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Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2011

NUMBERS THAT SHOULD MAKE THE GOP NERVOUS.... Dave Weigel flags an interesting tidbit from the new NBC poll.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday found that 40 percent of voters would blame Republicans if the government shut down, 20 percent would blame Obama, and 20 percent would blame congressional Democrats. Compare that with the poll that was conducted in October 1995, the last time the government shut down. Sixteen years ago, 43 percent of voters said a shutdown would be Republicans' fault, and 32 percent said it would be Bill Clinton's fault. And that was the high watermark for Republicans. They lost ground once the shutdown started.

Much of the recent talk has concluded that Republicans are in a better spot, at least politically, going into this shutdown as compared to the Gingrich/Dole shutdown(s) 16 years ago. But there's evidence to the contrary.

Indeed, most Americans probably haven't followed developments on the Hill especially closely up until now. When the mainstream learns that Democrats accepted the GOP's demands on spending cuts, and Republicans shut down the government anyway, the poll numbers for the GOP will likely get worse, just as they did in the '90s.

In the meantime, the budget talks appear to be breaking down again. More on this soon.

Steve Benen 10:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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" When the mainstream learns that Democrats accepted the GOP's demands on spending cuts, and Republicans shut down the government anyway,..."

And who's goin' to tell 'em?

Where' they gonna hear it from ?
FOX?
Right wing talk radio?
Erick Erickson on CNN? That pussycat, Wolf?
The WSJ?
The WaPo?
The rest of the newspapers?
CBS?
ABC?
NBC?
CNBC?
Ok, in the evening on MSNBC.
But 'Cup o' Schmoe' will be pointing to Democrats. And the news staff SUCKS - just not as bad as CNN's (FOX doesn't count - it's propaganda, only).

So who, pray tell?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 7, 2011 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody is saying this publicly, but I suspect that Republicans are getting very worried about backlash from a government shutdown. When you see reports of Bachmann shushing Tea Party crowds chanting "Shut it down," there's something notable going on there.

Posted by: MattF on April 7, 2011 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

When the mainstream learns that Democrats accepted the GOP's demands on spending cuts, and Republicans shut down the government anyway,...

You mean "if..."

Posted by: g on April 7, 2011 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Reid and Pelosi need to make it very clear that this agreement is for the Republicans to pass with minimum Democratic votes. If the Republicans can't make it happen, the budget figures will be far different for any deal requiring large numbers of Democratic votes. I have no confidence they are doing this.

Posted by: Th on April 7, 2011 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

As long as the Media continue to say "Congress shut down the government and Obama didn't stop them" or "Both sides have to share the blame" .....chances for the public to fully rebel against the GOTP are slight. And that's exactly what will happen. Instead of telling the truth "Hard core Conservatives pushing an agenda are the cause of this" - we'll hear the "both sides are to blame" meme.
That's it. That's the way it is.

Posted by: T2 on April 7, 2011 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

So, 20 percent have either no opinion or are undecided? Says a great deal about the populace.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 7, 2011 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, I know it's generally a good thing to be an optimist, but how do you think the American public is going to learn that the Democrats gave all the way and the Republicans still shut the government down when the press treats this whole thing as a "he said, she said," kind of thing? It just ain't going to happen.

Posted by: walldon on April 7, 2011 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The title of this blog is "Nubers that should make the GOP nervous". One huge problem they don't care, They are committed dogmatic radicals. Much like all radicals the onle thing that matters are their black and white beliefs. Gray area doesn't exist. Compassion doesn't exist. Work for the common good doesn't exist. These soulless gremlins have to be fought tooth and nail and returned to their homes underneath the rocks and dark places that their black stained souls were spawned from.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans had a landslide last November as American voters sent the message to DC that they wanted government to control spending. The Democrats wanted to continue their tax-and-spend ways, so Republicans had to shut down the government. That is the simple story line that the MSM will tell.

But Americans want those government services continued, they want compromise, they want to raise taxes on the rich, so I'm not sure the story will be bought by anyone other than the motivated crazies who voted for this catastrophe last November. But I am hopeful that Americans (who are slow-learners who need many repetitions before the lesson sinks in) are beginning to wake up to the crazy that is the modern Republican party.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

The big battle is on the next budget. A government shutdown which I am against as are an extremely large majority of Democrats will at least draw attention to the fact that Republicans are willing to hurt the economy, millions of citizens and businesses over a few ideological issues. This could cause voters to start paying attention to the Republican plan to dismantle Medicaid and their other harmful ideological plans for the future.

Posted by: Kenneth D. Franks on April 7, 2011 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Please excuse the misspellings but I'm just sick and tired of schoolyard bullies dictating how things are going to be in this country and i got a little overzealous.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 7, 2011 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Another thing to keep in mind is that the tea baggers and really, the Republicans, are media creations. Would Bachmann be a national figure if she hadn't made a fool of herself on Hardball?

Pence was at the dozens-strong tea bagger rally leading the shut down chant. These people live for preening in front of a camera. If there is a government shutdown you can bet the tea baggers, Pence, Bachmann, Rand Paul will be strutting and mugging in front of may little red light pointed their way. It won't be pretty, and it won't be hard to allocate the blame.

Posted by: SaintZak on April 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Could I suggest that:

"The National Gallery will be closed indefinitely due to the government shutdown"

be replaced this time by

"The National Gallery will be closed indefinitely because John Boehner is unable to control the fanatics within his own caucus"

Posted by: bob h on April 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

T2 is correct. From what I heard on the local and national news, the MSM are blaming both for the shutdown and are airing interviews with folks that are agreeing with that assessment. I hope this changes as more people tune in to what is happening. But in saying that, I am clearly biased by blaming the Republicans and Tea Party maniacs. Who knows that it won't be biased the opposite direction depending on the "news reporting".

Posted by: whichwitch on April 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"So, 20 percent have either no opinion or are undecided" Excerpt doesn't say; I should have clicked through, I guess, but I didn't.

Without knowing that, it's not clear to me that the 20% that would blame Congressional Dems is not comprised largely of the same 20% that would also blame Obama. In which case the actual sentiment could be 2 to 1 against republicans.

At some point, you have to wonder if the polls are deliberately constructed to provide misleading results that can be used against progressives . . . .

I just may have to click through.

On a related note, MSNBC was spewing some BS this morning about how bad the "right track/wrong track" figures are for Obama, despite his relatively tolerable approval rating. This one I definitely don't buy: I'd say the country's on the wrong track as well, but I overwhelmingly blame the Republicans for that.

Posted by: retr2327 on April 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

NUMBERS THAT SHOULD MAKE THE GOP NERVOUS....

Truthfully, these are very good numbers for republicans. Our corporately owned media will report that 40% blame the republicans and 40% blame Obama and the democrats!

As our hero, Frank Luntz, says it is not what you say, but what people hear! Our media will tell our american sheeple that there is equal blame for republicans and democrats.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on April 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

There is still plenty of time for our Capitulator-In-Chief to negotiate a surrender.

WTF would the dumbocraps not aid-and-abet in the destruction of Planned Parenthood? They provided a very strong assist to the repukes destroying ACORN.

Posted by: SadOldVet on April 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Having been in college during the first shutdown, I remember sort of watching in disbelief as the GOP laid out their plans in the media to shut down the government and blame Clinton, and then the media play along as if both sides were equally to blame. As Gingrich's numbers plummeted, they held firm long beyond common sense.

When they caved, the lesson the GOP took away from it was that they hadn't held firm enough, long enough. So they did it again with disaster funding, to the same result until one GOP representative said one of the angry phone calls that had been clogging his office lines had come from his own mother.

The lesson the GOP learned was they did not hold firm enough, long enough. So when Monica Lewinsky broke, they held firm, long after their numbers plummeted and an overwhelming 70-somethng percent of the US wanted to keep Clinton in office and move on.

The GOP is never wrong, only wronged, and so every obvious misstep by the GOP means we have to suffer through it again twice as hard because they're sure, this time, if they hold out a little longer and push a little harder, they'll be-proven-right-all-along. I know I'm anxiously awaiting all the future Iraq Wars we'll have to fight to reclaim their honor lost during the Bush years.I'm convinced the reason Palin became such a darling of the right wing is that she was so obviously stupid and embarassing that the Tea Party rallied around her as a knee-jerk defense. The bigger the mistake, the greater the embrace by the true-believers to avoid admitting an imperfection that might taint their vision of theselves as a right and true army of God.

The GOP has to shut down the government because if they don't, it will be an admission it was a mistake the first two times.

Posted by: memekiller on April 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Just as long as General Boehner lets us keep our mules for spring planting.............

Posted by: berttheclock on April 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Since Dems had total control of the govt prior to last November, and showed all the bravery of a school of jellyfish and did nothing to pass one, yes, the budget mess IS their fault.

Posted by: JEA on April 7, 2011 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

That "total control" meme is total horsesh_t. Get lost, troll.

Posted by: wvmcl2 on April 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Did the 1995 government shutdown really hurt the Republicans ? After all, they retained control of the Senate until 2001 and retained control of the House until 2007 ! The shutdown did torpedo Gingrich's Presidential aspirations but Boehner hasn't yet shown any desire to become President.

Posted by: H-Bob on April 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

H-Bob, the economy wasn't just ccoming out of the worst economic crisis since 1929-33, either.

Posted by: Doug on April 7, 2011 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK
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