Pete, the phenomenon which you aptly document is taking a toll on the Democrats. Rasmussen reports:
With the Blagojevich scandal unfolding in Illinois and tainting at least one senior Obama administration official, the number of voters unsure which political party they can trust to deal with government ethics and corruption has climbed to its highest level since June.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% don’t know which party to trust. Last month, just 30% of voters were undecided.
Trust in both the Democratic and Republican Parties is also at the lowest levels since June. Now, 36% trust the Democrats more, while 26% trust Republicans more. In November, voters trusted Democrats more when it came to corruption by a 38% to 31% margin.
I wonder whether the spate of senate seat appointments by Democratic governors will also sit poorly with voters. Seeing the rich and well connected — and worse, the related — getting positions of great power can be a bit off-putting. Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s stunt –putting his aide in for a couple of years to keep the seat warm for Biden’s son– embodied the perfect nexus of presumptuousness and nepotism. And as lovely as Carline Kennedy might be, her selection would be further evidence that the rich and powerful get what they want. At least Hillary Clinton did the hard work of running for office and winning fair and square.
All in all, it’s not a pretty picture. The Democrats would do well to learn from the Republicans’ mistakes: throw the miscreants out, pick party leaders on merit and be quick and complete in disclosing bad facts. Democrats delude themselves if they conclude their gains are permanent or that voters will be more forgiving of their misdeeds than of the Republicans’.