Republican claims that they have an overwhelming majority mandate do not square with the polls.
Ninety percent of the U.S. people approved of President Obama’s Tucson speech.
In a Washington Post/ABC Poll nearly six in 10 now say Obama understands their problems, an eight-point increase over where he stood in September.
In a separate Washington Post/CBS poll, 52 percent of Americans now hold unfavorable views of the tea party, a new high.
Nearly three-quarters of Democrats – including as many moderates and conservatives – have negative views of the tea party movement, as do half of all independents. Only 35 percent actually like them.
While polls like this are subject to change, things are trending away from the Republicans.
In a recent Pew poll cited by Paul Krugman, Americans were asked whether they favored higher or lower spending.
Interestingly, most wanted more, not less spending in most areas including education and Medicare. There was a split on unemployment and defense but a majority wanted cuts in foreign aid.
A recent USA Today poll had similar results: 55 percent to 39 percent opposition cuts in anti-poverty programs, 64 percent to 34 percent for Social Security, 67 percent to 32 percent against cuts in education.
Also, 52 percent to 46 percent oppose cuts in arts and sciences, but 57 percent versus 42 percent oppose cuts in military and national defense and 56 percent to 42 percent oppose cuts in Homeland Security.
The Republicans are pushing their attack on public worker pensions. There is a lot of motion among public workers across the country against the layoffs and cuts.
But if you don’t want to cut education how could you (like the Mayor of New York) support cutting teachers? If you don’t want to cut anti-poverty programs how can you support not extending unemployment insurance for the 99ers? Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is introducing a bill to do just that.
President Obama’s proposed cuts have to be rejected as well, but the big fight ahead is to prevent the total catastrophe that the House Republican cuts will cause.
While Obama is going up in the polls, right-wing talk show hosts are losing listeners.
A recent article points out that Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are losing fans in key markets. “The tide is turning against the wing nuts,” says writer John Avlon in the Daily Beast. “Glen Beck’s ratings are down 50 percent and major market radio stations are dropping him.”
This drop no doubt is due to the position some of them took on the Tucson tragedy. Beck’s statement that the popular democratic uprising in Egypt was a sign of a coming “global insurrection” also has added to listener dismay.
Consider that the same Washington Post/CBS poll, which showed 52 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of the tea party, also showed a strong 35 percent had a favorable opinion of that group.
This poll also showed that 36 percent of Americans gave socialism a favorable rating. So is socialism slightly more popular then the tea party? This fact was not hidden away in an article announcing the poll results: it was the headline.
This is encouraging news in the struggle for peace, economic and social justice. Building broad unity on the issues is key to winning.