Woe to the GOP! Beware of a government shutdown! You will be blamed, and if you persist in challenging the president, you will lose control of the House of Representatives and kill any chance of regaining control of the Senate!
These “world will come to an end” warnings were issued by the Republican establishment and often repeated by timid GOP elected representatives who fear – above all else – being thrown out of office and having to get real jobs like the rest of us poor saps who pay their salaries.
Who can blame them?
In the USA they helped to create, jobs are hard to come by and even harder to maintain.
Now, the party establishment and their echo chorus in Congress are gleefully pointing to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that 74 percent of the American people are unhappy with the way the GOP is handling these negotiations and saying, “I told you so!”
Not so fast.
A look inside the latest poll shows that most of those who are saying they are unhappy with the party are Republicans themselves.
Ask me if I view the Republican Party favorably. My answer is a resounding “No!”
It’s not because a minority in the House and a few in the Senate have been standing on principle. It is because they have been standing on one leg, with the other half of the party trying to knock that leg right out from under them.
Just last week, a Rasmussen poll reported that 71 percent of the party faithful wanted to keep the shutdown in place until Obamacare is defunded, despite all that gloom and doom from the party establishment.
Of course we are unhappy with you. How could any Republican who has been paying attention feel otherwise?
Even more telling, 47 percent of voters not affiliated with either party wanted the shutdown to continue until Obamacare was defunded as opposed to 44 percent who want to end it. In other words, most Republicans and a slight majority of independents get it.
It is not surprising, however, that when push comes to shove, most Americans say Republicans are responsible for the shutdown.
The Bible says, “If a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who will follow?” That is just common sense.
Republicans have been too busy blaming each other to get a consistent message out. Little wonder that few Americans are even aware that the GOP House has passed a number of bills to keep the government running, bills that were summarily ignored by the Senate majority leader and outright rejected by Obama.
Even so, the news is not all that good for Democrats. Though they remained largely united, 61 percent of us still view the way they have handed things negatively.
Not surprising, the tea party continues to take it on the chin since Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media portray these unaffiliated groups as the root of all evil.
While the tea party is a natural Republican constituency, the GOP establishment continues to eat its young instead of defending the principles that unite these groups and Americans in general. Too bad. A Rasmussen poll out last month shows that 64 percent of all Americans want a smaller government with fewer taxes and 62 percent think the government should cut spending rather than increase it. In that poll, 74 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of unaffiliated voters actually said they favor a shutdown until the two sides can agree on what spending to cut.
However, these GOP leaders who were anxious to cave missed the most important point of all: A full 80 percent of Republican voters believe it is more important for their party to stand for what it believes in rather than work with the president. Furthermore, 65 percent of likely Republican voters think that Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters.
Is there any wonder why there are new, more persistent cries of “Throw the bums out!”? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a serious primary challenge in businessman Matt Bevin next year. A Bevin campaign staffer reports that funds have been pouring in from around the country at a rapid pace ever since Ted Cruz made Obamacare an issue and forced McConnell to deal with it. A point that should not be lost on House Speaker John Boehner.
In short, GOP voters are mad as hell, and it’s the leadership – or the lack of it – that is to blame.