Barack Obama was never likely to be popular with the Republican base. It’s not just that he’s black. He’s first president in 76 years with a foreign parent—and unlike Hulda Hoover, Barack Obama Sr. never even naturalized. While Obama is not the first president to hold two degrees from elite universities—Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did as well—his Ivy predecessors at least disguised their education with a down-home style of speech. Join this cultural inheritance to liberal politics, and of course you have a formula for conflict. But effective parties make conflict work for them. Hate leads to rage, and rage makes you stupid. Republicans have convinced themselves both that President Obama is a revolutionary radical hell-bent upon destroying America as we know it and that he’s so feckless and weak-willed that he’ll always yield to pressure. It’s that contradictory, angry assessment that has brought the GOP to a place where it must either abjectly surrender or force a national default. Calmer analysis would have achieved better results.
The Frum piece is really a must read in its entirety.
Earlier this week, we saw a pair of post-shutdown polls, each of which showing Americans placed more blame on Republicans than Democrats for the government shutdown. Now we have a third:
The Associated Press-GfK survey [finds] 62 percent mainly blamed Republicans for the shutdown. [...] 63 percent of the public believes Republicans are not doing enough to negotiate compared with 52 percent who believe President Obama isn’t doing enough. Sen. Ted Cruz, credited by many as being the driving force behind the GOP’s shutdown strategy, is only known by half the public, but among those who do know him, twice as many view him unfavorably as favorably.