The Democrats in Congress have lost much of the leadership edge they carried out of the 2006 midterm election, with the lack of progress in Iraq being the leading cause. Their only solace: President Bush and the Republicans aren't doing any better.
Six weeks ago the Democrats held a 24-point lead over Bush as the stronger leadership force in Washington; today that's collapsed to a dead heat. The Democrats' overall job approval rating likewise has dropped, from a 54 percent majority to 44 percent now -- with the decline occurring almost exclusively among strong opponents of the Iraq War.
You don't reward bad behaviour. It's as simple as that. The Democrats have seriously damaged their credibility. The American people want their troops to come home - not tomorrow, but at least eventually. The Dems blew it with their last vote and now they're paying for it.
But don't expect people to be taking to the streets in droves though. This is the era of the Grumpiness Revolution (tm):
Another figure underscores the public's broad grumpiness: Seventy-three percent now say the country's off on the wrong track, the most in just over a decade.
Grumpy people typically don't have much energy to do much more than throw things at their teevees or just change the channel when they're annoyed by politicians.
73%. That's huge. But it still isn't enough, apparently, for mass demonstrations or any kind of effective political revolution. That's obvious judging the current crop of top Democratic presidential candidates.
Just what does it take?