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A new ABC/WaPo poll highlights the dangers of ideological obstreperousness for Republicans (my bold):

Large majorities in the poll say a partial shutdown of the federal government would be a “bad thing,” but each side squarely blames the other for not compromising in the budget negotiations. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats say Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to strike a deal with the Obama administration, and 81 percent of Republicans see the president as intransigent...

Among those who say a government shutdown would be harmful, about twice as many say they would hold the GOP, rather than the president, responsible. A similar question two weeks ago showed that about as many said they would blame Obama as the congressional Republicans for a such a stoppage.

And on the economy:

When it comes to dealing with issue No. 1, the economy, Obama has an advantage: 46 percent say they put more faith in the president, 34 percent say so about congressional Republicans. Obama has a similar 12-point lead on the question of who better understands the economic problems people face, and a nine-point edge on dealing with the deficit....

On the economy, trust in the GOP among independents dropped from 42 percent in January to 29 percent in the new poll.

But Obama has not greatly benefited from that decline. Majorities — including most political independents — continue to say they disapprove of the president’s performance on the economy and the budget deficit.

Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 51 percent, down slightly from January, with 45 percent saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Among independents, half say they approve of the way he is conducting his presidency. Obama spent the bulk of 2010 below the 50 percent mark among this key segment.

What the GOP thinks about Obama and the GOP doesn't matter except to DC reporters. What indies think matters hugely. And there are cracks in the lock-step GOP front:
Still, that leaves Obama in a stronger position when compared with President Bill Clinton after Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress in 1994. In the spring of 1995, two-thirds of all Americans saw congressional Republicans in the dominant leadership role.

This year, Obama also faces a divided Republican base: Among self-identified Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who describe themselves as “very conservative,” 61 percent say a government shutdown would be a positive development; 58 percent of those who are less conservative or moderate disagree.

The tea party is pushing the GOP way beyond where the country wants (see Wisconsin, locally, see the House nationally). we're not done with GOP overreach, alas, but we're not done with the consequences of overreach, either, and one consequence is going to be the GOP losing the middle, the indies and the 2012 election. After all this time, the Republicans remain unloved, especially when they are in power. They should stick with being a theoretical alternative. It'd help their poll numbers and the country's prosperity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The fact Obama only (7+ / 0-)

    Has a 7 point lead over Republicans on protecting the right's of working people tells me the electorate is pretty ignorant!

    Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

    by marcvstraianvs on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 08:50:01 AM PDT

    •  Presented without comment. (7+ / 0-)

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 08:55:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I view this as a special circumstance. (0+ / 0-)

        Failing school and teachers refusing to work longer hours or tutor students.  Tutoring, especially, is vitally important.  Teachers at my son's high performing school do it every day, and they're happy to do it.

        If I'm a teacher and my students are failing, I am going to do anything in my power to turn it around.  Yeah, it would be great to have a job where you only work as hard as you want to, but if that's what you want, teaching is not the job for you.

        That's a completely different situation than Wisconsin, which ranks highly in student performance, and whose teachers were willing to sacrifice financially and only asked for their basic rights.

        You still may not like the firings, but you can't honestly deny the difference in the two situations.

        The community of fools might be small if it were not such an accomplished proselytizer.

        by ZedMont on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:44:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So it was 100% the fault of 100% of the teachers? (4+ / 0-)
          Failing school and teachers refusing to work longer hours or tutor students.  Tutoring, especially, is vitally important.  Teachers at my son's high performing school do it every day, and they're happy to do it.

          How many hours do the teachers at your son's high performing school work?

          And what's the pay like at your son's high performing school?

          And what sort of resources does your son's high performing school have access to?

          And what does the class size look like in your son's high performing school?

          And how transient is the population at your son's high performing school?

          And how many students are below the poverty level at your son's high performing school? MEDIAN income of families at Central Falls High is $22,000.

          And what are the language skills like at your son's high performing school? The Hispanic population at Central Falls High was 65% of the student body and for MOST of them, English was a second language.

          It's BULLSHIT to pin 100% of the failings of that school on 100% of the teachers. BULLSHIT. The problems were systematic.

          And anyone who DOES blame every single educator in that school IS NOT protecting the rights of working people, let alone serious about education reform.

          Regards,
          Corporate Dog

          -----
          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:04:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Much the opposite. (4+ / 0-)

      Obama has been terrible on this issue.

      Don't mistake Obama for the Wisconsin Dems he's refused to support.

      •  "Q: Obama disappointing you?" (10+ / 0-)

        Erpenbach:

        No not at all, He was very supportive, a couple of different times, of public employees. He has a nation to sail through some rough waters right now. He was briefed 1-2 times a day, I don’t doubt him at all. Had he come here, it would have been more chaotic. I’m glad he didn’t come here.

        Lena:

        I agree. It would have been about him, instead of the workers of WI. It would’ve been politicized, it would have been about the 2012 election. He has time to come stand with the WI workers, real soon.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

        by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  THE GOP'S WAR ON WORKING AMERICANS (6+ / 0-)

          The top 1% owns 43% of the financial wealth; the next 4% owns 29%. THE BOTTOM 80% SHARE ONLY 7% OF THE FINANCIAL WEALTH.

          At the same time republicans are balancing the budget on the backs of working Americans (cuts in education, health care, wages, etc.), they're handing out tax subsidies, and no bid contracts to corporations.

          There's a great pie chart on Flickr. Go to:

          http://www.flickr.com/...

          Click on "Download" and print it out and pass it on!

          I've been leaving copies in restaurant booths, public restrooms, waiting rooms, shopping carts, etc.

          When I quote the wealth distribution figures to people, they don't believe me. When I prove it to them, they are shocked.

          We need to get this information out, and since the media isn't going to do it, we have to do it ourselves.

        •  "It'd been about him, instead of the WI workers.." (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edwardssl, arpear, Vicky

          The 14 Democratic Senators in WI are politically smart. Some people here, not so much.

        •  I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarolinNJ, bay of arizona

          The Wisconsin 14 have every (good) reason to put a happy face on what happened.

          Obama was silent on the most important domestic event of the year, with the result that our news media was not called on its coverup.

          I've said this before -- if it is the Obama supporters' position that President Obama is simply incapable of meaningfully effecting change, then we agree.  It's irrelevant whether he can't or doesn't want to, really.  Either way, someone who is capable and willing is the person we want.

        •  The sad part is that we'll never know whether (0+ / 0-)

          there would have been a better outcome had Obama gotten involved.  He didn't have to go there (even though his absence did break another campaign promise).  He could have spoken up more and highlighted the hypocrisy.  That would've helped.

          In any case, Obama has gotten away with a lot what with his "It's not about me" crap.  A clever way to deflect responsibility.  If he saw a clear political advantage for him getting involved, you can bet he would have been there in a flash.  The fact is it's all about him whether he likes it or not.  He is, after all, the President and supposed leader of the country and the Dem Party.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:47:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He was involved. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Radical def, arpear, Vicky

            See my comment and link above.

            I don't know why you purposely choose to ignore it.  Because he didn't appear there?  Should he have shown up even though the State Senators specifically said they didn't want him there?

            Here, have another link that demonstrates the President was working in sync with the Unions

            President Barack Obama and his political machine are offering tactical support, eager to repair strained relations with some union leaders upset over his recent overtures to business.

            The potent combination has helped fan the huge protests in Wisconsin against a measure that would strip collective bargaining rights from state workers. The alliance also is sending a warning to other states that are considering the same tactic.


            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

            by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:58:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just what we need - a backroom President. (0+ / 0-)

              Stick the Bully Pulpit in a closet in the cellar at the White House.  There's involved and there's involved publically.  If you want to affect public opinion and the media, you don't do it by whispering in your pillow.

              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

              by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:09:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, okay, go back to the beginning (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Radical def, arpear

                and re-read the part where the Wisconsin State Senators said they didn't want him to show up.

                You're suggesting that he should have ignored their wishes.

                How odd.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

                by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:15:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not show up. Two things: (0+ / 0-)

                  1.  Hearing that after the fact leads me to discount the information.

                  2.  Showing up is one thing.  Talking about it, beyond a few whispers is quite another.  He didn't do either.

                  The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                  by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:18:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  2 of the 3 links were from (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Radical def

                    February, not after the fact.  That leads me to believe you didn't even click on the links I provided that specifically contradict you, but rather you discounted it simply because it didn't confirm what you already wanted to believe.

                    Point two - Yeah, okay, go back to the beginning .....

                    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

                    by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:25:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In fact I did read two links including the one (0+ / 0-)

                      February 18th WaPo article and just re-read it.  Unless that's the wrong one, I couldn't find anything about the legislators or union people talking about how they were glad Obama didn't get involved.  Please post the quote that I missed.

                      The article, in fact, made much of how Obama was involved, including his interview with a local station.  It also pointed out how he has taken on unions:

                      Obama, in his comments to the Wisconsin TV reporter, tried to walk a fine line - noting that he, too, has taken on the unions.

                      "We had to impose a freeze on pay increases on federal workers for the next two years as part of my overall budget freeze," he said. "I think those kinds of adjustments are the right thing to do."

                      More weak tea from Obama.  

                      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                      by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:41:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Where did I say (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        arpear

                        he talked to union officials? Which he did (per Trumpka), but I didn't say that here.

                        You'd be better off not inventing things that I didn't say.

                        My link was to the state senators who said the President checked in with them 1-2 times a day.

                        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

                        by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:55:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That was what I was referring to originally (0+ / 0-)

                          It was an account of a press conference the senators had, and the bit about Obama was at the end - last question.

                          Q: Obama disappointing you?

                          Erpenbach:

                              No not at all, He was very supportive, a couple of different times, of public employees. He has a nation to sail through some rough waters right now. He was briefed 1-2 times a day, I don’t doubt him at all. Had he come here, it would have been more chaotic. I’m glad he didn’t come here.

                          Lena:

                              I agree. It would have been about him, instead of the workers of WI. It would’ve been politicized, it would have been about the 2012 election. He has time to come stand with the WI workers, real soon.

                          The article is dated last Saturday the 12th, the day of the press conference.   Please show me where that was from February.  If not, my point about the comment coming after the fact stands (namely, it should be discounted).

                          In addition, note that it doesn't make clear that they briefed Obama.  My guess is his staff briefed him, not the senators.

                          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                          by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:10:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But my other links from Feb 17 & 18 clearly (0+ / 0-)

                            are indicative of his earlier participation.

                            And yes, it is your guess...

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - MLK

                            by edwardssl on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:04:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  even with OBAMA not being the WI14 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, scribeboy, arpear

        How in the world do 39% of people in our country think that REPUBLICANS even care about protecting worker rights....

        I am left speechless by this number.

    •  The Public is Right: (0+ / 0-)

      Where has Obama been on workers rights?  Nowhere, that's where.  That the public feels this way about a Democratic President is a shameful statement about the president, not the public.

  •  What does obstresperousness... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greasy Grant, NoFortunateSon

    mean?

    I was the youngest in my family growing up therefore I WAS the remote control.

  •  This poll actually shows the failure (11+ / 0-)

    in Democratic messaging.

    We all know who is really looking the most reasonable - so I find the 46/45 vs. 34/36 spread on the budget an deficit to be too narrow.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 08:50:48 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. And we all better start paying attention (8+ / 0-)

      to the now-perpetual difference between what people say about GOPers and how they manage to still win elections.

      Until Democrats start bleating 24/7 about GOPer Fail---something they seem almost congenitally unable to do---I wouldn't bet anything on the outcome of the 2012 election just yet.

      •  Yup! It's up to us. The GOP and the devil are... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical def, chrississippi

        ... in the details.

        Proposed strategy: Everyone already knows where Progressives and Liberals are on budget matters. The much better news is that it's becoming clearer and clearer where Republicans are!

        With all the ranting the GOP has been doing about how critical it is to address problems of The Budget and The Deficit, they now finally need to make black-letter proposals and own them. The Republicans are doing it to themselves.

        Difficult as this will be for us thinkers/activists, we are presently better off watching and waiting. For no longer can Republicans - Tea Partyists and "regular" Republicans - hide behind code words. (Of course, the Congressional Republicans want President Obama to come out and play. Then they can tag this stuff on him and deflect it from them.)

        It won't be long before it's time for us to press better solutions, ones the public can understand and the voters will resonate with.

        Such as:

        #1. Raise revenues. That means taxing the top bracket higher than it has grown accustomed to. It also means assuring that corporations pay at least the same level of AMT as individuals do. E.g., BofA and its ilk cannot be allowed to go offshore to hide all their profits from taxation.

        #2. Decrease spending for things the government does not want. Begin with the Defense Department. And stop this business of earmarking to sustain projects that benefit the district but not the nation. (Sure, some earmarks are OK, but the public doesn't like anyone but their own. Let's go with this sentiment for a while. See? Bipartisanship!)

        #3. Keep the freezes on overall Federal budgets. Re-adjust among bureaus and departments, of course, but do what families and businesses in tough times have to do: make choices. (Yes, government's different but again, the analogy sings with a public weary of being too much in debt.)

        Standing alone, these proposals will not be enough. But they will be a damn fine beginning to respond to everyone's concerns about beggaring our grandchildren. Hard as it is for us, we need to show that we care about budgets and deficits, too. Responsible proposals may well keep Democrats in the Executive branch, a majority in the Senate and help restore a balance in the House in 2012.

        O, wad some Power the giftie gie us./To see oursels as ithers see us!

        by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The revenue piece is big (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radical def

          Everybody knows that if you don't have enough money coming in, you cut where you can, but you also TRY TO MAKE MORE MONEY.

          You get a second job. You make things and sell them. You sell your services - you clean houses, you fix computers, you cut lawns.

          The Republicans cut spending - they stop paying the mortgage, they don't pay the electric, they don't make the car payment - but they also cut back their hours, thinking that will free them up to find a BETTER job, and they STILL buy that lunch, order that pizza, get that steak.

          They don't even remotely think like REAL people. They think like RICH people, who don't have to worry about money.

    •  That Beltway Democrats even SAY we have... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, RichM, happymisanthropy

      ... a "deficit problem" goes to suggest that there's an underlying truth to those numbers.

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:02:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beltway Democrats???? (0+ / 0-)

        You mean those DLC Democrats who are on the payroll of corporate media?  Those like Tom Freidman and Joe Kline?

        and let us not forget about the next DLC Dem who is now on air to speak about the Democratic agenda-

        Evan Bayh

        FOX NEWS NOW EVEN MORE FAIR AND BALANCED than eva with Evan!!!

        Sorry, I have a sore spot when beltway democrats are mentioned.

        I was the youngest in my family growing up therefore I WAS the remote control.

    •  this is NOT a failure of msg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sherri in TX

      this is a dramatic example of the absolute ignorance of a vast number of Americans....  the message could NOT be clearer on the subject of which party cares about protecting worker rights.... it has been clear for DECADES, and yet 39% of Americans have closed themself off to facts and are choosing to accept falsehoods as their truth.

      •  it's a measure of the partisan distortion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KnotIookin, Mr MadAsHell

        lens.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:40:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CT you are so right... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr MadAsHell, DemFromCT

          it seems, to me, that whatever Democrats support is immediately opposed by republicans...on nothing but partisan grounds, even if its GOOD for republicans they will oppose it because the democrats like it.

          you call it the outcome of decades of partisan distortion, I just call it DUMB to the nth degree but we are both saying the same thing... i think ;)

      •  Sure it is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr MadAsHell

        I'd say that if people are ignorant of the facts, then the message was not effective.  

        On worker rights the facts are clear, but the message is not. There is no coherent message from the Democratic party to workers about their rights. On the other hand, the Republicans are busy telling workers that the Democrats are taking their rights away. It's the opposite of reality, but it is definitely the perception.

        I saw what I thought was a pretty effective worker rights message on a bumper sticker: The Weekend. Brought to you by the labor movement.

        Something we now take for granted, and enjoyed by liberals and conservatives alike, is a success of the "liberal agenda."

        •  I'm rec'ing for: (0+ / 0-)
          I'd say that if people are ignorant of the facts, then the message was not effective
          .

          That's what I was trying to say - if enough people don't "get it," then the message isn't being drilled down enough.

          "The Weekend: Brought to you by the Labor Movement."  And so many other variations of this.  I love it.  Short, sweet, understandable.

          The most violent element in society is ignorance.

          by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You'll never see or hear... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, Radical def

      the democratic message in traditional media because the traditional media is owned by trans-national corporations.  Why would the multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires want to have people talk or write issues that does not financially or politically support their views? And when people bring up trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, people start screaming about the 1st amendment rights, even here is Koslandia.  Though I can't seem to understand how allowing both sides of an issue discussed is against the 1st amendment.

      I was the youngest in my family growing up therefore I WAS the remote control.

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    John Kasich, R-OH-gov hates black people, women, children, and unions, I guess that covers almost everyone.

    by OHknighty on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 08:51:04 AM PDT

  •  Polls do not matter to the gop. (10+ / 0-)

    They do as they wish, regardless of American public opinion.

    And they continually get away with it, because when it comes time for the public to vote, the gop are masters at creating diversions that obscure their past actions.

    No home. No job. No peace. No rest.

    by A Runner on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 08:53:59 AM PDT

  •  The TP folks are suffering from rapture of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, scribeboy, Radical def

    deep after winning big in 11/10.  Their pride cometh before a fall.  The firefighters won't be there to catch them.  

  •  Breaking News: WH reads poll, moves further right (8+ / 0-)

    No home. No job. No peace. No rest.

    by A Runner on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:03:39 AM PDT

  •  How do we have 39% saying... (6+ / 0-)

    ...the Repubs are better at protecting rights of working people?  Especially now that we all know that the crown jewel of GOP policymaking is explicitly taking the rights of working people away, solely and explicitly for the sake of taking the rights of working people away?

    I guess these are the same 39% who cannot locate the United States on a map of the world.

  •  I wish this were relevant, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    but Obama would give away the store no matter what the numbers said.

  •  The irony of course (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    is that in pursuing that "middle" the Dems will move almost as far to the right on the same issues that the Rubes alienated those voters by moving too far right on, rather than sticking to the positions that draw voters away from the Rubes on those issues.  That's the mechanics of how "pragmatic triangulation" manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time after time.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:10:07 AM PDT

    •  all this talk of DEMS moving to the right (0+ / 0-)

      kinda makes me shake my head in dispair

      those whose answer to every issue is to say 'and the dems will move to the right' play into the hands of the right when they do that.

      Has Franken 'moved to the right'

      no because he is what he said he was in his campaign... a progressive.  

      elect more progressives and they will STAY progressive... elect politicians with no particular political ANCHOR and they will sway left and right with the polls, elect bluedogs and you have already elected dems who ARE on the right....

      so ya see, the fault dear democrats is not in the polls but in WHO we elect....  

      you get the elected officials you vote for.... so make sure who the person really IS before casting your votes...

  •  Will Obama and the Democratic leadership (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, happymisanthropy

    use these polls to confidently stand firm against slashing social programs?   And insist instead to balance the budget by returning defense spending and taxation to the Clinton level that produced a surplus?

    Or, will Democrats cave in a "grand compromise?"

    I'm not optimistic.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:29:00 AM PDT

  •  I am not as comfortable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    as the diarist that Obama won't blow the simple choices that would keep this lead going into 2012.  If he keeps the lead, then Democrats running for Congress have a better shot.

    But he could easily tip over into cutting the safety net rather than strengthening it to try and win Republicans over.   Votes that he should know by painful experience after painful experience that really won't be there after he has made concession after concession.

    Georgia is light years ahead of Wisconsin or Ohio in embracing right to work, anti-union, low wage, low benefit, starve the poor and middle class of benefits and having more regressive taxes than progressive ones.  And yet it is never enough, Georgia has stopped the earned income tax credit from being refundable, it is proposing cutting corporate taxes by 2 percent, taxing groceries, many ordinary services such as hair cuts, vet visits, labor on car repairs, everything ordinary people use, so that they can go to a flat 4% income tax on individuals.  The results will be catastrophic for the lowest quartile in terms of tax increase, significant for the middle class, and lead to a significant tax break for high earning individuals and corporations.  

    However much standing up for the middle class and poor would benefit Democrats, I no longer trust them with such winning vote getting strategies.  I believe the political structure has been sufficiently co-opted by the right and the rich that there will be no common sense applied to the budget battle.

    •  The vote-winning strategy for Dems ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... must include some recognition of budget and deficit problems.

      Democrats - even Liberals! - have responsible proposals (1) to raise revenues and (2) to reduce the rate of spending sensibly and without hacking holes in safety nets.

      We take ourselves out of the debate when we deny there's any budget problem that can be addressed responsibly. We stay in the debate and can be effective when we make counter proposals that show up the Republican Far Right agenda for what it really is.

      O, wad some Power the giftie gie us./To see oursels as ithers see us!

      by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't argue against (0+ / 0-)

        a revenue raising strategy.   But it is not being seriously mentioned by the Dems.

        The deficit is there, it is real, but it is only important when the Republicans are out of power with respect to how the borrowed money is spent.    It wouldn't be a topic if the Republicans controlled the government as they did in the Bush years.

        The 'revenue is bad, government is bad' argument has been with us a long time, so deeply sown into American thinking that it almost never gets mentioned.  The Obama administration abandoned it when it conceded tax cuts for the rich.  They half heartedly mention strengthening social programs, but have pretty much abandoned mentioning raising taxes.

        So the Dems in government aren't making these simple arguments.  Again, what is to trust in current policy or policy statements about budget issues by this administration?

        •  Watchful waiting is trustworthy. (0+ / 0-)

          Revenue/tax measures must originate in the House. Being controlled by Republicans, it does little good for Democrats to shoot ammunition off early. The House leadership wants a fight on its best ground, so it will taunt the Obama administration to come out and play.

          Of course, that doesn't sit well with a lot of us Progressives, who have reason - I agree that on some issues, there are good reasons! - to be suspicious of past White House decisions on strategy and policy.

          But for now, let's watch the Republicans making proposals that, increasingly, will not sit well with the public and, more importantly, with voters in 2012.

          O, wad some Power the giftie gie us./To see oursels as ithers see us!

          by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:26:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Watching and waiting (0+ / 0-)

            for Republicans to potentially overreach is great.

            Pushback against any sign of weakening in the Administration policy shouldn't wait.   They need to be afraid to step over to the right and compromise with the Republicans this time.   The president has to let go of the hooey about having to save Americans who have been taken hostage by the Republicans,  you can not negotiate with people who are determined to kill Americans who aren't rich, be it by slowly starving them out of economic benefits, outsourcing their jobs, etc.

  •  If this trend continues, mainstream Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, scribeboy, mmacdDE

    will try to tack toward reason, and the fleabags won't have any part of it.

    That's when it's going to be fun to watch.

    BWAAAAHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    The community of fools might be small if it were not such an accomplished proselytizer.

    by ZedMont on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:36:15 AM PDT

  •  Simple framing during a shutdown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, mmacdDE

    When Nancy Pelosi ran the House, government operated smoothly and we turned the recession around with smart investments in the future.

    Under Boehner and the Tea Party, government functions have ground to a halt.

    Who caused the government shut down?

  •  I See in the Poll... (0+ / 0-)

    ... that Obama is up only because the Republicans are now all lunatic fringe all the time.  The Republicans are driving the numbers (for good or bad), Democrats are not.

    I see nothing in this poll that Obama can cue off of to become more progressive, only more conservative in his continuing appeasement of the right.  

    We may be getting the indies, but unless Obama really focuses on the economy (i.e. Jobs recovery), there is a real chance that the indies will swing back to another change vote and Obama will face his final two years as a failure against a Republican House and Senate, determined to make as big a wreck of the economy as possible in order to gain control of all three branches of government.

    IMO, Obama needs to be less timid, and more progressive.  

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

  •  Give it time ... (0+ / 0-)
    Among those who say a government shutdown would be harmful, about twice as many say they would hold the GOP, rather than the president, responsible.

    If it happens the Repubs will find a way to pin it on the Dems if history is any guide.  In fact, one could predict that the Dems wouldn't blame the Repubs.  Obama, for example, will say it's a failure of bipartisanship as if the blame is equal.  Wait for it.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:38:49 AM PDT

  •  I feel like we're in a holding pattern right (0+ / 0-)

    now.  Everyone is waiting for the GOP to shut the govenrment down and see where things settle.  

    Though many think that the Dems will somehow cave to the GOP, I think the GOP's problem is that they haven't provided a compelling political reason for the Dems to cave.  The GOP's position is not popular with the public.  No one wants spending cuts.  There is not enough $ in discretionary spending to cut without hurting the economy, and Dems are loathe to do anything that might hint of slowing the recovery.  No one really wants to undo health care reform when you get to the component parts of the legislation.

    No one wants to cut social security and medicare.  Most Dems would face primary challenges if they did.  Obama is not about to sign legislaiton to undo his signature legislative achievements.

    I don't know how this will play out, but if I were to guess, I would say that the GOP will shut down the government and the President's megaphone will be bigger and come with a clearer message than the GOP's.  Eventually, the cracks in the GOP will begin to show and Boehner will either seize the opportunity to take control of his party or face a major revolt where we could end up having 3 parties:  the Dems, the slightly less crazy GOP, and the insane Tea Party GOP.  In a three party government, Obama would have much more power to advance legislaiton.

    Continuing resolutions would continue to pass and if the spotlight shines on the GOP drama long enough, the GOP will cave and adopt a year long budget.

    Obama will come out looking stronger as a result.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

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