Because my blood pressure was dangerously low, I tuned into Morning Joe to get frustrated. Among the spectacles was recidivist plagiarist Mike Barnicle denouncing the lack of historical knowledge in America and then immediately confusing Tennessee's and Kentucky's legendary old senators and Mayor Mike Bloomberg with dead guitar hero Mike Bloomfield. Who is writing Barnicle's material these days? He should be fired!
Sen. Claire McCaskill went on to complain about how voters aren't paying attention to all the Dems have done in the past 18 months to save the "middle class" because of all the negative and secret (?) ads that Republicans have been spewing at her party's candidates. Bizarrely, that conversation got started by a discussion of Democratic candidate Jack Conway's pathetic attack on Rand Paul as a true believer in "Aqua Buddha" rather than the carpenter who came and died a criminal's death. (McCaskill wrapped up her appearance by bragging on how St. Louis Cardinals' skipper Tony LaRussa will soon be advertising against "puppy mills.")
Note to McCaskill and other Democrats complaining about not getting enough "credit" for "going to the mat" for the middle class: Voters know what you and the president passed since January 2009 (and nobody is buying the suggestion that your dominance in both houses of Congress is an instance of "partisan gridlock"). That's precisely why you're about to get your asses kicked to the curb. TARP and the auto bailout, initiated under Bush and supported by Obama and most Democrats, are unpopular. Health care reform is unpopular. Increasing massively troop strength in Afghanistan: unpopular. Congress and federal workers getting raises? Also unpopular. Fin-reg reform? To the extent that anyone knows about it, unpopular. The idea of constantly bailing out homeowners regardless of inability to pay? Not popular. An inability to finalize tax rates that will kick in on January 1, 2011? Really unpopular.
The president and Congress have historic or near-historic lows in approval ratings. All Democratic claims about how the stimulus would keep unemployment low and kickstart the economy are belied by everything that runs in the daily newspaper. You're not victims of bad press, but of press (you best hope that no independent or swing voters read the new New York Times Magazine profile of Barack Obama, which is a tremendous portrait of the narcissist in winter).
And a note to Republicans: You got your own asses kicked to the curb back in 2006 not because of what you didn't do but because of what you did: Blow out all stops on spending and war without doing anything to show that you knew bupkus about keeping government lean and efficient.
It's not a complicated lesson, but it seems one that either party is capable of reciting from memory. All pols oughta read this:
A majority in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll disapprove of the jobs President Obama and Congress are doing and have unfavorable views of both major political parties. Only half express even a fair amount of trust and confidence in the people who hold or are running for public office. Just one in four are satisfied with the way the nation is being governed.
Meanwhile, six in 10 Americans say the government has too much power, and nearly half agree with this alarming statement: "The federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedom of ordinary citizens."…
58% of those surveyed say the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. That's the highest percentage who say the government is doing too much in more than a decade.