Friday, October 16, 2009

Yes, they really are living in a different world

This tends to confirm my worst prejudices about Obama-haters:

A new focus-group of Republican base voters by the Democracy Corps (D), the consulting and polling outfit headed up by James Carville and Stan Greenberg, presents a picture of the GOP base as being motivated by a fundamentally different worldview than folks in the middle or on the Dem side -- and they see the country as being under a dire threat.

"They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a 'secret agenda' to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism," the analysis said." While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country's founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail."

The analysis argues that Obama's unpopularity among conservative Republicans is both quantitatively and qualitatively different from liberal Democratic ire against George W. Bush -- that the GOP is more heavily conservative than the Democrats are heavily liberal, and that the hatred of Obama is more intense than Dem hatred of Bush was. All of this adds up to a powerful set of emotions that the Republican Party as a whole cannot ignore.

Now fortunately the Republican base is a minority, and a shrinking minority. But that will increase their sense of vulnerability. I wish there were some easy way to reach out to these folks and make them feel included without letting their fear cripple our polity.

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