Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sliding Down the Poll

If you think President Obama is in trouble with the American people because of the economy and unemployment — he’s got a 46% approval rating — he’s in great shape compared to the Republicans and Congress, and a huge number of people agree with a lot of the points of Occupy Wall Street. At least that’s what I’m seeing in this poll from The New York Times and CBS.

With nearly all Americans remaining fearful that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating further, two-thirds of the public said that wealth should be distributed more evenly in the country. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds object to tax cuts for corporations and a similar number prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires.

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office released a new study concluding that income distribution had become much more uneven in the last three decades, a report that could figure prominently in the battle over how to revive the economy and rein in the federal debt.

The Republicans are, to put it delicately, in deep shit when it comes to their candidates; none of them are generating any kind of enthusiasm, and the Republican-led Congress’s ratings stand at 9% favorable. That’s not a typo. Nine percent is the kind of favorable rating that Lady Gaga gets at a Focus on the Family convention.

The public is pretty much opposed to the entire GOP agenda. They don’t want to repeal the healthcare law, they want to raise taxes on the rich, they want to spend money on schools, teachers, and police, and they want to rebuild the infrastructure. So when John Boehner and Mitch McConnell say the American people are supporting them, they’re obviously talking only about each other.

A year from now we will be in the last stages of the election. It boggles the mind to think what it will be like then in terms of campaign craziness; if you think that what we’ve seen so far is juvenile and over the top, we haven’t even left the station. President Obama won’t coast to re-election; a recent poll showed him running neck-and-neck with a “generic” Republican. The problem with that is that there is no “generic” Republican running this year. The chances of the economy heating up and unemployment going down to 6% are unlikely, especially with the GOP doing everything they can to undermine it. But the more the Republicans keep Herman Cain in the lead and Congress spends all its energy passing bills to preserve the life of every sperm and demonize gay marriage, they’re making it a lot easier for him.