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Overwhelming majority of Americans in both parties tell GOP to heed the 'tea party'

Bachmann Michele SOTU response 1-25-11

Remember that Constitution-citing "tea party" rabble that puzzled the media so terribly last year and helped dump so many deaf Democrats from the House of Representatives in November?

Turns out, an overwhelming percentage of adult Americans think Republicans should take heed of the upstart movement's positions and concerns as they plot to dump President Obama and even more Democrats come the 2012 election, now just 645 days away.

A new Gallup Poll out this morning finds that 71% of Americans, even many who do not think highly of the "tea party," say it's important that Republicans should take the its positions into account.

Gallup appears puzzled by its findings: While only 6% of Democrats call themselves "tea party" supporters and only 11% hold a favorable view of it, more than half of Democrats still....

... think it's important the GOP work the movement's views into Republican programs. Perhaps some hope the tea party will help weaken the GOP, despite increasing support for the tea party's fiscal conservatism as deficit fears mount.

Among Republicans, not surprisingly, 88% say including the tea party is at least somewhat important, while a majority (53%) say it's very important.

Last week, you'll remember, the "tea party" even had its own short response to Obama's State of the Union speech, given by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who formed the House Tea Party Caucus, following the usual GOP response, given by Rep. Paul Ryan, who heads the House Budget Committee.

The dominant media theme, perhaps wistfully, was that this showed a split or, worse a schism, in the GOP. This despite denials all around and an impression among many who listened to the responses that Ryan's broad overview and Bachmann's detailed Perot-like charts complemented each other in a kind of Obama double-team.Paul Ryan Budget Committee chairman

The new Gallup findings seem to indicate that by a lopsided margin, regardless of their "tea party" impressions, Americans see such cooperation or teamwork as a good thing. Developing support for tea party positions as well as listening could augur large trouble for Obama's reelect next year.

An earlier post-speech Gallup Poll found the president's assertion that the troubled economy is "poised for progress" was rejected by a majority of Americans, who say the economy is actually still worsening. Obama will try his economic pitch again Wednesday on a sales trip to Pennsylvania.

Although historically relatively little of State of the Union speeches actually come to fruition, Gallup found widespread doubts about some other assertions by the Democrat:

They don't like the idea of replacing No Child Left Behind, preferring just revision.

Contrary to the Obama administration's offshore drilling moratoriums, two-thirds of Americans favor a new energy bill to expand domestic exploration and drilling.

The president outlined a vast new program to rebuild what he called a "crumbling" infrastructure. Americans oppose more stimulus spending and think reducing the deficit is much more important.

Americans oppose giving existing illegal immigrants "a path to legal status" and prefer halting the flow of illegal immigrants before addressing the problems of those already here.

And on Obama's proudest achievement, his signature healthcare legislation, only 13% like the idea of keeping it as is. Everyone else favors minor changes, major changes or tossing out the entire thing.

Other than that though, the president's 62-minute speech seems to have gone over really well.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: screengrab via Associated Press; Steven Elliott / MCT (Ryan).

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

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There are plenty of valid criticisms of President Obama, but anybody who tries to spin Michelle Bachmann as anything other than a disgrace to the Republican Party loses all credibility.

The more the GOP gives the microphone to people like Bachmann and Palin, the more Obama's approval ratings will continue to climb. Even most smart Republicans are starting to realize that these two have nothing to offer.

At this rate, Obama won't have to make the case that he has the answers to all of our problems in order to win re-election in 2012. He will just have to seem like the sane, reasonable adult in the room.


So, you think Americans are planning to dump President Obama in 2012?

Hmmm...perhaps you could explain than why every major poll in this country is now saying that he has a better than 50% approval rating. I even include polls like "Rasmussen" in this assessment which are little more than propaganda for conservative causes.

History will show that the "Tea Party Movement" was primarily a response to the monumental recession of 2008-2011--an economic calamity that was only exceeded by the Great Depression of the 1930's. Many Tea Party supporters primarily endorsed the movement because it seemed an alternative to both the Democrat and Republican parties. Voters were always tepid in their acceptance of the extreme libertarian views expressed by the founders of the Tea Party. This was perhaps best exemplified by the rejection of candidates such as Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Ken Buck in Colorado. The GOP candidates that won in the election of 2010 were simply mainstream conservatives running against establishment democrats.

Continue with your "fantasy" that the Tea Party has captured the hearts and minds of everyday Americans. It just aint so.

Write,call,e mail the congress critters and let them know we watch every vote.645 Days can fly by so act early and often.
Thanks,
J.

It isn't hard to understand, Americans are fed up with enormous government debts, high taxes, stealthy inflation, debased currency, corporate welfare, overseas military adventuring, uncontrolled borders, progressively degraded public services, racial politics, and unfair trade agreements. All the time hypocrites from both parties make flowery speeches trying to convince the people that the horrible governance and corrupt civil services are anything but self serving parasites that exist only for their own sake. Neither party is ready to lead or make the changes that might actually heal the Republic.

In the middle of the storm is a completely clueless, unqualified, large government socialist President who wants to "transform " the country by degrading our industrial capacity, monetary system and health care infrastructure. He should be worried and so should the Republicans who have contributed to the demise through the horrible Presidency of Bush II. Unfortunately it may be too little too late to stop the fire sale of US assets to the international bankers.

Most people have come to realize that it was a very bad idea to give this much power to a person who has never worked a "real" job in his life. Not once did Obama work at a job where the cost of failure was the shattering of his personal dream and the disruption of the lives of his employees and their families.
This isn't to say that all small businesses work, but even if he had tried and failed he would have learned how to pick himself back up and start over.
That conversation with Joe the Plumber really was a peek into Obama's mind. Obama my mean well but he is clueless on a personal level.

The GOP is on probation. If they do not begin immediately to dismantle socialism, they will go the way of the Whigs.

Talk about illegal immigrants in California. This former K-12 teacher has seen schools go from best in nation to 48th. Dept of Education www.cde.ca.gov shows just over half of students are now Latino. The Dept of Finance www.dof.ca.gov in 2000 projection growth from 34 million to 60 m. by 2050. Whites would stay even at 16 million while Latinos balloon from 11 to 31 million.
Importing poverty from a failed (but rich) southern neighbor is devastating.

The Democrats have only ever been able to win elections by pretending to be much more conservative than they are. The Obama administration has destroyed that fantasy. The Democrats are the party of the government bureaucracy and the elite corporate class; all maleducated in the same 'top' universities by an academy completely gutted by 'political correctness'...aka Marxism. The interests of this elite are at odds with the interests and beliefs of a large majority of the people in the country. There arent enough transfer recipients, subsidy parasites, New Age idealists and other helots of the megastate to elect these leftists any more, even when you throw in a few million phony ACORN ballots. But the Republiclowns have shown themselves to be very reluctant to make meaningful changes; they are as committed to the sagging status quo as any of the other members of the elite. Now, with bankruptcy staring us in the face, inflation beginning to rise and the economy in an unbreakable decline the people are demanding the Ivy League lawyers in Congress make some SERIOUS cuts in a government that is strangling the nation. They wont. Stay tuned for the meltdown.

The LA Times did not give this article a left slant? Did the editors review this? You know, if I continue to see more good reporting like this I might think about restarting my subscription.

I'm glad this was identified as political commentary, because it sure is misleading drivel.

The progressives have hijacked the demoRatic party with unions and special interest groups - they have over reached, over spent, over regulated - think they are smarter than ever one else - yet have FAILED to do anything constructive.
Perhaps Americans are just waking up to the disaster they elected in 08.
Centralized government has never worked and only leads to unpleasantness.
Unfortunately the current administration does not believe in history or even the current unsustainable conditions in Europe suffering under statism.

Progressivism = Totalitarianism

The progressives have hijacked the demoRatic party with unions and special interest groups - they have over reached, over spent, over regulated - think they are smarter than ever one else - yet have FAILED to do anything constructive.
Perhaps Americans are just waking up to the disaster they elected in 08.
Centralized government has never worked and only leads to unpleasantness.
Unfortunately the current administration does not believe in history or even the current unsustainable conditions in Europe suffering under statism.

Progressivism = Totalitarianism

"...Other than that though, the president's 62-minute speech seems to have gone over really well..."

-------------------------------

"Other than the deal about your kid, how was your Easter... Mary?"

Great article!

"The dominant media theme, perhaps wistfully, was that this showed a split or, worse a schism, in the GOP."

Yes, first they tried calling us "astroturf" then "ignorant" then "racists" then "murderers". Now they attempt to invent some "schism" between the Tea Party and Republicans like the honorable Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is a hero to the Tea Party movement, just as is the honorable Michele Bachmann.

This goofy "progressive" talking point demonstrates once again, how the lib MSM has become nothing but a tool of the Dim party.

The LAT is usually part of that pathetic progressive gaggle; kudos again for a fine article.

Tell a lie often enough and loudly enough and eventually people will begin to accept it as the truth. Since the 'mainstream' media is owned by the corporations, it's so easy to blanket every news media outlet with lies like the ones in this article.

I've often wondered WHO they poll for these results, (if anyone) ... I think it's all the folks who still use "land lines"... and we all know how progressive THEY are, and how few they are as well.

Hope that these promises are true, we must trust

Although I disagree with the Tea Party in some significant ways, I do think adherents to the rather vague, ill-defined philosophy they hold -- in terms of specifics, ill-defined, that is -- deserve a fair public hearing, and the most logical power center for that is indeed the GOP.

If nothing else, some old GOP hands, including elected ones, party power brokers, and Republicans holding appointive public office could all help the Tea Party folks learn that no matter how much they may dislike the fact that politics is the art of the possible arrived at through compromise, it remains a fact. Also, while wearing period costume is eye-catching for a time, it wears eventually. Personally, I now find it basically embarrassing at best and potentially damaging to the movement at worst (which in some ways wouldn't trouble me at all, actually). Further, perhaps someone in the GOP machinery could help Tea Partyers refine their written and spoken messages. Speaking for myself again, I find it offensive when someone says or writes something such as "We the People" -- often with the "p" in "people" capitalized, an obvious ploy -- "demand [such and such]." While, I'm a "people," and they sure don't speak for me. Contrary to the dearly cherished notion among some in the Tea Party movement, we roughly 310 million Americans weren't all cut with the same cookie cutter.

Again, however, they *are* Americans, and in our messy democracy, their voices should be heard, deserve to be heard, need to be heard I may try to counter their views and arguments -- but I'll never deny their right to offer those views and arguments (unless they seek to do so "Second Amendment" style, that is, in which case all bets are off).

To the GOP leadership, I say this, and it's harsh: you folks worked the Tea Party for your own advantage (both the party's generaly and you as members of the party), and I'm highly suspicious that you'll dump the Tea Party folks in a heartbeat -- if you believe you can do so, ignore them after, and go on your merry way. If my suspicion is indeed correct, then the situation is way beyond "Oh! How sad!"

It's loathsome.

That from a guy who has voted Republican some 70-80% of the time for near four decades, but who was grossed out by the party's "performance" in the 2009-2011 session of Congress. Any Republican is going to have to show a real excess of The Right Stuff next election to earn my vote. (Lest Democrats feel smug reading that, I actually demand that of *any* candidate.)


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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