Phoenix-psburton- Republican strategists making the rounds of cable shows seem in a particularly good one might say gleeful mood this week. The November elections may be months away, but if the first week of 2010 is an augury of things to come. The GOP may be in sight of a path back from the political wastelands.

The White House is beginning 2010 as they seemed to live 2009, playing catch up and the announcement Senator Byron Dorgan (D) N.D. is among those retiring caught them by complete surprise. The west wing seems to be drifting toward the Jimmy Carter era of lecturing the public and blaming the media. Too often expressing defensive anger toward journalists who ask questions they don’t like. While republican flaks will concede off air the GOP is not yet in a position to take back the house or senate, democratic leadership will acknowledge in private they expect to lose a couple dozen seats in the house and three to five in the senate. Which makes the next few weeks critical for party leaders in determining how many more representatives and senators are considering getting out of politics.   

From a tactical standpoint, more republicans than democrats have announced retirement, but perception often prevails in politics and when you have mainstream media outlets like C.N.N characterizing the democrats as falling like fly’s , worry among those responsible for planning the slog of another  campaign be they democrat or republican begins to take on its own momentum.

Perception alone could push incumbents who might otherwise seek another term into calling it quits in the face of a perceived tidal wave of voter discontent. Blame for the downturn in the parties political fortunes seems to be visibly drifting toward the west wing . Speaker Nancy Pelosi went so far as to “Dis” the President on his own doorstep which was quickly downplayed by aids as frustration but is a clear signal party leaders are growing more impatient with a President who a year into office, has yet to risk any political capitol. It may also explain why Senator Dorgan didn’t tell anyone he was retiring before making the announcement public.

Polls indicate a growing public impression that democrats are unable to get anything done which makes passing health care legislation the first must score play of the 2010 political season, a bill on the President’s desk by the State of the Union would be a huge symbolic victory and good reason to argue the GOP is simply glimpsing a mirage in the distance and is still far from a return to power, at least that’s my view yours may be different.

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