Ideologues – left and right – see elections as referendums on philosophy. But voters – often as not – are looking for simple competence. Somebody to run government well: protect us from enemies foreign and domestic, encourage job growth, educate our kids, spend tax money wisely and sparingly, etc.
Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 because President Bush failed the competency test – on the economy, the war, Katrina, the deficit, everything.
The American people picked somebody else to steer the ship – not necessarily a new ideology.
So why is Obama down in the polls?
Well, are things getting better? Are there more jobs? Are we safer? Is the budget under control? Is health care getting fixed?
That’s what 2010 will be about.