Skip to comments.If they can't make it this year (Loss might ruin Democrats for good)
Posted on 10/25/2006 8:12:42 PM PDT by neverdem
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
If there's one thing pundits agree on, it's that the Republican Party has more to lose in this year's midterm election. An understandable conclusion since the GOP controls everything in Washington but the weather. But it's dead wrong. It's the Democrats who are more at risk.
Look at it this way: If Democrats can't capture either the Senate or the House of Representatives in a climate this toxic for Republicans incompetent conduct of a needless war abroad and mounting evidence of congressional corruption at home they'll be a national laughingstock.
It won't be easy, especially capturing the Senate, where Democrats need to win at least six of the seven or eight seats rated toss-ups while retaining the seat they already hold in New Jersey that's considered up for grabs. The House, where Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats among the 40 to 45 deemed competitive, looks more doable. But no sure thing. Still, should they blow it, Democrats can expect a popular demand that they do the right thing and file for bankruptcy. Go the way of the Whigs, as it were.
Political success is measured as much by perception and expectations as by reality, maybe more. And the perception today, as measured by the polls and signs of flagging enthusiasm among some conservatives, is that President Bush's Republican Party has lost its way it's not even very conservative anymore and has forfeited its right to rule.
The polls everywhere outside the hard-core South are dismal for the president and discouraging for GOP candidates who can't escape his shadow. But they have created a great expectations test for Democrats in the bargain. If they can't win now, when can they ever?
Russ Hemenway of the liberal National Committee for an Effective Congress in New York has been working in national electoral politics for more than 50 years and says he has seen few years as promising for Democrats as this one but the risk that goes with that promise is great.
The impact of another Democratic failure Nov. 7, he said, "would be a terrible psychological blow." On a more practical level, it would be disastrous for Democratic efforts to recruit attractive candidates in the years immediately ahead and for raising money, he said.
Democrats have enjoyed one of their best years in memory in the search for top-tier candidates for the Senate and House, Hemenway said. But it wasn't easy and it required an extravagant promise.
"We told them they'll be in the majority in the next Congress, that these were the best conditions for Democrats in years," Hemenway said. "We told them they will be able to get things done."
Majority-party status is particularly important in the House. With it go chairmanships of subcommittees, even for freshmen, plus patronage, influence or even control over legislation and spending and, most important, the power to hold hearings that draw the press and attract usually favorable attention back home.
Minority members of the House, on the other hand, are usually as conspicuous in the congressional legislative process as the wallpaper. Only on extremely close issues do their votes matter at all something majorities ordinarily take care to avoid. Why give the opposition a chance to be heard?
It's not quite that bad for senators in the minority. Senators have stature and are more visible personalities in Washington as well as at home. Even in the minority, they're pampered and sought after as talking heads on television. And the more collegial, less partisan atmosphere of the Senate offers even minority members an occasional chance to be heard. But even in the Senate, members of the minority chafe at their limitations.
For Democrats, perhaps the worst fallout from failure in the November elections is that it would allow Republicans to justifiably cite the results as a vindication for the Bush record and a rejection of Democrats as a credible alternative.
"If that happens," Hemenway said, "Democrats will be out of power for at least another decade."
I like the title at the Minny Red Star better.
Nope, even if we win this one, we got one more to go.
We've got to face The Beast in 2008.
Then we nominated Bob Dole.
Apparently the author knows nothing of Rove's weather machine.
IF we ALL get out and VOTE and each bring 3 people along with us, I think the dems would be pretty much done and a new "liberal" party would be formed.
LBJ's toliet paper is right about one thing: if the Dims lose, they will go crazy.
I don't buy into this premise. the only reason the Democrats aren't polling the the mid-teens, is the fact that 90% of the media is whoring for them
The folks that are dead are the wacko anti-gun crowd with the tax raisers close beind. No rat,with half a brain, is going there.
GOP fortunes lie with the independent voters. In a mid term election independents will come out if they think the country is in a world of hurt and they are personally suffering (i.e financially). If gasoline prices go low and the economy is strong, why should the independents come out? If that is the case, then it all comes down to which party can turn out their voters. If I hear that we have heavy turn out in my district, then the independents are motivated to come out in a midterm election (meaning bad news for the incumbent).
I almost hope that the dems get their act together a little. If they weren't anti-gun and anti-defense, a lot of folks could vote for them (not me) and this would force our party to the right. With the above scenario, we are going to have to hold our nose and vote for many cycles.
I'll take it! :)
I'll take it! :)
I did not vote for Arlen Specter in '04. But if I lived in N.J. or R.I. I would likely vote for the RINO just because of this possibility.
I think base turnout is big also.
Have no fear. The Great Vast Right Wing, even as we speak, is preparing the main entree, ala The HildaBeast! On stage 1, David (what's his name?) Rosen, on stage 2, Vincent Foster ( where are the car keys? ), Mark Rich (beg your pardon), and a further cast of dozens...coming soon to a TV near you.
Passing over the silliness of "incompetent conduct of a needless war" (which I can because the Dems have yet to propose a better alternative) and the fact that the evidence of congressional corruption that is mounting seems stacked disproportionately toward the Democrat side of the aisle, we are left with the real message - if this much work by the media over this long can't boost the Dems back into majority then nothing will.
It's an entirely mistaken conclusion. What will be shattered by a loss or even a mixed victory is the strident left wing of the party that makes for such great press and lousy politics. What will be strengthened is the conventional party machinery and those who control it. This is not accidental, it is absolutely by design, and the beneficiary is the Presidential candidate waiting in the wings. The wingnuts are screaming now but they'll be voting for her as their only alternative if this election isn't the crushing breakthrough everyone in the MSM seems to be predicting. The problem with overblown predictions is that when they don't come true even a minor victory is profoundly unsatisfying.
And the media absolutely will climb aboard. Sensation sells copy but nothing seduces like power. The Democratic party isn't really in much danger here. The country may be.
It's kind of like the polls that show the majority of people are fed up with Congress and want a change...but don't disclose that many of those same people intend to vote for their incumbent.
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