Push Poll Ideas

We often discuss framing and ways to better articulate our ideas to each other and to the nation at large. Let's take a break from that and develop ludicrous push poll questions that sound like a legitimate survey but, in reality, exist only to paint the conservative agenda in the worst possible light. Maybe if we get some real winners we can use them in October of 2006, nationwide.

Here's mine:

Do you support Senator Blank's policy that calls for an invasion of Saudi Arabia to overthrow the oppressive monarchy there so that in two years, after 1,500 American soldiers are dead, 11,000 American soldiers are wounded, and $300 billion American dollars have been spent, Saudis are able to hold elections where a fundamentalist Islamic government allied with Iran is elected to power in a landslide?

Let's hear your "questions."

Tags: Misc (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

Deficit
Do you support the Republican policy of borrowing money from China to finance tax cuts for Americans making over $100,000 a year?
by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Deficit
Or- do you think that the President should be handing control of our economy to our largest rival (or to a Communist nation, depending on the age of the person being asked)?
by Alex Urevick 2005-02-08 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Deficit
You are right that China is not well thought of by most Americans. Older Americans in particular were taught from their first day of school that China was a communist menace. The communist boogeyman is not so powerful now but China is still poorly regarded.

It sure seems like there are gains there for the taking by playing up Republicans reliance on China to finance our debt.

What do we do the next time China threatens to invade Taiwan now that China has us by the economic throat?

How do we protect against dumping of below cost products by China now that they have us by the throat?

How do we complain about unfair Chinese labor practices now that they have us by the throat?

How do we protest China supplying arms to unfriendly countries now that China has bankrolled our budget deficit?

And so on.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Deficit
The worst part about this is that it's not just a boogeyman.

China has made it official military policy to look for assymetric avenues of attack against America, including bulding capabilities to attack usand our critical infrastructires over the web. I'm sure that their power over our economy is, at least partially, being integrated in their military plans, and this should worry us all.

by Alex Urevick 2005-02-08 10:47AM | 0 recs
French Kissing
This one is just for fun. ;)

Do you believe President Bush was correct to adopt the French custom of kissing men who have supported his policies?

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 07:24AM | 0 recs
Not even technically a push poll
But I really think we need to get active on painting Bush as a big bad bully for cutting every single domestic program while giving money away to Iraqis. So here are mine:

Do you think it would be better to give people making more than $200,000 tax cuts of $20,000, or make sure people making $20,000 a year still have access to food stamps?

Do you think it is better to invest $5 billion in Iraqi education programs or $3 million in vocational training here in the United States?

Do you think we should use $50 million to fund programs keeping your drinking water safe, or should we allocate another $80 billion to fund fraud in Iraq?

Or a different approach:

The CPA and Interim Administration cannot account almost $9 billion of taxpayer money. There is evidence that money was lost to corruption. Should we provide more money to Iraqi reconstruction, or should we provide money to your child's school?

President Bush wants to provide further tax cuts to multinational corporations and the extremely rich. He has even proposed a "Job Creation" tax breaks that companies can use to fund projects that involve outsourcing. Do you think those tax cuts are more important, or are vocational retraining programs?

by emptywheel 2005-02-08 07:24AM | 0 recs
Asbestos
Do you support Senator Red now that they have balked at the idea of protecting hundreds of thousands of small innocent children who have been affected by asbestos poisoning?
by schweiz8 2005-02-08 07:35AM | 0 recs
This Fabulous Vacation Package Could Be YOURS!
If you were drafted to serve on the front lines of an invasion of Iran due to their WMD program and our decision not to engage in diplomacy, would you be willing to re-up for an invasion of Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, and just possibly France for the explicit confiscation of their delicious hoard of "Freedom Fries"?
by Green Irishboy 2005-02-08 07:36AM | 0 recs
adelphia porn
its over at dkos right now, but I think it makes a good question.

Rupert Murdoch is currently the owner of Fox News and a cable company that recently became the first cable company to sell hard-core pornography to its subscribers. As an outspoken and big-spending figure in the Republican party, should the Republican party continue accepting his corporate profits, partially made by pornography sales, as donations or join democrats in publicly refusing any support he would offer?

by srolle 2005-02-08 07:38AM | 0 recs
A Question
Which do you favor ... doubling the cost of drugs for our Veterans or giving tax breaks to multi-millionaires such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity?

Which should the government fund ... armor for our soldiers in combat or government funded kickbacks for major investment houses?

by bringohiohome 2005-02-08 07:39AM | 0 recs
Redistricting Reform
Would you rather let the politicans pick which voters they get to ensure they can get extreme as possible or would you prefer to pick your politicans?
by DaveB 2005-02-08 07:40AM | 0 recs
Poisons
Recently, to prevent the chemical industry from losing profits, the Bush Administration crafted new rules allowing for poisonous mercury hotspots as long as polluters maintained an average level of poison emissions. Too much mercury causes brain damage in children. Do you believe allowing poisonous mercury hotspots to save money for polluters is an acceptable policy?
by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 07:40AM | 0 recs
The Draft
President Bush and other Republicans have identified Iran as a possible military target. America currently does not have enough troops for such a venture. Would you support reinstating a draft of young American men and women so that the U.S. can invade Iran?
by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 07:43AM | 0 recs
Here are a couple I'd ask:
I tried to phrase these the way a pollster would. I also took some slight liberties with facts/data because that appears to be part of the whole push polling thing.

Do you believe the President's decision to raise the cost of Veterans' healthcare the number of Veterans is increasing due to our involvement in Iraq is
a)fair necessary to support make permanent the president's tax cuts and Veterans should take on more of the burden for their own healthcare since they volunteered for service
b)unfair, given how high the profits of pharmaceutical companies are and how much the Veterans have given up to support our country
c) unsure?

Do you agree with the Republicans' decision to rewrite ethics laws in order to keep their leaders in place?

For those registered as Republicans only, Do you feel that the Republicans' traditional position wanting small government has been replaced by faith in big government has made you more or less likely to support Republicans in future elections?

by cfr 2005-02-08 07:43AM | 0 recs
One more:
After September 11, President Bush promised to make Osama bin Laden pay for his crime, and promised to capture him "dead or alive." The president has now changed his opinion, stating in a White House briefing that he's no longer worried about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.

Do you feel that the president's decision to stop pursuing justice for the victims of 9/11 was justified?

by cfr 2005-02-08 07:46AM | 0 recs
Social Security
Do you believe President Bush is right that we should cut Social security benefits by 50% and borrow 4.5 trillion dollars to allow individuals to invest a small amount of money in the stock market?
by snaktime 2005-02-08 08:11AM | 0 recs
Push Poll Ideas
Do you believe that it is important to act strong in the face of your enemies and to fight for what you believe in and the way you were raised?  

If yes, if a foreign power bombed your country and killed people you know and love, would you take up arms to drive them out of your country and exact revenge on them?

If yes to both of these questions, do you like being a terrorist?

by Spartacus 2005-02-08 08:13AM | 0 recs
Secular or Theocratic Iraq
Do you believe that George Bush was right to spend $300B and 1500+ US troops died and 10,000+ injured to install Iran affiliated Shiite theocratic Democracy in Iraq?  

IS fundamentalist, extremist militant Islam a cause for terrorism?  And if so, why the hell did we contribute to allow fundamentalists to control Iraq.

by jasmine 2005-02-08 12:26PM | 0 recs
Push Poll
Bearing in mind that a billion dollars is equal to one thousand individual million dollar bills, does the fact that as much as 16 billion dollars in Iraqi oil money is misplaced make you more likely or less likely to support similar actions in Iran?

Follow up question:

If George Bush were to acknowledge his cocaine use, would you feel more secure or less secure about the aforementioned missing billions of dollars?

by OxBuzzard 2005-02-08 12:30PM | 0 recs
No Winners
Push polls generate so much backlash that those conducting them go to considerable efforts to disguise their origin. So soliciting push poll ideas on a public, partisan, Democratic website does what for the party's interests?

Like most of the framing dialogue, the premise here seems to be the voters are just pawns swayed by the rhetoric of competing elites. In fact, voters are far more capable of independent judgment.

by SLinVA 2005-02-08 03:26PM | 0 recs
Winners
I think you are too quick to dismiss this thread, and wrong to dismiss framing. The ideas in this thread are usable for more than push polls. For instance, when I wrote this:

Do you support the Republican policy of borrowing money from China to finance tax cuts for Americans making over $100,000 a year?

I thought it was a) true, and b) something that voters should know about. Whether it is delivered by push poll, or blog, or TV, or radio, I want voters to know about it. If they do, I think they are more likely to vote Democratic.

I'm not insulting voters by wanting to tell them about how Republican policies have led to our vulnerability to the Peoples Republic of China. I'm trusting them to understand that the actions of Republicans have led us there and that Democrats understand the risks better and will fix the situation.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-08 06:14PM | 0 recs
China Questions
Where do you guys get you information on China?  The last numbers I saw were in 98 and China held rougly 47 billion in bonds or roughly 6-7% of National Debt.  Nothing close to the UK, Japan or Germany.  Considering our GNP it really isn't that big, but maybe things have changed in the last few years.  

Is this a scare tactic or a reality?  If a scare tactic why would we use it as an argument?  Sometimes people repeat things more than sheep.  Honesty is the best policy.

by Classical Liberal 2005-02-09 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: China Questions
It is a reality. Please clarify what you think is dishonest.

I did a quick google and came up with some numbers and info.
Dollar falls on report China cuts US bond holdings

Statistics from the US Treasury Department show Chinese mainland holdings of treasury securities totalled US$174.7bn at the end of September, up from US$172.3bn at the end of August.

Meanwhile, China's foreign exchange reserves rose from US$496.2bn US dollars to US$514.5bn, suggesting a fall in the proportion of reserves held in treasury bonds.

I regularly read a financial website named RealMoney.com (and sister site TheStreet.com) at which it is conventional wisdom among the writers there (most are deeply conservative) that the U.S. dollar and interest rates are being propped up by foreign buying of U.S. Treasuries and Dollars. The deep concern there and in other financial circles is that if China in particular was to stop buying U.S. Treasuries at the rate they currently buy them then there will be deep shocks to the American economy.

From the Asia Times:

China-US: Double bubbles in danger of colliding
By Ian Williams

What happens when two bubbles collide? Do they both burst, or do they coalesce and become an even bigger bubble - which will eventually burst even more spectacularly? That is the question posed by the growth figures from both the US and China, whose growth rates are tied in ways that neither seems to want to admit too loudly.

Even before this week's figures on China's explosive 9.1 percent growth in 2003, which many commentators thought actually understated the reality, the United Nations' annual economic report had identified the People's Republic of China as the locomotive for growth in Asia (with a nod to India), and added that the US with its 4 percent growth rate will do the same job for the industrialized world. But once again, the question must be asked - will these two Chinese and US engines run in the same direction indefinitely, or will they begin to diverge? Indeed, even more scarily, will they have a head-on collision and involve the world economy in the mother of all train-wrecks?

The problems have been noted. The UN report cited "the rapid rising weight of China in the world economy and its role in the present recovery," but it also warned that UN economists see a need for the US to reduce its government deficit. That echoed the very trenchant International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that described the deficit as "perilous" in the long run, posing "significant risks" to the rest of the world. IMF economists also cautioned that one should add to the short term a US$500 billion deficit that the US administration is running, a further US$47 trillion in unfunded long-term commitments for US Social Security and the federally funded Medicare health program for the elderly and indigent. And the IMF pointed out that there were additional liabilities from cash-strapped local governments, forced to borrow to compensate for federal cutbacks.

On the American trade deficit, the IMF also warned ominously, "The United States is on course to increase its net external liabilities to around 40 percent of its GDP within the next few years - an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country." The report suggested that this situation would push the dollar even further down.
<... article continues ...>

One has to question the long-term economic rationale for China of putting its long-term assets into very low-interest bonds in a currency that has already dropped recently by a third - and is going to drop even more. It certainly makes strategic sense: if push came to shove over, for example, the Taiwan Strait, all Beijing has to do is to mention the possibility of a sell order going down the wires. It would devastate the US economy more than any nuclear strike the Chinese could manage at the moment.

You may find other opinions that suggest the problem is not so deep but clearly there is a wealth of supporting information showing deep concern among many about the massive amount of U.S. Dollars and Treasury Bonds held by China.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-09 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: China Questions
I wasn't suggesting you were dishonest.  The only numbers I can find from the Treasure Dept are from 98.  Forty-seven billion for China.  Even balking at $174 billion isn't cause for alarm in my opinion.  

If as a party you want trust and a good reputation, then drop the alarmist bs.  No one even cares about the National Debt, much less about China, they are moving towards democracy and not feared like 30 years ago.

Just like Bush says SS is in a crisis and it isn't this is the same case.  After the crap about "The Worst Economy since Hoover" the Dems have lost a lot of reputation.  Continued chicken little syndrome is not helping.

If you have links to the treasury dept that would be great.  An asian newspaper quoting the IMF doesn't help me.

It is true negative energy builds steam fast, but only positive energy endures.  Reaching for the next catastrophy isn't helping.  

If it is a true problem, what would you do?  The Party of Solutions sounds better than the Party of dispare.

by Classical Liberal 2005-02-09 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: China Questions
The U.S. Treasury has a table with data through the end of November 2004, MAJOR FOREIGN HOLDERS OF TREASURY SECURITIES. It shows China behind only Japan as the second largest holder of U.S. Treasuries with 191 billion at the end of November 2004.

Chinese holdings of U.S. Currency are also very large and a search of Google will show that when China even talks about what they might do with their holdings it moves the financial markets. Try "china bonds U.S. treasury" or "china U.S. currency" as a start for search words.

Whether you believe this is significant or not there are many knowledgeable people who do consider it a real problem. Beyond that, I guess the best I can offer at this point is to agree to disagree.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-09 12:56PM | 0 recs

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