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The Biggest Missing Story in Politics - One Year Update
The American Thinker ^ | August 21, 2009 | Bruce Walker

Posted on 08/20/2009 10:42:20 PM PDT by Scanian

August 25, 2008, just about one year ago, my article on those Battleground Polls -- which have routinely shown for many years that about sixty percent of Americans are "conservatives" -- stirred up quite a ruckus. If my analysis is right, then that would explain Democrat hysteria over the town hall meetings in America as the revelation that the Left is just a small minority of Americans who have insinuated themselves into the chokepoints of information, education, entertainment, and policy in American society.

Gallup, which has also polled the ideology of Americans, has presented the data in a much murkier way. While the Battleground Poll allows respondents six options -- "very conservative," "somewhat conservative," "moderate," "unsure," "somewhat liberal," and "very liberal," the Gallup asks (or reveals) only whether respondents identify themselves as "conservative," "moderate," or "liberal." Nevertheless, three Gallup Polls this summer have shown just how profoundly conservative Americans are. On June 15, for example, Gallup revealed that conservatives are the largest ideological group in America: 40% of us call ourselves conservative, 35% of us call ourselves moderates, and 21% of us call ourselves liberal. Moreover, Gallup shows that since 1992 conservatives have become an increasingly larger share of America.

Then, on July 6, Gallup revealed that Democrats were becoming more conservative, independents were becoming more conservative, and Republicans were becoming dramatically more conservative (a whopping 58% of Republicans said that they had become more conservative in the last few years.) Viewed from every angle, both Gallup and the Battleground poll identify conservatives as the largest ideological group in America and a group that is growing fast.

The most fascinating poll, however, was revealed by Gallup on August 14. The impact appears deliberately downplayed by Gallup. The title of the article simply states that the conservative ideology prevails

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2009polls; gallup; ideology; mediabias; polls
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To: bert; mrsmel
The attribution of the quotation definitely goes to Stonewall Jackson. It has been erroneously attributed to Andrew Jackson no doubt by sloppy historians who confused the names. It has also been falsely attributed to General Patton probably because he has uttered similar words concerning the effects of fear. I think it probably appeared in the movie but the original quotation goes to Stonewall Jackson.

I'm not certain of this but my recollection is that upon retiring from the Shenandoah Valley at the conclusion of his campaign of 1862 and en route to Richmond to join Lee, a staff officer was dispatched to find lodgings for the night. He advised Jackson that he feared he would find nothing and Jackson at that point replied, "never take counsel of your fears."

I haven't had time to research it but I think that is accurate, however, I will not be surprised if my recollection is faulty. To understand the real significance of the quotation from Jackson one must understand that it was uttered by a man of profound faith and he was really saying trust God rather than entertain fears. So profound was his faith that he was astonishingly fearless on the battlefield and had no discernible regard for his personal safety.

51 posted on 08/21/2009 5:15:38 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

.....It has also been falsely attributed to General Patton probably because he has uttered similar words concerning the effects of fear......

I am near certain that phrase is in Patton’s book War As I Knew It perhaps several times.

It is now my mantra and got me through numerous tight scrapes with bankers and lawyers and a colony of angry bees

Along with the Bene Gesserit “Fear is the Mind Killer”

52 posted on 08/21/2009 5:25:56 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . fasl el-khitab)
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To: bert
I would not be surprised to learn that Patton also used the words or similar words. Keep in mind that his father fought in the Civil War. I know there was a major Patton who served ably and bravely under Jackson in the Valley campaign of 1862 but I have not been able to determine if that was George S. Patton's father. If it was it would be quite normal for him to pass that part of the Stonewall legend onto his son if he was indeed that man.

Whether learned at the knee of his father or otherwise, Patton was fully familiar with the lore of the Confederacy especially in Virginia and was well-versed in "Stonewall Jackson's Way." Indeed, there were many shared characteristics in their generalship including celerity of movements, focus and intensity of attack, ruthlessness in discipline, personal piety, and physical bravery. Both were touchy about their prerogatives of command. I would say that the comparison pretty much ends there because that was a calculating showmen and Jackson was the most diffident of men when the demands of duty did not call for resolution and sternness.

53 posted on 08/21/2009 5:45:59 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford
There is one thing in your reply to agree with but that is of such intrinsic significance that redeems the rest.:)

LOL! Oh, how very...kind ;)

You put your finger on turn out although you do not use the term.

Yes, though "turn-out" implies ownership, which is not the case. That is the essential difference between Conservatives and the rest of the Republican base.

I think that is the remaining hope for the conservative cause as it faces a daunting wall of obstacles in the next election.

But, nathanbedford, that has always been our only hope. You make it sound so frightening and dire. There is no daunting wall of obstacles. There is only one. Moderate Bakerite control of the Republican Party. These wolves in sheep's clothing are the enemy within the gate. As long as they continue their co-opting of the Conservative message, and their intentional subduction of Conservatives within the party, there will be no Conservative revolution in the Republican party.

That in itself is dire, and nearly insurmountable - But only because of people continuing to believe in the sheep's clothing that the wolves have donned. It is Republican pragmatism which is our greatest threat, as has always been the case.

As for Socialism/Liberalism coming from the Democrats, I fear that not a bit, as these are Conservatives' natural prey. Whatever is instituted can just as easily be removed. It is the lack of will, or dare I say, complicity, within the supposed opposition which allow these unconstitutional things to stand.

We must keep in mind that the numbers I have quoted were of "voters" but even in a national election for President, the intensity factor never much exceeds 55% (56.8% in' 08) and in the mid-to high 30% range for midterms (37.1% in' 06) That leaves a lot of room for play, especially in 2010.

While I too, am fond of statistical analysis, I find that in most things, statistical numbers can be bent to deliver just about any conclusion. Especially when one is dealing with single digit percentiles. It is the trends that interest me - those things that can be taken from the broad terms.

The broad trends will show that when Democrats can play to the right of Republicans, they win. Furthermore, the further toward the right the Republicans play, the greater their win. The obvious conclusion would be to play hard to the Conservative base, and follow through once in office, nearly guaranteeing a dynasty. Since that is not what Republican leaders do, their motives obviously lie elsewhere.

And this is where the argument that this is a conservative nation comes in. When an issue arises such as the governance provided by Barack Obama in busting the budget with porkulus, the budget itself, Cap and Trade, and healthcare, voter intensity increases.

While this is certainly a factor which can leverage turn out, it will end end infamously under the current moderate Republican leadership- I guarantee it. What one will be left with is mere Liberal Republicanism, not Conservatism. And the follow-through on promises made is what will secure the nation. That follow-through has been absent ever since Reagan.

I, and many of my kind, will rise against this socialism as surely as the socialism the Democrats offer, for neither one is palatable. So I care less for what may spark off turn out. It is not important what the other side is doing. What is important is Conservatism's solutions, and long term commitment to Conservative principle within the party mechanism.

I believe that cannot be accomplished using the Republicans as a vehicle. If it can, it will be signaled by a wholesale stepping-down of the present leadership, and an ascendancy of Conservatives. If that does not happen, I don't think the Republicans will get the trust of Conservatives, regardless of the conditions or promises.

54 posted on 08/21/2009 9:04:36 PM PDT by roamer_1 (It takes a (Kenyan) village to raise an idiot.)
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To: nathanbedford
You, me, and Justice Scalia may be the only three Americans left who understand that that which is unconstitutional at the federal level might well be fully constitutional and indeed desirable to be done on the state level.

I am honored to be in the very best of company :D

But, you see, this describes perfectly the betrayal within our own gates - All of the so called "conservative" solutions accept the basic premise that federalized health and social security systems are "the" solution.

Accepting that premise is the betrayal. These SOB's are merely haggling over the price.

A Conservative solution would begin with the premise that existing federal programs are unconstitutional, and that they should be handed into the authority of the states - If not by the means I have described, then by some other...

In the present climate, such a premise would be readily received, and trumpeted by the TEA Parties. It is the obvious way forward, handing the control (and the money) of these massve boondoggle programs back to the people, and taking them out of the hands of the federal government, who have proven to be all too irresponsible with them since their inception.

Another huge consequence of such a position would be an immediate "Hurrah!" from the libertarian/FiCon camp, who have been sorely abused.

There is no downside from such a position at this point.

55 posted on 08/21/2009 9:31:45 PM PDT by roamer_1 (It takes a (Kenyan) village to raise an idiot.)
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To: roamer_1
You have misapprehended entirely the thrust of my reply. I agree with you, or rather you agree with me to the extent that most of these programs are unconstitutional. I deplore that as you do which I say, with some literary license, puts usin the company of Justice Scalia but no one else. I say you agree with me because I said it first. I say there is not the political will to enforce the federal provisions of the Constitution. That is where we part company.

I refer you to this paragraph of my first post (#7) in the series:

In America, the Democrats have been so artful in providing ad hoc solutions to real or imagined problems that we have now gotten to the point where it is rare indeed when a solution which benefits intensely one group will be denied because it is ultra vires the Constitution. We simply don't think that way very much anymore. Even today, the argument over nationalized healthcare is not primarily a constitutional but a pragmatic argument. The right does not emphasize that to nationalize healthcare is unconstitutional, but argues that it is impracticable, costly, unfair, and, yes, big government. But I believe that the seniors in the town hall meetings are not primarily motivated by their love of small government but by their love of their Medicare entitlements.

Today the job of the Supreme Court is not to read the Constitution to determine whether a given entitlement program can be fit within one of the enumerated powers, the court is there to provide a rationalization to the will of the Congress and The Court only intervene if The Court bestirs itself and finds a conflict with an enumerated restriction to the power of the state such as might be contained in the Bill of Rights.

Thus the Constitution has been stood on its head and gone far towards the ideal expressed by Obama which is The Supreme Court should simply confect individual constitutional rights to economic advantages such as a good job or a good place to live. In other words Obama wanted in his, alas, far from famous interview, the court to provide a rationalization for redistribution of wealth. He wants a constitutional fig leaf for Roosevelt's Four Freedoms which takes us to my point in the last reply in which I noted that the patronage system had been federalized by Roosevelt. Hence the absence of political will.

Obama wants the abandonment of the Constitution by The Court to be taken one step further. He wants the court itself to find an affirmative right for The Four Freedoms much as it found an affirmative right for abortion. Thus the court would be flagrantly substituting its will in the absence of political will on Obama's side to further federalize everything by court decree. Obama calls for this because there is not quite enough political will on his side to carry federalization and redistribution to that extent.

Besides the evident absence of an Article III solution to the problem of federalizing everything, I repeat, there is not enough intensity of political damage to stimulate political will to reverse the baleful process. That is why Social Security is the third rail of politics and why the Democrats are learning that healthcare is also a third rail.

I say that to conclude from Obama's missteps over healthcare that the nation is ready to reverse federalism is simply to take the wrong lesson.

In this argument we both agree on the conservative values, we disagree about the landscape. I hold what I regard to be a realistic view of the political and legal obstacles involved. I regard your view to be Pollyanna-ish but certainly not undesirable. This dichotomy we will shortly see played out again in my next reply having to do with electoral realities.

56 posted on 08/22/2009 1:15:41 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nickcarraway
Interesting. But it means conservatives are extremely impotent.

I think it means conservatives don't vote until they get upset. 1994 was a classic case in point, as the rats had just passed the biggest tax hike in history along with (naturally - - the two go hand in hand) an assault on the Second Amendment, even as they were bouncing "House Bank" checks like a racquetball court.

If the rats can just keep being themselves for another 15 months the Republicans should be back in business.

57 posted on 08/22/2009 1:27:16 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: roamer_1
Turning our attention now to the electoral condition of the country and the demographic challenge which confronts the Republican party, let me first identify the areas where we agree. We agree generally that it is a restoration of conservative virtue and nothing less which will see us through. To establish my bona fides on this subject I submit the following reply made before Obama took office:

Here is a portion of a post which I published before the election in response to a politico article calling for Republicans and conservatives to move left to fill the big tent:

As we conservatives drag the remnants of our movement into the wilderness with no idea how we will emerge or whether we will ever emerge as an electoral force in America which is recognizable by my generation, we must inevitably engage ourselves in the most soul- searing inquiry of what went wrong. This will be an agony but equally it will be effective only to the degree that it hurts. It will not succeed without bloodshed. There must be finger-pointing and bloodletting. We must carve to the bone. The process must be Darwinian. Those whose ideas are false must be bayoneted on the trail.

The object is to find our soul - nothing less. In a come to Jesus sense we must get absolutely clear what it means to be a conservative. Only at this point do we look to the tent flaps and open them. Those who cannot subscribe to the hard-won consensus, to a confession of faith as to what is a conservative, should walk out through that flap. Those who are attracted from the outside to the core message of conservatism should be encouraged to walk through the flap and enlarge the tent. What the left wants us to do is to expand the census in the tent prematurely and thus turn a movement into a menagerie. The Soul-searching must be conducted by conservatives without the earnest ministrations from liberals like those of Politico. This article, of course, has nothing whatever to do with explaining why Republicans lost 2008 election across the board, it has everything to do with first efforts by the left to sabotage the rebuilding process on the right which must be done exclusively by the right.

We have not lost the 2008 election because we were excessively partisan while Obama was enlightened and transcendental. We actually lost the election because George Bush and Karl Rove betrayed the soul of conservatism. A party without its soul is like an army which does not believe in itself, it cannot win the next contest. A party which had abandoned its principles and so lost the last two elections and frittered away both its power as the ruling coalition and its status as the majority philosophy of the nation, cannot expect to swell its ranks by recruiting to a lost cause. The party must first know what the cause is and only then can it recruit. To again borrow the military analogy, a party like an army disintegrates without a mission. Armies are assigned missions but a political party finds its mission only through soul-searching.

As this process occurs we will be told by the left that only a big tent party can win and that to become a big tent one must move to co-opt the center. That is not how it works. That is the reverse of the way it works. The center is not peopled by voters with fixed notions about the exercise of power who wait for one of the great political parties to surrender their values and embrace the tempered and resolute opinions of the middle. That happens with splinter parties but not with the mushy middle. When an unaffiliated voter bestirs himself to enter the polling booth he is confronted with one of two options: right or left. He does not consider who has moved the farthest geographically from right to the left or left to right any more than he commits because of his own long held political beliefs. He votes for the fella who best tickles his fancy at the moment. Put more charitably, he votes for the candidate who persuades that he is the best, and has the best to offer.

If we as conservatives do not believe that we have the best to offer we should get out of the business. A candidate, like a party, who is centered on his philosophy has integrity and is persuasive. And that philosophy must first have a vertical spiritual component which finds expression and out working in a horizontal governing philosophy.

Because of his race, Obama was asked only to demonstrate that he could walk and talk like a president. Obama has won the middle, not because he pandered to them, which he did, but because he had the wind at his back.

As John McCain reverts from titular head of the Republican Party to United States Senator, it falls to the rest of us to contrive a governing philosophy which he, unfortunately, did not own and therefore could not bequeath to us. We had such a legacy from Ronald Reagan but we squandered it. We must construct our own. We must do it in the wilderness. We must do it unaided by intermeddling liberals. Their's is the serpent's way, the easy way, a pander to the superficially popular, the accommodation to the middle. The bed of birth has always been a bed of pain. The pain must be embraced if we are to receive a new life.

58 posted on 08/22/2009 1:45:47 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: jwparkerjr

A friend of mine is in her early 80’s. She has always voted democrat. We rib her about voting for Obama. Recently I asked why she voted that way. Her dad told here what a bad guy Hoover was. She is basicaly a conservative in talking to her but still votes dem. Your right that is how he got elected.

59 posted on 08/22/2009 2:11:01 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: Scanian

It would be the DIFFerence between this poll and a poll of MSM reporters that would objectively generate a media bias index.

How to Measure Media Bias on a Regular Basis?

60 posted on 08/22/2009 2:17:27 AM PDT by Kevmo (So America gets what America deserves - the destruction of its Constitution. ~Leo Donofrio, 6/1/09)
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To: 101voodoo
My belief is many of those who claim to be Independents are really Democrats and Liberals who simply do not want to admit their beliefs.

Yep. Gallup used three categories -- conservative, moderate, and liberal. 35% of people identified as moderates, but you know that most of these are really liberals, whether consciously or not.

61 posted on 08/22/2009 2:50:02 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: mrsmel
I think a lot of people just feel that somehow being a liberal is not a good thing, that being a conservative is better someone. The term liberal has taken quite a beating the last few years, especially with the new media. Most of those polled have no idea what the difference been the two really is, they just have a gut reaction to the terms. The liberal mindset is much easier to maintain than the conservative mindset. For a liberal it's simply about doing nice things for other people, even if it's only to make the liberal feel better about himself. OTOH, for the conservative it takes a conscious effort to use tough love on a child, or force those with health problems to take some responsibility for themselves and their condition.

We have done a miserable job of selling conservative ideals and instilling the understanding that America was great because of those ideals, and as inviting as it seems to abandon them, after all they do require a lot of effort, to do so is to flirt with disaster. Just look around us.

Ronald Reagan was the best in my lifetime of making the point. When he talked about conservatism it just seemed like it was a given that it was the way to go. A lot of it had to do with the fact he was not just talking about it though, he lived and breathed it and to talk about anything else would have been the problem for him.

Not sure, but I think Sarah Palin might have the same gift. Just have to wait and see.

62 posted on 08/22/2009 3:16:03 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America, and wake us up while you're about it!)
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To: roamer_1
While I too, am fond of statistical analysis, I find that in most things, statistical numbers can be bent to deliver just about any conclusion. Especially when one is dealing with single digit percentiles. It is the trends that interest me - those things that can be taken from the broad terms.

My objection to this approach is that it is a know- nothing approach. When one talks about poll numbers one weighs the predictive ability of a quasi-science. Even so, no sensible politician would go to war without being armed with the latest polls. That is because the predictive qualities have been demonstrated election after election. Not infallible, they are nevertheless valuable. To abandon them is to abandon an objective tie to reality. The know- nothing approach permits us to float freely in space pronouncing on every matter of political science as it suits our fancy.

How much more true is all of this when one considers that most of the numbers that I have cited have to do not with predictive polls but with actual voting results or exit polling data.

So we must be wary of those who lie with statistics. But we also must be wary of those who deny the reality of the science. We see this phenomenon played out every cycle here on Free Republic. When the polls favor us, we accept them on face value and reject them when they make us unhappy. This leaves us at sea without a fixed pole, without a starting point, with no idea where the hell we are, or where we are going, or how to get there.

But it leaves us firmly ensconced in our own opinions.

You and I agree that conservatism is the medicine to restore the Republican Party's fortunes. I just posted, or rather reposted, a lengthy reply to that effect. But that reply is utterly unsupported by statistical data. It is merely my opinion. If I were a politician I would certainly not embark on a campaign, staking the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, on my uninstructed, unilluminated opinions. They might or might not make logical sense, but they have no intrinsic scientific value. If I were the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I would be doing what Newt Gingrich has been doing And What the Democrat National Committee has been undoubtedly doing: polling, polling, polling!

This is how the professionals behave and there is a reason for it. For all my criticisms of Karl Rove for his declensions from conservative orthodoxy, I do not fault him for lack of mechanical ability. Neither you or I have established any credentials as mechanics. I have tried to react to what I see as objective numbers which at least are congruent with the colors on the electoral map. That does not mean my explanation is the reason the colors are there but at least we are operating with deductive reasoning. What we abandon all ties to what the mechanics can tell us, we abandon political science for philosophy and we have converted before the election the electoral map into a child's coloring book.

Let's turn to the interaction between conservatism and the Republican Party. Again you state a principal with which I agree:

What is important is Conservatism's solutions, and long term commitment to Conservative principle within the party mechanism.

I believe that cannot be accomplished using the Republicans as a vehicle. If it can, it will be signaled by a wholesale stepping-down of the present leadership, and an ascendancy of Conservatives. If that does not happen, I don't think the Republicans will get the trust of Conservatives, regardless of the conditions or promises.

While I believe that the salvation for the Republican Party is to restore conservatism, I have the humility to admit that this is my opinion. My opinion on whether this is the proper, as opposed to the electorally successful route to go, however, is as valid as the next man's.

Likewise my opinion as to whether our side can prevail without the apparatus of the Republican Party is valid for what it purports to be: an opinion. That opinion is that a rump conservative electoral effort will doom us to defeat. My opinion is that the apparatus of the party itself is not just valuable but indispensable to running and winning national elections which cost money approaching $1 billion. Only the party can supply the infrastructure, the boots on the ground, the expertise for the air war, the proper exploitation of the Internet, the national visibility, the fund raising ability.

Our founding fathers were not naïve, but they entertained a skeptical view of the nature of man as a political creature. So they set up a system which anticipated unceasing tension. Although they deplored political parties, they made them virtually inevitable if society was to govern in a system in which the founders had placed so many obstacles to effective government. Political parties are designed to undo what the founders did, to bridge the gaps created by the founders as checks and balances. So, for longer than two centuries our society has been at eternal war with itself, always risking totalitarian government (such as today under Obama) by strong political parties on the one hand or risking ineffectual government such as we saw under The Articles Confederation or under the Southern Confederacy on the other hand.

Similarly, the parties themselves are under tension which is unceasing and in the long run very healthy for a political body. Every party is ever at war with itself. So it is with the Democrats and so it is with the Republicans. If we Conservatives win the battle this season, as surely as the tides return, we will be confronted with another Rino challenge in the next season. That is good because without the tension there is nothing to prevent a political party-or, worse, a governing party-to veer ever farther to the left or right and wreck the country as it commits suicide. The best example of this occurring in history is the inability of the Soviet Union Communist Party to correct itself. Why were there 70 years of bad weather affecting Soviet harvests? Because the Communist Party simply couldn't honestly look at its own policies.

And so it is that when we indulge our predilections, reject what objective reality we can put together, Parade know- nothing ism as a virtue, we risk veering off. Fortunately for our party and our government system there is a check, it is called elections, and those political parties which do not gauge reality accurately will soon be corrected. The job of the Karl Roves of the world is to obviate the need for the correction to occur.

Viva the tension.

63 posted on 08/22/2009 4:18:57 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford
Correction: T. J. Jackson for Thomas Jonathan.
64 posted on 08/22/2009 4:51:48 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Scanian

What this says more than anything is that the party that has been claiming to be conservative is lying. They’re a false flag operation, and it’s way past time for the people do stop blindly following them.

65 posted on 08/22/2009 5:03:57 AM PDT by EternalVigilance ( "Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." - G. Washington)(Listen up, Republicans!!!)
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To: EternalVigilance

Of course they are. They take money from the nearly all the same sources that the Dhimmis do, just a little less of it.

66 posted on 08/22/2009 6:19:52 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian
The Biggest Missing Story in Politics - One Year Update The American Thinker ^ | August 21, 2009 | Bruce Walker about sixty percent of Americans are "conservatives" --

Bruce, that isn't the BIGGEST missing story in Politics and YOU. KNOW. IT !!!

67 posted on 08/22/2009 7:24:25 AM PDT by urtax$@work (The best kind of memorial is a Burning Memorial.........)
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