I am not going to get involved in a long discussion over whether or not this administration is poll-driven or not (all administrations are to some extent, and that is pretty much Rove’s job- or at least it used to be), but Oliver is mistaken about this:
The right has had a lot of fun claiming that while President Clinton led based on polls, George Bush has led based on
Great point, John.
Also, this post brings up another question: Is Rove’s “magic” wearing off?
I think all politicians use polls in the way you describe Bush using them — to sell/market their policies to the public.
Every president has a set of policies they want to pursue — driven by their personal and party ideology and a good mix of favors owed to their benefactors (be they PAC’s, corporations, whatever).
I don’t think any president would govern based on what the polls say people want, unless they were the rare exception that may actualy show interest in what people want. They may use the polls to SAY what they will do, but the actual actions are not based on the polls at all.
My 2 cents anyhow. I think they are all a bunch of shady pricks though
Bush doesn’t use polls to gage public support for his policies. He doesn’t want anyone’s input, including the public.
Rather, he uses pollsters like Frank Luntz to figure out what pretty words to use to fool the public into believing that his policies will actually do what the public wants:
Clear Skies (i.e. loosened pollution standards)
Healthy Forests (i.e. clear cutting the forests)
Privatizing SS versus personal accounts
Don’t forget Luntz’s greatest hit. The DEATH TAX!!!!!
That’s part of it. But there are also times he’s willing to twist his policies for perceived political benefit—ie, polling bumps.
Tariffs on steel and shrimp imports
If Bush never worried about polls, or only worried about the best way to go about getting support for his policies, I don’t think he would have done either of these. He dislikes government regulation of the market, corporations should be free to do whatever they want. But he was willing to sacrifice some principles to avoid alienating some people. Really, as are essentially all politicians.
Privatizing SS versus personal accounts
Not much “vs” there. Should be “Privatizing SS/personal accounts vs. Current inter-generational tax/taking from young working poor to give to the retired rich/unsustainable status quo”
Or something like that.
Glad to be of service.
Sorry, Rick, but that’s not it.
The Bushies did some polling and found that the word privatize did not poll well. The word personal did better. Hence, the sudden transition from private to personal accounts.
As to the whole transfer of wealth thing, you must be thinking of the tax cuts. Because I’m sure you’re aware that under the current system, less well off families who lose their main bread winner receive financial support from SS, something they would not under the new system.
Not one of your better efforts.
Exactly right, except you forgot the final step: Disavow the original, poorly received terminology and claim the term “privatization” is actually a distortion used by the Democrats. Sadly, I’m not making that up.
I’ve never had a problem with politicians reading polls, taking polls, talking about polls. I have no idea why they think it is so righteous to talk about “not reading polls”. There are times when the polls have to be used to guide remediation. Iraq support is a good example. I fully understand the frustration with the war, I’ve had it for 3 years. I also understand the critical need to finish the job. Polls count.
My advice to the potatoheads would be to stop already with the gratuitous manipulations and insults to our intelligence. “We must remember the lessons of 9-11”.
You know what? There is only one correct response to that jagoff phrase from a politican: Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. I don’t need a daddy telling me what the lessons of 9-11 were. And I don’t need you hiding behind that big human interest story to sell me your bullshit. Just tell me the straight poop, save the gratuitous crap, and I’ll probably support you. Is there any politican out there who gets that?
Hence, the sudden transition from private to personal accounts.
But they are synonymous, nonetheless.
The reform proposals I’ve read about all include the option to stay with the current system, which taxes the working poor for the idle well-to-do retirees in Sun City. I would expect the survivor “benefit,” scant though it is, would be included in that option.
Then there’s the matter of justice, for those workers taxed for decades, but without kids or a spouse, and pass away before eligibility. The current system cheerfully rips off what would be such folks’ estate. For the “common good.”
There! Damn splendid effort, I must say.
Then there’s the matter of justice, for those workers taxed for decades, but without kids or a spouse, and pass away before eligibility.
And then there’s the matter of the 80-year-old grandmother who paid car insurance her entire life but never got into an accident! Fight the power!
Um, Rick, you missed the point. The two words polled differently so the Bushies renamed their plan to use the better polling word.
They’re dead. I doubt they care and, with no survivors, nobody else does either.
Stay with the current plan but at greatly reduced benefit levels plus all those trillions of dollars of new debt. Another great idea brought to us by the Bush administration.
Sigh…one may sojourn widely, but remain obtuse and unlearned. Say, in the matter of a very narrow sense of “survivors.”
Two words polled differently, so they made a change How unprincipled! How fascistic! Jimminy Christmas on a pogo stick, they switched one word for a synonym. Pardon me for observing BFD.
Except that they aren’t quite synonymous. And there’s the aforementioned far-right outrage whenever somebody dares say “privatization,” which indicated just how important terminology is to privatization proponents. And also, it’s completely emblemic of how the Bush administration functions: Don’t modify a crappy policy, modify the way you present it. The people didn’t want a turd, but perhaps they’ll want a turd with a nice shiny bow on it.
I’m so sorry, Rick. I didn’t realize you would find this such a difficult concept. Well, don’t worry your little head any more about it.
Most people understand the difference between real policy changes and re-packaging of that policy to try to fool people. But, apparently, you don’t. So why don’t you go outside and play.