Good Poll Numbers

Good news for the Obama administration:

Barack Obama’s first quarter in office concludes on Sunday, and during this early stage of his presidency he has averaged a solid 63% job approval, reaching as high as 69% in the initial days of his presidency and falling as low as 59% on a few occasions.

Obama’s 63% first-quarter average matches the historical average of 63% for elected presidents’ first quarters since 1953. However, it is the fourth highest for a newly elected president since that time, and the highest since Jimmy Carter’s 69% in 1977. The historical first-quarter average includes two presidents whose scores exceeded 70% (John Kennedy’s 74% and Dwight Eisenhower’s 71%).

It might be worthwhile to review the lines of attacks the first couple of months:

1.) He only reads good cuz of his teleprompter- FAIL.
2.) He is a socialist- FAIL.
3.) The markets are tanking thousands of points every day because he is President- FAIL.
4.) He blames American for everything- FAIL.
5.) He is polarizing- FAIL.

I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of memes, too. Maybe instead of being silly and just making things up, Republicans will come up with an alternate vision that is more than tax cuts and budgets without numbers.

Predicted New Rightwing Meme: Carter had high poll numbers, too. See, he is just like Carter!
Predicted outcome: Fail.






69 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    It would also be interesting to look at the numbers for Congressional Republicans over the same span. Something tells me there’s plenty of FAIL to go around there as well.

    It’s going to be an interesting couple of years.

  2. 2
    ** Atanarjuat ** says:

    6.) He bowed to a Saudi Arabian King – FAIL.

    -A

  3. 3
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Predicted New Rightwing Meme: Carter Hitler had high poll numbers, too. See, he is just like Carter Hitler!

    Fixed.

  4. 4
    Cat Lady says:

    They’re not polling Real Americans (TM).

  5. 5
    Soylent Green says:

    7) He was born in Kenya.
    8) He is going to make Islam the official religion of America.
    9) He is going to take all your money and give it to black people.
    10) He is going to put your children into communist reeducation camps.

  6. 6
    jill says:

    You forgot "they like the man, but not his policies" meme. That one didn’t work either. Right now they are all in a frenzy that Obama shook Hugo Chavez’s hand and the DHS report so their new talking point might take a while.

  7. 7
    Comrade Jake says:

    I’m sure the right’s response will be, yeah he’s popular, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good President. After all, just look at W.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    I’m starting to think that the aimlessness and emptiness of right-wing criticism of Obama comes from repressing the actual problem that a lot of them have… that Obama’s, y’know, colored. Maybe that’s unfair, but the utter vacuity of right-wing commentary needs some explanation.

  9. 9
    Cat Lady says:

    @MattF:

    They may not all be racists, but they’re missing a Big Daddy stern authority figure, and are just flailing around. Psychologically stunted and vacuous = Republicanism.

  10. 10
    Peter J says:

    What I found the most interesting about the Gallup article is the number of polls Gallup did for each president in their first quarter. The eight preceding Obama, between 3 and 7, for a total of 41. Obama 81, almost twice as many.

    I wonder how long it will take until Gallup starts handing out dials so that we’ll know instantly all the time how people feel about the president. I predict 2016, if not sooner.

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    I really think it is silly and unfair to blame this on racial issues. Certainly there are some on the fringes of the right with whom race is a bigger issue, but I have no doubt in my mind that they would be reacting the same exact way to President Kerry or President Clinton or President Pelosi.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Peter J:

    I wonder how long it will take until Gallup starts handing out dials so that we’ll know instantly all the time how people feel about the president. I predict 2016, if not sooner.

    We’re already most of the way there. Remember the "people-meters" that the various networks used during the debates.

    -dms

  13. 13
    Mike in NC says:

    Republicans will come up with an alternate vision that is more than tax cuts and budgets without numbers.

    See: Wings, When Pigs Grow

    Also:
    (11) He’s going to give the Panama Canal to Cuba
    (12) He’s going to give Manhattan back to the Indians

  14. 14
    hwickline says:

    Talking to my father last night for the first time in a while, whose political views are not my own, I asked him how he thought Obama was doing. The FIRST thing he mentioned was "Didn’t he bow to some Shah or something?"

    I said, "Stimulus Package?" He argued that it was full of pork, and that Congress hadn’t even read it. But honestly he wasn’t that interested in it.

    He said, "Overexposed, and he made that Special Olympics crack on Leno."

    You can disagree with Obama on substantive grounds, but at least judging by my dad, who gets his views from talk radio, it’s much more important to focus on the trivial exclusively. Wonder how that will work out for the right?

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    Obama is a Jedi. I have no other explanation. In fact, I think he is THE Jedi. The One really and truly. How else do I explain his amazing ability to have made the mighty RW suddenly the biggest tools in history in the public’s eyes and all what can only characterize as in the blink of an eye? Everything anyone throws at him disintegrates before he can even get splattered with its muck. The Force is indeed strong in this One.

  16. 16
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    From a poster over at Wonkette, the shit they will sell on ebay

    Whatta bargain!

  17. 17
    smiley says:

    I’m surprised more hasn’t been made of this. Maybe it’s early yet.

  18. 18
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    John Cole

    Reacting the exact same way? Not possible. First of all these people are still claiming the man wasn’t born here. They are also still playing up the Mooslem memes. And Democratic Strategist finally confirmed that Bachmann and Beck and nem are trying to paint President Obama as the anti Christ. Let me say that again for effect, a sitting CongressWoman and the guy with the second highest cable news show are selling our President as the anti Christ to the religious right. Sorry but race IS a factor and Hillary nor John Kerry nor Pelosi would be catching that kind of hell from the fringe. Maybe they would be called a socialist but do you really think they would be saying Hillary was going to institute Sharia law here? Think of any outrageous smear against President Obama and then try to separate that smear from him being black. It is what it is.

  19. 19
    Janet Strange says:

    @John Cole: I think you’d like this. Excerpt:

    The narrative of racism being the driving force behind the right wing anger at Obama is an example of a Big Narrative. As we explored yesterday, Big Narratives work like a statistician drawing a "best fit" curve, and for the same reason: they draw a arc through a set of events, and that arc tells a story about those events. But in most Big Narratives, comparatively few of the events in the field fall directly on that arc. The "best fit" curve works as a description of "reality" only if you ignore outlying events. In politics, those outlying events are real people with real motives, and they may resist being shoehorned onto an arc of narrative convenience.

    Yes, there are people who dislike President Obama, and even reject the legitimacy of his presidency, for no other reason than race. But I doubt they are the majority, and it’s probably a mistake to completely ignore their other stated reasons. The narratives of regionalism and ruralism may provide a better "best fit." Racism exists in those narratives, but it is a means rather than an end.

    (I really like her stuff.)

    Edit: Yay! Paragraphs in a blockquote! Thanks, [delurk]…[/delurk]

  20. 20
    PaulW says:

    Predicted New Rightwing Meme: Carter had high poll numbers, too. See, he is just like Carter!
    Predicted outcome: Fail.

    I have an Obama Shoelace Hypothesis in the works – that, at some point, the Republicans are going to be desperate enough to complain about how Obama ties his shoelaces… even if Obama wears loafers.

    I mean, seriously. The ONLY thing I got from the recent teabagging incidents, the ONLY thing, was that the Far Right Hates Obama. That’s it. No sense of policy differences on spending and taxes. No fiscal wisdom. Just rage… anger… that’s it. That’s the vibe I got from them.

  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I really think it is silly and unfair to blame this on racial issues. Certainly there are some on the fringes of the right with whom race is a bigger issue,

    For the rest of the right, when there is a bigger issue — and that’s not often — it’s still the preferred way to sell it. The present financial cockup — roll out the CRA. Reaganomics — roll out the welfare queen.

  22. 22
    Montysano says:

    @John Cole:

    I really think it is silly and unfair to blame this on racial issues. Certainly there are some on the fringes of the right with whom race is a bigger issue, but I have no doubt in my mind that they would be reacting the same exact way to President Kerry or President Clinton or President Pelosi.

    I wish you were right, boss, but I’m afraid you’re not. The hysteria and intellectual dishonesty has ramped up to such an insane level that I think race is the only answer. Sad but true. I’m not saying it’s THE reason, but it’s there, and in a greater percentage of people than we’d all like to think.

    The latest example of intellectual dishonesty: "BLARG!! ZOMG! Obama says Mexico’s drug war is all our fault!1" Sadly, no. Obama simply acknowledged that we share some of the responsibility. This is Negotiation 101: share some responsibility, create a space for compromise.

    But I’m hopeful. It may take a few years to finish the job, but the gay marriage argument is over. It looks as though we’ll finally reverse our insane, 50-year old policy toward the existential threat that is…… Cuba. Maybe we’ll even decriminalize marijuana. Obama doesn’t throw touchdown passes, but he always moves the ball.

  23. 23
    BC says:

    I think people are always pleasantly surprised when Obama continues to treat the American people as though we were adults – explain things patiently and concretely, not talk down, and not speak in 30-second sound bites. Also, they like the no drama – no histrionics with the pirates, just cool planning and execution. We could get used to this, we think, so that keeps his numbers high. We had enough of the "OMIGODWEAREBESETBYSOMANYENEMIESWHOAREWORSETHANHITLERSTALINPOLPOTMAO1940SJAPANATTILATHEHUNGENGHISKHANNERO" shouting we had in the Bush years. Obama isn’t trying to scare us into supporting his policies, he’s explaining them and trying to convince us. We like it when our government tries to convince us.

  24. 24
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    My comment is stuck in mods but when it come free you will see why race plays a major issue. I don’t see the fringe calling Hillary or Pelosi the anti C r i s t with an h

  25. 25
    Jay C says:

    5.) He is polarizing- FAIL.

    Polarization, per se, is only a FAIL for those of us who live in the real world, and care more than a little about the real-world effects of politics and policies: a category which, sadly, doesn’t seem to include most right-wingers and/or Republican Party leaders. They, by contrast, seem to revel in the polarization; since ginning up overheated waves of Obama-hatred among their "base" is probably the only way can keep their pathetic "movement" organized and in the public eye. Having, basically, nothing to define themselves FOR (other than the usual GOP sloganeering), they have to hold the Party together by defining what (who) they are AGAINST. Which also has the advantage of not requiring their partisans to think very much. Always a political WIN.

  26. 26
    Jeffro says:

    no histrionics with the pirates, just cool planning and execution.

    Literally!

    You know the remaining pirates are like, "They shot all three of ’em at once? From how far away? While both boats were bobbing around??"

    The Mogadishu employment offices must be a-buzzin’ with people looking for other lines of work.

  27. 27
    Ejoiner says:

    In fact, I think he is THE Jedi. The One really and truly.

    Uh, wasn’t that what Obi-wan said about Annakin?

  28. 28
    zoe kentucky in pittsburgh says:

    I do think race is still a component, especially in certain circles. Think back to all of the footage of interviews before the election of republicans at McCain/Palin rallies who were willing to admit on camera that they just "aren’t ready" for a black president. There are plenty of people who just seem completely outraged that he was elected- look no further than many of the teabaggers– and they continue to question his legitimacy. Is it any coincidence that most of the biggest teabagging events were in the south?

    Rush Limbaugh pushed the meme heavily that the only reason Obama was nominated by the dems is because of affirmative action and do not think he is deserving or qualified. I think a lot of his listeners still believe that.

  29. 29
    omen says:

    it occurred to me the reason why the right is calling obama hitler is not only because they think he’s a socialist and a dictator, but in doing so, absolves them of racism. "see, i’m not racist, i hate hitler too."

  30. 30
    jcricket says:

    The polarization meme is interesting. One of the things that makes it easier to sell is this false notion there are "Democrats" and "Republicans" and their views carry equal weight. There are actually (in political terms) "Democrats", "Independents" and "Republicans". Add the first two together and you get like 75% of the population! Republican registration and self-identification are down to generational lows.

    It’s the 25% approval ratings of the rump-Republican party that drag down the overall rating. When Obama enjoys something like 90% and 75% approval ratings from 75% of the population, the results are even more impressive than stated.

    I wonder if the press will start reporting the "stats behind the stats" – esp. if Republicans keep shrinking as a group. Does anyone report what the "greens" think of Obama? Or the "Patriot/Militia" movement?

  31. 31
    Cat Lady says:

    @Janet Strange:

    Thanks for linking, and coming from New England, the Southern class identification thing is lost on me. Basing their resentments on race just seems to make more sense, but perhaps she’s right and class difference is the driver. Most of my suburban peers grew up as 2nd generation immigrants, and I never experienced that broad resentment towards those who had more, or superiority to those who had less, based on our middle class status. Maybe because here in Mass., our Harvard educated Brahmin elites historically had a sense of noblesse oblige, and happened to be progressive Republicans. We had the Cabots, the Lodges, the Sears, the Saltonstalls, the Peabodys, all who served in government in various capacities, and believed in public education. Good public schools are the great leveler.

  32. 32
    Joel says:

    I agree with Cole. People stop need to making the "oppo" a racial issue. It is for some, but not for most. It’s mostly about marginalization and a loose contact with reality. They’re power-hungry bastards, the true sons of Nixon.

  33. 33
    omen says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    google: clinton anti-christ

  34. 34
    Llelldorin says:

    I think at least part of the opposition problem is that Republicans have never had industrial-grade snark aimed at them before by a major figure, and it’s making them crazy. Democrats in the past have tended to fall into two camps: Policy wonks, who Republicans would beat with bumper-sticker slogans and bullshit posing as "common-sense," and furious, white-hot angry Dems, against whom Republicans would smirk and self-importantly prate on about the intellectual vacuity of the Democratic position.

    Obama doesn’t do either, although he’s closer to the policy wonk group. He tends to use cutting snark ("It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant," "I’ve never had a helicopter before," and so on), and it’s been quite clear that the Republicans have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to engage in that sort of battle. (The problem is that it requires genuinely being witty. Snark battles are like tennis–you have to very quickly find an equally-clever response. Republicans haven’t needed wit since the early eighties at least, and they’re badly, badly out of practice.)

  35. 35
    Joshua Norton says:

    Carter had high poll numbers, too. See, he is just like Carter!

    No matter how much the wingers try to point at Carter they’ll never redirect the embarrassment and the the stench of Richard Nixon – and now Chimpy W. Bush.

    I think I heard a new meme trying to take flight a few days ago. Some of the Grand Blovator’s were sniping about how he "lied" about the family’s intent to chose a dog from an animal shelter. As a tsk-andal, it’s right up there with "is he really smoking on the sly?".

    The tepid "gottcha" games reporters try to play are just plain stupid. No wonder the MSM newspapers are closing their doors. After they willing tugged their forelocks and played douchenozzle stenographers for BushCo. for 8 years, intelligent people became disgusted with their so-called "work ethic". Smart subscribers turned to the internet and blogs that filled the information vacuum created by the corporate fish wrap and never looked back.

  36. 36
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    omen

    You don’t get it. People get called the anti Christ as a pejorative all the time. BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT OBAMA BEING THE ANTI CHRIST. Dude its not even close. If you google Clinton and anti Christ you get links to people calling either Bill or Hillary the anti Christ off hand or some blogger you never heard of making the case. If you google Obama and anti-Christ you get a bunch of sites that meticulously go through all of the "biblical prophecies" that he supposedly fulfills and you even get a CNN, you know the "serious" people, with a segment examining if Barack Obama is really the anti Christ and you get links to Glenn Beck and or the "Left Behind" books which were all major mainstream best sellers. In fact even Rachel Maddow had on the authors of the Left Behind books just to debunk the meme that Obama is the anti Christ but one of the authors damn near left the door open that he COULD be. And its goes back to him being a Mooslem which is of course only believable because he is black and his father was from Kenya.

  37. 37
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    omen

    You don’t get it. People get called the anti Christ as a pejorative all the time. BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT OBAMA BEING THE ANTI CHRIST. Dude its not even close. If you google Clinton and anti Christ you get links to people calling either Bill or Hillary the anti Christ off hand or some blogger you never heard of making the case. If you google Obama and anti-Christ you get a bunch of sites that meticulously go through all of the "biblical prophecies" that he supposedly fulfills and you even get a CNN, you know the "serious" people, with a segment examining if Barack Obama is really the anti Christ and you get links to Glenn Beck and or the "Left Behind" books which were all major mainstream best sellers. In fact even Rachel Maddow had on the authors of the Left Behind books just to debunk the meme that Obama is the anti Christ but one of the authors damn near left the door open that he COULD be. And its goes back to him being a Mooslem which is of course only believable because he is black and his father was from Kenya.

  38. 38
    omen says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    i’m not minimizing the obama hatred, i know it’s up there, and it’s going to get worse, but the clinton hatred wasn’t a small thing either during it’s heyday. there was a senator who suggest clinton deserved to get shot while he was visiting a military base. i’m waiting for the right to come out with an obama death list like they did with clinton.

    In fact even Rachel Maddow had on the authors of the Left Behind books just to debunk the meme that Obama is the anti Christ but one of the authors damn near left the door open that he COULD be.

    i watched that episode. the author said obama probably wasn’t the antichrist but was laying the groundwork for him to arrive.

  39. 39
    Comrade grumpy realist says:

    Example of How People Just Don’t Get It: one of the opinion columns in the FT who is complaining about Obama’s handing of lifting the embargo on Cuba. "If Obama is defending the embargo, he is doing so in a way that shows its illogic and obsolescence." Well, yes, that’s the idea, nitwit. A baby step, followed by "well, we’ll stop here", all the while outlining the total stupidity of the present situation, let the Usual Suspects mull things over, wait until sufficient uproar for further revision to push towards another breakdown in the embargo, repeat.

    Chris Caldwell is usually a more intelligent writer, so I’m surprised he doesn’t notice the long-term strategy. Or maybe he does and is just playing his role in the "shocked, completely SHOCKED to find gambling going on here!" newspaper kabuki….

  40. 40
    omen says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    i only replied because your original post seemed to suggest that obama is the only one whose been called the antichrist.

  41. 41
    omen says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    it only sounds "off hand" because with the passage of time, the fervor of the hatred has faded and has been forgotten. didn’t timothy mcveigh hate clinton?

  42. 42
    Montysano says:

    I’m sorry, but the vitriol against Clinton (either one) pales in comparison to what we’re seeing now. But there’s this: I’m not saying racism is widespread. I’m simply saying that, among the hardcore 15-20% (the teabaggers who’ve dominated the news cycle lately), race is the underlying driver.

  43. 43
    omen says:

    hatred of clinton caused us to lose majority in congress (for how many years?) blew up the oklahoma federal building and helped to elect george w. bush.

    let’s see what obama hatred will manifest.

  44. 44
    LD50 says:

    This is great news — for McCain!!!!

    (sorry)

  45. 45
    LD50 says:

    He bowed to a Saudi Arabian King – FAIL.

    Bush KISSED a Saudi king (and god knows what else) and you don’t mind this. Fascinating.

  46. 46
    Walter says:

    The new meme is Obama is continuing Bush like spending -and criticizing both administrations- BS spewed by Newt the new Catholic.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    I really think it is silly and unfair to blame this on racial issues. Certainly there are some on the fringes of the right with whom race is a bigger issue, but I have no doubt in my mind that they would be reacting the same exact way to President Kerry or President Clinton or President Pelosi.

    You’re missing an important psychological aspect to the reaction to Obama. One thing that is amazing and which bodes well for the future, is the degree to which large numbers of Americans appear to genuinely like Obama and have decided that they trust him to do the right thing.

    On the other hand, there are a small number — not all of them conservative or Republican — who have tremendous difficulty adjusting to the fact that a black man is president. You see this in the post you earlier had about the pundit who separated the Democrats and the GOP by their appeal to "real" Americans (who oddly enough seemed to be white Christians) or to the Others. You see this kind of thing also in this weird, phony nostalgia for a vision on a survivalist America based on a sanitized image of what America was supposedly like around 1820, before the onslaught of immigrants who were not copies of the Founding Fathers.

    Ssome of these people remind me of a former co-worker with impeccable liberal credentials who could accept non-whites and women as peers, but who became sullen and non-cooperative and ultimately had to be let go when a non-white person became his supervisor.

    People may have hated Bill Clinton, and a nutcase few thought that he wasn’t the right man to be president because of his character. But few tried to argue that his presidency or even his citizenship was not legitimate, and almost no one broached the idea of leaving the Union, even though Obama’s views are no more wildly liberal than Clinton’s.

    By the way, this discomfort with Obama by a fringe is not simply a black/white thing. There are alway people who have an internalized image of who the people in power are supposed to look like, and they sometimes have trouble accommodating or making room for a new picture of leadership.

    Also, by the way, I think that a President Hillary Clinton would have had to deal with a variation of this as those who believe that the president is supposed to be a man had to deal with her.

    Unfortunately, Limbaugh, Hannity and others continue to fan the flames of this psychological discomfort either because they are blind to possible repercussions, or because they just don’t care whether insecure wingnuts get their worst fears stoked.

  48. 48
    omen says:

    @Brachiator:

    But few tried to argue that his presidency or even his citizenship was not legitimate, and almost no one broached the idea of leaving the Union, even though Obama’s views are no more wildly liberal than Clinton’s.

    uh, birth certificate aside, yeah they did. clinton was delegitimized from the begginning. the right claimed he lacked moral authority to lead because he never won a majority of votes because perot was a spoiler. and i remember chatter about texas leaving the union during the 90s. it’s like a perennial thing down there.

  49. 49
    maryQ says:

    I just love you, John.

  50. 50
    Montysano says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also, by the way, I think that a President Hillary Clinton would have had to deal with a variation of this as those who believe that the president is supposed to be a man had to deal with her.

    Not to this degree.

    Unfortunately, Limbaugh, Hannity and others continue to fan the flames of this psychological discomfort because they are blind to possible repercussions, or because they just don’t care whether insecure wingnuts get their worst fears stoked. it pays well.

    Happy to help.

  51. 51
    omen says:

    @omen:

    i was pointed to tracts back then which argued texas wasn’t really part of the union. that the process by which texas joined the union wasn’t legal or legitimate.

  52. 52
    Brachiator says:

    @omen:

    uh, birth certificate aside, yeah they did. clinton was delegitimized from the begginning. the right claimed he lacked moral authority to lead because he never won a majority of votes because perot was a spoiler. and i remember chatter about texas leaving the union during the 90s. it’s like a perennial thing down there.

    You can’t put the birth certificate issue aside. This is obviously nutball stuff. It continually comes up on the successor to the late night Art Bell Show, the dwelling place for all crazy conspiracy theories, and supposedly sane conservative pundits allow this non-issue to fester.

    Apart from this, I don’t see that we disagree on much of anything. I noted the claim that Clinton’s character made him unfit to be president, but this is not the same thing as claims that Obama is not the legitimate president no matter how sterling his character might be.

  53. 53
    scarshapedstar says:

    Predicted New Rightwing Meme: Carter Hitler had high poll numbers, too. See, he is just like Carter! Hitler!
    Predicted outcome: Fail. Heh-indeedy, read the whole thing.

  54. 54
    omen says:

    @Brachiator:

    the invented excuse changes. the underlying motivation which sought to delegitimize remains the same.

    i forgot to include the multiple abortion clinic bombings (who also got hit with fake anthrax threat letters) that occurred during the 90s.

  55. 55
    Common Sense says:

    @omen:

    uh, birth certificate aside, yeah they did. clinton was delegitimized from the begginning. the right claimed he lacked moral authority to lead because he never won a majority of votes because perot was a spoiler. and i remember chatter about texas leaving the union during the 90s. it’s like a perennial thing down there.

    Well, most of the chatter was some crazy fucks in West Texas who tried to leave the state and start their own Republic. To his… credit, Guv Bush squelched that movement fast.

  56. 56
    whatsleft says:

    Sadly, as a fifth-generation Floridian, I can attest to the pervasive race issue which infests my fellow Southerners. I hear it from my Republican family in various veiled ways all the time, and my husband hears it from his virulently Republican fellow-workers. I don’t hear it from my fellow workers, only because they are terrified to bring it up in front of me!

    And all of those mentioned above are avid listeners of the hate-spewing radio/TV "personalities". Although of course my relatives claim to listen to "both" sides. I think it means the right and the far-right! And lastly, I should mention that my family USED to be Democrats, but that was back in the day, when Democrats were the open racists…

  57. 57
    Head of the Class says:

    Brachiator and sgwhiteinfla are spot on. Yes, the hatred displayed by the right during the Clinton administration was extreme, and YES the hatred on display this time around has been ratcheted up to a fever pitch in record time due to Obama’s race. There is no other way to explain signs like this or this.

  58. 58
    omen says:

    @Head of the Class:

    signs don’t scare me. people shooting cops is another matter.

  59. 59
    Head of the Class says:

    @Omen

    Well, I didn’t expect those signs to leave you quaking in your boots. What they are is ugly–and there is a lot of that out there. They highlight the racial component to anti-Obama sentiment. Sadly, this has the potential to up the ante on the crazy we experienced during the Clinton years.

  60. 60
    Shawn in Showme says:

    @omen,

    I accept your premise that Clinton got plenty of hate. I just don’t remember the visceral hatred starting months before he even won the election. Or Repub office-holders saying it’s OK to hope that he fails. Or skinheads arming to the teeth so they could shoot him at his nominating convention.

  61. 61
    Comrade Baron Elmo says:

    I don’t believe that the GOP is inherently racist and never have. However, it cannot be denied that Republicans use the racism that lurks within a largish percentage of Americans as a means to realize their objectives. Twas ever thus, at least since Nixon pimped Joe Sixpack’s fear of angry darkies to prevail in ’68.

    It’s been a winning formula for many years now. The problem is that its effectiveness is wearing off as brown folks become a higher percentage or our population… and race-baiting is so ingrained in the psyche of Republican operatives that they can’t completely let it go. Remember the "OMG Obama’s into cute white girls" ad, or the barrage of veiled insinuations that Obama was "uppity" and didn’t know his place?

    Though such techniques have clearly lost their effect with the majority of the American populace, they damn sure resonate with plenty of the citizenry, especially in the Deep South… and you can see examples galore of that mindset at the Tea Party hissy fits. To many of these humble folk, having a black man in the White House, no matter how intelligent or articulate he happens to be just… feels wrong. Especially after eight years of a he’s-one-of-us clod like Dubya in charge. So they protest. And the rest of America scratches its collective head, unsure at what these masses of white, white people are so damn ticked off about.

  62. 62
    LD50 says:

    the right claimed he lacked moral authority to lead because he never won a majority of votes

    Funny how that was forgotten in November, 2000.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    Part of the problem is that, here in the United States, class and race are intermingled. If you are white or Asian, you’re assumed to be middle class until you demonstrate otherwise. If you’re black or Latino, you’re assumed to be lower-class or working class even if you demonstrate otherwise. These assumptions are so tied up in our everyday lives that we barely notice them, but they are absolutely there. There’s a reason why pretty much every prominent black man from Colin Powell on down has a story about being mistaken for a waiter or valet parker.

    So trying to say that it’s only about social class or regionalism without mentioning that, in this country, black = lower class is leaving out a huge chunk of the equation. A good portion of the people who are freaking out because it doesn’t “feel right” to have Obama as the president may not realize that they feel that way because of the free-floating racism that we’re all steeped in, but that’s where those feelings are coming from.

  64. 64
    Shell Goddamnit says:

    @John Cole:

    Honestly, I don’t think so. It’s the old “you have to be twice as good” thing. If you don’t think race is involved, maybe it is because you don’t have to think about race as an issue so much, you know?

    Seriously. This level of hysteria is new, in my experience, and I have some, having voted for Carter my first time out.

  65. 65
    pattonbt says:

    Back to the original list….

    “Hes doing too much”

    God forbid the President work hard and tackle many issues at once, you know. Also.

  66. 66
    Shell Goddamnit says:

    Goddamnit, Texas is talking about SECEDING. You honestly think race has nothing to do with this?? You are deluded.

    But then, you’re wrong a lot anyway, must take that into account…

  67. 67
    Elie says:

    I don’t know if the majority of the far right are racist or not.

    All I see is that they substitute content for emotion in their opposition and must believe that it is their only workable tactic — to keep “growing” opposition from a small nucleus of hate to ever bigger and bigger hate.

    The most potent and easily manipulatable emotion for many right wingers is not only race but other links to “otherness” — which includes religion (he is Muslim), he is not a citizen (he was born “elsewhere). All these are emotional buttons that they HAVE to push to get any energy at all, since their opposition to Obama’s policies are content and consequence free. They are stupid brats who deeply know that since adults are actually running things now, they can behave like fools and swing off the chandeliers, and pull down their pants and moon the neighbors…they are not being asked to run anything and the eight years they had, proved they don’t know how to. During that time the republican party was run by content free buffoons and sick sock puppets who have no other strategy and indeed, these clowns recruited more clowns such that the party is now completely populated with emotionally labile but intellectually incompetent people — refugees from a strange period where at our so called most militarily dominant, we were paradoxically also feeling ourselves the most vulnerable and weak. A period when we made huge wealth on paper but it was all a fake. A period when the barons of American industry and financial sectors were found out to be selling nothing but appearances…

    This emotional beard pulling, fear mongering and psychomelodrama is all they have. All they will have until they are forced to remake their party. Its like they were a stupid jcok who copied the A student’s test answers for a whole year before the final exam, but then the A student is not there for the final exam. Boinkk! What do you do? That is what they are doing now — What they know how to do — faking it

    Stop.Looking.For.Anything.Else.

  68. 68
    Elie says:

    I would like to add this: they can get pretty effective when they move our national discourse on their emotionally based field of play.

    I am not sure why its so important to label their emotional tactics as racism. Who cares? But if you get into a tug-o-war about that on their emotional landscape, its a loser for our side. When we and the administration stay cool and deliberate and keep asking them for content driven opposition, we win and the country wins.

    I am not prepared to see racism as anything other than one more type of crazy foam or balloon trick coming from the clowns in the Klown Kar. Don’t give that shtik any more energy…

  69. 69
    wruscle says:

    You can extend this from the message to the medium.
    Teabagger Parties = fail
    2M4M = fail
    Continuing the trend, because they are nothing if not consistent in a banging-head-in-padded-room sort of way, I am expectantly awaiting the next big public initiative, involving letting congress critters know that it’s time to clean up Washington by sending them soap in the mail. Probably the white powdery kind. My prediction:
    Operation “Drop the Soap” = fail

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