So what Americans want to see their government do—and not do—in regards to the debt ceiling negotiations seems to be off the table. But one thing that Democrats and President Obama have going for them is the broad desire for a balanced deal. Meaning raise some damned taxes, already.
According to an overnight Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Monday, a huge majority are concerned about defaut (there aren't that many teabaggers out there, apparently) and a solid majority want to see tax increases along with spending cuts.
Showing an intensity of interest among Americans who often ignore the intricacies of policy in Washington, 83 percent of those polled said they were either very or somewhat concerned about the potential for a U.S. debt default on August 2.
The poll found that 56 percent of Americans want to see a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases included in a deal to bring down the U.S. budget deficit and permit a vote to raise the country's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
While they might not be acting like it, Democrats actually do still have the upper hand: "The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 31 percent of respondents held Republican lawmakers responsible for the debt impasse, 21 percent blamed Obama and 9 percent blamed Democratic lawmakers." They need to take that blame edge, and use it. Republicans are losing the public relations war, and Obama and the Democrats need to recognize this and put the screws to them. If that means Republicans are responsible for a default and a shutdown (Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's greatest fear) that means they'll take the political hit.
So the bending over backwards to find something they'll agree to, finding what might conceivably make them take "yes" for an answer is a losing proposition. It's about time that Obama makes the Republicans come to him, with the threat of the consequences of not doing so falling on their heads.