Boy, the media sure are rushing to declare the current situation for the Democrats as being particularly sticky. Saddam has been captured and Wall Street is booming--sure sounds like Dubya's two vulnerable areas are suddenly bullet-proof, right? Uh... excuse me, but last I checked:
- The much-vaunted weapons of mass destruction have yet to appear;
- Dubya has refuted the implication, used greatly prior and during the war, that Saddam had anything to do with the World Trade Center attacks;
- While the world in general is quite happy that Saddam is no longer in power, the way we handled the situation -- alienating most of our traditional allies and much of the Muslim world, then invading with neither a plan on how to reconstruct Iraq nor a workable exit strategy -- is beyond incompetent and arrogant, and is ill-befitting any President;
- The situation in Iraq may well become more unstable, indicating not so much loyalty to Saddam as opposition to the US occupation.
Furthermore, Wall Street is hardly the be-all end-all of US economic health:
- There are severe budget crises in almost every state government and in most municipalities;
- Conservatives, long regarded as more financially responsible, have proven their utter fiscal recklessness when they have the political upper hand;
- Layoffs and underemployment are still significant issues that few have dared address;
- A record-setting deficit will soon create its own economic problems that won't be fixed by more tax cuts.
And let us not forget the complete disregard for reasonable, cost-effective environmental regulations, the ongoing corporate scandals to which the White House has turned a blind eye, the rabid and myopic influence on Republicans by the extreme right, and the secretiveness of an administration that refuses to be scrutinized lest its sins be laid bare.
Oh yeah, Dubya might still have a little political capital to spend, but any Democrat capable of framing these issues in a larger vision should be able to persevere over Dubya in 2004. So don't write off the Democrats too quickly, lest you get your own surprise next year.