Monday, January 18, 2010


Ben Nelson in new role as "The Really Unpopular Guy."
(Picture link)

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson's approval rating has fallen to 42%. He was the most popular Senator in the Senate in 2006, with an approval rating of around 73%. Meanwhile, his Republican Senator buddy from Nebraska, Republican Mike Johanns, has a 63% approval rating. Nelson voted for RPCare (Reid/Pelosi health care reform), Johanns against.

Republican Senatorial candidate Scott Brown came from double digits behind to a statistical dead heat in two weeks. But not in the heartland. No indeed.

Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. Making history tomorrow.

He is running in a special election for Ted Kennedy's Senatorial seat in Massachusetts, which is as close to a sure thing as Democrats have in Congress. Democratic fear is so significant that Obama went to Massachusetts to campaign over the weekend. The New York Times ran a front page article on the race.

Whatever happens in Massachusetts on 1/19, Democrats are having serious problems with the American voter over health care.

In another NYTimes article, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California reported that constituents calling her office are running 4-1 against RPCare. That's FOUR to ONE against, in California, which is a heavily Democratic state.

Senator Feinstein trying to find her "happy place."

RPCare is in conference now, with very big differences between the House and Senate versions. Changes on either side are fraught with peril, because the margins of approval were very slim and the opposition in both chambers is highly motivated and was frozen out of the bill drafting process. Obama has jumped into the negotiations with a heretofore unseen vigor. He and other Democrats are becoming nervous as they absorb what the polls are telling them.

I don't really pity the Democratic party. They were the beneficiaries of American anger over a government being run down the side of a mountain with no brakes. In President Bush's case, it was the Iraq war and the expansion of the housing industry. Both were funded with huge debt and piled high with policy errors big and small. When the economy went smash-up Democrats won big.

Republicans: 2008.
Democrats: 2010.

Democrats got control of the federal government and immediately stepped on the gas and went off-road "baja." Not only are we going to run the war in Iraq and Afghanistan on debt, we are going to bail out banks and auto makers, and fund a trillion more dollars of federal health care. Never mind unemployment is over 10%, we've got a crisis to exploit.

Baja is hard. Especially with unemployment so high.

Except that wasn't exactly what the American people had in mind.

So now comes the backlash. It appears the Democrats have hit some land mines and damaged the Humvee, so to speak.

Democrats needn't worry too much, long term. Republicans will find a way to blow things up. They'll just come into Congress and promptly go off on their own big government borrowing bender, have their own smash up, and cede power back to the Democrats.

So cheer up, Democrats. It's just the circle of life.

Hakuna matada.

Democrats looking forward to the mid-terms of 2014.

Over the next 2 years we may get a more fiscally prudent government, like Clinton after the mid-term watershed in 1994. And that would be a good thing right now.

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