“Americans are increasingly pointing the finger at the Oval Office,” according to National Journal. “A recent Bloomberg survey found that 40 percent blame the GOP for what’s wrong in Washington, while 38 percent blame the president and congressional Democrats. Back in February, Obama had a nine-point edge over Republicans and independents were evenly divided over who was responsible. Now, 42 percent of independents fault with Obama and his allies in Congress, while 34 percent blame Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The latest CNN poll found a similar trend, with the percentage who blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown down five points and the percent who blame Obama up three points.”
In 1995-96, Republicans were blamed by a margin of 23-points for those shut-downs. Now the blame is just about dead-even and independents have shifted in the Republicans favor. What’s the difference?
First, back in the ’90s, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate. Second, Bill Clinton was willing to negotiate with congressional Republicans. Third, there was no conservative media as there is today — no FOX News Channel, no blogs, the Drudge Report had yet to gain attention, and the only national conservative talk radio host was Rush Limbaugh.
Today, you have Democrats controlling not only the White House, but the Senate as well. Both Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are repeatedly stating that they will not negotiate while House Republicans continue to send over different bills seeking a compromise (which according to a recent CBS poll is what three-quarters of respondents want the President and Congress to do). Meanwhile, viewership of the broadcast networks nightly news programs has plummeted, FOX News as arisen, and there are countless outlets on the internet from social media to blogs where conservatives can get the message out.
The longer this goes on and the longer President Obama and Senate Democrats hew to the “we will not negotiate” stance, the worse it will get for them.