From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Reacting to that Politico "seven narratives" piece by John Harris, Daily Kos cites its own poll: "According to Harris, DC-types think that the Democrats' big problem is that independents are fleeing to the GOP, and they cite [the gubernatorial election in] Virginia as evidence of that thesis. But that's not the case." According to the blog's latest poll, 81% of Republican voters and 65% of Independents polled indicated they would vote in the 2010 Congressional elections, compared with only 56% of Democratic voters. "That right there is a recipe for a 2010 electoral horror show for Democrats, but not for the reasons that the "conventionally wise" crowd in DC is chasing around the cocktail circuit. Those numbers right there show us a Democratic base that is apathetic and uninspired, and anyone who thinks the way to fix that problem is by moving to the right is dumber than a sack of bricks."
The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen takes issue with Harris' statement that Obama should fear a prevailing perception that "he is comfortable with a relative decline in U.S. influence or position in the world." Benen: "In April, the president was specifically asked about whether he subscribes "to the school of 'American exceptionalism' that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world." Obama offered what struck me as the perfect response: 'I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world.' It's not how the right perceives American exceptionalism, and it's not how the wired-for-Republicans media perceives American exceptionalism, but it's a thoughtful, nuanced, mature approach to the issue. That this might be a problematic "narrative" is absurd."
Harris' observation that President Obama's "intellectuality has contributed to a growing critique that decisions are detached from rock-bottom principles" incites this response from Balloon Juice's DougJ: "Are there other first-world countries where the media spends a lot of time worrying that its leaders are too rational?"
Talking Points Memo on the latest Washington Post poll showing Sarah Palin's popularity with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck fans, a far greater percentage than GOP support overall. Per the Post's Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, "18 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents cited her as the person most representative of the party's core values, the highest percentage among prominent Republican figures. Among those who regularly listen to Limbaugh, however, Palin was cited by 48 percent, and among Beck's viewers, it was 35 percent, far surpassing others."
TPM: "As the recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll illustrates, the Republican base is very enthusiastic right now. If politics comes down to the simple question of who shows up, then the people who do like Palin could end up exercising a much greater influence than their raw numbers would suggest."
Think Progress picks up on "two people who don't fare as well [as Palin] in the Post poll:" George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. From the Post: "Just 1 percent pick George W. Bush as the best reflection of the party's principles, and only a single person in the poll cites former vice president Richard B. Cheney. About seven in 10 say Bush bears at least "some" of the blame for the party's problems."
And America Blog spotlights another finding from the Post poll: "Those who identify as Republicans today see themselves as more conservative politically than those who said so during the last years of the presidency of George W. Bush." AmericaBlog: "This is the challenge for Republicans. How do you deal with the pressure in your own party to veer to the right, when by doing so, you risk alienating the very people who left your party because it veered too far to the right - people you need back in order to win elections?"