Our political Quote of the Day comes from Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog. He has put together a chart that confirms what I’ve noted in several posts — and not just on the secuester: today’s Republican Party truly seems stuck in an echo chamber where its arguments are generating nods of approval from many conservatives, conservative talkers, Tea Party members and conservative bloggers. But they are failing to convince the bulk of Americans (read that v-o-t-e-r-s) that they are fundamentally in the party’s current incarnation a)obstructionists b)to blame if an artificially, politician-created monkey wrench is thrown into the recovery.
His chart shows the GOP’s problem and his post summarizes what we’ve noted in many posts here dating back to before the election.
Our Quote of the Day:
I put together this chart to highlight what’s arguably the most important result in the survey. With a week to go before the sequestration deadline hits, GOP leaders are convinced they can win a public-relations fight with the White House because, conservatives believe, Americans will blame Obama for the dangerous sequester policy that Republicans championed.
This poll suggests the GOP isn’t just wrong, its understanding of public attitudes is the exact opposite of reality. The public is prepared to hold Republicans responsible for this self-inflicted wound that will undermine the economy, the military, and public needs. The one thing the GOP is counting on — avoiding blame at all costs — is already failing miserably.
Indeed, looking ahead, voters were asked, “What should be the focus of steps to reduce the deficit?” A whopping 76% majority said there should be a combination of spending cuts and new revenue. Only 19% of the public — fewer than one in five — agrees with the Republicans cuts-only approach. Given the number of Americans who self-identify as members of the GOP, this suggests the Republican Party has failed to even persuade some of its own voters.
Wait, it gets even worse for Republicans (and better for Democrats).
On specific issues, the same poll found that Americans side with President Obama over the GOP on who has the better approach to reducing the deficit, who’s right on reducing gun violence, who has the better plan to deal with immigration, and by a huge margin, who’s better on the climate crisis.
What’s the good news for Republicans in these new national polls? There is no good news for Republicans in these new national polls.
Benen has some additional comments (go to the link) but it boils down to this:
The Republican Party needs to seriously and genuinely rebrand itself unless it wants to continue to appeal only to the voters it has. And many of them are either dying off or for various reasons souring on the party. Cheers of approval from conservative bloggers, talk show hosts, and the crew on the couch at Fox & Friends may make you feel on the right track but are misleading.
But change is unlikely while the GOP party elite is fearful of the Tea Party crowd, the clout of talk show hosts, and is willing to accept the concept that compromise is “caving” and seeking consensus doesn’t mean trying to generate greater suppport for party positions but a sign of political wimpishness and somehow a betray of conservative principals.
Many Republicans need to re-read some books on Ronald Reagan. He knew — and used — the secret of expanding a constituency for him and for his party in the days before the national influence of conservative talkers, Fox News being the number one news cable channel and weblogs.
In other words, before the days of the echo chamber (which Joe Scarborough has correctly characterized HERE.)