Friday, May 1, 2009

Utah Loves Obama

The Deseret News has come out with another poll showing Pres. Obama's favorability in Utah that it downplays to an almost criminal degree. In this latest poll it shows the president with an amazing +10 favorability among Utahns, 53-43%.

There are some pretty striking features of this poll. First, 100% of Democrats polled in Utah approved of his job performance. I've never seen that in a poll. Not suprising, though, is that Republicans disapprove 64-34. But independents, the real gem of the electorate, and typically reliably conservative in Utah, support the president +24, 59-35.

Sixty-one and 56 percent of Utahns approve of the job Pres. Obama is doing in foreign policy and health-care reform, respectively. Fifty-five percent, however, disapprove of the stimulus spending.

Since I already threw a fit once about the ugly bias with which the Deseret News reports positive news for Pres. Obama here in Utah, I will pretty much refrain except to show these ridiculous quotes:
While much of America really likes the job President Barack Obama has done in his first 100 days in office — a milestone reached today — Utahns are more reserved, with a bare majority approving his actions.

. . .

Since Republicans outnumber Democrats in Utah two-to-one, it's no surprise that the president doesn't do very well here.
I think the President, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and any person with even just a little bit of sense, would disagree whole-heartedly. Pres. Obama is doing very well here. Have we forgotten that this is Utah? This is easily in the top three of conservatives states in the country (out of fifty!). And he has a plus ten favorability here? He's kicking butt, is what he is doing. And he has been kicking butt since the election. His favorability in Utah has actually increased the more Utahns see the job he is doing. The man is a juggernaut.

And all of this bodes very, very poorly for Republicans. The Republican party has essentially been relegated to the deep South and what is now being called the Mormon Belt. They are chasing off moderates, like Senator Arlen Spector, in an effort to become more and more ideologically pure and far-right conservative. Independents throughout the nation strongly favor Pres. Obama. Congressional Republicans are seeing some of the worst poll numbers across the board in decades.

This is a party in crisis, and the number one piece of evidence could easily be that arch-conservative Utah has a strong preference for the way Pres. Obama and the Democratic party are running the nation. If the Republicans can't even count on good old reliable Utah anymore to be staunchly conservative, then what can the count on?

I would pay close attention to the 2010 and 2012 elections here in Utah, because I think we're going to see a decided shift to the left. If Utah Republicans want to have any chance to preserve their dominance of state politics, they had better start moving swiftly center-ward (think Gov. Huntsman) or they are going to have start learning how to play nice with the opposition.

28 comments:

Steve M. said...

It will be very interesting to see how Utah votes in 2012. I'm not holding my breath, but I think it could be a closer election than the State has seen in decades.

Jacob S. said...

That is my thought, as well. I don't expect a Democratic senator by 2012, or for Utah to vote for Obama, but I think it will get pretty uncomfortable for the Utah Repubs.

I think the smartest thing to do, by the way, is to strike while the iron is hot right now and start a serious voter registration drive, though I have no idea how to get the ball rolling on something like that.

Iliana said...

I'm happy for you and your fellow Dems. But I'm really glad for the book review... love myself historical non-fiction.

Randall said...

Obama in Utah,

As a break in our pattern, let me focus on a point of agreement. The Republican Party is in disarray and disorganized. These are the darkest days Republicans or Conservatives have seen in their lifetimes. A crucible if you will. As a conservative and a Republican it has been painful watching my party abandon its fundamental principles and implode from a complete lack of vision and leadership. On that point we can agree.

What we conservatives are witnessing is a perfect storm, a confluence of events which synergize with each other to produce intense unpredicted results. Let me dissect the elements of this perfect storm.

1. An incredibly unpopular and ineffective former president.

Although I voted for Bush twice, the last four years or the Bush administration demonstrated some of the worst leadership in the history of presidential politics. Not only did he loose any capacity to communicate or persuade, but he seemed confused and overwhelmed and it pains me to say apathetic of the events at hand. This abandonment in a time of war and national crisis created a vacuum the liberal media and his political enemies were happy to fill. More than anyone, he is responsible for running the Republican Titanic into an iceberg.

2. A charismatic and charming leader of the opposing party.

Obama is one of the most effective politicians of our generation, effective in the sense that he does a great job of managing the media ( an easy task with a media that operated as campaign infrastructure ) is an effective speaker, and manages always to seem in control and confident. Of course I disagree with every action of his and his entire operating philosophy, but we Republicans have to admit he is skilled.

3. A national crisis.

The collapse of housing, banking, then the financial markets created a broad sense of panic. Although these are hard times, for a party in control of the white house and both houses, this is an opportunity that will not repeat itself in our lifetimes. In times of panic and emergency, people are willing to suspend traditional plurality and discussion and resign tremendous power for the sake of "getting something done." Democrats, knowing the unique opportunity before them, are moving liberal legislation and spending packages as fast as their collective computers can spit out legislation. Even political watch dog organizations can not track the speed scope or scale of legislative action. They have, for now, not only unstoppable legislative majorities, but a "free pass" from most Americans who like that someone is doing something somewhere even if they don't understand the specifics.

4. A Republican Party that has lost its clarity and has no known spokesman

9-11 created a similar opportunity for Bush that this crisis had for Obama. In responding to the "emergency" of 9-11 Republicans lost control of their commitment to spending restraint and opened the flood gates to deficit spending. Once the door was cracked open, Republicans forgot that they are the party of smaller government, spending restraint, and empowerment of the individual in business and free-enterprise. Many Republicans lost their way and by the next election there was no one in Washington who could operate as a legitimate representative of the Republican philosophy. Then the economy started to collapse and even though we had already lost congress, Bush created the impression that we were the incumbent party and the rest is history.

Of course you interpret these events differently than I do. You suggest the fact that many Americans, including many in Utah, are still willing to let the Obama experiment play out for now is an indication that the nation has swung profoundly to the left. That as a nation most of us are ready for nationalizing major industries, huge taxes, income redistribution, government health care, free abortions, gay marriage, and a withdrawl from our role as the military enforcers of our democratic ideals and our position as a financial and idealogical superpower. It probably seems that way right now.

The other possibility of course is that we are Germany in 1936, where things are so bad and we are so scared that we temporarily abandon our reason and are desperate for someone to save us, someone to rescue us from forces we can't understand. And for now, just as in Germany, there is someone perfectly able to calm our fears. The message is clear, we need unlimited power, unlimited money, cooperation from the press, and unprecedented cooperation from everyone. We can fix everything but you have to let us control everything to do it. Don't worry, we won't abuse this power over your money, your businesses, your states, your towns, your taxes, your healthcare, your guns and your jobs.

And for now, most of us are so worried we are goose-stepping right along hoping that we will at least get some return of security for this unprecedented surrender or power. What were Hitler's poll numbers in 1936 ( who had a huge fan base in the United States) and Mousillini;s ( who was very popular in Italy and in America. We must not forget how the progressives cheered the communist revolution and idealized Lenin and Stalin until they put their own countrymen into genocidal chains. Your right, 100 days into this thing and most people have not caught on, they still think that a big dose of Kynsean economics and socialism is just what the doctor ordered, despite its failed history everywhere. We are scared and gullible for any messiah who can speak so soothingly as we hand him and his minions like Pilosi over more and more power over government and the economy.

There is forming, however, despite the cheerleading from the media for Obama, a growing grassroots revulsion of the liberals vision for the nation both domestically and internationally. A growing number of people whose fear has finally yielded to reason, and who understand that the United States after this season of Obama and Pilosi will not resemble, at all, the nation we have collectively known here to for. A growing number of people are understanding that democrats are using this emergency to reformat the nation according to their own vision, a vision, which if understood, will not resonate with a majority of Americans.

Most American support capitalism, think government is too big, are afraid of the 10 trillion dollar deficit of uncontrolled spending, oppose gay marriage, want to be able to keep their guns, believe in God, think there should be risk of failure in society, believe in the possibility of personal wealth, support the fundamental principles of individualism, think the media is biased, and are disapproving of congress. (check the stats, these are all true)

That in mind, it is just a question of when we will wake up from our fear and panic and realize that we are surrendering our nation to forces we have died fighting to oppose in wars. At that moment, all the editorials from the New York TImes will not be able to stop the backlash from this time of unrestrained power and money grab. Already the Republicans are repentant of their collusion with these forces, already conservatives are gathering and discussing, and finally, after a long sleep, awakening themselves to the reality that if they don't stop it, America, as a unique political idea, will die irrevocably.

The revolution is already underway. And like all revolutions they are underestimated until the critical mass has overwhelmed the status quo. You might want to find a marketable skill for that moment. For now, enjoy, these are the best days liberals will ever know.

peter said...

And let's just be clear that Arlen Specter left for political expediency (to get reelected) and not for ideology.

Byron said...

Touche, Randall..touche. I couldn't have said it better myself. I couldn't say it any better than this little clip here, either.

V for Vendetta SpeechI will chip in my two cents, however.

First, I think many democrats are comforted by Obama's high poll ratings and they have disillusioned themselves into believing that Americans in general are, at long last, starting to abandon their "radical, extreme right-wing ideology" for a more socially-just, left-wing ideology (let’s call it the Great Society! oh wait...that name has already been taken). They believe this to be true based solely on the fact that Obama's poll numbers are so high, especially in traditionally conservative states. What they are forgetting, however, is that there is an ever increasing dichotomy between the paradigm that the current elected officials represent and the paradigm held by the individual American. There are an increasing number of cases where it is obvious that the overwhelming majority wishes things were a certain way, but the agenda-driven politicians seek to make it another. Case in point: Proposition 8 in California. Or Illegal immigration reform. In more and more instances it is becoming obvious that the agenda of the politicians and the values they represent are not necessarily the values held by Americans at large.

In my short lifetime, I have never witnessed a politician more beloved by his constituents than Mr. Obama. He quite literally has a group of people so invested in him as a person and as a president that they would do anything for him and defend any action he has taken, similar to the way a wife defends her mass murdering husband. There was a funny South Park episode about the tens of thousands of Obama supporters aimlessly wandering around the streets because they had invested so much time into this man that they no longer knew what to do now that the election was over. These people are absolutely, under no circumstances, going to break their allegiance to Obama. They are far too invested. Especially the folks here in Utah, because many people abandoned their traditional voting patterns and voted for a democrat. Do you think these people are going to admit that their Messiah is the latest proponent of socialism? Do you think that these people, Utah Mormons specifically, are going to admit that their candidate stands for everything the church stands against? Do you think these people are going to admit they were wrong so soon? Me neither.

Fortunately for Obama, he didn't have much of a record to run on when he decided to pursue the presidency. He could say anything, be anything, and do anything his campaign managers believed would win votes. He could rely almost entirely on his gift of oratory, and there wasn't much of a record there to say otherwise. This "juggernaut" convinced millions of Americans that his ideas matched theirs, which is why they voted him into office. I think it is safe to say, however, that many Americans were sold a bill of goods. They wanted change, but they didn't want that kind of change. I too, wanted change, but unfortunately I was forced to vote between a turd sandwich and a giant douche (another South Park reference). Bush's abhorrent second term was enough to incite reproach from even the most conservative thinkers in America. Many traditional people voted for Obama because he was not Bush, not because they believed in his platform. How could they have voted for his platform? It changed as much as he proclaimed the country would at every rally, in every town hall meeting, in every planned-parenthood meeting, and in every press conference. Only now are we truly realizing who this Obama character is, and it is safe to say that there are many, many people (on both sides) who think the direction he is taking our country is absolutely unacceptable. Think what you will about the tea parties, but 300,000+ people turning out in protest of his egregious spending policies is more of a statement than any group of people ever made during the Bush administration. I think it's safe to say that we will see the day when the '63 march on Washington will look like a few angry protesters in the streets in comparison.

The good news for everyone who thought that they could take the enlightened path of not aligning themselves with a specific party is that they are now seeing democrats for who they truly are. Like Randy said, the stars will never line up so perfectly for the democrats again. They are getting the once in a century chance to show their true colors and to try and pass every little piece of legislation that they have been dreaming about for years. No more insinuation of what they might or might not do when they get into power – you are seeing it in Technicolor! You are right - the 2012 election will be interesting, because this time around, there are so many smoking guns the environmentalists are proposing a new carbon tax on Washington.

Jacob S. said...

As a liberal and Democrat, I hereby call on all conservatives to espouse the Randy/Byron platform. It can do nothing but good for the liberal movement for conservatives everywhere to:

1. Compare Pres. Obama to Hitler, Mussolini, or a mass-murdering husband.

2. Compare the Democratic party to socialists, communists, fascists, or Nazis.

3. Believe that when Republicans win elections it is because an enlightened electorate spoke, but when Democrats win elections it is a fluke, or just the unintelligent masses falling for a pretty face.

4. Ignoring polls that show that Americans approve of the job Obama is doing, disapprove of Congressional Republicans to an almost absurd degree, want universal health care, approve of civil unions (with some polls showing a majority approve of same-sex marriage), that Americans want stricter environmental standards including regulation of greenhouse gases, understand that global warming is scientifically proven, sensible immigration policies instead of nationalistic ones, and so on and so on.

So what conservatives are doing, on the tail of four years of heavy losses, is entrenching, kicking out moderates, and burying their heads in the sand.

Byron, you seem pretty angry, and I understand. I remember feeling angry during the Bush years. What I don't remember is talk about succession, revolution, fascism, anti-Americanism, and similar talking points that conservatives are spewing right now. I remember a grassroots effort for change. I don't remember talk of electing Pres. Obama as a revolution, as Randy calls upcoming conservative victories, I remember it being called Democracy In Action.

Also, Byron, I would love to see some evidence, any evidence, of Obama changing his platform "every press conference, every rally." He didn't, you are just angry. Finally, Byron, it is beyond offensive to claim that Obama "stands for everything the church stands against." You know this isn't true, everyone knows this isn't true. How many times does the Church have to say that it doesn't support a party, both parties have ideas that are good, members should feel perfectly at peace voting for candidates from either party? What is it about torture, unprovoked war, political abuse of the justice department, and illegal wiretapping that you think is so in line with the Gospel? When has the Church come out against protecting our environment, universal healthcare, and humane immigration laws?

This is all just conservative fear-mongering. Democrats are SOCIALIST! Obama bailed out banks and the auto industry! (But you fail to mention that by loosening the credit market he allowed the day to day loans that every business relies on to continue and he avoided hundreds of thousands of job losses by keeping the Big 3 above water until they could restructure. In short, he allowed capitalism to continue).

America is leaving the far right behind. There is no evidence to contradict this, only the anger of a minority of conservatives. I have no doubt that one day in the future conservatives will find a voice that speaks to the American people, but I guarantee that voice is not the Randy/Byron voice.

Anonymous said...

Well said Randall, thank you. It's reassuring to me to read your comment, you are very inspiring, thank you.

Anonymous said...

And Jake, you're looking for evidence that "Obama stands for everything the church stands against?" What about abortion? What about same-sex marriage? What about stem-cell research? It is true that the church does not support any specific party or candidate, but they do ask you to vote responsibly and in line with the principles of the gospel.
Which do you think is more important to God, "protecting our environment, universal healthcare, and humane immigration laws?" or those millions of little lives lost every year to abortion, and the degredation of the family?

Jacob S. said...

The Church has no position on stem cell research. Pres. Obama publicly stated during the campaign that he does not support gay marriage. The Church has publicly supported civil unions. Pres. Obama's stance that abortions should be safe, legal, and rare is as close to the Church's position as right-wingers who would deny abortions in instances of rape, incest, or health of the mother.

While the democratic platform is at odds with the Church on abortion, and Mormon Democrats do have to either split with the party on that issue (which is okay, it is intellectually dishonest or lazy, I think, to agree with a party platform 100 in every instance) or explain their difference with the Church, Republicans have the same problem on the equally immoral issues of war and torture. I am completely at peace being a Democrat that supports Obama and being Mormon.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You are severely disallusioned, misinformed, and set in your ways. Good luck with that!

Jacob S. said...

Name calling is a crutch for those that can't think of anything intelligent to say.

Why is it that two people have to feel animosity towards each other if they have differing political opinions? I know several of the conservatives that post here and I like and respect them all. We have fundamental political differences, but we still (I hope they share this sentiment) keep it civil and respectful.

But then you come along, anonymous, and look for the first opportunity to offend, which I find classless. You disagree with me? Great, I have no problems with that. But instead of acting childish, why not state your disagreement and lets discuss it like adults?

Andrew said...

'Which do you think is more important to God, "protecting our environment, universal healthcare, and humane immigration laws?" or those millions of little lives lost every year to abortion, and the degredation of the family?'

God doesn't care too much about politics. Everything we, as people, come up with as a political solution to any problem will fall far short of the "ideal". That's why we preach the gospel after all -- politics doesn't change people, living the gospel changes people. If it were otherwise then the Church would be far more active in politics than it is. The Conservative bent of "Mormon belt" members of the church is unique, I think, in the worldwide body of Church membership. While there are a lot of members who live in that area, they no longer constitute the majority of the Church. I bring this up because so much of LDS conservative thought is purely cultural and not an outgrowth of Church doctrines. That culture will change as the membership of the Church changes, and (thankfully) so will the perceived politics of its members.

Andrew said...

..adding, I'm fairly confident that the leftward-shift of Utah politically has been going on for some time. The meltdown of modern Republicans may be speeding up the trend somewhat, but I believe Utah is caught up in the larger political shift that's happening throughout the West.

Andrew said...

Here, in my opinion, are the counties to watch in the next couple of elections. Salt lake already went for Obama, as did Summit and Grand. In 2004 Salt Lake went 60-38 for Bush, so using the not-so-scientific method of identifying areas of the state where McCain got under 65% of the vote, we have:

Weber (63-35)
Tooele (63-34)
Wasatch (64-34)
Carbon (53-45)
San Juan (51-47)

If any of the polls are broken down by county, it would be interesting to see how Obama is performing in those counties today. Also to watch are counties where McCain pulled between 65 and 70%:

Cache (70-25)
Davis (70-27)
Kane (70-27)
Dagget (68-30)

State-wide the number was 62-34. If there were focused efforts in Weber and Davis, along with continued efforts in Utah county to bring down the Republican number there, then I think Democrats would have a good shot of making the next elections very close. I'm happy to see so many of the smaller outlying counties that appear to be trending Democratic -- while they don't bring the numbers, they do cover a decent chunk of Utah's land mass and would help in making the state look more blue.

Andrew said...

..One more number, then I'm done for now. Taking the vote difference between McCain and Obama and splitting it gives 134,180. That's roughly the vote deficit between Republicans and Democrats, assuming that the total number of likely voters remains somewhat constant. Actually, that's the number of voters that'd need to flip. I don't know how many Republicans voted for Obama in the election, but it would be interesting to compare that number with how he does now -- it would give us a rough estimate of how many "flippers" there are. County numbers, of course, would be even better because they'd identify (to a degree) where the action is.

Jacob S. said...

With the caveat that you never know what unknowable circumstance can arrive in the meantime, Utah could make some huge gains in fours years. A popular incumbent has inherent appeal to independents, and Utah has more and more independents and transplants from other states.

The problem I see, though, is that the state Democratic Party seems to be happy on the sidelines. Instead of doing voters registration drives, phone banks, and generally energizing the base, they seem to be doing very little. I don't know for sure, but I would doubt it if the party (probably under the county organizations) had gone through and analyzed district by district trends in order to come up with a coherent game plan going forward.

Andrew said...

'The problem I see, though, is that the state Democratic Party seems to be happy on the sidelines. Instead of doing voters registration drives, phone banks, and generally energizing the base, they seem to be doing very little. I don't know for sure, but I would doubt it if the party (probably under the county organizations) had gone through and analyzed district by district trends in order to come up with a coherent game plan going forward.'

Man, that's a real shame because now is a near-historic opportunity to make real and lasting gains (electorally-speaking). I could see how old-timers in the part apparatus might be resigned to believing that Utah is forever Conservative, but the trends demonstrating otherwise are there. It's one of those Captain Moroni moments when you want to write to whomever is in charge and wake them from their "thoughtless stupor".

Randall said...

It your comment about not having anything intelligent to say applied to myself or Byron.

Let me invite you to contrast the content, analysis, historical evidence, and general prose of mine and Byrons essays to your " I can't believe I have to write this," essay, which was patronizing and dismissive.

Perhaps you should self examine the spirit of your own words, your tendency toward generalizations,and your tone. I would invite any nuetral party, (and I shall) to compare both essays to your rebuttle and examine them for quality of prose, argument, and analysis.

I'll let you know what I discover.

Physicial heal thyself.

Jacob S. said...

Randy, it was in respond to Anonymous's: "You are severely disallusioned, misinformed, and set in your ways." I have never struck that kind of tone ever. Again, the exasperated tone of the Obama Socialist was playful, we can't all be so somber all the time. Anyway, I enjoy the discussion, I respect your opinions, and I mean you no offense. I honestly apologize if I have offended.

And if I would have know I was getting graded I'd have pulled out the big guns.

peter said...

I know this thread is old, but I've been busy. Kristy

Why do you think that conservatives need to move to the center while liberals are moving farther from the center? Sure the republican party is divided and in disarray, but the democrats were in the same boat ten years ago. They didn't regroup by going toward the center, the leaders of the party (pelosi, reed, obama) are all extremely liberal. They have stood by what they thought was the right way to go (I assume) and why would you deride conservatives who are trying to do the same thing? There is room in the Republican party for a range of conservatives (I obviously don't agree with everything espoused by every Republican just as you would say the same about the Democrat party.)


I also don't think that this last election was as much a stamp of approval of Obama's politics as a rejection of Bush. Obama did not win by a landslide. Sure he's got good approval ratings, that's great. He's still in the honeymoon phase. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Byron said...

Sorry for the late response – had to wrap up finals this week.

First of all, thank you for your clever rebuttal of the previous posts, including mine. I’ve never seen the tactic of avoiding the issues almost entirely and just accusing the person of being angry employed before. Next time someone says something I don’t like, instead of facing the issues, I’m just going to accuse them of being an angry hate monger. Very clever!

Jake, I am not angry. In fact, I am somewhat glad we are where we are today. I’m glad the democrats are not only in charge of not only the presidency, but the house and senate as well. Do you know how excited I am the democrats are finally being put into the game to take the snap? When I used to play football there was this kid that was convinced he was all-state quarterback material and if only the coach would give him a chance! He used to sit on the sidelines and say to the other players “I wouldn’t have made that mistake” and “If I were in just then we would have scored a touchdown” and on and on it went. Well, one day the coach got so sick of his crap he finally put him in. Turns out, he made a complete @$$ of himself, as expected. The fact is, it is easy to say what you would have done or what you would do, but until you have your fingertips on the jockstrap of the 300 lb. center in front of you, you really can’t say jack. The democrats have enjoyed the luxury of Monday night quarterbacking some of the most perilous times in our country’s history these past few years, and I’m glad they finally have the opportunity to show us what they would do with the ball now that they have it.

To clarify my position, you are simply misinterpreting poll results. You are gleaning from them what you want to, which is that the unusually-high-for-Utah poll numbers indicate a radical shift in ideology. (And by the way, I love your self-righteous reproach of the Deseret News for being somewhat biased while you conveniently ignore the fact that almost every major news outlet in America is extremely liberal). For example, if I were asked if I currently support the job Republican congressmen are doing, I would vote no. Does this mean I’m a liberal now? No.

On the topic of Republican congressmen, I don’t know where you are getting your numbers, but approval for republican congressman has beensteadily rising during 2009, while approval for democratic congressmen has been steadily declining. Actually, if we look at the Rasmussen poll numbers for the national approval ratings for Obama, using your rationale the nation is already starting to abandon its liberal ideals (in only 100 days!) and lean back towards the right. Just rotate this graph 90 degrees and you can practically see the lean back to the right. Do you see it?
As far as the Nazi, socialist, fascist nonsense goes, I will address that in your “Is Obama a Socialist” or whatever blog. And by the way, to say that I was comparing Obama to a mass-murdering husband is an egregious misinterpretation of what I said. Re-read my post and you will see that that was not the analogy I made at all.

I am absolutely correct in that Obama duped the masses. I am a college student and believe me, those kids were duped. Have you ever heard of thousands of college students wearing t-shirts with a giant screen print of a current presidential candidate on them? No way! Normally presidential candidates are old farts babbling on about typical political crap that most kids just don’t care about. Social security? Welfare? Economic outlooks? Foreign policy? They get enough of that nonsense during lectures. I’ll be the first person to admit that Obama is a cool guy. If he were at a party I’m sure he’d be smack-dab in the center of it. He is everything that John McCain isn’t – which is a relic from the wax museum. Not even “get off my grass” old people were excited about McCain. The fact is, almost no one I talked to about McCain or Obama’s political views had any idea what they were. All they knew was that McCain was another George Bush, whom they were supposed to hate, and that Barack Obama was the latest craze who was going to change the world. He was merely a trend my friend, and nothing more, which is why all of those Obama t-shirts have been kindly donated to the D.I. as I have not seen more than a half-dozen or so since the election ended.

Why do you believe that democrats are the only ones who stand for environmental protection and regulation? Yes, it is true, the crazy environmentalists are all liberal, but that doesn’t mean that conservatives want to fire up a dozen new coal fired power plants, burn the redwood forests, and build a McDonalds on the top of El Capitan. In fact, conservatives are the biggest proponents of the greenest energy we have, which is nuclear energy. The environmentalists attack nuclear energy as a means of holding on to the entire environmentalist campaign. Couldn’t let those republicans do something good for the environment, so let’s start a bunch of fear mongering about nuclear waste storage! Obama claims to support nuclear energy as long as it is “safe”, but this is just code for “let’s ostensibly study the safety of nuclear energy while we drag the question out for another decade or two”. This happens to be something I know a great deal about, so if you want to debate this point feel free to start a new post.

Let me clarify my position on Obama changing his position every time he stood in front of a microphone. He didn’t change his position per se, but he always kept it very ambiguous and altered it heavily dependent upon the crowd he was speaking to. For instance, when he spoke in red states it was all “I’m going to protect your gun rights” this and “I’m going to allow

And as for your auto industry bailout comment – all I can say is read the newspapers. Chrysler is going bankrupt after all, and GM is on well on its way. It’s only a matter of time. Shouldn’t we have let them go bankrupt before giving them tens of billions of dollars? Isn’t this why bankruptcy exists? So companies can restructure? We have given these companies tens of billions of dollars and all it did was delay the inevitable. We treated a gunshot wound with morphine instead of removing the bullet. People like you keep shouting that massive unemployment will ensue if these companies are allowed to go under, which is absurd. People said the same thing about the steel industry in the 70’s. Jobs fell 71% in the steel industry as a result of technological advances that required very little manpower to pour a heat of steel. On top of that, many steel jobs moved to Japan as a result of much of the same crap that is going on with the auto industry – unions. Do you think WalMart, who employs 1.4 million people in the United States, would receive the same favor if they were going under? Your “I buy local” crowd would be in the streets cheering. The 1.4 million people be damned! They should have never worked for such an evil corporation to begin with, right?

You are missing one of the fundamental beauties of capitalism, which is that new auto manufacturers will be born out of the ashes of GM and Chrysler. You and your liberal friends are looking at the situation as a static analysis in that if companies go under, jobs will be lost, and massive unemployment will result. Capitalism is anything but static, and I assure you, those people will find work. And have you ever owned a GM? I assure you, the parts manufacturers will be just fine.

As for being a Mormon liberal, you either don’t understand liberalism or you don’t understand Mormonism. They are very incompatible ideas. The church has never stated that it is against civil unions for homosexuals, but it hasn’t stated that it is for them either. Those two things are not one in the same. Not being against something is not necessarily the same as being for it. I’m pretty sure the church’s position on men and women’s interaction with one another is spelled out in the Family Proclamation. Do you really believe that marriage is the end-game for homosexuals? Why is it that liberals vehemently strive for marriage rights for homosexuals while simultaneously declaring that marriage for straight couples is an anachronism? Do you really believe that homosexual marriage is the end-game? No. It is simply another wedge being driven into the traditional values of Americans. They are simply trying to win one battle at a time, and before long, traditional American ideals will have gone by the wayside.

What about Evolution? As a liberal (or anyone else for that matter) you are shunned for believing in anything but Evolution. Do you think God believes in evolution? Is evolution taught in the scriptures? No. If you want to be thrown out of the Democratic Party forever, start denouncing Evolution. See how far it gets you.

You can believe that Obama has the same position as the church’s when it comes to abortion all you want, but that is simply being naive. Obama is unapologetic about his pro-choice philosophy, and not just when the safety of the mother is concerned or whatever other BS reason he gives. He stated in one of his debates that “if my daughter gets pregnant, I don’t want her punishment for that mistake to be a baby”. Clearly his position after that remark is that abortion is a viable “plan B” for when you made a mistake. He also supports the FOCA act, which basically absolves all abortion regulation and control that currently exists, including late-term abortion.

If God wanted a world with no pain, no sin, no hurt feelings, no one making more money than someone else, etc. he would have created it that way? Isn’t that the world Satan wanted to create? Isn’t that what liberals seek to do? Create a world where no one loses money in bad investments, no one has to worry about getting their own healthcare, no one has to worry about getting ripped off at the used car lot, etc.? Don’t they seek to create a world which protects us from ourselves?

Isn’t charity and selfless service one of the key ingredients of the plan of salvation? When you pay your taxes, do you say to yourself “Man, I feel really good. I just gave to charity!” I guarantee not you nor anyone else feels that way. Do you think the person collecting a check from the IRS thinks, “I’m so grateful to the thousands of people out there working so hard to make this check possible.” No. By forcing charity through taxation you are robbing the giver and the benefactor of a moment to grow as human beings. Jesus said “love thy neighbor” but how can you love your neighbor when it is he whom you are working hard to support and it is neither him nor anyone else giving you any gratitude in return? It is an indisputable fact that democrats seek to force charity through taxation, not volition. This is the liberal ideal. People pay very high taxes in the interest of the public good, and in turn, the government will provide for you as necessary.

And finally, we are not “entrenching, kicking out moderates, and burying our heads in the sand”. We are doing what we should have done all along, which is realizing that sacrificing our ideals and playing nice with the democrats is retarded. Republicans are simply finding their way back to the path of wisdom. If you want to call that hate-mongering, fear-mongering, whatever, be my guest, but the facts don’t lie, and the fact is that CNN, CBS, NBC etc. are losing ground more quickly than they ever have in history, and FOX News and other conservative groups’ numbers are soaring. Since you are numbers kind of guy, you tell me what that means.

Jacob S. said...

Byron,

Most of this was standard anti-liberal Mormon arguments that we've heard before and responded to in this blog, so I'm not going to rehash it all again. We've addressed things such as media bias, evolution, abortion, taxes, etc. in this blog. You make some fair points, though, and we disagree in other places.

I'm still torn by nuclear energy. I haven't quite made up my mind. It is simply not the case, however, that it is the greenest energy we have. It doesn't emit GHG's, which is nice, but it involves invasive mining and radioactive waste. As opposed to energy sources like wind and solar and tides. So while I think nuclear energy has a place, it is certainly not going to be the cornerstone of our inevitable move towards a green-energy-dependent economy.

I don't think the auto bailouts were a great idea, but they are not clearly the worst idea the government ever had. The evidence shows, I think, that that major American industry would have been much worse off without some government help.

You wrote: "If God wanted a world with no pain, no sin, no hurt feelings, no one making more money than someone else, etc. he would have created it that way?" Do you honestly believe that God created pain and sin and love of money? I hope not. Do you think that God specifically created the Hitlers and Stalins of the world, that He created slavery, all because that's how he wanted the world? What he did is created a world where we have agency and he asked us to use it wisely. Some haven't and that has caused a lot of pain. That doesn't mean that we just shrug our shoulders and injustice and pain and say, "That's how God created the world, so that's what he wants." I believe it is our duty to make the world better. Oh, and I have never advocated that everyone should make the same amount of money.

Finally, I think as you get older you will say fewer things like, "you either don’t understand liberalism or you don’t understand Mormonism." After serving a mission, a lifetime of membership in the Church, callings in nearly every organization available to males, and sincere studying of the Gospel, I think I have a pretty good handle on it. I'm no Church scholar, by any means, and I don't claim special insight into doctrine or an increased amount of righteousness, but I think I get Mormonism. I also have spent quite a few years engaged in politics and political discussion, so I think I understand that pretty well, too. So lets keep those kind of comments in our back pockets and just think them smugly to ourselves from now on, shall we?

Jacob S. said...

I should also note that as I get older I will say fewer things like comparing arguments I don't like to killing puppies. We live and learn.

Byron said...

I’m not asking you to re-hash all of those arguments in this post, as each one of those subjects warrants an entire post of its own, and from your statement I guess they have. My intent was to get you thinking about whether Utahns (and Americans in general) really support Obama with this newfound discovery of who he really is, and who the party he represents really is as opposed to just relying on some positive poll numbers. I apologize if I have digressed unnecessarily in this post. I will try and bring the discussion back to the main issue of this post.

Over the last decade, democrats kept a lot of what they are now trying to accomplish under wraps because they knew it would alienate a lot of moderates, and they knew they weren’t going to win any elections simply by pandering to the far left. They had to rely on good old fashioned doublespeak on numerous issues for fear of alienating their far left supporters and more moderate voters at the same time. In this regard, Obama was a genius. He started out as the guy who would have fallen off of the left end of the bench in Washington had another democratic senator taken a seat. He convinced the far left that he was the champion they had sought for so long. He was the guy who was going to lead them to victory because he wasn’t just the guy who supported all of their far left ideals, but he was the guy who had all of the skills necessary to win. He had intelligence, youth, oratory, pop culture awareness, andrace, among other things (you know you could probably count the black folks who voted for McCain on one hand.) Combine that with an overwhelming hatred of the current administration, and he was the ideal candidate.

Unfortunately for Obama, there was still the lingering question of Hillary Clinton. She had her fair share of far left supporters, but more importantly, she had the “woman vote”. Not all women supported her, but a very large percentage of them did. Obama knew he was never going to win an election by simply pandering to the far left, as there just aren’t enough of those people. So he employed the classic technique of moving towards the center. This time around there presented a new and unique challenge for him, however, because he had to move towards the center while not losing far left votes to Hillary. He also didn’t want his far left supporters in the media to lose excitement about him and start giving more face time to Hillary. Obama and his campaign team orchestrated and performed this song and dance masterfully. I had to remind myself at times that, while this is what I’m seeing and hearing, this is what I know he and his party really stand for. You see, I have done my homework on what he (as much as I could at the time) and his party stands for, and the majority of Americans rely on the news, late-night television, and the talking heads to tell them what each candidate and party stands for. Because of this, he could move towards the center and most folks wouldn’t be the wiser.

Republicans were in the lead towards the beginning of the campaign while Obama and Hillary hashed it out for the liberal vote. Once Hillary was out of the picture, Obama could really move towards the center. At this point, he really didn’t need to worry about pissing off the far left because he had already secured the democratic nomination. Now that Obama was ostensibly a moderate, the poll numbers started to favor Obama and pretty much did so until election day, when the poll numbers became irrelevant. If you want proof of this, watch the speeches and debates on YouTube from the early election days and compare them to the speeches and debates towards the end of the campaign. This is another part of what I was essentially trying to say about Obama changing his platform. It’s not that it changed so much, but in this regard, he made it much less radical. And don’t think for a second that it was he who changed to represent a larger number of people, it was merely his campaign strategy that did.

In a nutshell, that is how Obama “won” in Utah. Now that he is in office and the democrats have secured the overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, they can do as they please and don’t have to worry about pissing off any conservatives. In fact, like you, I think they genuinely believe that the country is ready for their policies because of their overwhelming victory this last time around. This is where they are wrong, however. The country is not ready for their liberal policies, nor will it ever be so long as we choose to remain the America that the founding fathers intended us to be. Utahns and the country in general are seeing Obama and the rest of the democrats for who they really are and what they stand for, and are rejecting them faster than a prom queen rejecting a fat kid. The ones who aren’t either aren’t paying attention, which is how they got here in the first place, or they still aren’t convinced that this actually is what they stand for. In that last bit I’m talking about typical red-voting people who voted blue this time, and moderates, of course.

My comments heretofore have served to paint the picture of who Obama is, and not what people think he is. The question is much deeper than just “Are the numbers for Obama high or low”. That is a drastic oversimplification of the analysis. The analysis consists of a few simple questions which apply specifically to Utahns and generally to Americans: Do you think people want health care to be more affordable, environmental issues to be given more interest, companies saved from bankruptcy, women’s reproductive rights to be “protected”, and a war oversees ended at the expense of their core values? Ask yourself what the core values of Utahns are, and whether Obama and the democrats represent these core values, or whether they represent something very different. Remember, Obama et al. is a package deal. While some of what he might be trying to accomplish for us is good, a lot of it is not. I don’t necessarily disagree with his stance on healthcare. I think healthcare is way overpriced and should be more accessible to everyone, but I’m not going to take a victory for healthcare at the expense of everything else I believe in, nor do I think Utahns or the majority of Americans will either.

A quick point about nuclear power: Nuclear power is not, nor will it ever be, the solution to all of the worlds’ energy needs. Neither is wind, solar, tides, etc. Coal fired power plants provide a base of power which can be tapped into at any time: day, night, non-windy weather, and so on. There currently exists no means of storing energy generated by power plants, nor are there any proposals to do so, therefore power must be generated as it is needed. This is why wind and solar energy are not viable substitutes, among other reasons. Nuclear power provides energy around the clock, just like coal fired power plants. You have to compare apples to apples. Nuclear power needs to be compared to coal fired power plants, not wind and solar. Wind, solar, tides etc. are perfectly good ways to subsidize energy demands, but they are not alternative solutions. The storage of nuclear waste is a legitimate concern, but while we continue to debate this question, coal fired power plants continue to ravage the planet. I think it’s safe to say that the storage of nuclear waste has been proven to be safer than the billions of tons of waste emitted annually by coal fired power plants.

What evidence are you aware of that shows that American industry would be worse off without government help? As far as I’m concerned, the government help has only served to put us deeper into debt, convince China and other nations not to lend to us, which in turn will drive inflation up, and demonstrate to the American people that it is ok to spend money you don’t have. The last point there speaks to the question of what caused this problem and what is perpetuating the problem. Americans have started to see money as some abstract idea, and your capacity to purchase something is not limited by how much money you have, but by how good your credit score is. I understand that businesses need some flexibility for borrowing, and that borrowing money for business purposes is inevitable and necessary, but the majority of Americans are having problems because of consumer debt in the form of cars, houses, toys, etc. In short, demand went up, so production went up. Americans tapped themselves out financially, and the demand for the goods of the now-gigantic production monster dropped heavily. Products can’t be sold to people with no money or capacity to buy, so businesses failed, people lost jobs, so on and so forth, and now here we are. The last thing we should be doing is giving the banks money so they can continue to facilitate Americans’ bad habits. The bank bailouts were described as a means of saving the “industry” and the economy, but that is merely a ruse. All it will do is delay the day when Americans are forced to change their bad habits because there is no other alternative. We have already seen some of that change take place as purchases with cash are way up and purchases with credit cards are way down.

Lastly, I’m not saying that God created pain, sin, Hitler, etc. but like you said, God gave us agency and expects us to use it wisely. God knew that some people would not use their agency wisely, and in turn that would cause pain, discomfort, suffering, financial trouble, heartache, and sometimes, death. However, God being the smart guy he is allowed this to happen because these are the tools by which we might appreciate their counterparts. Without poverty you can’t appreciate wealth. Without despair you can’t appreciate hope, and without sickness you can’t truly appreciate life. I’m not saying you have to fully experience all of these things to appreciate the other, but I am saying that through trials and tribulations we experience the most growth. Through poor choices we learn. Through trial and error we gain wisdom.

I have made many mistakes in my life and I have paid the price for many of them. I’m sure I will pay the price for the rest of them later. Of this I am certain: I have grown and become a better person as a result of the mistakes I have made, and I am a much better person than I would have been had I been prevented from making those mistakes. Some of life’s hardest lessons to learn are the most painful, but in the end, they are lessons you will never forget. Of course I am in favor of making the world a better place, but not by making peoples decisions for them and not by protecting people from themselves.

Jacob S. said...

What I find charming is that Pres. Obama received almost 70 million votes in the 2008 election, including many of the most intelligent and successful people in the nation. Since then, with ever more information, his popularity and approval ratings have increased.

And yet you come along, Byron, as our great savior, to "paint the picture of who Obama is, and not what people think he is." As if you have some secret information that the entire rest of the nation has lacked, or some keen insight that no one has thought of. So my question is, do you think 1) Americans are that incredibly stupid or 2) you alone in America have some special powers?

Byron said...

Wow, was that really your response? If anything is not the way I say it is, feel free to prove me wrong. Isn't that kindof the point?

I don't even know what you are trying to say in that response. Special powers?? If special powers include reading, listening, an analytical eye, and good old fashioned logic are special powers then yes, I do have special powers. *You're healed*

I guess you didn't read my post or else you would know what I have to say about the 70 million votes he recieved.

I'm sure you wont answer this, because you never do, but again, what evidence do you have that shows Obama's popularity and approval ratings are improving? So far this is what I see with my special powers of Google (you mere mortals will discover Google in about 1600 years)

Rasmussen ReportsObama's Poll Numbers are Falling to EarthPollster

Byron said...

By the way, the links got clumped together. They are 3 different links to 3 different polls. I used the first 3 that came up on google.

As an aside, I'm beginning to think that the purpose of this site is to serve as a gathering place for liberal mormons to sit around and wax philosophical while they give eachother sensual back massages and tell eachother how great they are and how englightened they are because they have solved two of the most complex puzzles in existence: Politics and religion. If you are rich, then you can really tell people where to stick it!

You claim you want discussion of both sides of the issue, but in reality you do not. Whenever the "other side" makes valid points, you simply ignore them or take little pot-shots at them without really proving or disproving anything. Does this tactic actually work in court? OH well, perhaps I should be used to this liberal tactic by now.....