The Rift

The new CNN poll shows that the public thinks everyone is Washington acts like spoiled children and that they don’t think default would have amounted to much. They are pretty much evenly divided as to whether or not this was a good deal. (Most people approve of the big cuts but quite a few also think that there should have been some revenues.) Overall, most people think the deal was a good one and only 15% think the cuts were too big.

The President has also maintained his support among Democrats in general, and they continue to support him with a large majority. But this is one exception. The question was whether the president gave up too much in this deal:


 

 
Total
Dem
Ind
Rep
Liberal
Moderate
Conservative
Yes, gave up too much
31
52
29
7
56
35
11
No, did not give up too much
61
44
60
84
38
57
79
Should have given up more
2
*
3
2
*
*
4
No opinion
7
4
8
7
6
4
6

 

By contrast, on the Republican side even a majority of the Tea party sympathizers don’t think the Republicans gave up too much. In fact, everyone across the board thinks the Republicans made out like bandits, including the Republicans. That should tell us something about this "compromise."

Obviously, nobody really cares about the silly, useless liberals. But for the first time today, I heard John King and the rest of the CNN clones muse about the coming election being close. And King said he’s heard rumblings among political operatives that suppressing the liberal base could turn out to be a mistake. Even though they are never to be taken seriously on the merits, their puppy-like enthusiasm might be required to push the president over the top in a close election. The panel pooh-poohed the idea, saying they have nowhere else to go, so that’s that. King pushed back saying that his sources say this could develop into a real problem.

This rift exists — and the problem is that there’s not a lot they can do about it now. The President and the Democrats have handcuffed themselves to this deficit reduction and they have no tools to fix the economy and have shown no fortitude in any of these fights. (And I have a sneaking suspicion that if they think a jobs program can consist of deregulation and free trade deals, this rift will only grow.) I don’t see a way out.

If the campaign discovers they need liberal enthusiasm and gruntwork to win they’d better hope for a miraculous economic recovery and a Michele Bachman nomination because their triangulation in these budget deals has left them with no room to maneuver. Coming out for Gay Marriage in the 11th hour isn’t going to get it done.

Update: Here’s an interesting analysis about demobilization of the left and how this deal affects Wisconsin and Ohio.

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