Written by Bob Steinburg
A Conservative's Viewpoint
A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals surprising differences between Republicans and Democrats on issues of spirituality and supernatural phenomenon, including astrology.
Only 14 percent of Republicans at least somewhat rely on the positions and aspects of heavenly bodies to predict or have an influence on the future, while nearly one third of Democrats embrace the practice. Either way one doesn't have to be a Galileo to understand that the political landscape is ripe for a seismic shift to the right in this year's mid-term elections.
President Barack Obama and the Democrats swept into office in 2008 when most Republicans in Washington (ironically many of the same group of conservative legislators that saved Bill Clinton's presidency) lost their fiscal compass and became monetary miscreants. They had plenty of help from their Democratic brethren, but the GOP controlled all branches of government through 2006, and thus had no one to blame but themselves for their resounding defeat. Conservative and moderate voters felt betrayed by their fiscal excess.
One would think there was a lesson to be learned by both parties from the Bush years. It appears Republicans have taken note. Democrats, always willing to push the envelope when it comes to spending, apparently have not. They continue to blame Bush for all that ails us and in fact intend to use that strategy in the upcoming elections. It won't work.
Obama and the Democrats were elected 14 months ago to fix the mess in Washington but instead they have only managed to make matters worse. Their reckless "largesse" is jeopardizing this nation's economic prosperity, liberty, morality and super-power status. In fact, things are so bad, that most polls show Democrats trailing Republicans from six to nine percent on the mythical generic ballot-a polling question that asks voters, "If the election were held today would you support a Republican candidate or a Democrat?" This is the same Republican Party that one year ago the media reported dead and buried.
Democrats are beginning to head toward the exits. Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota are calling it quits rather than face an angry electorate. Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who cast the deciding vote to pass the Senate's heath care bill, is trailing his Republican challenger by 31 points in their 2012 senatorial match up. With the Democrats unpopular and failed stimulus, unemployment still in double digits, anger over the health care bill, breaches to national security, a convoluted foreign policy and national debt spiraling into the stratosphere, more retirements may be forthcoming.
In the House there are members of both parties also opting for a one way ticket home. Republicans are having little problem finding a plethora of quality candidates willing to replace members of their own party who are retiring as well as those willing challenge incumbent Democrats. However any Republican road to redemption will not be without its own challenges. Its brand image has been diminished and there is a great deal of infighting between conservatives and moderates to see who will ultimately wrest control of the party. Many of these skirmishes will be played out in primaries that are certain to provide ammo to beleaguered Democrats fighting to retain power.
There is another factor that could throw a monkey wrench into the GOP's optimistic outlook. Democrats believe that the Tea Party grassroots activists will limit Republican gains in 2010. While the movement has no official spokesperson, a convention is planned for later this year with Sarah Palin as the headliner. The Tea Party, once a liberal laughingstock, is now referred to by New York Times columnist David Brooks as "a major force in American politics."