"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
This is an ageless axiom that we all have heard countless times in our lives. Well, the GOP leadership have decided to follow it in launching the new campaign for why the evil Democrats and the Socialist President are responsible for the government shutdown, now in its eleventh day.
Last week, Sen Rand Paul (R-Ky) was caught on an open microphone telling Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) that he didn't think the Democrats had poll tested the concept of not negotiating when it came to the battle over the government shutdown, which was initiated by House Republicans who submitted a budget bill that included varying levels of defunding or repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
As it turns out, it may have been the GOP who didn't poll test, as the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll shows. In the poll, 78% of people believe the nation is on the wrong track, with 70% disapproving of the job the GOP is doing in Congress. 60% of people surveyed said they would vote out every member of Congress if they could, while 53% said they believe the Republicans in Congress are responsible for the shutdown, versus 31% who blame the President.
When you compare the blame numbers to the last government shutdown in 1996, also by a Republican Congress with a Democratic President, 44% of people blamed the GOP and 37% blamed President Clinton. The backlash in the following election was overwhelming for the Republicans, as they lost control of Congress.
46% of those polled said the shutdown was extremely serious and 31%, nearly one in three, said that they personally have been impacted by the shutdown in terms of employment, benefits or services. 70% said that the GOP is putting their own political agenda above what is best for the country.
In terms of how those polled shake out politically, 86% are registered voters, and 44% voted for President Obama in the last election, while 35% voted for Mitt Romney.
Former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently proposed backing off of the Obamacare debate and having serious discussions about the "entitlement" programs Medicare and Social Security. This method of approach seems to be garnering much more favorable feedback, so it seems to have been handed out as the go to line for GOP members of Congress.
This morning on the MSNBC show Jansing & Co. Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) started out by telling host Chris Jansing that he wasn't in Congress to read polls, but to do what the American people called for. When Jansing pointed out that the pools clearly indicate the American people think what they are doing is wrong, Rep. Radel went right to the entitlement card, attempting to sell the idea that this is what the Republicans have trying to address, while the President has continued to say he would not negotiate.
Rep. Radel and the GOP clearly hope the nation has some level of short term memory loss with his attempt to sell the idea that the government shutdown was created because of an unwillingness to negotiate on budget numbers, since a clean budget proposal has yet to be sent to the Senate for a vote.
Showing that he couldn't resist yet again attacking Obamacare as the real problem with the country, Rep. Radel then said that all they were asking for was to delay the individual fines for people who didn't sign up for insurance by the deadline of March 2014. He noted that big businesses have been exempted from the penalty by the President, but that individuals have not been exempted from it. Jansing then attempted to ask if it said anything that the sheer number of people who have gone to the website to begin their enrollment process actually reveals that people are encouraged by the prospect of getting "affordable" coverage. Rep. Radel sidestepped the question and once again indicated that the President cut a deal with big business but wasn't willing to cut the same deal for the general public.
Whether or not the GOP is poll testing their propaganda campaign, it's clear they have a new line to try and sell the public. If they decide to continue holding the nation hostage to gain their political points, they may well find themselves out of work very soon, and then they can join the 800,000 people they have put out of work for their fifteen minutes of grandstanding.