Posts Tagged ‘ridicule’

Even Democrats Are Alarmed At Loss Of Freedom As ObamaCare Details Emerge

April 24, 2010

From WND.com:

WND FREEDOM INDEX POLL
Dem faith in Obama plunges as health-care details emerge
Those who believe freedoms are increasing drop 10 percent

Posted: April 22, 2010
11:00 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of monthly “Freedom Index” polls conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.

While Americans generally took a breather from their increasing worry about losing freedoms under President Obama, Democrats over the last month actually began to express growing alarm as details of his health-care plan started to emerge.

The WND Freedom Index poll from Wenzel Strategies revealed that the index was 47.2 for the month of April, up just a tick from the near-record low of 46.7 in March.

The poll was conducted by telephone April 16-18 using an automated  technology calling a random sampling of listed telephone numbers nationwide. It carries a margin of error of 3.29 percentage points.

“On the core question of whether, under the Obama administration, Americans have seen an increase or a decrease in their personal freedoms, a majority of Americans still believe there has been a decrease of freedoms,” Wenzel said in an analysis of the results.

“The last month, however, has seen at least a temporary halt in the downward movement, as 52 percent in this latest survey said the nation has seen a cut in freedoms, compared to 55 percent who said the same thing last month.”

He continued, “However, the percentage of respondents who said they think Obama has presided over an increase in freedoms actually dropped from 33 percent a month ago to 31 percent today.”

Further, Wenzel noted, Democrats have indicated they are becoming alarmed.

“The poll shows Democrats have had a significant change of heart toward the negative in the last 30 days. In March, 68 percent of Democrats said they believed Obama has led to an increase in freedoms, but this month, just 58 percent said the same thing. It’s unclear what has caused this significant erosion in Obama’s political base, but it bears watching in the months to come.”

Wenzel noted some of the details of Obama’s health-care program have begun to emerge this month, “revealing far more restrictions and taxes than first advertised.”

“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that Congress had to pass a bill to find out what is in it is coming true, and it is coming back to haunt Democrats,” he said.

WND reported just a day earlier about a group of Americans who believe the federal government overstepped its constitutional bounds in passing the health-care legislation. They have begun rallying allies to a bold and controversial initiative: state nullification of the federal law.

“Now that health-care reform has been signed into law, the question people ask most is, ‘What do we do about it?'” said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, in a statement. “The status-quo response includes lobbying Congress, marching on D.C., ‘voting the bums out,’ suing in federal court and more. But the last 100 years have proven that none of these really work, and government continues to grow year in and year out.”

Instead, the center is reaching back into the history books to suggest states take up “nullification,” a controversial measure in which states essentially would say to the federal government, “Not in our borders, you don’t. That law has no effect here.”

The center is partnering with WeRefuse.com to announce release of model nullification legislation for states, called the Federal Health Care Nullification Act, and a call for 100,000 Americans to join a state-by-state petition to prompt legislators into action.

Wenzel also noted that April questions were fielded just after the April 15 tax-filing deadline – which also was a day for tea-party rallies across the country in protest of big government and high taxes.

“As those rallies became the focus of scorn from some media outlets, 62 percent of respondents said they felt that Americans today stand to face at least some retribution or ridicule for choosing to exercise their constitutional freedom to associate with whomever they wish,” Wenzel said.

“One in three respondents said they believe Americans are subject to substantial levels of scorn, ridicule, or even retribution for exercising their freedoms to gather with those who might not be acceptable to other elements of society. Not surprisingly, it is the conservative respondents who feel the most oppressed on this point – as 79 percent said Americans are subject to penalty of some sort based on who they associate with. Liberals were much less likely to see this as a problem – yet still 36 percent of liberals said they do think Americans in general come in for some penalty based on their circle of friends,” Wenzel’s analysis found.

“This sentiment is clearly captured in this polling data. This data is particularly stunning given that it is every American’s constitutional right to associate without fear of penalty or retribution,” he said.

The same poll showed Congress’ approval rating again has plunged to about 12 percent, tying an all-time low.

But it can go even lower, he said.

“As Obama and congressional Democrats now turn their eye to imposing heavy regulations on the national financial industry and the energy industry and on recasting immigration policy – all unpopular initiatives – there is no floor to how low their approval ratings might go.”

The monthly Freedom Index moved a tick upward based on “internal” moves that are beginning to indicate “increased polarization of the American public in the wake of the passage of the divisive health-care bill in Congress and as Americans get a peek at other controversial issues that are likely to be moved to the top of the political agenda this year.”

The index is based on a 100-point scale based on poll-respondent answers to 10 questions that sample different aspects of freedom in America, including freedom of speech, association, worship and assembly. An index rating of 50 is dead even, with ratings above that point signaling positive feelings about freedom in America and ratings below that point signaling negative feelings.

The index reached its lowest point ever – 46.3 – in December and nudged upward in January but then fell for two straight months.

Among the numbers in the poll:

  • 42.8 percent of Americans believe there’s been a “big decrease” in freedoms under Obama. Another 9.6 percent see “some decrease.”
  • 40.3 percent of Americans believe they are not very or not at all free to speak their minds without fear of punishment.
  • More than 33 percent of Americans believe they cannot associate with whom they choose without worrying about being punished or investigated.
  • One in five Americans expresses fear over being investigated for the way one worships.
  • More than 45 percent believe government is too intrusive.
  • More than 21 percent self-censor their thoughts on a given subject because of fear of penalty.

See detailed results of survey questions:

Do you believe that, under the Obama administration, America has seen an increase or a decrease in freedom?

Do you believe that today Americans can speak their minds freely without fear of punishment, penalty or retribution?

Do you believe that today Americans can associate with anyone they want, no matter who they are, without fear of penalty, government investigation or retribution?

Do you believe that today Americans can worship in any manner they choose without fear they will be punished, ostracized or investigated or face some other penalty?

Do you believe that the government today is using technology, such as cameras, scanners, and electronic health records, to become too intrusive into the lives of citizens?

If there were a controversial cause about which you felt strongly, would you be afraid to attend a local rally to voice your opinion because of fear of retribution, penalty, or government investigation?

How free do you feel to put a bumper sticker on your car or to wear a button expressing your political or religious beliefs?

How free do you feel to discuss political or religious beliefs in a public place, such as in a restaurant or on a bus or train?

Do you feel you are free to express what you truly think about any subject without fear of harm, punishment, government investigation, or some other penalty?

Do you find that you self-censor thoughts before speaking on certain issues in public because you fear harm, punishment, social rejection, or some other penalty?

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Save The Ridicule For Katie Couric, Not Sarah Palin

September 27, 2008

I have read the transcripts, and really can’t for the life of me understand why liberals gleefully proclaim that Sarah Palin embarassed herself.  I think we should be ridiculing Katie Couric rather than Sarah Palin.

Case in point: Couric’s “gotcha” question regarding Henry Kissinger:

Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can’t just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off-base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That’s beyond naïve. And it’s beyond bad judgment.

Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …

Palin: It’s dangerous.

Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?

Palin: I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, “Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.” Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren’t gonna go right. That’s part of diplomacy.

Okay, let’s do the fact check.  Was Couric right?

No.  The first “perky” anchor in major network history got it wrong.

Henry Kissinger has never called for direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions:

ABC News’ Kirit Radia Reports: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger came to the defense of longtime friend Sen. John McCain following Friday’s presidential debate saying he “would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level.”

“Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality,” Kissinger said in statement issued by the McCain campaign.

During the debate, Obama pointed to Kissinger to defend his position because the former secretary of state supports direct talks with high-level Iranians without preconditions. Kissinger does not, however, support the U.S. president personally engaging in those talks, a point which McCain sought to drive home during the debate.

If Couric wanted to ask Sarah Palin whether it would be appropriate to send a high level US official other than the President of the United States, it was her duty as the one asking the questions to make her question clear.  Given the obvious fact that it is a PRESIDENTIAL precondition-free negotiation with rogue regime leaders (thanks to Barack Obama’s idiotic position), Sarah Palin had every reason to assume that was what Couric was talking about.

So if anyone should be ridiculed, it should be Katie Couric – who was so eager to catch Palin in a “gotcha” question she botched her own trap – instead of Sarah Palin.