Apr 26, 2011

Independents Bash Back at CBS News Commentary

In an opinion piece for CBS News, "professor" Michael Kazin bashes political independents in a piece entitled, "The independents: Voters without a clue?"  He writes:
No group in American politics gets more respect than independent voters. Pundits and reporters probe what these allegedly moderate citizens think about this issue and that candidate, major party strategists seek the golden mean of messaging that will attract independents to their camp and/or alienate them from the opposing one. Presidential nominees and aides struggle to come up with phrases and settings that will soothe or excite them. But what if millions of independents are really just a confused and clueless horde, whose interest in politics veers between the episodic and the non-existent?

That is certainly the impression one gets from dipping into the finer details of a mid-April survey of 1,000 likely, registered voters conducted by Democracy Corps, the outfit run by Stan Greenberg and James Carville . . .
The "professor" then goes on to summarize the "mildly hilarious" results from the poll, in which large percentages of those polled agree with the standard talking points of both the Democrats and the Republicans.  He continues:
By a margin of over 20 points, voters agree with these GOP lines: "Both Democrats and Republicans have run up deficits, but now they are out of control under President Obama and threatening our economy" . . . At the same time, by slightly higher percentages, they also agree with the Democrats that Ryan's budget would "eliminate guaranteed Medicare and Medicaid coverage" . . . Since avowed Republicans and Democrats line up consistently behind whichever arguments come from their side, it is the independents who are responsible for the contradictory results . . . [Emphases added]
One might wonder how this is even possible, since self-described Independents only account for 23% of those polled in the survey, and actual Independents only account for 5%!  According to the survey linked by Kazin (.pdf), only 5% of those polled identified themselves as true Independents, while 7% said they were Independent but leaned Democrat and 11% said they were independent but leaned Republican.  Even if one assumes that Independents of all ideological persuasions formed a monolith and answered all the questions the same way in this survey, arguably, there still aren't enough to account for the marginal swings identified by Kazin!

In other words, his article is complete and utter bullshit.  But what else would one expect from a professional propagandist for the dictatorship of the two-party state and duopoly system of government?  Not much, it seems.  Or at least, that's the impression one gets from the comments appended to the article.  A sample:

          by slatep April 26, 2011 2:31 PM EDT

by jd2408 April 26, 2011 2:11 PM EDT
This is great ! This is the 3rd article I have read bashing us independents. We are making a difference. They are starting to pay attention. Politicians who "say the words" but don't keep promises are being held accountable. We are well aware that neither party really works for the people and they are bought and paid for. The two party system is a sham. Independents are trying to take our country back. As an Independent I stay well informed on who I am voting for and what they are doing when elected.
by YetiRider7 April 26, 2011 1:56 PM EDT
I seriously hope CBS didn't pay this meathead for this article.
by workerdroid April 26, 2011 1:33 PM EDT
How about idiot reporter without a clue rambles on about some theory he developed to make himself look smart but ends up a laughing stock because....you guessed it. He's an IDIOT.
by taxpayingvoter April 26, 2011 12:24 PM EDT 
I feel that this mis-informed dolt needs to do a bit of fact finding and checking. I joined the American Independant Party in 1972. It was a real party not one of a bunch of people just wandering around bumping into walls. We had a clue back then when we knew that the 2 party system was just a sham. I do my own thinking, I use my head for more than a buttplg, something I can not say for the author of this POS story.  WE have a clue and we have a plan, to remove the 2 party system of lies and thieves.  Hey Micheal Kazin, don't pinch your azz so tight. You are starting to cut of the circulation to your head.
Of course, in general it is relatively easy to account for the fact that so many Americans agree with both Republican and Democratic talking points on any given issue.  Republicans argue that Democrats are reckless and out of control and the Democrats argue that the Republicans are dishonest and insane.  Naturally, these positions are not mutually exclusive, and, indeed, it is rather easy to see how the wide majority of Americans could agree with both Republicans and Democrats in this way.

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