The number: 47-19 in opposition to raising the debt ceiling.
This isn’t even really a Republican-vs-Democrat issue. You’ll notice that with both independents and Democrats four in 10 don’t have an opinion. Take those people out of the mix, and it’s a 33-26 vote on the Democrat side in favor of more debt and a 46-15 vote against where independents are concerned.
This poll is one of the strongest signals yet that most people who style themselves as independents might very well be the types who don’t want to be Republicans because they think the GOP is just as bad on spending as the Democrats are. That’s not true, but on the other hand the eight years of the Bush presidency in which the budget went from a surplus to a then-record deficit makes for a lot less compelling case in debunking that impression than the party needs.
In any event, there is a national consensus of sorts in favor of slamming on the brakes where deficit spending is concerned. The Democrats in the Senate and President Obama will be in full-scale demagogue mode on this issue, but they’re operating from such a position of weakness that they’re going to have to crack.
This is not the time for House Speaker John Boehner, who infuriated lots of fiscal conservatives this week by abandoning the outstanding idea to break the budget process up into agency-by-agency appropriations and thus take the country into a major, prolonged discussion about whether many of the federal agencies shouldn’t be shut down, to go soft like he did at the end of the 2011 budget debate.
This is the time for intransigence. Unreasonable intransigence. It’s a time to force Obama and Harry Reid to negotiate against themselves. After two solid months of the administration trotting the noxious, corrupt and mendacious Tim Geithner out to lecture the country about the perils of not lifting the debt ceiling, Gallup’s numbers show that few believe anything Geithner says. They can’t send him back out into the field again; he doesn’t move public opinion. And if they’re not out of arguments to make by now, one wonders what the point of holding any back has been.
Just say no. Don’t say “not without this or that.” Say no. Make Obama bribe you with budget cuts one after another until Boehner’s demand for trillions of dollars in cuts rather than billions is met.
Settling for less just maintains the wall between those independents who are fiscal conservatives and the GOP. If that wall comes down, Obama is finished and the Democrats are finished along with him.
Hopefully, somebody up there understands the opportunity this poll shows.