I’m sure many of you have heard by now about a poll conducted by CNN that showed 54% of Americans think Republicans being in charge of the House of Representatives is a bad thing. That same poll also found that 63% of Americans think John Boehner should be removed from his position as Speaker of the House.
On the flip side, 38% believe that Republicans being in charge of the House is a good thing.
As for President Obama? Well, his approval numbers have stayed steady at 44% both before and after the government shutdown.
And I know, most every conservative that might read this article will say, “CNN is liberally biased!” Yeah, yeah—I know most of the right-wing talking points. Now go watch Fox News and be told what you want to hear instead of what’s actually true.
President Obama’s numbers don’t bother me as much because often a president’s approval rating is directly tied to the Congress which he is given.
Despite what many Americans think, a president actually has very little power when it comes to legislation. Obama’s veto power is basically the lone tool he has to force the hand of Congress to give in to some of what he wants. When you consider the fact that for most of his presidency he’s been facing blatant Republican obstruction in Congress, I’d say his approval numbers are actually pretty high.
Especially when you take into account the approval rating for Congress, which hovers somewhere between 8-12%. Yes, some rather ridiculous but sadly accurate polls have even found that head lice and root canals are more popular than Congress. Even Nixon after Watergate was far more popular than our current Congress.
President Obama can’t get much accomplished if congressional Republicans are trying to sabotage his presidency. And the simple fact is, that’s exactly what they’ve been trying to do. For proof of this, look no further than Mitch McConnell’s words a few years ago when he said the top Republican priority over those next few years should be to deny President Obama a second term.
Now, how exactly were they going to try to accomplish that by helping him fix the economy? Well, they weren’t. They were going to do everything in their power to obstruct and sabotage this country, to the best of their abilities, in the hope that the American people will ultimate blame the president.
Thankfully, as last November’s elections showed us, they didn’t.
But let’s be honest — the only reason it’s so difficult for Democrats to keep control of the House is due to the gerrymandering that constantly goes on in Republican states.
Because trust me, this nation isn’t a “conservative nation.” If you look at where most of these “strongly Republican” held districts are, they’re in poorer, rural areas where many people are behind the times socially by years, if not decades. You get into the cities and more populated areas, and they almost always elect Democrats.
Which is where gerrymandering favors Republicans. When you have more sparsely populated areas that vote Republican, you can target the less populated “swing” districts that lie outside of heavily populated areas, split those districts to weaken the Democrat vote, and strengthen the GOP’s hold on those districts.
Which is exactly what Texas admitted to doing with their gerrymandering. In court they’ve been accused of racial discrimination with their new voting laws and their gerrymandering of congressional districts. Well, they continue to deny any racial discrimination when crafting their voting laws — however, they admitted that they did seek to weaken the Democratic vote in Texas when they redrew their congressional districts.
How that’s not illegal, I really don’t know. It’s why I believe district redrawing should be done by a nonpartisan third-party group, not politicians or any political party.
But this poll indicating that most Americans think Republicans being in charge of the House is a bad thing tells me Americans are growing sick of tea party obstruction. Sure, 38% think that Republicans being in charge of the House is good, but remember that just over one-third of our country will vote Republican no matter what. So with numbers just slightly above that, it shows us that the only support they’re really getting is from hardcore conservatives.
The Republican party is in a lot of trouble. As our nation becomes more liberal — not conservative — they decided to put all their eggs in the “tea party basket” which is driving their party away from the mainstream and head first into the right-wing radical “go crazy or go home” mentality.
This poll is just one of the first indicators of the real issues the GOP will be facing going forward. Because the more Republicans allow people like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Sarah Palin to be the face of their party—the more moderate Americans are going to shift away from their party.
But the real problem for the GOP is this: Now that they’ve unleashed this monster known as the tea party, I really don’t think there’s any easy way for them to control it.
The very thing they thought would bring their party back to prominence, is the very thing that might just tear their party apart.