Democrats Should Educate The Public

Why is it that Republicans believe they can make a larger-than-historically-normal comeback in the 2010 elections?

The Pew Research Center sheds some light on why that is possible.  In a “news quiz” conducted among 1003 adults a couple of weeks ago, it reported, among other things:

Asked how many GOP senators voted for the chamber’s health care bill on Dec. 24, only 32% know that the measure received no support from Republican members. About as many answer incorrectly, saying that five (13%), 10 (8%) or 20 (8%) GOP senators voted for the bill. About four-in-ten (39%) do not know or decline to answer.

Who’s fault is that?  It’s the Democrats’ fault. That fact should have been part of a media blitz running night and day, kind of like those gold commercials that run on Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh broadcasts or on late night television.

But more relevant to how the Republicans are getting away with absolute obstruction is this:

A smaller percentage (26%) knows that 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster in the Senate. About as many (25%) mistakenly say that a simple majority of 51 votes can break a filibuster.

Here is a chart on the two issues, the filibuster and the lack of Senate GOP support for health care reform:


Notice the responses of the much-heralded “independents.’  Only 3 in 10 know that 60 votes breaks a filibuster and, sadly, only 34% know that not one single Republican voted for the Senate health reform bill. 

Finally, the quiz found that even adjusted for a difference in demographics (“Republicans tend to be older, well educated and male, which are characteristics associated with political and economic knowledge”), Republicans “do somewhat better than Democrats.”

Again, all of this is the fault of Democrats and the Democratic Party’s political arm, which doesn’t do enough to fight apathy and ignorance among potentially sympathetic voters.



  1. ansonburlingame

     /  February 2, 2010


    Ah! It is now a simple problem of education to convince Americans that it is all right to put 40% of our budget on a credit card and let the total debt on that card soar to 100% or our income in the near future.

    Is it possible that all the education and PR in the world will not prevent some people from agreeing with that insanity?

    Maybe if we just educate schizophrenics better we can cure them. Naa, we’ll just give them each a million bucks and let them “have at it”.




    • Duane Graham

       /  February 2, 2010


      Are you kidding? The piece was about Republican obstructionism and the fact that not enough people know what is happening. Democrats have to counter that ignorance with the facts.

      And, talk about schizophrenia. Your party talks incessantly about fiscal responsibility (a new idea for them, of course), but when opportunities arise to actually be responsible, they run for cover. So fearful are they of the teabaggers, they can’t even agree on pay-go legislation, the spending freeze on non-military programs, and the debt commission.

      That, my friend, is schizophrenia.



  2. Jane Reaction

     /  February 2, 2010

    Good Lord Anson. Do you not know the fact that only 16 percent of your readers knows that it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, is not a question about money, but about a cost-less “procedure”?

    And where in the knowledge question about how many Republican members voted for the health bill, another cost-free opinion, does a question of spending come up?

    Here are two unassailable facts. I know it is a mine field for an old submariner, but nowhere did we suggest such an off-topic response as yours that we may think it all right to put 40% of our budget on a credit card and let the total debt on that card soar to 100%.

    That my dear was your idea.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  February 3, 2010

    To Both of You,

    “Democrats Should Educate The Public”. Was that not the title of the blog?

    Oh, you just meant “educate about Republican obstructionism”? Now I understand. For sure they have obstructed the hell out of your agenda. Give us all the education on that limited topic possible.

    Might I also suggest that you include the education of WHY Republicans obstructed in such a manner. Sorry, f….. idiots is not education enough for an old submariner. I learned long ago to start with basics like 2+2 and ultimately build up to a neutron diffusion equation using complex differential equations.

    I suggest you two start with fundamentals like limit versus BIG, HUGE, OVERWHELMING governemt and build you argument from there. And that my vocal opponents will take time, thought, study, etc and NOT just a partisan knee jerk reaction. Hell just blame it all on Bush and move one at least until next November.



  4. Jane Reaction

     /  February 5, 2010

    You are sounding a little shaky there Anson.


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