Friday, November 11, 2005


Bad News for Bush and His Party

The Wall Street Journal (PDF file) delivers the latest round of good news for everybody except Bush and his minions. Not only has Bush's approval rating hit a new low — 38% — but as Paul Waldman observes in Gadflyer, "On nearly every question comparing the two parties the Democrats are outpacing the Republicans, and on many they're scoring better than they have ever scored in the NBC/WSJ poll." Waldman summarizes the poll to show which party has an advantage on each issue. An asterisk indicates the best Democratic advantage ever in this poll.

People persist in believing that Republicans will do a better job of protecting us from bad guys and have stronger "moral values", but they have the smallest lead ever on those issues. Democrats can make inroads on the "protect us, Daddy!" issues both by continuing to point out Bush's failures and by redefining "security" away from Bush's paranoid vision of hitting out when we feel threatened. Recovering from a natural disaster is a matter of national security. So is protection our food and water supply. So is conducting foreign affairs in a way that doesn't turn our allies against us. Democrats have the same opportunity on the "moral" issue. The Republicans are knee-deep in scandal and sinking fast, which should erode any advantage they get from being anti-abortion and homophobic. I've heard Democratic leaders condemning the Republican budget cuts as a betrayal of America's moral values. Governor-Elect Kaine's victory in Virginia, with his campaign message that he practices what his faith preaches, reinforces Howard Dean's message that Democrats are the real party of moral values — the value of "whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me", however each religion's text or tradition expresses it.
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