An article published by TheHill.com yesterday illustrated a point I warned of in an earlier article that the Tea Party would be blamed for political gridlock in the debt ceiling debate by Obama and his media minions if wisdom wasn’t used by conservative Republicans in the Tea Party caucus.
TheHill.com article references polls conducted by CNN and The New York Times on the Tea Party’s favorability ratings citing the Tea Party’s approval ratings dropped significantly following the Debt Ceiling Deal. The drop is attributed to Independent voters who don’t pay very much attention to politics and want their government officials to “work together” to get things done.
Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, said independent voters, who make up a fast-growing portion of the electorate, want more compromise.
He said independent voters “generally agree with the Tea Party” that federal deficits need to shrink and government should be more accountable. But these voters are turned off by brinksmanship.
“They want a government that works together, a government that gets along,” he said. “What they’re upset about is intransigence toward compromise. What came through to voters is they saw the Tea Party as a hindrance to compromise.”
According to the polls, even though Obama’s approval rating also tanked during the same period, the contention is that the Tea Part’s ratings dropped even more.
In my article entitled Debt Ceiling: A Matter of Wisdom, I warned of this very outcome stating that “…Republicans are at a definite disadvantage in the event of an intense, high level blame game…”, and “…the MSM would be as sharks with Republican blood in the water…” I further inferred that wisdom would warrant compromise and patience until 2012, when Republicans could probably win the White House and control over both houses of Congress.
Yet, I am not an economic expert, many of whom contend that my proposal of compromise and patience was inadequate, that US government spending must be immediately curtailed if our country is to be saved from dire consequences. Perhaps that may be true, but conservatives cannot affect true spending reform without both houses of Congress and the White House. And, the reality is without Independents, the White House and Senate could be out of reach for Republicans.
Raising the banner of fiscal responsibility by the debt ceiling debate should not have entailed Tea Party officials viewing a default as a credible alternative to the negotiations. Then, with the inevitable Standard and Poors credit downgrade, the blame would have been based squarely on overspending, and the Tea party would not have been blamed for gridlock as the cause.
The consolation is that Independents agree that spending must be cut; they see the reality that Obama is complicating any effort of Congress enact fiscal reform by offering more failed stimulus as a viable solution to our economic malady.
But, once again, fiscal reformers must consider Independents in their equation before attempting to affect drastic policy changes. Fiscal reform should be considered in an urgent fashion, not in “panic mode”.