I got an invitation this morning, via e-mail, to participate in an opinion survey, from state GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd. It was just another of those bogus surveys that the political parties send out — you know, the ones that are more about making partisan assertions and whipping up the faithful (so that they’ll give money), rather than actually trying to learn from what other people think.
To be fair, this one is better than most such. I get the impression that this one is more about testing messages with the faithful (which is a FORM of information seeking at least) than about merely whipping them up. So it could be worse.
But I can’t help wishing that a party would actually try to determine what other people think, and learn from that, rather than just spinning the plate. Of course, if it did that, I suppose it would no longer be a political party.
Here was the come-on to get folks to take the survey:
THE QUESTIONS: As we move through the 2010 election cycle, endure an economic decline and watch liberal leadership fail our nation, there are a lot of big questions that we must answer together.YOUR ANSWERS: Please take the time to answer these short questions. We will be sending the results to every South Carolina Republican member of Congress and the General Assembly next week.
JUST 3 MINUTES: Will you take 3 minutes today to give us your opinion on the biggest issues facing South Carolina?
And here was the survey itself:
Please fill our out Summer Survey and give us your opinion on the biggest issues facing SC.1. Do you think a mosque should be allowed to be built at ground zero?YesNo2. Do you agree with our gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley that we can create jobs by cutting the income tax?YesNo3. Should the Bush tax cuts be extended?YesNo4. Do you agree with a judge’s decision to stop parts of Arizona’s immigration law from being implemented?YesNo5. Should South Carolina should pass an Arizona style immigration plan?YesNo6. Should South Carolina’s coastline be opened up for natural gas exploration?YesNo7. Do you support or oppose the federal takeover of our health care system?YesNo8. Should the state of South Carolina fight the nationalization of our health care system on the grounds that it is a violation of states’ rights?YesNo9. Our Lt Governor candidate Ken Ard wants to resturcture the way we elect our Governor and Lt Governor so that they run together on a ticket and work more hand-in-hand to create jobs for our state. Do you agree with Ken Ard?YesNoDo you think that Democratic 2nd Congressional district candidate Rob Miller should return the $370,000 he received from liberal activist group MoveOn.org?YesNo10. Should South Carolina voters replace Nancy Pelosi’s chief budget writer John Spratt with a strong conservative like State Senator Mick Mulvaney?YesNo11. What else would you like us to know today?
What gets me about these kinds of questions is that, aside from the last one they don’t allow you to answer truthfully. For so many of these questions, a “yes” or “no” answer is entirely inappropriate. But parties are about forcing people to choose “yes” or “no,” and unfortunately the MSM cooperate in rewriting our political language so that we can’t think in any other terms — which of course was the same idea behind Newspeak in 1984 — if you lack the words to think new thoughts, you can’t think them.
Here are the answers I gave, but please don’t do like the party and take them at face value. After each I am providing an answer, in italics, that tells what I REALLY think. But Karen didn’t ask for that, or provide me any way to give her that. Hence this post:
Please fill our out Summer Survey and give us your opinion on the biggest issues facing SC.
1. Do you think a mosque should be allowed to be built at ground zero? Yes. I say that only because the mosque indeed has the RIGHT to build there. And of course, that right is an important part of who we are in this country, and what we’re fighting for in the War on Terror. If the question, therefore, is should it be ALLOWED, then the answer has to be “yes.” But if you asked whether it should be built there, I’d say no. If you asked whether I think the choice of this site is a deliberate provocation of American sensibilities, I’d say I’m afraid that is likely the case, on some level — although I lack enough information to know. I find it very disturbing that the leader of this group wants America to share blame for 9/11 and refuses to say whether Hamas is a terrorist organization. And it doesn’t help a bit that Hamas endorses the plan to build there. Finally, if you ask whether I think building there represents a sincere attempt to bridge differences and heal wounds, I would say that if that’s what they truly wanted to do, they’d do it elsewhere. But in the end, do they have the right? In America, they do.
2. Do you agree with our gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley that we can create jobs by cutting the income tax? No. Can cutting a tax be part of a rational plan to stimulate the economy and thereby create jobs. Absolutely. But do I believe cutting a tax CONSTITUTES a rational plan to stimulate South Carolina’s economy, absent any plans to build physical or human infrastructure? To that, I say you’ve gotta be kidding. Bottom line, Nikki Haley doesn’t have a plan for creating jobs. She has a series of cookie-cutter GOP talking points: Cutting taxes, decreasing regulation, and privatization. That’s not a plan.
2. Should the Bush tax cuts be extended? No. Actually, I have no idea. Frankly, I’m loath to end them right now because of the condition of the economy. Any increase in the tax burden at any level, before we’ve got the economy growing again, is problematic. I never saw any need for these particular tax cuts to begin with, and had I been in Congress would likely have voted against them, as they were presented. But I’m not certain this is the time to end them. But I answered “no” because I don’t side with your party’s belief in the magical goodness of tax cuts in all circumstances, absent other measures, and I wanted you to know that.
3. Do you agree with a judge’s decision to stop parts of Arizona’s immigration law from being implemented? Yes. For the simple fact that immigration is a federal function. Yeah, I get it — your base believes it’s time for states to step in because the federal government isn’t getting the job done. I’m unpersuaded by that. I also know that the people across the political spectrum most adamant about this issue have been the main obstacle to the federal government adopting a comprehensive solution to the problem that does exist. Work on that if you want to have a constructive effect. Don’t advocate states usurping a federal function.
4. Should South Carolina should pass an Arizona style immigration plan? No. Of course not, for the reasons cited above.
5. Should South Carolina’s coastline be opened up for natural gas exploration? Yes. I said yes because that’s the Energy Party answer. We should do anything and everything, within reason, to make this country energy-independent. The objections on the left to such exploration are rigidly faith-based, like your party’s belief in the magical powers of tax cuts. It’s an article of faith that is immune to argument or circumstances. That said, my “yes” comes with a caveat — seems to me I’ve heard that the SC coast isn’t that likely a place to explore (tell me if I’m wrong on that; I can’t recall where I heard it). So let me amend my answer to say that by all means, we should explore in likely locations. If SC is a likely location, explore away.
6. Do you support or oppose the federal takeover of our health care system? Yes. Absolutely. If such a thing were proposed, I’d be all for it. That is, I’d be all for a substitution of a single payer for the insane way that we pay for health care now. Which is not the same thing as a “takeover of our health care system,” but it would come a heckuva lot closer to being that than anything that has been seriously proposed in this country, but less actually enacted. As for your implication that something that could be characterized a “federal takeover of our health care system,” that is an absurd fantasy on your part, a lie that you are trying to propagate in order to have a straw man to knock over. And there’s no way you should be allowed to get away with that. In the meantime, we need to let this feeble “reform” that Congress passed have a chance to be implemented so that we can see if it helps at all — which I doubt, but let’s give it a chance before condemning it. Your attempts to repeal it before it’s been implemented is unconscionable, because the need for some kind of change to our system is unquestionably dire.
7. Should the state of South Carolina fight the nationalization of our health care system on the grounds that it is a violation of states’ rights? No. Oh, get a life, people! How can we fight something for being something that it is NOT?
8. Our Lt Governor candidate Ken Ard wants to resturcture the way we elect our Governor and Lt Governor so that they run together on a ticket and work more hand-in-hand to create jobs for our state. Do you agree with Ken Ard? Yes. Although a better way to put it would be that Ken Ard, someone I hadn’t heard of before three or four months ago, agrees with me on something I’ve publicly advocated for almost 20 years. Not to toot my horn, but to suggest this Ard guy (who I strongly suspect to be an MSM plant because headline writers love a guy with a name that short) should get credit for the idea is patently ridiculous. If he does what the rest of us reformers have failed to do and actually gets the idea implemented, I’ll applaud. But not until then.
9. Do you think that Democratic 2nd Congressional district candidate Rob Miller should return the $370,000 he received from liberal activist group MoveOn.org? Yes. But only because I think he and Joe Wilson have both raised far too much money already to waste on their campaign, which presents voters with a no-win proposition. That’s why I say yes, not because I despise. MoveOn.org. I mean, I DO despise MoveOn.org, but that’s not my reasoning here. I just think this race is a total waste, and wish I had a better candidate than either of these guys to vote for.
10. Should South Carolina voters replace Nancy Pelosi’s chief budget writer John Spratt with a strong conservative like State Senator Mick Mulvaney? No. Give me a frickin’ break. What you meant to say, of course, was “Should 5th District voters replace the smartest and most capable guy in our House delegation, the very moderate and sensible John Spratt, with some ideologue more to our suiting?
11. What else would you like us to know today? I’d love, absolutely LOVE, a survey that sought thoughtful answers, rather than mere fodder for keeping the partisan spin machine turning.
Oh, and thank you for the opportunity, Karen. My answers were rather hasty, and not as in-depth as such complex questions demand — but they’re far more thoughtful than what you were looking for. Which is my point.
“Bottom line, Nikki Haley doesn’t have a plan for creating jobs. She has a series of cookie-cutter GOP talking points: Cutting taxes, decreasing regulation, and privatization. That’s not a plan.”
It’s a better plan that Sheheen’s… built around trial lawyers and stimulus windmills…
I couldn’t agree with you more about these surveys. They are so partisan. I tried answering a couple of republican ones. Needless to say, I got no answers, or even a polite thankyou, and I suspect that they went into the trash. I haven’t gotten any from democrats, but I suspect that they would be just as partisan.
You’re right. They would be, and ARE, just as partisan, and just as much designed to generate heat rather than light.
“Should Joe Wilson return the gazillions of money that he raked in by capitalizing on an act of rudeness by shouting “You Lie!” during the President’s State of the Union speech?”
I sincerely hope and pray that Vincent Sheheen is elected governor. South Carolina shouldn’t have to suffer under four more years of the past eight years.
Nikki Haley is “Sanford in a Skirt”. Now, with three allegations of extramarital affairs, she’s looking like she has the same “Bill Clinton” problem that Mark Sanford has; problem with their zipper.
before you spend too much effort agreeing with Ard, you should get him to narrow down his position: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvz212dCax4
Spratt = Davidson & Yale
Mulvaney = Georgetown, UNC, Harvard Business
Sounds like your measure is just who you like better. Fair enough, your blog, but the whole “Spratt is smart” thing has worn thin up here since he started voting with Pelosi 98% of the time.
How smart is that?
1. Yes, of course the community center should be allowed. Is Ms. Floyd proposing legal measures to stop it. If so, on what grounds? Many things that I find offensive are built all over the place in this free country. If we allow something as offensive as a tea party rally then a peaceful community center is both appropriate and definitely legal.
2 and 3. Tax the rich more at both the state and federal level after the recession is over. Easiest way to balance the budget.
5. No. (I have no real interest in this issue).
6. Not just no, but Hell NO! Haven’t we learned anything from the Deepwater Horizon disaster? It’s time to get away from fossil fuels.
7. Yes. Single payer is the best way to go.
8. What a ridiculous question. We’ve had parts of health care system nationalized for decades. No state resources should be devoted to ridiculous nonsense aimed at thwarting a tiny improvement in our health care system.
9. Yes. But it probably won’t really matter. As long as we elect the people we elect the way we do it won’t really matter.
9a. No. Miller should keep the money from Move.on. Move.on is needed to fight the idiocy from folks like Karen Floyd.
10. No. Spratt is a fine representative.
11. Given the utter and complete failure of the GOP at both the national and state levels why should any logical thinking person even consider for one nano-second voting for any Republican. They took a peaceful, economically vibrant country running surpluses in 2000 into a war plagued, recession, hate mongering country filled with radical, tea-party kooks who haven’t clue. All the party of NO knows how to do is promote policies that make the rich just a bit richer at the expense of the safety and welfare of the rest of us. Look at how the GOP candidate for governor is proposing a huge tax increase on groceries that will basically affect only less well-off folks. The GOP is nothing but a joke and this ridiculous survey goes a long way toward proving that.
Brad, the GOP isn’t worried about your vote or even my vote. If they’re seeking polling insights at ~62 days out, I said they are worried and want the based good an scared and giving $$$. But then so do the Dems. It’s about fear not about rational thinking. So is SC more afraid of Nikki or Vincent?
I certainly don’t miss them, then. I know that the ones sent out under Sen. Graham’s name started irritating me, because I looked at it thinking that he might really want feedback, but the questions themselves told me that such was not the case.
@ yarrrr–could you direct me to the place in the “Sheheen Plan” that deals with “trial lawyers and stimulus windmills”?
Geez! Ken Ard’s video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvz212dCax4 reminds me of “Dumb and Dumber” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumb_and_Dumber). He doesn’t have a clue what the Lt. Guv’s office does.
Haley is “Dumb”, Ard is “Dumber”!
Thanks to Old MSgt for this link on Mulvaney who believes in personal earmarks. What a crook!
“Indian Land Boondoggle”
The GOP may be a joke but it looks like they will have the last laugh come November when the American voters, who are a lot more intelligent than most give them credit for, sends a message that they don’t appreciate being Punk’d by a bunch of lying Democrats. Democrats, who by the way, are no picnic at the beach either.
The sword cuts both ways when it comes to deceit, dishonesty, and downright thievery by politicians.
Yes, the GOP will be more successful in November than Democrats, winning control of one or more of the two chambers of Congress.
And next time we have a Republican president, two years after he is elected, the Democrats will be more successful in the mid-term elections than Republicans.
And so on. It means nothing. The sad thing is that Republicans will foolishly believe that they won this year because of something they DID, and will give the credit to their mad rush to the extremes. So we’ll get more of that garbage.
Occasionally, something different from that happens. For instance, in 2006 a number of moderate Democrats won office, thanks in part to a campaign run by Rahm Emanuel. It drove the loony left even loonier, they hated it so. But it was better for the country. Unfortunately, those moderates — in both parties — make up such a tiny minority still that they have little impact upon the partisan insanity inside the Beltway.
My point is that these midterm shifts don’t have to be swings back and forth to the wacky fringes. They can pull us to the middle, toward sanity. It just doesn’t look at all like that’s going to happen this year.
Please fill our out Summer Survey and give us your opinion on the biggest issues facing SC.
1. Do you think a mosque should be allowed to be built at ground zero?
So Karen Floyd thinks that’s the number one big issue facing SCi>
Spratt has done a spectacular job for South Carolina, and no amount of anti-Obamanist rage will alter that. I support keeping him because of his extremely effective support of the military, from Bradley AFV upgrades to over 100 million dollars in non-pork earmarks (not all earmarks are pork, dear readers!) that sustain Shaw AFB and Poinsett Range.
None of those things can happen under Mulvaney, who opposes all earmarks.
The National Guard Association of South Carolina contributed to John Spratt’s campaign, and the Air Force Association recently honored him for his support of air power.
NC carpetbagger Mulvaney DOES have a logical motive for running for office: