Bush appointee invents America where everyone agrees with him

70 percent of Americans think exactly like Peter Kirsanow, according to polls that he made up


Alex Pareene
August 25, 2010 1:55AM (UTC)

Former Bush administration recess appointee Peter Kirsanow has written what he thinks is a clever post indeed at The Corner, in which he wonders how liberals can possibly claim to love America when vast, huge, massive majorities of Americans hate liberals and everything they stand for.

Emphasis mine:

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Consider some of the statements from prominent politicians and their acolytes in the elite media regarding recent controversies -- the Ground Zero mosque, the Arizona illegal-immigration law, the financial-reform bill, the California marriage referendum, Obamacare, Afghanistan, and the administration's Gulf drilling moratorium. Their commentary suggests (if the polling on these issues is reasonably accurate) that approximately 70 percent of Americans are racist, xenophobic, greedy, homophobic, uncaring, and stupid religious bigots, and bloodthirsty, polluting imperialists to boot.

Well.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans oppose the so-called "ground zero mosque," according to one CNN poll. According to an Economist poll, a majority of Americans acknowledge that Muslims have the constitutional right to build houses of worship.

Fifty-five percent of people support the immigration bill. A majority of respondents -- 54 percent! -- also believe that the bill will lead to anti-Hispanic discrimination.

Then his list of things 70 percent of Americans support gets odd. A vast majority of Americans supported stricter financial reform, in April. In July, pollsters found that most Americans had no opinion of the financial reform bill, and many had never heard of it. Other polls found that people didn't think it would work. Responses seem to depend entirely on how the question is worded.

California's Proposition 8 passed with 52.24 percent of the votes. One recent CNN poll found a majority of Americans favoring gay marriage, and support for gay marriage is on the rise in every state in the nation.

Opposition to healthcare reform remains, with fluctuations, around 50 percent. Many Americans don't know much about it.

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Americans no longer particularly support the war in Afghanistan, but being antiwar doesn't track with the "liberals think 70 percent of Americans are imperialists and bigots" argument, at all. (When the question is about Obama's handling of the way, the results are usually close to tied between approval and disapproval, in the mid-40s.)

According to Gallup, 47 percent of Americans support lifting the drilling moratorium and 46 percent oppose.

So! "If the polling on these issues is reasonably accurate," Peter Kirsanow basically just imagines, in his head, that 70 percent of Americans agree with him about everything.

It takes a strange sort of psychology to imagine that slim majorities of Americans, as measured by sometimes wildly divergent opinion polls, are infallible, as long as they agree with you. Though I guess the task is made easier if you are simply convinced, without evidence, that vast majorities are on your side.

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But, based on that logic, how can Kirsanow possibly claim to love this nation, when majorities still hate his former boss, and so many millions voted to elect Barack Obama and this entire Democratic Congress?

The best part of Kirsanow's post is actually the second line, on Democrats' complaining about having their patriotism called into question during the Bush years: "Of course, no one had questioned their patriotism...." Someone tell that to the entire 2004 Republican convention!


Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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