Let's begin with some fresh and relevant polling data. CBS News' brand new national survey has four major take-aways: (1) Obamacare remains unpopular. (2) Government shutdown is even more unpopular, with 72 percent of the country opposed. (3) Americans narrowly blame Republicans more than President Obama (44R/35O/17both), though the split is far less lopsided than it was in 1995 (2-to-1 blaming the GOP). (4) The public overwhelmingly supports a compromise solution to resolve the impasse:
Most Americans want compromise. Majorities think the President and the Democrats in Congress (76 percent) and the Republicans in Congress (78 percent) should compromise in order to come to an agreement on the budget. But there are some party stalwarts who don't think compromise is the way to go. Thirty-eight percent of Republicans say members of their party in Congress should stick to their positions even if it means not coming to an agreement, while 36 percent of Democrats say that about their party.
So, on average, a massive 77 percent of Americans want to see both sides to come to the table and negotiate a settlement. Which brings us to the 'hot mic' moment between the two Senators from Kentucky. Watch as Rand Paul explains that his go-to talking point on television has been to repeatedly state the fact that Democrats and the president have stubbornly refused to negotiate at all. "I think it's awful for them to say that," Paul says. McConnell agrees, adding that based on his meeting at the White House last night, Democrats have been as obstinate behind closed doors as they've been in front of the cameras:
President Obama, apparently intent on disregarding the strong will of the American people, keeps confirming and breathing life into the GOP's criticism of Democrats. From his latest partisan screed at a (surprise!) campaign-style event in Maryland:
Obama underlined his hard-lined stance during his speech in Maryland, saying there would be "no negotiations" over funding the government, or raising the nation's debt limit in a few weeks.
Yes, this president won re-election. He's good at elections. But once the votes are counted, it's time to govern, which involves compromise under divided government. Obama has no interest in the actual hard work of bringing people together -- a supposed raison detre of his 2008 campaign. What might 77 percent of the public think of the president's position? What will the 61/28 majority that opposes his demand for another no-strings-attached debt limit hike as the president turns his back on even a discussion of compromise? Meanwhile, Democrats have committed a series of unforced errors, from barricading war memorials, to Harry Reid's idiotic comment about funding child cancer treatment through the NIH (which Democrats are still obstructing, and Republicans are flogging them for it), to an astoundingly dumb comparison made by the Smartest President Ever, in light of his deep ties to Big Labor:
Take it away, Allahpundit:
Imagine a movement so selfish that it would sabotage the operations of a venture on which vast numbers of people depend simply to gain leverage for its own agenda. Then imagine that that movement grew in numbers to the point where it could elect its own bought-and-paid-for politicians to do its bidding. Who knows how much havoc it could wreak? When you think about it, Democrats are right: It really is a sort of terrorism.
Amazing. And while we're on the subject of Democrats' rhetorical stylings during the shutdown debate, be sure to watch Rep. George Miller's (D-CA) unhinged House floor rant about the Republican "jihad" against America, or whatever. As I said on Fox News earlier, America's self-anointed civility police have been furloughed, it would seem. Even more extraordinary is the fact that Obama's out there practically begging the markets to get spooked by DC's dysfunction, a breathtaking display from any president. After the president's fruitless meeting with Congressional leaders last night, during which he just reestablished his "no compromise!" posture, Nancy Pelosi took to the mic and accused Republicans of "moving the goalposts." She's right. With each successive vote, Republicans have moved their ask closer to the Democrats' position, yet Team Blue won't budge. Hell, they won't even talk. I'll leave you with this clip of CNN's Ashleigh Banfield getting feisty with Sen. Barbara Boxer, who tried to pretend that Obamacare was a bipartisan effort (it wasn't), that the current fight is over the debt ceiling (it's not), and that the current shutdown is somehow unprecedented (not even close):
Government shutdowns are quite, um, 'precedented,' in fact. Democrats controlled at least one house of Congress throughout Reagan's two terms, during which time there were eight separate shutdowns. Here's the liberal Wonkblog's timeline of the 17 shutdowns since the late 1970s. Boxer might want to stop inventing facts and resort to her party's tried-and-true "new tone" attacks on Republicans. Has anyone called Boehner Osama Bin Laden's orange twin yet? I think that insult is still up for grabs. Seize the day, Ma'am.
UPDATE - In addition to the DC city government, national monuments, and NIH funding bills, the House just passed legislation to fund the VA. You know, the agency that provides healthcare and other programs for our war veterans. Roughly three dozen House Democrats joined the GOP to advance the bill to the Senate. Will Harry Reid kill this one, too? While declining to negotiate?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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