GOP Party of Obstruction: The New Normal?

While the Democratic Party seems likely to grow nationally, the GOP will remain firmly entrenched in Washington, writes the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, and the standoff between the president and the House may be the new normal.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell giving a press conference (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The unproductive standoff between President Barack Obama and the GOP House continues to loom as the Democratic Party appears likely to grow nationally and the Republican Party remains firmly entrenched in Washington, Eugene Robinson writes at the Washington Post.

The bad news is that approval ratings for both the president and Congress are sinking, with voters increasingly frustrated at the bitter, partisan impasse in Washington. The worse news is that in terms of admiration for our national leaders, these may come to be seen as the good old days.

I'm an optimist by nature, a glass-half-full kind of guy. But try as I might, I can't convince myself that Republicans in Congress are likely to respond any better to President Obama's latest proposals on the economy than to the previous umpteen. I'm also pretty gloomy at the moment about the prospects for meaningful immigration reform — unless House Speaker John Boehner decides that passing a bill is more important than keeping his job.

My fear is that stasis has become a structural feature of our politics. Nothing lasts forever, but this depressing state of affairs could be with us for quite a while — and could get worse.

The public is not amused. Three out of four Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, while an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey measured disapproval of Congress at a stunning 83 percent. Obama's approval rating has slid to 49 percent, the Post-ABC poll found — better than the president's political opponents are faring but hardly anything to cheer about.

Read Eugene Robinson's entire piece at the Washington Post.

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