Polling on the Absolute Power Presidency

There's a lot of meat here to ponder on the spy scandal.  We're still working on a set of questions to poll on.

There are just so many angles.

For instance, John Aravosis points out that Bush's determination that the President can spy on whoever he wants means that the 2nd amendment is gone. If you own a gun, you're going to be tracked and targeted.  Or maybe you won't.  Who knows?  The President is just saying 'trust me'.  

There's also this one.  Laura Rozen asks a good question. Why is Bush using the FISA courts at all if he has absolute executive power?  

Then there's Alito.  From PFAW:

As a member of the Solicitor General's Office, Judge Alito argued that Cabinet officials who authorized illegal wiretaps of Americans to gather intelligence about possible terrorist activities were entitled to absolute immunity from liability.

In other words, if you're in the executive branch and you order an illegal wiretap, don't worry about any consequences.  It's fine.  You're covered under the world according to Alito.

This is about America turning into a police state.  It's that simple.

As for polling this, here are the best comments so far on what to ask:


We're going to be asking for more than dollars for polling, too.  Once we finalize the questions, we're going to be asking for your help in finding out who stands where on this.  This isn't just about Bush.  Every person in Congress has a position on this, and we're going to find out what it is.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)



To quote an article from Yahoo news on this:
Appealing for support, Bush used the word  "understand" 25 times in a nearly hour-long news conference. "I hope the American people understand -- there is still an enemy that would like to strike the United States of America, and they're very dangerous," he said.

I understand something as well: that there is indeed an enemy that would like to destroy everything worthwhile that the US stands for...  it's only too bad that that enemy lives at the White House and that all his Republican allies have been bought.

by tive 2005-12-19 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Understandings
If that guy says "you gotta understand" one more time, I'll explode.

This is the person, you remember, who told the press corps that "disassemble" "means not telling the truth."

Who does he think he is to tell me that I don't understand something?

by Marc in KS 2005-12-20 04:16AM | 0 recs
Rolling back the clock
I used to think conservatives wanted to take us back into the 1920's. Now I realize they want to take us back into the 1300's. The divine right of presidents shall not be challenged!
by LiberalFromPA 2005-12-19 12:48PM | 0 recs
Earlier Than That, Actually...
The Magna Carta was signed in 1215.
by Paul Rosenberg 2005-12-19 02:25PM | 0 recs
A good question ask
Do you agree with the Administration's position that U.S. people only have rights at the discretion of the President?
by danielj 2005-12-19 02:05PM | 0 recs
The Conservative Threat Level
The Bush wiretap revelations mean it's probably time to raise the Conservative Threat Level.

The Conservative Threat Level (CTL) is currently Orange/Elevated: Church and State to Merge.

by AvengingAngel 2005-12-19 02:11PM | 0 recs
From wamoshiii.typepad.com

cultural revolution

From SouthCoastToday.com comes news that Department of Homeland Security officials visited an Umass Dartmouth senior, after he requested an inter-library loan of an official copy of Mao's Little Red Book for use in researching a term paper on totalitarianism.  Only the incomparably obtuse will fail to grasp the irony here, blemished though it is with horror.  Coming on the heels of reports that spies are monitorong war protesters, disobedient churches, and untold others, many of whom mistook what they were doing for an exercise of their constitutional rights, one supposes DHS officials have also visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After all, the occupying regime has demonstarted its taste for the totalitarian.

Bloogers who support these Kafkaesque practices label those who disagree "Commies", without any apparent ear for the irony in what they say.  For just such an example of the incomparably obtuse, I offer this from AnkleBitingPundits.com.

by wamoshiii 2005-12-19 03:02PM | 0 recs
More on crosstabs
The crosstabs of the issues questions with the demographics will be invaluable in constructing talking points and memes which can be used to pry away portions of dubya's faltering constituency from him.

It might be best to use that detailed information (for instance) in a communication plan by spreading it over the progressive blogosphere and ultimately (and virally) into more "traditional" media.

Think about what a demographic on gun ownership might look like with a whole bunch of crosstabs on domestic spying. Wayne LaPierre's head would explode when the various implications involved in surveillance of gun owners started hitting "letters to the editor" all over small town and rural America.

Be judicious in sharing all of the results with the media (and the opposition) - use the information wisely. Be sure of the ethical requirements (in opinion research) once you start publicly releasing the results.

Releasing all of the information to everyone gives the opposition the benefit of your expensive research (with no cost to them).  

In 1997:

...Frank Luntz, upon whose surveys the Republicans based their ``Contract with America'' in 1994, was censured by his peers last month. The American Association of Public Opinion Research criticized Luntz for failing to make public the wording of his questions and other information, which it regards as a violation of polling ethics.

Luntz and the Republicans in Congress claimed that each of the 10 Contract items had at least 60 percent public support. That may have been so, but because the phrasing of questions can affect the response and methodology can alter the results, pollsters who publicize their findings are expected to provide basic information so that others can make their own judgments.

Luntz, who is not a member of the AAPOR, said that his first obligation was to his client, and that he was merely abiding by their wishes....

Isn't it interesting how the opposition operates? They created media buzz (thanks to a very lazy and incompetent media) - and to this day, the meme that the "Contract on America" reflected the views of the voters in 1994 permeates everything. To the point that we have Democrats calling for our own version of that tripe. To my knowledge the republicans never released the information - no independent parties vetted or confirmed their methodology.

by Michael Bersin 2005-12-19 04:34PM | 0 recs
If I understand correctly
the President's argument is that

Article II, section 2:

"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;"

Grants him immunity from obeying laws established by Congress and signed by the President and that he may take any action whatsoever that he deems necessary to fulfill his obligation as set out in

Article II, Section 1 (last paragraph):

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Is the gist of this argument?

by Andrew C White 2005-12-19 05:41PM | 0 recs
The loophole for dubya
...to the best of my Ability...
by Michael Bersin 2005-12-20 01:32AM | 0 recs
No offense intended....but choose an organization you trust...give them the basic topic...and let them come up with the questions!

Polling is largely a science and partly an art of designing and asking questions.

Hire an organization or your self-produced questions will not be viewed with validity by any media.

I support your goal. And I will contribute to the hiring. But let professionals do the professionals job.

by BigDog 2005-12-20 07:01AM | 0 recs


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