Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hard-Right Republicans Forcing Moderates Right

Over the past several weeks, Republicans have bragged about their unity in opposing President Obama’s economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, predicting that their obstruction would “give us a shot in the arm going forward.”

In reality Moderate Republicans likely signed up to oppose President Obama’s economic recovery bill because they are more worried about the threat from Hard-Right Republicans in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles than about potential fallout from the general electorate in opposing a popular president.

The Hard-Right House Republican Study Committee is taking names of those who do not tow the hard-right conservative line and are threatening the prospect of primary challenges according to an article in CQ Politics. (CQ Weekly has a must read piece on the Republican Study Committee, the caucus of the most rightward thinking members of the House.)

But Moderate Republicans may be in a no win situation judging from the mood of the general electorate as reported in a new Pew Research poll. The Pew poll shows nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) approve of President Obama's job performance, while 56% approve of his handling of the economy, 52% of his handling of foreign policy, and 50% for the threat of terrorism.

Interesting: "There are sizable ideological differences among Republicans over Obama's early performance. A plurality of self-describe moderate and liberal Republicans (46%) approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president. By contrast, just 28% of hard-right conservative Republicans approves of Obama's job performance."

A new AP/GFK poll taken in the days just before the final House and Senate votes for Pres. Obama's stimulus bill shows that Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Republican efforts to block Obama’s plan:
Congress’ approval is only 31%-59%, but additional questions show a much more complicated picture. The number for Congressional Democrats is at 49%-45%, while Republicans are at 33%-59%.
Only 30% say Obama hasn’t done enough to cooperate with Republicans in Congress — the GOP base vote, basically — while 62% say he’s doing the right amount and 6% say it’s been too much. Flipping it around, only 27% say Republicans have done enough to cooperate with Obama, with 64% saying not enough and 5% saying too much.
Meanwhile, people are increasingly confident that Obama is leading the country in the right direction. Since Obama’s election, there’s been a 23 percent rise in those saying the country is headed in the right direction. In October, only 17 percent of Americans felt that way, while 78 percent thought the country was headed in the wrong direction.

And, for proof positive that moderate Republicans being forced to vote with hard-right Republicans is not playing well back home:
Congressman Joseph "Anh"Cao, a Republican, who defeated William "Bill" Jefferson is facing a recall petition because of his vote against President Obama's stimulus package. The recall has been initiated by a group of ministers.

Cao had originally announced his intention to vote for the stimulus package, but House Republican Minority Whip Eric Cantor whipped him and other moderates into a solid 'No' vote. Without Cao's 'No' vote, Cantor could not have boasted about the GOP being "back in the saddle" by touting the GOP's big ZERO votes for the stimulus. The GOP's branding strategy is literally dependent on being the party of NO and, thanks to Cantor whipping Republicans into a unanimous NO vote, Cao may not even make it to 2010.

Papers have been filed with the Office of the Louisiana Secretary of State which started the process requiring sufficient signatures to force a recall election for the office held by Representative Cao.
The two Congressmen in the U.S. House that represent Collin County residents, Sam Johnson (R) and Ralph Hall (R) and both Texas’ Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) and John Cornyn (R) voted against the stimulus bill.

The bad news is stacking up for Moderate Republicans across the U.S. and in Texas.

A recent Gallup report on its survey of political party affiliation by voters at the state level shows only five states now have a statistically significant majority of voters who identify themselves as Republicans.

The same Gallup report also shows Texas as among the “most political balanced states” in party identification among all the former Republican strong hold states.

We see Moderate Republicans have good reason be worried.

And, adding all that to the Texas GOP survey of unhappy Texas Republicans conducted the respected Republican political research firm, Hill Research, and we see Moderate Republicans have good reason be very worried.

No comments:

Post a Comment