- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WHAT’S BREWING

It’s getting serious. Charting the trajectory of the “tea party” is becoming strategic science rather than casual hearsay, which could dampen rumor-mongering in the press, should journalists heed the numbers. Pajamas Media, for instance, has introduced a weekly tea party poll, says CEO Roger Simon. The inaugural survey of 1,000 likely voters reveals that 55 percent say the much ballyhooed charges of racism against the tea party are “politically motivated.” Another 54 percent - including 31 percent of Democrats - support the movement while 48 percent would vote for a tea party-friendly candidate. See it all here: www.pjtv.com/poll.

The Sam Adams Alliance, meanwhile, has defined a yawning rift between the grass-roots activists and mainstream Republicans: 97 percent of the tea partiers voted for former President George W. Bush in an earlier era, their survey found. Now, a minimal, disenchanted majority - 51 percent - remain Republican. The rest? Twenty-two percent are unaffiliated, 10 percent are “tea party,” 10 percent have mixed affiliations, 6 percent are Libertarians and 2 percent are Democrats.

Tea partiers are hungry: 90 percent actively recruit new members, says Yvonne Ralksy, president of the aforementioned Chicago-based research group that surveyed 159 of the activists. Sarah Palin still tops their roster of 2012 presidential favorites, followed by Mitt Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And look out. Main tea partier motivations are to “stand up for my beliefs,” followed by “influence policy,” “influence elections” and “express anger and frustration”. See the survey here: www.samadamsalliance.org.

THE REVIEWS ARE IN

Of Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that California’s Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, that is.

“Traditional marriage has been the foundation of civil society for centuries and we cannot simply toss it aside to fit the political whims of liberal activists with gavels.” (Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican).

“Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The reason for this is simple - there isnt.” (Brian Brown, president, National Organization for Marriage)

“Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves.” (Wendy Wright, president, Concerned Women for America.)

“The U.S. District Court ruling today affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry in California is a victory for both science and basic human dignity,” (Carol D. Goodheart, president, American Psychological Association).

THE YOUNG AND RESTLESS

Just to clarify. Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston announced they were getting married in US magazine, only to proclaim the wedding was off in People magazine. Mr. Johnston’s former girlfriend Lanesia Garcia now says he is not the father of her baby. Mr. Johnston, meanwhile, will shoot a music video with singer Brittani Senser in Los Angeles next week entitled “After Love,” based on his experiences. Or something like that.

The take-away message in the liberal press from all this: “Anyone still think the Bristol-Levi engagement was part of Sarah Palin’s plan?” (Slate magazine).

What Mrs. Palin actually says: “Bristol is strong, she is independent, and she knows what is right for her son. Henceforth she’ll know to trust but verify.”

THE DOWN BEET

Former President George H.W. Bush famously hated broccoli. And Michelle Obama? Yes, there is a vegetable that even the nutritionally conscious first lady cannot abide.

“Beets. I am a believer there is a beet gene. People who love beets love them and people who hate beets cant stand them. Neither the President nor I have the beet gene,” Mrs. Obama tells Ladies Home Journal, in an issue to be published next week,

THE UPBEAT

Memo to politicos, White House, everybody: “Thinking about religion makes you calm under fire. It makes you less distressed when you’ve made an error,” says University of Toronto psychologist Michael Inzlicht, who made this conclusion after measuring the brain waves of test subjects in trying circumstances.

“We think this can help us understand some of the really interesting findings about people who are religious. Although not unequivocal, there is some evidence that religious people live longer and they tend to be happier and healthier,” he says, noting that his unusual study has been published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

POLL DU JOUR

64 percent of Americans approve of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s job performance.

56 percent approve of Defense Department Secretary Robert M. Gates.

45 percent approve of President Obama.

43 percent approve of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs

39 percent approve of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

33 percent approve of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

22 percent approve of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

Source A Clarus Research Group Poll survey of 636 registered voters conducted July 26 and 27.

Rants, raves, squeaks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.