One year into the Obama administration, it seems that a sizable portion of the country believe that because he hasn't cleaned up the unprecedented mess left by the former occupant, he somehow caused it. That, anyway, comes through in the reports of GOP focus groups of independent voters in Massachusetts. That, and crashing ignorance:
"I like what Scott Brown stands for and I feel that the Democrats cannot run the country anymore. That too many people that don’t have jobs are going hungry. They’re not taking care of business. They’re not doing their jobs. They’re caught up in this health care thing. I’m saying they’re not taking care of the people that are unemployed.” (Independent Man, Bristol)
Except for the bits in the past year where the Democratic Congress expanded unemployment insurance, passed a stimulus package, prevented massive bank failures, and started winding down two wars.
"Scott Brown ran a campaign as an underdog and he ran without support and is getting his message out, it doesn’t feel like he’s tied to anybody...." (Independent Woman, Norfolk)
Except for the largest single GOP money-drop in a decade.
"Brown would be the forty-first elected Republican, breaking the monopoly the Democrats have in Congress. I think they’re running away with their agenda and not listening to the American people. Just that there are so many cases where, for example the tea party, people are out there expressing their opinions. I see interviews with Harry Reid, not hearing the majority." (Independent Man, Bristol)
Except for the majorities who voted for the Democratic Congress, Senate, and President (53%, 52%, and 53%, respectively) in 2008.
In fact, the Democratic Congress' failing could be that they've tried too hard to represent the entire country, including the obstructionist right wing, when they should have taken their mandate and rammed their policies through. This, if you recall, is what the Republicans did in 1994 and 2000. Andrew Sullivan summarizes:
[The health care reform bill is m]ore conservative than Nixon or Clinton - and yet it's a threat to the meaning of America. This is claptrap. Hooey. Hysteria. And wrong. If the Democrats give into this FNC/RNC campaign to smear Obama as something he is not, they will miss the only chance of real, imperfect but meaningful reform. They will have blinked after being psyched out.
The Republican Party doesn't care about policy, they don't care about governing, they don't care about helping people, and they certainly don't care what the majority of Americans want or need. The Republican Party cares about winning qua winning. And then what? Well, they don't care.
And yet, today's aftershock in Haiti and Japan Airlines' bankruptcy (¥2 trillion) will probably be more important events a year from now.