The highest that congressional approval has been since February 2011 is 24 percent. (Yes, you read that right.) By pushing this fight against Obama — an issue that the Republican base cares deeply about but few others are terribly interested in at the moment — the Republican-held House is allowing Obama to talk about the 2012 election in terms of a choice between him and House GOPers. That’s a bad comparison for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has done his damnedest to emphasize that he’s never served one second in Washington.
The other major reason for House Republicans to turn the steering wheel in this game of political chicken is that every minute spent talking about “Fast and Furious” is one not spent talking about Obama’s handling of the economy. And the clearest path for Romney to win this fall is to turn the election into a straight referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy. (That’s the reason why Romney has been almost entirely silent on “Fast and Furious” to date.)
So, why wouldn’t the White House want this fight either?
While putting House Republicans front and center could be read as a positive for Obama, it’s clear that wrestling with them amounts to a no-win political situation for him too.