Still a menace to America and our democracy? Sure. Even more so in some ways. But -- as Greg Sargent points out -- the Republican party leadership, thanks to its radical fringe, has lost political clout in general as well as among Republican voters.
Today’s Washington Post poll finds that a whopping 67 percent of Americans say Congressional Republicans are doing “too little” to cooperate with President Obama, while only 27 percent say the GOP is doing the right amount or too much. Among independents, those numbers are 68-26. By contrast, 48 percent say Obama’s doing too little to cooperate with Republicans, while the same amount — 48 percent — say he’s doing the right amount or too much.
More to the point: 58 percent of Americans — and 58 percent of independents — say the debate about raising the debt ceiling should be separate from efforts to cut spending. Even 45 percent of Republicans say this. Only 36 percent of Americans want the debt ceiling to be tied to spending cuts.
In other words, this poll suggests the public overwhelmingly rejects the GOP leadership’s case that raising the debt ceiling must be tied to spending cuts of comparable size. But it gets worse. The Post poll also asked whether people favor default or a partial government shutdown if no compromise is reached. Only 22 percent of Americans support that course of action. Only 36 percent of Republicans support it. ...Sargent, WaPo
Sargent points to some interesting findings at Talking Points Memo. Indeed, TPM's Brian Buetler reports that "over the past several days, House and Senate Republicans, as well as influential conservative advocates and media figures, have joined Newt Gingrich, Wall Street Journal editors and others pressing Republicans to give up the ghost" in the debt limit fracas.
In an editorial board meeting with the Fairbanks News-Miner, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said her colleagues are keeping quiet, but most agree that threatening not to raise the debt limit is not tenable.
“If you incur an obligation, you have a responsibility to pay for that,” Murkowski said.
Her colleague, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) echoed this sentiment to the Washington Post through her spokesman. “Senator Collins recognizes that the debt ceiling is going to have to be raised because the U.S. cannot default on its obligations to pay for spending that has already occurred.”
In the House, Republicans are beginning to accept what Boehner and others have argued — that the debt limit only provides illusory leverage, and that the party should dig its heels in over the sequester and expiring appropriations. ...TPM
Yesterday Rush Limbaugh showed the white flag -- and a flare for confused thinking.
I want to talk about the debt limit deal, because it's happening all over again. And, frankly, I think this is all an exercise in futility anyway. We don't have the numbers -- but more importantly, we don't have the will -- to stop Obama here in what he wants to do. He hasn't presented a budget in four years. Well, the Democrats in the Senate haven't done a budget. Obama presents a budget every year that's dead on arrival. ...limbaugh.com
I'm beginning to think Obama's successes have been much more significant that we've been giving him credit for. If the Republicans cave and, later, reform -- and that's a long overdue process that we may well be witnessing now -- Obama and Congressional Democrats should take a lion's share of the credit.
Affordable Health Care? Check! Prospering automobile industry? Check.
Avoidance of serious, 30's-style depression? Check! Ended two wars? Check! Ended Osama bin Laden's career? Check! Got Gaddafi outta there? Check! New fuel effiiciency standards? Check!
Sidelined militant element in the Republican party (also billable as saving the Republicans from themselves)? Check and beer for all... on the House.
Steve Benen points to another loss for the Republican party. The Koch brothers are getting quite critical, putting some air between themselves and the GOP. Their political action group -- Americans For Prosperity -- thinks the Congressional Republicans have gone too far.
Let's pause for a moment to appreciate the fact that when congressional Republicans have lost the Koch brothers' group, the party has a real problem on its hands.
The AFP's advice coincides with a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that found a clear majority of the American public (and even 45% of self-identified Republicans) believes the fight over spending cuts and the fight over the debt ceiling should be separate -- which is the exact opposite of the GOP plan.
Making matters even worse for Republicans, the New York Times reports today that the White House intends to partner with corporate executives on a debt-ceiling increase, which should be easy since "big business ... is "nearly united in skepticism of, or outright opposition to" the Republicans hostage strategy. ...MaddowBlog
As Benen reports, the Koch/AFP defection is just one of many. Other groups dumping the GOP include, as we already know, the US Chamber of Commerce and pretty much the entire financial sector. But now other business groups have moved in the same direction away from the Republicans and "even conservative media outlets are balking."
The Wall Street Journal editorial page and National Review have urged their Republican allies to change course, and today, the editorial board of the Union Leader in New Hampshire, one of the most conservative editorial pages in the nation, urged the GOP to give up on the hostage strategy. ...MaddowBlog