Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Handicapping the Race Part 3

Part two was that Rush Limbaugh Speaks column from yesterday. And today's article from Bruce Bartlett continues the same theme even more starkly. Basically Democrats are doomed even if they win.
. . . anything less than a blowout victory of, say, 40 seats in the House and six in the Senate for the Democrats will be viewed as a de facto victory by Republicans. If Democrats only get the 15 seats they need for control of the House and don't get the Senate, Republicans will portray this as a massive defeat, since they should have done so much better given their advantages.
Yep - if we take 35 seats in the house (taking the House) and don't take the Senate, it's a defeat for Democrats. Anything less than 100% success and the democratic Party should just fold up and go home. That's handicapping it a bit high I'd say.

He goes through how Conservative and Southern Democrats will be courted by the White House, and he covers how President Bush will probably get a bit more familiar with the veto. He then suggests that our victory in '06 might pave the way for defeat in '08.
Remember, too, that Democrats thought their Senate victory in 1986 marked the beginning of the end for Republicans. They quickly moved to investigate Iran-Contra and pass liberal legislation. But the hearings went nowhere and the bills were vetoed. Two years later, voters elected Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush, to the White House. I believe that they did so in part to put a check on the Democratic Congress, as they did so often in the postwar era.
I have to admit that it's possible for this history to repeat itself. There are some key differences, namely the War in Iraq (which will still be going on at that point) and the fact that Bush doesn't have a clear successor. On the other hand if someone can present himself as a moderate Republican who's not going to continue the partisan attacks of the Bush White House, who will treat foreign policy a bit more gingerly, and so on and so forth, that person could be really hard to beat in '08. Particularly if they tar Congress as investigation happy. Whoever we put up has to be in a position to defend Congressional oversight.

But that's a problem for tomorrow. Today's problem is getting Congressional oversight, and the only way to do that is to go vote for Democrats. Right now!

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