It's Time for Republicans to Up Their Game

No matter what challenges he faces, President Obama has at least one thing going for him. They’re called Republicans.

Especially helpful to Obama -- and of very little use to the rest of us -- are the detached and clueless leaders who make up the Republican establishment in Washington. Although they’d like to harness the enthusiasm for the tea party movement to help them win elections, they really don’t connect with that crowd because the very thing the protesters are angry about -- the runaway spending, the irresponsible borrowing, the exponential growth of government, etc. -- the Republican leaders had a hand in creating. They spent billions of dollars of taxpayer money during the years of the Bush administration, and they’ve never taken serious goals like reducing the national debt. They’re the reason that many Americans don’t see any difference between the two major parties.

Take Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who -- during a recent appearance on ABC News’ This Week -- showed just how out of step he is with those who want to reform government. Guest host Matthew Dowd, a Republican strategist and ABC News contributor, filleted McConnell with a few simple questions that McConnell either had trouble answering or ducked altogether.

First, Dowd asked McConnell why, despite a string of election victories for Republicans in Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, a recent poll showed that -- when asked whom it trusted on health care -- 49 percent of respondents said they trust Obama, 37 percent said they trust the Democrats in Congress, and only 32 percent said they trust Republican leaders in Congress.

This is striking, especially when you consider that Obama and Democrats have turned in an atrocious performance on health care reform. Does that mean that, in the eyes of many Americans, Republicans have done even a poorer job of handling the issue?

McConnell immediately steered the question away from Congress and toward the health care bill. Then he spent the next two minutes rattling off Republican talking points about why the Democratic-sponsored legislation is deeply flawed.

We already know that, Senator. But that wasn’t the question.