RUSH: From The Politico: "Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage." Rhetorical? That means call in George Lakoff (rhymes with) to give 'em new words to issue confidence to people. "Following serious setbacks with independents in off-year elections earlier this month, White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.
"Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents," and with unemployment not expected to ease by the next elections, these people are in panic mode. "Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa," all Democrat states.
And, the Republicans continue to increase their lead in the generic ballot, meaning you're going to vote Republican or Democrat in the next congressional races. Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association: "We withdrew from the accounts of voters and now we need to pay them back. We are having these conversations right now about what independents need to see and hear." So the Democrats are talking among themselves about how to say things that will get independents back in the party. "Pat Waak, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, said the party had so far failed to convince independent voters of the steps it had taken to improve the economy." That's because the economy has not improved. It has gotten worse. Rhetoric ain't going to help these guys this time. There's too much suffering, there's too much pain, and the dirty little secret is... Have you seen the rising gasoline prices out there? Have you noticed them?
Now, they are not being reported this time around since Obama's in the White House. But gasoline prices are trickling up and we're getting close to $80-a-barrel oil. Not there yet but we're getting close to it. We don't need to hit a hundred-dollar-a-barrel oil for there to be real economic impact here -- and fuel prices includes heating oil going into the very cold winter that is forecast by the Farmers' Almanac, NASA and Nostradamus. So it's looking bleak out there. And here from Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post: "The most important number in politics today: 1. That's the number of issue areas where a majority of political independents approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News national survey. Only on international affairs does Obama get majority support with 57 percent of independents offering approval for the job he is doing."
Quinnipiac, by the way, has him down to what, 48% today? Gallup has him teetering around 50%. The Rasmussen index is at minus 14. This is the difference between strongly approve and strongly disapprove. That means that there are 14 percentage points more people that strongly disapprove of Obama than approve, and I have a question about that. Obama's Rasmussen approval index dropped to its lowest point ever today. It's minus 14. Why would this be? I have a multiple choice question for you. Please choose between... A: News that the government may be setting up women for rationing screening for breast cancer; B: Fines and incarceration for not buying into Obamacare; C: Death panels, funding abortion, and illegals receiving Obamacare; D: Bowing to royalty; E: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed getting a show trial in New York City. (More on that because Holder is testifying about it today in just a moment.) How about a national debt over $12 trillion? Well, the next ten years with no end in site; dithering in Afghanistan; stonewalling Congress on an investigation of the terror attack at Fort Hood, and the president's indifference to the attack when it happened; double-digit unemployment. Or could it be J: "All of the above"?
All of the above, ladies and gentlemen, minus 14 on the Rasmussen approval index. And, remember, President Obama says creating jobs is not the goal of a coming White House forum on jobs and economic growth.
RUSH: From Fortune magazine: "Are cash-strapped American consumers on for another date with energy price misery? The US economy remains weak and one in six Americans can't find enough work. Yet oil prices have risen steadily this year. A barrel of crude costs $79 and change, more than double its price at the end of 2008. This year's run-up pales in comparison to the one that peaked last summer above $145 a barrel. Even so, some researchers warn we could once again be approaching the point at which rising energy costs will squeeze consumers. That could complicate recovery in an economy that, despite the tumult of the past two years, remains as consumer-driven as ever. ... The price of a gallon of gas is $2.63 a gallon, according to the latest AAA survey. That's well below the 2008 peak of $4.11 -- but up 25% from a year ago and 63% above last December's low."
But it doesn't have to get to four bucks to cause a problem this time because nobody has jobs. If you're unemployed and you're living on unemployment assistance, $2.63 a gallon gas or higher gets pretty close to the impact of $4-a-gallon gas. "What's more, the factors behind this spike seem apt to persist for some time. They include a pickup in global economic activity fueled by massive government spending" which is not really pickup in economic activity, "a decline in the purchasing power of the dollar as the US holds interest rates near zero, and lack of new oil supplies coming online to meet future demand." We're doing it to ourselves. Liberals are doing it to us, liberals in the Democrat Party. It's called Drill, Baby, Drill.