Saturday, April 15, 2017

JustOneMinute: Chatting With Fish About Water

JustOneMinute: Chatting With Fish About Water
"When is something that looks like "reflexive partisanship" actually a reflection of the viewer? 
Ah, well. 
Here is James Hohmann of the WaPo, April 11:
The Daily 202: Reflexive partisanship drives polling lurch on Syria strikes
THE BIG IDEA: More Americans than ever view the news through red-colored glasses.
Image result for "reflexive partisanship"In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians.
A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed.
-- Overall, a bare 51 percent majority of U.S. adults support the president’s action in our new poll. In 2013, just 30 percent supported strikes. That swing is driven primarily by GOP partisans. For context, 37 percent of Democrats back Trump’s missile strikes. In 2013, 38 percent of Democrats supported Obama’s plan. That is well within the margin of error.
Independents are split evenly, with 46 percent backing Trump’s decision and 45 percent opposing it.
Har de har, those partisan rubes on the Republican side! Joining in the merriment and self-congratulatory backslapping were Kevin Drum and Steve Benen at MSNBC. Benen:
On Syria, ‘reflexive partisanship’ doesn’t apply to both parties
And Drum:
Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It
Each delivers a deep data dive by, hmm, recycling the same info presented in the WaPo. Here is Benen's thoughtful analysis of the Republican swing from 22% supporting strikes to 86%:
That’s an astounding shift in attitudes, and partisan instincts almost certainly explain the rapid change. Republican voters opposed Obama, so they had no use for his plan to attack the Assad regime, and Republican voters generally back Trump, so they support last week’s strikes.

But look a little closer at the details, and the asymmetry between the parties becomes more obvious: four years ago, 38% of Democratic voters backed Obama’s proposed strikes in Syria, and now, 37% of Democratic voters support Trump doing the same thing. In other words, there’s been effectively no change.
No change in their views even though we have a new President Democrats have vowed to resist and the Obama deal with Putin on Syria has collapsed? That's not counterintuitive and worthy of explanation?..."
Read on!

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