Keeping (False) Hope Alive

Tom Maguire takes a look at the New York Times‘ piece on the Democrats 2006 chances and finds it more than a little lacking. The Democrats’ hope of capturing the House seem to be slipping day by day as the Republican base comes back home and the Democrats still can’t elucidate a message other than “we hate Bush” and “really, we’re not that crazy.”

Maguire does a great job of analyzing the political forecasts, which show that the pro-Democratic tide of recent weeks appears to have receded. Both TradeSports and the Iowa Electronic Markets are predicting a GOP hold on both houses. Polls have shown the President’s approval ratings hitting above the 40% mark. Gas prices are falling. Interestingly enough, support for the war in Iraq appears to have increased. Trends can change in the next few weeks before Election Day, but the idea that the Democrats will take control of the House has gone from assuredly to only possibly.

Maguire has a good analysis of why this is:

Following their 2002 debacle the Democrats were criticized for trying to beat something with nothing. I’ll reiterate – here we go again. To win this election the Democrats need to run against George Bush and run away from their base; it’s hard to do both.

Indeed it is hard to do both, and the Democrats are running into the problem that they have to bring forth some kind of policy proposal as a counter to the Republican agenda, but they can’t really do so because if they did what they want to do they’d alienate too much of the electorate to win. The Democrats have essentially become a party that can’t appeal beyond their own base. While the Republicans have done quite a lot to manage to alienate their base and everyone else as well, that only means that the GOP will squeak by rather than wipe the floor with the Democrats.

The Democrats never got a message together other than “we really hate Bush.” They’ve made every possible effort to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory, especially when they deep-sixed one of their own to replace him with a vapid empty suit to be filled with the hot air of liberal bloggers. They continue to be utterly tone deaf on issues of national security, their economic plan is more of the same, and there’s no leadership or coherent message at the top of the party.

Then again, given the way in which the Democrats are willfully blind on crucial matters of national security, perhaps we should be thankful that their chances are on the decline. Were this the vacation from history we got in the 1990s the childish partisanship coming out of Washington would be an amusement. At a time in which we find ourselves at the precipice of disaster and a devastating clash of civilizations, it is intolerable to have the childish and the self-obsessed in power.

2 thoughts on “Keeping (False) Hope Alive

  1. Yawn. Aside from an uptick in the “generic preference” for Republicans (remember two short weeks ago when the “generic preference” didn’t even matter?!?!) but things actually seem to be improving for the Democrats at a race-by-race level. We’ve run into another snag in the New Jersey Senate race, but running against George Bush ALWAYS works in the state. Barring a criminal indictment, Menendez will squeak out a victory. Meanwhile, more states that looked like longshots three months ago (Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia) are seeing Democrats with leads or nipping right on the heels of the incumbent. James Webb absolutely urinated on George Allen in last Sunday’s “Meet the Press” debate, so his momentum seems likely to continue.

    In the House, things are probably not yet at a situation where Democrats will take it back (although not every poll is suggesting things as being as dire as Gallup’s), but Bush’s post 9/11 uptick won’t hold forever. His manipulation of the security issue and embrace of torture will probably be a net benefit, particularly in getting the base back into the fold, but it seems unlikely that that topic will dominate the headlines for the next six weeks.

    I’m not as optimistic as I was a few months back about the Dems taking back the House (but strangely their Senate prospects are getting better by the day), but I’m also not suffering Sean Hannity’s derangement regarding a “dramatic shift” in favor of Republicans that will have any kind of staying power. Nonetheless, one has to be intimidated by the GOP’s $64 million warchest (good thing they’re not the party of the rich!) and their solemn vow to run the nastiest, sleaziest, and most personally degrading campaign in American political history.

  2. It’s funny to me to see a guy that for months has been saying all politics is local to now go to a “The national Democrats don’t have a platform” argument. Locally, the Democrats are running on issues and the local polling isn’t looking good for most incumbent Republicans or Republicans running in moderate open seats. So far, I haven’t seen one race this is affecting.

    What I am seeing is Republicans in trouble in places like Wyoming. Wyoming for crying out loud. And CO-04.

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