A.J. DiCintio
Changing Washington, again!
By A.J. DiCintio
October 2, 2010

It has begun a few years before many of us expected, but the truth is that America has joined Western Europe in entering an era characterized by problems whose solutions are so elusively difficult, maddeningly frustrating, and excruciatingly painful that throughout history they have brought many a culture to ruin.

There is, however, something new in the era's current iteration, owing to its occurring in democratic societies at a time when, at the speed of light, the New Media is able to disseminate news and commentary about the stinking lies and putrid obfuscations that are the stock-in-trade of politicians.

That new something in the U.S. is that with each national election cycle, voters are acknowledging this Mark Twain truth:

"Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason."

Think of it.

A change occurred in '06, when voters became disgusted by the odor of congressional Republicans who, just a few years after a "revolution," began metamorphosing in a way that would ultimately make their stink indistinguishable from that of liberals who were sent swirling down the toilet in '94.

It occurred in '08, when eight years of foolishly dogmatic neo-con and big money, big business Republicanism had so sickened the minds and stomachs of voters that they felt they had no choice but to buy the elixir of hazy hope and misty change peddled by a little known snake oil salesman whose nose reaches so far into the air that he once felt compelled to quit the campaign trail and rush off to Berlin to lecture the world with a speech that reeked of jaw-dropping pretension.

And it's occurring again in '10, as revealed by polling indicating that independents — i.e. those who determine who will sit in the seats of power — are as sick of the huckster's foul policies as they are of the rotten methods with which he and his minions have forced them down the public's throat.

For evidence that another change is highly likely to occur in November, we can turn to the predictably excellent in-depth polling done by Andrew Kohut and his team at the Pew Research Center as reported in "Independents Oppose Party in Power . . . Again." (September 23, 2010.)

Here is the basic bad news the poll holds for congressional Democrats:

Among likely voters, Pew finds a 7% advantage for Republican candidates. However, among independents the advantage rises to a stunning 13%.

But the bad news for Democrats doesn't end there.

Examining data from '94, '98, '02, '06, and '10, Pew finds that 48% of independents have "given a lot of thought to the [current] election," the highest number recorded for the group in the five cycles studied.

Moreover, regarding their intent to "definitely" vote in November, independents again respond at a new high (65%) with Republicans at a super-energized 83% and Democrats 69%.

Finally, there are these additional findings, which don't bode well for the nation's liberal president and his like-minded congressional cohorts led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

69% of independents who say "Obama has made the economy worse" plan to vote Republican, with 80% of them indicating they will definitely vote.

64% of independents who say they are "Angry with government," 64% who "Disapprove of health care reform," and 56% who "Prefer smaller government" plan to vote Republican, with an average of 71% in these three categories definitely intending to vote.

Despite what this or that poll says about a specific contest, this polling of independents tells us all we need to know about the excellent odds Republicans have of taking the House and possibly the Senate in November.

However, an analysis of the poll cannot be called complete if one fails to grasp the significance of these words:

While this ideological tide [a move toward conservatism]among independents benefits the GOP, there is a broader rejection of the party in power that also is influencing independent support for Republican candidates. Given their detachment from the parties and general skepticism about politics, independents' views of [a] president's and the parties' performance can and do change quickly.

Yes, for independents and others, including members of the Tea Party, views of politicians and parties are changing quickly indeed; for they have seen both parties fail to employ courage and common sense in attacking problems that include the decline of the middle class, the rampaging cost of healthcare, dangerous domestic and international adventurism, and the threat to liberty and prosperity caused by an insatiably voracious federal government whose power is metastasizing across the nation like a virulent cancer.

Unfortunately, there is virtually zero probability the Democratic Party, hopelessly mired in the fetid morass of left wing social and political dogmas, will even admit to that failure.

Yet, with the push it is getting from independents and the Tea Party to bring common sense and reason to public policy, the GOP has a good opportunity to undergo a rebirth that makes it a party of effective, efficient government that serves not special interests but the people of the fifty states.

Let's hope Republican leaders bring about that rebirth; for while a baby's diapers are ultimately changed out of love, the continual changes the public is being forced to make in Washington are motivated by anger and frustration, two forces that always explode with astonishing results if allowed to boil and bubble too long in the human psyche.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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