Posted by: JanF | October 11, 2013

Lessons in gravity: Republican ideology in free fall

The NBC/WSJ post-shutdown poll released yesterday set the blogosphere abuzz. It turns out that a reckless disregard for the well being of those who depend on the federal government, coupled with a casual connection with reality about how the financial markets work, does not instill confidence in your party or your party’s leaders. Who could have anticipated that?

Science challenged House Republicans forget about “gravity”

Oh, just about everyone … in the reality-based world!

It is ironic that a poll demonstrating cluelessness came on the heels of “prominent” “journalists” (here and here) declaring that President Obama is wrong to refuse to negotiate.

Here are a few of the poll numbers:
– Only 24% of Americans hold a positive opinion of Republicans
– Barack Obama’s approval rating has moved up slightly in the last month to 47%.
– Blame for the shutdown: GOP 53%, President Obama 31%
– Approval for the Affordable Care Act rises from 31% to 37%
– By a 52-percent-to-44 percent difference, people think the government should do more to solve problems

So what happens to the political party that shut down the government over repealing/defunding/delaying Obamacare and who has tried to nullify the results of the last two national elections?

The damage to the Republican brand from the shutdown is immediate and severe. Just 24% of Americans have a positive opinion of the Republican party in Thursday’s WSJ/NBC poll versus 53% who have a negative opinion, a 13 point swing since September. That’s even worse than the 28% favorable rating Gallup recorded on Wednesday, and like Gallup’s showing, it’s a new record for the pollster. Even fewer respondents–21%–have a positive view of the Tea Party, another new low.

Gravity also refers to “seriousness”, another thing that Republicans don’t do well. You can’t threaten to shut down the government when you are unhappy about the results of elections, especially when your choice of candidates include people like Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock whose contempt for women became an issue. Or people like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, men with a puny vision for America: one where the richest nation on earth can’t afford to take care of its citizens. If you want to run the government, field candidates whose policies are supported by a majority of the American people and who respect women, minorities, and the dignity of labor. Field candidates who think that a great country provides a social safety net for those who are struggling to get by instead of calling them “moochers”.

On second thought, “proceed, GOP”. Continue ignoring the polls and the fact that most people like government services and care about people who are hungry and homeless and can’t afford medical care.

You will make our job in 2014 and 2016 much easier if you continue to ignore not only gravity but what the American people really want: a government that reflects their values.