SOTU Responses Are Afrar From The Consensus

by Vince

So says Frank Rich:

New polls show that Americans don’t even buy the principles behind these specifics. To hear the G.O.P. wail about it, you’d think the entire country was obsessed with the federal debt — cited 12 times in Ryan’s under-11-minute speech. But only 18 percent of Americans chose the deficit as a top priority for Washington in the most recent NBC/Journal survey and only 14 percent did in the New York Times/CBS News poll. Job creation was by far the top choice — at 43 percent (Times/CBS) and 34 percent (NBC/Journal).

Health care was a low-ranked priority too in those polls. And for all the right’s apocalyptic rants about the national horror of “Obamacare,” most polls continue to show that Americans are evenly divided about the law and that only a small minority favors its complete repeal (only one in four Americans in the latest Associated Press/GfK survey). The surest indicator that voters are not as inflamed about either the deficit or “Obamacare” as the right keeps claiming can be found in Karl Rove’s Wall Street Journal musings. To argue that Americans share his two obsessions, Rove now is reduced to citing polls from either Fox or a Brand X called Resurgent Republic, which he helpfully identifies as “a group I helped form.”

Those findings are a relief and makes me thankful that everyone isn’t a little Bachmann or a Ryan.

Rich finishes with a fine point:

Obama must be laughing about how the party that spent a year hammering him for focusing on health care over jobs is now committing the same supposed sin. And one can only imagine his astonishment on Tuesday night, when the G.O.P. respondents to his speech each played Jimmy Carter to his Reagan by offering a grim double-feature of malaise and American decline. Hardly had the president extolled record corporate profits and a soaring stock market in his selectively rosy spin on the economy, than Ryan, who has the television manner of a solicitous funeral home director, was darkly warning that America could be the next Greece. Bachmann channeled Glenn Beck to argue that we are living in a nascent police state where government “tells us which light bulbs to buy” (G.E.’s, presumably).

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