|Tea Party's Christine O'Donnell|
Last November when Republicans took back the house, many progressives were rightfully gloomy. Our President had done much of what we asked him, passing more legislation than any other president since Lyndon Johnson. And while we knew our concerns about the economy, the environment, and the historic health care bill would take a back seat, many expressed optimism that the tea party Congress would pull the Republican Party even further away from the center.
That is exactly what is happening.
Four polls have been released this week showing many new revelations on what the American public thinks of the new House of Representatives. A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that while a slim majority of Americans don’t like the health care bill, only a small minority of Americans want to fully repeal the bill. Of the Republicans who don’t support Obamacare only 1/3 of them want to repeal it in totality. On the other side, most Democrats support the health care bill – and the ones that don’t believe it didn’t go far enough towards not-for-profit health care.
The other new poll done by the NY Times/CBS News shows that while Americans favor spending cuts over tax increases, we also do not favor cuts when they involve Medicaid and Social Security. Yet that is exactly what Republicans have endorsed in their call yesterday to enact legislation that drastically reduces government spending. Republicans are now divided amongst themselves on how to move forward. About 2/3 of the House Republicans support this legislation, including all of the newly elected tea party activists, which pits them against John Boehner and the ‘old-guard’ Republicans.
Another poll released this week shows President Obama enjoying a surge of support from the American public. Now, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, because this could very well be in response to the tragic shooting in Tucson. Many Presidents enjoy short surges of support during a national crises. The poll could, however, represent the fact that the tea party is pulling Republicans far to the right just in time for the 2012 elections. So the surge is not from the national tragedy, but from independents and moderate conservatives who voted Republican last November and have now changed their mind.
The bottom line is that America’s top priority right now is jobs, and if the Republicans continue to offer incompetent solutions, the Republican victory in November may well be a boon for Democrats in 2012. Let’s look at one last poll: the top three GOP Presidential contenders for 2012. Newt Gingrich (a washed up political hack), Mitt Romney (a Mormon, and not that I care but America has never elected a non-Christian), Sarah Palin (where do I even begin?), and then there is Barack Obama, one of the most respected and admired presidents this nation has seen since probably Ronald Reagan or FDR.
I, for one, am optimistic.
Huffington Post: Republic Study Group Issues Proposed Tax Cuts
Talking Points Memo: What Do Americans Really Think of Health Care Reform Repeal