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Elephant in graduation gown
Geniuses, these Republicans are not
I don't think the results here will surprise anybody:
A new poll done for Republican members of Congress has found huge public opposition, and solid opposition among Republicans, to the idea of shutting down the government over the issue of funding Obamacare.

In a national survey of 1,000 registered voters done July 31 and August 1, the question, from pollster David Winston, said, “Some members of Congress have proposed shutting down the government as a way to defund the president’s health care law” and asked respondents whether they favored or opposed that plan.

Overall, 71 percent of those surveyed opposed a shutdown, while 23 percent favored a shutdown. Among Republicans, 53 percent opposed, versus 37 percent who favored.

So ... shutting down the government in a doomed bid to repeal Obamacare less than a year after President Obama's re-election would be a complete disaster for Republicans. Duh. Not. A. Surprise. In fact, the only surprising thing is that they felt the need to conduct the poll at all.

To the extent there's an issue at all here, it is the House—there aren't the votes in the Senate to force a shutdown. There probably aren't the votes in the House either, but it's at least theoretically possible if 216 of the 232 House Republicans decide that's what they want to do. (That number will grow to 217 of 233 when Rodney Alexander's seat is filled.) Still, even if John Boehner decided to embrace the shutdown scheme, it's really hard to imagine a scenario in which Democrats couldn't convince 17 Republicans to cross the aisle and support a discharge petition to allow a vote preventing a shutdown.

Given these numbers, the real question is less about whether there will be a shutdown and more about whether Republicans will tear themselves apart during the budget fight. And this poll is probably less about trying to convince members to oppose a shutdown than it is about John Boehner trying to explain to his conference why they shouldn't fire him if he agrees to hold a vote on legislation that keeps the government open and avoids a political disaster for his party.

While it's true that this is a mindblowing example of the stupidity gripping House Republicans (remember, not even Republican voters want a shutdown), at least John Boehner is finally working on a jobs plan. Too bad it's just a plan to save his own.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They have their own reliable polling (15+ / 0-)

    that will tell them just want they want to hear.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:22:32 AM PDT

    •  They put the polls in the holes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      westyny

      My big take-away from statistics in college was everything is tainted by bullshit or at least can be artificially "bullshit" flavored.

      Not that polls and statistics don't have value, they can be twisted around to mean just about anything.

      (apologies to DEVO)

      I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

      by roninkai on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  cynically I want a shutdown...because until it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      westyny

      happens...we take too much for granted what the gov't does on a daily basis...

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:48:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah. This poll wasn't for the reason (7+ / 0-)

    you think it was.  It was for the benefit of Tea Party Congresscritters; it's another yardstick with which to rap their knuckles.  

    Yes, I did go to Catholic school.  Why?

    Après le thé, le déluge. -- Glenn Beck, aka Napoleon XIV

    by mspicata on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:23:57 AM PDT

    •  More to the point; it's not about Boehner. (5+ / 0-)

      It's about saving the GOP as a whole.  The jury's out on its success, but they're screwed for a generation if it fails.

      Après le thé, le déluge. -- Glenn Beck, aka Napoleon XIV

      by mspicata on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:26:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And here's the real point. (6+ / 0-)

      From the linked article:

      Winston also did a generic ballot test. Among people who say at this point that they plan to vote for the Republican candidate in 2014 — regardless of who it is — 51 percent said they opposed a shutdown, while 40 percent favored it. “What has to be concerning here is the fact that more than half the people who are presently voting for a Republican oppose this idea,” Winston told me. “If you’re concerned about what it might look like in terms of a general election, if half the voters who say they are going to vote for a Republican candidate oppose this, then you are creating a conflict for them to vote for a Republican candidate.”
      QED.

      Après le thé, le déluge. -- Glenn Beck, aka Napoleon XIV

      by mspicata on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:35:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I tend to agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mspicata, Fury, mchestnutjr, jyssco

      But the Tea Baggers have shown a remarkable immunity to facts thus far. They are political creatures of the lowest order: Whatever sounds good, do it! Any deeper analysis is strictly off limits, as evidenced by Jim DeMint's cunning plan to have everyone go to the emergency room instead of depending on the Affordable Care Act.

      •  Yes, but the Baggers depend on support to ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... amplify their voices. Money, organizational materials, etc., an infrastructure of resources will dry up for the extreme Tea Baggies as more Congpersons get challenged at meetings and more of their candidates get picked off in elections.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:03:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, GOP bringing "American Idol" to the Hill!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, blue aardvark, JeffW

    Aren't they supposed to be in Congress to...you know...GOVERN, implying making DECISIONS, some popular, other not, for the GREATER GOOD of the entire COUNTRY???

    And now, we'll leave it to a popular poll??

    Here is a suggestion for phone number: 1-800-FUCK-GOP!

  •  Only 23% would approve! (6+ / 0-)

    That's lower than the reliably bat-shit crazy demographic found in most other polls. That does not bode well for the shut 'em down contingent.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

  •  the 'bagger GOP: slash & burn (6+ / 0-)

    such short memories of the last shutdown and defending reactionary counter-democratic politics

    Given these numbers, the real question is less about whether there will be a shutdown and more about whether Republicans will tear themselves apart during the budget fight. And this poll is probably less about trying to convince members to oppose a shutdown than it is about John Boehner trying to explain to his conference why they shouldn't fire him if he agrees to hold a vote on legislation that keeps the government open and avoids a political disaster for his party.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:29:15 AM PDT

  •  I think the worry now shifts to GOP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, Sherri in TX, Fury

    using the debt ceiling for leverage to stop Obamacare in some way. Supposedly, leadership aides in the GOP are thinking about that.

    Of course, I think that the debt ceiling debacle in 2011 hurt GOP even more than the gov shutdown in 95.

    Hard to know if this is real, or just another thing they have to promise the right, given that a gov shutdown looks like it wont happen.

    •  Debt ceiling would cause more problems (6+ / 0-)

      than government shutdown. The Masters of the Universe would be ... displeased ... if they ever did that, and the voters would respond to a 50% drop in their 401(k) balances with some dismay.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:34:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but if you are talking (3+ / 0-)

        about corporate America, I dont think GOP cares much what they think anymore.

        If they did we would probably have comprehensive immigration reform and a budget deal by now.

        House GOP is in a weaker place now than they were in 2011, and given the memories of what happened then, hopefully, it's enough to prevent a repeat.

        What I think is really going to need to happen to avoid problems, even though many on both sides wont like it, is that WH and this group of GOP senators they are negotiating with are going to have to come to some deal.

        I think if they do, that deal probably gets enacted. I think that will be the deal that the House will have to vote on right at the deadline.

    •  Call me crazy... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jyssco

      But I think holding the world economy hostage wouldn't poll better than a government shutdown.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

      by RichM on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:37:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a different issue (0+ / 0-)

        I think many people think of raising debt ceiling as increasing limit on your credit card.

        As you note, ironically, it would actually be worse than a govt shutdown but it wouldnt shock me if more people were against raising debt  ceiling.

  •  Maybe Obama should propose a program (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mspicata, librarisingnsf

    to educate Republicans on "the role of an opposition party in a democratic republic".

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:32:22 AM PDT

  •  While a shutdown would be a terrible idea (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not above hoping they keep the idiotic idea alive long enough to do even more damage to their brand.

    So my take: That's obviously a skewed poll, kids, (something to do with Acorn, freedumbz, Acorn, Kenya, etc.)  So please, proceed, and keep talking up the idea. The base will eat it up like catnip.

    Full disclosure: Have I mentioned I grow popcorn on my farm?

    A.

  •  The trouble for the GOP is... (10+ / 0-)

    The 23% who favor a shutdown are driving the bus.

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:34:49 AM PDT

    •  This is exactly right... (0+ / 0-)

      gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. have led us to this state.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

      by RichM on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why bother polling? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, mchestnutjr, jyssco

    We've already seen them dismiss polls that don't validate their delusions. Why do they even bother?

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:36:00 AM PDT

  •  But, will they listen to the poll... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProgressiveOldMan, BadKitties

    ...or the voices in their heads?

  •  Occasionally I hear Republican leadership (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, RichM

    say they won't they think shutting down the government is a bad idea. They'll wait until the debt ceiling negotiations to try and defund Obamacare. Why is defaulting on the debt better from their perspective and does this poll make it less likely they'll do this as well?

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:47:04 AM PDT

  •  that 37% of RepubliKlans who favor teh Sutdown are (4+ / 0-)

    the TeaBigots who dominate Repub primaries. Their hatred of all things Obama - the hatred which spurred the TeaBigots into exisyence in early 2009 -  will devour the RepubliKlan party from within.

    Not soon enough for my liking but too soon for the loons to stop it.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:48:25 AM PDT

  •  So obvious: they're dim, Jed! (0+ / 0-)

    So damned dim...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

  •  I thought Republicans were supposed to be (0+ / 0-)

    party that had strong views and stuck to their guns on issues that were important even if they appear unpopular? Surely they don't need a poll to  tell them whether to shut down the government or not.

    If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it. -- Elmore Leonard

    by voroki on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:54:21 AM PDT

  •  It's not the Presidents law, it's OUR law. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM
    "…a way to defund the president’s health care law”
    The mere fact it is a law that has been defended successfully time after time should be enough for these knuckle-dragers to settle the fuck down.

    Quit wasting OUR time and money on your petty pursuit.

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:59:13 AM PDT

  •  racism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, ekgrulez1

    This threat is just as much about racism as it is politics.  Hatred of Obama--especially his dark skin--unites Republicans.  To assume they will turn to logic, or patriotism, is almost as illogical.  The shutdown probably won't happen because there are still some Republicans who have more sense than hatred. Probably.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:01:59 PM PDT

  •  Debt Crisis in November (0+ / 0-)

    The republican's are prepping themselves for a fight over the debt ceiling in November. By "releasing" information like this poll, the T-P representatives will (in their dreams!) pause and allow the government to continue to operate.

    The debt ceiling "crisis" in November is when we see if the republican's are trying to remain viable and get elected in less than a year, or trying to commit suicide as a political party.

  •  I was gonna ask if republicans (0+ / 0-)

    could possibly be any more stupid---but skip it!
    Asked and answered!

    Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:16:35 PM PDT

  •  How the fuck did we get here? eom (0+ / 0-)

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:30:53 PM PDT

  •  Philosophical ?: What does it profit a Party to (0+ / 0-)

    gain the House but lose the Senate and Presidency?

    The 2 are connected. Extreme gerrymandering makes GOP holding the House easier, but election after election makes it harder for them to stop extremists and ex-witches from costing senate seats and the presidency.

    Leviticus: “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself"

    by TofG on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:56:25 PM PDT

  •  THE POLLS ARE SKEWED! (0+ / 0-)

    Actually, the Republicans are screwed.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 12:58:09 PM PDT

  •  If they would only ... (0+ / 0-)

    Put half as much effort into achieving viable, affordable care for all citizens as they do into their tantrum about "Obamacare" ....

  •  Both the debt Limit and the budget..... (0+ / 0-)

    will give the Tehadists dead set on closing down the Federal government great opportunities for mischief.  It will take some pretty drastic action on th part of Dems and "Less-than-batshit-crazy" Rethugs to push anything through Congress. That may include the "nuclear option" on filibusters in the Senate and bi-partisian support of discharge petitions in the House.

    McChinless and Orangeman will be of no help. They are too scared of the Tea Partiers.

    It is going to be a wild fall and, for anyone paying attention and aware of the implications, rather scary.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 01:25:43 PM PDT

  •  maybe more for their own crazy caucus members (0+ / 0-)

    as in the poll was less for public consumption or even the vast majority of repub politicos but rather for the ted cruz's etc

    "see, we told you it would kill us to shut down the government"

  •  Just a question: (0+ / 0-)

    Was Teardrop Boehner even born with a set of balls?

    (Perhaps Pelosi stole his)

    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

    by micsimov on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:31:23 PM PDT

  •  2 amendments (0+ / 0-)

    1) The House is sufficient to shut down the government (so would the Senate be). What is needed to prevent a shut-down is a continuing resolution (or some more permanent set of appropriations). That has to PASS both houses to keep the government functioning.

    2) The poll isn't evidence that the people sponsoring it didn't know the answer. Sometimes you pay to get someone other than yourself to research an issue where you know teh answer. That makes it more convincing.

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