Monday, May 01, 2006

Come November, Will Democracy Be Served?

Looking at the electoral scoreboard come November, I've become something of a depressed Democrat.

The American populace has been loud and clear. They aren't happy with our nation's direction. Depending on the poll -- including one conducted for Fox News Channel -- between 60 and 68% of the country is unsatisfied with President Bush's leadership. A larger percentage has grown tired of Vice President Cheney. Nearly 60% of the nation's voters say they want the Democrats to regain control of Congress.

Scandals plague the Republican Party. By the time voters head to the polls in November, Karl Rove may be indicted, Tom DeLay and former White House Advisor Claude Allen may be punished, other Republicans may be in trouble for playing Casanova at the Watergate Hotel, still more Republicans may be identified in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and still more Republicans may be punished for their ties to the phone-jamming scandal in New Hampshire.

Americans aren't happy about paying $3 for a gallon of gas, remain upset at how FEMA handled Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and scratched our heads at the tin ear the Bush Administration showed at everything from Vice President Cheney's hunting accident to why the administration supported transferring management of U.S. ports to the United Arab Emirates.

Even the Bush Administration has stopped pretending the Iraq War -- entered for questionable reasons, a majority of us believe -- will end anytime soon. It's a far cry from "Mission Accomplished," uttered three years ago today. It's a far cry from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's sarcastic quip way back when that the war would take "five weeks or five months," now President Bush is suggesting the war will be ended by a "future president" The war has become the "quagmire" Rumsfeld said it wouldn't, and the American people have noticed.

And thankfully, a majority of Americans don't buy into the conservative-fringe argument that Democrats are rooting for high death tolls, or unsupportive of the troops. Conservatives have little to turn to other than fear, and convincing Americans that Democrats are un-American and/or incompetent (more incompetent?) is a key component of that strategy.

(Psst.: Democrats seek competence in our management of the war, as well as the greater issues of national security. Unfortunately, too many reporters continue to repeat the conservative spin that the Democrats lack a plan.)

***

So why am I a depressed Democrat?

Because in spite of a deck increasingly stacked in their favor, the Democrats face an uphill battle to regain control of either the House or Senate. Forget the will of the people, or the quality of the incumbents. The math just isn't easy.

In the Senate, 33 seats will be on the ballot in November, 17 of them currently in Democratic hands, 15 controlled by Republicans, and one held by Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT). Democrats now have 44 Senate seats and need to pick up seven to gain a majority, six if Vermont independent Bernie Sanders replaces Jeffords. Most analysts say that a huge Democratic turnout, or a particularly weak Republican turnout, could make the difference. Still, the odds suggest the Democrats will make up ground, but not regain control.

Meanwhile, all 435 House seats are on the ballot this fall, and Democrats need to pick up at least 15 to become the majority party and take control of the House. But redistricting by Republicans (some legally questionable) has made it possible for only about 25 seats to be competitive. A revolution, a la the one led by Newt Gingrich (R-GA) 12 years ago, is unlikely.

"If this election comes down to the individual, race-by-race, case-by-case campaigns, like we've seen for the last four cycles, the Democrats don't have enough top-tier candidates to win 15 seats," Amy Walters, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told the Washington Post.

But again, if turnout is huge for Democrats or paltry for Republicans, the Democrats "do have enough second- and third-tier candidates who can ride a wave," she said.

It is what it is. Six months is a lifetime in politics. But for the will of the people to be served, the American people will have to turn disatisfaction with Republican control into a modern-day voter revolt.

Otherwise, it will be more of the same. Or maybe it will get worse.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also so depressed...but I am so glad YOU are BACK!!!...where the hell did you GO...?!?!?!...I checked and checked and kept reading that same last entry...you were missed, my friend...please don't ever go away again without letting us know when you'll be back...

Someone Who Cares About You...and the Democratic Party

9:45 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Cheer up.
All the Democrats have to do is make sizeable gains, which is the very least of what will happen. Some smart commentators, like JABBS, will repeatedly inform of the masses of the hurdles Dems would face in a complete overthrow of congress.
Drughead Rush's Democratic failure argument would not be heard by the masses.
The weakened Republicans and moderates, however, will have no choice but to give in to the policies of the Dems. More than ever the Dems will be viewed as tilting towards the will of the people.
Repeated polls showing Bush's popularity at the bottom of the toilet bowl, as well as preference of Dems over Republicans by a comfortable margin clearly reveals the mood of the country has shifted.
We have early signifiers. Bush has given in to gasoline policies of Al Gore he once soundly rejected. He joined with Sen. Kennedy in pursuing immigration reform.
Even red-staters recognize the Republican/conservative platform no longer represents their interests. It has failed them miserably. The people have spoken loud and clear. Republicans in power have done nothing to help average Americans.
Improvements from Dems are inevitable, whether they take 10 seats or 15 seats in the House.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Sniffer said...

Dude, Mr. War, I read lots of comments on lefty blogs and I find them very amusing.

“Some smart commentators, like JABBS, will repeatedly inform of the masses of the hurdles Dems would face in a complete overthrow of congress.”

“The weakened Republicans and moderates, however, will have no choice but to give in to the policies of the Dems. More than ever the Dems will be viewed as tilting towards the will of the people.”

I find you liberal completely lacking in common sense. Exactly what would the Republicans be giving in to? Most of you libs on these sites are so completely out of the mainstream that most Democratic front runners distance themselves from the wacky blog extremists…….LIKE YOURSELF.

Now just today I found this on another Commun….er uh… liberal blog, are you related?

“It’s too bad that overall people recognize the current superiority of the Democratic Party,(NOT A TYPO) yet most still think that THEIR incumbent Republican Congressman does a decent-enough job to re-elect him.
Let’s hope that we can explain to them in the next 6 months the distinct advantage they would have if the majorities in the House and Senate were returned to Democratic control.
EVEN IF their Rep in the House HAS done a fairly decent job, continuing to vote for them, and leaving a Republican majority in the House will hurt them more than help them.
This is the message that needs to be pushed - a NEW Democratic rep will be better for YOU, and better for the country as a whole, than sticking with your incumbent Republican Representative.”

“current superiority of the Democratic Party,”

I swear you folks on the left are scary. I oft wonder when you folks leave these comments are y’all being serious, are y’all just a little high? Seriously, c’mon.

3:01 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

To Sniffer above: you are the one who is out of the mainstream.
Take off your blindfold. Read all the polls indicating significant majorities discontent with both Republicans and Bush.
When the polls show people dissatisfied with the Democrats now in congress as well it is because people are frustrated the Dems do not show more initiative in halting Republican destruction.
Sniffer, why don't you name even a single policy of the Republicans that has won favor with the mainstream (outside of 9-11 fear paranoia).
What will the Republicans give in to?
Try Democratic proposals on social security, education, healthcare, medicaid, federal deficit, even Iraq, national security and elsewhere where Republican policies have been viewed by the majority to have been a resounding failure.

3:34 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

In above posting, I meant a single policy of the Republicans since Bush II has been in office.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous ealien said...

So let's make it a revolt, and turn out the vote.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Selatius said...

Democrats will probably gain ground in 2006, but it probably doesn't mean both houses of Congress will switch. That's a bit of a long-shot. The reasonable outcome is that both houses of Congress could switch back in 2008, not 2006.

Of course, there is the wild card of e-voting. As Stalin supposedly said, "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Dhalgren said...

It won't make any difference what the voter turn out is next fall.
The Republicans will not relinquish power. The Republican Party is a fascist party; not "like" a fascist party, but "is" a fascist party. Once a fascist party gains control it never loses an "election"...never. We have to come to grips with the new reality on the ground, here. We have to realize that the institutions of our old Republic are no more. We have to try and deal with this in new ways...or old ways...

3:49 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

First off, welcome back JABBS. Hope you find more things to write about.

Dhalgren, is there proof?

There are conspiracy theories. There is the appearance of wrongdoing. But other than the phone-jamming scandal and a lot of speculation, what is there?

Has anyone been found guilty of voter fraud after any of the questioned recent elections?

3:50 PM  
Anonymous durtee librul said...

The only other thing that may count will be the number of actual disgruntled repubs who MAY decide to vote Dem instead of Repub. I agree with vote COUNTING though, we have seen that firsthand in the last 2 presidential elections.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

I think Sniffer is either the former Snoop, or a good friend.

Either way, Sniffer falls under the heading of "it's easier to name call than to debate." It works for Rush, so it must be good.

Why bother debating the issues or looking at the facts?

As Stephen Colbert said on Friday at the TV-Radio Correspondents Dinner:

"(I)t's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book.

Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term."

4:12 PM  
Blogger July Canute said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Anonymous said...
How far will the Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney/Rice Republican cabal go to stay in power? Orchestrate a deadly attack on U.S. soil as an excuse to bomb Iran?


God help you, Anonymous. You are, indeed, a crazed partisan loon, and a complete imbecile.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Sniffer said...

Rob you just too damm smart to be a liberal LOL!

I changed I’d’s for my new blog. C’mon Rob debate what? Lets review.

The post states:
“Scandals plague the Republican Party. By the time voters head to the polls in November, Karl Rove may be indicted, Tom DeLay and former White House Advisor Claude Allen may be punished, other Republicans may be in trouble for playing Casanova at the Watergate Hotel………”

THEN WAR STATES THE FOLLOWING:
“All the Democrats have to do is make sizeable gains, which is the very least of what will happen. Some smart commentators, like JABBS, will repeatedly inform of the masses of the hurdles Dems would face in a complete overthrow of congress.
Drughead Rush's Democratic failure argument would not be heard by the masses.
The weakened Republicans and moderates, however, will have no choice but to give in to the policies of the Dems.”

Process this for a minute “give in to the policies of the Dems” WHAT POLICIES!?, what ideas, what direction for the country? Your own fearless leader Dean obviously has no plan of action

“Try Democratic proposals on social security, education, healthcare, medicaid, federal deficit, even Iraq, national security”

Please educated me on what Democrat ideas. I don’t read them anywhere on liberal blogs.
Lets do a quick run through the liberal world….
1)Atrios: (Rush) Still Lying After All These Years
2)The Stephen Colbert saga – Multiple liberal blogs
3)Abramoff Visit Records Incomplete
As TalkLeft reported here, the Bush administration, in response to a lawsuit, will release Secret Service logs of Jack Abramoff's visits to the White House.
4)Talk Left and Several other Liberal blogs chiming in on statements made by Sen. Arlen Specter.
5)Dems Prepare to Block Terrence Boyle's Nomination
And how many times do I have to read on liberal blogs Bush’s approval numbers.

Dude people who are conservative or Republicans are not that because of, or despite a particular individual. It's ideals and values. I don’t care if Bush’s poll numbers are at ZERO. What makes you people think that despite Republican issues folks like myself are just gonna say, ah hell lets be a Democrat now.
I know more about Democrats and liberals and frankly what I read on the left is just plain wacked.
The way wacked liberal left prevalent on the blogs I predict will cost Democrats in the long run.
Read the comments on an open thread on KOS or Arios, these people are on Meth or something.
Democrats should be primed to take control of congress but even the experts think that is unlikely, because you people can’t get past the EVIL Bush, Rush’s drugs, Colbert’s corny jokes.
Rob accuses ME of name calling. You folks need to look in the mirror.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Snoop, you're logic is flawed.

No, conservatives don't wake up one day and say "I'll be a Democrat." But the truth is that about 33-36% of voters are consistently Republican, 33-36% are consistently Democrat, and the remaining 28-34 are somewhere in the middle. Hence, you get "Reagan Democrats" and "Clinton Republicans." That's not liberal wackiness, it's just historical data.

Furthermore, while 33-36% of voters may identify themselves as Republican, that doesn't mean they'll come out in force this November. If the number of Republicans who ardently support Bush and the current Republican Congress drops by even a couple of percentage points -- say 31-32%, rather than 35-36% -- that can make a huge difference in an election cycle.

As for your suggestion that "The way wacked liberal left prevalent on the blogs I predict will cost Democrats in the long run" -- that's just ridiculous. Even the most popular liberal blog -- Daily Kos -- has less daily readers than Rush Limbaugh has listeners. Again, that's basic historical data.

So if you think that wacked out commenters on Daily Kos are going to wreck the election for the Democrats, then certainly you'll agree that wacked-out conservative listeners to Rush Limbaugh (or Sean Hannity, or Michael Savage) will wreck things for the Republicans, right?

Finally, you saying that the Democrats lack a plan for any number of issues is just ignorance. The Democrats have proposed lots of things. But they don't control either House of Congress. That means they can't get any of their proposals out of committee, unless they have bipartisan support, or at the least a Republican co-sponsor.

It's an easy game that the conservative noise machine plays. They ignore the Democratic ideas, and instead look at the scorecard of what bills have been passed by Republican majorities.

But what have the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and a Republican president, brought us this decade? The former homeland security inspector general says that DHS is a disaster. FEMA is a disaster. They couldn't react properly to Hurricane Katrina, but we're to believe they could react to a terrorist attack? The GAO was able to slip radioactive material across the Canadian and Mexican borders. The TSA was unable to find bomb-making materials the GAO snuck onto planes in 21 airports. The Republicans won't allow Democratic proposals to pass calling for funding of homeland security for chemical and nuclear plants, because the energy industry doesn't want government regulation. Chertoff said he didn't want to fund protection for trains and subways because so few people use them (tell that to anyone in the NY metro area, or the SF metro area, or the DC metro area.) The US is inspecting a smaller percentage of cargo at our ports now than before 9/11. So please don't tell me you're so naive as to believe the Bush Administration spin that we're safer, merely because Al Qaeda hasn't struck us again.

The Iraq War -- fought for very questionable reasons, as David has noted -- continues indefinitely. How many key people -- from Paul Bremer to the various former generals in Iraq -- have come out publicly to say that Rumsfeld didn't listen to their requests for more troops in Iraq, or to quell the looting that occurred after the fall of Saddam? How many key people have said that we made a huge mistake not protecting the entry points from Syria into Iraq -- either through a ground presence, or air surveillance -- to stop the flow of Saudi/Al Qaeda types who wanted to join the insurgency? Do you really prefer to listen to Peter Pace, who in 2002 said that it wasn't important to capture Osama Bin Laden?

Are you happy with record deficits? Soaring gas prices? Lax environmental policy? Where are the successes under Bush, because the majority of Americans don't see them.

So Snoop, you can simply call Democrats names. And you can remain ignorant of facts (or conveniently overlook them to make your arguments). But the truth is that the Republicans had control of everything, and essentially, they've blown it. They've been drunk with power.

And whatever "ideas" they've proposed have generally done nothing but aid corporations and the wealthy, and screw over just about everyone else. They can talk the talk, but they can't walk the walk. Rather than solve problems, they come up with spin to try to make the problems look like successes. And they've benefited from an often ignorant populace, a lax media, and some very motivated, self-centered advocates on the religious right.

So you can ignore all that and say Stephen Colbert is a blowhard, and the commenters on Daily Kos are morons. It doesn't change the greater reality, which is that a majority of Americans don't like the direction the country is heading, and -- at least they say -- they want to make a change.

12:44 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Sniffer: I may not have fully substantiated my arguments above merely because I didn't want to write a long essay. I also do not see a need to repeat what has been fully expressed ad naseum by non-partisan sources elsewhere.
Maybe I did not make it simple enough for you.
The discontent reflected by polls numbers of the direction of the country, Bush's popularity, and preferred party in power indicate that the Republicans must show a willingness to bend an ear to the Democrats or at least some of their ideas.
I never said Republicans would have to turn in their party badge. But clearly the majority of the population has rejected the party's ideas and are hungry to listen to cross the aisle to listen to what the Democrats have to offer on the various issues.
I'm not going to try to defend that completely baseless and lying Right-wing spin that the Democrats have no ideas. As Rob has said, the Democratic positions are comprehensively explained for anyone that wants to read them.
You can start with the Democratic National Committee website www.democrats.org.
Republican drones will drag out that completely baseless Democrats have no ideas line whenever their own ideas are called into question. To most of the open-minded INFORMED masses, the argument has grown as stale as one-month old limberger cheese.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Sniffer said...

Rob and War

Instead of running up the comment tab here I posted an entry on my blog top entry in response to this.

Peace
Sniffer

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:55 AM  

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