The Democratic party’s message is kind of like Lynyrd Skynyrd or Little Feat: The cast of musicians changes over the years, but the tunes are always the same. The Republicans are always undermining the average American family to give all kinds of tax breaks or benefits for “the well-to-do,” “the special interests,” “the rich” and now, apparently, the “corporate jet owners.” It’s a pity that the president who once promised to move us beyond the same old partisan divide is now employing the oldest rhetorical trick in his party’s playbook.

In fairness, the Republican party has its fair share of shopworn arguments – long accusing the Democrats of being closet socialists, for instance – but the interesting question in my mind is, why is Obama resorting to such tired partisan rhetoric in the middle of high-profile negotiations on the deficit?

One reason, perhaps: his numbers on this issue just plain stink. Here’s a summary of recent polling on approval/disapproval on the deficit issue for Obama…