There are a number of uber-conservative commentators who have arrived at the conclusion that Fox News has slithered down the rabbit hole to a Hades-flavored Wonderland of liberalism. They have convinced themselves that Fox has become as liberal as what they perceive the rest of the media to be. For example. Cliff Kincaid of the far-right Accuracy in Media sees the recent hiring of Fox contributor (and out lesbian) Sally Kohn as evidence of the network’s rightist apostasy. If that bothers him, wait until he sees this: According to a new Fox News poll…
“Barack Obama bests each of the Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical matchups. In addition, the president’s job approval rating hits its highest point in over six months.”
The poll reveals that voters prefer Obama over Romney (47-42), Paul (48-38), Santorum (50-38), and Gingrich (51-38). [Note: A Fox News poll two years ago had similar results] On questions of enthusiasm and integrity, Obama also outpolled all of the Republican hopefuls. Twice as many voters say they are “very” confident in Obama’s ability to fix the economy as say so about Romney. And a majority (61%) of voters approve of the administration’s position on requiring all employer health plans to provide coverage for contraception.
That settles it. Obviously Rupert Murdoch has either succumbed to the will of the Kenyan dictator occupying the White House, or he has converted to Islam, or he has employed a polling firm owned by George Soros. What other explanations can there be for Fox News suddenly reneging on it’s obligation to publish only GOP-friendly press releases dressed up as news?
There are some other notable findings tucked away in the internals of this poll that unveil interesting realities about the Tea Party. First of all, validating my long-held contention that there is no Tea Party (it’s just the farthest right flank of the Republican Party) is that 72% of the so-called Tea Partiers vote Republican. They are even more Republican than other Republicans. For instance on the issue of contraception coverage, Republicans oppose the administration by 57%, but Tea Partiers oppose it by 71%.
More interestingly, the Tea Party faction is a decidedly gloomy congregation. On the economy, 64% of Republicans hold the view that the worst is yet to come, but 72% of Tea Partiers are the hard core economic pessimists. And on almost every question where there was some judgment about Obama, the Tea Partiers were significantly more negative:
- If Barack Obama were to be re-elected, respondents who said they would be “scared”:
Republican: 55% / Tea Party: 68%
- Respondents saying that Obama doesn’t have the integrity to serve:
Republican: 66% / Tea Party: 75%
- Respondents saying they are not confidant in Obama fixing the economy:
Republican: 65% / Tea Party: 76%
- Respondents saying that they are not confidant in Obama preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons:
Republican: 48% / Tea Party: 63:
Perhaps the Tea Party could just be renamed the Knee-Jerk Virulently Anti-Obama Party. It is that sort of extremist, fringe positioning that has made the Tea Party anathema even to many loyal Republicans. It is why Tea Party candidates like Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Linda McMahon, Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck, Carly Fiorina, all bombed so miserably in the last election cycle. It’s why the GOP clown car was filled to the brim with characters like Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. And it’s why there is so little enthusiasm for their inevitable, empty suit nominee Mitt Romney
Americans are a generally optimistic bunch. They don’t have much in common with the doomsayers that populate Glenn Beck rallies. And for as long as the GOP allows such pessimism to permeate their ranks, they will be perceived as the party of despair and irrational hatred. But judging by the stump speeches of their current batch of presidential candidates, that may be exactly what they are aiming for.