Thursday 23 April 2009

New poll shows Obama crushing any opponent in 2012

A new poll shows that when 2012 comes around, Obama will slaughter whoever the GOP throws at him. Obama would beat Huckabee by 7, Romney by 11, Palin by 12, Newt by 13. Palin scared so many people that 21 percent of Republicans said they'd vote for Obama against Palin.

But the truth is that if Obama ran against Romney or Huckabee, the gap could be even wider. Keep in mind that Obama has been subjected to almost a year of scrutiny by the media and pounding by GOP attackers, whereas Romney and Huckabee got almost no national scrutiny because their campaigns flamed out so quickly.

Some say Romney could expand the party base better than people like Palin and Huckabee, and he has deep, deep pockets. But conservatives didn’t warm to him (Huckabee and McCain despise him), and he’s been out of office for a while now. He may share his family’s reluctance to launch another presidential run (his wife has MS as well as early-stage breast cancer), but in the meantime he is doing what candidates do: he funded Norm Coleman’s recount effort in Minnesota, kept up his ties with allies in Iowa and New Hampshire, and set up a committee to raise money, some of which was supposed to be used for other candidates, which has some Republican noses out of joint.

Romney is a neocon’s dream. He supported the Iraq invasion and the surge, approved torture, refused to say whether waterboarding was torture, advocated doubling the size of Guantanamo, and wanted to prevent the people held illegally in Guantanamo from even having their cases heard.

On social issues, also way to the right: he vetoed stem cell research, supported abstinence education and vouchers for public schools, praised Thomas and Scalia, advocated making English the national language, and insisted that freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.

Romney is more comfortable discussing fiscal issues than social issues, but he is still way to the right. He wanted to keep Bush’s tax cuts, cut tax rates further for corporations, eliminate capital gains tax and inheritance tax, cut entitlement programs, and leave health insurance up to the market – he was busted for claiming that America’s 45 million uninsured simply didn’t want to play. He opposes the McCain-Feingold restrictions on campaign financing.

And he’s a hypocrite -- he had to swing left to win in Massachusetts and now he trying to swing right to seek the Republican nomination. He advocated a Massachusetts sex-education plan and then slammed Obama for supporting the same thing. He played the blind-trust card to evade accountability for his investments and then slammed Kennedy for doing the same (some Romney money went into casinos and stem-cell research, which the right wing base might not know). He was screeching about Hillary’s alleged socialist agenda, which actually looks a lot like Romney’s Massachusetts policies on issues such as health care and free-market capitalism. He promised to fight for automaker jobs and then argued against the auto bailout, thus pushing things in the direction of a Chapter 11 settlement which would wipe out those very jobs.

His most laughable veer into hypocrisy is of course on abortion: after swinging so far left on the issue that he was endorsed by Republicans For Choice and then asserting that as president he would see to it that states could keep abortion legal, shortly thereafter he advocated a constitutional amendment banning abortion entirely, and vetoed emergency contraception for rape victims. He cravenly claimed his original position stemmed from his sister-in-law’s death from an illegal abortion. He also flipflopped on gay marriage.

Huckabee has the best score against Obama -- because people don't know him yet. They think he's the cool preacher who plays bass.

Currently Huckabee’s effort is three-fold. First, broaden his appeal beyond social conservatives: he is talking about the environment, balanced budgets and spending cuts. Second, he's not afraid to whack other Republicans: he is out there slamming Romney, Gary Bauer and Fred Thompson. Third, try to nail down Iowa: he has been there a number of times and will return. He began his book-signing tour there -- first chapter of his book: “I Love Iowa”.

We forget that Huckabee is way to the right on social issues: he sought a constitutional ban on abortions, opposes civil unions and gay adoptions, wants to post the ten commandments in schools and impeach judges to bar legislature prayers to Jesus, advocated tax credits for Christian schooling, doesn’t believe in evolution, and advocated concealed-carry legislation. He advocated quarantining everyone with HIV. He claimed that our “culture of life” separates us from Islamic fascists – in other words, the pro-choice movement is equivalent to al-Qa’ida.

Likewise fiscal issues: Huckabee wants to keep Bush’s tax cuts, flatten the tax structure (which would devastate the middle class), block bankruptcies (ditto), and reject the Kyoto carbon effort.

So the GOP has no one with the national stature to challenge Obama.

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