The Oblivious Right
...Since November's election, the victors have managed to be on the wrong side of public opinion on one issue after another: the economy, Social Security privatization, Terri Schiavo, Tom DeLay. By large margins, Americans say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and Mr. Bush is the least popular second-term president on record.
What's going on? Actually, it's quite simple: Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests and the religious right - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns.
[...] the great majority of Americans, who live off their wages, not dividends or capital gains, and aren't doing well at all. Over the past three years, wage and salary income grew less than in any other postwar recovery - less than a tenth as fast as profits. But wage-earning Americans aren't part of the base.
[...] It all makes you wonder how these people ever ended up running the country in the first place. But remember that in 2000, Mr. Bush pretended to be a moderate, and that in the next two elections he used the Iraq war as a wedge to divide and perplex the Democrats.
[...] But Americans are feeling a sense of dread: they're worried about a weak job market, soaring health care costs, rising oil prices and a war that seems to have no end. And they're starting to notice that nobody in power is even trying to deal with these problems, because the people in charge are too busy catering to a base that has other priorities.
Let's hope so. But the Democrats cannot sit around hoping this stuff continues to sink in. The media has shown that it will not do it's job, so they have to delier the message and they have to offer a positive agenda as an alternative. I think we are poised to do well in the mid-terms if we take advantage. [Krugman's full column posted in comments]
[FOLLOW-UP]: Now, I'm not happy that regular Americans are suffering or wishing for bad economic news... the fact is, it's true, and Bush doesn't give a shit -- he and his are doing fine, and always will be. What I'm hoping is that Bush and the Republicans in Congress are forced to pay consequences for what they're doing, and that Democrats will benefit as a result.