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Republican campaigning a la FOX - reviving "social issues"

Reported by Chrish - August 15, 2006 -

Is FOX trying to help Republican candidates rev up their base with their tried and true issues? Or are they gearing up for a whore-a-thon of Bill O'Reilly's upcoming book, "Culture Warriors"? Or both? We report, you decide. In any case, the familiar personal issues reared their ugly heads on The O'Reilly Factor yesterday 8/14/06: abortion, gays and the newest "issue", stem-cell research.

Pew Research poll results were exhibited in graphics as follows: 56% opposition to gay marriage (but 54% support for civil unions), 52% opposition to gay adoption, 66% opposition to unrestricted abortion access, and 56% support for stem cell research (including embryonic stem cells).

While some of the results were clear cut I found his characterization on abortion biased. O'Reilly presented his graphic as "Just 31%of Americans believe abortion should be allowed with few restrictions, while 66%, overwhelming, want the procedure to be limited or illegal." Looked at another way,"51% of those polled want abortion to remain legal and widely available, though 39% of those want to see it more limited. 44% want to see it criminalized almost all the time. However, 66% of all respondents think we need to find a middle ground, with only 29% saying "no compromise." It is unclear what portion of those 29% are pro-choice absolutists or no-choice extremists."

See, we can do it too.

Alas for poor O'Reilly, right there in the midst of all the analysis, in big blue letters, the Pew Research states

"Public Divided on Social Issues, But No "Culture War""

Public attitudes across a set of five issues that have been the focus of intense political activity in recent years 足 gay marriage, adoption of children by gay couples, abortion, stem cell research and the morning-after pill 足 show a mix of conservative and liberal majorities. On none of the five issues does more than 56% of the public line up on one side of the question or the other.

Opinions on these issues are related to one another; for example, most of those who take the most conservative positions on abortion also oppose gay marriage, and a similar pattern is seen for each pair of items. But there is also a great deal of inconsistency. Just over one-in-ten Americans (12%) takes the conservative position on all of these items, and a somewhat larger number (22%) take conservative positions on none of the items. Thus, much of the public falls between the extremes on this collection of issues.

The "culture war" and it's head warrior are a sham, a hype, just like the ridiculous "war on Christmas"; merely a means to 1.) make money by 2.) exploiting the manipulable followers who would rather have someone looking out for them than thinking for themselves.