If you listen to the propaganda on the Fox News Channel or the Fox Business Channel, part of Rupert Murdoch’s political organization masquerading as a “news” operation, you would think that President Obama was the anti-Christ. My ears are still bleeding from two recent appearances on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” In fact, according to the robotic and programmed rhetoric of O’Reilly, Hannity, Cavuto and Dobbs, every American should be praying to cast the demon out of the White House. The right has been working feverishly to stir anger toward this President but the latest New York Times/CBS News poll suggests voters are not taking the bait.
The poll suggests that the public has mixed emotions toward President Obama, with 46 percent of those polled approving of his performance and 46 percent disapproving. The poll also reveals significant support for pieces of the President’s jobs plan; perhaps an indication that people are a bit skeptical of large-scale public policy. The issue of the nation’s growing income inequality is also gnawing at the public with nearly 9 in 10 Democrats, two-thirds of independents and a little over one-third of Republicans troubled by the distribution of wealth in America.
What does not surprise me, but what the right works feverishly to remain a secret, is the utter disgust that the public has with Congress. That’s right; it is the “Old Boys” network on Capitol Hill that really is the object of Americans venom. The poll reveals that 84 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Congress. While Democrats and Republicans on the Hill need to worry, it is the GOP that better start running for cover. Why? Seven in 10 Americans believe Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds oppose tax cuts for corporations and a similar proportion of those surveyed prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires. What’s more, 46 percent of those surveyed believe the views of the Occupy Wall Street movement reflect the sentiments of most Americans. Since Republicans took control of the House public disapproval of Congress has risen 22 percentage points.
It seems Americans, and even Republican voters, are not so dense after all. It is understandable that the President would shoulder some of the blame considering that he is the most visible leader during a historic economic downturn. What is truly amazing is the animosity toward Congress, a body of elected officials that barely register on most people’s radar and is mostly an afterthought for Americans who can barely distinguish between the House, Senate and their state representatives. Yet, the anger toward Congress is dead-on as most Americans are fed up with the childishness of self-serving politicians intent on self-preservation at any cost; including seeing the country go to hell. I sense that Republican voters are beginning to get the real message of the real Tea Party of the American Revolution – taxation without representation. Voters in Republican Congressional districts are paying taxes while their elected representatives spend more time protecting the interests of the rich than represent the masses of their middle class constituents.
This is not to suggest that Democrats on the Hill will escape the voters’ wrath. In fact, while the attention has been on the President’s re-election chances, my sense is that we might see a historic shake up in Congress. Nearly two-thirds of Americans lack confidence in Congress’ ability to reach an agreement on a jobs plan. It will be the Republican caucus that takes the hit as the President will be seen as at least offering a plan that the GOP simply discarded for political convenience. The selfishness and pettiness of Republicans on the Hill will come back like a boomerang. If Congressional Republicans continue their current ways, they might be in for a rude awakening in November 2012. In 1974 Republicans were turned out in reaction to the Watergate scandal. They may face the same fate next year but this time because the public is fed up with the GOP’s self-serving ways.
Walter Fields is Executive Editor of NorthStarNews.com.