Yesterday's Washington Post reported that House Republicans are worried that Tom DeLay will hurt their chances for reelection. Now the Post suggests they should ask the same question of President Bush. A new Washington Post—ABC News poll finds that "a clear majority of Americans say President Bush is ignoring the public's concerns and instead has become distracted by issues that most people say they care little about."
It's easy to understand why the public might feel this way. The president has devoted an enormous amount of time to his ideologically-driven crusade to privatize Social Security (big problem, wrong answer). In fact, crusades—whether they involve Terri Schiavo, judicial nominations, the war against Darwin, or the war in Iraq—are the hallmark of Bush's second term.
Here are a few issues that Bush could quickly address:
1) The alternative minimum tax. Every married couple I know has been hammered by it.
2) Medical marijuana. It's time for a little humanity in drug policy.
3) Pensions. Out there in the real world, people are shaken up by United Airlines' default on its pension obligations, and wondering where the next shoe will drop.
4) The environment. The Bushies' abuse of the environment is out of control, and Americans don't support it.
5) John Bolton. Only in Dick Cheney's bizarro world is this man worth fighting for. (The judicial nominations battle already damaged the GOP.) Dump him, and let's move on.
One thing these issues have in common: they require Bush to formulate public policy based on reason, rather than religion or ideology. That's all too rare in this White House, and it's going to cost the Republicans in 2006.