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11/23/2004

Proof

Since the election, I have been pretty adamant about insisting that Bush was elected based on lies and public misperceptions of his agenda. People voted for him despite of what he stood for, not because of it. It's nice to see some vindication in the NYT/CBS News poll. "Nearly two-thirds of all respondents - including 51 percent of Republicans - said it was more important to reduce deficits than to cut taxes," "a majority continue to say they want [abortion] to remain either legal as it is now... or to be legal but under stricter limits," "a majority continue to support allowing either same-sex marriages or legally recognized domestic partnerships for gay people," "nearly a fifth said [Bush's tax cuts] had done more harm [than good], and just under half said the tax cuts had made little difference," "45 percent said a proposal to permit people to invest their Social Security withholding money in private accounts was a bad idea," and "51 percent said that Mr. Bush was unlikely to 'make sure Social Security benefits are there for people like me.'"

In more mixed news, "more than 6 in 10 of the respondents said people with higher incomes should pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes; 3 in 10 said all income groups should pay the same proportion." That support for progressive taxation is down to 60% is appalling - it is a bedrock principle of the US tax system. I recently had an argument with a self-employed techie who though progressive income taxes were Communist. It is almost impossible to argue with people whose understanding of politics and economics is almost entirely derived from talk radio.

The concern about Hollywood I consider to be a wash, at least potentially. First, I think it is largely a transient false positive, where people answer because they think its the right thing to do, rather than because they believe it. Second, because we on the left are less in thrall to the sexist materialism of the corporate media than the conventional wisdom suggests. It is an opportunity rather than an obstacle.

 

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