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The Republican Party has for years gotten away with having extremist positions without being widely branded as an extremist party. But a new CNN/ORC International poll finds that, for the first time, a majority of Americans say Republican policies are too extreme, and the bad news for the GOP doesn't stop there.

The poll found 53 percent saying Republican policies are too extreme, as compared with 37 percent who say Democratic policies are too extreme. The group calling Republicans too extreme is up 17 points from two years ago—basically, Republicans took their wins in 2010 and used them to convince the nation they're extremists.

And if you think one of two parties working on a "compromise" is too extreme, chances are you think that party should compromise more. Which is exactly how it works out with the fiscal curb—53 percent say Republicans should compromise more, 41 percent say Democrats should compromise more. And if a deal can't be reached in time to avoid the "cliff," 48 percent will blame Republicans and 37 percent will blame President Barack Obama more.

The poll was conducted Dec. 17 and 18, so Obama's capitulation on cutting Social Security benefits came right in the middle of its time in the field. Because what better response to having the upper hand by a whole host of measures than giving in to extremists and embracing an unpopular policy?

People think—rightly—that Republicans are extremists who should compromise. It's time to brand them with the former and hold their failure to do the latter under a bright light.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:13 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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