Why? Obviously, it has nothing to do with the Republicans because they are the only thing that has lower approval ratings than the Democrats. A gigantic 67% of the country disapproves of the Republicans on Congress (a Congress they're about to hand them). Nearly every poll shows general disdain for the Republican Party.
So, if it's not that the voters like the Republican Party or find their answers to our problems particularly appealing (they lose on almost every issue in the polls), what is causing this possibly enormous electoral shift? I think the answer is two-fold.
The first is obvious - voters are throwing the bums out. The Democrats are the party in power and they are paying the price when the country is in bad shape. This is Politics 101. People don't like what's happening, they vote out whoever is in office. That's democracy and it also makes some intrinsic sense generally (though in this case, it makes no sense since they are putting back in power the people who caused the problems in the first place).
Secondly, it's because the Democrats didn't deliver. They said there was going to be big change and that they were going to take care of the middle class. And they didn't. I'm not saying that because I disagree with the size of the stimulus, or gays in the military or whether we had the public option or not. This is not about whether we had sufficient change on specific issues (that's a good debate for another time).
No, this is about broader issues. Did you deliver for the average American voter or did you deliver for Wall Street? Come on, look at the numbers. Wall Street is backing to make record profits and bonuses and we're at nearly 10% unemployment. People aren't stupid. They got robbed. The system didn't get fixed. It's still rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.
Some liberals, progressives and Democrats will accuse me of party treason for saying that. They're right, I don't give a damn about the parties. In this day and age, I would never vote for a Republican in a national election because they have shown themselves to be a completely owned subsidiary of the rich and the powerful. They have demonstrated gross incompetence and are purposely derelict in their duty to the voters. But that doesn't mean I have to be excited about the Democrats. Who is excited by Blanche Lincoln? Other than corporations who bought her years ago.
The Democrats said they were going to bring change - and they didn't. That is their fundamental error. And that is why they are being voted out right now. But knowing how Washington works, they will not get that through their thick skulls. Instead, they will probably go further toward the jackals on the right after this election. They will cater to big business, Wall Street and the top 1% of this country even more after this election - and then wonder why people don't trust them.
I have a crazy suggestion for you guys, which I am sure the Washington establishment will hate with every fiber of their being - why don't you fight for us, the average American voter, over the next two years and see how that works out? Why don't you take on the powerful and punch them in the face (politically)? Why don't you take the fight to the Republicans and tell them you are going to stop the banks from robbing us no matter what happens? Why don't you tell the Washington media to shove it next time they suggest you work with the Republicans in cutting taxes for the rich and balancing the budget on the back of the poor and the middle class?
But you won't. You know it, I know it and the American people know it. You will bow your head and call populism a dirty word and keep catering to the lobbyists and the donors in a desperate attempt to appease them more than the Republicans do.
The system is broken. No one represents us. The special interests and the corporate interests have bought all of the politicians. So, when the American people throw the bums out, they are right. Unfortunately, this time around they are going to replace them with far, far worse bums. But they are going to learn that lesson the hard way. And next time, they'll throw them out again. And they'll keep doing that until one of the parties gets it through their heads that the Washington establishment does not represent the American people. They represent the powerful. And the more you cater to them the more the American people will hate you. And vote you out of office.