If no deal is reached and the US goes off the so-called fiscal cliff, one party better be wearing a bunji cord or a BASE rig. Because a new poll released today by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 2, confirms Americans will blame conservatives:
Pew — Four-in-ten (40%) expect that the president and congressional Republicans will reach a deal by Jan. 1 to prevent automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect; 49% say they will not. If no deal is reached, far more say congressional Republicans would be more to blame (53%) than President Obama (27%). These opinions are virtually unchanged since early November.
President Obama is a deal-making negotiating center-left guy. For four frustrating years progressives like me watched on as Obama made every kind of concession to conservative preferences. Instead of Medicare for everyone we got nationalized Romney-care. Similar deals were reached on taxes, debt ceilings, you name it. And through the entire term Obama was vilified as the worst murika hatin socialist commie bastard to ever steal the Oval Office – right up to Nov 6. The entire election was fought over domestic policy, and the lion’s share of it was centered on the have-it-alls vs the growing numbers of have-nots. We won, they lost.
Going forward, I don’t think Obama would turn down a decent compromise deal; that’s our biggest risk by far, that the GOP has a moment of clarity and this administration ends up chopping away at social programs and earned benefits simply for the appearance of bipartisanship. But given the high levels of conservative contempt for this president, that’s not as big of a risk as some might think, at least imo. Just being seen with Obama, let alone reaching a deal with him, is high treason in the eye’s of the activist birther right.
Reaching out never paid off, quite the opposite, and Obama is not an idiot, he knows he holds all the cards on this one. The days where he included some conservative ideas in ledge packages to gain support from the crazy party, without a guarantee he would get it, are probably over. Not only is the President not playing that game anymore, he’s hitting the public stump and may well go to full blown Presidential TV Reagan-esque addresses to the nation, telling us exactly who is holding this up and who is to blame for those missing dollars in your paychecks starting Jan 1.
The GOP might panic at that point, it may drive large swaths of the already crazy base stark raving mad. It could get quite ugly, stay frosty my friends.