Andrew Kohut: Right to Blame for GOP Image Problems
Monday, 25 Mar 2013 11:28 AM
By Dan Weil
The Republican Party has moved itself so far to the right that it’s losing relevance with voters, says Andrew Kohut, former president of the Pew Research Center.
“In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today,” he writes in The Washington Post.
That was the late 1960s to early ’70s, when the Democrats were influenced by left-wing Sens. Gene McCarthy and George McGovern. Theirs was known as the party of “acid, abortion, and amnesty,” notes Kohut, who also was formerly the president of the Gallup Organization.
“While there are no catchy phrases for the Republicans of 2013, their image problems are readily apparent in national polls,” he says. “The GOP has come to be seen as the more extreme party, the side unwilling to compromise or negotiate seriously to tackle the economic turmoil that challenges the nation.”
The dominance of the right wing has clearly hurt the GOP’s popularity, Kohut notes. A Pew Research Center poll last month showed the party’s favorability ratings have dropped to a 20-year low.
Only 33 percent of Americans view Republicans favorably, while 58 percent view them unfavorably. As for the Democrats, 47 percent have a favorable view of the party and 46 an unfavorable view.
“The GOP has come to be seen as the more extreme party, the side unwilling to compromise or negotiate seriously to tackle the economic turmoil that challenges the nation.”
Yes, that pretty much sums it up and it will remain this way until they get voted out. Well hopefully, there are so many gerrymandered in, that may not happen either any time soon. Hopefully the republican party will take action to right itself? Im not holding my breath.
I saw a discussion on TV during which a political analyst observed that whereas the republican party used to be two rather separate branches - the fiscal/policy conservatives and the social conservatives now the two branches have merged completely. He admitted that formerly the two branches did overlap on issues but the republican party used to attract fiscally conservative democrats or democrats who favored the republican policy on military issues or political issues. Now, the pro-life republican is a pro-gun republican is a no-tax republican is a no same-sex marriage republican is the evangelical Christian republican and all the way down the line. And, I think he makes a valid point.
And what I see as a real problem is the fact that, in my opinion, the republicans don't see reality. I know I harp on the polls and Nate Silver but I do so because I am honestly fascinated by the fact that the republicans never saw what was coming and yet it was clearly there for anyone to see. They really thought Romney was going to win and they maintained that belief even after it was clear that he didn't win. And now, when the polls say that the majority of American favor same-sex marriage I saw a republican argue that the polls are wrong. I don't know what you guys think and I do acknowledge that polls aren't always right on but when all of the polls indicate that our country has shifted significantly on this issue I tend to believe the polls. I am just confounded by this type of behavior. Is it really as simple as they cannot accept the fact that America is changing in very fundamental ways?
Speaking as a Republican here . . . a lonely Republican. I still think favorably of the Republican party. I am not a fan of some of the far right social ideas andw would like to see more moderate views there as well as wanting the Republicans in Washington and elsewhere to work with the Democrats better. But I still have faith in the party and trust them.
Is it really as simple as they cannot accept the fact that America is changing in very fundamental ways?
I do believe that is the case for many of the extreme right.
Just like they want to deny the diverse make up of people that *are* this country, they deny global warming because they don't want Government restrictions that may adversely affect them, yet they demand Government restrictions when it comes to their beliefs that are based on religious dogma.
I think the more moderate Republicans see the writing on the wall, so to speak and hope to reform the party in time.
I really don't think there are many moderate republican left. There really isn't any room for them. And the few that may be left certainly cannot affect the selection of candidates in primary elections as was made crystal clear in the last couple of election cycles.I see them as having painted themselves into a corner with very limited options left.
I tend to agree with you on that, but 'hope springs eternal'.
We cannot deny that nearly half the population are conservatives and my guess is maybe half of them would be content with a more moderate party. That is enough to make things work. If 3/4 of the population is onboard with the Government as a whole and if the Government has enough moderate (sane) conservatives to have a voice, the Government can do its job and the people can feel a little less like we are on the brink of civil war.
This secessionist, anti Obama rhetoric is extremely dangerous to our country and we need to get a grip on it. It is hate mongering and unpatriotic. I have to believe that the majority of Americans don't really want to take that path.
All I know for sure is it seems that they are miles away from what the people say they want. It seems they care not what the majority wants, but what the party expectations are for them to keep their job. So what do you do when those you elected to serve your needs are bowing to a different god? I have heard certain ones come out and voice their agreement to things like same sex marriage and even immigration, and then by the next morning, there is a statement stepping it back. Clearly being controlled by the party line. I see that as the main problem.
I think what El is getting at is that believe it or not, those of us that are Republican still trust and believe in conservative policies more than Democratic leaders and their policies. That is the case for me.
I always think it is interesting that when I post on the CE, you'd think I'm one of maybe 3 Replublicans left in the country. When I'm out and about in the 'real world' it never feels that way to me. Heck, I got called a liberal at a party recently when politics came up and I voiced an opinion!
I do agree that I don't like bashing of presidents. I may not be a fan of Obama but he is still our president deserving of respect. I have noticed for years that people love to slam whomever is president. I heard hateful things about Clinton. That's really my first memory of serious nastiness. And ironically, wasn't that about the time that shows like Limbaugh and such became popular? Oh, and Bush bashing has become an All American past time. And now Obama also gets the viper tongue in his direction. But, the division between the parties is getting worse and worse. The contentious mood is overwhelming to me sometimes. I think we all need to check ourselves and try not to contribute to it. I can respect other people's opinions and always hope they can respect mine. I'm more conservative than many here but less so than others in the country. But we are all Americans entitled to believe as we do.
That was a little preachy. sorry. Feeling deep tonight.
I think we have all agreed (except maybe for Vance) that the Republican Congress is not doing their job. That many of them behave in an infantile and contentious manner and that they are sooo determined not to work with the President that we are now as a country falling apart.
Congress hopes they can end up blaming the President for this and while he does at times disappoint me, he at least is holding his ground and trying to make it work.
It goes back to that Norquist pledge. They will not give in on taxes and as a result we have the sequester and the consequences of the sequester will come to all of us.
I know there are decent and fair-minded Republicans who would do their jobs if they were not being run by the ultra conservatives.
As long as the ultra's have power, they will try to force the States to deny the rights of people, shut down planned parenthood, continue to pretend that the country is made up of just white wealthy Christians and leave in place the tax loopholes for corporations, which indeed does cheat this country.(Paying taxes is patriotic. I would really love to see how say, Texas could govern without the Federal aid that comes from our taxes...impossible.)
We have been through this so many times and I think we all get tired of going round and round. I am not against Republicans or conservatives, I am against that group that is holding this country hostage.
I don't think anything stated in this thread is disrespectful or for that matter than we are all in such tremendous disagreement.
We all agree that things are falling apart. We agree that Congress is largely responsible. I am in agreement with some that Obama is not doing a stellar job, but honestly I do see him trying and he seems to be continually rebuffed.
I am still waiting for him to pull that rabbit out of a hat.
I personally was just talking out loud. I think that there was a period of time in which just about every other if not every post was something about the evil of the Republican party and appreciate Rivll that when I posted how I felt here initially that you made some thoughtful comments. I like open mindedness and finding common ground. I find myself much more open to what that person has to say as one's guard comes down. It's hard sometimes to keep your guard down.
I personally feel that the problems in Washington are equally Republican and Democratic in origen.
And there is and has been for some time a very conservative group of Americans that have never wavered in their opinions. They will never be accepting of gay marriage, they will never be pro choice, etc. Some go to my church. :>) I'm a complete liberal at a church meeting as I am in the middle regarding these subjects. You see our new pope that at one point was rather moderate getting more conservative in his public opinions because that is what many in the church want still.
But do agree that the 'tea party' is awful and it is time for them to go.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts tonight while i sit here waiting for my son to finish what seems like 10 tons of homework he neglected to tell me he had until bed time. sigh.
You are right. I felt protective at tims because you were/are clearly a very good human being and you have a right to your opinions and I didn't even disagree with all of them. I don't know what happened but as it got more contentious I would get fed up with the more provocative statements from others and find myself getting sarcastic and mean too.
The thing is, initially I really liked everyone. I thought el was hilarious and really everyone, even when I thought their opinions were way off, were still held in regard by me.
I'd get preachy and appeal to folks to be respectful then I would go off on someone..
I guess I realized our opinions don't change anything and in the end mostly we ended up hurting each other and it hasn't been much fun.
I remember thi\ose long nights with late HW. Whew, glad that is over.
Have a goodnight,sm.
"It goes back to that Norquist pledge. They will not give in on taxes and as a result we have the sequester and the consequences of the sequester will come to all of us."
I understand your statement, but it's curious.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that the Republicans 'gave in' (caved) and accepted various tax increases earlier in the year, in order to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff". Remember that? Republicans in Congress, in a nut-shell, said, "Okay, fine. Raise taxes in order to avoid the fiscal-cliff, but when it comes time to raise the debt-ceiling, we want spending-cuts in order to lower the deficit".
Democrats agreed, and tax increase(s) ensued. Then, when it came time to cut spending (Debt-Ceiling time-frame), Democrats in Congress demanded MORE tax increases, when they'd just promised to NOT ask for any. They'd promised spending cuts, but reneged, and turned it around and asked for more tax increases.
Does no one else remember that?
Everyone's making it look like the Republicans are just saying NO to tax increases (Yes, they're saying NO, but that's because they already GAVE some). That's not the case. They GAVE some, and asked for spending cuts in return, and the Democrats said no.
I just don't get why everyone is giving the Democrats a pass, for basically lying, and reneging on the deal they agreed to. Obama even agreed to it, and suggested the sequestor as a sort of "dead line". He's the one that suggested it, yet it's being made to look like it's the Republicans.
It just doesn't make sense to me, how everyone seems to forget the actual details, and simply remember what's easy & convenient. "Republicans hate women, black people, and raising taxes... period". Seems to be the way Republicans are viewed these days.
They "gave" some?
I am concerned mostly about the Corporate loopholes. The money that really should be coming from these billion dollar corporations would make a very big difference in our economy. They are taking enough and they need to pay their fair share. Yet no one wants to touch them...it makes me think that these corps. have way too much political clout. I think some many Republicans are too closely aligned to them and in protecting their assets are contributing to the economic downfall of this country. Furthermore, I do believe the President is obligated to them as well. There is some serious corruption going on while these guys play games.
El made that silly general statement about Republicans hating women. The intended policies of a few have contributed to this perception and it is easy to feel like women's rights are under attack when those extremists go public. In regards to race, the main problem is again these guys don't seem to see America for what she is. A very diverse country. It is not made up exclusively of wealthy white people with Christian values.
I do believe many are racist but the policies affect all low income people and harping on race is a smoke screen. As long as they divide us, we will never be united against their corrupt and self serving politics.
Republican Congress????? The Senate is controlled by Dems.
Did you know that in a poll that the Ryan budget got a majority approval rating from people. They those same people were told it was by Ryan and the approval dropped to about 1/3. This is the stupid American vote we are talking about here.
Maybe the D's have shifted so far left that with the help of the media the that it appears R's have shifted right. I don't know one issue where R's have move far right on since Bush was in office.
And whoever said R's hate women and blacks-**** off. Pathetic piece of trash.
And whoever said R's hate women and blacks-**** off. Pathetic piece of trash. ."
Most apparently DO that is a fact you cannot debate. whether you choose to admit it honestly or not.
Its not only race it's religion (can't tolerate anything except hard core christian values), sexuality (God hates fags right, Jesus said so in the bible?), guns (yeehaw can't have any gun laws that would violate mah civahl rights), immigration (shoot those illegals with my gun).....
Really - Of course all republicans are not like that. But, when you look at the republican party platform and how the party behaves you see extremist views that are anything but inclusive. And that is why they are in the shape they're in. It's not just an opinion that the party is primarily white men and it's not a coincidence either. The party has been hijacked and I think that is a shame.
The more Republicans deny that this is a core problem in their party and refuse to listen to any intelligent discussion on it and start getting defensive and attacking whenever it is (REPEATEDLY point out to them) ... there will never be any middle ground able to be found within your OWN party. Teabaggers will continue to push more and more Reps to the 'other side' out of desperation and embarrassment.
Which is ok with me because it will keep Dems in the White House until the end of time.
But like a kid sticking his fingers in his ears going LALALALALA I can't hear you! It doesn't make a dent.
Well, even though Romney didn't win---- the actual live number of votes he got was pretty substantial. And the people that are in congress were voted there. There are still a large portion of people that feel that their ideas are better than the Democrats and that their idea of where the country should go makes more sense to them. I'm one of those people.
I don't like every Republican in office and agree that the tea party is troubling and doing a bit of damage--- but i really can't knock the conservative agenda that the Republicans have and have always had.
I guess that is some kind of meaningful statement that the party is primarily white men. People that I know that are Republican, my husband included, have worked hard their whole life, have overcome their own challenges, hold true to the values they believe in,etc. Are they Republican because they are white or because the values and ideals they hold are more in line with the Republican party than the Democratic party? What values, ideals, etc. do others have if you think this is a race situation?
Hey my company does events for Locks of Love all of the time! :)
GREAT organization (Wish I had hair they'd take too the hair designer here just cut all mine off but it was so bleach damaged it was worth zip. Now it's dyed dark so maybe someday it will be worth it).
Mercy Me! I guess we should have said again, for the umpteenth time that when we say republican, we are speaking about the party in washington, the political leaders as it were. And yes, they pretty much hate women, blacks, and most everything else. The only reason they agree with getting immigration done and coming around some on gays is because of votes. They know if they dont start doing for the way the world is now, they days are numbered. That is not meant to be argumentative or personal in any way to any one republican or conservative. That is simply what seems to be going on imo.
I'm sorry Teko, they don't hate women, black and most everything else. You aren't insulting me--- I'm just correcting you. :>)
I don't think the Republican parties days are numbered. But I'm fine with you feeling that way.
I agree with things the Republican party has as part of their platform. Not every single thing to the full extent but the things that are important to me, I'm much more conservative tha not. So, I just don't get that they aren't doing what things the way the world is now. Or whatever it is you said.
Some things need fine tuned within the party. But the basics are in line with how things feel. Unless we would like a socialist way of life. And while that ticks people off to hear that, that's how LOTS of Republicans feel.
Lots of misguided ones. Even the socialists laugh when people call obama a socialist. That is how ridiculous it is. Bottom line, we agree to disagree. Many non republicans share this same view. So we will see.
I don't know. To me, the general feel is that if you are at the top in terms of income, Democrats hate you and think you are greedy. No matter how hard you worked to get there. They have a problem with you and think you are wrong to not WANT to give those who did not make wise choices in their life (and I know MANY that this is the exact case). maybe it is the Democrats that are full of hate. Appears that way to me quite often.
To me, the general feel is that if you are at the top in terms of income, Democrats hate you and think you are greedy. No matter how hard you worked to get there. They have a problem with you and think you are wrong to not WANT to give those who did not make wise choices in their life (and I know MANY that this is the exact case).
That is a pretty strange statement, if you think about it.
1. Plenty of Democrats *are* " at the top in terms of income."
2. Democrats in general do not hate rich people (think you got Dems confused with communists)
3. " those who did not make wise choices " You mean the banks and corporations? You want to give your hard earned income to them?
4. The presumption that low income people are low in income because," did not make wise choices in their lives" is shocking.
Do you really blame people w/o a livable income for the state of the economy???
I will take this up with you tomorrow as I am too tired tonight to really dig into it, but here is your heads up ---News headline: Smart woman makes preposterous claims..."
Yes, we are just chatting. I have many level headed republicans in my family and also some redneck republicans that are just plain ticked cause they got a black man in the white house. Yes I admit, I have some of those in my own family. Overall most normal republicans are not of the extreme teaparty types at all. I work for wealthy people of all parties and frankly, most people have more in common than not regardless of party affiliation. I have one client who is a personal friend of Mitt Romney yet had no idea that obamacare is the same thing his friend instituted in penn until he researched it. No one has anything against people in the upper class at all, it is more the party of no wanting to give them everything even when they dont need or want it, all the while cut cut cut for the things average people depend on. That is where the rift lies. No jealosy of those who have made it, but anger at the politicians who want to cater to a certain group at the expense of everyone else. They are arrogant and out of touch, other than that, they are great! The politicians Im talking about.
"I have one client who is a personal friend of Mitt Romney yet had no idea that obamacare is the same thing his friend instituted in penn until he researched it." Mitt Romney was governor of MA, not PA.
"3. " those who did not make wise choices " You mean the banks and corporations? You want to give your hard earned income to them?" I could be wrong (SM correct me if I am), but I don't think she's referring to banks and corporations. I believe she's referring to people who did not make wise choices in their personal lives.
"4. The presumption that low income people are low in income because," did not make wise choices in their lives" is shocking." Why should that be so shocking? There really ARE people who are low income because of making unwise choices. Both of my children are prime examples.
My son (41 yrs old) had a relatively good job and could have saved money for a rainy day, but instead he chose to spend every dime he earned, just because he had it. Now, he has a lower paying job and is struggling to pay bills, buy groceries and cover his insulin costs. A new TV (or whatever) might have been more important than a few $ in the bank. Priorities!!
My daughter (38), too, had a good job as a vet tech and when her baby was born a couple years ago, she chose to give up her job and be a stay at home mom; nothing wrong with that if the family can afford it. Unfortunately, they can't. By giving up her job, she also gave up the family insurance. Her husband gave up his job at the same place, got another, but got injured on the job, spent time on Workman's Comp, made a settlement and they apparently, spent all the money already. His injury is mostly healed, but he doesn't work either, because he can now get unemployment. They, too, could have saved for a rainy day or put the settlement aside for expenses, but chose to spend all their money just because they had it and wanted "things" so they could keep up with their friends. Priorities......
These are what I refer to as "unwise choices"....... they did what they did; why should anyone give them something they didn't earn, but could have? Daughter gets upset with us, because we're retired and can do most things, within reason, that we want to, because we saved for it. Are we, who saved our money, expected to give it to those who made such unwise choices? This has nothing to do with those who are low income because they really fell on hard luck, like losing a job, through no fault of their own, and being unable to find another, getting ill and being unable to work, thus having to use up savings to pay the bills.
"Do you really blame people w/o a livable income for the state of the economy???" Politicians are mostly to blame, right along with the banks, Wall Street, etc. My son and daughter didn't cause the economy to be the way it is, but had they made wiser choices in their lives, they might not be in such bad shape, today.
Totally agree that the politicians are totally out of touch - IMO, that includes both parties.
This has nothing to do with those who are low income because they really fell on hard luck, like losing a job, through no fault of their own, and being unable to find another, getting ill and being unable to work, thus having to use up savings to pay the bills.
That is who I was referring to.
My son and daughter didn't cause the economy to be the way it is, but had they made wiser choices in their lives, they might not be in such bad shape, today.
True, I worded that poorly. If the economy were better (I blame that on the long war and Wall street games mostly) they would still have options.
Of course they(your kids) are responsible but it is going to be a very hard lesson for their generation and the one following them...There will not be enough income to save or invest. The world will be very different for them compared to how they were raised. We all must be very careful and frugal and work hard if able,* but *it does not absolve these corrupt politicians, bankers and corporations from doing their jobs and paying their due.
Of course, we don't blame those who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own; that would be unfeeling and silly.
As far as my kids - my daughter does have options and chooses not to follow up on them - her choices aren't for you or I to have to support, yet we do, because the family is on unemployment, Medicaid, etc; I'm the first to admit that's not right. My son has never been without a job, just that the company he works for had to cut wages when the economy tanked, in order to keep as many people working, as possible. He's got type I diabetes so kind of has a "double whammy" having to buy insulin and test equipment, but he's been diabetic since age 10, so he knows he has these things to deal with. His company is talking about raising people back up to "pre-tank" levels, which will get him to a level he can live on and hopefully, will start putting something aside for both retirement and a rainy day.
Nothing absolves the corrupt politicians, bankers and corporations from doing their jobs and paying their due. I'm not arguing in favor of "no taxes", I'm arguing against taking what I earned to give to someone who made unwise choices.
I stand corrected,MA instead of PA. The point being that people have fallen for the rhetoric and no not the facts. Just the talking points of the day.
Yes, there are those who make bad choices in life, no one can argue that fact. Always has been and always will be. There are also those seniors who live on catfood in order to get their meds for the month. Some people are just victims of their own circumstances thru no fault of their own, this has always been as well.
I remember a time when investing in the stock market was considered gambling yet is now widely thought of as the responsible thing to do.
I remember a time when being a christian meant that you were a faithful compassionate individual who thought of their neighbor and didnt hesitate to reach out. Now not so much.
We can afford to give tax cuts to rich people but are so poor that we must cut things like ss and medicare? We can give billions to other countries but cut things like meals on wheels for seniors? We can give big oil tax subsidys that they dont need yet, we cut education?
Corporations and such are in never heard of profits, sitting on tons of money and yet, people screech about raising min wage?
No one. And I mean no one, not on here or anywhere can predict the future. Everyone of us is but one catastrophe away from having and needing. Maybe a husband or principal bread winner will die or end up with a terminal condition requiring major care, maybe our home will be swallowed up by a sinkhole or fall off a cliff in a landslide with a family member or two in it? A hurricane, earthquake, or any other natural disastor. Or maybe there will be a run on banks and our money shut off from us?
I know some of these things are silly, but the bottom line is, **** happens and altho you may be doing great today, you never know about tomorrow.
I said months ago that the states would start controlling things like doing away with a persons right to choose and was called silly. Well folks? Most people are not paying attention and if this continues to happen, we are all toast.
The gop party line preaches morality does it not? They will tell you abortion is wrong period. They will tell you that homosexuality is a sin, marriage is between a man and a woman. They pander to the evangelicals of our society. They tell us that a religious organization should not have to provide contraception to their employees. Yet, on the other hand, their actions pander to their true and only god, money!
They want tax cuts for wealthy and they want to take away the rights of free thinking individuals and try to make them bow to what they deem is good and right in their eyes and use the law to do it. They refuse to take away oil subsidys yet tell us how broke we are and how we have to cut this and that in order to maintain. They pander to lobbiest that can make it possible for them to have even more power and money and that is all they think about and their actions show it. Now to be fair both sides pander for sure, but since we are talking about the gop, I have lost much much respect for them since they let the teaparty run herd over them. You dont have to agree with me but that is how I see things from where I sit. We can give anyone money that they approve of but yet fight over help for hurricanes in the states and such. Its sickening.
What you wrote was beautifully stated and rings true from start to finish.
Thank you, thank you and thank you.
About the religious take, I hear you too. The religions that I am familiar with all say that the highest level of existence has to do with loving your neighbor. Not your stockbroker but your fellow human being who can give you absolutely nothing.
By the way, I really like this new Pope. He seems to be all about love. I may disagree with his interpretation of some things but he has won my heart with his seemingly simple and open heart.
Hostage? So making concessions, something the Republicans did is holding the country hostage? I don't understand that.... It was either Vance or EL who made the point that concessions were made and the Democrats fell short on their promises by trying to renegotiate a "done deal".
As far as hostage taking goes, making and taking a deal then dropping your half of the deal is a little more like hostage taking to me....
Bah.... It's the system that is holding everyone hostage. Things have been broken for a long time and we've simply thrown money we don't have at it and expected it to change. Republicans and democrats are guilty of it and that should be the end of the conversation.
Unfortunately it isn't though. People place blame on the other team and to me that is excusing all of the ineptness of their team, and there is plenty of that to go around too.
Major systematic changes or overhauls have been long in waiting. I don't think anyone really knows how dire the situation is, because no matter of who is in office, they seem to manage to print more money and throw it at everything that is broken. These things won't correct themselves.... and where are all of the professionals that have been hired/elected/appointed to correct this mess???? Why aren't they paying for this with their jobs?
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