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As a really smart guy wrote in The Hill:

[Republicans are] downright giddy with their obstructionist tactics. “Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” bragged Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes.”

So on one hand we’ve got a president and congressional majority who are heeding the urgent desire of working Americans to kick-start the economy, and on the other, we’ve got a rump minority that patterns itself after guerrilla jihadists who tried to send their country back to the 10th century.

The GOP is giddy. House Republicans doubled downed on their obstructionism last week by once again unanimously voting against the stimulus bill, while Senate Republicans were nearly unanimous in their opposition. Yet while they pat themselves on their backs for doing nothing, here's the real world repercussions of their obstructionism:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 2/9-12. All adults. MoE 2% (2/2-5 results)

FAVORABLEUNFAVORABLENET CHANGE
PELOSI:42 (40)39 (39)+2
REID:32 (32)42 (44)+2
McCONNELL:22 (23)50 (48)-3
BOEHNER:18 (19)55 (53)-3
CONGRESSIONAL DEMS:39 (38)53 (55)+3
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS:19 (21)69 (68)-3
DEMOCRATIC PARTY:56 (54)37 (37)+2
REPUBLICAN PARTY:31 (32)61 (60)-2

If we go back to the start of the year (Jan 5-8), the numbers are even more stark:

FAVORABLEUNFAVORABLENET CHANGE
PELOSI:42 (39)39 (37)+5
REID:32 (33)42 (41)-2
McCONNELL:22 (29)50 (46)-11
BOEHNER:18 (21)55 (47)-11
CONGRESSIONAL DEMS:39 (36)53 (53)+3
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS:19 (24)69 (64)-10
DEMOCRATIC PARTY:56 (53)37 (39)+5
REPUBLICAN PARTY:31 (32)61 (60)-2

So when what makes you feel good (obstruct and mock Obama's sincere, if misguided, efforts at "bipartisanship") clashes this dramatically with the popular will, what do you do? Not only have the already unpopular congressional Republicans seen their net favorability ratings drop 10 points in a matter of a few weeks, but they now face a net 36-point deficit compared to congressional Democrats. And it's not as if congressional Democrats are all that popular (they're obviously not), it's just that people really hate the Republicans.

And how about the House leadership? The supposedly hated "San Francisco Liberal" Nancy Pelosi not only has the only net-positive favorability rating of the bunch, but she has a net favorability advantage of 40 points over her hapless and clueless Republican counterpart. The 18-point gap in the net favorability ratings in the Senate leadership is less dramatic, but still significant. Especially since Democrats are stuck with the ineffective Harry Reid as their leader.

And it gets even worse once you dive into the crosstabs. Among independents, only 15 percent have favorable views of congressional Republicans, with 70 percent disliking them. And only in the South do congressional Republicans hit 30 percent favorability (the same, ironically, as Democrats), with a whopping 57 percent disliking them in their own stronghold. And that's fantastic compared to the rest of the country -- It's 10/79 in the Northeast, 17/72 in the Midwest, and 16/73 in the West. Ouch. Aside from the 30 favorables in the South, congressional Democrats hit at least 42 percent in the other regions.

So what does that mean for the overall parties themselves? Here's the most recent regional breakdowns for party support:

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

 FAVUNFAVNO OPINION
ALL56377
NORTHEAST68248
SOUTH43516
MIDWEST57349
WEST 60346

REPUBLICAN PARTY

 FAVUNFAVNO OPINION
ALL31618
NORTHEAST157312
SOUTH45487
MIDWEST30637
WEST 29647

The Democratic Party is only five points down in net favorability in the South, the GOP's "stronghold", while it blows them away in every other region.

The dinosaurs in the GOP may be patting themselves in the back from another round of well-executed obstructionism, but their already-unpopular numbers in Congress are plummeting to newfound lows while they continue to lose ground against the Democrats not just nationally, but even in their last redoubt in the South.

So yeah, obstructionism may feel good, but if America wants something else, it does them little long-term good.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:45 AM PST.

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