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    Polls: Republicans Blamed for Government Shutdown

    Polls: Republicans Blamed for Shutdowni
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    October 02, 2013 12:07 AM
    Public opinion polls suggest that congressional Republicans will get most of the political blame in the wake of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. But as VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports, the polls also show that Americans are growing tired of what they see as crippling political polarization and dysfunction coming from both major parties.
    Public opinion polls suggest that congressional Republicans will get most of the political blame in the wake of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.  The data also shows that Americans are growing tired of what they see as crippling political polarization and dysfunction coming from both major parties.
     
    As the government shutdown began to take effect in Washington, President Barack Obama said Republicans were responsible - because they will not give up their fight to undermine his signature health care law.
     
    “They have shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.  In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job,” said Obama.
     
    Republicans, of course, have a different view - including House Speaker John Boehner who says congressional Democrats should be willing to negotiate a way to reopen the government.
     
    “The only way these problems are going to be resolved is if we sit down amicably and keep the American people in mind and come to an agreement,” said Boehner.
     
    The political chaos in Washington over funding the federal government seems to be stirring the public, says Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown.
     
    “Americans don’t like shutting down the government.  Even Americans who don’t like Obamacare don’t like shutting down the government,” says Brown.
     
    Brown’s latest poll found that 72 percent of Americans oppose the government shutdown and a growing number put most of the blame on Republicans in Congress.
     
    “Politics is a zero-sum game.  If it’s good for one side, it’s bad for the other, and right now it’s bad for the Republicans and good for the Democrats,” says Brown.
     
    But Brown and other analysts see a deeper, more troubling impact of the political dysfunction in Washington.
     
    Americans seem to be losing faith in the ability of the political parties and the government to function, says analyst Charlie Cook.
     
    “They may end up blaming Republicans more than Democrats and more than the president.  But historically when you have these kinds of showdowns everybody looks bad,” says Cook.

    U.S. voters are already cynical.  And Peter Brown says a lengthy government shutdown would lead to even greater disillusion among the public.
     
    “The government can’t seem to get done what they think needs to get done. Whether they are for or against this program or that, they would like to see something positive come out of Washington.  And in their view they are not seeing it.”
     
    Brown adds that frustration will likely grow as the shutdown continues.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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    by: Mark T from: Central Mexifornia
    October 04, 2013 11:55 AM
    I would have liked to see the question used to generate the response. You can easily swing results by the way the question is posed. Who did they ask? What mechanism was used? Shallow. I have yet to see a single Big Media portrayal of all this asking the question the Republicans have posed on the (unfiltered) C-Span. If ObamaCare is so good why did the Democrats in Congress exempt their own employees from it? The thousands of exemptions granted by the administration are not discussed either. Why did they delay the employer mandate until after the next election? The networks should just merge and call themselves the ONN.

    by: Denise from: KY
    October 04, 2013 9:18 AM
    This is a budget issue and if any "fringe group" or any "major party" is able to change the laws of the land by holding us hostage then we all will lose. I hope Senator Reid stands firm and doesn't accept any bill that isn't clean. Rep Boehner needs to let the house vote on the budget bill sent over by the Senate. The Republicans already won on the amount they wanted. Let the clean bill go to the floor -- chances are good enough smart Republicans would vote for the budget that their side did negotiate .

    by: sherry butka from: roswell, ga
    October 04, 2013 4:45 AM
    Obamacare being forced down our throats weather we like it, or can afford it or not, is what this shutdown is about. if the gop wasnt standing up for something they know we will not be able to afford long after this president who was not even born in america is long gone. if the gop backs down on this, we will not give government any more trust in any decisions after all obama and this war has driven us thru so far. the only way the republicans loose our support, will be if they back down.....if obama thought this healthcare were in our best intrest, why isnt he and the rest of congress the first pn the sign up list? oh yeah, obama retires soon, and unlike our wounded soldiers, he will be paid a full salary and medical insurance far better than obama care for the rest of his life, no matter how crappy of a job he has done for us.


    by: ValleyForge from: PA
    October 04, 2013 2:12 AM
    An article on polls that doesn't cite a single poll? Yet we are assured that the public blames Republicans. I guess it is too much work to actually look up the polls. Or perhaps they didn't support the author's headline as well as he hoped.

    by: climax102 from: Missouri
    October 04, 2013 1:32 AM
    The Republicans should be blamed because they have these loony birds in their party.

    This is a budget, not negotiations on existing law.

    What does the word NEGOTIATE mean in the radical Republican terrorist terms, a 5 year plan:
    Simple, get rid of rhe Affordable health care act today.
    Year 2 budget lets get rid of Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage.
    Year 3 budget lets get rid of Medicare Part B, Medical Insurance.
    Year 4 budget get rid of Medicare Part A, Hospital Insurance.
    Year 5 budget get rid of the rest of Social Security.

    This plan would make very happy the greedy Koch Brothers, Birch Society, and all of the other billionaires that hide being patriotic sounding organizations such as Freedom Works, Club for Growth, Cross Roads, American Legislative Exchange Council, Etc.

    Those that think they like the Tea Party need to wake up. . These phony front organizations rely on public ignorance of voters. Follow the money people. Dick Armey, founder of Freedomworks & Tea Party retired, and received $8 million in "consulting fees" from the group, paid in annual $400,000 installments.

    by: TWFTLFHADTRI from: Midwest
    October 04, 2013 12:58 AM
    Did everyone miss the part where congress had finally passed the bill but Senate had declined it in roughly 25 minutes on Monday with little to no debate? So why are we blaming Congress exactly? Also, when did we forget that it takes two to Tango? Both parties are responsible for the shutdown, both sides have good points and arguments as well as have things they need to just let go of. "Mommy and Daddy" need to stop fighting, start compromising and making good decisions for the family since it's the "children" so far that suffer the brunt of the situation. It's our daily lives and paychecks at risk not theirs, and they seem to forget that it seems. So stop focusing on who's fault it is. It's too late now, it's happened, they all could have stopped it, they all decided it was better to let this happen then to concede. The President, who should be an example, only continues to encourage this behavior by stating he won't sign things or negotiate. Some things he shouldn't sign, some things he should, "nobody get's 100% of what they want." Those who consider themselves leaders of our government, whether the President, Senators or Congressmen, need to wise up soon and change the way they're working with each other before they rip apart what's left of our country. When will they/we ever learn from our past failures?

    by: cec from: south carolina
    October 04, 2013 12:32 AM
    The problem here is plain and simple. This has been a long time coming because the people running the show have been putting political agenda ahead the good of the country for far too long, and now we are finally seeing the consequence of this. Neither party is to blame on it's own. It's a matter of what happens when people are too stubborn and prideful to think about the good of the country as opposed to the good of the country. Until we the government can become mmore unified, or both parties can figure out how to more effectively work together, this will be bound to happen over and over again.

    by: ROGER Stetter from: New Orleans
    October 04, 2013 12:02 AM
    It is undeniably true that a significantly large sement of US citizens are pitifully ignorant and willing to support any jackass who rants about tearing down the federal government. The same nasty Tea Party crackpots, like Minnesota House Republican Michelle Bachman, who voted to shut down the Government, was seen yesterday welcoming WWII vets to their memorial in Washington, DC -- which is officially closed. Some WWII vets -- the stupid ones -- will undoubtedly vote to have this crazy deceitful woman serve another term in Congress. It is difficult to see how this tragi-comedy ends and to know how many of us will want to live in the wreckage.

    by: Amanda from: Texas
    October 03, 2013 11:44 PM
    They all share the blame equally. I have a 5 yr and 6 yr old that could do a better job running the country. This is a joke!!! It's not about party lines, it's about what's best for the country!! 800k to 1 million ppl out of work because Washington can't put their big boy pants on????

    by: Mary from: Texas
    October 03, 2013 11:39 PM
    Democrats sre clueless as to how to lead and run a country. They don't want give an inch. They are like children saying, yah yah i will do it my way!
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