There is a 'lay of the land' (always a snapshot and never a guarantee) story in the LA Times that captures a bit of what we have been telling you here, lo, all these months.
President Bush's unpopularity and a string of political setbacks have created a toxic climate for the Republican Party, making it harder to raise money and recruit candidates for its drive to retake control of Congress.
Some of the GOP's top choices to run for the House next year have declined, citing what Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) called a "poisonous" environment. And Republicans' fundraising edge, an important advantage over the last five years, has dwindled.
"The reality is the Republican brand right now is just not a good brand," said Tim Hibbitts, an independent Oregon pollster. "For Republicans, the only way things really get better … is if somehow, some way, Iraq turns around."
Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said the party was "desperately in need of some Prozac."
The GOP is having trouble with cash and candidates, according to the article. Just wait... between Bush, Iraq, Gonzales and the scandals bubbling up there's little good news on the horizon. The reality is, to agree with Hibbitts at a core level and not just as a marketing analysis, that the Republican brand right now is just not a good brand. They are advocating a toxic mix of poor judgment and incompetence (Iraq and Katrina response) while pushing ideology over skill and professionalism (Gozales, Rove and political minders in the agencies).
Every wistful look at Ronald Reagan (be prepared for a regular dose between now and 11/08) is an admission of a weak bench today. And the coalescing CW around the idea that Iraq will do to Republican branding on national security what Hoover did to the GOP on economics (ruin it for the next 40 years) is a remarkable comment on the GOP's chances down the road (see today's Sunday shows).
Americans want out of Iraq. The GOP has an albatross around its neck. And comments about how 'Dems are divided' are so much smoke and mirrors. The GOP is in disarray, and they've got no clear path as to how to get out of the hole they are in.