The GOP and the Politics of Harikari -New Yorker
Just when you thought that the GOP might finally be wising up, and looking for a way to stop damaging itself in the eyes of voters, up pops Ted Cruz, the Texas firebrand who helped to get this whole shutdown/debt-ceiling thing started. Appearing before an audience of conservative activists in Washington on Friday, Cruz urged his colleagues to hang tough in the budget battle, and declared, “The Democrats are feeling the heat.”
Cruz may be right. It’s quite possible that Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill have spent so much time cheering and high-fiving each other in the past few days that they might need a glass of water to cool down. Just hours before Cruz graced the boards at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, which was hosting something called the Values Voter Summit, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll showing that the approval rating of congressional Republicans is at twenty-four per cent, its lowest since the pollsters started asking the question. The same poll showed that a majority of voters blamed the GOP, rather than President Obama, for the shutdown. Indeed, the president’s approval rating has ticked up a bit since last month—from forty-five per cent to forty-seven per cent.