The Worst Person in the World?

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Nancy Pelosi has the highest unfavorable ratings of key politicians, according to a new Nate Silver article. This really doesn’t come as a surprise to me, nor does it surprise Jonathan Allen and John Harris over at Politico.

I have three questions for the fray.

  1. What do you think are the causes of the large unfavorable numbers?
  2. How important do you think public favorability numbers are for a Congressional party leader?
  3. What, if anything, should be done in light of these poll numbers?

About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at http://www.logarchism.com, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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31 Responses to The Worst Person in the World?

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Michael:

    Nancy Pelosi has the highest unfavorable ratings of key politicians…I have three questions for the fray.

    What do you think are the causes of the large unfavorable numbers?

    Let’s see… Pelosi is the epitome of an arrogant, condescending, San Francisco limousine liberal. It is nothing short of amazing that a political leader who tells the voters “we will have to pass the bill so you can learn what is in it” has numbers even this high. Then again, progressives as sheep are apparently comfortable being herded by their leaders.

    How important do you think public favorability numbers are for a Congressional party leader?

    Unless they become part of the party brand during elections, not much. Most folks don’t even know the congressional leadership. However, Pelosi has been part of the Dem Party brand for over a year.

    What, if anything, should be done in light of these poll numbers?

    Hide Pelosi in a closet. Too late for that now.

  2. filistro says:

    How important do you think public favorability numbers are for a Congressional party leader?

    Zip, zero, zilch and nada. Do any of us really know anybody out there in Middle America who votes based on their opinion of Nancy Pelosi? How many ordinary Americans could even correctly name her title… considering that two-thirds of them can’t name a single Supreme Court Justice?

    Things like this only matter to those of us paying obsessively close attention… and there really aren’t very many of us. We’re pretty rare birds, actually. There are a few stalwart Dems who love Pelosi because she’s effective… and a few on the other side who hate her for the same reason.. and a whole bunch who have heard the name and vaguely think it might be somebody sort of bad, but they don’t know why.

    And of course there are those always-reliable haters, the Freepers, who enjoy playing cute games with people’s name… they like to call her ” Nazi Pee-lousy.”)

    Which reminds me to ask GROG… why are Republicans so vicious to left-wing women? This kind of rabid sexism is really unconscionable. 😉

  3. dcpetterson says:

    To address your questions:

    1) Pelosi’s low numbers can be traced to three major factors:
    * The current hyperpartisan atmosphere, which means her extreme effectiveness is advancing Progressive policies has made her almost universally unpopular among Republicans.
    * A nonstop 4-year-long unremittingly negative ad campaign waged by very well–funded regressive interests.
    * Among some on the left, a feeling that not even Pelosi was able to advance Progressive policies far enough.

    2) Congressional popularity numbers are important only in so far as they affect the Congressperson’s own district, and/or are useful for opposition advertising. Example: Michele Bachmann is a great money-raiser for Democrats.

    3) What should be done in light of the poll numbers? Give Ms. Pelosi a medal for standing up for her beliefs and for Progressive causes, even in the face of some of the nastiest and most vile rhetoric the looney right has been able to offer, and for being one of the most effective Speakers in the history of the House, despite nearly unified lemming-like opposition from Republicans.

  4. Bart,
    I’m so glad you said this:

    a political leader who tells the voters “we will have to pass the bill so you can learn what is in it”

    Please, do send us a link to the actual quote. I can assure you, it’s easily available on the Internet.

  5. @Michael Weiss

    Bart is clearly a masochist.

  6. @filistro,
    I have an anecdotal story. I was in Nevada not that long ago, and when discussing Harry Reid with several people, they talked about how much they didn’t like him, even if they voted for him. When asked exactly what it was about him that they didn’t like, they could not articulate a reason. They just didn’t like him.

  7. filistro says:

    @fopsie…

    LOL! I often have the same thought.

    It’s the only rational explanation.

  8. filistro says:

    @Michael… When asked exactly what it was about him that they didn’t like, they could not articulate a reason. They just didn’t like him.

    Exactly. And therein lies the power of memes and messaging. But it only goes so far. You can spend untold millions to build this sort of vaguely negative impression.. .and have it all negated if you run an ineffective candidate.

    In the long run, and apart from some kind of huge societal unease, candidate quality is hugely important… as the Tea Party is doomed to discover in the next cycle (and Alaska has already shown.)

  9. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    It is nothing short of amazing that a political leader who tells the voters “we will have to pass the bill so you can learn what is in it” has numbers even this high.

    Okay, it’s time for this absurd Republican soundbite spin to die. This lie has floated around enough.

    Read the comment in context.

    Speaker Pelosi was commenting on the unremitting and relentless attack of Republican lies and well-funded advertisements claiming all manner of absurd nonsense. She commented that once the bill is law, people will begin to see that they’d been whipped into a frenzy of hate by hyperpartisan fear mongers (like Bart) intent on spreading disinformation and propaganda.

    Bart’s oft-repeated lie here is one excellent example. He wants us to think Pelosi implied something like, “I’m not going to tell you what’s in it. You won’t find out unless it’s been passed, and then it will be too late! BWAA HAA HAA!”

    But what she was clearly saying, in context, was that the forces of disinformation and deception from the right are going to keep up their unrelenting attack on truth. But you won’t actually lose you doctor, and there won’t be a jackbooted government employee in your doctor’s waiting room, and there will be no one pulling the plug on Granny. Yet the Republican noise machine is going to continue these lies, unabated, until you have a chance to see for yourselves what absolute liars they are.

    And here comes Bart, intentionally clouding the issue, by taking a statement out of context and using it as yet another lie.

    It is time for this particular lie to die. Bart, do your part. Stop telling it.

  10. dcpetterson says:

    Michael, you’re nicer to Bart than I am.

  11. @dcpetterson,

    Awww, you spoiled my fun! 😛

  12. Bart DePalma says:

    Michael:

    Here is the link to the actual video.

    This piece of work actually smiles condescendingly as she says this.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says:

    BD: “It is nothing short of amazing that a political leader who tells the voters “we will have to pass the bill so you can learn what is in it” has numbers even this high.”

    Read the comment in context. Speaker Pelosi was commenting on the unremitting and relentless attack of Republican lies and well-funded advertisements claiming all manner of absurd nonsense. She commented that once the bill is law, people will begin to see that they’d been whipped into a frenzy of hate by hyperpartisan fear mongers (like Bart) intent on spreading disinformation and propaganda.”

    Spare me.

    If PPACA was filled with provisions that the people will love, then Pelosi never would have drafted the bill in secret and made this statement. Pelosi instead would have sent the bill through committee for public debate so the news cycle would be dominated with coverage of the provisions that the people will love and in this statement Pelosi would have discussed in loving detail all the provisions that the people will love.

    No, folks understood exactly what Pelosi was shoveling with that condescending “I know what is good for you rabble” grin of hers.

  14. shrinkers says:

    … and Bart proves incapable of reading or of thinking for himself, but only able to absorb pre-packaged spoon-fed bite-sized right-wing propaganda.

    As usual, even when the evidence disproving his pronouncements is presented, he persists only in bleating the same tune over and over.

    You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

  15. filistro says:

    OOOOh… Bart calls Pelosi “a piece of work.”

    GROG!! Where are you? That’s mean nasty sexism against left-wing female politicians! How can you stand for this sort of thing?

  16. filistro says:

    shrinkers… Bart clearly doesn’t grasp the meaning of “context.” He only thinks in letters, and at best, words… not entire sentences.

    I know… let’s take a bunch of Teaper proclamations entirely out of context and see how they look. It’ll be so much fun!

  17. @filistro,

    I know… let’s take a bunch of Teaper proclamations entirely out of context and see how they look. It’ll be so much fun!

    The sad part is, most of them don’t sound any different when left in context.

  18. shrinkers says:

    filistro, the only problem is that Teaper propaganda already sounds insane even when it’s taken in context.

  19. dcpetterson says:

    Bart,
    If PPACA was filled with provisions that the people will love, … in this statement Pelosi would have discussed in loving detail all the provisions that the people will love.

    Clearly, you didn’t bother to read the link I gave, since that’s exactly what she did do.

    I accept your apology.

  20. Mainer says:

    Oh Bart, Bart, Bart, I suspect you are going to have a long day with some of the others on this little gem. I get more than a little suspicious when you are in efect offering up some snippet of a speech from the out of context news net to sell your point. Bart you do realize that with very few exceptions our elected representatives rarely read the whole of any thing. It is what they have legislative staffers for, poor schmucks that sit for hours and days pouring bleary eyed over legislative manuscripts through the night, on weekends and even frequently on holidays making sure their bosses get it all boiled down and looking for some thing, any thing their boss might not like. It has to be one the suck pill jobs of the world but I repeat any politician that falls back on “waaaa I haven’t read it yet” is nothing more than a lieing piece of shit regardless of which side of the aisle they are on. If we had to wait for them to read every thing pesonally nothing would get done which is I suspect just what you would like to see but some of us have this strange notion that we elect these people to get things done.

    I actually have several friends that are staffers and they do not have a life as we know it. Why they keep doing it baffles me but I guess they enjoy it or they wouldn’t keep doing it. Most politicians have a hard time just staying on top of the sumaries and the particulr legislation they might be working on in committee. There is a book some where that had examples of some wonderful gaffs by politicians that would lose track of which piece of legislation was which or where they were in the revision process. If I can find it I will offer it up here as it is a hoot to read. Newbies in congress are especially prone to getting burried, burnt out or over whelmed. You just wait for some of this current crop to blossom. Ms. Malaprop move over Conrgess critter Befuddle wants the floor and the mike.

  21. dcpetterson says:

    Excellent comments, Mainer.

    Let us also point out, on the concept of context — the sentence fragment Bart is so hot about was delivered as part of comments Ms. Pelosi made at the 2010 Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties in early March of this year. It was not intended to be any sort of comprehensive statement of policy, nor a description of this major bill — one of the most important and groundbreaking pieces of legislation enacted in the last half century. She covered a number of topics, briefly. This wasn’t intended to convince anyone of anything, nor to describe anything in detail. It was the equivalent of a generalized keynote address.

    Let us take a comment of Bart’s out of context — “I know what is good for you rabble”. There, Bart is clearly a condescending elitist, who cares nothing for the common people, and has only contempt for We the People. He imagines himself to have godlike powers, and one could easily picture his snarling Cheney-like smirk.

    We have it documented now. Bart is an elitist of the most offensive kind. We have it in his own words. Just a few comments about this one. but don’t read it in context — after all, you saw it here. I’ll even put it on Youtube for you.

    Bart is showing us how democracy dies.

  22. Bart DePalma says:

    Folks,

    The context of Pelosi’s statement was the Dem concealment of the Obamacare legislation from the people and the press to avoid scrutiny of its provisions. The surest way to debunk Tea Party and GOP “lies” (sic) about the contents of the bill would have been to publish the bill and allow the language of the bill to put the lie to the “lies.” In fact, the criticisms of the bill were valid and did not even begin to cover the awful provisions contained in the secret legislation.

    Pelosi meant precisely what she said and no amount of spin will be able to deflect the truth of it.

  23. Bart, you once again prove that you have a reading comprehension problem.

    Yes, she meant precisely what she said. You, however, have chosen to take her words out of context, apparently because you know what is good for us rabble, and claim that she meant something other than what she said.

  24. dcpetterson says:

    Folks,

    The context of Pelosi’s statement was in response to the the Republican lies about the PPACA legislation. The constant noise from the FOX News propaganda arm of the Republican / Tea Party was intended to prevent scrutiny of the right wing falsehoods. The surest way to prevent public comprehension of the bill and its contents was to keep up this unending barrage of half-truths and outright lies, even long after the bill was enacted. The bill was, of course, published in a timely fashion before passage, after its provisions had been openly debated for more than a year. The criticisms of the bill, of course, have no basis in reason or fact, and the still-continuing Republican lies echo constantly even today, with their megaphone set to 11.

    The Republicans continue to use their mindless scare tactics to frighten low-information voters, and no amount of spin will be able to deflect the truth of that.

  25. Mr. Universe says:

    We discovered at the new site that you could replace words with alternates Similar to replacing curse words with symbols. Given that we have repeatedly asked Bart to stop insulting us with his Rush Limbaugh talking points, we altered his ability to misuse the correct terms for ‘health care reform’ and ‘stimulus’. Think we went too far? It was good for a chuckle.

  26. Monotreme says:

    Dave Weigel (ex-WaPo, now Slate) has a fairly even analysis of the anti-Pelosi phenomenon.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/11/18/second-thoughts-on-pelosi.aspx

  27. mclever says:

    WRT the original post, I think dcpetterson pretty much covered it in his post up there at 10:41 am.
    1) I agree with DC’s 3 reasons why Pelosi’s ratings are low.
    2) I agree with DC’s opinion that popularity outside of one’s district doesn’t matter much, except when it can be used in opposition advertising.
    3) I might not give her a medal, but I’ll definitely continue to support her as she works to unite and encourage Democrats in Congress.

  28. mclever says:

    Mr. U, if you’re going to replace a few select Bart-isms, I can think of a few pejoratives from the left that could have replaced, too… Fair’s fair and all.

  29. Mr. Universe says:

    @mclever

    I don’t think we’ll make a habit of word juxtoposition. I’m not a fan of limiting free speech. I can and will though if the atmosphere becomes hostile and uninviting to others. No point in having a website if people are afraid to stop by. We kinda did it to Bart and Muley just for fun.

  30. Mr. Universe says:

    Hey check out that dude’s mustache in the lower left of the photo. Impressive

  31. dcpetterson says:

    If we want some proof of the right wing’s campaign of fear and nonsense against PPACA, take a look at this.

    Insurers Raised $86 Million to Fight Public Option

    While they were pretending to negotiate in good faith with President Obama, the largest players in the Health Insurance industry secretly channeled 86 million dollars to the right-wing propaganda / big business lobbying cartel known as the “U. S. Chamber of Commerce.” They secretly funded commercials and other actions intended to alter or to kill Health Care Reform.

    These were the same shady deep pockets that distributed talking points and primers on how to disrupt town hall meetings through the summer of ’09, the same interests who founded and advertised the “Tea Party movement”.

    To paraphrase Bart, if there was anything upfront and honest about these criticisms, why fund them in secret? If the objections and opposition to HCR were honest, why were the same people pretending to negotiate while they were secretly funding opposition advertisements? Why secretly spend 86 million dollars to sway public opinion, if these were reasonable objections? Would not a fair and open discussion have served the purpose, and far more honorably?

    This massive secret and underhanded campaign of distortion and double-dealing was intended to turn public opinion against the evolving Health Care Reform bill. To the extent that easily-manipulated segments of the public continue to believe the lies and distortions (see discussion above), it succeeded, But to the extent that real and meaningful reform was actually enacted, it failed.

    Of course, they haven’t given up. The price of freedom is eternal diligence. These despicable distortions must be aggressively answered whenever they appear. The conversation on this very thread about Nancy Pelosi is one such example.

    To the extent that the false charge Bart repeated is allowed to stand, these shadowy opponents of freedom and democracy are being allowed to win. It is time to stand up and say, Enough! No more lies for the sake of big business profits.

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