends. You cannot persuade the enemy by exaggerating the argument against them.

    However, I recognize that persuading the enemy may not be the goal of the chart, it which case it can server other purposes.

    My wife and I are well, sir. Thank you for asking. She doesn't hate me yet, but I still have plenty of time to mess things up (I hope).

  13. John

    VERY few people are even payin' attention at this point save political junkies like ourselves and Ms. Pants.

    I see this, and there will be a number of approaches, as an attempt to persuade the undecided. To me, this is what "the narrative" is really all about. I have tended to think that the facts really should be able to speak for themselves. But, that really has been shown to be not quiiiiiite true in some political circumstances.

    ComPLETEly agree re: persuading an enemy can't be done by exaggerating the argument against them.

    Glad to know you guys are progressing nicely. My wife and I are celebrating our 29th on Sat.

  14. From an Article on DB:

    If you'd told me in January 2009 that the banks would pay us back the entire bailout and then some, that the auto companies would actually turn around with government help and be a major engine of recovery, that there would be continuous job growth since 2009, however insufficient, after the worst demand collapse since the 1930s, that bin Laden would be dead, Egypt transitioning to democracy, al Qaeda all but decimated as a global threat, and civil rights for gays expanding more rapidly than at any time in history ... well I would be expecting a triumphant re-election campaign.

    This was before we got all our troops out of Iraq and taken out Gidaffi.