TPM Reader DS
(and a number of others) makes a good point ...
You missed one thing about the 2006 elections, something I think was more important than corruption (although not unconnected):
Katrina confirmed everyone's worst fears about the Bush administration and incompetence - many were worried already because the Iraq well wasn't going so well, but they gave him the benefit of the doubt until Katrina. At that point everything people (even many who voted for Bush and GOP) suspected was not only true, but worse than imagined.
Suddenly the curtain fell away and everyone could see what a catastrophe we'd been led into and that the GOP cheerled these incompetents all along the way.
Katrina was the moment - look at the polls - the floor fell out from Bush and the GOP at that exact moment.
This is very true. Though, as DS
suggests, I think Katrina was more a catalyst. Unfortunately, by the 2006 election, Katrina as an issue in itself had largely moved off the public radar in all but the places directly affected. But it was
a profound catalyzing event. It really settled the public mind on the keys issues of hyper-politicization, cronyism and incompetence which had been which had been minority beliefs prior to Fall 2005 and became majority viewpoints afterwards. It also served as a confirmation and metaphor for the unfolding disaster in Iraq. So this is a critical part of the story. But I still think it was Bush and Iraq -- opinions on both of which had been decisively affected by Katrina -- that drove the 2006 wave.