Gallup has the numbers, even though the poll is dated, that spell out in capitals the overwhelming 42%-20% gap that conservatives hold over liberals, with about 37% of Americans queried calling themselves "independent."
The definition of conservative versus independent is itself defective, as my own inclinations are very conservative, but not aligned with the Republican Party, which is an undependable collection of opportunists whenever they seem to get a large plurality.
The left has a very few ideas or policies which I consider non-repugnant, but its overall philosophy is based on shallow rhetoric and non-stop employment of tactics which used to be called 'waving the bloody shirt' earlier in American history. And indeed, as a student of history, I cannot accept the loosey-goosey hendyiades that characterizes abrupt Demonrat policy reversals---all based on total opportunism and a beholden media comprised almost exclusively of journalism school agitpreppies.
I say 'almost exclusively' because Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post is one of the few columnists untainted by journalism school or the dodging and weaving, backing and hauling, party-line 'corrective movements' as the Ba'ath Party in Iraq used to call its genocidal internal politics, the circular firing squad that has the Congresscritters Weiner and Nadler, the Hut, shooting at their Demonrat colleagues like the Blue Dogs who were practically annihilated in the November 2nd hecatomb of left-center moderates in the Dem Party. More important than the 63 new GOP House seats are the 30 governorships and almost 700 Republican gains in statehouses across the country. The redistricting that ensues the census every zero-year of the decade will probably create 15-20 new Republican House seat opportunies in 2012. Add to that the fortuitous and happy circumstance that of the one-third of the Senate up for re-election in 2012, 22 [twenty-two] senate seats are Dems seeking a re-election.
The botox-brain Speakerette and her coven of witch/warlock moral lepers in the House are now pared down to less than 200 for the first time in several decades, 1948 if I have it right. And Obama is now taking the advice of generalists like Krauthammer and other moderate conservatives who have been advising him that a move to the center is the only chance he has with the Zeitgeist and realities of the 2010 election beginning to sink in. Here is Krauthammer:
...some on the right are gloating that Obama had been maneuvered into forfeiting his liberal base. Nonsense. He will never lose his base. Where do they go? Liberals will never have a president as ideologically kindred - and they know it. For the left, Obama is as good as it gets in a country that is barely 20 percent liberal.
The conservative gloaters were simply fooled again by the flapping and squawking that liberals ritually engage in before folding at Obama's feet. House liberals did it with Obamacare; they did it with the tax deal. Their boisterous protests are reminiscent of the floor demonstrations we used to see at party conventions when the losing candidate's partisans would dance and shout in the aisles for a while before settling down to eventually nominate the other guy by acclamation.
And Obama pulled this off at his lowest political ebb. After the shambles of the election and with no bargaining power - the Republicans could have gotten everything they wanted on the Bush tax cuts retroactively in January without fear of an Obama veto - he walks away with what even Paul Ryan admits was $313 billion in superfluous spending.
Including a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol. Why, just a few weeks ago Al Gore, the Earth King, finally confessed that ethanol subsidies were a mistake. There is not a single economic or environmental rationale left for this boondoggle that has induced American farmers to dedicate an amazing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop - for burning! And the Republicans have just revived it.
Ethanol is a giant boondoggle for the small coterie of US farmers, who play on the collective memories of a simpler happier time in US history when farm life was the 'life-style of choice' of the majority of Americans, a truism even into the early years of the 20th century. Krauthammer does get to the heart of Obama's sudden conversion, being knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus, but CK doesn't believe any scales have fallen from The Won's eyes. Barry Soetero is an operator who may be more clever than anyone since Reagan and a survivalist on the level of Clinton, who was re-elected despite countervailing conditions:
Even as they were near unanimously voting for this monstrosity, Republicans began righteously protesting $8.3 billion of earmarks in Harry Reid's omnibus spending bill. They seem not to understand how ridiculous this looks after having agreed to a Stimulus II that even by their own generous reckoning has 38 times as much spending as all these earmarks combined.
The greatest mistake Ronald Reagan's opponents ever made - and they made it over and over again - was to underestimate him. Same with Obama. The difference is that Reagan was so deeply self-assured that he invited underestimation - low expectations are a priceless political asset - whereas Obama's vanity makes him always needing to appear the smartest guy in the room. Hence that display of prickliness in his disastrous post-deal news conference last week.
But don't be fooled by defensive style or thin-skinned temperament. The president is a very smart man. How smart? His comeback is already a year ahead of Clinton's.
Unless the Dems come up with a Teddy Kennedy/John Anderson pincer 'corrective movement' which winkled the preposterous little clown Jee-Mah out of the Oval Office, Obama has a very good shot at doing a Clinton 'Comeback Kid' who could steal a second term if the flashy Palin or some sort of curmudgeon Republican is nominated---I still have no horse in the race from my own viewpoint, although John Thune of S. Dak. is the best of a bad lot, with either Marco Rubio or Nikki Haley as the Veep candidate. All other things considered, from what I've seen of Rubio, he could do an Obama in 2012 if his brains and character match up to his dazzling charisma and political charm.
[UPDATE and FOOTNOTE: My next-door neighbor here in Boca was a Republican State Rep for four terms and interacted almost daily with Rubio when the House was in session during his political career. Bill tells me Marco is a very effective wheeler-dealer, so it doesn't appear we'd get a Carter-loon idealist who's head is stuck where the sun never shines. On the other hand, Bill tells me that Marco cut a few corners that are close to the edge of being called out for excessive politics, as when the Hialeah track in Marco's district was given state help to keep running. Stay tuned as the news on this remarkable young freshman is going to get bigger and better over the years, without a doubt.]