NBC-WSJ poll: ‘Conservatives’ overwhelmingly support liberal policies

This recent Rachel Maddow Show segment is one of the best multi-media essays I’ve seen. Rich in thought, beautifully written, beautifully structured, perfectly presented.

The headline — A new NBC-WSJ Poll from 3/2/11, composed of 36% conservatives and only 24% liberals, found the following support levels:

81% – Taxing millionaires
68% – Eliminating Bush tax cuts
74% – Eliminating oil & gas subsidies
77% – Public union bargaining rights

Amazing data. Watch as Maddow explains, and then spins a rich fabric of ideas from this kernel:


There’s so much here that it’s tempting to annotate it all. But at the risk of short-sheeting some important ideas, just note this:

Maddow discusses the term “conservative” (at 2:12 in the clip). There’s a critical difference between “conservatives” and Movement Conservatives. Movement Conservatism is a revolutionary force, or more precisely, a revolutionary cadre.

Forget that fact and the game is over. Movement Conservative is “conservative” only in its branding, something designed precisely to make you forget that fact.

Republicans oppose these policies despite being popular, according to Maddow. I would add — they oppose these policies because they are popular. Their goal is to weaken our strengths by demonizing support for our strongest positions, not our weakest ones.

Or as David Cay Johnston says elsewhere — Conservatives are going after the most successful, best-funded financial programs in the country (Social Security, Medicare), not the unsuccessful badly-funded ones, then adds, there’s a reason for that. (The reason: They’re playing to win.)

Dems are fighting back (detailed at 11:18) and you can help. Here are some contribution links:

And finally, Maddow discusses Obama at 15:05. (Ok, “discusses” may not be the word. I’ll let you characterize what she does.) Perhaps our president just can’t find that “comfortable pair of shoes” he talked about. It would be tempting to send him some.

All in all, one fine piece of work by the show and its staff. Well done indeed.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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