Well, I suppose turning Iraq into a parking lot IS easier than dealing with domestic political issues.
A majority of Americans say that the nation's economy is in its worst shape in nearly a decade and that President Bush and congressional leaders are spending too much time talking about Iraq, while neglecting problems at home, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The poll found signs of economic distress that cut across party and geographic lines. Nearly half of all Americans are worried that they or someone in their household will be out of a job within a year.
The number of Americans who said they believe the economy is worse than it was just two years ago has increased markedly since the summer. The number of Americans who approve of the way Bush has handled the economy -- 41 percent -- is at the lowest level of his presidency.
And many people said they worry that a war in Iraq -- which most Americans view as inevitable -- would disrupt an already unsettled economy.
The poll found that despite the emphasis by Bush since Labor Day on the need to move against Saddam Hussein, support for such a policy has not changed appreciably since the summer.
While most Americans said they backed Bush's campaign against Iraq, the sentiment was expressed with reservations and signs of apprehension about its potential repercussions.
Americans said they feared a long and costly war that could spread across the Middle East and encourage more terrorist attacks in the United States. They said they do not want the United States to act without support from allies and do not want the United States to act before U.N. weapons inspectors have had an opportunity to enter Iraq.
To me, this is an indication that Americans recognize that Iraq is not problem #1, that being able to feed and clothe their families is foremost in their minds. Sadly, the Shrub Administration seems fixated on Iraq. If the Administration has a domestic economic plan, it must be a state secret.
I watched Tom Daschle interviewed on CNN yesterday morning, and one of the points he made was that Americans are most concerned with their own well-being. Clearly, that is as it should be. To quote one of Ronald Reagan's campaign bon mots, the questions that Americans are beginning to ask themselves is "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" For many Americans, the answer is no. If Shrub and his minions are concerned about that question, they're certainly doing a good job of hiding it. War may provide a distraction, but in the end, it's going to come back to the words of James Carville: "It's the economy, stupid."