President Obama’s approval rating plummets. Republicans drub Democrats by historically wide margins on the generic question of which party poll respondents favor for the mid-term elections.
Republican voters show much more fervor about participating in those mid-term elections than do the new voters Obama inspired to go to the polls in November 2008.
Most Americans don’t like health care reform, at least for now. They fear the deficit and debt. They think the stimulus was a bust. They’re frustrated with a government that can’t get oil to stop spewing.
It would seem that things are gravy for the Grand Old Party, no? Not so fast, says Brummett. There is one thing — a trivial matter, perhaps — that seems to be missing:
[T]he quality of their actual candidates.
[…] t is to say that the Democrats have nothing going for them in the mid-terms except the weak, reckless and extreme Republicans.
All Republicans need to do to win is not be Democrats. But zeal is hard to keep in strategic check. And the Republican talent pool, nearly drained anyway, has been infested with a major outbreak of zeal.
Brummett details the dearth of decent GOP candidates by touching on the political lunacy of Tea Partiers (Sharron Angle), right-leaning Libertarians (Rand Paul), and even mainstream Republicans (Haley Barbour).
To that national list, I would add a number of Arkansas examples, most notably Tim Griffin, whom Ernest Dumas does an amazing job of skewering here, and Beth Anne Rankin. On a smaller scale, the trend is evident in candidates for state office like John Thurston, the Republican choice for Land Commissioner, District 40 candidate Tony Brooks, and recent BHR whipping boy David Meeks. All of these candidates are prime examples of Republicans running on Bible verses and/or mindless talking points wholly detached from reality.
Looking over the positions of some of the people I just listed, I have to agree with Brummett’s conclusion.
How bad is it? Well, there’s this: George W. Bush came through Arkansas several weeks ago to lecture at a conservative college. And he sounded pretty reasonable, relatively speaking.