As the irresponsible extremists in control of the Republican Party are bringing us to the brink of a government shutdown, polls show a majority opposing how the Republicans are handling the budget battle. A CNN/ORC International poll shows that the Republicans would receive the bulk of the blame:
According to the poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday, 46% say they would blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible and 13% pointing fingers at both the GOP in Congress and Obama.
Support for Congress has dropped to 10 percent. Opposition to the Tea Party has increased to a new high:
The unfavorable numbers for the tea party movement are also at an all-time high in CNN surveys.
Thirty-one percent say they see the tea party in a favorable light, while 54% hold an unfavorable view of the of the movement now in its fifth year.
A poll from Morning Consult shows that only 33 percent believe the Affordable Care Act should be delayed, repealed, or defunded as the Republicans are demanding. A margin of 66-33 believe that the 2012 election “represented a referendum on moving forward with implementation of the 2010 health care law.” Two thirds also believe the law should be given a chance to succeed (even if skeptical or ignorant of what the law contains).
These numbers don’t tell the entire story. Republican members of Congress are often from Congressional districts were voters believe the Republican line on the deficit and the Affordable Care Act and these voters are more likely to reward than vote against members of Congress who are acting against the interests of the country. Republican politicians benefit from the manner in which they promote ignorance and misunderstanding of the issues.
The numbers are also not static, with some polls showing an increase in the number of people who blame both sides. This may be a consequence portions of the media which promote such a false equivalency, either due to a false concept of objectivity or due to conservative control.
This might turn out to be a question of whether Obama can utilize the bully pulpit of the presidency more effectively than he often has in the past. We are seeing some signs of this with comments such as these:
I’m always willing to work with anyone of either party to make sure the Affordable Care Act works better, to make sure our government works better. I’m always willing to work with anyone to grow our economy faster, or to create new jobs faster, to get our fiscal house in order for the long run.
I’ve demonstrated this time and time again, oftentimes to the consternation of my own party.
But one faction, of one party, in one House of Congress, in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election. Keeping the people’s government open is not a concession to me. Keeping vital services running and hundreds of thousands of Americans on the job is not something you give to the other side…
he American people sent us here to govern. They sent us here to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make their lives a little bit better – to create new jobs, to restore economic security, to repair the prospects of upward mobility. That’s what they expect.
And they understand that there are differences between the parties. And we’re going to be having some tough fights around those differences. And I respect the fact that the other parties are not supposed to agree with me 100 percent of the time, just like I don’t agree with them.
But they do also expect that you don’t bring the entire government to a halt or the entire economy to a halt just because of those differences.
That’s what they deserve. They’ve worked too hard for too long to recover from previous crises just to have folks here in Washington manufacture yet another one that they have to dig themselves out of.
So Congress needs to keep our government open, needs to pay our bills on time, and never, ever threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America.