There may be a price to pay for intransigence. Because of a deliberate attempt at self-sabotage by congressional republicans, an inability of Speaker Boehner to reign in tea party freshmen, and the likelihood of a substantial tax increase on more than 160 million Americans–something conservatives would normally consider anathema–they find themselves on the wrong end of poll numbers.
Given the need to bolster the economy, something only the President has seemed willing to do so far, Obama has made significant strides with the public on the country’s most pressing issues:
Obama’s gains have come at the expense of the Republicans in Congress and the GOP in general. By a 50% to 31% margin, people questioned say they have more confidence in the president than in congressional Republicans to handle the major issues facing the country. Obama held a much narrower 44% to 39% margin in March.
And the GOP’s overall favorable rating has dropped to six points, to 43%, since June, while the Democrats’ positive rating remained steady at 55%. “The Democrats do particularly well among middle income Americans, while the Republicans win support only from the top end of the income scale,” adds Holland.
Perhaps the strategy of congressional republicans is to continue its abject stonewalling, lest they risk making the economy better right before 2012 elections. Politics before country doesn’t sound like a sound, winning strategy to me. In a divided government, absolutism is the wrong play. If their intended result was to achieve historically low congressional poll numbers, mission accomplished.