In the long history of Gallup polling the GOP this week touched new lows. Today only 28% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the GOP. Worse, if you are the preternaturally-tanned John Boehner, the Gallup poll numbers look like your party jumped off a cliff. The “favorable opinion” line on the graph points straight down.
This is the kind of political nadir no one living in America today has ever seen.
Even worse, the Grand Old Party has an unfavorable rating of 62%, also the highest ever recorded, the kind of rating not seen since the demise of the Whig Party.
It’s so bad even 27% of those who identify themselves as “Republicans” don’t like the Republican Party. Only half of moderate Republicans say they “mostly vote” for Republicans during elections, another bad sign for the nutty right.
How do we account for this decline in the popularity of the Republican Party? How have they earned their high “unfavorable ratings?” The racists, bullies and imbeciles who speak for and lead the party have had to work hard. The Frankenstein monster the GOP created, the Tea Party wing, have played a major role.
Let us count the ways Republicans have managed to drive down their own ratings:
Shutting down the government certainly didn't help (with 62% of Americans placing blame on Republicans for the debacle and 70% expressing disapproval of GOP tactics). A few of the “lowlights” on the path to the lowest "favorable" ratings ever:
1. Planning to shut down the government all along and then denying any blame for the pain that might result. According to Michael A. Needham of the conservative Heritage Action group this shutdown has been in the planning since right-wingers gathered last January and decided to use the power of the purse to defund Obamacare. “At least at Heritage Action, we felt very strongly from the start that this was a fight that we were going to pick.” So they picked it, like spoiled punks, with the Koch brothers investing $200 million in support of the cause.
2. Denying death benefits to families of four U.S. military service members killed last weekend in Afghanistan. This was so unpopular even Tea Party stalwarts quickly voted to pass a special funding measure to rectify the situation.
3. Closing down the National Park system, canceling plans for at least six weddings in Yosemite! Great idea! And turning away tens of thousands of visitors daily, because the GOP apparently hates Nature. “We’re all kind of pissed off,” was how Karen Najaran, 60, put it when she was turned away at the gates to Yosemite.
4. Killing the economy, even in bright red states like Utah. One hotel owner outside of Zion National Park admits losing $19,000 in canceled reservations. (This has forced Republican governors to offer to pay the tab to reopen the parks!)
5. Furloughing hundreds of thousands of government workers, cutting GDP by $1.6 billion per week, and putting a dent in consumer spending. Nothing makes you more unpopular than taking money out of workers pockets—kind of a conservative specialty!
(Ironically, Congress still gets paid. That's how the popularity of the Republican Party goes down!!)
Throwing repeated hissy fits. (This includes blaming ACORN for loss of the 2008 election. Next, you warn that providing government health care to those without health insurance will lead to unplugging Granny, who already has government health care. Then you threaten to secede after another well-deserved electoral defeat in 2012. And now you claim Obama should be impeached because he won’t negotiate about the Affordable Healthcare Act. Why is he so stubborn? Because both houses of Congress passed it, he signed it, and the U. S. Supreme Court upheld it).
Republicans eating their own! With the Tea Party attacking anyone not deemed conservative enough, and by that, apparently this would mean anyone not willing to return to the good old days of burning witches and executing Sodomites, moderate GOP voices have been silenced. That's how the popularity of the Republican Party goes down!!!
Ted Cruz! Even most Republican lawmakers don’t like the arrogant junior U. S. Senator from Texas. Mike Lee, a Cruz ally, whined about a recent meeting of Republican senators. “It was an all-out attack against Ted Cruz and me. It was unflattering. It was unfair. It was demeaning. It was demeaning to Sen. Cruz and me, but more than anything, it was demeaning to those who engaged in the attack.”
Having Ted Cruz, kind of a weasel, as the face of the shutdown and the conscience (such as it is) of your party.
Driving down the popularity of your own party by having ultra-conservative Colorado members of the U. S. House of Representatives vote against money to help areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Then turning around and asking for federal disaster relief in the wake of recent flooding in Boulder, Colorado. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a member of the Republican Party, himself, put it succinctly: “They’re hypocrites. That’s what they are.”
Having Glenn Beck as the nutty voice of your party. (This past March he claimed that a shape-shifting lizard-human might be working for the Secret Service.)
Also helping make the GOP unpopular: Rush Limbaugh, hater of women, hater of gays, and pretty much hater of everyone except Rush Limbaugh, and possibly Sarah Palin.
Making women cringe with calls for vaginal probes and an end to abortions in cases of rape and incest. Because God wants you to get pregnant! And refusing to support the Equal Pay Act and a thousand other insults to females in general.
Wanting to bomb Syria, or even puts “boots on the ground” as GOP Senator James Inhofe suggested in May. Then blaming President Obama for drawing a red line and threatening to bomb Syria, but not doing so. Not to mention, earning bonus “unpopularity points” by claiming that President Obama is trampling the U. S. Constitution, and guilty of treason, when he asks Congress to give him authority to take action in Syria (by a 62-30% margin, Americans opposed U. S. military action).
Blocking attempts to raise the minimum wage (favored by Americans 71-27%, by young people, 18-29, 78-20%, and even narrowly by Republicans, 50-48%). Also: attacking unionized workers, because union workers ask for higher wages.
Ignoring the needs of middle class families, while demanding lower taxes for giant corporations because…well, these corporations are racking up the highest profits in history.
Promising to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs,” during every election and then spending the last three years voting 42 times to kill the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Rick Perry! He's helping lower Republican ratings by traveling to Maryland and other states to convince businesses to move to Texas. There you can pay lower taxes, avoid being bothered by government regulations, including safety measures, blow up a town now and then, and provide subpar wages.
And that's how the popularity of the Republican Party goes down!!!
Blocking immigration reform and routinely insulting Hispanic voters! Who can forget Congressman Steven King’s comments about more immigrant children serving as drug mules than can hope to become high school valedictorians? (By a 64-30% margin Hispanic voters born in the United States favor the Democratic Party).
Hating on gay people (with the tide turning, too, in part, because fair-minded people notice the gross ignorance of leaders on the right. This would include Michele Bachmann, who once insisted that gay people did have the right to marry, just like anyone else. Just so long as a gay man married a woman and a gay woman married a man, which kind of defeated the purpose. If a national referendum were held today gay marriage would be legalized by a 52-47% margin, with voters, ages 18 to 34, supporting the idea 69-27%.)
Watching people who have a favorable opinion of your party (really old people) die off with each passing day. Three-fourths of younger voters, for instance, associate climate deniers (a cottage industry on the right) with words like “ignorant,” “out of touch,” or “crazy.”
That's how the popularity of your party goes down--and straight into the grave.
Last but not least, you clinch your ranking as the most unpopular political party ever by screaming “tyranny” every time anyone mentions any gun control measure. Bonus points for saying that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was staged by the Obama administration! (By an 83-17% margin Americans told Gallup last April that they would support background checks on all gun purchases.)
Keep up the good work, GOP leaders.
If you force the federal government to default on October 17, even though you insist (like a vaginal probe) it won’t hurt, the popularity of the Republican Party can drop even farther.