Based on policy substance alone, the GOP's boneheaded insistence on extending Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy is sure to erode support for Republicans in this November's election (assuming, of course, that Democrats stand strong in support of President Obama's middle-class tax cut alternative).
But beyond the substance of the policy, the GOP's position is also likely to deepen a growing problem that they face: voters are increasingly becoming convinced that if it were returned to power, the GOP would govern just like Bush. Greg Sargent:
Okay, so we now have two national polls suggesting that the Dem strategy of tying the GOP to Bush may finally be gaining some traction. For Dems, it's not a moment too soon.
As I've noted here before, polls have steadily shown that the public may not be buying the Dems' central message -- that a vote for the GOP is a vote for the Bush policies that ran our economy into the ground.
Greg notes two polls -- the just-released NYT/CBS poll and last week's National Journal poll -- both of which show that voters believe the GOP would govern like Bush. According to the NYT/CBS poll, 47% believe Republicans would return to Bush policies compared to just 36% who believe they won't. And according to the National Journal poll 45% believe that the GOP's agenda is the same as Bush's compared to 33% who don't.
These views are still dynamic, and even though Republicans like Pete Sessions have explicitly stated that the GOP plan would be to return to the "exact same" Bush agenda of the 2000s, Democrats are going to have to be aggressive in making the argument, both in their words and in their actions. But given the fact that Americans still blame the policies of Bush and Republicans for our economic predicament, and given that they are increasingly believing that Republicans want to go back to those policies, it's an argument that they must make.