Polls show toll on House GOP image

Editor’s note: “Do you think?” One of the biggest instigators is our own “sand-pounding” Congressman Tom McClintock. In the state, it’s our “sand-pounding” Assemblyman Dan Logue, who is ditching us for a more “flatland district.” Our representation in the state and Congress is an embarrassment. One day Americans will wise up and realize that the real “elephant in the corner” is Congress, not the President.

“House Republican poll ratings have plunged over the past year, as Washington’s brutal battles have taken a toll on a party that was flying high last January when it took the majority,” according to Politico.

“Long, drawn-out skirmishes over the debt ceiling, the supercommittee and the payroll tax holiday have led to a 64 percent unfavorable rating for Republicans, with their favorable numbers sitting at 29 percent, according to an internal poll conducted by GOP pollster David Winston in the final days of December 2011.

“To illustrate how precipitous a drop that is, Republicans started off 2011 with a 43 percent favorable rating and 46 percent unfavorable rating.

“At the same time, President Barack Obama continues to gain ground on congressional Republicans on a central issue: jobs and growing the economy. When asked who is more focused on those two objectives, 49 percent of those polled believe it’s Obama, while 40 percent say it’s Republicans in Congress. It’s the fifth straight month Obama was ahead of Republicans in Congress — Republicans led Obama in early August.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

33 thoughts on “Polls show toll on House GOP image”

  1. Preceding the Super Bowl will be Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. A friend of ours claims the half time show on AP will be Kitty Gaga.

  2. The republican party is imploding with major divisions within it. Cantor is the main guy who is stirring it up with the leadership of the establishment GOP. This is why it has been so frustrating to watch the democratic party be led around by the nose. If it weren’t for OWS we would be still cutting more social programs and talking about more austerity measures. Instead the national dialogue has shifted to inequality, increasing taxes, corporate personhood, and the dysfunction of a rigged system. The first steps towards a political revolution have been made.

    1. Ben, it could be a revolution but it could also just be a swing of the pendulum. A revolution to return to democracy will need to begin with planting the seeds for an educated populace. Common sense will then take time to grow. It is called “the law of the harvest”.

      1. Greg,
        I generally agree with you but I will tell you that when counting numbers across the nation of those who supported OWS in the beginning of fall (cold months), recall Scott Walker surpassed 1.5 million signatures when 500k were needed, Rick Scott FL approval ratings in low 30’s, and Rick Snyder MI approval in the teens. I named three governors but I can go through just about every republican governor that went after labor and pushed pushed through tax cuts for corporations along with millionaires/ billionaires and we would see the same result.

        I wrote a piece about this called “Playing their Hand”

        “Republican governors and state legislators are using the financial crisis to attack and pit the private sector against public sector workers in hope of keeping the electorate divided. We are seeing collective bargaining rights assaulted, state houses locking out citizens while letting in lobbyists, large corporate tax cuts, and taxes for working and poor Americans raised while vital social programs are cut. The most egregious bill, in Michigan, is the ability to dissolve and then privatize entire city governments.”

    2. OWS has made ALL the difference in our discourse. Staying on message has made a lot of their success, and the fact they haven’t been co-opted by other movements. I feel their autonomy, and true grass roots (no billionaires sending money) lends to the movement. Interesting to note above that the XL Pipeline is somehow a “job creation” proposal from the Republicans. The job itself doesn’t support the inflated numbers of jobs it would create in the first place, (5 to 10 thousand at the very best, with half of those in Canada) and nearly all temporary. But, again it isn’t somehow their “plan”, it’s an oil company plan from Canada to Texas to a tanker to ?, that they want to make their own, cost to environment be darned. But then this fracking for gas drilling thing has me as scared anyway-

      1. Chip,
        Our local proposal of reopening Idaho Maryland Mine is a microcosm of the Keystone Pipeline.
        1) Over stated job creation
        2) Tons of risk to our community
        3) Very little plus sides to the whole proposal for our community

        So lets see – high risk, low return for community, and if there are profits they will leave our community to another nation. Thanks but no thanks.

      2. Chip,

        Whatever the actual numbers turn our to be we can be sure of two things:

        1) It will create more real jobs than all the “clean energy” stimulus money combined.

        2) It will lower rather than raise the cost of gasoline and electricity in the United States.


      3. Close but no cigar John. Tens of thousands of jobs in clean energy, and billions of dollars in capital investment are flowing to clean energy. Let me give just a few examples:





        I could go on and on, and provide hundreds of examples, but I think you get the point.

  3. It appears that the battle between the TP and OWS has come down to worshiping the Constitution or burning the flag.

    Now personally, I do not care for either of those choices, BUT I do know which will carry the day with the American electorate.


    1. Chip,

      So did they collect the rewards offered with this video?

      I guess it would be tough to do so since spitting on someone is a crime [assault] and I seriously doubt that a Washington DC police officer who was walking right beside the Congressman would have allowed such a thing to happen, especially to a member of Congress.

      It appears that he was “spit on” in the same way that some of us are when we get those really good seats at the Ashland theaters.

      And just so you know, I certainly do NOT think that that sort of yelling and screaming is productive.


      1. John,
        The congressman wasn’t spittled upon he was spat on. This is why I defend the Tea Party but would never consider becoming a member. Everything the movement claims to be against was being done under a white republican administration for 8 years and not a peep out of this particular segment of the population. In fact many people within this peer group would scream at anti-war/ torture protesters to leave the country because we hated it. The racists were already there but were welcomed with the theory of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. My guess the pure racist portion of the TP is relatively small but when it isn’t called and the movement doesn’t distance itself the entire movement gets the label. As Dr. King said on being silent “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

        Here is an email by a prominent GOP Tea Party in California. A family portrait of monkey’s with Barack Obama as the child monkey with the caption ”Now you know why no birth certificate,”. It probably was a joke but I will tell you right now, this joke doesn’t pop into your head unless it goes along with your way of thinking already. She is a racist, period.


        Being a racist doesn’t mean overt, in malice, or someone is in the kkk it just means you distinctly see a difference at the level of human being. I tell personal stories and here is another one. My uncle and cousin were in town one time and popped in to say hi during my high school years. My friend who basically lived with us from 6th grade into high school answered the door when they knocked and I was right behind him. My uncle and cousin both took a step back looked at the address and said “Benny, When did you guys get the butler” my friend was black. I lived and worked on their farm every summer in Yuba City and this same cousin (tens years older) tried to convince me one time he wasn’t racist by telling me “I have nigger friends”. I don’t think either of these occasions were meant to be hurtful but are very telling of the mindset. Many of my relatives are like this but wouldn’t intentionally hurt anybody and would help anybody in a emergency despite their skin color, religion, or first language. My uncle died a few years back and I still consider him to be my second dad and I love him, my aunt, and my cousins very much. This is why I say “I love republicans” because most of my relatives are party line republicans. We have had some lively debates sitting on their back porch.


      2. One could argue either side of the case about whether calling President Obama ‘the food stamp President” or the “entertainer in chief” is coded language–but the disinformation that the Republican party regularly trots out about the origins of their party, their position relative to civil rights and the relative position of the Republican party since Nixon evoked the southern strategy and pried the southern racists away from the Democratic base (thank heaven) in order to gain electoral advantage is nothing short of an outright lie. It is bullhockey pure and simple.

      3. Ben,

        Your story about your uncle almost tops the one that I often use to try and get people to understand how deep seated some of this is and how wrong some people can be without seeing their own fault.

        Years ago I was chatting with a political activist from the south who was a nice enough guy and would never have considered himself to be a racist. In the midst of one discussion he causally pointed out that one of the challenges that our country faced was the fact that the slave trade had bred most of the intelligence out of the American Blacks.


  4. John,
    I think both OWS and TP are talking about the exact same thing but are being told they are different to continue the status quo.

    Boil it down to the common denominator, the federal government has gotten too big. As the merger and acquisition, tax cuts on capital gains, and accumulation of wealth has created the most unequal developed society along with the centralization of power both corporate and government. If a company is too big too fail it is too big too exist. The government needs to break up these companies and start governing in the peoples interest allowing them to have a living wage, save for retirement, afford health insurance, and afford higher education (vocational and university) for their children.

    OWS is about government taking on private industry risk/ external costs while protecting private profit with our military and the TP is looking at the government taking on the external costs through social spending. It is crony capitalism at its worst.

    Reagan’s main man Supply Side Stockman rebutting his failed ideas about Supply Side Economics.

    1. Ben,

      Well said and as I have often pointed out, government should NOT play favorites!

      A return to constitutionally limited government is the proper solution and this is why Congress Paul appeals to both groups but is not really represented by either.


      1. John,
        The thing is we would probably differ on what the role of government should play. I think anything that is a necessity of life (commons) in our agreed society needs to be controlled by the people or heavily regulated by the people to benefit the people not special interests. Remember our government is supposed to be the people not special interest shills. What we would agree on is the closer to home the better on who controls these issues.

        Health Insurance, banking, roads, education, judicial, fire, police, ect…

  5. So….how will the Keystone Pipeline project lower costs for gasoline and electricity in the U.S.A., John? I was under the impression that the tankers carrying their product would be going elsewhere.

    1. Great question Jon, as none of the oil we talk about belongs to us, it belongs to an oil company. They certainly do whatever they want with it, including selling it back to us at inflated rates. I guess it would go against the free market strategy to insist we nationalize our resources, and save the country any money at the pump. Another round of $5 a Gallon gas has been forecast by Spring. Where’s my bike?


  6. Jon,
    I can answer the question, nearly all of the tar sands sludge will be refined into fuel and shipped to Asia. That is why this “American energy independence” line is just another lie told to the American people to garner support for something against their own best interests.

    If we factor in the use of our military to secure pipeline and passages the cost of gallon of fuel goes up to $10 or more. Factor in government spending on health care for those affected by the byproducts of spent fuel and toxins in the air/ water add anther $5 to the cost of a gallon. This is where the cost of externalities of big business is being picked up by the we the people in a very non transparent fashion. If our government would represent the peoples needs instead of securing funding for their political parties “We the People” would be less regulated and big business would be more regulated. Who ever controls the purse strings to public offices controls those who fill those offices. Everyone has guessed it, we need public financing of campaigns and laws against revolving doors of the private and public sectors.

  7. Think about how much time and trouble we are spending on Keystone XL—for a product that will be largely marketed as a global commodity and will not necessarily be available to the US market. Then consider the investment compared to the use of subsidies to prop up other sectors of our global markets. impacts. Two of the most heavily subsidized sectors are energy and agriculture. In 2009 governments around the world spent an estimated $312 billion on subsidizing fossil-fuel consumption (International Energy Agency, 2010) along with an additional $100 billion subsidizing fossil-fuel production (Global Subsidies Initiative, 2009). In the same year, OECD countries alone spent $384 billion subsidizing agriculture production and consumption (OECD, 2010).

    1. Steve,

      What “subsidies” are these companies asking for to build the pipeline? Seems to me that they are looking for permission to build it which will mean a boatload of construction jobs even if all oil and gas went elsewhere?


    2. Steve,
      In 2010 the world subsides for the energy industry was around $550 billion. So as the cost of fossil fuels rise and profits are soaring the global subside increases by 40% in one year. Does the saying “got us over a barrel” describe this situation accurately?


      “The world economy spends more than $550bn (€460bn, £380bn) in energy subsidies a year, about 75 per cent more than previously thought, according to the first exhaustive study of the financial assistance devoted to oil, natural gas and coal consumption.”

  8. John,
    I couldn’t even get to the two minute mark because just about everything he was saying were weaselly. I did find it ironic that he used the idea of living in the past to the 70’s and renewable and conservation but fossil fuels are 19th century. A 19th century energy source with tons of negative byproducts that cause thousands of negative problems to people but have positive affects to big business bottom lines. The year 1900 there were less than two billion people on the planet, no mass automobiles, no plastics, and so on.

    Jimmy Carter was correct and it was the Reagan administration that ended the Carter policies, which according to Rocky Mountain Institute would have had us off foreign oil by the late 80’s. Reagan administration reduced CAFE standards and went full tilt boogie into fossil fuel’s. Making friends with Iraq, Iran, and created the vacuum for Taliban (Osama binLaden) in Afghanistan. Solar was the future then and is now. The reason Solar cheaper today is because Reagan administration ended the program and all the incentives for innovation in the field. Just imagine if all the fossil fuel subsides were eliminated or shifted towards renewable energy where we would be at today in a number of issues.

    To make my critique bipartisan the Clinton administration did almost nothing to reverse Reagan’s policies and in fact perpetuated them even further in many cases. Only until his last few months did Clinton do anything so called environmental. This is another reason I didn’t like the Clinton administration.

    I looked up Devin Nunes masters and they are pretty typical corporatist that push chemicals for profit. I literally can look at any reps spreadsheet of donors and tell you their votes on key legislation without knowing their political party or philosophies.


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