Premature ecstasy

Premature ecstasy

by digby

So, I notice that Democrats are doing an ecstatic victory dance all over the intertubes about these numbers:

It does look bad. The GOP only has a 28% approval rating which is substantially lower than it was during the shutdown of 95, which everyone agrees was a disaster for them.

However, take a look at the previous low point, 31%, which came during the impeachment. Let's remind ourselves what happened there, shall we? They brought normal governance to a halt and impeached the president for a private indiscretion against the will of the American people. They were very unpopular for doing this and suffered some losses in the congress in the 98 midterms as a result, although they did not lose their majority. Newt Gingrich resigned from congress.

And from that low point they recovered within a year and got themselves close enough to a victory in the presidential election that they were able to finesse a win with the help of the president's brother and a conservative Supreme Court.  Let's just say their irrational behavior didn't exactly destroy them.

And four years after that they held all three branches of government and were saying things like this:
"Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."
(Yes, certain animals run around and are unpleasant, peeing on the furniture and such. Particularly ones that are rabid, like the GOP today.)

Perhaps the lesson in all this is that neither party has a monopoly on humility. But the truth is that things can change quickly in American politics, especially in this period of polarization. Best to keep your head down and fight each fight on the merits and stop being so triumphant every time it seems the other side is on the ropes. It's very likely to come back to bite you in short shrift.