i see no surprises in the coming year — conservatives will triple-down on their special brand of crazy ...
... which unfortunately for the rest of us means another year of non-stop lies, attacks, obstruction, fear-mongering, tantrums, tea-bagging and general misanthropy, all in a craven effort to poison the taste of liberal governance.
it's a brain-free strategy that doesn't require them to actually tackle real problems, like jobs and money, the kind real people worry about. no doubt the increasingly impolitic-looking defection of parker griffith (r-al) and increasingly divergent polls from increasingly GOP-chummy pollsters are sending visions of sugar-plum majorities dancing in their rovian heads.
but, as i noted in "no rewards for failure", conservatives need to pay attention not to democratic but republican ratings. because as frustrated and disappointed as the electorate appears with the struggling democrats, john q. public is giving no points to republicans, whom john q. continues to rate worse.
the bad news for the GOP: voters still trust president obama more than republicans, even on health care. the numbers: economy, obama +12; health care, obama +7; afghanistan, obama +12; energy, obama +10.
what's the lesson? even though americans disapprove of president obama's record on many domestic policy issues, they do not see the republican party as a viable alternative.
at the very least, john q. recognizes that democrats are at least trying to address real problems, even if he isn't entirely sold on their solutions. as long as republicans continue to hold their breath, stamp their feet, wave their guns and threaten to repeal health reform, john q. is not going to switch horses in midstream, especially if the other horse is a crabby, flea-bitten nag.
conservatives will remain too cynical to realize that their 24-7, it-goes-to-11, non-stop attack-poodle shtick actually alienates those of us living outside their echo chamber. unleashed without any sense of moderation or proportion, their constant carping has already become impossible to take seriously. but, desperate to make any muck stick, republicans will continue to take every possible opportunity to politicize every event and loudly accuse every democrat of ... something, whether it's simply accepting prestigious international awards or making sales pitches for the olympics. why stop now? unfortunately for the GOP, anybody who's not a political junkie will simply tune this noise out — and with it the noisemakers.
still, conservatives need only knock off one democratic senator to bring congress to a literally screeching halt, especially if the house, even if left its sizable margin, chooses to defer to the senate, as it appears resigned to do in order to pass a health reform bill. but that is a dilemma for 2011 and 2012.