Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

Michigan, where Democratic and Republican governors alike appear to be equally unpopular.

John Terbush of Talking Points Memo reports:

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder (R) is facing a backlash of his own.

Last November, Snyder beat Democrat Virg Bernero by a huge 18-point margin. But in a PPP poll released yesterday, registered voters suggested they wish they'd elected Bernero -- who won a hypothetical do over, 47% to 45%.

Since taking office, Snyder has pursued a number of controversial proposals, such as one that would grant him the power to declare a financial emergency in a given city and appoint an emergency manager to modify or void union contracts, and even dissolve a city government -- a proposal one supporter likened to "financial martial law."

In PPP's latest poll, 50% of respondents said they opposed that proposal, versus 32% who said they supported it.

The also poll found that a majority of registered voters in Michigan disapprove of Snyder's job performance. Fifty percent of respondents said they disapproved of the job Snyder was doing, while just 33% said they approved.


  1. My opinion of this can best be summed up by an English version of an Edith Piaf song...

    -Mary Catherine Gallagher
    \/ (*superstar*) \/

  2. I guess I should also mention, I am not pro Snyder. The title of this post just made me think of Edith Piaf.

  3. Oh, for gosh sakes...the man hasn't even had a chance to put his plans into place yet! The previous governor had EIGHT years to get it wrong--and she did and she didn't make the hard decisions while the state was losing almost a million residents, Unemployment is closer to 20% than 15, almost 20% of the homes in the county I live in are EMPTY. So, this state is on the verge of bankruptcy...something has to be done! Give the man a chance to at least TRY!

    A voter and taxpayer from Flushing, MI

  4. The poll in question certainly suggests that the mainstream media in Michigan have a lot of power to drive voter opinion, and that if elections were more frequent and therefore our governance was more directly democratic, its quality would decline. (Further.)

    The voters who, per the cited poll, so dislike the current Governor's attempt to deal with quasi-bankrupt cities by having in place an imposed-financial-manager system...where were they when the past emergency financial managers were equally imposed in Flint, Highland Park, and Hamtramck? The only significant difference between those past experiences and now, I think, is the media's apparent conclusion that, given recent events in neighboring states, their coverage will be more popular if their current stance is that the imposed-financial-manager plan is new and un-American...which they can only get away with because they cynically take advantage of the voters' short attention spans and memories, and omit actually-useful-but-unpopular context and historical education from their coverage.

    Of course, the current governor is a moderate Republican, and gets flak from both the left and those Republicans to his right. That's different, but maybe not, from the past moderate Governor who got flak from both the right and those Democrats to her left. She, too, had to deal with media that would rather play to the mob than be socially useful.

    As I hope is apparent, *I* have no respect for popularly manipulative, moderation-non-defending, voter-misinforming media.

  5. Here Here JWilly! However, from what I've learned from my own local politics (not of Flint) is that people want to hear what they want to hear, and the media is giving the people what they want...

    and it doesn't have to be the media... misinformation can come in the form of anyone who has enough money to take out an ad or mail a flyer. I'm beginning to realize that as of late, marketing wins the day.

    Marketing misinformation, and persisting until the public get tired of the topic to care about the truth. It happens on both sides... it just seems more polarized now.

  6. I have to say I'm always perplexed by voters who switch their allegiance so quickly after the election when the candidate they voted for simply does what he said he was going to do. Without taking sides, is Snyder doing anything radically different from what he said he was going to do? It doesn't seem like it. So if you hate what he's doing, why didn't you simply vote for the other guy a few months ago?

    Same thing happened to Bush when he got re-elected. And the same thing happened to Obama.

    I say if the person doesn't do something totally unexpected, then you should at least give him a year or two before you turn on him.

    Of course, I often vote for third party candidates as a protest vote, so I never have this problem because my candidates always lose. I'm consistently unhappy before and after the election.

  7. I should add that my approach is probably the stupidest approach of all.

  8. The guy has been in office for... What.. Two weeks? ha ha ha

    It seems to me, people tend to side with the direction of the question.

    Michigan is really in trouble with it's finances. It is going to take some unpopular cuts in order to progress. One step back, two steps forward.

  9. Yeah, I know how you feel geewhy. I've been in despair after every Presidential election for many years now. I have voted for Pat Paulson in every election since 1968. Even after he died in 1997 I still wrote him in. I think I have you beat in the "stupid approach" department, but still it was fun being a member of the Stag Party.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at