I know I’m the original Cock-Eyed Optimist, but the latest CNN poll results suggest that it wasn’t completely cock-eyed to imagine that the Debt Ceiling nonsense would hurt the Republicans and the Teahadis in the eyes of the public.

Between mid-June and early August, the GOP went from 41% favorable/55% unfavorable (already their worst score since just after the Clinton impeachment) to 33%F/59%UF, their worst score ever. (The Dems held steady at 47/47.)

The GOP score is actually worse than the Tea Party score of 31/51, also an all-time worst.

So maybe we should start saying “GOP downgrade” rather than “Tea Party downgrade.” Either way, the public seems to have figured out who deserves the blame.

Update Gallup shows Obama going from trailing “generic Republican” 39-47 in July to leading 45-39 now. No, it wasn’t “eleven-dimensional chess.” It was giving the voters a good look at the alternative. I think it worked.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.