News polls aren’t all B.S., even when the people being polled are

Posted on March 23, 2011


Ordinarily, I give network news political polls about as much credibility as I give to the politicians they’re about. Polls, by nature and conception, are skewed to support an intended message. Rarely, if ever, does a poll present a totally unbiased, clear and objective message and their supporting statistics.

Whether it’s the selective audience included in the poll, the way the questions are worded, or the way the responses are categorized, political poll results are almost always an agent of partisan propaganda.

That said, with some measure of surprise and amusement, a poll conducted Tuesday by CNN is one of the most telling and demonstrative set of results I’ve seen in a long while. The poll questioned 100 Democrats, 100 TEA Party members, 100 Republicans, 100 Independents and 100 people who declared no political affiliation.

Without going into a lot of detractive opinions or back-story, I’ll just present the two questions which I found to be truly remarkable.

Question:  Do you support the United Nations’ implementation of a “no-fly zone” in Libya?

Answer “YES”:  Democrats 71% — Republicans 77% — TEA Party 84% — Independents 58% — Undeclared 49%.

Question: Do you support President Barack Obama’s implementation of a “no-fly zone” in Libya?

Answer “YES”:  Democrats 64% — Republicans 22% — TEA Party 13% — Independents 66% — Undeclared 52%.

Notice that Democrats, Independents and Undeclareds all remained relatively consistent in their answers. They all felt that the implentation of a “no-fly zone” in Libya is a good idea.

So why do Republicans and TEA Party members dramatically change their answer depending on by WHOM the zone is implemented? When the U.N. imposes the no-fly zone, it’s gung-ho, hell-yeah, “We’re #1,”  let’s git ’em!  But somehow, when Obama’s name is included in the exact same question, the right wingers believe that it’s an horrific, terrible, “Why do you hate America,” “it will kill the economy” icky-phooey idea.  I would love for someone to explain how this does NOT demonstrate conclusively that Republicans and teabaggers will reverse their position for no other reason than to simply oppose Obama, even when he is doing something they otherwise support.

And just so the “it’s an isolated incident” argument can’t be lobbed into the fire.

Question:  Should Japan receive humanitarian aid from countries of the United Nations in the form of food, money and medical supplies in the wake of the recent tsunami and nuclear plant crises?

Answer “YES”:  Democrats 59% — Republicans 66% — TEA Party 47% — Independents 64% — Undeclared 55%.

Question:  Should President Barack Obama grant humanitarian aid in the form of food, money and medical supplies to Japan in the wake of the recent tsunami and nuclear plant crises?

Answer “YES”:  Democrats 51% — Republicans 9% — TEA Party 11% — Independents 61% — Undeclared 62%.

Apparently, 57 of the Republicans polled and 36 of the teabaggers polled are either unaware that the United States is a member of the United Nations, or they arbitrarily reverse their opinion whenever the words “President Barack Obama” in introduced into the discussion.

I should make it crystal clear that I firmly believe that America should have absolutely no involvement with Libya whatsoever, with the possible exception of the import/export of native goods EXCLUDING oil.  But since oil is the only thing American politicians care about anywhere in the Middle East, then we should jackl up the prices of the corn, grain and medicinal drugs they import from us, using the exact same “speculation” formula that’s used to jack up American gas and oil prices any time a Middle Eastern national leader or dignitary has a bad hair day.

News reports are already going on about America’s potential cost for “short term operations” in Libya could exceed $100 Billion by July, and that Congress will likely fund it through the same “emergency appropriations” tactic they’ve used to deficit-spend for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan. How convenient that current Congressional rules and by-laws don’t require “emergency approrpriations” to be pre-funded. That’s how Bush and Cheney kept the larger part of $2 Trillion in war costs out of the public eye because those appropriatios were never included in the federal budget.  And now this Congress, despite all it’s “stop the spending” empty rhetoric, is poising itself to do it all over again, in another “oil country,” with the exact same tactics they say CAUSED the country’s ridiculous debt in the first place.

And the Republicans and teabaggers are more than happy to yell “Hell yeah” and  “How soon can we get it done?”  That is, unless Obama’s involved. Then it’s “Hell no” and “how dare he?”

The hypocrisy is palpable.