Thursday Open Thread [1.17.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 17, 2013

President Obama and Democrats have won the debt ceiling messaging war, according to the new Washington Post ABC News poll.

President Obama heads into his second term with political momentum on his side, and leads congressional Republicans when it comes to dealing with the country’s debt limit according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

More Americans now approve of the way Obama is doing his job than at any point in the past three years, except for a fleeting spike upward after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The number seeing him as a “strong leader” is sharply higher, and a clear majority again sees him as empathetic with the problems they face. […]

Fully 55 percent say Obama is doing a good job overall, more than double the 24 percent saying so of the Republicans in Congress. Among political independents, 54 percent approve of the president’s job performance; just 21 percent give good ratings to congressional Republicans. (At 37 percent overall and 30 percent among independents, the Democrats in Congress do little better.)

The GOP congressional leadership also takes flak for a perceived unwillingness to work with Obama on important issues: 67 percent of all Americans see them as doing “too little” to compromise with the president. Far fewer, 48 percent, say so about Obama’s willingness to compromise with the GOP.

The percentage of Americans seeing the Republican leadership as overly intransigent is up 13 percentage points since December 2010, just after the GOP reclaimed control of the House of Representatives. The biggest increases since that time have been among Republicans and conservatives, with roughly 20-point jumps in blaming their party’s leaders for not doing enough to strike deals with the president. Half of all Republicans say the GOP leadership is not doing enough to compromise.

Here are the debt ceiling results from the poll in graph form:

More from Daily Kos:

And the numbers actually get worse than that for Republicans, because nearly one-third of the 36 percent who think the issues should be linked still do not favor default if spending cuts can’t be agreed to:

Q: (IF Tied to spending cuts) If Congress and the Obama administration do not agree on spending cuts, should the borrowing limit be raised anyway OR should the government default on its loans and/or shut down some of its operations? (Based on respondents saying borrowing limit should be “Tied to spending cuts”)
Default anyway: 63
Raise debt limit anyway: 29

That means only about 1 in 4.5 Americans actually support following through on the GOP’s debt limit bluff. And that’s even before they’ve seen the disastrous consequences of what would happen. Those numbers would only get worse over time. Bottom line: If House Republicans followed through, they’d be kissing their own asses goodbye, from a political perspective. And if there’s one thing politicians hate to do, it’s kissing their own asses goodbye. In the end, they’ll cave.


Americans were angrier about last month’s horrific school shooting in Connecticut than they were about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

That seems hard to believe, but when I think about my own emotions on both days, I was just as angry, enraged even. The difference was there was an enemy to strike back at in 9/11. There wasn’t at Newton, unless you consider the NRA your enemy (I do).

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  1. V says:

    It’s smart to educate ourselves so we can better argue (ignore the Feinstein business at the end, but the info about diferences is helpful)

  2. Jason330 says:

    …unless you consider the NRA your enemy.

    I do. Also the GOP.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    This is a great story of how one man outsourced his own job to China for fun and profit:

    It’s a worst-case scenario for most employees: There’s someone in China who can do your job quickly, efficiently and for about one-fifth of your salary, and your boss absolutely loves his work.

    But one U.S. software developer turned this nightmare on its head and actually benefited from outsourcing, a report says. That’s because, unbeknownst to his bosses, he hired a Chinese developer to do his job, allowing him to take home impeccable performance reviews while actually spending the day watching cat videos and shopping on EBay.

    According to Andrew Valentine, who works on the Verizon Risk Team investigating data breaches, the employee, who Valentine calls Bob, had pulled off the stunt for some time, allowing him to relax and earn a good salary while someone in China did his job for him.

  4. bamboozer says:

    A political party tells the nation they will be held hostage to their demands and then recoils in horror when the people don’t like it. Even worse their owners, the Koch Brothers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tell them to cut it the hell out. What’s a Boehner to do? Get Paul Personhood Ryan to soft peddle the expectations of the far right budget warriors of the Tea Party and hope they don’t freak out in advance. Nice to see conservative pundits don’t have a lock on getting it very wrong as I noticed more than a few fools on the left predict the Republicans would march off to debt ceiling glory and triumph.

  5. Dave says:

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blasted the NRA for an ad mentioning President Obama’s daughters, calling it “reprehensible.”

    What up with this guy? He is a Republican, why is he acting responsibly? He already has a lock on being re-elected, so what gives?

  6. Roland D. Lebay says:


    My speculation:

    Christie has designs on the White House. He’s seen that Tea Party/far-right Republicans LOSE Presidential elections. IMO, he’s playing to moderates from both parties.

  7. Dorian Gray says:

    Dig this. It’s the most perfect illustration of the phrase “White People Problems” ever produced. Brought to you presumably sans irony by the WSJ. I’d love to hear a defense of it… so I can laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.