Michael Barone notes poll data that suggest Republicans are energized as the next election year approaches. Forty-one percent of Republicans say they are following the news closely, compared with 30 percent of Democrats. Michael writes:
You get the feeling that many Democrats, energized and enthusiastic during the 2008 campaign, have now returned back to their private lives, while Republicans, appalled at what they believe are the disastrous big government policies of the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders, are paying close heed.
That seems pretty clearly true. I would add that another important feature of recent polls is that independents are lining up with the Republicans.
What is striking to me is that the Democrats seem to be doubling down: the stimulus bill on top of TARP; government medicine; cap and trade, still not dead; and now talk of Stimulus II. The Democrats are averting their eyes from the popular outcry against their policies and are hoping–somehow–to escape retribution at the polls. I liken them to a canoeist braving the rapids with his eyes closed, hoping for the best.