Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Brick From The Wall

As if things weren't bad enough for the Republicans, comes this story:
Republicans losing crucial swing voters: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Independent voters overwhelmingly favor Democrats to take over the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 7 election and back them on major issues, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said on Monday.

The independents surveyed said they plan to support Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans by a roughly 2-to-1 margin -- 59 percent to 31 percent -- the largest gap in the poll this year, The Washington Post said.

Forty-five percent said it would be good if Democrats recaptured the House majority, 10 percent said it would not and the rest said it would not matter, the newspaper reported.
In 2004, independent voters favored Democrats (which was reflected in the significant gains made in the House and Senate races) by a narrow majority. It would have meant something in the Presidential elections, as well, if Karl Rove hadn't motivated the core Christian Conservative base in opposition to this trend. One imagines a comfortable Kerry win by three percent or so.

Some troubling points in this poll for the Dems, however:
About half of the independents who said they plan to vote Democratic in their district said they are doing so primarily to vote against the Republican candidate rather than to affirmatively support the Democratic candidate, the Post said.
It will be imperative for the Democrats to cobble together a legislative agenda that is both effective, and more important, passed, in order to keep these votes in 2008. This is not a wholly-likely scenario, especially given a hostile Republican president and much bad blood in the mix, overall. It will be a challenge, then, to avoid legislative gridlock.

Too, the temptation to go subpoena-crazy must be avoided as well, which will help prevent this. Yes, there are some issues raised over the past six years that demand thorough and immediate investigation.

Like September 11. Like Katrina. But we also need to do some triage, because there are just so many damned issues that need to be investigated that it would diffuse our focus and inhibit our ability to govern effectively. Like Cheney's energy task force. Like Enron. Like vote counting.

And there may even be issues that we simply need to acknowledge we got screwed on and move ahead, allowing the judicial proceedings now going on to uncover whatever truths there are. Like Valarie Plame. Like Tom Delay.

Remember, we only have two years to prove ourselves to the American people. If we are successful, we can have the legislature AND executive branches as long-term legacies.

And wouldn't that be something?