Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Support For Tea Party Declines; Rush In Denial

Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh offered a vigorous defense of the "Tea Party," commenting that CNN has found

"47% of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party." To me that means a majority has a favorable view, and she goes on to editorialize to why: "Maybe it's because of how a couple Tea Party-backed governors are trying to balance their budgets..." Ahhhh, yes. Well, Ms. Costello and the rest of you, let's just wait 'til November 2012, shall we? You want to find out what the American people are really thinking? There are stories in the stack today: The Tea Party, have they gone away? The Tea Party, have they faded away? Tea Party, did they think it was over in November? The Tea Party hasn't gone anywhere. The Tea Party is out there as passionate as ever; the Tea Party is out there growing. It's almost kinda good that the left might think the Tea Party has peaked and is on its way down.

"47% of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party." To me that means a majority has a favorable view. Someone ought to introduce Rush to the concept of undecided or "don't know." In this case, it was 14% with "no opinion" and 7% never heard of 'em. That leaves the 47% with an unfavorable view and 32% with a favorable view of the "Tea Party."

That 32% is what Mr. Limbaugh refers to as a majority. As with so many of Rush's allegations which contrast with objective reality, it is difficult to determine if it is dishonesty or extraordinary ignorance. However, understanding that avoidance of detail is often necessary to maintain a conservative worldview, Limbaugh may never have seen the actual breakdown of attitudes toward the tea party. But it is inconceivable, learning that 47% have an unfavorable view, that he would conclude that a majority have a favorable view. The most generous assumption would be 50% (plus 1) of the respondents with a favorable view, which would leave a mere 3% uncertain. This is nearly inconceivable and the conclusion that Rush Limbaugh lied is virtually unavoidable.

The poll, though, should be of only limited comfort to liberals and/or Democrats. As budget negotiations indicate, the views of the corporate interests behind the various tea party organizations still hold sway in Washington.

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