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Whiny baby Bauer: Bush is losing touch with his 'base'

Tiny Gary Bauer can’t stop wringing his hands; the downtrodden Christofascist is now blaming Dear Leader’s bottom-dwelling poll numbers on a drop-off support from his “base.” Gary, that’s all he has left, otherwise he’d be below 30%, you knobend.

President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have reached an all-time low, and one pro-family advocate believes it could be a sign that his administration is losing touch with its base. Gary Bauer, director of the Campaign for Working Families, says the White House has been slow to respond to several incidents lately, and that has contributed to the president’s low approval ratings, now near 40 percent.

Bauer says he has heard rumors that fatigue is setting in. “Quite a few of the key people in the White House are, quite frankly, tired,” he notes, “and that’s understandable …. It’s a draining atmosphere — there is no slow day.” If that is the case, the conservative pro-family leader feels the solution is obvious.

I hope the president will look at his staff and perhaps bring in some people who are better connected to the values of middle America,” he says. Critics claim the slow response to the ports deal, Cheney’s shooting incident, and immigration issues all point to a tired presidential staff.

A fun flashback to 2000:


Little Gary flips some flapjacks and tumbles off the stage at a campaign stop during his failed presidential run.

More mewling from Bauer:
* More boo-hoos: Gary Bauer and the “persecuted Christians”
* Gary Bauer: it’s the media’s fault that military recruiting is tanking

***

Anyway, as I said at the top, Tiny Gary’s mistaken. The only folks still propping up Dear Leader in the polls are the fringe element. Yesterday, on NPR’s All Things Considered, Linda Wertheimer had a report on just that phenomenon. You can listen to it here.

The “social conservatives,” according to Pew Research Center, make up about 11 percent of Americans over age 18. They are almost all Republican — and mostly women. More info from Pew, gathered in the aftermath of the 2004 election:

Political Typologies: Social Conservatives
AT A GLANCE:

11 percent of adult population
13 percent of registered voters

PARTY ID: 82 percent Republican, 18 percent Independent/No Preference, 0 percent Democrat (97 percent are Republican/Lean Republican)

BASIC DESCRIPTION: While supportive of an assertive foreign policy, Social Conservatives are somewhat more religious than Enterprisers. (Enterprisers are defined as an extremely partisan Republican group whose politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system, with social values that reflect a conservative agenda). In policy terms, Social Conservatives break from the Enterprisers in their cynical views of business, modest support for environmental and other regulation, and strong anti-immigrant sentiment.

DEFINING VALUES: Conservative on social issues ranging from gay marriage to abortion. Support an assertive foreign policy and oppose government aid for the needy, believing people need to make it on their own. Social Conservatives are strongly worried about the impact of immigrants on American society. They’re more middle-of-the-road on economic and domestic policies, expressing some skepticism about business power and profits, and some support for government regulation to protect the environment. While not significantly better-off than the rest of the nation, most Social Conservatives express strong feelings of financial satisfaction and security.

KEY BELIEFS:

* Homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society:

General Population — 44 percent
Social Conservatives — 65 percent

* The growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values:

General Population — 40 percent
Social Conservatives — 68 percent

* Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return:

General Population — 34 percent
Social Conservatives — 68 percent

* Business corporations make too much profit:

General Population — 54 percent
Social Conservatives — 66 percent

WHO THEY ARE: Predominantly white (91 percent), female (58 percent) and the oldest of all groups (average age is 52; 47 percent are 50 or older); nearly half live in the South. Most (53 percent) attend church weekly; 43 percent are white evangelical Protestants (double the national average of 21 percent).

LIFESTYLE NOTES: 56 percent have a gun in their home, and 51 percent attend Bible study groups.

2004 ELECTION: Bush 86 percent, Kerry 4 percent.

MEDIA USE: Half of all Social Conservatives cite newspapers as a main source of news; the Fox News Channel (34 percent) and network evening news (30 percent) are their major TV news sources.

There really aren’t any surprises in these figures. It’s just depressing to see them again.

A couple of silver linings:
* A lot of them are old, and they are going to die off.

* It’s clear that the Republicans don’t know how to handle the anti-corporate mentality of this group, which revolves more around self-concern than any commitment to social justice, of course. Big profits and fat cats with golden parachutes as they close American plants and outsource, just isn’t popular with folks of any political stripe, save the ruling class that benefits financially from the greed and corruption of a large slice of corporate America. It’s the one area you know the fringe element is having a difficult time swallowing the anything-for-cash Bush’s ports deal, the Abramoff sleaze, etc. Maybe some will stay home and not vote over this one.

* The “newcomers from other countries”. That euphemism won’t wash with the freeper crowd. We’re talking illegal immigration, specfically those brown people coming over the southern border. This is another thorn in the side of the Republicans. Bush’s business masters want the cheap labor to exploit, and he answers to his masters, not the come-to-Jeebus xenophobic crowd. They know this, and they are angry.

***

The big problem with the immigration issue is that neither party has seriously addressed the issue of how to deal with the flood of undocumented workers. When do you ever see this topic on Sunday talk shows? It’s another head-in-the-sand, sorry-ass symptom of Dems afraid of appearing to be racist and Republicans afraid of appearing to favor the business class over Main Street America, where jobs are evaporating (well, some don’t mind).

I hate to break it to Dems, but it isn’t racist to see that undocumented workers (and their families) are overwhelming the emergency rooms because they have no health care, and their children are responsible for the explosive growth in the public schools, stressing state budgets, to name only two issues that should concern everyone
.

The problem is that no politician wants to look America (including those social conservatives) in the eye and say — you want cheap food in your market, affordable new houses, and your lawn mowed on the cheap — and you’re getting it on the backs of undocumented workers picking those vegetables, building those new homes, and cutting your grass. These workers are helping to drive the economy — and to drain social safety net at the very same time. No one is taking a realistic approach to figure anything out. It’s why you have the governors of border states outraged at Washington, no matter the party affiliation.

Meanwhile, people who are trying to immigrate legally continue get the shaft, stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork and morass of rules and regulations just to work here long-term, never mind become a U.S. citizen.

Everyone loses because of the inertia — our government isn’t working; it’s all about getting by, posturing and getting re-elected, not actual problem-solving.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding