If you read the mainstream media you would think the GOP is in shambles right now. The President's approval rating hovers around 35% in most polls. Just about every poll you can imagine
says people favor the Democrats over the Republicans in Congress. Liberals are already planning their November 7 victory parties when they think they are taking back the House and Senate and finally get to impeach Bush.
But as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend." Yesterday a House seat was up for grabs to replace the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham in California. Republican Brain Bilbray defeated
Democrat Francine Busby getting 50% of the vote in the process. This was supposed to be a tight race the Democrats were hoping to win and use for momentum to show the country has swung their way. But in the end, they couldn't pull off a victory in the bluest of blue states.
There's an old saying that goes, "Everyone hates Congress, but everyone loves their Congressman." If the Democrats intend to take one or both houses of Congress, they have to come up with some big ideas. And in my opinion, they aren't doing that. In 1994 the GOP swept into Congress on a platrom of new ideas called "The Contract with America." They proposed throwing out the old and starting with something new. It was a refreshing idea and they were rewarded for it. The key was it didn't appeal to one base consituency. It was a broad idea that was meant to appeal to everyone, and it worked.
The Democrats seemingly have no ideas, other than to impeach Bush. One day they vote for the war, then they are against the war. They vote for tax cuts, then they want to repeal them. They vote for No Child Left Behind, then they complain about it. They scream over gas prices, but they don't want to open up drilling in Alaska or the Gulf or relax environmental laws to allow more refineries.
Basically, their entire party platform can be summed up in three words: "We hate Bush." While most of the country may agree, it is not enough of a platform to sway voters from the GOP. People fear the unknown. They would rather vote for a guy they don't like but know where he stands rather than vote for a guy they like but can't figure out.
As the summer election season starts to heat up, I think we'll see the GOP close the gap in the polls. The GOP wins on all the issues and the Democrats know it. That's why they are "against gay marriage but opposed to an amendment." That's why they are "personally opposed to abortion, but can't let that affect their vote." That's why they "voted for the war, but not the funding for the war." That's why they think "we need to stop illegal immigration, but not build a wall or prosecute those who aid illegal immigrants."
The problem is issues aren't being debated right now. All we see are generic polls asking people which party they like best, which basically equates to an approval rating on the party in power. If a Democrat came out and said they were going to crush radical Islam, keep taxes low, appoint judges that respected and upheld the Constitution, and balance the federal deficit through budget cuts, I would vote for them. What the Democrats have to avoid is November 7 becoming a choice between the lesser of two evils. In an election like that, they will lose.