IT'S STILL BUBBA'S COUNTRY -- WE JUST LIVE IN IT
Two depressing stories. First, that damn ABC/Washington Post poll:
Disapproval of President Obama's handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president “strongly” negative reviews on the 2012 presidential campaign’s most important issue, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Increasingly pessimistic views of Obama's performance on the economy -- and on the federal budget deficit -- come despite a steadily brightening employment picture and other signs of economic improvement....
Among registered voters, Obama is now on par with Romney (47 percent for the president, 49 percent for Romney) and Santorum (49 to 46 percent). Previously, Obama held significant advantages over both....
And then there's this, from Jonathan Chait at New York magazine:
Obama Still Muslim, Report Southern Republicans
... PPP asks Republicans in Alabama, "Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?" Guess how many say Christian? 14%! Among the remaining 86%, "Muslim" slightly leads "not sure," 45%-41%. ("Not sure" may by the demographic Rick Santorum is reaching out to when he accuses Obama of peddling a "phony theology.")
But the Alabama Republicans are a thoroughly trusting lot in comparison with their Mississippi brethren. Among Mississippi Republicans, just 12% say Christian, 52% say Muslim, and 36% aren't sure.
The poll also finds that two-thirds of the Republicans in both states do not believe in evolution....
The renewed sense of optimism on our side has even gotten to me lately -- I've been thinking that Obama appears likely to win, with Romney appealing mostly to old, bitter, sex-averse, subtly (or not-so-subtly) white-supremacist, Fox-obsessed voters.
But the GOP base isn't a remnant. It's not just old whites -- it's all those middle-aged straight-white-guy Rick Warren clones in beards and relaxed-fit jeans who live away from the West Coast and northern East Coast, kick Toby Keith in the pickup truck, attend megachurches, still think Saddam was responsible for 9/11, don't see what's so terrible about the Stars and Bars, and hate government even though they and their families fully avail themselves (or intend to avail themselves) of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment benefits, public schools (far more people still rely on public education than on homeschooling), FEMA help in disasters, and on and on and on. These people are still typical Americans.
A week ago, I might have rejected Chait's linkage of Santorum's "phony theology" remark to this poll about Obama's faith -- after all, Santorum was actually accusing Obama of being reluctant to approve exploration for domestic oil and natural gas, and using "theology" in a metaphorical way to some extent. But it's all the same thing for these people, isn't it? Caution regarding oil drilling and fracking = Gaia-worship elitism and disrespect for blue-collar guys with dirty fingernails and coddling of jihadists and (inevitably) higher gas prices (pay no attention to global demand and speculators), and also = Ayers/Wright/Derrick Bell, which = THAT HUG! It's all a grand unified abomination in the eyes of any God-fearing Christian.
This is why, even against the worst, most doomed-seeming GOP presidential ticket you could possibly imagine -- O'Donnell/Paladino! Bachmann/Angle! -- any Democrat would automatically enter the race with a ceiling of 53% of the popular vote (only LBJ in '64 has done better for the Dems since 1944), and why the GOP enters every race with seventeen guaranteed-win states totaling 128 electoral votes, and a lot more in the near-lock category.
Right-wing ignorance still dominates our political landscape. And Democrats still win, and seemingly will always win, only when Republicans make dreadful political errors.