Stanley B. Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and a co-founder of Democracy Corps. He is a co-editor of The New Majority: Toward a Popular Progressive Politics, published by Yale University Press.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush told a rapt nation and the assembled government of the United States that our nation faces grave threats and must live up to its "great responsibilities," which include defending the "pillars of our civilization": our "families and schools and religious congregations." What is more, he warned, America can only be strong if we "value the institution of marriage." Citing the threat of activist judges poised to impose gay marriage on a reluctant nation, Bush vowed to "defend the sanctity of marriage."
Distrust of government is down and the public is clearly looking for an
expanded governmental role in a vast range of areas related to the September 11
attacks. How else can we explain the big debate on airline safety? The U.S.
Senate wants to federalize security workers and the U.S. House wants to subject
them to intense regulation independent of the airlines. Federalize or regulate?
This is a Democratic dream.
Most Democrats have a hard time being optimistic these days, and it's easy to
understand why. The 1994 midterm election produced a swing to the Republicans
and a new nationalization of politics that undercut Democrats who had survived
in Republican districts and states. A review of polling data suggests that a
conservative surge was in evidence as early as mid-1993, as ideological
conservatives mobilized against the national Democratic government and its
agenda. Three groups in particular--evangelical Christians, lower-income
voters, and seniors--rushed to the Republicans, shifting the electoral balance
against the Democrats.