Saturday, August 7, 2010

Republicans may be weak, but conservatives are strong

There's hope for the Democrats if you look hard enough, and some people are looking quite hard. To Jonathan Alter and Jonathan Cohn, President Obama is FDR redux, with a noble array of historical feats that have marked him for greatness. The problem is that these feats have unsettled the public, which slapped him hard in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and can't seem to wait till November to do it again. To Jonathan Chait (if you still love Obama, you may be a "Jonathan"), this is all right, as while the president's ratings have dropped like a rock the Republicans' ratings have dropped even further, and people hate them even more. The problem is that the poll that he cites measures Obama against only Republican members of Congress, and the approval ratings of Congress, according to Gallup, stand at 11 percent. Republican members, he says, oppose Obama's agenda, and since the public dislikes them, it means they support him. By some measures, this might stand to reason. By the ones that prevail, it does not. Chait should read more of his own magazine, where William Galston, the Brookings Institution scholar who is the adult voice at the magazine's Web site, explains why this isn't the case...more

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