As We Watched

While Washington led by George Bush continues to diverge further and further away from the will of the American people, no mistake should be made; we are watching, we are paying attention, and we are very, very, pissed.

A new Reuters/Zogby poll released shows Bush checking in with another record low showing at 29%.  Meanwhile, Congress is flailing with an even lower with 11%.  This amid economic downturns, a burgeoning crisis in the housing field, and of course, let us not forget Iraq.

What makes matter worse is that in a new feature of the poll, it appears the American “mood” regarding America is dropping, and only 30% of Americans believe we are going in the right direction.

Just like every other time when congress polls lower than the President’s abysmal numbers lately, I think it’s safe to say that there will be a fair number of conservatives who will attempt to skew these numbers to mean that Democrats are vulnerable, ostensibly to Republicans.

This is, of course, flat wrong.

For one, you must take into account the fact that congress always polls low.  Having people rate congress as a single entity tends to skew things a little bit, as they are going to do so in comparison with their own legislators who would most likely enjoy higher approval ratings.  That’s to say, people may be happy with what they bought, but when asked about what everyone is buying, they are obviously not going to be nearly as pleased.

Further, it is clear that with Bush hitting rock bottom in the polls, when the American people put the Democrats in charge, they expected the Democrats to force a change to policy.  The primary result of Congress’s low approval rating is a direct result of the failure of Democrats to affect any change at all.

This idea is backed up by not only Bush’s low approval numbers, but also by the more general question of if people believed the country is heading in the right direction, which track incredibly close.

The story here, is that Americans are not happy with what is going on, they attribute that to Bush’s policies, and they are upset that Democrats aren’t able to do anything about it.

Does this mean Democrats are in the clear?  Some might.  But what is really more indicative is that Democratic members of congress are likely to face a more severe threat not exactly by Republican competition, but by primary challenges from within their own party.

What is really going on here, though, is simple.  We have sat and watched.  We as a country supported the President following the events of 9/11, and that administration used that support to engage wholesale into its own ideologically charged agenda.

Since then, support has slowly eroded as more and more people began to wake up to what is happening.  Finally, by election time in 2006, people were fed up, and the majority in both houses in Congress changed hands.

Not only was this intended to be a mandate for Democrats to force the President’s hand, but it was also a direct message to the President himself; “We’re through with you.”

It was a direct condemnation of his policies most specifically in Iraq, and more generally a rejection of the neoconservative brand of foreign policy.  The fact that this outcry, like so many anti-war demonstrations, like so many polling numbers, and every other indication that the American people wanted their elected officials to do their bidding and not the failed bidding of a faulty ideology went ignored has resulted in a hostile electorate.

Democrats are not safe.  If anything, the view the public currently has of the Democratic Party is one of enablers at best.  But while Republicans have raped the constitution and ignored the will of the American people, we were watching.

And as we watched, all but a third of us have come to a single conclusion.  You have to go.

5 Responses to “As We Watched”

  1. mick says:

    The problem here is that the Democrats’ failure to take even the most rudimentary and fundamental actions to defend, let alone fight for, their positions is leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and playing into the conservative Republican mantra that govt is useless and why bother with it? Yes, the approval ratings of individual Congressmen and women will be higher, but what price glory if scads of people stop voting altogether because they’re convinced no one is listening? That just plays into the hands of the die-hards, most of whom are Pubs.

    The Democratic leadership’s shameful performance today, with the Constitution at stake and Harry choosing to table the amendment rather than force the Pubs to continue filibustering and the media to cover the spectacle of the GOP standing 4-square against the very document that makes us Americans, is just one more nail in their own damn coffin.

    And ours.

  2. mick says:

    BTW, in my state of PO’dness, I forgot to mention you wrote a nice clear summation of the situation (except for the part I added). I hope people read it.

  3. Yeah, I don’t know what the hell to do about that. I think I was talking to Matt, yeah it was Matt.

    Basically, Reid, is worthless. There is no reason why this couldn’t have been a stand up fight. But I think Reid is afraid of his own damn shadow. If he would show a little backbone and actually push for this stuff instead of showing his belly every time Republicans failed to give him enough to overcome a veto, he would find the public support to back him.

    He’s not doing that, and if nevada wants to keep electing him fine, but the Dem caucus needs to get someone who doesn’t crumble at the first sign of a bill not making it through.

  4. Thanks.

    I mean, I admit it, I’m at heart a shill because the real basics of it is, I don’t want the circular firing squad to form and have Republicans sneak up behind us and snatch seats out from under us as a result.

    I think I’m starting to lean towards some really strong primary contests in the Democratic party, you know, at least let the sitting caucus know that just campaigning on the right side of Iraq et al is not going to let them keep their seats.

    They need to start acting on those promises a little.

    But as you say, if voter apathy goes up too much, that does favor Republicans, so it always puts me, personally, in a bind.

  5. Sean Shealy says:

    Democrats are hard-poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, a task that seemed impossible less than a year ago.

    Between the unwillingness of Congress to stand for anything, and a Democratic Party poised to nominate the most hated woman in half the country, against whom there has been a standing half-trillion dollar army of nutty conservative pundits and marketing experts for 15 years, it is amazingly likely that Democrats will not only lose the presidency in 2008, but both houses of congress on the coattails.

    Impeachment may be the only magic pill remaining. Trotting out Republican crimes day after day after day, lead story after lead story after lead story, would probably be sufficient to compete with and overwhelm the coming GOP slime storm.

    Oddly, Pelosi and Reid may have to be impeached first by their own party in order to put this progressive last-ditch effort in motion.

    I hope, as you say, that DLC Democrats face vigorous opposition (and in fact defeat) in the primaries.

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