Aug 07 2006

Fly By 08/07/06

Published by at 7:56 am under All General Discussions,Fly By

Folks, I am on travel to attend meetings so the postng will be on a different time schedule, and probably light if the hotel internet bandwidth is as poor as usual. So I’ll start the week with a Fly By round up of interesting stories.

I am anticipating the CT primary results Tuesday because I am really interested in validating a theory of mine. It involves the accuracy of polls since the 2000 election cycle. Since 2000 a lot of things have changed in the telecommunications industry. More people use cell phones and now internet phones are coming on line. This has drastically changed the demographics of standard land line phone users as they represent America overall. The second change has been in the swarm of call-marketers who ring our phones day and night with their useless sales pitches. It has come to the point where we don’t answer calls if they are not giving us a caller ID we recognize and we let most calls ring through to the answering machined. This change in behavior again skews the available poll of respondents to pollsters. And finally we have the shifting political sands themselves. Pollsters rely on historic trends to map their tiny sample sizes to reflect American opinion. They have had a real rough time of it since 2000 when there was another major shift to thr right since the last time this phenomena hit the pollsters in 1994. I am sure there is another shift under way, I am not sure which way it is heading. So I am curious to see how Qinnipiac’s numbers hold up in the primary tomorrow. They have Leiberman down by 6 points right now. Typically the pollster over estimate the leftward candidate by 3-5%. I am curious to see if events have expanded that systemic error to 5-9% or shrunk it down. Tuesday will tell.

Related to all this is the rise of the far -eft, anti-war, Impeach-Bush, 9-11-was-a-set-up crowd as the dominant force inside the Democrat Party. The far left is beside itself with frustration and anger. In essence, they are not handling their minority status in a democracy very well. Not well indeed. So they lash out everyone and hype themselves and their little conspiracy theories and side with a terrorist’s privacy for phone calls here to the US than anything having to do with a war with Islamo Fascists. The left does not even believe there is such a thing as a terrorist anymore since years of creating rationalizations about why they could never be wrong have led them to the point reality doesn’t exist – it is too inconvenient. This has set the stage to really be the source for any inability to measure the trends in this fall’s election. That is because the trend is for two large groups to separate, not look for common ground. The far left is ready to distill itself down to only the true believers, while everyone else will be repulsed since they have a broader, more realistic view of what is happening in the world right now. Martin Peretz, Editor of The New Republic, touches on this in his WSJ article this morning (H/T: RCP). But I think the far left is having a much stronger and visceral impact than the Democrats understand. I have seen staunch Democrats become completely fed up with the Sheehans, Moores, Deans, etc. The anti-war fever is simply the final nail in the Democrat Party.

Since this is an election prediction focused post, I want to end with some comments from Peter Brown at Qinnipiac, which are enlightening (again H/T: RCP). Brown is attempting to make some connections to current partisan divides on Iraq and Vietnam – I guess to use those associations to predict a repear of a Vietnam-like surrender by Americans on Iraq:

If there is anything that makes the case American politics are now the most polarized in history, it is the finding that the partisan divide over the Iraq War is three times as sharp today as it was during the Vietnam era.

That comparison might surprise some, given that the current conflict has claimed far, far fewer American lives – less than 2,600 compared to more than 50,000 in Vietnam — and provided much less overt political opposition than the war 40 years ago.

It is truly amazing how much you can learn from how people phrase arguments. Brown is surprised there is such a partisan divide? Well, is that Iraq or is that the Democrat Party shifting to an extreme position? The fact there are so few casualties is probably why there has not been any ‘overt political opposition’ – whatever that means. The anti-war crowd has not been ‘covert’, they have been out in the open and predicting defeat for 3.5 years now. The first Vietnam quagmire predictions came slamming in when the first dust storm halted our troops movements for a few days and they have never let up, or been proven accurate, since.

Overall Brown’s observations are accurate. He understands the Conservatives are more open to confronting problems and solving them and the Democrats like to find some sugar coating to spread over the cesspools so they don’t bother people as much. But it is in understanding the growing gap on Iraq that is most interesting:

The New York Times/ CBS News poll taken last month found a 50-point partisan split over the war rightness of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Three quarters of self-identified Republicans say the United States was correct in taking military action against Iraq, compared to 24 percent of self-identified Democrats. Independents split just about down the middle.

The Pew Research Center for the Press said that its analysis of public opinion polls from 1966-1973 found that the partisan split over Vietnam was never greater than 18 points, the Times reported.

You can look at these numbers and assume their is parity between the two sides and it is a wash. Or you can see the beginning of a re-alignment where the Democrats establish themselves into a long term minority group. In Vietnam we never conquered the communists – we did conquer Saddam in Iraq. In Vietnam we had communist super powers sustaining the North Vietnamese. In Iraq no super power is supporting Al Qaeda’s insurgents or the Baathist remnants. In Vietnam the country unified under the governing principles of the North. In Iraq the country is unified under as governing Democratically and popularly elected government modeled after the Western democracies. There is no comparison to the Vietnam – unless you are from the left still trying to rationalize 3.5 years of failed predictions of doom.

The Democrats have one over-arching issue this year – Impeach Bush for war crimes. We have seen this many times before. And we will hear it again and again from the rabid base. We shall see how America feels about impeaching Bush for fighting back at terrorists.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Fly By 08/07/06”

  1. The Battle For The Democratic Party…

    Besides that I oppose them quite strongly myself as well: If the far left takes over the Democratic party and especially if they succeed in their goal to have significant political power, it will be problematic for the world….

  2. The Heretik says:

    U Turn…

    Lieberman spins out: “I not only respect your right to disagree or question the president or anyone else, including me, I value your right to disagree.”
    This sudden lightning bolt of insight on the war in Iraqcomes as the NY Times notes “Mr….

  3. Charles_in_Texas says:

    A Great Post, A.J. I planned to watch Conneticut results anyway. Now, you offer a theory that I suspect will be correct in the Fall elections nationwide, if not tomorrow. Conneticut DemocRats may be too “New England liberal attitude diseased”, you know? We will see!

  4. kittymyers says:

    One correction to an otherwise excellent (again) piece. You said, “The left does not even believe there is such a thing as a terrorist anymore.” Correction: they believe that Bush is THE terrorist.

  5. Democrats: Like old times…

    Karl Rove is excited:
    “We have been here before. Left-wing Democrats are once again fielding single-issue “peace candidates,” and the one in Connecticut, like several in the 1970s, is a middle-aged patrician, seeking office de haut en…

  6. Barbara says:

    It used to be that there was no real difference in the two parties, but now the difference is life or death. I am appalled at how many choose death. The democrats don’t just like to sugar coat problems, they like to hide their heads in the sand. I’m sure they are convinced that once they are back in office, they will be able to handle affairs better the republicans. After all, their policies of appeasments and freebies have worked so well in the past.