Granted, the Democrats were even worse, but you can only say, "We're the lesser of two evils" for so long before the voters decide to test that theory. Test it they did in 2008 and I suspect that quite a few of them are already, less than a month into the Obama administration, regretting their decisions.
In addition, there are three other things worth noting:
4) The American people are deeply suspicious of radical change, particularly if it's not bipartisan. As Barack Obama himself has said, he intends to run "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come." That is a radical and dangerous change for our nation. In fact, that sort of spending could literally become a negative turning point that our country's economy may never truly recover from.
In other words, unless we change course, we will see a day in this country when checks from the federal government won't be worth the paper they're written on and people will need wheelbarrows full of money to buy a loaf of bread. That's the future Barack Obama is creating for our children and if Republicans continue to raise the alarm about this, it will absolutely scare the American people to death -- and with good reason. There are many nations that have been bankrupted by irresponsible government policies and Barack Obama is following in their footsteps.
5) People can understand the problem with deficit spending. There are a lot of political issues the American people have trouble fully wrapping their heads around, but deficit spending is not one of them. Every American understands what it means to operate within a budget and the consequences of running up big bills that you can't pay. They understand that they have to live within their means and the government should as well.
Typically, this issue tends to be potent with the GOP base, but not as much so with the American public. However, with Barack Obama running deficits so large that they would make a Premier of the Soviet Union blanch, the problem will soon be far too big for even the apparatchiks in the mainstream media to deny.
6) With each new spending project, public support for more spending is going to drop further. We've already had TARP, the Big 3 bailout, and now we've passed a stimulus -- and the American people are already getting very, very tired of it. From Rasmussen Reports,
While the Obama Administration is pledging up to $2.5 trillion in support for the troubled U.S. financial system, 56% of Americans oppose giving bankers any additional government money or any guarantees backed by the government.
Twenty percent (20%) support such assistance, and 24% are not sure...
...Fifty-nine percent (59%) say they oppose the $700-billion bank bailout plan that was proposed by the Bush Administration and approved by Congress early last October after the highly publicized failure of Lehman Brothers brought Wall Street's growing problems home to Main Street. Half of that money is being channeled into the new bailout plan.
Twenty percent (20%) say the first bailout plan was a good idea, and 21% are undecided.
The new numbers represent a jump in opposition to the first plan. Forty-five percent (45%) opposed it at the time it was passed, while 30% supported it. A sizable majority expected Wall Street to benefit more than taxpayers from the bailout, but those numbers also are higher now.
The plurality of Americans (46%) say the earlier bailout plan has had no impact on the U.S. economy. Thirty-six percent (36%) think it has made things worse, while just nine percent (9%) say it has helped the economy.
Note that not only do Americans strongly oppose any further bank bailouts, they've become considerably more opposed to the original TARP plan. This is not going to be an exception to the rule; it will be a trend.
That means the Democrats have a choice: continue to compulsively push ever more unpopular spending programs or give up on handing out goodies, which is about 75% of the party's appeal. The smart money would be on the former, not the latter, but either way it's good for the Republican Party.
Summary: We don't know how the economy is going to look in 2010, what all the key issues of the election will be, how popular Obama will be, how well the GOP will work together over the next two years or a number of other things.
However, it has already become very apparent that if the GOP can hold the line on spending, it will not only fire up our base and be good for the country, it will give us an enormous stick with which to savagely beat the Democrats in the 2010 elections.