Is Obama handing the GOP a comeback?

With help from President Barack Obama’s missteps and growing American unease with a new President, the Republican Party is coming back from the dead.

The party that flailed and failed after defeats in 2006 and 2008 is coming together on message and getting its act together with talk about gaining back lost ground in Congress in the 2010 mid-term elections and perhaps regaining the White House in 2012.

The optimism in the party of the elephant is a sharp contrast to the air of defeat that surrounded the GOP earlier this year.

Polls show Americans growing more and more wary of Obama’s free-spending, activist government agenda and impatient with his perceived failure to turn around the economy with a $787 stimulus program.

With unemployment expected to top 10 percent laster this year and Obama’s job approval rating headed south, Republicans see new hope for their party’s future.

Writes political handicapper Charlie Cook:

Divisions over health care among congressional Democrats became even more apparent this past week, underscoring the importance for President Obama and Democratic leaders to hit the reset button and start anew after Labor Day.

The fact that the congressional Democrats most nervous about 2010 are expressing the most doubt now should be a tipoff that this agenda is ringing up "no sale" outside the Democratic base. Obama is still defining his presidency and Democrats are defining their approach to governing. It would be hard for anyone to argue that either side is helping itself. Democrats are making the Republican case for divided government and partisan checks and balances, with consequences that could be important in next year’s midterm election.

While losing their majority in the Senate is a virtual impossibility, it would not be hard to see Democrats losing two or three seats, setting up real fights for control in 2012 and 2014, when Republicans have few seats at risk and Democrats have many.

In the House, while losing six to 12 seats for Democrats looks almost inevitable regardless of the climate, a loss of half the party’s 40-seat majority is not hard to envision if things go badly.

And things are going badly for Democrats on Capitol Hill and Obama at the other end of the National Mall. A concentrated campaign by Republicans attacking Obama’s policies and failures appears to be selling with the American people.

A new Gallup/USA Today poll shows only 47 percent of those questioned approve of Obama’s handling of the economy with 49 percent disapproving, a complete flip from May when 55 percent approved and 42 percent disapproved.

A Politico/Public Opinion Strategies poll finds 43 percent of Americans now have little or no trust in Obama, an 11-point increase since March.

Republican strategists tell Capitol Hill Blue the party will continue to hammer away at Obama’s failures to deal with the economy, his expensive and, they say, hopeless campaign to reform health care, and his many broken promises from his 2008 campaign.

House Minority Leader John Boehner underscored this plan of attack in a speech to the House recently:

Not only has the stimulus not worked and the economy not been rescued, but the president continues to promote policies that will create more unemployment in America. Obama’s planned government takeover of health care could cost five million more Americans their jobs.

The loss of five million jobs estimate came not from GOP propaganda but from Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisors.

Republicans see Obama’s health care plan as his weakest spot.

"It will be his Waterloo," Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina says. "It will break him."

And it just might. As public disapproval of Obama rises, so do contributions to the Republican Party. The Republican National Committee raised $8.9 million in June and has $23.7 million in the bank. By contrast, the Democratic National Committee raised $6.8 million and has just $13 million cash on hand.

In politics, however, fortunes change and momentum shifts quickly. Obama has 16 months to prove he is not a flash in the pan. That’s an eternity in the political world.


  1. TeeBone

    A comeback? Are you kidding me? The way the leadership of the Republican Party and its minions are conducting themselves and behaving the way they are? On the contrary they are painting a picture of themselves as a party of ignorant, racist and bigoted old geezers who long for the return of Jim Crow (Hannity’s) America. Ain’t happening!

    You got to be on Prozac or crack to think the majority of citizens in this country is prepared to put these morons back in office after what we’ve experienced under their leadership the last eight years. And to think these are the same folks who are prepared to lay down their hate signs long enough to cast a vote for a demented dipstick like Sarah Palin. Give me a break!

    Independent thinking conservatives are abandoning this outfit in droves and most young people are holding their noses by what they are witnessing and want no part of their bile. You can rest assured as long the Republican Party is represented by the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Becks and the Fox News zealots they will continue into the abyss and the only place they will be coming back from is a museum because they are on a very fast track of becoming a relic.

    It would a helluva lot more than Obama’s missteps to warrant their comeback anytime in the distant future.
    We all will have to get lobotomies first.

  2. CheckerboardStrangler

    Giving-up, here’s the scenario I see unfolding in the not too distant future, if the current reform effort fails.

    1) Insurance industry doubles prices across the board.

    2) Massive defaults, insurance companies bankrupted
    (on paper anyway)

    3) Health insurance companies demand BAILOUT money.

    4) American taxpayers on the hook for it.

    5) Obama blamed.

  3. giving-up-in-nc

    Right on CheckerboardStr!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t have said i better myself.

    Our current situation shows the flaw in our two party system that is touted as being so wonderful. No mater as bad as one party gets, (and in my opinion the GOP party grows worse every year), they only have to hope that the other party fails then they get power back.

    Why do you think the GnOP is the party of NO? All they have to do is to have the other party fail and the get to run the country again. And hey, if they have to contribute to that failure by saying NO to anything that the Dems try to do then so be it.

    Please note that my above statement is not an endorsement of the Democratic party. Overall in my opinion as a party they only stink less then the Repubs, but as a party they still stink.

    As to the Republicans on Health Care reform? They are starting to convince enough people that their status quo is better than changing the current mess.

    Many of these people that don’t want to loose their current coverage only think it’s great because the have not had to REALLY use it yet. And they all should remember that they are only one pink slip away from loosing their so called “wonderful” coverage.

    I read an article the other day that said health insurance premiums double roughly every 7 years. If we don’t get real health care reform this time around there are going to be a LOT of working class folks that are going to be in seriously sad shape over the next 20 years.

    It will be interesting to see how the Republicans will try to put lipstick on the pig we call a health care system in 2030, and how many of our fellow sheeple will buy the propaganda they’ll spew then.

  4. sherry

    We have all the same players, just different names.
    Lobbists play both sides of the aisle. So does the media.

    It doesn’t matter to the lobbyists who gets in, they know both sides are for sale.

  5. CheckerboardStrangler

    And anyone who thinks the health insurance industry will “play fair and work toward reform” after the reform effort gets killed off, just hasn’t been paying attention the last twenty or so years.

  6. Flapsaddle

    Anyone naive enough to believe that the GOP is dead, or that Obama’s problems all stem from the magnitude of the previous administration’s FUBARs, is a prime prospect for buying some ocean-front property in Wyoming.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  7. CheckerboardStrangler

    GOP comeback?
    If this comeback is staged upon the failure of healthcare reform let me be the first to say two things:

    1) If healthcare reforms FAIL, the nation’s healthcare insurance policyholders are going to learn what it felt like to be an electricity consumer in California in the Enron days.
    The day healthcare reform is pronounced flatlined in Washington, cigars will be lit in the insurance company boardrooms across America, and ordinary hardworking people who expect coverage when they get sick will be beaten with lead pipes and left for dead in record numbers. Seriously folks, do you honestly think anything will stop the insurance companies once they learn the first stanzas to “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”?
    It will be a mass wilding, Central Park Jogger style, and the nation’s healthcare consumers won’t know what hit them until it comes time for them to seek medical treatment or hospitalization.

    2) Wake up and smell the Astroturf, people.
    This is a MULTI-BILLION dollar swiftboat campaign, an out of control industry trying to protect its gold plated bottom line.