"Out of touch and out of luck" should be the new Republican Party slogan. A new survey by the Pew Research Center indicates that three of every five (60 percent) Americans believe the Republican Party is out of touch with America. Why would so many Americans think the GOP is out of touch? Let me count the ways.
Republicans are on the wrong side of public opinion and public interest on so many issues that I couldn't possibly discuss them all here. So I'll just go with the highlights. All of these issues will be under the microscope in Congress in the next few weeks, so things will get worse for the GOP before they get better.
The same Pew Research Center shows that seven out of every 10 Americans favor President Obama's proposal to increase the minimum age from $7.00 to $9.25 an hour. With the Dow Jones soaring and corporate profits rising, you would think that big business and its Republican handmaidens in Congress could afford to be a little generous. But no, the GOP will fight to the death for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires but completely ignore the plight of a single mother who works full time at the minimum wage for $14,000 a year. A little generosity would go a long way to improve the standing of the GOP, but it's just not in the party's DNA.
President Obama's proposal to end the sequester is a balanced plan to reduce the federal budget deficit by $84 billion in the Fiscal Year 2013 with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. Congressional Republicans refuse to compromise and so the sequester with draconian cuts in national defense and education programs stays in play. The sequester will lead to furloughs for air traffic controllers which will make the unfriendly skies even more unfriendly than they are now. The Navy has stopped deployment of a aircraft carrier task force for the Persian Gulf because of the sequester. Whose side is the public on? You guessed it. In a new poll by CBS News, a clear majority of Americans (56 percent) favor the president's balanced proposal of cuts and higher taxes while only one out of three people (35 percent) favor the one sided GOP plan.
According to the Pew Research Center poll, a clear majority of Americans (56 percent) also support a ban on assault weapons. Only two of five people (41 percent) oppose the proposal. Despite an urgent need and public support or the assault weapon ban, congressional Republicans absolutely refuse to consider the proposal. Republicans are of course free to stiff the public on gun control and many other issues if they want to. But sooner than later, the GOP indifference to public opinion in a democracy means the party will become irrelevant. If Republicans don't care about that, why should I?
At the surrender ceremony after the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781, the British band played “The World Turned Upside Down.” Republicans, like the British, will realize that America has changed only after they lost the battle and the war. A new generation of selfless voters, the millennials have replaced the baby boomers as the focus of American politics but Republicans are stuck in a time warp in the 1980s. As the world changes, Republicans cling to the past as hard as Fox News hangs onto the myth that it is fair and balanced.
God bless their pointed little heads.
- Read Robert Schlesinger: Balance, Paul Ryan's Budget, and Why the GOP Thinks Voters Are Dumb
- Read Ford O'Connell: Republicans Should Give Obama What He Wants: Gridlock
- Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.