With President Bush reaching new lows in national polls, Christian conservatives threatening to bolt if Rudy is the nominee and the Iraq war bleeding support in Middle America, Republicans are in a funk about 2008.
And understandably and deservedly so.
The war, a product of hubris, born of the smashing triumph in Afghanistan, and ideology, a Wilsonian vision of democratizing the Middle East, has been a disaster for the country, and the party that plunged us into it. And the Bush amnesty for illegal aliens ignited a rebellion that dealt the establishment its worst thrashing in many moons.
Free trade has cost 3 million manufacturing jobs, sent the dollar plunging to peso levels, denuded America of productive capacity and left us dependent on Chinese loans to finance $800 billion trade deficits.
So, are Republicans doomed to defeat in 2008? By no means.
For the performance of the Congress and Democratic field of presidential hopefuls should be troubling to any Democrat with visions of winning back the White House.
Congress has failed to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, or to contain the surge, or impose its formula for fighting the war, leaving the party base in sputtering, exasperated, impotent rage.
Why has Congress failed? Because it is terrified of the possible consequences of imposing its policy. Congress fears Bush may be right -- that a rapid troop withdrawal risks a strategic disaster and humanitarian catastrophe. Having been lacerated for the loss of Eastern Europe to Stalin, of China to Mao, and of Southeast Asia to Hanoi, they desperately do not want to be held responsible for losing Iraq to Islamic radicalism.
On social and cultural issues, Democrats seems to have learned nothing.
In the last presidential debate, at Dartmouth, Bill Richardson said that, as president, he would refuse the honorary chairmanship of the Boy Scouts. Why? Well, the Boy Scouts does not allow homosexual scoutmasters to take Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts on camping trips.
All the Democratic candidates but Hillary favored a federal law banning smoking in public places. Would that mean U.S. attorneys prosecuting bartenders for letting patrons puff away. Are Democrats going to take the nanny state national? Do they think Middle America is Mike Bloomberg's Manhattan?
All the Democratic candidates except Dennis Kucinich favored the Federal requirement that states outlaw drinking by 18-year-olds, which means high school kids who join the Marines can't have a night of beer with their buddies before heading to Anbar.