Last week, I posed an honest question for advocates of the Wehner Fallacy, which is the claim that Democrats' political difficulties are entirely the product of Americans rejecting their ideology, and have nothing to do with the state of the economy. Forget the copious research showing a tight link between economic conditions and in-party approval. Just consider their analysis on its own terms. If Obama is so unpopular because public opinion is based on close discerning analysis of politicians' ideology, why are Obama and even Congressional Democrats so much more popular than Congressional Republicans?
Now Wehner Fallacy advocate Noemie Emery has stepped up to answer:
People haven't been leaving the Republican Party because it's been too conservative. They're leaving because it hasn't been right-wing enough.
I'll give her this much: her answer is at least internally consistent. I'll also grant that Congress has a very hard time grabbing public attention, and a muddled message can easily get lost, leaving the public wondering what the opposition party stands for.
That said-- really? The public approves of Obama and the Democrats over the GOP Congress because the GOP Congress is too moderate? This is a Congress that has unanimously or near-unanimously opposed every major Obama initiative. They've vocally deployed every stalling technique on their arsenal. Numerous Republicans have denounced Obama in florid, over-the-top terms, questioning his citizenship, calling him a socialist or worse, and decrying him as a historic threat to the Republic. If there is a single image the GOP has projected, it is this:
Now, I realize that conservatives have convinced themselves that George W. Bush and the GOP became wildly unpopular either because he was too moderate or due to flukish circumstances like Hurricane Katrina, personal corruption and the financial collapse. (They'd be on firmer ground blaming eight years of stagnant income growth, though they're either unaware of that or don't want to implicate Bush's supply-side economic program.) So the Republican Party has heeded this analysis and moved even further right. And now their claim is... Republicans are unpopular because they're still too moderate? Just how right-wing do they think this country is?