While there has always been conflict between the political parties, Republicans have taken this to a new level. Republicans have made it clear that their number one priority was for Barack Obama to fail, and they have pursued this goal regardless of how much harm is done to the country. While the filibuster has been used for ages, the Republicans have changed the nature of the filibuster in almost routinely forcing the Democrats to have sixty votes to pass bills, resulting in an unprecedented number of filibusters while the Republicans have been in the minority. Once taking control of the House, they have used their power to pass legislation to kill jobs and block Obama’s plans which would increase jobs and help prevent another recession. Finally, what was once unthinkable is now being openly discussed: the Republicans are using their power to prevent economic recovery in the hope that this helps them win in 2012. This may or may not work as two polls now show that a majority of independents and moderates realize that this is the case.
The first poll was limited to Florida:
With 51 percent of voters saying that jobs and the economy are the most pressing issues in the nation today, 49 percent said they believe that the Republicans are intentionally hindering efforts to boost the economy so that President Barack Obama will not be reelected. Thirty-nine percent disagreed. As expected, most registered Democrats (70 percent) agreed that Republicans are intentionally hindering the economy and hurting Obama, but independents (52 percent) and even some Republicans (24 percent) also agreed.
A national poll found comparable results today:
…the Post poll asks people to choose between two options. This: “President Obama is making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs.” Or this: “President Obama has not provided leadership on the economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an excuse for not doing his job.”
The toplines: Americans agree with the first statement over the second one, 50-44. According to numbers sent my way by the Post polling team, this is more pronounced among moderates and independents:
* Independents favor statement one over statement two by 54-40.
* Moderates favor statement one over statement two by 57-37.
The overall number is lower, at 50 percent, because a hilariously meager nine percent of Republicans believe this to be the case.
The results are encouraging but do not mean that Obama won’t have difficulties in running for reelection with a weak economy. I’ve seen multiple elections were polls showed that voters agreed with Democrats on the issues but voted Republican. That result was largely due to voters being unaware of how closely Democratic positions matched their own because of the considerable amount of distortion of Democratic views coming from the right wing noise machine, but unless Democrats do a better job of connecting the dots for less knowledgeable voters, I fear that these polling results will also fail to lead to votes.
Now that there are polls showing that voters are receptive to the facts regarding this argument, the Democrats need to get the message out. Democrats tend to have the facts supporting their case hidden away in intellectual publications while Republicans loudly repeat their misinformation until too many people see their lies as facts. Democrats need to make more noise about what has really been happening with the economy with messages including:
- Republican ideas have caused the economic problems, and the Republicans are working hard to prevent recovery for political gain
- The nature of the political system allows the Republicans to block plans for economic recovery
- Republicans have made passage of needed legislation even more difficult with their unprecedented use of the filibuster
- There is no evidence that a slight increase in the marginal tax rate on millionaires will hinder the economy–in contrast we have seen considerable economic growth during periods with much higher tax rates
- The Republican claim that Democrats are putting more regulations on business and hindering the economy are also false.
- Reducing spending in areas where it either harms the middle class or neglects infrastructure further weakens the economy.