A Nation of Haters

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"A Nation of Haters"

The most striking thing to me about Barack Obama’s slipping poll numbers is that they come in the context of GOP approval ratings that appear to be stuck near some kind of theoretical minimum. Here’s the trend data on whether or not you have confidence in X “to make the right decisions for the country’s future – a great deal of confidence, a good amount, just some or none at all?”


Twenty-one percent have confidence in congressional Republicans! Relatedly, twenty-one percent of Americans believe in witches. Twenty-one percent believe they can communicate with the dead.

Looking at the trends, it’s clear that congressional democrats Max Baucus blundered in terms of actually making health reform happen by delaying so much. If he’d written a bill—any bill—back when President Obama was more popular, it might have been possible for Obama to deploy his popularity in order to pressure moderate senators to vote for the bill. By waiting, the leverage has largely dissipated. On the other hand, competition between the parties in congress is zero-sum, and Democrats appear to retain a firm upper hand in terms of their personal quest for power.

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