Long, drawn-out skirmishes over the debt ceiling, the supercommittee and the payroll tax holiday have led to a 64 percent unfavorable rating for [House] Republicans, with their favorable numbers sitting at 29 percent, according to an internal poll conducted by GOP pollster David Winston in the final days of December 2011.
To illustrate how precipitous a drop that is, Republicans started off 2011 with a 43 percent favorable rating and 46 percent unfavorable rating.
A 64 percent unfavorable rating is abominable. House Democrats garnered an unfavorable rating of 57 percent, which isn't exactly bragging material either. In general, the public message appears to be that they are sick and tired of the House, period, which shows some damn fine judgment on their parts.
How do Republicans plan to respond to the not-new revelation that America hates them and thinks they suck? That's unclear. House leadership seems convinced that they need to do better at "talking about jobs," but also doesn't appear to think that might require actually, you know, creating any:
“We lost our momentum in November and December with the supercommittee and payroll tax fight,” Boehner continued. “… The Keystone pipeline — which is part of our jobs plan — has put us back on offense. This is an opportunity to get back to what we know works.
So it looks like the plan is to go back to "what works," which appears to be doing exactly the same crap as normal, but saying it's "for jobs" and calling it done. I'm not clear on how that's supposed to work out, since all of the worst, most obstructionist polices pursued by the House (tax cuts for "job creators," deficit-hawking to help "jobs," attaching the Keystone pipeline to anything with a pulse and saying it's for "jobs") were always linked to "jobs" in whatever indirect or haphazard ways the GOP could come up with, and that resulted in the aforementioned belief by the general public that the House Republicans, collectively, suck. It's the obstructionism and the lack of ability for the House to perform simple tasks, like the debt ceiling or the payroll tax cut extensions, that has soured people on the House. It's not because the House Republicans haven't been inserting the word "jobs" into as many sentences as they should.
I don't expect there's much that can be hoped for, then. My own suggestion to the House GOP would be to put Eric Cantor in an airtight crate and strap him to the roof of Mitt Romney's car or, short of that, read the riot act to their freshmen members about how no, we cannot destroy the entire U.S. economy just to make you new folks feel good. Given that they will likely do neither of those, it looks like we're in for another year of the exact same behavior, but with a little sticker saying "jobs!" stuck onto the front of every bit of execrable, dead-on-arrival legislation.