Another talking point demolished: congressional approval

Discussion in 'Politics' started by mindseye, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. mindseye

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    Ever since the 2006 midterms, we've heard folks like faceking, Trinity, Biggin', 11INCHCOK, and 1BiGG1 have bleated the talking point that approval ratings for the Democratic-led Congress were even lower than those of George W. Bush.

    I've rebutted that talking point before (here, for example) -- it was true only in an apples-to-oranges sort of way, and not as a comparison of equal things. But now, even that comparison is no longer true:

    An Ipsos/McClatchy poll released earlier this month shows that the number of Americans who approve of the job Congress is doing has risen from 19% in August 2008 to 37% in February 2009. An Opinion Dynamics poll commissioned by FOX News (!) shows approval for Congress doubling from 20% to 40% over the same period.

    CNN paints a less rosy outlook for Congress as a whole: In a poll earlier this month, they peg Congressional approval at only 29%. But this poll went further, asked for Congressional approval by party: Approval of the Democratic leadership in Congress was a whopping sixty percent.

    An aside, while I'm looking up polling information: 62% of Americans favor government investigation into the use of torture during the Bush administration (source).
     
  2. midlifebear

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    I'm looking forward for a moment sometime after Obama's first 100 days when the new government can look into and charge the former mover and shakers (Karl Rove comes to mind as well as the ex Vice President and his fear-mongering sneer) for crimes against The State. At least Bush didn't acknowledge that anyone (except Scooter Pooter Libby) had done anything wrong by handing out carte blance stay-out-of-jail cards for those bastards on his last day as President.
     
  3. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    I suppose a logical response would be how do approval ratings compare to actual performance

    that is, if you have a deluded electorate blindly following and believing a leader's rhetoric, then that leader follows through his stated program, then naturally the electorate would assign their approval

    the early years of Adolph Hitler come to mind, when his program projected Germany onto the world stage as a powerful actor, following their defeat and weakened status following WWI, before Germany was led down in flames
     
    #3 B_Nick4444, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  4. mindseye

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    Ah, so when you can't blame the Congress anymore, blame the voters instead.

    I'm curious as to what you think is the source of this "delusion".
     
  5. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Yes, because approval ratings are the index of choice when measuring if things are getting done the way they should be done.
     
  6. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    the reference to the electorate follows from the reference to poll -- who is showing approval? the electorate

    if the Congress is in step withe the Obama program, then they are following Obama, hence, approval would be assigned to them, as a result

    by posing that question (I'm curious as to what you think is the source of this "delusion".) are you trying to refer back, by way of comparison, to the preceding administration?

    (oh, BTW, the use of the word "delusion" was a way of framing an anticipated response from the contra position, the anti-Obamite view)
     
    #6 B_Nick4444, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  7. mindseye

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    So, where have you been the past two years when the Republicans on this site were hammering Congressional approval ratings at every opportunity. You're snarkily dismissive of them only now that they're on the rise?
     
  8. mindseye

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    I didn't say anything about the previous administration. You, on the other hand, brought up Adolf Hitler.

    (Mike Godwin would be so proud.)
     
  9. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Hahaha.

    Not that those polls ever mattered to me. In a discussion they are simply irrelevant.

    But, it isn't hard to go up when you are already at the rock bottom. Where else can you go?
     
  10. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    just by way of analogy to the reference of approval ratings

    an example of the electorate approving a trajectory that would eventually lead to disaster

     
  11. AllHazzardi

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    So the way I'd read it is that if FOX thought they were doing better, it means they were going along with Republican plans. This would mean that they were being less Democrats and more Republicans. This would also mean that a larger number of democrats, on average, are voting conservative more often. Therefore the approval rating being higher means the democrat led congress would've lost approval of true democrats as they gained more favor in republican opinion.

    So... The poll being higher means the congress was actually performing less for what the voters intended during election.
     
  12. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Nick4444:

    You've just managed to compare Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler. The ultimate right-wing nutjob fantasy.

    You write about a "deluded electorate" (meaning, here, the american electorate who was fed up with republican rule over the past 8 years - and decided to vote in an alternative ideology).... "blindly following" a leader's rhetoric (a very clear-headed, sound, thinking man that actually engages the american public, actually talks to the congress, engages the press with thought-out, circumspect reasoning... all a welcome relief after the bulldozing "my way or the highway" tactics of GWB)....


    Then you proceed to liken this scenario to Hitler (you muse: "the early years of Adolph Hitler come to mind...").



    Godwin's Law (Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) states: "As an internet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."[

    Also, whoever first brings up Hitler or Nazi comparisons into the discussion has lost the argument....
     
  13. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    no

    not comparing Obama to Hitler at all!

    the point was raised of electorate approval

    the point I was trying to raise was -- if a leader articulates a program, gets agreement on that program by the electorate, who votes him in, then approves his implementation of that program, then naturally, the electorate would grant their approval

    the contra response I am anticipating would go along the lines of raising the question whether that address the substantialness, or validity of the program being pursued

    Germany was just an historical example of what I was stating

     
  14. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    That's point number one, Will.

    Point number two is that I suspect that the only reason Mindseye hasn't included Nick4444 in this stellar, head-of-the-class bunch,
    faceking, Trinity, Biggin', 11INCHCOK, and 1BiGG1 ,is because he didn't join until November, 2007.
     
  15. mindseye

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    That might be the way you'd read it, but it's certainly a stretch. FOX commissioned a company called Opinion Dynamics to poll members of the electorate, and not members of FOX's executive board and staff. To conclude that the poll represented what "FOX thought" strikes me as a leap.

    Not as much of a leap as comparing Democrats to Nazis, though.
     
  16. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    It's safe to say that the approval ratings are based on our current government's actions and the way they are trying to handle things, not based on any results. We all know that it's going to take a lot longer than a month, 100 days or even 1-2 years, to see how any of the government's actions are going to affect us. But the fact that we now have a president that has no problems talking to the American people in a diplomatic and intelligent way speaks volumes. These results would only seem "delusional" to someone who actually believes that the actions of our previous president were better. And to be very honest, there's no way anyone could agree with that. I mean, some conservatives don't even want Democrats to "beat the dead horse" that is Bush because deep down even THEY know how messed up government was with he and his people in office.

    But hey, it's always the voice of crazy people when their voice doesn't line up with yours, right? :biggrin1:
     
  17. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    :aargh4:

    there was NO comparison being made, except to the process of electorate approval!

    (fortunately, I gotta go!)

    :eek:uttahere:
     
  18. mindseye

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    The members that I did include specifically used Congressional approval ratings in a fallacious way (by comparing them directly to the approval ratings of then-president Bush*) -- and I linked each name to an incident where they did so. I didn't find any posts where Nick4444 did so.

    *I love saying "then-president Bush".
     
  19. midlifebear

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    OK, this is going a bit off subject, but how many of you (I'll raise my hand first) understand or speak German? Have you ever read Mien Kampf translated into English? (I'll raise my hand again.) So, when someone blithely invokes the name Hitler does anyone on this thread understand the absolute hair-raising fear Hitler's speeches caused across the world at a time when no one thought there could ever be another World War? That Western Civilization was too civilized to ever allow such a thing to happen again? Or the chill one felt when hearing one's parents speak in whispered voices, "I'm afraid we're headed for another war"? Oy!

    I worry about those who think they have a grasp of Hitler's "approval rating" or just how, exactly, an otherwise well-educated European population was conned into allowing Hitler, et al, come to power. That was a particular part of human history that The West has yet to see again or come close to repeating itself -- yet. Although much of Africa and Indonesia have recently dealt with worse problems. But they aren't "white" nations and no one really seems to care. Regardless, there is absolutely no comparison to be made between Obama's popularity and the rise of the Third Riech. (Please excuse my misspellings, I said I can understand and speak German. I can't necessarily remember how to write it.)

    I would encourage some posters to use just a bit of caution and pull back the breaks a little before they make comparisons or allude to an era that 1. They never lived through, and 2. Only understand via hear say rather than literally listening to the rhetoric of an era that is quite easy to access, watch, and listen to -- if you can understand German. Translations of Hitler's "get out the vote" inspiring rants into English leave out a great deal of the horror embedded in the original messages. Also, at that same time in world history the Italian word propoganda didn't carry the same definition that it now has. It originally meant "to show and propogate the best" of a culture.

    You may now go back to your regular programming.

    (And why doesn't anyone ever drag up yea old Vice President Agnew when sifting through the ancient kitty litter of the GOP? Just asking.)

    This message is brought to you by the people at Kraft (werks), makers of fine-tasting macaroni and cheese-like food products.
     
    #19 midlifebear, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  20. VeeP

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    Fixed that for you. :smile:

    I'll wager 60% (or greater) of the populace doesn't know who the Democratic leadership is, much less know nearly enough about what's going on to possess an informed opinion. The likes of Jay Leno and David Letterman prove it regularly.
     
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