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Monday, October 24, 2016

Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spent the summer of 2013 telling Republicans that the conventional wisdom about the government shutdowns the 1990s was wrong.

“The sort of cocktail chatter wisdom that, ‘Oh, the shutdown was a disaster for Republicans,’ is not borne out by the data,” he said.

Cruz’s argument won over enough Republicans that they were willing to engage in a shutdown of their own — and the results were jaw-droppingly terrible for the GOP, but great for the junior senator from Texas.

“Measured head-to-head, the public blames the Republicans in Congress for the shutdown over Obama by 53-29 percent – similar to the result measuring then-President Bill Clinton vs. the Republicans in January 1996, after their own shutdown battle,” ABC News’ Gary Langer reports, based on a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The real problem for the GOP is that it fixated the public on the House of Representatives.

“Republicans’ detour into what some have described as a defund-at-all-costs ‘cul de sac’ has turned a negative spotlight on the party to an extent no Democratic ad could ever achieve,” The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman said last week.

A flurry of new polls shows that the damage to the GOP’s image may have long-lasting effects and could possibly cost them their House majority, something that no serious observers considered a possibility before October 1 of this year.

Here are four bits of information from the latest polls that Republicans are hoping either aren’t true or will change quickly.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    Good or bad is a matter of perspective is it not?

  • Dominick Vila

    While it is true that the GOP is taking the brunt of the blame, it is also true that Democrats are not far behind. The latest polls indicate that two thirds of Americans are planning to clean house in 2014, and that the “get rid of the incumbents” goes well beyond the GOP. The irony is that the ones who are likely to survive the onslaught are the people most responsible for the debacle we just averted. Tea Party zealots like Cruz, Rubio, Paul, and others were received like heroes by their constituents. Everything suggests that they will be re-elected by a landslide by people who think and act the way they do. The ones with a foot on the other side and the other foot on a banana peel are those running for re-election in progressive states and districts, where constituents are dismayed by what happened and have decided to replace the incumbents with more responsible and pragmatic people.

    • Bill Thompson

      Dominick You are right, the results of gerrymandering will be felt for the foreseeable future. The lunatic’s that caused this mess will be safe in their seats and able to wreak havoc on the this Country and economy with impunity. It is hard for me to understand how anybody can view the tea party as a positive force in this country. They appeal to the hateful and the religious zelots that now have come to dominate large swaths of this country. I truly fear the America that my kids will have to deal with.

      • CPAinNewYork

        Don’t worry. After a few elections, the Republicans will be gone and the gerrymandered districts can be put to rights.

        • alphaa10000

          Both parties gerrymander as much as possible to give themselves a buffer against a loss-of-margin in the next election. As we already can see, the GOP actually lost the house in 2012 by 1.4 million voters, but rigged enough districts to provide their current margin. Both gerrymandering and voter restriction, however, are standard-operating procedure for only the GOP.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Wow. I didn’t realize Boehner was still speaker. I thought it was Ted Cruz! After all, it appeared like he was the one who decided what bills the House should vote on.

    • nirodha

      Is that a tear running down John’s orange cheek, or perhaps a drop (or two) of gin?

    • alphaa10000

      Looking at Boehner’s photo, there is an unhappy man– placed his ‘life, fortune and sacred honor” with the Tea Party, Cruz and Cantor, and they left him holding the bag. Boehner, in loyal service to the Tea Party until the bitter end, refused to allow Democrats and still-sane Republicans to approve a clean bill to end the shutdown.

      • trog69

        The really hilarious part in Boehner’s dance moves into insanity is this; who in their right mind would WANT to lead the Republicans as Speaker, in such a flustercluck? Of course, if an even more radical takes up the gavel, then we should all fasten our seat belts, ’cause this baby ain’t long for the world.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The problem at the moment for the GOP is clear: A generation gap. Young, inexperienced political twerps of the Daycare Twerpie Generation pitting themselves against the older, most politically experienced politicians like McCain.

    The Dems bear NO fault for the shutdown. The House Majority GOP voted for it. That IS the fact they now have to deal with. Once you understand the Twerpie Generation’s penchant for deflecting accountability and spotlighting their faults on others, you see their immaturity clearly.

    That isn’t to say that all younger politicians rule with knee jerk zealousness. In the corporate world I worked in for almost 4 decades we called these twerps “Little Johnny Jump Ups.” They are the ones who jump up at the CEOs every whim, cannibalize each other to get to Number One in line behind the CEO and when they screw up, they are the first to jump up and blame everyone but themselves all in their vain attempt to takeover the CEO’s job.

    Cruz, Issa, Cantor, Ryan…all artificially inseminated Koch CEO clones all jumping at these billionaires every command. Cantor spends more time in meetings with the Kochs than he does in Congress.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Voters may clean house…but they will not vote for Tea Party, Libertarians or Americans for Prosperity lap dogs. Americans are fed up with the little bois constant Push Come to Shove routine in DC. Nothing gets done and our federal tax dollars meanwhile are being spent on red state pork.

    I was a Republican until Bush changed that for me. I saw what the GOP bulls pulled off in their back room meetings. To the GOP, people don’t count…Big Business is their only savior. So they endeavor to spend more and more of our tax dollars on too profitable big businesses to keep the power addiction in their veins hot as fire. This is NOT government. It’s sedition, plan and simple.

    • alphaa10000

      EW said, “…Big Business is their only savior.”

      To which I would add, the GOP faithful really do not believe even that much. Guess where Paulson and those of the Wall Street Gang ran when their clubhouse caught on fire from 2007-2008?

      While a huge bailout went to Wall Street crooks through the notorious $700 billion Bush-Paulson ransom note to congress, Bernanke made sure literal trillions were ready for pickup at the Fed back door for the same banks. While the bailout bill was still in committee, the Fed already had the major money on its way.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Actually, the entire US taxpayer population was snookered by the world’s oldest extortion game: fear of economic collapse. All the Wall Street bois had to do was play fast and loose with SEC regulations for a decade, amass trillions in profit, stuff it into offshore tax free havens like Costa Rica (Rip Van Romo’s favorite) and then begin a national campaign of fear the economy would collapse if we the bedraggle, forlorn taxpayers didn’t ante up with TARP and ARRA.

        Proof of this scam? In January 2012, the NY Daily News printed an article entitled “Bailout Bonus.” It divulged a dirty secret hidden by the GOP dual presidency from the press. A Treasury Dept. audit disclosed that despite President Obama $500,000 salary cap established in 2009 on firms “receiving exceptional assistance,” Kenneth Feinberg, then federal “master” responsible for overseeing compensation packages pushed through TARP cash of $10.5 million for AIG’s Benmosche, $8.1 million to Ally’s Michael Carpenter and $5.1 million to GM’s Fritz Henderson.

        According to the NY Daily News, of 7 of the biggest TARP recipients: Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, General Motors, Ally, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial, only CitiGroup and Bank of America paid back their government loans before the end of 2009. They did this solely to be able to pay execs whatever they wanted. Of the remaining 5, AIG repeatedly insisted on the biggest pay packages, receiving more than $180 billion in federal bailout money in 2008 and as of 2012, 70% was still owned by the federal government.

        AIG’s Benmosche in addition to his $10.5 million also received $3 million in cash in 2009. In 2010, Benmosche received another $10.5 million.

        TARP, unlike ARRA, had zero provisions for a time limit on paying taxpayers back. ARRA had a provision that actually collected interest on these loans.

  • kanawah

    When you piss off enough people bad enough, you are dead meat.
    The Transylvania tea bag republiCONs have pissed off 2/3 of the nation.
    with luck, we will have a democratic majority in the house, and a stronger hold in the senate. We may even get rid of deputy Dawg McConnell.

    • alphaa10000

      McConnell has made noises about retirement, so that may be a wish already granted.

  • old_timer_37

    Whereas I’m heartened by the polls, I’m not quite as optimistic about the 2014 election. Republicans, in many of the 30 States they control, are busy disenfranchising voters so that they can stay in power. Between gerrymandering after the 2010 election and disenfranchising the poor, women and minorities through various schemes, they might stay in control of the House and of most of the State Legislatures. They are hard at work, and it is coordinated nationally by ALEC. Never underestimate a determined group of well-funded fanatics.

  • George F. Hannett

    This article incorrectly states that Obama was the first Democractic presidential candidate to receive at least or more than 51% of the vote since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Evidently the author forgot about Lyndon Johnson, who in 1964 received around 60 percent of the popular vote, one of the largest margins in American history.

    • nirodha

      Correct; he had a plurality of over 16 million votes.

    • jmConn

      I believe that the percentage mentioned should have been stated as highest vote for a second term.

      • George F. Hannett

        I believe you are exactly right.

    • alphaa10000

      @Hannett and Conn– thank you both for those corrections. As you demonstrate, these things can be researched in reasonable time.

  • Allan Richardson

    If progressive voters as well as politicians and media types can keep the attention on the fortnight-too-long shutdown and the attempted murder of the world economy, this incident could be for the Tea Party what Selma was for segregationists.

  • howa4x

    The GOP finds itself in the middle of 2 book end groups that oppose it. If the seniors turn further against the tealiban then the GOP would have seen an erosion in their most trusted voting block. Currently the younger voters are completely turned off to the GOP message. They join Women, Latino’s, Gays, environmentalists, people with pre existing conditions and independent centrists who see the GOP becoming too extreme. In worst news younger evangelicals want more social justice and actually believe the sermon on the mount. If the GOP keeps hooking onto the tea party it will be dragged to the bottom faster. Currently only 14% identify as tea party members so The choice is clear for the GOP. Stay with a shrinking far right base, or tack to the middle where 51% of the voting block is. Of course that would mean a change in some positions since the middle wants sensible gun restrictions, wants to see Obamacare work, wants immigration reform, and is not opposed to gay marriage, They are also concerned about climate change. The GOP has to stop treating these issues as Kryptonite if it wants a chance to compete in the next national elections or be a house party for the foreseeable future.

    • plc97477

      The only voters the gotp have left are the 1% and the low information voter who doesn’t know his a– from a hole in the ground.

      • alphaa10000

        GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal tried to warn the GOP months ago that it should stop being the “party of stupid”– but neglected to mention the core problem. The GOP agenda is pure class warfare, in service to only the wealthier citizens.

        • George F. Hannett

          My great grandfather, who I believe died in 1930, once told his kids that no one worth less than a million dollars could afford to be a Republican. He was right then and he is still right today, although the correct figure now is probably about 10 million dollars or perhaps a bit more. The more the modern GOP keeps up with this nonsense, the more it looks like you can only afford to be a Republican if you are a billionaire.

    • nirodha

      Christie caved in NJ on the issue of legally challenging same sex marriage; the same issue is under legal consideration in NM; some of the younger evangelicals are getting the message that Jesus was a socialist. Republicans, repent, move toward the center or the END IS NEAR!

  • Justin Napolitano

    The Republicans should just go away. We have had enough of their garbage. Not even the dumbest person on earth could support their agenda. They simply do not care about the average American.
    As for myself, I wish they would put carbon monoxide in their bubble and breath deeply.

    • alphaa10000

      You are right– the GOP does not care about the “average American”, however demographics define average.

      RNC public relations to the contrary, GOP origins lie in the radical politics of Lincoln’s day. Reconstruction only changed the GOP’s ideological moorings from Lincoln to the Plutocrats, which they have served faithfully ever since.

    • Merle Dickey

      OH the old “kill em off they don’t agree with us party”?

  • ExRadioGuy15

    Fact check: the article’s author claims that President Obama, in his re-election last year, was the first Democrat to win more than 51% of the popular vote since FDR. WRONG….LBJ won in a landslide in 1964 and Obama won in 2008 with nearly 53% of the popular vote….Also, Harry Truman may have won with more than 51% of the popular vote in 1948, but I’ll check on that….

    • alphaa10000

      Thanks for checking– wish more people did that. See another poster who addressed the same issue earlier. (poster Hannett, above.)

    • silas1898

      Carter also had a majority and Clinton in 96.

  • Canistercook

    Guess Benghazi is over, (who cares) the government is open, and drones have stopped killing innocents and Obamacare will be a big success (If you are not paying for it). What worries me is it looks like a lot of our country is falling apart, integrity is very low and we are extremely divided. ..

  • tax payer

    Can’t get an better because what we now have in Congress ( Both Parties ) aren’t earning the money being paid ( to them ) by the tax payers.

  • ExRadioGuy15

    While the GOP Civil War tragicomically rages on, this country suffers, greatly. One meme that’s used by the “Progressives” and “Moderates” of the GOP and all of the “minor parties” plus most of the media is the “false equivalency” or “both parties are the same” and it’s damned annoying, in addition to being patently untrue. This Non-Affiliated voter KNOWS that there are HUGE differences between the Demos and the GOP. I would detail all of them here, but that would take more than 30 minutes of writing. So, I’ll condense it to a pair of the most important differences: first, the Republican Party adheres to all 14 of the defining characteristics of FASCISM, as detailed by Laurence Britt in his spring 2003 article in Free Inquiry magazine entitled, “Fascism anyone? The fourteen defining characteristics of Fascism”. The Democrats adhere to 2, possible three, of them. The GOP’s governing philosophy is, “screw the poor, middle class, elderly, disabled, women, children and minorities, the wealthy and big corporations need more money and power!”. The Democrats believe in nearly the exact opposite of that…..