[UPDATE 6-24-10 8:20 p.m.: Shockingly, Jeff Goldstein has lied about my position yet again. Let me make this clear: see that P.S. below where I say I am NOT advocating surrendering principles for power? I wrote that BEFORE he dishonestly and selectively quoted the below post to suggest that I advocate surrendering principles for power. I wrote it precisely because I knew how he would twist my words, and so I wanted to go on record saying the exact opposite so it would be clear what a shameless liar he is.
Which, it is.
Original post follows.]
Public Policy Polling reports:
Only 18% of voters think that BP deserved the apology Barton sent its way last week to 65% who think it did not. Barton doesn’t even get much support from Republican voters on that front- only 23% of them say it was right to apologize to BP. With Democrats and independents the numbers are even lower at 17% and 12% respectively.
. . . .
This episode is having a negative impact on how voters in Texas perceive Barton overall. Only 21% have a favorable opinion of him while 28% see him negatively. 42% of voters in the state think he should resign from his leadership position to 31% who think he should remain in it.
The poll also reports that Texans agree with Obama’s actions in pressuring BP to set up the escrow fund.
If only Republicans had doubled down on the apology and backed Barton to the hilt! What a missed opportunity!
. . . to completely fuck ourselves.
Let’s say it together, outlaws: persuading the public doesn’t matter. Elections don’t matter. Only principles matter. Precious, precious principles that can’t be put into effect because we have nobody in power.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go write another post about how angry I am at something Obama did.
P.S. And no, I am NOT saying abandon principles in favor of winning elections. That would be stupid and would make elections pointless exercises in achieving power for its own ends, which would be ridiculous. I am saying we need not face a choice between adhering to principles and persuading voters. We should be able to do both — if we’re smart about it, and willing to admit when our brethren are being stupid about it (rather than doubling down on their stupidity, as some seem to advocate).
Sincere thanks for SPQR for alerting me to the need to clarify this for the benefit of others who might seek to willfully misread me. Tough to imagine that could happen, I know . . .
UPDATE: OK, I think this is slightly less compelling than it seemed at first blush. The .pdf of the full results is here. The question asked certainly doesn’t give Barton’s side of things:
Do you think BP deserves an apology for being asked by the president to compensate the oil spill victims?
The results would be more convincing if they could have found a neutral way to convey Barton’s concerns, the Obama response, and let the respondent decide. (Feel free to tell me how you would word such a question concisely and neutrally for a telephone poll.) Admittedly, this question is fairly one-sided as posed.
Me, I think the results would not have been much different unless the question were loaded in Barton’s favor. But it’s tough to know until they ask a better question.