As someone who actually did grow up in inner city Flint, it’s hard for me to take someone who grew up in an all-white nearby farm town, yet claims himself a Flint native all that seriously. It’s akin to claiming Compton roots when you actually grew up in Simi Valley. But one thing I agree with Michael Moore on is that AOL is where mainstream America connects to the Internet and that it pays to pay attention.
All the time, my friends, my brothers and people who write me care of my e-mail address on Counterpunch articles take me to task for my poor choice of Internet providers. Of course they have a point: as I write this, AOL has mysteriously blocked my access to a Counterpunch list. But like MMFlint, I keep AOL just so I can see what this segment of the populace is up to. And if Karl Rove is also paying attention, he’s probably seeking out Jeff Gannon for solace.
One of the things AOL has is an interactive poll called The Daily Pulse. As recently as a year ago, AOL users were some of the Bush administration’s most fervent supporters. The Daily Pulse showed pro-Bush, pro-war sentiment usually in the 70% range.
Now, the poll has shifted 180 degrees. Recent results rating Bush’s (non)performance on some current issues are:
Iraq Poor 71%; Good 13%
Health Care Poor 74%; Good 10%
Immigration Poor 73%; Fair 13%; Good 8%
Economy Poor 64%; Excellent 17%
National Security Poor 54%; Fair 18%; Excellent 17%
North Korea Poor 66%; Good 12%
Asked which party Bush helps most in the mid-term election, AOL users voted:
The Daily Pulse naturally also has a Blog. Here’s a sampling:
“We, who voted for him, have only ourselves to blame. I accept the blame.”
“George Bush is the most disgusting president we have ever had the misfortune to have in office. His spin on the truth has led the country into a hole in the ground. I can’t think of anything he has done to further this country.”
“I know I am biased against Bush–as a long-standing Republican, I did not vote for him the first time–he acts rashly and without following proper rules. Molly Ivins has him pegged and has from Day 1.”
“Let’s give Bush credit where credit is due. He did what he set out to do; he brought regime change to Iraq for the benefit of his Big Oil patrons.
Big Oil got $60 crude and record breaking profits. Iraq got civil war & chaos in the streets. America got 2700 dead soldiers, thousands of cripples and giant deficits.”
“I am ashamed that America was so easily fooled into supporting the war in Iraq by cowards wrapped in the flag playing the 9/11 fear card. These SOBs should Impeached, tarred & feathered and tried for war crimes.”
If this is any indication, then even Diebold can’t save the Republicans this time. Then there is the view of Counterpunch editor Jeffery St. Clair, who thinks that Bush has to be rooting for the Ds to gain the House, but not the Senate. After all, it’s pretty lame when one has to reach back and dredge up Bill Clinton when looking to deflect accountability for all that has gone wrong the past six years.
It wasn’t on Bubba’s watch that those Saudis took down the Towers and hit the Pentagon. Nor was it under Bubba that we invaded Iraq and triggered the hideous civil war, leading to some 600,000-plus violent deaths. Under Clinton we had a budgetary surplus, not the huge deficits Bush has saddled us with. Bubba has his own criomes to answer to, but use of Clinton as foil was already threadbare even before Bubba threw his hissy-fit and rightly savaged Faux News’ Chris Wallace for continuing the ABC/GOP lie that Bill did nothing about Osama. (Not that his weird bombing of an African aspirin factory was much more than an attempt to change the “all Monica, all the time” subject.)
But, St. Clair’s point is well taken. The GOP needs another whipping boy, or in this case girl. The vilification they’ve used on Clinton every time the hounds got close the last six years will pale compared to the pummeling they’ll give a hapless Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
If the AOL poll is any indication, St. Clair will be proven correct; maybe they’ll even take the Senate. And if past performance is any indication, then Pelosi et al. will quickly verify the views of this post to the AOL blog:
“The usual delusional crowd on AOL continues the stupidity of thinking that a change of the party controlling Congress or, for that matter, the administration, will affect the foreign policy related to Iraq and the war on terror…..message to all you fools….the Patriot Act will not be rescinded, the NSA surveillance program will not be terminated, Guantanamo will not be closed, nor will any of those anti-terror programs instituted by the present administration be eliminated……and the reason is that they are effective……your party bosses know that, they just want power back and they know you are dumb enough to believe their bull$hit…..when, and if , they return to power you’ll be bombarded with statements like “we are doing it better”…..right…. what a bunch of idiots….”
MICHAEL DONNELLY also has no illusions that some sort of Renaissance will occur should the Democrats regain either branch of Congress, which he now thinks they will. You can still reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org