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: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 2:41


bud and serr8d, they are into the bizarre and deceitful little bigot.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/28/11 at 2:44

I have got to go. Have a good weekend people. You too yogi.

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 2:58

Take care nemo. Have a great weekend everyone.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 3:47

As an editor/publisher, I presume you can understand what you are reading pretty well.... except when it comes to reading a birth certificate.

I'm no expert on the writing cone on a computer. Hell, I'm not even a mediocre, but I can tell several letters on Obama's so called certificate are fakes. When you look at them closely you can see some of the letters are of different characters. That birth certificate was not printed on a computer in 1961.

And another question: Where did it come from? He stated many times he didn't have one. He also said the Hawaiian government would not release his birth certificate to allow him to show it. Was he lying? Yep. All the way to the White House and he hasn't quit since he got there.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 3:53


Just wondering, if the South is so bad, what are you doing here? And worse yet, why are you going so much further south? Didn't they teach you anything up yonda?

By: dargent7 on 10/28/11 at 4:19

Burch. 2:35pm post...right on the money.
Conservatives are scambling to gain some sense of balance.
They're on a teeter-toter without anything on the other side.
They cannot think outside the box.
They wish and pray to go back to the 50's , which is an impossiblity.
They think "Ozzie & Harriet" still exist. "Donna Reed" lives next door.
They, as a group, are up a creek without a paddle.

By: BenDover on 10/28/11 at 5:55

Whatever... you guys are absolutely mischaracterizing your 'enemy'. If you are doing it on purpose then I guess I can respect the Machiavelli angle but if you really believe it you are fighting the battle on a whole different battlefield and when you meet up with those minority of Don Quixote's like yogi or the freakin' neo-nazi racists everyone else is going to walk right past you and your attacks because they have valid gripes about Jimmy Carter redux.

By: yogiman on 10/28/11 at 11:55


re your 2:35 post. I can assure you, race is not a factor of my argument about Barack Obama being in the Oval Office. I am simply going by the requirements of our Constitution.

I have made every effort I can to make my point of view showing he is not legally eligible to hold that office according to the Constitution. If he was eligible, he would readily and quickly present to the public his legitimate facts. But he has spent millions of dollars to keep himself blind to us. Haven't you all ever wondered why?

I honestly can't understand how, or why, you and so many others on this site can accept this man as the President of this nation when you obviously know nothing about him, except his race and you and your fellow posters keep repeating the race factor on the issue.

But none of you have given one piece of evidence I have been wrong. Prove to me he is in that office legally and I will quickly apologize and accept him as my president.

May I repeat one fact? When he was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather he lost his American citizenship. Assuming he was a natural born citizen at that time, he could not get that natural born status back. And there is many more facts on the issue which I won't repeat here.

And by the way, the time will tell. The next 13 months are going to be very interesting on this presidential issue.

By: pswindle on 10/29/11 at 10:41

TN was a better place when we had a two-party system. Usually the best person would be elected. TN has become another Alabama or Mississippi, and that is so sad. Have you read what the men in Mississippi are doing to women? I can't beleive that these women would take this kind of treatament. If they have their way, women will have no control over their own bodies. The churches have finally brained-washed enough of their people to stop all reproductive rights for women.
This is slowly but surely coming to TN. This is what happens when we forget that church and state are separate. That means that we are not free after all.