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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:54 AM ET, 08/04/2011

The Morning Plum

* Wait — liberals and Dems favor debt ceiling deal? This will drive some discussion: Gallup finds that majorities of Democrats (58 percent) and liberals (51 percent) approve of the debt ceiling compromise.

This could reflect the fact that it was signed by a Democratic president, but even so, it seems somewhat at odds with the prevailing wisdom that the deal will damage him among rank and file Dems. It also reflects a bit of a split between ordinary Dem voters and high profile liberal groups and commentators.

But: As Peter Wallsten notes, even if those numbers are somewhat counterintuitive, they also illustrate that a sizable minority of the liberal/Dem base is not with the President on this.

Also: Only 33 percent of independents (who are supposed to be impressed by grand bipartisan compromises) approve of the deal, and a plurality of Americans overall thinks the deal will make the economy worse, not better.

* Wisconsin recall fight hits home stretch with last burst of “class warfare”: Check out the new ad that lefty groups are airing in the final days against GOP state senator Alberta Darling, who was thought to be hard to dislodge but now may be vulnerable, a possible sign Dems could have a very good night next week:

The ad — which was paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America — again demonstrates that the left has built a popular movement in Wisconsin on the sort of bare-knuckled “class warfare” populist rhetoric that makes many Beltway Dems queasy.

Update: The ad is also paid for by MoveOn.

* Wisconsin battle a model for national Dems? Relatedly, Chris Bowers makes the case that the Wisconsin fight has revived a kind of unabashed populism that national Democrats should try to restore as their main message for 2012 and their primary rationale for governance.

* Dems favored to take back Wisconsin state senate: Stuart Rothenberg has a detailed look at why Dems are narrowly favored to pull it off. Also note this important quote from a GOP strategist involved in the fight:

“The average Republican voters in Wisconsin viewed the passage of the Walker proposals in March as the end of a tough battle, while Democrats viewed it as the beginning.”

* Pivot to jobs underway? The Obama administration is exploring a range of ideas to boost the economy, including tax breaks to encourage employers to hire and new investments in clean energy.

While sugh ideas are worthy, they also underscore how constrained the White House is in the quest for job creation ideas that match the scale of the problem.

* Republicans already drawing a hard line for “super committee”: Take note of this passage in today’s Times article about both parties’ approach to the Congressional “super committee” that will recommend tax and entitlement reform:

The composition of the committee will be an early indication of its prospects. Republicans, in particular, are under intense pressure to choose members who will not compromise in their opposition to any deal that involves increased revenues.

Why is there no sense whatsoever of any meaningful pressure on Dems to choose members who will insist on revenue increases and draw hard lines against entitlements benefits cuts?

* Harry Reid says his members will not be “locked in”: Relatedly, a key line from Reid at his presser yesterday that has gone mostly overlooked:

“It’s extremely important that I pick people who are willing to make hard choices but are not locked in.”

Republicans, by contrast, are already looking to appoint members who are “locked in” against any tax hikes of any kind.

* How Washington really works: Lobbyists for the health care and defense industries are already gearing up a major P.R. campaign to fight against the deep cuts they would sustain if the Congressional super-committee’s “trigger” is pulled.

* Obama reelect reality check of the day: Harold Meyerson, on the real reason Obama and his advisers need to worry about the Dem base:

The Democratic threat to Obama, then, won’t come in the primaries. It will come in the general election, when millions of voters who surged for Obama in 2008 — disproportionately young and minority — may stay home in silent referendum on Obama’s failure to fix a dysfunctional economy.

* Mitch McConnell speaks truth to right-wingers: Given that Mitch McConnell is openly describing the debt ceiling as a “hostage worth ransoming,” it’s kind of pathetic that some on the right are complaining that Dem “hostage taking” rhetoric is somehow out of bounds.

* Counterintuitive take of the day: Kevin Drum punctures the idea of the ruthless and invincible GOP political machine and argues that Obama is actually a far more effective politician than his conservative foes.

* The FAA showdown, made simple: Dylan Matthews has everything you need to know about the FAA battle in one easy post.

* And the partisan war over FAA intensifies: Senator Barbara Boxer accuses House GOPers who are insisting that FAA reauthorization weaken unions of favoring “government by hostage taking” and “government by threat.”

Surely this means Dems have no intention of caving to the House GOP demand, because the last thing they would want to do is embolden “hostage-taking” Republicans, right?

By  |  08:54 AM ET, 08/04/2011

 
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