Deja Vu? Congress and Bush hit New Lows

by Ryan on September 19, 2007

in Culture,Election 2008,Politics

This seems like deja vu, but a new poll is out and American’s confidence in our government has hit another new low.  According to a Reuters/Zogby poll released today, only 11% of 1,011 likely voters believe that Congress is doing a good job, with only 29% feeling the same way about President Bush.  Zogby International believes the low numbers are due to a tanking housing market, the mortgage crunch, more people using the “R” word (recession), and uncertainty about Iraq. 

People’s disaffection with government could result in a really bizarre election next year.  Not every poll has Congress and the President this low, but nearly all show very low numbers for both Congress and BushMany people are also pretty sick of the dog and pony shows we’ve had to endure with all the incessant debates and policy parsing all year.  I don’t mind them, but the nation seems to be put off by their frequency and yawning news on the same-ol’ candidates saying predictable things.  I agree with Newt Gingrich (did I say deja vu?) here that there is an opportunity for true civic and political renewal in the eyes of the American people.  We’re yearning for it and either party has the potential for seizing the opportunity.  Newt’s American Solutions Conference begins on September 27 through the 29th and asks the American people to come up with real ideas about fixing America’s problems and creates a forum to discuss these ideas with people around the nation.  According to Newt’s book Winning the Future, securing the borders, English-only in government, and the need to fix Social Security and the tax code are issues where 80%+ of the American people can agree need fixing or doing– why doesn’t a party sit down and try to figure out how to do these things for real, or at least talk about outside-the-box solutions?  The solutions will not be easy or even be accomplished in the typical Washington manner.

I beat the Newt-drum because I’m concerned.  I believe that the Republicans have a built-in handicap next year and really need help if they are to keep the White House and regain Congress.  I also believe that the Millennials are going to vote in decent numbers in 2008, as many of them will be old enough to start paying taxes, have real jobs, and buy their first condo.  They are a voting block that can still be persuaded by either party in my opinion– and may keep that voting pattern for life.  They are a group that doesn’t remember government working well in their lifetimes and I believe would embrace a clearly stated view if it made sense, even if it meant sacrifice.  I believe that the Republican Party has a better chance of seizing the opportunity if they can convince the American people that they want real change and have a real, starkly contrasting vision than the Democrats do.   These kinds of common-sense changes are already pregnant in the party’s basic philosophies, but aren’t yet making the case.  Look to Sarkozy’s campaign model, back to Reagan’s philosophical foundations, mix in new ways of thinking about our national problems and their solutions and I think we’ll have a shot next year to do great things.

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