With Bush Reeling, Democrats Need to Act

Only 41 percent of Americans approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as President of the Unites States, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. 63 percent of American have indicated that the country is moving in the wrong direction. These numbers are ruining the President’s second term. It’s startling how far he has fallen from his 90 percent approval rating after the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina, skyrocketing gas prices, and the administration’s mishandling of the war in Iraq have all contributed to the Bush’s decreased popularity in the polls.

On the racial divide, only one third of African-Americans feel that President Bush cares about finding housing and jobs for the refugees of Hurricane Katrina. More disturbing are the two thirds of African-Americans who feel that race was a factor in the slow response by the federal government to the hurricane.

Bush’s numbers are bordering on the Richard Nixon/Jimmy Carter/George H.W. Bush league of unpopular/crappy Presidents. If they fall any further, he’ll be a lame duck for the last three years of his presidency.

Though the Bush presidency is reeling, the Democratic Party hasn’t improved its status either. Rather than mount an opposition against the Republicans, Democrats have sat back and watched Bush shoot himself in the foot for the last six months. Although this may be a wise political strategy, it does a disservice to the millions of liberal Americans who need to be represented.

Last fall, President Bush won only 51 percent of the popular vote. Most people would argue that his victory could be characterized as narrow. So why haven’t the Democrats been more vocal?

A civil war is about to erupt within the party between the maniacal left wing led by the idiotic Howard Dean and the party moderates led by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. The Democrats can’t seem to agree on a comprehensive message to articulate to the public. With different factions saying different things, it’s hard to tell what the party stands for.

What the Democrats lack most is a backbone. Party leaders are unable to provide the 49 percent of us who did not vote for Bush with something to get excited about. With the President’s approval ratings in the gutter, now would be as a good a time as any to show a little strength and bite back.

One easy remedy to the Democrats’ problems would be to replace the party leadership. Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean is not improving the image of the party. His harsh rhetoric alienates the moderates that are crucial for an electoral victory. Former President Bill Clinton would make an excellent DNC chairman. His ability to raise money and his unifying status within the party would prove to be huge assets for the Democrats.

In Congress, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid is providing little leadership. Senate Democrats should band together and elect Barack Obama of Illinois their minority leader. Obama is a thoughtful lawmaker who can also excite the masses. His speech at last year’s Democratic National Convention left little doubt that he is among the rising stars of the party.

With the President on the ropes, it’s key that the Democrats reclaim some political capital. If they stay silent, they risk alienating tens of millions of us who want an alternative to the Bush administration.