Feathered Bastard

Rasmussen Reports 60 Percent of the (White) Electorate Support Racial Profiling, the Colbert Report, and Video of Luis Gutierrez's Sunday Speech

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Right-wing pollster Scott Rasmussen's surveys sometimes resemble push polls, in that they are obviously intended to influence opinions as well as record them. One of these days, I'm expecting to see Rasmussen's droid-writers claim in a mass e-mail that, "80 percent of Americans support suspending habeas corpus and the Bill of Rights."

That doesn't necessarily mean that his polls are inaccurate. Civil liberties are always a tough sell, especially here in Arizona. Along these lines, Rasmussen recently concluded that 70 percent of likely Sand Land voters welcomed state Senator Russell Pearce's new bigot bill SB 1070, as signed into law by our coward of a Governor Jan Brewer.

So here comes another Rasmussen pearl, this time telling us that based on a poll of 1,000 likely voters nationwide, 60 percent of the electorate backs the concept of a cop stopping people and asking for their papers, Hogan's Heroes-style.

Gilman's latest: Video of Gutierrez's speech

Tempering this "news" is the side note that 58 percent of respondents are somewhat or very concerned that "efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants will also end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens."

Thanks for the sop to the conscience, Scott. Glad you threw that one in there. Next time, maybe you should ask poll respondents if they think all Mexicans are "dirty" and bring disease into the country. You know, as Sheriff Joe once suggested in an interview.

Likely, Rasmussen's mostly-white respondents would agree with our septuagenarian lawman. Rasmussen's flack tells me the racial breakdown for this latest poll is 77 percent white, 11 percent black, and 12 percent "other." Hmm, wonder if there were any brown people in that "other"?

Interestingly, the poll Rasmussen did of Arizona voters on the same subject -- the one where he scored 70 percent support for racial profiling -- was 81 percent white.

But then, it's always easy for the majority to watch a subset of society discriminated against or racially profiled. As long as the diminishment of constitutional rights doesn't touch those in the ruling 50-plus percent.

In this way, Rasmussen is doing us a favor, inadvertently revealing the latent racism of many in America, and in his polls. After all, if you're not a likely voter, your opinion means zip to Rasmussen. Hey, if Rodney King didn't vote, for instance, then who cares what he has to say about getting beat-down, right?

That's Rasmussen's opinion, apparently.

Thanks to regular commenter Truth08 for posting a link to last week's Colbert Report segment on Arizona's new law codifying racial profiling. It's much funnier than the SNL segment I blogged about earlier, with lines like the following:

"Folks, my great-grandfather didn't travel 4,000 miles across the ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland."


"It's like they're saying that harassing Latinos with racial profiling is an inevitable side effect of this law. It's not. It's the entire point of this law."

I also like the part where Stephen Colbert says that cops will now be able to Taser anyone who uses the word "chipotle."

On a more serious note, check out videographer Dennis Gilman's video of the speech given by Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez during the big rally Sunday at the Arizona state Capitol.

I doubt Rasmussen's ditto-heads would approve, but I think you'll find Gutierrez a fiery, impassioned orator, one who gives no quarter, even to those who share the left of the political spectrum with him.

Finally, I'm also throwing the above political cartoon by illustrator Walt Creed into this blog grab bag. Why should the Archie Bunker-like bigots have all the fun, anyway? Creed tells me he's working on some Sheriff Joe-themed animation. Can't wait to see it when it's ready.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons