I confess, I really tried to see things from the point of view of Pelosi, Reid and Hoyer. However, I can't get my head that far up my ass.
People have already mocked Nancy Pelosi's recent admission of "disappointment" about how things have played out since she took over as Speaker. After all, how could seasoned pols like Nancy, Harry and Steny have been so foolish to think that reversing the Republican rush over the cliff would be a cake walk?
It turns out, it's not just Nancy talking about "disappointment" on Capitol Hill. I was at a recent breakfast with a senator and two congressmen. All three voiced their "disappointment" with the way things were going. After hearing that term used so often in so few days, I suspect some "strategist" must have put it out as a talking point to help position incumbents in November.
A recent USA TODAY poll takes the mystery out of this new public posture from "leadership" in congress. Bottom line... the numbers are going against them. Follow me over the fold for a graphic analysis...
A recent report of the USATODAY poll results shows that Nancy (or someone in her office) can read polling data. The data shows that since Nancy and Harry took over, the honeymoon with the voters was brief. Now, like jilted suitors, the voters are turning on them with a vengeance. The numbers are clear. There is more contempt for Democrats now than there was for Republicans in 2006! They also have cut the "Disapproval Gap" by half. Pretty amazing for an incumbent party with about a year in office.
If this was a stock, I'd short it. Actually, I did bail on these guys back in May. That is exactly what voters are doing now. That is why a fruitbat like Ron Paul is going to be this election cycle's "Internet phenomenon". He is speaking to the disaffected and keeping it simple. He is Ross Perot without the histrionics, Dean without the media hit job, and the antidote to what ails you if you are sick and tired of business as usual.
Nancy, Harry and Steny can see the trend line as clearly as you and I can. The old Daschle/Gephardt approach of appeasing Republicans in the hope that things will get sooooo bad people will have to vote Democratic is working as well now as it did then... which is not well at all.
So we get the Swaggertesque mea culpas. We get the "statesmanlike" understated sound bites about "disappointment" but the reality is these guys are not leading. They are reacting. If we want real change it will have to start with Democratic leadership. Having a majority is just not enough. It is about the type of majority we elect. When Harold Ford's supporters were selling his sorry ass with "we need the win" I didn't buy it. The folks who defend the current lot of incompetents are just enabling more bad behavior. I hate to say it, but Dana Perino said it better than I could, so I will let her get the last word on this:
"Leadership isn't found in chasing polls.
It comes from standing on principle and delivering results."