“Why Are Republicans So…”

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The fierce partisanship seen in the debt ceiling battle got me thinking about how the nation sees the Republican and Democratic parties. A new Gallup poll shows the public isn’t happy with the standoff: House Speaker John Boehner gets a 31% approval rating for his handling of the crisis, while 41% approve of how Obama is managing the situation.

According to a new Pew survey, most Americans just want the two parties to get it done and over with: 68% of those polled said lawmakers should “be willing to compromise,” even if the final deal is one the lawmaker “disagrees” with. These views varied by party: Democrats were overwhelmingly in favor of compromise (81%) while only half of Republicans felt the same way. Of Republicans, Tea Party Republicans were the least likely to think they should sacrifice their values for the common good: 53% said they should “stand by their principles” instead.

The Pew survey had some other interesting findings about how Americans are seeing the parties during this time of struggle. Republicans are seen as “extreme” while Democrats are seen as being more ethical and concerned with citizens’ needs. Looking Google’s autocomplete options, though, it seems many may think of the parties similarly: “stupid” is the #1 autocomplete option for “Why are Republicans/Democrats so…”. After that, Republicans get “hateful,” “evil,” “selfish,” and “mean” while Democrats get “weak,” “dumb,” “stupid” again, and “angry.” Hmmm, both sound so appealing. Guess we’ll see next year which party voters truly prefer.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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