Sucking The Optimism Out Of America
It only took Bush less than six years to suck the optimism out of this country.
With the congressional midterm elections less than four months away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that candidates will be facing a public that has grown increasingly pessimistic, as nearly two-thirds don't believe life for their children's generation will be better than it has been for them, and nearly 60 percent are doubtful the Iraq war will come to a successful conclusion.
In addition, only 27 percent think the country is headed in the right direction, while just 34 percent approve of the president's handling of Iraq. Fifty-eight percent say they are less confident the Iraq war will come to a successful conclusion.
And there's more pessimism: Among those who believe that the nation is headed on the wrong track, a whopping 81 percent say it's part of a longer-term decline and that things won't get better for a while. Just 12 percent think the problems are short-term blips.
And 65 percent say they feel less confident that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for them. In December 2001, the last time this question was asked, respondents — by a 49-42 percent margin — said they were confident life would be better for their children.
The national mood is so bad that the GOP pollster who does this poll with Peter Hart advises Republican candidates to start attacking Democrats now instead of waiting until after Labor Day.
Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the NBC/Journal survey with Hart, adds that GOP candidates can count on having plenty of money and a proven get-out-the-vote operation. "But they are going to have to run very aggressive campaigns at an individual level to separate themselves from the national environment."
In fact, McInturff says, Republican incumbents who wait until the fall to begin engaging their Democratic opponents will be "rolling the wrong dice." "The national mood is too set and there is not enough time."
When the GOP has nothing positive to offer or any record to run on, its always attack, smear, and fear with these guys. But this is actually a potent theme for the Democrats to campaign on this year, if they ever could get out from under their covers to speak up. Why would you want to keep a party in power whose only real accomplishment is to piss all over Reagan's "Morning in America" mindset and replace it with an empty mantra of greed and fear?