The “center-right country” myth and smoldering dog shit.

Douglas Schoen wrote a Fox News column dispensing unsolicited advice to Democrats about Douglas-Schoen-sanctioned ways to oppose President Grab-Her-By-The-Pussy. Never heard of Douglas Schoen? Really? Well, you should have. He’s sort of a big deal. According to his biography, he’s “widely recognized as one of the co-inventors of overnight polling.” Whoa. Yeah. That guy. He’s only a little less famous than the guy who is widely recognized as being one of the first to put weather forecasts online.

The article’s general theme is that Democrats must start shimmying farther to the right to take on Trump. The premise to his argument, as is always the premise to arguments like these, is that this is a center-right country. This premise, however, is a giant, smoldering pile of dog shit.

In case you’re more of a visual person, here you go:

(That’s not dog shit? Oh, really? Really? It would take a dog the size of Neptune to create that much shit, you say? Yeah. I know that. Thank you. YOU find an online picture of a large pile of smoldering dog shit and then you can re-write this fucking column.)

Clears throat.

Now, let’s take a look at the column and get to the bottom of this center-right nonsense:

President Trump’s shocking victory in November and the tumultuous beginning of his presidency have shattered many assumptions about American politics.

True. For example, one of my shattered assumption was that the president would not openly discuss sensitive national security matters in a dining hall full of random people. (I mean, are YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME. We just had to listen to Republicans accuse Hillary of treason because she used a private-email server, and now Trump is openly discussing national security information?)

For many liberals and progressives, the weeks since Donald Trump’s inauguration have been filled with soul-searching and even confusion about their place in American politics.

Yes. True.

Fred:    I’m confused. We elected a racist, misogynistic cartoon character as president.

Soul:   Yeah.

Fred:   Good talk.

Soul:   Yeah.

Trump’s flurry of executive orders, coming in quick succession on matters ranging from federal employment and immigration to reorganizing the National Security Council, have driven deep division within the Democratic party. The reaction to Trump’s action have pitted pragmatic, center-left politicians against protesting activists forming “The Resistance.”

. . .

Put simply, the Democratic Party is on life support and there is a quiet, but ruthless, war being fought over its future.

*sigh*

I expected something more intelligent from one of the co-inventors of overnight polling. I did.

Kidding. I didn’t.

Look, this election was depressing and frustrating and nauseating for humanity Democrats. I get that. But Hillary still received nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Senate Democrats received 6 million more votes than Senate Republicans. And House Democrats received only 1 million less votes than House Republicans. Now, even though I did not co-invent overnight polling, I know that those numbers suggest that the Democratic Party is not on life support. Of course, I get that more votes does not mean anything if you can’t win elections. (It depresses me that saying that makes sense). But more votes does suggest that the party is not on life support.

While the Democratic Party is driven left by anti-Trump activists, protestors, and Senators such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, America itself remains a fundamentally center-right nation.

And there it is: we are “a fundamentally center-right nation.” Beautiful, smoldering shit from the dog the size of Neptune.

Doug, what makes you think this is a center-right country?

(I can call you Doug, right?)

A fundamental belief in national sovereignty and individual responsibility, married to cautious skepticism of government and deeply held moral convictions, continues to govern how most Americans think about politics.

LOL.

Americans who just elected Donald Trump are concerned about individual responsibility, cautious skepticism of government, and deeply held moral convictions?

Head explodes

I’m beginning to think that the co-inventor of overnight polling relied pretty heavily on the other co-inventor.

Recent public polling clearly confirms that Democratic dogmas and liberal litmus tests are far to the left of the national electorate, which remains center-right on issues ranging from immigration to tax policy to abortion.

Okay, polling data, good. We can get to the bottom of this center-right question.

 A January 2017 Politico-Harvard Poll found that 57% of the general public believes that unauthorized immigrants currently in the United States are a serious problem, echoing a key Trump concern.

You mean this study? Not to be pedantic, but 57% think it’s a “somewhat serious problem,” which seems somewhat different than a “serious problem.” But I’ll let that slide. Cutting and pasting is hard, I know. It’s not inventing-overnight-polling hard. But still.

What I won’t let slide is the fact that you omitted that 55% think the best way to deal with this “somewhat serious” problem is to give unauthorized immigrants a pathway to obtaining lawful status. You know, the Democrat’s position. On the other hand, only 8% (!) want to identify all unauthorized immigrants and deport them. You know, Trump’s position.

55>8.

This does not seem like particularly good evidence that this is a center-right country.

You are not off to a good start analyzing the data, Doug.

Further, 50% of Americans support banning future immigration from regions with active terrorist groups, as Trump has attempted to do with his recent controversial executive order.

Our modern-day Thomas Edison correctly reported this number. But 45% also oppose this policy. Again, this does not seem like particularly good evidence that this is a center-right country.

The Politico-Harvard poll also found that when it comes to tax policy, 63% of Americans believe that lowering corporate taxes would be effective at bringing jobs and business back to the United States.

Doug has once again omitted the “somewhat” qualifier, as in 63% think it would be at least “somewhat effective.” He also again omits important context. 61% of people (per this poll) also believe that cutting corporate taxes would do no more than lead to a “few” new jobs and no better than “minor” economic growth. But more importantly, this same study found that only 22% of Americans favor lowering taxes on corporations. Only 13% favor lower taxes on the wealthy. That does not sound, smell, or feel like center-right to me. It does not even taste center right.

Doug points to one last number from the study to support his point:

Fully 53% believe that proposed Republican cuts on federal income taxes, which Democrats have pledged to resist, will benefit them personally.

This may come as a shock to Doug, but lots of people who believe they will benefit from proposed tax cuts would still be opposed to them.

Raises hand.

This polling point, then, doesn’t indicate that we’re a center-right country. It’s utterly irrelevant to the question.

So, yeah, that was a total fail, Doug.

What is particularly sad is that Doug even cherry picked data from the study. Much of the rest of the polling shows that the center-left position is as popular as, or more popular than, the center-right position. If Doug would have read to the end of the study, he would have seen this: “these poll results illustrate significant differences between the general public and Trump voters on almost every issue.”

Anyway, after cherry picking from the Politico-Harvard Study, Doug moved on to another study:

A January 2017 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll clearly shows the unambiguous center-right cultural and moral character of the electorate. Fully 74% of Americans—including 77% of women—support limiting abortion to at least the first trimester. 59% of the American public, including 59% of women, believe abortion is morally wrong. Yet Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was a featured speaker at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

A few points.

The referenced polling came from a conservative, pro-life organization that crafted the survey questions to get the answers they wanted regarding abortion restrictions. It’s not misleading, I guess, when you do it for Jesus. (Also, what’s up with the polling question on whether the Apprentice under Arnold is “sad!,” “very sad!,” or “very, very sad!!”?)

Its data is also wildly inconsistent with Gallup, which does not frame questions in misleading ways.

Finally, that same polling found that 52% of Americans consider themselves pro-choice—you know, the center-left position—and only 42% of Americans consider themselves pro-life—you know, the center-right position.

But yes. This one abortion poll from Jesus and Friends “shows the unambiguous center-right cultural and moral character of the electorate.” But see the polling on (1) gay marriage; (2) gun control; (3) marijuana legalization; and (4) universal health care.

I’m not too impressed, Doug.

While the Democratic Party’s progressive and moderate wings clash with one another over their party’s future, Republicans are dismantling the blue wall and solidifying America’s status as a center-right nation.

I’m never fucking relying on overnight polling again.

-Fred

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