Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Turn Up the Crazy

Polls are only useful for pointing out trend lines and faults in messaging. That being said, the new NBC/WSJ poll shows that the Republican message of "destroy government and give all the money to the wealthy" is NOT being heard by the electorate.

For example:

But for the first time in the poll, more say they'd probably vote for a generic Republican candidate (44 percent) than say they'd probably vote for Obama (40 percent).

In head-to-head with Perry and Romney, Obama still comes out on top at this point. But if you want to play the "generic" card, when you look at the deficit issue, the public is not onboard with Republican policy.

In the poll, 60 percent say it would be acceptable if the "super committee" considers reducing the deficit by ending the so-called Bush tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or more per year. Moreover, 56 percent say it would be acceptable if it considers reducing the deficit by a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

By comparison, just 37 percent believe it’s acceptable for the committee to reduce the deficit by only cutting spending and not raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. And only 20 percent say it’s acceptable to lower the deficit by reducing spending on Medicare.

The answer is obvious - we need to give the Republicans the microphone more often, and make sure their ideas get out there loud and clear. America isn't hearing the part where they would pass more tax cuts for the rich and for corporations and give you a voucher for Medicare. Someone get Cantor on the TV, and let him rip. We don't want to see a national case of buyer's remorse like we are seeing out in the states.

Ahem. Yes, that was snark.

In all seriousness, this points to the reason why both President Obama and the Democrats need to differentiate themselves from Republican policy at every turn. If you entertain and pass their unpopular ideas, you're going to get blamed for them. Even if you think entitlements need to be reformed, you'd better make sure the word "strengthen" comes before the words "Medicare" and "Social Security", because any sort of tweak that can be spun as a cut is going to sink the entire ship.

There comes a point where being the adult in the room means recognizing the danger these people represent to our nation - even if the public doesn't understand that yet.

Update: Via Kos, Bruce Bartlett brings up a point that reinforces the gist of this post.

In a courtroom, justice requires that both sides be equally well represented. If one doesn’t do its job properly, the jury cannot be blamed for a wrong result. If Democrats are going to accept Republican premises, they shouldn’t be surprised if a majority of people eventually conclude that Republicans ought to be in charge of government policy.

And yet the majority of the people don't like Republican policy. Go figure. But if the Dems keep playing to Republican framing, what choice do "the people" really have?

Update 2: Both Atrios and Greg Sargent agree as well. Good to see I'm on the right track here.