Like many Democrats, I was cheered to read Donovan Slack’s Politico report a couple of weeks ago about a Bloomberg survey, “Obama leads 53-40 in national poll,” outlier though it may have been. But what really lifted my spirits was an entry in the comments on the poll by a former math professor, Richard Schwartz. His succinct wrap-up provides a prime example of why political message-makers should draw from the insights of those who are not political professionals. Here are Schwartz’s comments, which should have pretty good shelf-life as pro-Obama talking points up through election day:
The poll results are not surprising when one considers a number of factors, including the following:
1. Mitt Romney and other Republicans are promoting policies similar to or often worse than those that had such disastrous results during the Bush administration, including converting a three-year major surplus, which was on track to completely eliminate the total federal debt, into a major deficit, creating very few net jobs (none in the private sector), and leaving the country on the brink of a depression, with an average of 750,000 jobs being lost during its last three months.
2. Republicans have obstructed efforts to get our country out of the tremendous ditch they left us in by voting no on and sometimes filibustering many Democratic proposals, some of which they previously supported and sometimes even co-sponsored. Hence, it is not surprising that a recent poll showed that 49% of Americans believe that Republican Congress members are purposely sabotaging the U.S. economy in order to defeat Obama and other Democrats, while only 40% disagree.
3.. Republicans support continued tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and highly profitable corporations, while basic social services that middle class and poor people depend on are being cut and teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and others are losing their jobs.
4. Republican legislators have voted against providing funds to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters, providing unemployment benefits to long-time unemployed people, and providing medical benefits to 9/11 responders.
5. Republicans are generally in denial about the tremendous dangers from climate change, in spite of a very strong consensus in peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and statements by scientific academies all over the world, as well as the many wake-up calls we have been receiving in terms of severe storms, tornados, floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, that climate change is a major threat, largely caused by human activities. Anyone who thinks that climate change is a hoax promoted by liberals should visit the website of the “Republicans for Environmental Protection.” (www.rep.org). This conservative group was only able to endorse four percent of Republicans in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections because so many Republicans are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats.
6. The Republican Party has moved far to the right under the influence of the Tea Party. There are very few moderate Republicans in Congress today.
7. While far more needs to be done, Democrats have enacted policies that have turned the economy away from the possible depression that the Bush administration left the U.S. on the brink of. More net private-sector jobs have been created already during the Obama administration than during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency.
As Schwartz concludes, “While Democratic policies have not always lived up to our hopes, largely due to Republican obstructionism, a return to Republican rule would be a nightmare. Hence, it is essential to vote Democratic in 2012.”