Things look pretty bleak right now for the president. The economy continues to stagger, the stock market is in the toilet, the unemployment rate stubbornly refuses to come down and the president's approval rating is sinking into George Bush territory. If things stay like this, it's hard for me to see how he could be re-elected.
I've been to several Tea Party rallies in the past and when the Tea Party first arose, I felt it was in line with my beliefs. However, lately I've been feeling alienated from it, starting with the debt ceiling wrangling. The Tea Party was, in my opinion, unrealistic to think that sweeping changes could be made with Republicans only holding the House. We didn't get into this mess overnight and we won't be able to clean it up quickly either.
A few months ago Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said that in order to win in 2012, Republicans need more than just the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh, of course, took offense at this and, in a bombastic distortion, claimed that Daniels was saying that conservatives were irrelevant. That's not at all what Daniels was claiming and I think he made a valid point. The Tea Party and other conservatives need to remember that while conservatives are necessary for a Republican win in 2012, they are not sufficient. We must remember those voters who don't necessarily identify with a political party - yes, those voters that Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives hold in such contempt, the independents.
I hope the poor economy and Obama's sinking ratings don't lead Republican primary voters to think they can nominate a hardcore candidate. We don't need a replay of the Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle fiasco.