Monday, October 21, 2013

Risky (Unfinished) Business

Ah, so he's at it again. Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) offered more helpful advice for Republicans. And he didn't stop there. He also had a warning for them.

“I don’t blame the American people for being upset. What we have here in America today is a crisis created for no reason, other than to satisfy the shrill right-wing Tea Party. … And I would hope that this crisis as some Republican members of Congress have said, you can look at Roy Blunt, a Republican of Missouri, Lindsey Graham from South Carolina. I’m paraphrasing, but they said this was a terrible waste of resources,” Reid said of the shutdown that could cost the economy $24 billion.  ”All it did is hurt Republicans. … I hope they’ve learned a lesson. The American people will not put up with that. And if this happens again, I don’t think it will, but if it does, I think the House of Representatives will go Democratic.”

“There was so much pushback against this silly, stupid thing they were trying to do,” Reid said, of the House GOP’s repeated attempts to repeal Obamacare even before the shutdown. [...]

“I believe the polls that show 18 [House] Republicans … if the vote were today they would lose. So they, I hope they’ve learned their lesson. If they haven’t, they really aren’t thinking too well,” the majority leader said. Democrats currently hold 200 seats in the House, and 218 is needed to assume the majority.

So what's Senator Reid talking about. Just look at the polls. Republicans' poll numbers have fallen fast as a result of their latest and greatest manufactured crisis. Who could have guessed this would end so badly for Republicans? (/snark)

But wait, there's more. CNN just released a new poll showing how far Republicans have fallen just this month.

The latest CNN/ORC International poll found that 54 percent of Americans think it's a bad thing that the GOP is the majority party in the House, while only 38 percent think it's a good thing. In December of last year, a CNN/ORC showed that 43 percent thought it was a bad thing that Republicans controlled the lower chamber.

[House Speaker John] Boehner fares even worse in Monday's survey. Sixty-three percent want the Ohio Republican replaced as speaker, compared with 30 percent who would like him to continue holding the post.

It's the latest in a recent run of bleak polls for Republicans, who appear to have been damaged deeply by the recent budget and debt fights. Polls across the board showed that Americans largely blamed the GOP for the government shutdown, giving Democrats newfound hope of taking back the House in next year's midterms.

Americans want to see a government that works. They want a government that's actually open. And they want a government that can actually fix problems and accomplish things.

But now, Congressional Republicans are renewing their threat to block the rest of President Obama's agenda. And here, we're talking about a longer term budget agreement, a farm bill, and comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). These were all supposed to be areas of broad, bipartisan consensus. So what happened?

Their TEA-fueled opposition to both President Obama and sensible tax reform has caused immense gridlock in Congress. Never mind that both CIR and progressive tax reform have broad public support. Because they're so dead-set against one, they plan to torpedo the other... Along with a longer term budget agreement and a farm bill!

And Republicans wonder why they've become so unpopular? They're now saying they don't want to do anything else if President Obama won't just give them Social Security cuts along with extra austerity on top of that. In addition, even the Republicans who were originally pushing for immigration reform are now claiming CIR is "dead on arrival" because President Obama hurt their feelings when he pushed then to do their job and reopen the federal government.

Again, how can any Republicans still be wondering why their party is polling so badly? This is why. If their party continues to guzzle down so much "TEA" and shut down the government over political temper tantrums, more Americans may just conclude that it's just too risky to let the G-O-TEA keep this ability to grind the nation's business to a halt.

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