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U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of White House to discuss the economy, November 16, 2012. Left of President Obama is Speaker of the House John Boehner.                             REU
Boehner's got good reason to look so grumpy.
Just not showing up for work is one option House Republicans have for not dealing with the fiscal cliff curb. But it's not likely to help them out much when it comes to public opinion. In fact, there doesn't seem to be much they could do on that score, as the public is getting increasingly cranky about the whole mess.
Only 50 percent of Americans think it’s likely a deal will be struck, while 48 percent think it’s unlikely, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Dec. 21-22. The same poll conducted Dec. 15-16 found 57 percent of Americans were confident in the abilities of House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama to come to an agreement, while 40 percent believed a deal was unlikely. [...]

Despite the growing pessimism, Americans also increasingly approve of how some political leaders are handling negotiations. Approval of Obama’s approach to the cliff has jumped from 48 percent to 54 percent, the approval for Democratic leaders in Congress has spiked from 34 percent to 45 percent, and even Boehner—whose inability to pass the so-called “Plan B” was considered a major setback — saw his approval tick up a single point, to 26 percent. The approval for Republican leaders in Congress dropped 3 points to 26 percent.

With those kinds of numbers, the only hope John Boehner has now is Democrats like Kent Conrad saving his bacon. But those kinds of numbers show precisely why any concessions to Boehner need to come off the table and these negotiations reset. The people are on President Obama's side, as long has he keeps election promises to raise taxes on the wealthy and protect the middle class. One way or another, Boehner's ability to take hostages has to end. Pushing him off the fiscal curb might be the best way to do it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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