Monday, August 01, 2011


A Pew/Washington Post poll comes to the utterly unsurprising conclusion that voters have a less favorable opinion of all the participants in the debt-ceiling debate:

... 37 percent in the new poll say they now see President Obama less favorably, about double the number (18 percent) seeing him in a more positive light....

For House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the split is even worse, with about three times as many saying their opinion of him has deteriorated rather than improved over the past few weeks (34 percent less favorable; 11 percent more so)....

To the extent that both sides were trying to appeal to political independents, the past few weeks appear to have had little positive effect. Just 13 percent of independents say they now view Obama more favorably (38 percent say less); fewer, only 7 percent, now see Boehner in a more positive light.

Nor has the spotlight in the past few weeks helped Congress: Nearly one in five independents say they think less of
both congressional Democrats and Republicans as a result of the budget negotiations. Not a single one of the independents interviewed now thinks more highly of both sides.

There would seem to be a golden opportunity here for the No Labels/Americans Elect crowd, whatever you may think of them: wouldn't they theoretically have a pretty good shot at success if they ran some third-party candidates in congressional races?

But, obviously, there's no sign that anything of the sort is coming from these groups. It's clear that no one in any of the groups has any interest in building an alternative party from the ground up, despite the availability of Mike Bloomberg's billions and various other sources of money.

That's because these movements aren't about anything other than the hero fantasies of Bloomberg, Evan Bayh, etc., and the entourage fantasies of people like Tom Friedman and Doug Schoen. It's all about one guy becoming a superstar and everyone else getting to be a hanger-on, with everyone fantasizing about the hero just fixing everything all by himself, the way "turnaround artist" CEOs do in business-magazine cover stories. I know you all probably had that figured out a long time ago, but none of the people involved in these organizations have any idea what they're really seeking. They just want to be in the posse, or lead it.

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