Oh my: New Gallup poll shows town hall protests winning over independents?

posted at 6:49 pm on August 12, 2009 by Allahpundit

Either indies have suddenly developed a taste for Nazi mobs of political terrorists or the Democrats’ message war on ObamaCare opponents is a rather epic fail.

Given the left’s monopoly on wisdom and virtue, I must reluctantly conclude it’s the former. When did independents start hating America?

In a survey of 1,000 adults taken Tuesday, 34% say the sometimes heated protests at sessions held by members of Congress have made them more sympathetic to the protesters’ views; 21% say they are less sympathetic.

Independents by 2-1, 35%-16%, say they are more sympathetic to the protesters now.

The findings are bad news for President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, who have scrambled to respond to town halls marked by aggressive questions and noisy demonstrations by those opposed to plans to overhaul the health care system…

There’s some tolerance for noisy disputes at town hall meetings. By 51%-41%, those surveyed say individuals making “angry attacks” on a health care bill reflected “democracy in action” rather than “abuse of democracy.” However, by 59%-33% they say “shouting down supporters” of a health care bill was an abuse of democracy.

Karl wrote a post about this earlier, before the poll came out, flagging Dick Armey’s assessment that the protesters themselves might be better understood as Perot-style populists than traditional Republican conservatives. If that’s true, then it’s no surprise that they’re appealing to indies: They’re sort of indie themselves. Or, more likely, maybe it has less to do with the protesters than who it is they’re protesting. The more people hear about Congress rushing the bill through without having read it, the more satisfaction they’ll naturally take from Joe Public standing up to get in Arlen Specter’s face. Speaking of which, here’s a video sent by one of our readers from a town hall last month purporting to show James Clyburn asleep — literally — at the wheel. I honestly can’t tell. He sure seems tired and disinterested, but is there evidence of actual slumber while his constituents are questioning him? I report, you decide.

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I’ve got not problem with the protestors, though count me as part of that sample who’s not persuaded by their approach. But what I don’t understand is where were these people in September and February when the government allowed the financial industry to rob us blind to the tune of 1 trillion+ dollars. Where have they been as the investment banking community gradually began to dominate the treasury and the regulatory agencies that are meant to keep Wall Street inline.

Honestly, I think this is where the arguments about corporate sponsorship of protests becomes relevant. No one is arguing that sentiment against the bill is not “real.” But anyone who’s tried to organize a public protest knows that it takes time and resources. There is no big corporate interest behind opposing the bank bailout, and thus, there is no huge public outcry over something that is much worse than any of the healthcare bills proposed by the Congress.

CrankyIndependent on August 13, 2009 at 7:26 AM

Do you realize that the “Tea Parties” and grassroots movement was not organized untill AFTER the TARP, and the Porkulas Bill was passed? As the one woman said to Senator Spector “..you have awakened a sleeping giant!” After Porkulas–the people realized that our Congress is not listening to us.

This is NOT

“…where the arguments about corporate sponsorship of protests becomes relevant”

Nor is it

“There is no big corporate interest behind opposing the bank bailout, and thus, there is no huge public outcry over something that is much worse than any of the healthcare bills proposed by the Congress

Do not try to say that those of us that attend tea parties, or townhalls, are paid shills like the Obama minions. The protests at the townhalls are genuine and heartfelt. People who were never involved in politics are seeing the consequences of their vote–that elections matter!

Do NOT say that I am a pawn of corporate interests!! I say–we have just begun–and you ain’t seen NUTTIN’ yet!!! WE WILL SURROUND THEM!!!

lovingmyUSA on August 13, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Its time to play the race card…..
Get ready

bluegrass on August 13, 2009 at 10:47 AM


reshas1 on August 13, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I am the MOB(majority opposed to bailouts)

reshas1 on August 13, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I agree with ted c, that we need to be seen as
more than just the party of no. But if I saw a
protester holding a sign with “PRO Healthcare Reform Conservative” and didn’t know the background, I would assume that person was in favor of Obummercare

PRO Tort Reform, PRO Patients Rights, much clearer.

lamykat on August 13, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Responding to CrankyIndependent:

It might be true that TARP is a gigantic boondoggle and a grotesque manifestation of ineptitude and/or corruption in business and government. It might also represent nothing more than a panicked government response to a catastrophe of its own making. It is ongoing, but at least there is the likelihood that much of the money funneled into the banks eventually will be repaid. The real danger is that the precedent established by TARP will exist forever. Nevertheless, at its worst TARP mainly involved the squandering of taxpayer dollars. A grievous malfeasance to be sure, but the financial structure of the country survived and it will eventually recover. The proposed government takeover of health care, however, will involve the squandering of taxpayer dollars, both grand and petty larceny (see Medicare and Medicaid fraud), a diminution of quality of care, rationing, and — most importantly — the loss of individual freedom which once gone probably can never be recovered. In truth, I expect Congress to waste money, behave badly, and engage in various forms of corruption. It is the nature of the beast. I even expect Congress and the president routinely to engage in efforts to undermine liberty for the sake of their own power. It is our task as citizens to perpetually insist on economic freedom, fiscal sanity, personal liberty, and individual responsibility. Since the advent of the progressive movement at the beginning of the previous century, I would have to conclude that the citizens have failed in their responsibilities more often than not. God willing, we will not fail in this instance.

F. Sumter on August 13, 2009 at 3:20 PM

The indies are shifting

Do not tell a drowning man to take a number. Do not tell a sinking taxpayer behind on his property tax that while his ideas have merit we must ignore them. Do not call the destroyed citizen who lost all he worked for that he is a mob and does not represent America

Its the economy stupid.

The more politicians insist they must spend money on Healthcare to fix the economy, the more they dig themselves in. They made the mistake of writing a bill with a few details. Had the bill read “Congress shall grant 1 trillion dollars to satisfy everyone’s desires’ they might have had a chance of a humane execution, but they seem to prefer being torn limb from limb

Soros is doing his best to help the pols. He donated some millions to be given along with stimulus dollars as $200 handouts to New Yorkers on welfare. Yippee yi yo ki yay and vote for me

It’s free money!” said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids.

“Thank God for Obama. He’s looking out for us.” – Daily News

Right out of an Ayn Rand novel

entagor on August 13, 2009 at 5:02 PM

While ObamaCare is an accurate phrase, I think the one that sums it up the best (forget whom to credit) is MediCoup.

highflight on August 13, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Keep ACORN from affecting the election and I think we might make it.

johnnyU on August 13, 2009 at 10:00 PM

No matter what Clyburn says, his body language couldn’t be more explicit. The hand on the face, the arm across the stomach.

It just shouts “I’ll pretend to listen because I have to but you’re just wasting my time and your own. I don’t care what you say.”

schmuck281 on August 14, 2009 at 1:54 AM