Dems in touch with public? No way!

Posted by admin
Jul 08 2006


Public Just As Divided As Democrats On Iraq (The Left Coaster):

One of the staples of a lazy, White House-fed press corps is the ongoing drumbeat of “Democrats are divided about Iraq” stories that pop up every week or so in the media. The latest installment comes from Liz Sedoti of the AP, which has run this GOP-inspired storyline already several times before. Aside from providing this as a fresh example of how the media takes a spoon-fed storyline from the GOP and continues a narrative for them, I wanted to bring this up for an even simpler reason: Why does the media expect the Democrats to be unified when the public itself is divided on Iraq?

Gallup reports today that there is no consensus amongst the general public on what to do in Iraq, with the country split approximately in thirds between immediate withdrawal, gradual withdrawal, and staying the course. …

When it comes right down to it, I believe it is the political party that most closely resonates with the voting public that wins elections. If the Dems are more in tune with the public on Iraq, the state of the economy, civil rights, and open and accountable government in all three branches (that means no exemptions for a certain Unitary Executive), then I have hope for our nation’s federal government this year that we will see an end to the Republican party’s ham-fisted rule.

I see two ways this story could wind out, however: On the one hand, Republicans can use the public’s uncertainty against itself, arguing that they, at least, have a plan — even if “staying the course” is nowhere near a plan — and maintain their rule because they have convinced or harangued voters into maintaining the status quo in Washington. One the other hand, they can try to utilize that uncertainty to their advantage, only to run into a brick wall of public impatience. The way the party’s poll numbers, along with the president’s own numbers, have been trending (that would be in the way-sub-50% range, if you hadn’t noticed), I am leaning toward the second possibility at this time.

The war in Iraq is simply not going as the administration and its backers have promised. Three years, hundreds of billions of dollars, and thousands dead along with tens of thousands injured can’t be talked away as easily as Republicans might hope. Meanwhile, the price of gasoline grates many working-class Americans who are not feeling the same optimism as the right-wing wants them to feel. I have encountered people who feel as if their civil rights, freedoms, and system of democratic government with checks and balances are under siege by this administration and its supporters in Congress. It will be tough for the Republican candidates to muster support this election cycle in the face of such daunting issues, ones that they have created and left unresolved for six years running.

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