On New Years Eve, just days before the Iowa primary, Milwaukee Journal columnist, Patrick McIlheran , ridiculed the New York Times editorial board while alleging that Bush administration critics were utterly alienated from the country.
The record number of Democrats who turned out to caucus in Iowa— more than 239,000, compared with fewer than 125,000 in 2004 — and the surprising easy victory of Barack Obama was a stinging rebuke of the Bush administration and Mr. McIlheran's slander of the administration's critics.
The huge Democratic turn-out — by contrast, 108,000 Republicans caucused on Thursday — demonstrated the extent to which opposition to President Bush has energized the American people.
More than half of those who attended the Democratic caucuses (57%) were new participants.
Obama's victory over Hilliary Clinton, who entered Iowa as the Democratic front runner, also illustrates that voters are far more interested in a candidate promising change — as Mr. Obama was — than one citing experience, the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s appeal. Half of the record number of Democrats said their top factor in choosing a candidate was someone who could bring about change. Just 20 percent said the right experience, Mrs. Clinton’s key argument, was the main factor.
These results reflect the reality, despite Mr. McIlheran's silly protestations, that the Republican Party is more unpopular than at any point in the past 40 years.
Currently, Democrats have a 50 to 36 party identification advantage, the widest in a generation.
Even an ideologue like Mr. McIlheran should know that the public prefers "alienated" Democratic approaches on health care, corruption, the economy and Iraq by double-digit margins.
Republicans’ losses have come across the board, but the G.O.P. has been hemorrhaging support among independent voters who made up 20% of Iowa's Democratic caucus participants..
The turn-out in Iowa and surveys from the Pew Research Center, The Washington Post, Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University show that independents are moving away from the G.O.P. on social issues, globalization and the roles of religion and government.
Even before Iowa, Mr. McIlheran's "utterly alienated" critics had won control of the United States Senate and House of Representatives in 2006 elections by criticising the Bush administration's foreign and domestic policies?
Critics of the Bush administration are not alienated from their fellow citizens or their country.
Rather they are increasingly dissatisfied, as the New York Times editorial so eloquently put it, with what a reckless, handful of extreme neoconservative ideologues have done to our country and its principles. It is "..impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men (President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their neocon crowd) ... showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency...lawless behavior (by the United States government) has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001."
The record turn-out in Iowa and Mr Obama's victory are additional evidence that the American people are alienated from the Bush administration, its policies and apologists, like Mr. McIlheran, not their country.