By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Today's Washington Post reports that Republicans are relishing their opportunity to stand athwart the Obama-Democratic stimulus push and cry "No!" They think it's a political winner position. Polls say otherwise.
Gallup released a poll this morning in which it asked 1,018 national adults whether they approved or disapproved of the way the three key political groups—President Obama, congressional Democrats, and congressional Republicans—have handled the push for a stimulus bill.
Obama scores a 67 percent approval and 25 percent disapproval.
Congressional Democrats are not nearly as popular but still manage a net plus approval rating, with 48 percent favoring them and 42 percent disapproving.
Then there are the congressional Republicans, who have embraced just saying "No!" with enough gusto that one might think they'd just elected Nancy Reagan as party chair. The public has embraced that tactic, just saying no to the GOP at a clip of nearly 2 to 1 (31 percent approve, 58 percent disapprove).
But at least the Republicans approve of the Republicans. From the Post:
"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), one of several younger congressmen seeking to lead the party's renewal. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice. We're standing on our core principles, and the core principle that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. That was the tallest pole in our tent, and we took an ax to it, but now we're building it back."
The problem for the GOP is that because they spent eight years repudiating these core principles, they have no credibility now embracing said principles. Without the protection of those principles, the GOP simply looks like it wants to oppose for the sake of opposition at a time when the country is crumbling.
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