The fallout from the government shutdown debacle has been devastating to the Republican Party. Poll results show the party is viewed negatively by 70% of the American people. In addition, Congress has only a 5% approval rating, the lowest in history. While Democrats control the Senate and are also unpopular, the media has focused their blame for the shutdown on the Republican Party.
At the same time, President Obama’s 37% approval rating is the lowest of his presidency. If a Republican President was suffering from such poor poll numbers the media would be in a frenzied state but it is not the case with Obama. Generally, the liberal media has decided to spend all of their time lambasting the Republican Party.
As usual, the Republicans have done a poor job of defending their position. Most GOP leaders lack basic communication skills. In reality, they have a very compelling story to tell to the American people.
Throughout this process, Republicans have offered five different compromise proposals and a multitude of specific spending bills to target critical areas of the budget, all to no avail. Democrats have refused to budge from their position that Obamacare cannot be delayed.
The House Republicans initially wanted to defund Obamacare completely, but that position later morphed into a call for individuals to be given a one year exemption from the plan, the same benefit offered to businesses. This is a basically honest and fair proposal, but the congressional Republican leadership has had difficulty selling their position to the American people.
One major problem has been the criticism from within their ranks. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his moderate GOP minions have been relentless in blaming Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) and House conservatives for the government shutdown.
This criticism has taken a toll on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) who is now calling for a grand deal raising the debt ceiling, funding the government and basically forgetting about fighting Obamacare. Their current proposal is to offer only the elimination of the medical device tax. If this compromise actually happens, then the two week battle over Obamacare has been all for naught.
If Boehner caves, it will give conservatives one more reason to hate the Republican Party leadership.
At least this debate has reminded everyone that the Republican Party is hopelessly controlled by the moderate, establishment wing that has pushed losing presidential nominees like Bob Dole, McCain and Mitt Romney.