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Tilting at Windmills

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April 11, 2011

POLL SHOWS APPROVAL FOR BUDGET DEAL.... A significant percentage of the national population doesn't read liberal blogs.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that the budget agreement that prevented a government shutdown is popular, with Americans supporting it by a 58 to 38 percent margin. But there's a partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats and a majority of independent voters backing the deal, and Republicans divided.

If I had to guess, I'd say the deal is popular because (a) it avoided a shutdown, which no one likes; and (b) anytime a bipartisan deal is struck, a lot of folks are inclined to like it, by virtue of the fact that it's a bipartisan deal.

That said, Democrats also appear to be benefiting more from the agreement. A plurality (48%) of respondents in the CNN give Dems credit for striking the deal, as compared to congressional Republicans (35%), and a majority supports President Obama's handling of the negotiations, while 44% said the same about the GOP.

The poll also showed strong opposition to the Republican culture-war measures that nearly derailed the deal -- a 65% majority supports continued funding for Planned Parenthood, and a 71% majority supports funding the EPA's enforcement of "regulations on greenhouse gases."

It's not as if GOP rhetoric won over much of the American mainstream.

That said, even after all of the Democratic concessions, and the widespread belief on the left that President Obama gave up far too much, the only group of Americans to oppose the budget deal are self-identified Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

These folks really have nothing to complain about -- by most measures, they won, and were rewarded with the largest spending-cut package in history -- but they're incredibly hard to please.

Steve Benen 1:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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" A significant percentage of the national population doesn't read liberal blogs."

EDIT 1:
A significant percentage of the national population doesn't read blogs.
EDIT 2:
A significant percentage of the national population doesn't read.
EDIT3:
A significant percentage of the national population can't read

-sadly, this is NOT snark. . ..

Posted by: DAY on April 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I suspected the numbers would fall out along those lines. That doesn't mean I was happy with the Prez's messaging strategy for the whole mess, though.

Posted by: June on April 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of points:

1. The GOP must get tired of being stuck in the mid thirties in all these polls. Without doing any real research, I feel like I haven't seen a nationwide poll recently that hands down favors the GOP on any issue, and their support seems stuck around that 35% number.

2. ...the only group of Americans to oppose the budget deal are self-identified Republicans and Tea Party supporters Steve, I think you only have to read your own blog to know that that is not true.

Posted by: bignose on April 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Call me crazy, but I really think that today's Republicans, if they can't have TOTAL victory, would rather lose.

A total victory gets them what they want, of course.
But, if they can't have that, they can then play at being the poor, aggrieved, picked-on, minority.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 11, 2011 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Tea Partiers didn't like the bill, Obama signed it.

Posted by: Corey Engel on April 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

But...but...but...I thought, you know...all that talk about being the Democratic Party base and all...

Posted by: chi res on April 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

These folks really have nothing to complain about.... but they're incredibly stupid.

Fixed that for you.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on April 11, 2011 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Strange juxtaposition - The left talks a great deal about the need to improve our educational system in the US and said talk is extremely justified.

However, when one looks at the educational backgrounds of many of the Right Wing politicos, such as many of them having multiple degrees, it appears to belie that theory of education helping anyone. Were they all, simply, passed through?

Posted by: berttheclock on April 11, 2011 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The tea party is not happy because they didn't win ANYTHING! Gah, Steve please. We all know what the wingers wanted. All those riders? that's what they were after. Look at the bills they've passed since taking over the House. Everyone on this side is talking about the dollar amount meanwhile they are steaming that planned parenthood continues to provide a gazillion abortions every year. NPR, PbS, and all those other social programs are alive and well. They lost. period.

Posted by: Alli on April 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

@JUNE: apparently Obama wasn't talking to you and reached the people that he need to.

Posted by: Alli on April 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

A significant percentage of the national population doesn't read liberal blogs.

Chi res beat me to it. It looks as if a significant percentage of Democrats don't read liberal blogs, much less comment on same.

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 11, 2011 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Lets recap - the TeaParty demanded 100 bil cuts, the rank and file GOP asked for 61 bil, (making the TeaParty furious), the Dems countered with 12, and the final was 38-39. And no riders. And somehow that constitutes a big win for the GOTP? how?
Well, yeah, 38 is more than 12, but 38 is a damn lot less than 100. and no riders.
Anybody with the slightest interaction with the Federal Govt. knows there's tons of wasted money that could and should be cut....granted peoples jobs would go along with. But how about started with the largest most costly department developed in the last twelve years.....Homeland Security - do we really need our shoes searched at the airport?

Posted by: T2 on April 11, 2011 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dems largely controlled which 38 billion got cut.

I continue to think it plausible that if this 38 billion wasn't fat, much of it was well-marbled meat. Id be very curious if anyone has the breakdown. (and our good Mr. Benen would post it.)


The Dems have set up 2012 to be a year in which any further cuts will really hurt large swaths of the voting public.

Win or Lose, people will be PISSED at the GOP if much more gets cut.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well, ok then. If the Dems came out of this smelling like a rose to the vast majority of potential voters I guess Obama and Reid played it right. I stand corrected.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on April 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

People like because they have no clue as to how the cuts will impact them personally. When the shit hits the fan, they will change their tune and blame both parties equally on a bipartisan basis.

Too bad 80% of it is republican.

Posted by: bdop4 on April 11, 2011 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Once liberal blogs advised the President to walk away from his own health care reform (and throw away his presidency) because it wasn't sufficiently liberal enough, it became apparent that what liberals blogs thought would have ZERO effect on the political calculations of the white house moving forward.

Posted by: Archon on April 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

T2

A lot of people who read liberal blogs are convinced that they have to defend the status quo at all costs. That is the reason the tea party has the initiative.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Play the long game folks.. Get corporate money on the side of the left or all is lost..period.
We can walk around rally’s taking up a collection and MAYBE we can afford to buy a paper napkin to take to the gun fight instead of a gun.

Posted by: marty59 on April 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

You all realize that some of the 38 Billion included defense contracts that are utterly indefensible. Gates has been trying to cut them since before Obama was elected, but the Congress wouldn't let him.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama may have lost a policy fight (setting aside pointless speculation about what outcome he "really wanted"), but he won the spin that followed. Whatever else you say about the man, you have to hand it to him - he's the most talented Democratic politician since Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Brock on April 11, 2011 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Because 10% never figure it out:

Lets recap - the TeaParty demanded 100 bil cuts, the rank and file GOP asked for 61 bil, (making the TeaParty furious), the Dems countered with 12, and the final was 38-39. And no riders. And somehow that constitutes a big win for the GOTP? how?

The simple answer to this is that NOTHING NEEDED TO BE CUT! In fact, in any SANE world we would be discussing how much to spend to create the 10 million new jobs we need to recover from the Bush recession.

Obama is the WORST negotiator since Marshall Petain!

He could and should have said "NO DEAL!" last year when Republicans wanted the Bush tax cuts expanded. He could have negotiated a 2 year budget deal that would include NO cuts to medicare, social security or the health care bill in exchange for the Bush tax cuts.

IF Republicans wouldn't go along, GOOD! Let the tax cuts expire, and say "we can't afford $700 billion in tax giveaways to the top 1%." That's a winning political argument in any election.

If he wanted a deal, let them come to him. With Wall Street pushing them in one direction and the Tea-baggers in another the Republican party would have split right down the middle.

Obama PUNTED! He never has explained to the American people WHY we need a jobs bill in the first place! Now he's made UNILATERAL concessions, MORE AND MORE of them.

And we're not done yet! Social Security and Medicare are next!

Republicans have succeeded in forcing their insane agenda down America's throat through lies and manipulation -- despite the fact there's ZERO support for it nationwide.

How many people would actually SUPPORT cuts to Social Security or Medicare, Pell Grants for students, aid to the states, health care funding for working Americans?

Everything that Obama agreed to cut, the American PEOPLE OPPOSED cutting by a significant majority.

Only we're never asked if we'd prefer tax increases on the rich to cutting our benefits! How about a President that stands up and demands tax INCREASES on the rich, and says to America, you can take your choice: "They support cutting your Medicare and Social Security to balance the budget, I support tax increases on the top 1%."

Simple.

Posted by: Cugel on April 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone actually SEEN what's in the deal -- other than the traditional screwing of the rights of DC citizens?

Posted by: Arlington BigFish on April 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK
President Obama may have lost a policy fight (setting aside pointless speculation about what outcome he "really wanted"), but he won the spin that followed. Whatever else you say about the man, you have to hand it to him - he's the most talented Democratic politician since Bill Clinton.

Yup! He's so brilliant he's putting "Social Security on the table" when Social Security is fully funded until the year 2037 according to the SS Trustees! And he will single-handedly destroy the biggest advantage that Democrats have had over the last 50 years.

Now Republicans can privatize Social Security under the lying theme of "choice" and then attack Obama & the Democrats in the same breath for "cutting your Social Security and Medicare!"

Posted by: Cugel on April 11, 2011 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama may have lost a policy fight...

Let's try this again: You win a great campaign as the first African-American POTUS, sign a healthcare reform bill for which the previous eight Democratic presidents would have given their left nut*, fight off the worst economic calamity in eighty years and begin to see declines in the unemployment rate, maintain strong unemployment compensation and a safety net for those who haven't yet seen light, gain a truly significant piece of civil rights reform for 10% of the population, try to ward off vicious year-long attacks from both your left and right flanks, but end up losing the House anyway, then win 98% of your proposed budget and fend off strong assaults on abortion rights, clean air standards, and healthcare reform...

and the so-called "progressives" call you "weak" and "a loser".

*more at whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com

Posted by: chi res on April 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

So, the disappointed people are only us "extremists". Progressives here on the so-called left, regressives over there on the right, watching Fox and waving silly signs.

Maybe my memory is failing me, but I thought Obama ran as a progressive. I knew he couldn't deliver very much, but I thought he'd fighter harder and use his eloquence to change people's minds.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on April 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Your memory is failing you. He ran as a Democrat.

Posted by: chi res on April 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

A significant percentage of Americans are dumber than a rock. Therein lies the problem.

Posted by: Sam Simple on April 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

@Alli - yes, absolutely! And no one is happier to see these results than me! BTW, we're on the same side; you may not be familiar with me here, but I routinely take a lot of crap for being an unflinching Obama supporter.

Posted by: June on April 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

These folks really have nothing to complain about -- by most measures, they won, and were rewarded with the largest spending-cut package in history -- but they're incredibly hard to please.

Substitute " largest spending-cut package in history" with chi res's list of accomplishments and the left/right comparisons become irresistible!

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Argument by poll may not quite be ad hominem argument, but it's close. Policies that are popular at first (see: Iraq War, Bush tax cuts, etc.) can have disastrous consequences. Just because liberal bloggers aren't popular doesn't mean that we're wrong. In fact, we've been right about damn near everything the past ten years.

Posted by: Tom Allen on April 11, 2011 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

These folks really have nothing to complain about -- by most measures, they won, and were rewarded with the largest spending-cut package in history -- but they're incredibly hard to please.

"I want my fair share and that's all of it."
— Charles Koch

Posted by: josef on April 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Other than not closing Gitmo and maintaining the hyperbolic Anti-terrorism, Obama has been the kind of president he said he would be in 08.

Posted by: Jamie on April 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Lovin' you, @Chi Res! God, how I wish the WH could message like that! :)

Posted by: June on April 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, we've been right about damn near everything the past ten years.

I've got a 23-year-old son who thinks exactly the same thing!

Posted by: chi res on April 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hooray for President Obama! He just won a smashing victory! The Republicans demanded that every working person in America must gauge out our own right eye. But that Obama, man, he stuck to his guns, fought like a tiger, and forced those damn Republicans to agree that not only is it just going to be our LEFT eye, but we don't even have to do it ourselves! Yes, folks, the federal govt will have the funds to provide the eye gaugers!
Isn't it great to finally have a president who really stands up for working people?

Posted by: Chaim Rosemarin on April 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

@Chaim, what a glib and unfair assessment.

Posted by: June on April 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe my memory is failing me, but I thought Obama ran as a progressive.
Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on April 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM

He ran as left-of-center (with stress on "center") Dem. To me, that's as far right as I can stomach, but that's me; my ideas of what's "left" and what's "right" have been shaped in commie Poland. In the US as it is now, it's still left-of-center. Back in Poland, I was told I was a "capitalist-sympathiser and revisionist", while here I'm considered a "flaming commie" -- same thing, an issue of perception, shaped by the general "political climate".

I had hoped he'd be given enough leeway in Congress to gracefully accept getting pushed further left, which never happened. But to say he *ran* as progressive is distorting the whole campaign. Perhaps he ran as a Rorschach ink blot, with everyone interpreting the campaign as they see fit :)

And, for all my disappointments, I also get tired of the bitching even when he actually *exceeds* the expectations. For example: I remember a lot of outraged squealing, when he said he was against gay marriage (but for civil unions) and when he invited some gay-bashing preacher to appear with him on the stage. You'd have thought he took an axe to the LGBT community, everyone was so outraged. Did I see commensurate enthusiasm when he pushed for DADT repeal and decided not to defend the constitutionality of DOMA? Nope. Lots of happy nit-picking followed, instead.

Reminds me of that old joke about a man who saw a little girl drowning. He jumped in the water, pulled her out, applied CPR and disappeared.The next day, the father of the girl shows up at his doorstep (having been appraised of the saviour's address by the press). The hero is bashful; "you don't have to thank me," he says "anyone would have done the same" he says. "I'm not here to thank you" says the father. "When she went into the water, she was wearing a nice bonnet. Where is it?"

Posted by: exlibra on April 11, 2011 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

And this is a surprise? Please. People vote like they drive.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on April 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

@Arlington - yes, you can take a look at an overview of the outcome of the deal here:

Details of the Bipartisan Budget Deal

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/09/details-bipartisan-budget-deal

Posted by: June on April 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Points taken, I should have qualified my use of "progressive". Maybe "progressive Democrat" in a country where the "centre" is, in my opinion, way over to the right. Whatever.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on April 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

[...] a country where the "centre" is, in my opinion, way over to the right.
Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on April 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

*There*, I agree with you, completely.

Posted by: exlibra on April 11, 2011 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe "progressive Democrat" in a country where the "centre" is, in my opinion, way over to the right.

Maybe. But to my mind, it's not just about the spectrum. It's more the difference between pragmatic and idealistic politics. Obama has a decidedly progressive world view, yet he is determinedly practical and patient about what can be accomplished today, and what must necessarily wait for tomorrow. You will see a decidedly more aggressive President after the 2012 election, particularly if we can restore a Democratic Congress.

Posted by: chi res on April 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're right.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on April 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Cugel:

Take a deep breath, man. Obama is far from perfect, but your posts are WAY out in left field some place.

First, Obama isn't going to cut SS. As for Medicare and Medicaid, the Democrats want to see if they can cut costs by aggressively going after fraud, for instance, plus looking at administrative costs.

Re tax cuts for the rich: Obama tried to raise the marginal rate back to 37%. Unfortunately enough blue dogs joined with the Repubs to irresponsibly vote that down. Has a bill been passed to cut rich folks' taxes further? If so, I missed that.

He's further to the right than I would like. I'm on the fence about Libya. I LOATHE drone strikes in Afghanistan. We should pull out of there as soon as we can do so and protect the troops. The Afghanis don't want us there and they can mount guerrilla warfare until the cows come home. We cannot "win" there.

I'd like to see habeas corpus fully restored. I wish that Obama hadn't favored the death penalty for convicted "terrorists".

I also wish that he didn't have to compromise, but he does. But to say that this latest budget deal is giving away the whole farm? If you really believe that, you aren't paying attention.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on April 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK
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