Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kos vs. Reality

Remember the Kos poll of self-identified Republicans? Leftists embraced it as evidence conservatives are extremists. In fact, most answers merely confirmed that Republicans are closer to the mainstream than Markos Moulitsas (who's writing a book calling conservatives an "American Taliban").

Still, at the time, I thought some of the poll results -- particularly regarding President Obama -- did not reflect my views or those of conservative friends. Others were were skeptical about the Kos poll's methodology. So it's useful to compare John Hawkins' tally on Right Wing News when he asked a small sample of right-of-center bloggers a sub-set of ten Kos questions.

I was among the bloggers polled; my answers were:
1) Oppose
2) No
3) No
4) No
5) No
6) No
7) Yes
8) No
9) No
10) No
Questions and full results here.


Geoffrey Britain said...

Hey Carl,

On 8 and 10 we appear to disagree.

Which of course, makes us 80% in agreement.

On 8 you indicated in the negative to the question. Obama may be even worse and actually be a leftist but how can you say that at the least, Obama is not a socialist?

On 10 you may be right but I see no other explicative rationale for Obama's behavior, (SOTU speech, executive orders, various comments, consensus that he's doubled down) than that he still intends to have his Health Reform Bill.

If that is in fact so, then I believe Rep. Ryan is correct in his assessment that Pelosi is hard at work, quietly gaining the votes needed to pass in the House, the Senate version unchanged.

That will ignite a political firestorm but I believe Obama, Pelosi et al to be so focused upon their goal that they not only don't care, they really don't realize what the repercussions will be.

Bayh was right, if Mass. isn't a wake-up call, nothing is going to awaken them before the mid-term elections.

If Obama rams his bill down the throats of a recalcitrant public and then starts signing executive orders to essentially rule-by-fiat, he's going to lead the dems over a political cliff edge that they may not recover from for decades.

And if after the Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate...Obama doubles down again and starts issuing even more radical executive orders, a Constitutional crisis may well develop and impeachment will become a real possibility.

Another factor is that Obama's own CIA Director Panetta recently testified before Congress that the CIA expects more attacks by Al Qaeda in 3 to 6 months...if so, goodbye Brennan, Napolitano and perhaps Holder which will create great turmoil in Obama's administration.

None of these however are part of Obama's 'gang of four' his closest advisers, so his responses to events may continue to be of the 'doubling down' nature.

Liberals are going to continue to get hammered, 2010 is shaping up to be a real barn-burner of a year.

Carl said...


Number 8 was the toughest to answer. I think Obama's a leftist communitarian, but not necessarily an anti-capitalist. Perhaps my "no" answer is more hope than reality.

On number 10, I think it clear that the Democrat bill is dead. Passage remains possible for some stripped-down bill, more like Ryan's than Pelosi's.

Even after the Bayh announcement, I still predict a minimum 51 Democrat Senators in 2011. As for the House, I think Republicans pick up about 12 seats, still under a majority. Though short of Republican control, this still would make 2010, as you say, a barn-burner.

Geoffrey Britain said...

Normally I would agree that the Health Reform Bill is dead. But my 'little voice' is telling me not to believe it until it is in its grave with daisies blooming merrily above.

Watch for a surprise announcement in March.

Though you may be right, we strongly disagree about the probability of mid-term results.

I'm convinced that the country's mood is such that the Republicans are going to easily regain control of both chambers.

I suspect that the economy, whether Obama forces through an unchanged Senate version of the Health Care Reform Bill and the success of any attacks by Al Qaeda will be the determining factors in which of us is correct in his predictions.

Bob in Los Angeles said...


You are much better at painting a landscape of the status quo than predicting the future. It will be a massacre in 2010 with Republicans gaining both houses. Check this space on November 30th for confirmation.


P.S. To say Obama is a socialist would be too kind to him. He is a statist, certainly... and the most socialist president ever. He is also a racist as well. Have you forgotten about Skip?

OBloodyHell said...

1) Oppose
2) No*
3) No
4) No*
5) No*
6) No
7) Yes
8) Yes
9) No
10) No

The "*" are ones I don't like answering "yes or no" to, because there are nuances to the issue in question which I believe would render my answer either way:

2) I don't think it's a certainty, but I would not rule it out, either -- I do believe he's a racist on several levels, both as a black man and as a liberal. "Hates white people"? Can't really say.

4) I think that perhaps another commission should be invoked, just like in 1993, to survey the matter for its effects on unit cohesion. The current population in the military may not care, and if that's so, then sure. Short of that, I go with "no" on the presumption that attitudes have not changed sufficiently without any evidence to indicate a likelihood otherwise.

5) I believe there are issues which make it socially unacceptable. I do believe there are some aspects of marriage -- visitation in hospitals, tax benefits, and other things, which might be acceptable, hence "civil unions", some aspects of which should not be applicable to all marital status situations (employment health plans, for example). I do not believe I've investigated the pros and cons sufficient to consider my opinion on this to be well-founded, however.

Carl said...

OBH: Regarding #4, would you be in favor of a single barracks housing both male and female enlisted personnel? Would you encourage your hypothethical daughter to join such a military? If not, than what's the difference?

Regarding #5, with the exception of SS and military benefits, all other aspects can be "contracted-around." I would favor changing the SS and other benefit laws to allow recognition of same sex partners. If such a change were enacted, would that suffice?

GB and Bob in LA: My heart hopes you're right. But my head doesn't count that high. BTW, I rely on Charlie Cook's report.

Carl said...

GB and Bob in LA: My House seat projection actually was a typo--I meant a 22 seat Republican pick-up.

OBloodyHell said...

> OBH: Regarding #4, would you be in favor of a single barracks housing both male and female enlisted personnel? Would you encourage your hypothethical daughter to join such a military? If not, than what's the difference?

I think this comes down to what works. Would you be in favor of an office in which males and females work together? (I am sure I can find a lot of Muslim fanatics who disagree with your likely answer).

Would your barracks be ok if only we had gay males with females? Or gay women with males?

The true issue is basically how would such a thing affect/disrupt morale and unit cohesion. I know how I'd respond (I think -- in truth it actually probably depends on the specific individuals involved), but don't assume that my own reaction/attitude is the "norm".

Again -- I cite only the question of what works in practice.

Last time I checked, my health club doesn't make a distinction over the sexual preference of those guys using the locker rooms. Yeah, I can "not use the locker room", if it really bugged me, unlike the military personnel in question, but there are other ways besides outright banning which MIGHT work with this issue.

In no sense am I arguing in favor of gays in the military -- just that it's one of those things subject to review which probably ought to be reconsidered on a regular basis for the time being -- about once every 15-20 years. It is certainly (and reasonably!) based on a perception more than any actual inherently natural attitude.

OBloodyHell said...

re: #5, as I said, I don't consider my position on that well-founded. If I was in a position to make a significant vote on it (state-level or above) I'd probably be more interested in actually doing so. Until that point, consider my position "remarkably soft"

As far as the makeup of Congress, I'd suggest that in any places where the incumbent is leaving, even where the winner is a likely Democrat, that one is much more likely to get a "DIMO" or actual centrist Dem than any sort of leftard. And I'd suspect that, as with Mass., that there will be a substantial shift towards the center-right even including the incumbent/Dem seats.

The Dems have pissed off a lot of people, and there's hell to pay.

Carl said...

OBH: re #4, I presume we each agree that women in the military would oppose combined barracks. If so, my question is what evidence would be enough to convince you to overrule that view. Yes, I know I've ignored your other hypos, but I consider the above the critical issue.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Back to the definition of Obama as socialist, above.

European socialists have always used a lot of capitalism to get the money to do the things they want. The Swedes, for example, share very nicely with other Swedes, but are as free-market competitive as everyone else when dealing with other nations. The more traditional definitions of socialism no longer have that many followers. I suppose we should be glad of that, at least. Everyone knows you need market competitiveness to make money for your people. The difference is that modern folks who go under the socialist banner are more high-regulation, big government types who believe we should harness all this free-market moolah to build a Really Fair Society. They believe that taxation and redistribution don't really hinder things that much because...

Well, because they shouldn't, y'know? If everyone was nice, then we would have plenty. Therefore, the problem is that not enough people are nice. So they should be made to be, because they'll see later how much better it is.

So Obama fits very much this European model of socialism - were he a German he would be in a party with the word "socialist" in the title. It's just that socialists aren't purists anymore. Most, I would venture to say, really don't want there to be a 100% redistribution even if you gave them unlimited power. They just believe you can get away with 60-70% socialism and not kill the goose.

Carl said...

AVI raises a good point--Obama would be in the SDP were he German. Perhaps GB was right.

suek said...

>>They just believe you can get away with 60-70% socialism and not kill the goose.>>

Especially if you don't have to support a particularly strong military budget. Do you suppose this is part of the reason for the anti-military stance? They think that because Europe has been peaceful since WWII two and hasn't had much of a defense budget - which means they can have money for socialism - that we should also be able to do the same?

Of course...we've been the ones supplying the defense, which makes ours higher. They ignore that little detail. Sometimes I think we _should_ consider isolationism and the the rest of the world go to hell in a handcart...

suek said...

By the way...re: gays in the military.

At present, if the homosexual just does his/her job, there's no problem. The problem arises when someone decides that their desire to make their sexual preferences known are more important than military regulations. Their problem is that at present, they can't really sue for discrimination.

Permit open service of homosexuals in the military and I'd be willing to bet that lawsuits go from 0 to 60 in nothing flat. You can't argue discrimination if your preference isn't known...if it's known, then obviously, it's a factor that can be milked. That's my guess as to why it's so important for homosexuals to be permitted to serve openly...

Carl said...


I'm not sure that's the motivation, but I fully agree it will be one of the results.