My friend J.T. points out this passage in Lori Montgomery’s Washington Post coverage of the budget:
The moves come as Republicans are pounding Obama for proposing a rapid increase in government spending and taxpayers are voicing anxiety and outrage about the gargantuan sums that Washington is already pouring into the economy and banking system.
I certainly expect RNC press releases to just kind of run everything together like this. But while there’s clear evidence of outrage at the AIG bonuses, opinion on banking system rescue is more mixed, and opinion on fiscal stimulus and Obama’s general economic performance is strongly positive. This is the most recent polling on the big picture that I’ve been able to see:
What’s definitely true is that Obama’s political opponents aren’t acting the way you would expect a minority party that’s lost two elections in a row and is facing popular proposals from a popular president to act. Certainly when George W. Bush and his agenda were popular, Democrats didn’t come close to mounting uniform opposition to it. But one shouldn’t mistake the GOP’s tactical choice to oppose Obama even though he and his agenda are popular with a situation in which he’s failing to get massive congressional support for his agenda because the public doesn’t support him. I think it’s fine for the GOP to say “damn the polls, we’re sticking to our views” but that’s what’s happening.