Monday, February 20, 2006

It is shaping up to be a very bad year for the GOP

It is shaping up to be a very bad year for the GOP
Simon Rosenberg
NDN Blog
February 19, 2006 01:54 PM

So, the President starts dropping just a few weeks after an ineffective State of the Union. In some polls he dips below 40 percent, truly dangerous territory. It seems like their years of bad governance has finally caught up with them. That the American people are focusing more on deeds, not words. But can the ruthless pols running the GOP these days turn this thing around and snatch a victory from what could be a near-certain defeat?

Looking at how the year is likely to unfold, it is very hard to see how they turn this thing around.

Let’s drill down a little.

Their strong and resolute leader gets no bounce from his State of the Union, and has now dropped below levels no one thought possible. News in recent days show that the many parallel criminal investigations into GOP leaders are gaining additional momentum, and will likely become a very big problem later this year. Their domestic policy advisor, the quarterback for any major new domestic initiative, resigns suddenly a few days after the State of the Union indicating deeper troubles inside the White House than is commonly understood. Bush's budget is declared dead on arrival by even Republican analysts.

The Medicare prescription drug rollout has been a disaster, with millions of seniors not getting their medicines. Millions who do have the benefit will be hitting the infamous "doughnut hole" for the first time in the months right before the election. Energy costs are more likely to rise than fall this year. Health care costs will continue to rise, further squeezing workers and corporations. The Republicans are deeply divided on the volatile immigration issue, and so far have allowed loony demagogues to define their position. Corporate pension troubles will mount. Economic forecasts predict that national economy will slow later this year.

Bad you say, but what about their ability to exploit their advantages on security issues to help turn the table on Democrats? But what can they point to here? The 9/11 Commission giving their efforts on homeland security Ds and Fs? The rise of terrorism across the world? The incredible failures of the Department of Homeland Security on Katrina? The rise of anti-Americanism throughout Latin America?

Iraq? Just in recent days the Administration lost another one in Iraq, with our candidate for Prime Minister losing to a more religious candidate.