The fact that President Bush hasn’t enjoyed much of a honeymoon period during his second term isn’t news. His Social Security plan and road show are garnering little support. The war in Iraq is an increasingly messy situation that even he now tries to avoid mentioning. He’s been forced to threaten a partisan-friendly Congress with the veto over stem-cell research. But, Bush’s struggles are the only indications that there are possible shifts a foot in DC.
Congress, and by turn Republicans in general, seem to be swimming against the current more frequently these days. The Schiavo Case. Social Security. The Nuclear Option. These trends are seen on the state level, too. Sixteen states have minimum wages higher than the federal level. Five of these states have hiked the wage rate this year alone. State legislatures like Maryland’s are passing pro-worker bills, bucking the big business trend of past years.
I’m not trying to sound Democratic trumpets prematurely – politics can change in a heartbeat. But there are certainly mounting signs that the national tide may be turning – a good sign for Dems --- or anyone in favor of shoring up social programs like Medicaid and Medicare, saving Social Security, restoring tethered international relations or returning to fiscal responsibility.
I agree completely with Paul Krugman – Americans want security. But terrorists and over-stated threats from Saddam Hussein aren’t the only security threats weighing on our minds these days. Americans want a return to domestic and financial security. And typically, when the desire for this type of security wins out, Americans turn to their left.
Dare we hope?