Friday, September 27, 2013

Ultra Right Congress Declares War - On its own Electorate

Congress, controlled by the ultra right, is at war. Their foe? Their own electorate. It's debatable whether they've noticed or not.

The NewYork Times reported today that Republicans in Congress have said they’d agree to raise the debt ceiling if Democrats agreed to, amongst other things:

Delay the health law for a year; Overhaul the tax code; Keystone XL oil pipeline construction; Offshore oil and gas production; Increase permission for energy exploration on federal lands; Roll back regulations on coal ash; Block new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas production; Eliminate a $23 billion fund to ensure the orderly dissolution of failed major banks; Eliminate mandatory contributions to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Limit medical malpractice lawsuits; Increase means testing for Medicare.

President Obama’s response was to say “No Congress before this one has ever, ever, in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget.”

But he isn’t the only one who looks on this madness with disgust.

When the US Government shut down in 1995 after a budget battle similar to the one that’s currently happening, 51% of Americans blamed Republicans in Congress, and 28% blamed Bill Clinton. 

In a recent CBS poll 44% of respondents said if the same thing happened again they would blame Congress Republicans and 35% Obama. Obama has less support than Clinton did but how much of that is attributable to agendas that have nothing to do with budget or even of government is an unknown. Whatever the reason, despite that resistance to Obama, Congress Republicans are still in the firing line and their unpopularity is increasing virtually by the minute.

When asked ‘Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about the nation's economy – Republicans in Congress or Barack Obama?’ 45% of respondents chose Obama, and 33% chose Republicans in Congress.

But when the poll questions focused solely on Republicans in Congress – i.e. the distraction of the Obama-agendas is removed from the picture - then the reality of how much support Congress has even amongst Republican voters is quite shocking. 80% in total (and 75% of Republican respondents) disapproved of the overall job Congress is doing. 80% of respondents said they believed that threatening a government shutdown is not an acceptable way to negotiate.  

In this latest blackmail fiasco the ultra-right Cabal, which appears to control Congress, represents about 25% of the Republican electorate. Yet it continues with the behavior that is destructive to the US as if it has the right to ignore those it represents. Is that even constitutional? It sure doesn't look like democracy.