Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Can we please stop talking about how Republicans continue to be in deep trouble because people across the political spectrum, especially teabaggers, dislike them? Take a look at these results from a new CNN poll (PDF):

A negative perception of the GOP on the public's part? Gone -- completely gone. What was an 18-point deficit a mere three months ago is now a statistically insignificant one-point deficit. The public now sees the parties just about equally. (The Democrats' 12-point net positive rating is also gone.)

The accompanying story treats the results as still problematic for the GOP:

While the survey's numbers are not great news for the Democrats, "the coming midterm campaign may not be smooth sailing for the Republicans either," Holland said. "Nearly half the public says they are angry at both parties; only one in ten are angry only at the Democrats."

Yeah, but combine this with the headline item of the poll -- that a whopping 70% of poll respondents think it's good for the country that "the Democrats ... cannot pass bills without cooperation from at least one Republican Senator" -- and I'm struggling to see this much-discussed ongoing disgruntlement with the Republican Party.

(On the other hand, the fact that Democrats' ratings aren't in the toilet yet -- 45% of respondents think Democratic control of Congress is "good for the country," while 48% disagree -- shows that there's some residual affection for the concept of, y'know, doing things in a non-Republican way. Democrats have had the opportunity to realign America's political thinking and steer it away from Reaganism, although I think the window is rapidly closing and the health care bill, in particular, is box-office poison. But a bit of competence and responsiveness to voters could save the Democratic Party yet, although that's just theoretically true, because it's so difficult to imagine it actually happening.)

In any case, please disabuse yourselves of the notion that the GOP remains broadly unpopular. Voters seem to want "independents," but, post-Scott Brown, the GOP is starting to be the "independent" party in a lot of voters' eyes. And as for the tea party movement, see this post from Digby (emphasis added):

Katie Couric sits down with a couple of teabaggers to find out what they really believe. And it turns out that they believe in individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, free markets, limited government, low taxes, a strong national defense and protecting our borders against the immigrant invasion. They think the government has usurped the constitution and see themselves as uber-patriots fulfilling the founders' intent. They believe fervently in American exceptionalism and that the nation is under mortal threat from foreign enemies without and traitors within. They are divided on social issues but insist that they are irrelevant to their movement --- they repeat Republican talking points verbatim but insist they are not Republicans. In other words they are standard issue conservative movement wingnuts without the cross.

I think some teabaggers' crosses will emerge very, very soon (see: Palin, Sarah), but apart from that, I agree with every word Digby wrote here. Voting Republican will just be the logical, inevitable move for nearly every teabagger in November 2010 and 2012.

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