One of Jerome's points, above, is that the Democrats need to reach out to the 21% of teabaggers who identify as independents or soft liberals instead of attacking them.
I always applaud thinking outside the box, even if it is way, way, way outside the box here. So I must applaud his thinking... even if it is logically riddled with holes.
There is no indication that those 21% of teabaggers ever cast a vote for a democrat in recent times. Chances are, they are working class whites, who left the part long ago and should be the focus of Democrats no more.
And therein lies the problem: you have a depressed economy, and people are angry, even though Barack Obama shouldn't be the legitimate recipient of that anger. So who do you court?
Jerome says go after the white working class voters, that 21% of teabaggers he's talking about. Those people won't come to Obama. He would have to go to them, and leave behind any last vestiges of being a democrat. And even then, I doubt these people would approve of him. There is, after all, one thing Obama can't change. I strongly believe that non-college educated working class whites are a demographic best left forgotten by the democrats. They're more trouble than they're worth.
Your argument is more meritorious, that an energized base will carry democrats through the midterms, as the base has always done in midterms. And by engaging in incrementalism, Obama has alienated an impatient base. The problem is, change has always (always) been incremental. Reading the history of FDR is very useful (see especially social security). And progressives have always been impatient (see same history). Historically, there is nothing unprecedented in the incremental nature of Obama's legislation, only the scope. The legislative victories are huge when seen with a historical perspective, but I don't expect the other half of progressives to all of a sudden realize that. They're too busy focusing upon the hole, not the donut. But I agree a more partisan Obama might be helpful.
It's in Democrats' nature to believe that the sky is falling. We've done it routinely since 1968.
It's debatable whether Obama is a popular President (now), but I don't see any indication that his popularity has changed over the past few months.
From my perspective, he shed the McCain voters first last summer, and then he shed a good fraction of the independents during HCR. The McCain voters are irrelevant. Even many of those independents don't matter.
Instead of all the hand wringing, the more intellectually curious question is: why is Obama as popular as he is?
There was Godwin's Law. And now there is Rand Paul's Law: No matter what other academically interesting or politically useful positions you hold, if you're opposed to civil rights, you forfeit all your arguments.
I know Markos discusses Rand Paul a lot. I have to agree that if this guy isn't the face of the GOP, he should be made to be.
My 60 week tenure on unemployment ended as a result of the ARRA.
Not to pick nits, but it is inaccurate to describe these jobs as "temporary". Nor is it accurate to assign a number. This isn't your fault -- it's how the government accounts.
Skilled construction jobs are not really temporary. These people aren't census workers or seasonal department store help. Skilled trade workers come out of a certain, slow to change reservoir, and while construction companies may be able to take on more workers for these projects, they have some flexibility in their staffing which will adsorb much of the extra work.
Judging from the tone of your response, you're really upset about this, which brings me unending pleasure.
And now voter sentiment is improving, as cited int he Washington monthly.
HEALTH CARE REFORM'S POPULARITY GETS ANOTHER BOOST.... Last week, a national Associated Press-GfK poll found that support for the Affordable Care Act was not only the rise, but had reached new heights -- health care reform's supporters outnumbered opponents, 45% to 42%.
Now, we have another poll with similar results. A new Gallup poll shows support inching up, with supporters topping opponents -- 49% of respondents said passage of the law is a "good thing," while 46% said it's a "bad thing." That's a modest shift in the right direction from a few months, but it's a shift nevertheless.
But leaning and late correcting is what Ras has been accused of doing. It can be done legitimately by "updating" likely voter screens, etc., at the last moment. In this regard, R2k is no different than Ras.
The allegation of fraud by Markos implies that data was forged, and there seems to be some evidence of that.
Leaning/skewing and forging are two very different practices.
My criticism of Jerome's argument is one of the stopped clock being right twice a day: if every poll that leaned was fraudulent, we wouldn't have many polls. All those internal polls? Out the window. I can stand here and accuse Ras of fraud, but that doesn't mean they are forging data. They are choosing their LV model, and then adjusting it based on whatever empirical or subjective rationale.