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Monday, July 18, 2011

Yes, the Public Would Blame Republicans for a Default

Eric Cantor, John BoehnerIn the debt ceiling debate, there are no political winners. That's one message you could take away from a new CBS News poll showing that, of all the players in the debt negotiations, a majority of Americans approve of none. On this issue, it's disapprovals across the board.

But another message you could take away would be that, of all the political losers in this fight, the Republicans are the biggest -- by a wide margin. From the polling report itself (pdf):

More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the negotiations with members of Congress about raising the debt ceiling, but Democrats and Republicans in Congress fare even worse. 43% approve of how the President is handling the talks, and 48% disapprove. Approval drops to 31% for the Democrats in Congress. Just 21% approve of the Republicans’ handling of the negotiations, while 71% disapprove.


In fact, the report tells us, "Even half of Republicans, 51%, disapprove of how members of their party in Congress are handling the negotiations. Far fewer Democrats disapprove of how their own party (32%) or President Obama (22%) is handling the talks."

The biggest winner, by virtue of being the least loser, is President Obama -- the man to who Republicans have furiously been trying to shift any blame. Clearly this isn't working -- at least, not working as well as they'd hoped. Or as well as some of their crazier supporters had predicted.

Erick Erickson, RedState:

Now is a time for choosing. Now is your time for choosing. As I pointed out to John Boehner yesterday, despite what the pundits in Washington are telling you, it is you and not Obama who hold most of the cards. Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the "Obama Depression." Congress does not get pinned with this stuff.

"Of course Erick Erickson's analysis of the debt ceiling situation is simplistic, incorrect, and stupid," wrote Alex Pareene in one of my favorite quotes from last week. "Erick Erickson wrote it. He's a clown."

But he's not a lonely clown. There are no shortage of rightwing radio nuts calling for default. And worse than Erick-Erick's sloppy wishful thinking is default denialism; a Tea Party delusion that a damaging default as a result of failure to raise the debt limit is an alarmist position. Count Rep. Alan West, Rep. Michele Bachmann and many others among those. See, if liberals worry about something, then it's nothing you should worry about -- like global warming. It's what being a reactionary robot is all about.

So, of course, the crazier conservatives will ignore the CBS Poll, just as they ignore all evidence that doesn't support their position. They'll wander around with their heads in the clouds, completely certain that their arguments -- presented without evidence -- are 100% correct.

To their credit, GOP leadership is trying to get these nuts to see reality. I have my doubts as to whether this is even possible. This is the generation that Republicans have trained, through rightwing media, to ignore facts in favor of talking points. Now these crazies have talking points of their own.


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