Things are looking up for the Republicans, relatively speaking. President Obama's poll numbers have dipped, GOP recruitment for the 2010 elections is going better than expected, and the health-care battle has been rough on the Democrats.Has the effort by the Republican extremists to send the brown-shirt "tea-baggers" out into the streets with their efforts to shut down the health care debate caught the Democrats flat-footed?
On top of that, the surveys show Republicans now leading in this year's two major governor's races, in Virginia and New Jersey.
There's just one problem: The country still doesn't like Republicans.
In the short term, these tussles and rumblings may not matter much. The country is focused on judging what the Democrats are doing with the power they hold. The path that politics will take depends largely on the outcome of the health-care battle and the direction of the economy.
But to take advantage of the opportunities that might come their way, Republicans will have to make themselves an acceptable alternative. They have not done this yet. Facing down extremism and breaking out of the party's regional enclave would be good places to start
Sure looks like it right now, but then what we see comes from the same national media that offered this "fair and balanced reporting" last night. Essentially Katie Couric of CBS gave the Republican right-wing extremists a great big slobbering kiss of love and support.
Viacom, GE, Disney and News Corp * simply don't want the Democrats and the American people to win this current battle.
What happens next? Are the Democrats just standing there like the proverbial "Deer in the headlight" frozen in shock and fear? When do they scatter for the woods and run for cover, every man on his own?
Or will we see some kind of organized push-back?
Barack Obama's effort to get the health care ball rolling and implemented has been strategically better than anything since LBJ's Medicare and Civil Rights legislation pushes. But the Republicans feel their status and pocketbooks threatened and have come back with tactics straight out of the playbook of the 1920's European fascists and Nazis.
The traditional disorganization of the Democratic Party is clearly exemplified by the break-away Blue-Dogs who seem to be entirely out for their own advantage and to be willing to work with or for no one consistently.
So what happens next? The ball is in the Democrat's court.
* Viacom, GE, Disney and News Corp are respectively the corporate owners of CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX. The recent agreement between GE and News Corp to shut down the public disagreements between Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly because it damaged the images of the corporate overlords of the news organizations is an example of how the media is managed to present the corporations in the best possible light.
None of those corporations considers their long term financial health to be improved by supporting universal health care, and their captive news outlets certainly demonstrate the corporate pressure.