WASHINGTON -- A palpable mood of frustration and fear is coursing though the Obama administration and its Democratic counsels in the face of a growing political wave that threatens to engulf them all in the coming elections.
If political ire is indeed the mother's milk of our elections, then the forces now building up against the Democrats are mighty indeed.
The Gallup Poll reports "an average of 59 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents told (them) that they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year, the highest average in a midterm election year since 1994," which was when the GOP took full control of the Democratic Congress.
Obama's unpopularity has a lot to do with his party's troubles, and he is sinking fast. Voters disapproved of his policies by 48 percent to 44 percent, Gallup said last week.
"Registered voters are largely split on whether President Obama deserves to be re-elected in 2012, with 46 percent saying he does and 51 percent saying he does not," Gallup reported Monday.
This mounting opposition is now as thick and poisonous as the crude oil that's killing the fishing industry and disfiguring beaches and marshlands along the Gulf coast.
Despite all of the White House's litigious fulminations and criminal investigations, a majority of Americans do not believe he has done nearly enough to tackle the problem of the oil leak over a two-month period as the pleas of Gulf state officials go unanswered.
But there are other wider catastrophes building against Obama and his party that are not going away, and if anything, will get worse:
-- A jobless, anemic condition that threatens to cut the Democratic congressional majority to a near minority.
-- A job-killing health care plan that is driving up costs, endangering private insurance plans and frightening seniors to death.
-- A storm of uncertainty in our financial markets about the damage that all of this is doing to the stock markets, pensions and future economic growth.
Obama's "policies have seriously impaired the economy's normal capacity to create jobs," Stanford economist John Cogan told me.
"The health care law's mandates are already raising the cost of health insurance premium quotes next year and, as a consequence, it's raising the prospective cost of hiring new employees. The health care bill's taxes have hurt the normally recession-proof pharmaceutical and medical device companies," Cogan said.