Burch: Numbers tell the gory story (part 2)

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

As reported by Joey Garrison of The City Paper, according to a recent MTSU-conducted poll President Barack Obama’s job approval rating reached a new all-time low in Tennessee, slipping to 30 percent, while his disapproval rating spiked to 63 percent.

A startling 89 percent of Tennesseans who identify themselves as Republicans disapprove of Obama’s job performance.

The three leading — or, more accurately, currently leading — Republican presidential candidates hold commanding margins over Obama in a hypothetical head-to-head election. Mitt Romney leads 44 to 29 percent; Rick Perry, 41 to 28 percent; Herman Cain, 39 to 28 percent.

As the poll concludes: “At this point Obama’s campaign faces an uphill struggle against any seemingly plausible Republican challenger if the president is to win the state of Tennessee in 2012.”

The numbers seem to tell a troubling story.

First, as the words “seemingly plausible” indicate, it doesn’t really matter who the Republicans end up nominating. If some “Joe the Plumber” or “Moe the Mechanic” with no political experience ran against Obama, he would probably win Tennessee in a landslide.

Second, it seems obvious that bigotry remains an issue. Obama is certainly no more liberal than the Kennedys, and is reasonably close to Bill and Hillary Clinton in his overall worldview. And he’s more of a hawk than a dove, as evidenced by increased CIA drone attacks across the border of Pakistan (shades of Laos and Cambodia), the “taking out” of Osama bin Laden, and the military intervention in Libya.

Most Tennesseans don’t accuse the Kennedys and Clintons of being un-American. So why is Obama being called a “foreigner,” a “totalitarian socialist” and all sorts of other untrue things? It seems likely that many Tennesseans and other Americans are deeply offended by having a highly intelligent, well-educated black president with an unusual-sounding name.

Third, it seems the majority of Tennesseans would rather vote against their own best interests, than see Obama get re-elected. But isn’t that like cutting off their noses to spite their faces? If they ever chose to examine themselves in the mirror honestly and objectively, they would realize that they — like the vast majority of Americans — will need Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid one day.

Only a very few Americans make enough money and save enough money to live comfortably when they retire. The rest of us will need what Republicans speak of dismissively and angrily as “entitlements.” And of course we paid for them throughout our entire working careers, in good faith, expecting to be able to count on them later in life.

In any case, the battle lines have been clearly drawn. Republican politicians are the lackeys of the super-rich 1 percent, and will slash “entitlements” to the bone, rather than ending tax cuts for their well-heeled (and often heel-ish) patrons and benefactors.

Democrats are lobbying for a much fairer, more balanced approach. But it seems Republicans may have the winning game plan: use bald lies to stir up irrational fears, then ride the resulting tide of ignorance to “victory.”

But a victory for Republicans may well be the defeat of the elderly, the sick, the poor and the unemployed, not to mention the silent majority of Americans — the working class.


Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

59 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 10/27/11 at 11:06


Its time for you and your fellow Obama lovers to get off the race issue and study the Constitutional laws of our nation a little more.

Unless it has been amended lately, our Constitution states a person must be a natural born citizen to serve as the President and Vice-President of this nation. Common sense should tell you both parents of a natural born citizen must be citizens of the nation that child is born in.

To say anyone born in the USA is a natural born citizen is saying all of the children born to illegal aliens who come into the US illegally simply to have a child for its 14th Amendment citizenship would mean that child would be legally eligible to serve as President or Vice-President when they reach the 35 years if age status, even though they were raised in their parents homeland and couldn't speak the English language.

But let's assume Barack Obama was born as a natural born citizen (which we know he wasn't, with a Kenyan father). When he was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather he lost his American citizenship. Why? Because he could not go to school in Indonesia not being an Indonesian citizen.

When his stepfather (Lolo Soetoro) adopted him, and gave him the name Barry Soetoro, his original birth certificate became null and void.

So I now enter the question: What is the name on his official birth certificate? Barry Soetoro..., or Barack Obama?

By: Mike Burch on 10/28/11 at 12:39


You have taken "spin" to new heights, or lows. President Obama was born to an American mother on American soil. That makes him an American citizen by law, and his situation is not like that of children born to two illegal immigrants. If he was pure white and had a Christian-sounding name, no one would be using bizarre "logic" like yours. The name on his birth certificate doesn't matter. What his adoptive father did doesn't matter. He has an American mother. He was born on American soil. So he is clearly an American citizen. The US allows dual citizenship. Both my sisters are citizens of the US and Great Britain.

So why not stop spinning like a bad record?


By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 3:35

He can’t help it Mike, because he was born to spin. I’m sure the day he dies and meets God, he will tell God what he/she has done wrong with creation.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 3:38

There are two ways of doing thing and you can bet that yogi will do it wrong.

Captain Nemo-

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 3:42

In the creation of Dung Beetles, thinking was not one of its functions and yogi is a master of not thinking, but just to roll through life tumbling his load.

Captain Nemo-

By: bfra on 10/28/11 at 4:27

yogi is the perfect example of "dumb as a rock"!

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 4:44

It's all about the Electoral and winning the Presidency is like a game of chess.
No, checkers.
Back in 2000, Gore chose Lieberman, not for his good looks or his crackly, squeeky voice, but that he could carry Florida. Thar's 25 Electoral in them thar hills.
They didn't figure on imbicile voters who couldn't decifer a butterfly ballot and couldn't muster enough muscle to punch a chad.
Thus, the chimp took the state and the election.
Tenn. measley 9 Electoral isn't worth the campaign stops. Heck, Colorado has 9 and is a much prettier and cooler state.
CA, NY, FL, MI, OH, MN, are the big prizes.

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 4:51

"yogi"Birther"man: You must have consulted with Constitutional scholars, attorneys, lawyers, or Rush Limpbag to be constantly drumming your beat about Obama's parents, and birthplace.
No way a person with your limited cranium could come up with this stuff on your own.
Try tackeling Romney's plight. That being his daddy was born in Mexico.
What's the difference between the two senarios?
And, define, "usurpation". Is that the past or pre- tense of masterbation?

By: Wild Bill on 10/28/11 at 6:17

Wild Bill

Mr. Burch by the admission of your own article Herman Cain would beat Mr. Obama muting the case you are making. Also, if Mr. Cain wins the Tennessee primary or comes in at the top of the field then will you by this evidence, which really is no different than this poll, write another article saying, "Oh, I got it all wrong conservative republicans are not racists."

Some how I doubt it. You truly do not understand the conservative movement or its people.

By: treehugger7 on 10/28/11 at 6:30

I understand that the people of tennessee are too stupid to vote their self interest. Of course the repubs will win in TN. We can only hope the rest of the country isn't as stupid.

By: govskeptic on 10/28/11 at 6:32

Mike it's very appropriate that you have picked Halloween to write
your ghostly editorial on this Presidential race. Having read your
story of dreaming of O'bama becoming the greatest president in
history, that must now be coming a nightmare! Having elected
possibly the least qualified President in our country's history it must
be very unnerving to see this Republican group doing so well in
polls all across the county, not just in our state.

While several posters like to attack another versus the subject at
hand or dwell on 11 year old or more races, I prefer the way writers
such as yourself like to make this about entertainment versus facts.
This race is going to have a record of Yellow Dog Journalism in
defending the indefensible!

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 6:33

WB: He get's it.
Define for us what the "conservative movement" is all about.
If we listen to the 'conservative GOP field" , it's concerned with outlawing abortion, curing homosexuality (until then, deny them human rights), not teaching Evolution in 6th-8th grade science class, not teaching sex education, birth control, and allowing taxes and loop-holes for the rich, half of what we middle class workers make.
Am I missing something?

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 6:34


May I ask one simple question; How do you know Obama was born on US soil? As of now, you can't and don't. And by stating the US does accept dual citizenship and that makes him legally eligible to hold that office means you apparently don't understand the Constitution.

A person with dual citizenship is the main reason our founders put that clause in the Constitution, so our President will not have a base love of two nations. If they do, whose sided are they gong to favor in a debate?

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 6:40

gov: No one on our side, the sane, commonly called Democrats, ever called Obama, "the annointed one", the "chosen one", "King Hussein", "the Messiah", etc.
Where you "self-righteous righties get this stuff is nutty.
He had a slogan, "Hope & Change". So, what? It was catchy and what Presidents do.
What did you expect after 8 years of Bush & Co?
"We're F**ked"?....But, "vote for me"?

By: bfra on 10/28/11 at 6:42

govskeptic - If that rock didn't continue to spread his stupidity 24/7, with absolutely no proof to back it up, no one would attack him. When something has been proved wrong so many times, a normal person, would let it go.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 6:43


You apparently didn't read what I posted yesterday on Romney. Yes, it has been acknowledged his dad was born in Mexico... to American parents. Romney was born in the USA. His dad became the governor of Michigan which he could not have done if he wasn't an American citizen.

Doesn't that make any sense to you? Sorry for your ignorance, I thought it would.

And for your information. I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or confer with lawyers for my comments. I simply read the books like you and your co-Obama fans should. I also listen to Barry Soetoro which is where I get most of my information on him. It doesn't look like you can hear what he is saying.

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 6:52

"...how do you know Obama was born on US soil..."
Nimrod: His Birth Certificate, Announcement, was "on-line" over 1 year before he ran.
Every state has different "Headers" on the birth cert.
Mine, from Detroit, says, "Illegal Alien".
The Honlolulu Advertiser, in 1961, had a "Birth Annoucement" of Barry's birth.
So, he changed his name. I added an apostrophe to mine since in the 60's we didn't have computers and there were no apostrophes. They used "D Argent" as a middle initial when there wasn't one.
You really think Obama's "people" could retro a "live birth"?
Get some help, get some meds, and get OFF this board!

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 6:53


What proof do idiots like you need? Either you can't read, or hear.

Was Obama saying the wrong thing when he told George Stephanopolis he said appreciated
John McCain for not mentioning he was a Muslim? Was he wrong when he told a group- of students he was born in Kenya? Was his grandmother lying when she made the remark whe was in the room with his mother when he was born? Was he wrong when he mentioned a hospital he was born in that didn't exist at his time of birth?

I'm sure think you have all of the answers. Please tell me: what do you know that makes him legally eligible to hold that office according to our Constitution.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 7:06


Apparently you haven't learned much going to school. That "birth certificate" you mention was a simply worded "certification of live birth". It only showed the date and time of his birth, his mother's maiden name and race and his father's name and race. He made the statement several times the government of Hawaii would not allow him to present his birth certificate. May I say BS?

And may I point out; in 1961 the race black people were known as was Negroes, not African.

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 7:07

You are deffinitely "conferring" with like minded idiots...
Queens Medical Center is in Honolulu, Hawai'i.
I've been there.
If you had ever been to O'ahu, you'd know it.
If you ever picked up a Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, you'd know that.
That's the "key" with you idiots...you don't "know" from first hand experience, you just regurgitate other's bias.

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 7:12

"yogi": May I suggest you venture over to The Tennessean paper's blog.
There's 10 imbiciles just like you who disparage, insult, defame, and castigate Obama every day. Same boilerplate mentality you exhibit here.
It's called "recreation" over there. You'll be accepted and feel right at home.

By: jvh2b on 10/28/11 at 7:23

teaching a pig to sing gentlemen...pig to sing...

By: rldavenport@com... on 10/28/11 at 7:51

Mr. Burch:

It amuses me greatly when liberals like you decry stereotypical biases, and yet you spew it out of your mouth and pen every day. You know nothing about most Republicans (who are just as educated as you) who do much more thinking and reasoning than you do. Obama's education and intelligence have nothing to do with our objections to his policies and drunken sailor spending. You hypocrites cry about debts and deficits when Republicans overspend, but your tongues get tied when Democrats are guilty of it.

Republicans do not want to kill Medicare and Social Security; we just want to make them stable and solvent. But you don't want to listen to rational opposing viewpoints when it comes to reforming social programs. All you and your friends do is spew the same old lies about what the other side proposes to do.

Tennesseans have grown tired of those repackaged lies and are looking for leaders who will be responsible and reasonable, not politicians who are only concerned about being reelected and do not want to listen to the electorate. So, Mr. Burch, keep on writing your opinions, and I will keep on expressing mine when I believe you and others are wrong.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 7:53


Can you explain why the address shown in the 'birth notification' of the two papers was his grandparents address when it was known his mother was not living with them? Where was she living? And why doesn't the hospital not have any files on his birth? And why do the refuse to display his "letter" of recognition to them? Wouldn't that be good advertising?

And why did his stepsister say he was born in the other hospital in Hawaii?

And yes, I've been to Hawaii, but it was long before you was born.

By: jvh2b on 10/28/11 at 7:55

@rldavenport - While you come off well spoken, I'm not sure your reading comprehension is up to par this morning.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Burch wants Soc Sec and Medicare to be stable and solvent as well..otherwise he wouldn't be talking about putting money into a program that he feels he should get back...ya know since he paid into it and all.

It would be a lot easier to believe that the right wing folks actually had a problem w/ Obama and his politics if it wasn't wrapped in a bunch of derogatory names and lies. If they would simply be factual about it, the calls would be much better heard.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 8:13


I've got to get a little bit done today, but before I go, may I make one more suggestion: read the Monor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) case.

If you have learned how to read you will be able to see where the Supreme Court made the statement about both parents being citizens of the child's nation of birth.

Have fun!

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 8:19

effin' race card again. Clueless.

By: zebrotha on 10/28/11 at 8:56

Americans support affirmative action presidents like the current racist for the same two reasons that Americans supported his segregationist predecessors...the favored bigots hope to make personal profits out of politically imposed racial favoritism and the unfavored bigots bought the stereotypes behind America’s perennial, politically correct racial favoritism.

So it isn’t racism that opposes Obama, it’s racism that supports him, just as it’s been racism that supported all previous American presidents. The problem is, of course, that while America’s “educators” pay lip service to the irrelevancy of color differences, they seat every child in every school using those very same color differences _as though a non-existent social value derived from skin color trumps all other considerations_.

And what happens when the evidence of _academic action_ teaches each child how to judge the value of others by colors, not personal actions....as you see, racists electing racists to impose racial favoritism, today, yesterday and probably all of the future, given the continued graduation of students unable to differentiate between a stereotype and a human being. Indeed, no matter the era, students educated in America grow up to insist, like the thoroughly indoctrinated Michael Burch, that anyone opposing politicians imposing racial favoritism is “a raaaacist.”

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 9:15

Burch is a little man-child who cannot even re-state his opponents position due to either laziness or such an entrenched blinding bias that can only be explained by the adage that he hasn't yet learned enough to know how little he knows.

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 9:49

When I read Burch's LTE's and opinions, I see a man who's college educated and informed.
When I listen to Barack Obama speak, I see a man who is not only articulate, but eloquent and educated, as well as informed.
You southern hillbillies will never understand, "articulation, intelligence,or eloquence".
Never in a hundred years. Keep plowing your fields, dropping out of school in the 8th grade.
Enjoy the south.

By: brrrrk on 10/28/11 at 10:11

treehugger7 said

"I understand that the people of tennessee are too stupid to vote their self interest. Of course the repubs will win in TN. We can only hope the rest of the country isn't as stupid."

I call it the Sharecropper mentality.....

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 10:15

Well my degree is in Mathematics Darge and they taught me a little thing called a trend-line. BO... Before Obama, the trend-line was deficits running in the hundreds of billions to cover the war supplementals. After Obama deficits have jumped up to about 3 times that number by an additional $1,000,000,000,000 a year for the foreseeable future. The fact that Obama's teleprompter finds nothing wrong with this... the fact that the esteemed Paul Krugman finds nothing wrong with this... and the fact that man-child Mike Burch finds nothing wrong with this is really irrelevant to the conversation. You've put your faith in a couple of brainwashed government worshiping Keynesian devotees and a clueless man-child where what the country really needs is a little bit of common sense regardless of the dialect and possible missing teeth.

By: Mike Burch on 10/28/11 at 10:41


How can anyone know if you were born on US soil? Presumably because you have a birth certificate. Well, so does Barack Obama.

If you lived by your own logic, you would exile yourself from the US forever, because the only "proof" you have of citizenship is a piece of paper. Why should anyone trust your piece of paper, if you don't trust President Obama's?


By: brrrrk on 10/28/11 at 10:41

Hey Ben, where's that successful purely Libertarian society? Still waiting for you to give me that ONE prime example.....

By: Mike Burch on 10/28/11 at 10:47


As a matter of fact, the thing I like least about President Obama is his reliance on US military power abroad.

I do think Obama is better, by far, than morons like Palin, Bachmann and Perry. The fact that morons are the stars of the Tea Party and, increasingly, the Republican Party says worlds about the depths to which Republicans have fallen.

I was a Reagan republican, but I read and understood the handwriting on the wall. I think anyone who votes for Republicans, considering the current sad state of their "thinking" (which means non-thinking), is voting for voodoo religion and voodoo economics.

If Barack Obama would spend less money on wars abroad, I would like him better. But right now he's the only viable candidate for president who isn't wedded at the hip to a party full of angry, intolerant morons.

You can call me whatever names you prefer, but at least I'm able to see the obvious.


By: Mike Burch on 10/28/11 at 11:05

Wild Bill,

First, I do understand the conservative movement, because I grew up in evangelical Christian churches, and because I was a Reagan Republican.

The fact that Cain would out-poll Obama doesn't negate my case. Millions of fervently racist Southerners once allowed "safe" blacks to enter their homes and even nanny their kids. The point you made only shows that Cain is considered "safe" and that President Obama is not, by Republicans who are willing to say all sorts of terrible, untrue things about minorities who scare them. They didn't say such things about the Kennedys or the Clintons. Why? The obvious difference is that President Obama has dark skin and a non-Christian name.

I do understand the conservative movement. It took a wrong turn when people like GWB, Palin, Bachmann and Perry became its stars. How can a party led by morons help the country move in a better direction? How can attacking the EPA, Planned Parenthood, unions, GLBTs, Muslims, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid help the country?

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that the GOP has a simple, stupid, evil platform: use scare tactics to frighten citizens into voting against their own best interests, in favor of big business and the super-rich.

The utter filth being spewed about President Obama on a daily basis is a clear sign that something is wrong with the GOP, and particularly with the Tea Party types, whose deep frustration and anger is self-evident. They are afraid of, and detest, anyone who is intelligent, well-read, and too smart to believe in their voodoo religion and voodoo economics.

The conservative movement has become a confederacy of dunces, and its stars are among the stupidest and looniest characters in our nation's political history.

What, exactly, is it that I don't "understand" about the conservative movement? Since Ronald Reagan left office, it has done nothing but slide downhill toward a bottomless abyss.


By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 11:26

Burch, I call you the man-child because you continue to illustrate that you have yet to learn how little you know.

I see also that being an insider gives you the power to edit your responses.

I think it was "ignorant, intolerant bigots" before you revised your comment just a moment ago. The people you oppose are neither ignorant, intolerant nor bigots. You're fighting an opponent that exists mainly in your mind and in the collective derangement of our country's left. Whether it's ignorance in most cases or malicious maligning is to be determined. but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and leave you in the ignorant bucket.

By: bfra on 10/28/11 at 11:35

Darn Ben, you seem to be talking about & describing yourself, instead of Mike Burch.

By: brrrrk on 10/28/11 at 12:07

BenDover said

"I think it was 'ignorant, intolerant bigots' before you revised your comment just a moment ago. The people you oppose are neither ignorant, intolerant nor bigots."

I don't know where you work, but in the front office area of my little hunk of heaven (which by the way is mostly populated by what I would call traditional Southern Christian whites), people still use the "N-word", use gay slurs and misogynistic speech... they just say it under their breathe when they think no one is listening. But the fact is they still say it. In fact, just yesterday I heard one of those people who are "neither ignorant, intolerant, nor bigots" say that the problems with this country can be "blamed on Oprah because she told women that they can do what they want".

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 12:16

It goes further back than Oprah... way back to the 19th Amendment itself there brrrrk ; )

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 12:28

Let's try a little Socratic method here since hitting people over the head with a 2X4 doesn't seem to work.

Some people don't think Obama should be president because he's black. Is it possible for someone to not want him to be president for a reason other than that he is black?

By: Mike Burch on 10/28/11 at 1:35


I don't have the ability to edit my posts here. I'm not really an "insider" either. I just submit a weekly column to the City Paper, and they decide whether to run it, or not. I don't get paid and I don't have any "power."

As far as people not wanting President Obama to be president, of course every citizen is entitled to his/her opinion. To be frank, I am not a fan of President Obama's over-reliance on the CIA and our military abroad. I think he's wasting thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. If another candidate appeared, who was willing to end that bleeding, I would consider voting for him. The best candidate in that regard would be Ron Paul, I believe.

But for Republicans to vote for charismatic morons rather than Barack Obama, primarily because he has dark skin and an odd-sounding name, is the height of insanity.

I think racism is a big part of the problem. Many evangelical Christians are convinced that white heterosexual Christians are God's gift to the planet, and evangelical Christians have far too much influence on the GOP.

I am not saying that Barack Obama is the perfect leader, because there is no perfect leader out there with any chance of getting elected. But I think the basic facts speak for themselves. The GOP has lost its collective mind, and unless another Ronald Reagan appears, it's hard to see how it can regain its sanity. To vote for Republicans, given the collective madness, is like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

If there are any thinking conservatives left, I find it hard to understand why they can't admit the obvious.

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 1:43

Who scrubbed your post, Burch?

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 1:47

mea culpa... it was 'angry, intolerant morons' that you said... I missed it on 2nd reading and it's still there.

By: brrrrk on 10/28/11 at 1:52

THIS is the cancer stage of Capitalism...

Does one 'super-corporation' run the global economy? Study claims it could be terrifyingly unstable


By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 1:52

Your perception that the current crew is something to the right of Ronald Reagan is absurd. They said the same sh*t about Reagan back then that you're saying about everyone else today.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 2:14

My perception is that an infestation of hate and control has spread throughout the Republican Party. That is the true danger to our country.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 2:23

By: BenDover on 10/27/11 at 3:59
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from the hippie wannabees on Legislative Plaza.

Boy Ben that sure sucked. The demonstrators on Wall Street must being hitting a nerve for you to come with such a lousy joke.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 2:24

By: bfra on 10/28/11 at 5:27
yogi is the perfect example of "dumb as a rock"!

I disagree; rocks are smarter and have a personality compared to yogi.

By: bfra on 10/28/11 at 2:30

Nemo - I forgot, rocks can be pets! Who in their right mind would ever pet yogi? They catch his dumbness!