Wednesday, February 25, 2015


One victory for Rudy Giuliani: He's got us asking, in all seriousness, whether President Obama really does love America.

The question is asked in two new polls. The first one is from Rasmussen, and even though the pollster's surveys usually have a rightward skew, it shows that a majority of respondents actually do think Obama loves his country:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with this statement made last week by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- “I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” Just over half (51%) disagree with this comment, but another 14% are not sure.
However, Republicans overwhelmingly believe Obama doesn't love America:
Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republican voters do not believe Obama loves the nation he leads. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Democrats and unaffiliated voters by a 48% to 33% margin say that’s not true.
And a YouGov poll yields similar results:
Overall, 47% of respondents said they believe the president loves his country while 35% said he does not. But the split between Democrats and Republicans on the issue is what was truly striking. While 85% of Democrats believe Obama loves America and just 6% say he does not, a whopping 69% of Republicans came down on Giuliani’s side while just 11% said the opposite.

Dear pollsters: Please keep polling this question. But don't just poll it in reference to Obama. I want to know whether Americans think Hillary Clinton is patriotic, or George W. Bush, or John Boehner, or Nancy Pelosi. And I'd like to see the breakdown by party. I'd also like to know whether Republicans think the typical Democrat loves or hates America, and vice versa.

I have no hard evidence for this, but I have a gut sense that Republicans, if asked, would say that every contemporary Democrat is unpatriotic. But I don't believe Democrats would say the same thing about Republicans. We can't go back in time, yet I think the majority of Democrats would have said George W. Bush loves his country, even at the low point of his popularity.

The fact is, most Democrats aren't fire-breathing ideologues. Election results show that we're approximately at 50-50 nation -- Democrats do better in presidential elections, Republicans in other elections, but there's a rough balance overall -- and yet Gallup's ongoing surveys of ideology show that there are far more self-identified conservatives in America than self-identified liberals. The remainder of Americans call themselves moderates -- and these days, I assume, a greater percentage of those moderates vote Democratic.

I don't even think it's a reflex for dyed-in-the-wool liberals to accuse conservatives of disloyalty to the country. Sure, we make "Why does [X] hate America?" jokes, and sometimes they're more than jokes, but lack of patriotism is rarely the first charge in our indictments of Republicans. And Democratic politicians rarely talk this way -- yes, conservatives never stop whining about the fact that Obama once said it was "unpatriotic" for Bush to run up large debts, but even then Obama wasn't saying that Bush was essentially unpatriotic -- he just said that that was an unpatriotic deed.

When we have right-wingers like Glenn Reynolds arguing that vast swaths of the U.S. electorate are unpatriotic, I think it's clear that there's a large McCarthyism gap between the parties. So let's survey it. Do Republicans really believe that everyone who disagrees with them is a traitor? Are Democrats less inclined to think that way? And if so, what does that say about our continued ability to coexist -- and about who, exactly, is dividing us as a nation?


Victor said...

It's pretty obvious to me, but, since I'm a liberal, I'm biased:

Conservatives believe anyone less conservative than they are, is unpatriotic.

Raymond Smith said...

I have found that the GOP members around where I live believe that I am not patriotic. You should see the look on their faces when they find out I am a veteran and I point out more and many more veterans feel betrayed by the GOP and are voting Democratic. See I volunteered in the 1970's. The GOP members run when I ask about their military service and or any deferments.

Danp said...

My only question is how many people answer these questions rather than hang up. And why!? How can there be people who are not offended by this nonsense?

Ten Bears said...

Judging by the way they recently treated the most popular Governor in the history of the State of Oregon, just months ago elected to an unprecedented fourth term with the highest number of votes ever recorded: cut his throat, ripped his balls off and tossed him to the jackels, I'd say yeah, the fucking democrats hate America. It's clear they hate Oregon and they are welcome to get the fuck out of my home town, out of my family's home state for seven generations and crawl back into whatever sewer they crawled out of because they're not welcome here.

As a lifelong No Party Affiliation voter I long ago often voted for Retards when I thought they were best suited for the position, but that was long ago and these day's I won't even vote for the Retards I personally know. And as a No Party Affiliation voter I recently twice actively campaigned for both Merkley, who like me is of a logging/milltown background and the first of his family to go to college, and yes, I campaigned for Obama. Twice. Never again.

I will never again vote for a democrat.

Emphasis on rat.

Joey_Blau said...

I swear that republicans answer these questions just to piss of liberals... Is Obama the antichrist? Is evolution theory the work of satan? Do tax cuts generate more income? Are blacks all on welfare? Yes yes yes..

No one can really believe these things...

Anyway "about who, exactly, is dividing us as a nation?" - the answer is you Steve... you are the cause...

sdhays said...

I used to believe that Republican politicians were patriots who love our country with whom I had policy disagreements. Years ago, that was even true, at least about some of them. I no longer believe that. I don't believe Mitt Romney is a patriot. I don't believe Jeb Bush is a patriot. I don't believe Scott Walker is a patriot. John Boehner is not a patriot and neither is Mitch McConnell. And the Koch brothers and their ilk are feudalists. They want to destroy the American republic (such as it is) and ensure everyone is controlled by a member of the aristocracy.

I really can't watch them wage an ongoing class war on the majority of the people who make up the country and call that a policy difference. They're not patriots and they don't love this country. They want to rob it and use its wealth and power to rob the rest of the world too.