These are tremulous times for the Republican establishment.
A poll released
this past weekend by Ipsos/Associated Press confirms that Bush's agenda
has slid right off the table and into the trash bin. The president's popularity
has plummeted to a meager 39 percent, the lowest of his tenure. At the center
of Bush's nose dive is the Iraq catastrophe: almost two-thirds of those polled
disapproved of Bush's handling of the invasion and subsequent occupation. The
people's voices have indeed been heard. They want light, not more tunnel and
So you'd think Democrats, the alleged opposition party in Washington, would
be elated over the latest findings, quickly devising a scheme to capitalize
on Bush's overwhelming disapproval ratings. Well, they are devising a scheme,
all right, but it's not one that will bring the troops home or provide any mortar
for Bush's cracked foreign policy.
Two former staffers of the Clinton administration, William Galston and Elaine
Kamarck, both Democratic Leadership Council patrons, released a report
on Oct. 6 that outlined their strategy to take back Washington.
"The groups that were supposed to constitute the new Democratic majority in
2004 simply failed to materialize in sufficient number to overcome the right-center
coalition of the Republican Party," wrote Galston and Kamarck. "[On
defense issues], liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other
Democrats, but from Americans as a whole."
What a load of bull. The American public, although slow to digest the truth
about the Iraq war, is finally coming around. Yet the Democratic Party has nothing
to offer in return. Even with nearly 2,000
U.S. soldiers and countless civilians dead, the Dems still want to stay
the failing course in Iraq. It's all about winning political campaigns, not
justice – never mind that the Dems can't even win a match that's been forfeited
by the Republicans. The liberal establishment is beyond inept; it's hopeless.
Antiwar crusader Cindy Sheehan recently
told me that she thought the Democrats should be abandoned. "I will
not support a pro-war Democrat [in the upcoming elections]. … I regret supporting
John Kerry in 2004," she said. "[T]he movement gained nothing from
his candidacy." Later, in piece titled "War-Hawk
Republicans and Antiwar Democrats: What's the Difference?," Sheehan
wrote, "I think if one is not speaking out right now against the killing
in Iraq, one is supporting it."
Virtually every leading Democrat in D.C. is silent. They have been from the
get-go. One may wonder what the Democrats are waiting for, now that the popular
tides are turning against Dubya. Do they think the Republicans will simply crumble
on their own? Do they think that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are going to be
indicted over this whole Valerie Plame affair? While the stalwarts of the Democratic
Party sit idly by waiting for a miraculous Bush collapse from within, more people
are dying in Iraq every day. Billions more are spent on a war with no end in
So even though Bush is down and out, don't expect the Democrats to ever capitalize.
They have neither the will nor the backbone.