Why are congressional Republicans at such a disadvantage in negotiations about the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling? Is it just a failure of messaging? Is it a simple lack of backbone, as Rush Limbaugh, Jim DeMint and others argue?
Well, it doesn’t help the GOP cause that President Obama’s job-approval rating has jumped to 57 percent in the latest AP poll, the highest since the death of Osama bin Laden. (And isn’t it refreshing that the entire “Obama ain’t a real American/president” meme has simply evaporated since the election?) In that same poll, just 32 percent of Americans say they support extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, a policy that represents one of the cornerstones of current Republican policy.
I realize that poll interpretation has been a bit of a problem for Republicans recently, but even they must know that a policy backed by just 32 percent of the country is a poor piece of ground on which to stake your party’s future.
However, things get really dicey