Questions please

This afternoon, I’ll be calling into a conference call concerning polling data about the Tea Party. Can any of you suggest some good potential questions to ask? I realize it is hard without hearing the data, but I’m wondering if any of you have interesting general directions of inquiry.






91 replies
  1. 1
    daveNYC says:

    Find out if there’s any polling data that would indicate that the Tea Partiers aren’t just Republicans. Bonus points if you can phrase it so that they have to answer ‘no’.

  2. 2
    Redshirt says:

    Ask for a list of top five specific items to cut in order to reduce the deficit.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    See if any questions were asked about social conservative issues – abortion, gay marriage, contraception, etc.

  4. 4
    homerhk says:

    Can you ask for a comparison between the proportion of people who claim to be part of the tea party and the proportion of media time they get? I’ll bet its in the 1:10 ratio.

    What proportion of tea partiers are non-white?

    What proportion of tea partiers are under 45?

    What are the five most high priority concrete policy goals that the tea party wants to achieve? (I’m not talking about “respecting the constitution”, btw)

  5. 5
    Dallas says:

    My question would be similar to the first comment. Is there any number that would differentiate people who consider themselves Libertarians. Then again this question only mildly matters because I’m assuming usually they would vote Republican

  6. 6
    TR says:

    Change the question about racism and the TPM:

    “If there were an individual in the Tea Party Movement who was making obviously racist statements in the name of the Tea Party, should that individual be condemned by the movement?”

    Get them on record about how they’d handle racism, not whether or not they see themselves as racism. There’s likely a minority (no pun) in the movement who would *not* think racism is worth condemning, and getting that number on record would be … interesting.

  7. 7
    some other guy says:

    Has there been any recent polling about the popularity and demographic make-up of the Tea Party by state or region?

  8. 8

    I would like to know:

    Of the people who are active Tea Party “members” what percentage of them voted last year and what percentage voted for McCain?

    If the answer is nearly all voted and voted for McCain, it will show that they will have zero impact on the general election. I think this is the crucial question in determining if they are a primary or general election force.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    Do the data distinguish at all between the Tea Party Federation and the Tea Party Express?

  10. 10
    ErikaF says:

    Going from Bob:
    What percentage of the Tea Partiers voted in the 2008, 2006, and 2004 national elections? And what percentage of the Tea Partiers voted in their local elections?

    This would highlight their political involvement and history.

  11. 11

    How many of them are “friends” of Sarah Palin on Facebook, and do they read that shit she puts out on her page?

  12. 12
    matoko_chan says:

    The percentage of respondents that self identify as christian.
    this would include, catholics, mormons, protestants, and non-denominational christians.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    I think self-defined Tea Partier’s ‘sources for news’ would be interesting. Also, assuming that Palin is their favorite politician, is there any other ‘major’ politician who’s in the top few?

  14. 14
    Keith G says:

    As Redshirt and homerhk said, what is the polling data on specific policy.

    Also, other than Palin, who do the baggers look to for leadership?

  15. 15
    kwAwk says:

    I think given what we’ve learned about tea partiers and their leaders in the past, how many of them are entrepreneurs or small business owners vs government workers or people with some form of government subsidized income?

    Some of the nuttiest wingnuts I’ve come across on the web are government workers with an odd self-hatred streak and not a realistic picture of what happens in the private sector.

  16. 16
    oliver's Neck says:

    Ask if there have been any polling questions related to existing/developing class consciousness.

    Amongst the tea folks in my part of the world (utah) I have noticed a recent uptick in class awareness (particularly shocking given the local religion’s hostility to such things). I even heard one of their local bloggers insist that publicly financed election campaigns are “the only way to protect ourselves from the interests of corporations and the superrich”. I was shocked to hear him make such progressive claim.

    Maybe I’m being overly sanguine, but with the right push/conditions I think we may be witness to a U.S. political realignment back along class lines.

    Well, a marxist can dream, can’t he?

  17. 17
    Regnad Kcin says:

    crosstab with Ron Paul voters, Ross Perot voters, John Anderson voters

  18. 18
    Crashman says:

    Age. How many are 18-35?

  19. 19
    roshan says:

    Questions:
    1. Did you attend any protests or join any activism groups from 2001 to 2008?

    2. Whom did you vote for in the previous 4 presidential elections prior to 2008?

    3. Were you politically active during 1992-2000? What were the nature of the groups you joined, anti-gov’t or something else?

    4. Do you think it was correct for the Supreme Court to decide the 2000 election?

    5. Do you get any gov’t assistance, what kind?

    I would like the above questions answered if they do any further polling.

  20. 20
    John PM says:

    What are their top concerns?

    How long have they had these concerns?

    Prior to the founding of the Tea Party “movement,” what (if anything) did these individuals do to address these concerns?

    I suspect that most of their concerns and their attempts to address these concerns started after January 20, 2009, and I would hope the data would confirm that.

  21. 21
    rnoble says:

    @The Other Bob: A related question is how they constructed their likely voter model and its effect on potential 2010 results. It seems to me that likely voter models this year are a bit harder to pin down then usual this year.

  22. 22
    scav says:

    Have them rank their top 5 (7) current objectives from most to least likely to compromise on. Yes, #1 is most open to compromise about. While I doubt they can even agree on the issues, let alone ordering, I’m really just hoping to witness their confusion over / dancing about and no doubt later heroic and star-bursting patriot-themed refusal to countenance the demeaning possibility of compromise with anyone that dares disagree with them. Because leadership is all about grinding the faces of those that aren’t in tune with some as-yet undetermined list of flag-waving positions.

  23. 23
    Zifnab says:

    On campaign finance reform:
    Does the Tea Party support the Citizen’s United decision and the unlimited contributions from corporate treasuries to federal office holders?

    Does the Tea Party support any campaign finance reform initiatives? And how does the ideal Tea Party candidate conduct fund raising efforts?

  24. 24
    ABS says:

    Why did the tea partiers not protest such expansive government during the Bush era such as the Patriot Act, Illegal wiretapping and an expensive, drawn out war in Iraq?

  25. 25
    John PM says:

    @roshan: Looks like you and I have the same idea.

  26. 26
    Crockpot says:

    Since they don’t identify as Republican find out what party they have voted for in the last three elections. Ask about President, Senators and Reps.

    If they always voted for Republicans can you then ask what the difference is between them and a card carrying member of the GOP other than the card?

  27. 27

    You can’t accurately poll tea baggers without a cage, red and green buttons connected to water bottles with tasty fluids in them.

  28. 28
    Morbo says:

    How many are:
    1) receiving unemployment benefits?
    2) on Medicaid?
    3) on Social Security?

  29. 29
    elaineland says:

    Will there be cake ?

  30. 30
    scav says:

    @Morbo: Ah, don’t forget all those juicy farm subsidies too.

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Well, a marxist can dream, can’t he?

    All this faux-populism is going to have to bubble into true populism sooner or later. You can’t keep engaging in this double-talk indefinitely. I think the Tea Party is proof of that. You’ve got a bunch of senior citizens feed bad economics for 40 years. And now we’re all turning into California – mandatory spending, mandatory tax cuts.

    The voters are going to have to break one way or the other at some point.

  32. 32
    Fitzwili says:

    How bout a fact then response question?
    Give them the fact that this last year was the lowest fed tax rate in decades or that the stimulus
    contained an enormous tax cut- then ask for their response

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Pangloss says:

    These jokers think they’re the only people in the US who have read the Constitution, or at least the only ones who “understand” it. I’d like to see the results of a pop quiz on what the Constitution actually says. I don’t think they’d score very high.

  35. 35
    cleek says:

    are they individually as dumb as they seem, or is their dumbness more of a group effect?

  36. 36
    neill says:

    If a third of these dickwads make over $75,000 a year and the vast majority say they are “upper middle class,” how come they are so stoopid and hateful?

    They should be happy sailors dancing on a sinking ship. Like their apolitical neighbors…

  37. 37
    Athenae says:

    See if any questions were asked about social conservative issues – abortion, gay marriage, contraception, etc.

    Drug testing for government assistance would be another one. Privacy and personal freedom, motherfuckers!

    A.

  38. 38
    RSA says:

    @Pangloss: Along these same lines, I’d be interested in general about the correctness of the political beliefs of tea partiers.

  39. 39
    cleek says:

    does the fact that the planned “ground zero mosque” is not actually at ground zero change your feelings about it ?

  40. 40
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Zifnab:

    Obviously, I agree.

    Perhaps if one (like myself) wishes to see them break in a progressive direction we should alter our rhetoric from the “they’re all morons and racists and hypocrites” tack which most of the left has been pursuing and instead try to find some legitimate common cause.

    The left in this country made a terrible mistake during the civil rights era, the fruits of which we are now dealing with, in telling poor and working southern whites that they were bad people. Instead they should have more robustly attempted the (much harder, admittedly) approach of showing the poor and working whites in the south that they had far more in common with blacks than with the wealthy whites. The oligarch republicans have feasted for decades on the ressentiment generated from the 50’s and 60’s. The left today continues to stoke that ressentiment, as can be seen in all the tea party/working-class right rhetoric against “elitist liberals who think they’re better than us”.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    There may already be polls on this, but I’d like to see current data of teabaggers broken down by geographic location (states, US regions, etc.) and demographics (age, gender, etc.).

  42. 42
    The Moar You Know says:

    How many of them work for government contractors, or directly for federal/state/county/local government?

    My bet is “all of them”. The fed contracting world in particular seems to be a haven for these people.

  43. 43

    OT

    More of this please. Statement in Rose Garden

    A White House official told TPM that Obama also will say that Republicans want tax cuts for the wealthy but are filibustering this bill to help the unemployed.

    My repeated wanking on the need for him to do this with simple but pointed statements is happening. Other dems need to do the same and not stop, over and over and over. Maybe we could fit them with electrodes so when they start blabbing beyond one sentence we can buzz their big mushy brains.

  44. 44
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    What are their voter participation rates in past elections, e.g. 1988 – 2008? Are these folks who drop in and out of the active electorate, or do they consistently show up for every election. This question will tell you if they can have an impact on the 2010 midterms, regardless of whether they vote GOP 100% of the time. Folks who vote 100% GOP but do not show up at every election are part of the “swing” vote, like it or not, since Dems benefit when they decide to stay home.

  45. 45
    norbizness says:

    “Why in the fuck are we covering you disproportionately by several factors of ten relative to, say, people who protest for social justice or against war?”

  46. 46
    The Moar You Know says:

    The left in this country made a terrible mistake during the civil rights era, the fruits of which we are now dealing with, in telling poor and working southern whites that they were bad people.

    @oliver’s Neck: Amen. Amen to the rest of your post, for that matter, although I think getting these people on board with progressivism isn’t going to happen; the “left” has poisoned the well too much for these folks to make common cause with them. You can only call a person a “stupid motherfucker” for so long before they start to resent it.

  47. 47
    roshan says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    The left in this country made a terrible mistake during the civil rights era, the fruits of which we are now dealing with, in telling poor and working southern whites that they were bad people.

    BS

    Instead they should have more robustly attempted the (much harder, admittedly) approach of showing the poor and working whites in the south that they had far more in common with blacks than with the wealthy whites.

    No one (poor whites) wants to identify with anyone that they think are inferior (blacks).

  48. 48
    Stillwater says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: How many of them are “friends” of Sarah Palin on Facebook, and do they read that shit she puts out on her page?

    If they answer ‘yes’ is it self-refudiating?

  49. 49

    Education levels.
    Arrest records.

    approach of showing the poor and working whites in the south that they had far more in common with blacks than with the wealthy whites.

    Gee. You mean like Dr. King’s work against poverty and social injustice caused by income inequalities?

  50. 50
    kirkaracha says:

    When President Clinton left office there was an all-time record $128 billion surplus. President Bush turned that into an all-time record $482 billion deficit. How often did you protest President Bush’s fiscal policies?

  51. 51
    BruinKid says:

    Where the hell were these people before 2009?

  52. 52
    Egilsson says:

    What percentage of self-identifying Tea Baggers voted for Obama in the 2008 election?

    What percentage of self-identifying Tea Baggers would vote for Obama if the election were held today?

    Which of the following candidates do you (Ms/Mr Self-Identifying Tea-Bagger) intend to vote for?
    – Sarah Palin
    – Mike Huckabee
    – Tim Pawlenty
    – Mitt Romney
    – Ron Paul
    – Other

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    The left in this country made a terrible mistake during the civil rights era, the fruits of which we are now dealing with, in telling poor and working southern whites that they were bad people. Instead they should have more robustly attempted the (much harder, admittedly) approach of showing the poor and working whites in the south that they had far more in common with blacks than with the wealthy whites.

    Lolwhut?
    Poor and working southern whites, to some degree, broke with the “left” due to racial fracture. Not because the left called them bad names. They had lived their entire lives degrading non-whites, and now they were being told to make common cause with them. That wasn’t the “much harder” approach.
    Your comment seems quite bizarre to me.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @norbizness: That’s the right question, but IMO wrong audience to be asking.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    Percentage currently on Social Security and/or Medicare.

    Percentage who have ever used Unemployment benefits.

  56. 56
    oliver's Neck says:

    @roshan:

    No one (poor whites) wants to identify with anyone that they think are inferior (blacks).

    It was those at the top of the class structure in the U.S. who created both the material and social conditions which made black americans seem to be inferior to poor working whites. Since those conditions necessarily had to be manufactured (unless you’re claiming that blacks are innately inferior) then, necessarily, those conditions could have been changed. I am suggesting that the left of that era should have put more work into that task (a hard one, to be sure) than taking the easy route of simply demonizing the poor whites for having been effectively manipulated by the wealthy and powerful classes.

    That work can be, and I think ought to be, still done.

  57. 57

    @oliver’s Neck: The trouble is that tea bagging in the south is not like Utah, even though the resentment of the government is similar. It is race but even more so it is a class system nostalgia that is Aristocratic in nature that was shattered with the GCW but not broken. It resides deep in the red clay soils of the south and the young are introduced to it from the teat on. It is saturated into their consciousness and goes well beyond sense of self promotion. Even for the lowest socioecon existence of the poorest of poor whites. There are some who can see beyond it, and extricate themselves from it. They usually leave, not to return, just like I did.

    I don’t think it matters all that much that the left mocks and derides them. Because it is mutual, and begins at an early age. You might be able to moderate it some, and I think that has happened, up to a point. But it is their birthright and long standing culture and a sense of betrayal that goes back to northern patricians yolking them with a liberal constitution, chocked full of things anathema to their core beliefs handed down by centuries of ancestors.

  58. 58
    R-Jud says:

    @Pangloss:

    I’d like to see the results of a pop quiz on what the Constitution actually says. I don’t think they’d score very high.

    I don’t think many members of Congress would score very high on such a quiz. I’d love to see a new requirement for national office-seekers: they must sit and pass the AP US Government and Politics exam and the AP US History Exam. If aspiring politicians aren’t as well-informed as a reasonably bright 17-year-old, they shouldn’t get to run.

  59. 59
    Pennsylvanian says:

    @oliver’s Neck: I’m not sure that telling this xenophobic crew that they are more like the people they hate is going to help. Delusion runs deep and they “identify” with the rich whites because they truly believe that they will be rich one day if they work hard enough (capitalism!) or pray hard enough (prosperity gospel!).

    That’s a lot easier to sell (hope) than the truth that they should fight for the people in the economic class in which they reside (reality), because nobody else is going to and they deserve some benefits for the taxes they pay, just like the rich get. It’s simply not what they are buying, especially when it would put them in league with non-whites.

  60. 60
    roshan says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    I think you are failing to realize that the Tea Party movement is not filled with “poor whites”.
    I don’t think poor whites are against the dems because of black-white issues. I think the more accurate reason can be traced to religion, churches and abortion debate.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @oliver’s Neck: First of all, I disagree with your premise. ISTM you are saying that during and after the Civil Rights Era, some monolithic faction of left derided people in the South for being poor, working class or harboring racist ideology.
    IMO, you’re looking at this through the wrong end of the looking glass.

  62. 62
    Marmot says:

    I polled the Austin, TX tax day Tea Partiers and I think I found some interesting divisions among them.

    There seem to be two strains: Older, essentially embarrassed-Republican Tea Partiers, and younger Libertarians. It’d be nice if this pollster can verify that bifurcation.

    1) Is there a difference in the attitudes of younger and older Tea Partiers toward pre-emptive war / the Iraq War / torture of prisoners?

    2) What proportion of each group self-identifies as evangelical Christian? (Or is willing to say you can’t go to Heaven without belief in J.C.?)

    3) What are the main demographic differences between supporters of Sarah Palin and supporters of Ron Paul?

    4) Of those who rank the deficit as one of the country’s most pressing problems, what proportion feel (or felt) that the 2001 Bush tax cuts were a good idea?

    My respondents appeared to believe that spending on the poor — in the form of generous giveaways — was a major reason for the deficit / state of the economy / decline of Western Civilization. Curiously, many also supported rolling back Social Security. What’s the Tea Partier support for cutting aid to the poor, versus defense spending and SS, as those are the two major govt expenditures? (IIRC)

  63. 63
    dww44 says:

    @scav:

    I have lots of rural farming relatives. They are all Republican and tend to ignore the couple of us who are different, so it’s a hoot when they are a little bit too frank in voicing their opinions about Dems. They have no sense of irony in the contradiction of their “No Taxes and Take Our Government Back” mantra, while still taking those government subsides and even, in a couple of instances, working for a government agricultural agency.

    Question to ask: Do you support the “Take our Government Back” position and, if so, from whom and what do you think it should be taken back?

  64. 64
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Poor and working southern whites, to some degree, broke with the “left” due to racial fracture. Not because the left called them bad names. They had lived their entire lives degrading non-whites, and now they were being told to make common cause with them.

    Again, because the wealthy and powerful classes had, for their own ends, played poor and working whites against blacks. The left of that era offered no balm to working whites to soothe the economic anxiety instilled by the southern oligarchs – namely, that a black population with full civil rights would erode what little economic security the poor whites had.

    Note, I am not absolving poor and working whites of the sins of their racism. But I am suggesting that the best way to have ended their racist ressentiment, which manifests itself still today in the tea party movement, would have been to construct a common class consciousness amongst the poor, working, and middle classes of all ethnic and racial groups, rather than simply playing into the paradigm already established by the oligarchy.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @oliver’s Neck: I just re-read this and I am baffled that anyone could believe this sentiment.

  66. 66
    Glidwrith says:

    @roshan: As several people already commented, what government assistance do you receive?

    Give examples as well in case there is a knee-jerk denial.

  67. 67
    debbie says:

    It would be great if you could work the word “refudiate” into one of your questions.

  68. 68

    @oliver’s Neck:

    Thank you for your submission: “If the North hadn’t been so mean to the South after the Civil War there wouldn’t have been so much resistance to integration, (v. 2.3).”

    Your delivery is pitch perfect, but please hold and resubmit on Tuesday. Some of us aren’t are best on Mondays.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    @Marmot:
    Excellent analysis and questions. I’ve noticed a similar split just from online posts and articles. There seem to be old people and young, Ron Paul types.

    Love the questions on the spending. I’d be willing to bet money that most tea party types couldn’t tell who or what is the largest recipient of government money.

  70. 70
    jlw says:

    There are a lot great questions you could ask someone to poll, but I assume this is a call about the results of a poll already taken. So there’s a limited amount of information you can get unless the pollsters are willing to open up some crosstabs.

    I mean, I’d like to see a breakdown of reported income crosstabbed with religion. If there’s a skew — say, most of the high-income people are also evangelical Christians — that might tell you something about who’s driving the movement. Likewise, a crosstab between age and region could show, say, that the Tea Party movement is broadly based in the South but limited to old people in the Midwest and East (if that was what the data in fact showed).

    Crosstabs are where the interpretive power is, and it’s too bad most posters don’t release extensive ones.

    In a pinch, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Pew Political Typology (or whatever they call it) which is conducted every four or five years. Last year, a friend and I debated which group the Tea Party folks best fit — Disaffected, Social Conservatives or Enterprisers. I think that’s still an open question.

  71. 71
    Glidwrith says:

    How about these: Do you believe we should have an aristocracy in America? Can government function to prevent the ultra-rich from claiming themselves as and acting as an aristocracy? If you do not want an aristocracy in America, why don’t you support taxes that keep the ultra-rich from taking over (ie death tax)?

  72. 72
    dww44 says:

    @BruinKid:
    Seriously, I’d like to know the answer to that, too. Within one month of Obama’s inauguration they were everywhere, and they were all Republicans down here in my all too red Southern state.

    O/T: The Republican candidates for governor (primary tomorrow) debate last night on public TV and radio was a hoot. The lone female Republican is in the lead in the polls and she didn’t even show up. She’s in the lead because she got SP’s endorsement. So, the other 4 WASP male candidates were attacking her cowardice (rightly so, imo), but not nearly as much as they were attacking Obama and the Federal Government. They also employed appeals to Tea Partiers, with the “take our government back” slogan.

    One particularly sleazy candidate kept talking about himself in the third person. Rachel would have definitely brought out the popcorn for this one.

  73. 73
    oliver's Neck says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well, I’m a recent transplant to Utah from Arkansas and Texas roots.

    You’re, obviously, right that those class and race structures have been embedded deeply in the land and psyche of the South since europeans landed here and then brought African slaves here to work the land. As I’ve repeatedly stated, it would be very hard work, but I don’t think it is impossible work and I don’t think it’s pointless to try. The U.S. has had periods of strong class consciousness, even (though somewhat less) in the South.

    The continued hateful and dismissive rhetoric back and forth between the non-wealthy* left and the non-wealthy right serves only the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

    *by which I mean any salaried person from the upper-middle classes “down” – all of whom have a legitimate common cause against the wealthy, capital-holding class.

    I apologize to Dougj for, unintentionally, hijacking the thread. I’m done for now. thanks.

  74. 74
    Marmot says:

    @jlw–if DougJ is getting in on a conference call, there’s a chance that the pollsters will be willing to take a look at crosstabs, rather than just parroting the main poll results.

    That question on age and region would be a great one. My favorite would be zip code population density and ethnic diversity.

  75. 75
    oliver's Neck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I just re-read this and I am baffled that anyone could believe this sentiment.

    I think that’s, perhaps, because I’ve not managed to do a good job of expressing my thought. I apologize.

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Thank you for your submission: “If the North hadn’t been so mean to the South after the Civil War there wouldn’t have been so much resistance to integration, (v. 2.3).”

    Nope, that’s not really what I’m saying.

    Though if the property-rights absolutists of the North hadn’t been so quick to return land and other capital to the Southern oligarchs and had instead allowed the black workers the legitimate right to the land which they rightfully owned via their labor, then both black and (non-wealthy) whites in the South would have prospered for the good of us all.

    Again, I apologize for my inability to properly convey what I intend.

    Ok, seriously though, I’m stopping.

  76. 76
    canuckistani says:

    Is the legal system based on the Ten Commandments? Can you name them? (h/t to Stephen Colbert, of course).

  77. 77
    oliver's Neck says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Dangit, missed your comment

    Gee. You mean like Dr. King’s work against poverty and social injustice caused by income inequalities?

    Yes, exactly this. His speeches contra-capitalism and promoting economic justice for all were spectacular in this vein. Of course, those are just some of the great things that have been forgotten from King’s legacy.

  78. 78
    Dennis G. says:

    The answers will be limited by who did the poll and what they asked. Still, as many have said, it would be good to know the basics like:

    How old they are on average.
    What region of the country do they live in.
    Their range of income.
    Their level of education.
    What political party do they support.
    If they are registered to vote.
    When did they last vote.
    Have they ever contributed any money to a political candidate. If so when and how much.

    I would also like to know if they think the Confederate Flag should be able to fly over State Capital Buildings, but I’m betting that question was not asked.

    Have fun.

    Cheers

  79. 79
    sparky says:

    @oliver’s Neck: it was pretty clear, though i’m not quite sure i’m on board with it.

    from what i understand, the garroting of Reconstruction was more of a political rather than economic desire. the Rs got the national power provided they let the South resume its bastardized Romantic feudalism. and once slavery was eliminated as a legal institution that was the end of solidarity beyond race and class. tom watson is the best example but there certainly are others such as Nathan Forrest.

    here’s a Foner quote in re: KKK via Wikipedia

    In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.[24]

    today while the alignment is in some ways unchanged, structurally it is different in that the South is dependent upon the National Security State.

  80. 80
    Mike in NC says:

    I am suggesting that the best way to have ended their racist ressentiment, which manifests itself still today in the tea party movement, would have been to construct a common class consciousness amongst the poor, working, and middle classes of all ethnic and racial groups, rather than simply playing into the paradigm already established by the oligarchy.

    Sarah Palin just tweeted to say: too many big words!

  81. 81
    sparky says:

    forgot to make a poll suggestion–duh.

    what is the process for selecting the respondents:

    cell phones?
    land lines?
    zip codes?
    US Census data?
    income data?
    purchased list? previously used list?

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    DougJ says:

    @Marmot:

    I may ask something along the lines of 2). It is a good question.

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    DougJ says:

    @oliver’s Neck:

    No problem. It is an interesting discussion.

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    daryljfontaine says:

    If this is regarding a poll that has already happened, too bad. My ideal question would go out to an otherwise unfiltered range of likely voters, and would be of the form “Have you heard of the Tea Party movement?” (If yes) “Are you a current or former participant in the Tea Party movement?” and “On a scale of 1 (completely unfavorable) to 5 (completely favorable), rank your opinion of the Tea Party movement.”

    For more abstract responses, perhaps gather data on where the respondent gets their information on the Tea Party movement.

    (1) Gets a sense of just how deep the media penetration has been; there are still people who really haven’t heard of the TP folks.
    (2) Measures public opinion, and can be tied to how much a favorable opinion is tied to participation.

    D

  85. 85

    @roshan:

    Beat me to it.

    Instead they should have more robustly attempted the (much harder, admittedly) approach of showing the poor and working whites in the south that they had far more in common with blacks than with the wealthy whites.

    You’re raised to hate poor black people, and then the liberals tell you that you are just like poor black people = all kinds of fail.

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    @oliver’s Neck:

    …would have been to construct a common class consciousness amongst the poor, working, and middle classes of all ethnic and racial groups, rather than simply playing into the paradigm already established by the oligarchy.

    I’m going to take wild guess and conclude that you have never spent any significant time living in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas, and have no close relatives in those states. Could be wrong, but only you will know for certain.

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    oliver's neck says:

    @DougJ:

    Thanks. Btw, I appreciate what you do here.

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    oliver's neck says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    and then the liberals tell you that you are just like poor black people = all kinds of fail.

    On the one hand, I’m not suggesting anything as rhetorically or practically simplistic as just “telling” poor/working whites that they’re “just like poor black people”.

    On the other hand, the implicit message in what you and Roshan are claiming is that poor/working Southern whites are too stupid to understand a class-consciousness message. I reject that position.

    I’m going to take wild guess and conclude that you have never spent any significant time living in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas, and have no close relatives in those states. Could be wrong, but only you will know for certain.

    You would be incorrect in your assumption. Almost the entirety of my family lives in and/or has their roots in the states you list – save Alabama. I, myself, have lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas for significant periods of time. It is, in fact, because I know these people that I think they are not simply the unredeemable morons that many on the left (and, sadly, amongst the commentariat here) consider them to be.

    To be clear, I am not at all suggesting that bridging the gap with the teabaggers and their ilk on a shared economic vision is a trivial task. I am suggesting, however, that it is possible, that the seeds of it are there within the tea party movement, and that a serious Left would pursue that discourse – rather than continue to play into the oligarchy’s hands by being condescending and unwilling to even try to engage with them.

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    asiangrrlMN says:

    @oliver’s neck: Dude, seriously, you sound like an apologist for the Southern poor. And as a person of color, I get pretty tired of the ‘if only you people would be nicer to us then we wouldn’t have to hate you so.’ You are telling the people who have been oppressed (or the people who side with the oppressed people) to not only fight for equality and freedom for all, but to do the extra work of not hurting the feelings of the people who are doing the oppression.

    The twenty-seven percenters on the right (and I actually don’t believe they are poor white Southerners for the most part) are as dead to the Democrats as the African Americans (and other minorities) are to the Republicans. There is nothing the Left can say to sway them over. And you know what? Fuck them. The Left needs the Tea Party folks much less than the Republicans will need minorities. The former is a dying breed. The latter ain’t going anywhere. It’s not playing into the oligarchy’s hand to ignore the Tea Party–we don’t fucking need them.

    DougJ, I am interested in knowing the breakdown of income, education, political affiliation, race, etc., amongst the Tea Party members. I really am curious as to the makeup of this hodge-podge movement.

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    oliver's neck says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    No, I’m meaning to expressly call out the white, Left establishment for alienating the working/middle/poor classes of the South – and thereby sending them further into the arms of the Right. I apologize that I didn’t make that clearer – and not doing so was a flaw in my initial claim which I then failed to rectify.

    Certainly I’m not suggesting that people of color (or anyone) ought to just be nicer to their oppressors and all will work out fine. That would be asinine, and it didn’t even occur to me that what I said might be interpreted that way (again, the fault there is mine.)

  91. 91
    roshan says:

    OT

    If anyone is interested in seeing how racism starts and progresses in a community outside the US, there is this awesome series about the aborigines in Australia, First Australians, you can watch it online.

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