Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall
Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.
Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.
What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.
…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.
….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.
…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….
The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.
As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.
What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.
ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay
While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.
At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”
UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail
The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”
Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.
“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”
UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.
“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.’”
“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”
Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative
In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.
President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
A quick trip down memory lane. Democrats had suffered a crushing blow on no other day than the 1st Anniversary of Pres Obama’s Inauguration into office. Jan 20, 2010. We had lost Sen Ted Kennedy’s seat. The fate of the Healthcare bill hung in a balance. It had passed the House earlier in December 2009. The Senate version passed in a cliffhanger moment with ailing WV Senator Robert Bird being wheeled in, and Sen Sherrod Brown flown in by WH straight from a funeral, to cast the critical filibuster-proof vote just a breath before Christmas Day 2009 rolled in, and start of congressional winter recess.
But come January 2010, the two bills needed to be reconciled. On this anniversary date, Scott Brown trounced Martha Cokeley in the MA senate special election. Democrats’ threadbare 60 filibuster-proof caucus, gone. Healthcare reform teetered on brink of collapse. Many Very Serious People in the Beltway, pundits and Democrats told the President to give or radically scale back his Healthcare quest. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel read him the “Political-Implications-Riot-Act.” WH was in a deep funk.
Then came the Republican House’s grand invitation to Pres Obama visit their caucus retreat in Baltimore, MD. They probably wanted to humiliate the president for his recent loss, through fake chivalry.
WH RSVPed with one tiny request, whose acceptance a House GOP member later said was the biggest mistake they ever made. Pres Obama had asked to bring camera crew along.
First were his opening remarks calling for both parties to work together:
There’s a reason that the 1 hr 20 minute Q&A section that followed these opening remarks shook the Beltway political universe, prompting media calls for British-style “Prime Minister’s question Time” tradition to be established here in the US, to engender real dialog among political parties. Of course GOP rejected the idea and it fizzled. But for many Democrats, what became known as The Baltimore Massacre, would be grist for partisan loremaking. One man. 183 GOP congresscritters & their families. (Sinews taut). Room darkened, spotlight on POTUS against black curtained backdrop. T’was like oratory in a theater. No notes. Brilliance extempore.
The entire exchange is worth spending time listening to again in its entirety just for the sheer thrill of watching President Obama glow in the den of the opposition.
However, there is a segment key to the subject of this essay; that President Obama foresaw exactly the predicament that Republicans would be in now, incapable of saying “Yes” to anything he proposes, offers or agrees with them on, that they become convulsed contortionists.
Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had asked Pres Obama why he won’t take GOP (harebrained) plans on healthcare reform. He patiently tried to explain to her that Democrats HAD included many Republican ideas into the healthcare bills if they were objectively shown to be workable. But the critical point he made was that their reflexive rejection of anything he’s proposed including personal demonization of him, was going to hurt them in the long run.
So, 45 months ago President Obama predicted exactly to a T the current GOP Convulsions. We’ve seen this phenomenon play out over and over, but none of those prior occasions have been as dire as the shutdown we’re in the midst of and the looming economic catastrophe should we enter default.
Speaker Boehner, there is a way to retreat from that feeble ledge. President Obama WILL help you if you let him.