Glenn Beck cited several "ballot initiatives" that voters "turned out yesterday to weigh in on" as purported evidence that "the majority of Americans seem in favor of classically Republican points of view." But Beck failed to note votes on initiatives that undermine that claim, such as approval of hikes in the minimum wage and rejection of parental notification laws.
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On the November 8 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck cited several "ballot initiatives" that voters "turned out yesterday [November 7] to weigh in on" as purported evidence that "the majority of Americans seem in favor of classically Republican points of view." But by citing only some of the ballot initiatives before voters -- in support of "English as the official language, strict immigration reform, and a ban against gay marriage" -- Beck ignored a host of ballot measures whose outcomes undermine his assertion about Americans holding "classically Republican points of view." For instance, Beck did not note that six states voted on initiatives to raise the minimum wage, a priority of the incoming Democrat-controlled Congress, and all six passed. Nor did Beck acknowledge that Missouri voters passed a ballot initiative in support of stem cell research, that South Dakota voters rejected a sweeping ban on abortion, while California and Oregon rejected parental notification laws. Same-sex marriage ballot initiatives passed in six states, but failed in Arizona.
During his "Real Story" segment, Beck also alleged that "[i]t's not so much that the Democrats won, but that the Republicans lost," adding that "the Democrats didn't win yesterday with their classically liberal agenda, but the more conservative-minded, Blue Dog Democrats or independent thinkers, like [Sen.] Joe Lieberman, were appealing to voters." However, a Media Matters review of House candidates who, as of the morning of November 8, had defeated Republican incumbents or been elected to open seats previously held by Republicans found that these incoming lawmakers agree on a set of issues central to the Democratic platform, including raising the minimum wage, changing course in Iraq, and protecting Social Security. Moreover, as Media Matters noted, the actual legislative agenda offered by Democrats boasted initiatives that draw broad support from the American public:
- Raise the minimum wage for the first time since 1997: The current federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour means that a person working five days a week, 52 weeks a year would earn a mere $10,712 a year. Republicans have refused to raise the minimum wage without including massive tax breaks for the rich. According to a recent Gallup poll (subscription required), 86 percent of Americans would approve of such an increase of the minimum wage.
- Extend health coverage to the uninsured: Gallup found that 79 percent would approve of such legislation.
- Allow the purchase of imported prescription drugs, which are often cheaper: According to Gallup, 72 percent of Americans would approve.
- Implement the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission: According to Gallup, 62 percent of Americans would approve.
From the November 8 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Now, as we're all painfully aware, yesterday was Election Day. Thank you that it's over, thank you. For the first time in 12 years, the Democrats are about to control the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. But here's the real story: It's not so much that the Democrats won, but that the Republicans lost.
Now, stay with me. This is more than just semantics. For the past few weeks, I've been telling you that I believe people cast their vote for something, not against it. So yesterday it seems that, when Americans stepped inside that voting booth to face their decision and their conscience, they decided that the Democratic plan made more sense and voted for it. Really?
Well, you know what? Here's the other real story. I mostly agree with them. See, what happened -- hear me out -- the Democrats didn't win yesterday with their classically liberal agenda, but the more conservative-minded, Blue Dog Democrats or independent thinkers, like Joe Lieberman, were appealing to voters.
The Republicans have long courted candidates with more liberal leanings in the Northeast -- dare I mention Rhode Island. Where they needed a little help, they leaned on those guys. The Democrats finally started applying the same strategy.
Besides voting for candidates, voters also turned out yesterday to weigh in on the issues in the form of ballot initiatives. The people have spoken and, with very few exceptions, they have come out overwhelmingly in favor of English as the official language, strict immigration reform, and a ban against gay marriage. Now, how on Earth did the Democrats win when the majority of Americans seem in favor of classically Republican points of view?
Well, I'll tell you. For one, the Republicans have been overspending like Democrats. I told you earlier in the show, exit polling clearly showed that primary factors in voters' decisions were corruption and ethics. To me, this is where spending and border security comes in for the Republicans.
Voters obviously didn't think that Republicans were paying close enough attention, and voters began to wonder if the lack of attention by the Republicans on border security was because of maybe some big business was making big money on the perks of illegal immigrants through slipping through our border.
Americans could have gone with the party they knew wasn't listening to them, or take a chance on these new Blue Dog Democrats who just might hear them. The Democrats saw an opening, they picked up the ball, they ran all the way for a touchdown in Washington.