Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cold Water

The bad news for the Bush Presidency has been coming even faster than their abilities to make excuses for them. You've got his still-low approval rating, with more people strongly disapproving of him than approving of him at all. (h/t Andrew Sullivan) You have the revelations that Bush allowed leaking (which, again appears to be legal here, and there is no mention of Plame as of now - condemn him for what he did, not what people think he did) selectively while getting in high dudgeon about it in public, which doesn't help his credibility at all. You have the New Hampshire phone scandal having possible ties to the White House, and of course as per usual the WH is stalling. You've got Iraq and several once-fierce defenders calling for withdrawal, the most recent being Newt Gingrich. Polls now give Democrats edges in almost all areas, from immigration to (barely) defense. Clinton never had this kind of perfect storm.

But I'm here to throw cold water on hope, kick the fantasy in the groin, and slap the dreamers about the face, saying "It's ain't over yet."

First, like them or hate them, the Republicans can campaign. They may do it dirty, they may Swift Boat Lie, they may sleaze, what have you, but they win. Do not count on the ever-increasing bad news as a bellwether for the election.

Second, and we must be honest here, this isn't an election about right ideas vs. wrong ideas. Mostly, it's an election about wrong ideas vs. no ideas at all beyond opposition. This could very well be a winning hand - it helped in the Republican Revolution (so quickly tainted) of '96, but they also had the Contract w/America as well and they seemed to have a different idea. I don't know if it's a big deal to the electorate at large, but I do know that should Democrat get voted into power, they will have to have some ideas beyond uncovering what the Bush group has done wrong. That's a worthy endeavor, don't get me wrong, but beyond that needed goal,. they'll be in charge of everything else.

Third, anything can happen. There are rumors of a military attack on Iran - I can already hear the echo of "Don't change horses in midstream!" Iraq may, somehow, turn around. bin Laden could be captured. Threat levels could be raised and lowered like tube tops during Mardi Gras. No one knows what the future will bring.

And finally, the Democrats have an unerring talent for pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory. Someone will do something stupid (for God's and Bast's sake, keep McKinney quiet until after the election!) and the Republicans will leap all over it.

I do feel a change is possible - I just wish the Democrats made more of a slogan then "We're better than Bush." Of course they are, given how pathetic and divisive he's been, that's the "Taller than Mickey Rooney award." Given how the world is, given how badly Bush and co. have screwed it up, and given the massive need to fix things, I'd like to see some concrete ideas (as concrete as one can be during election campaigning, anyway). I trust the Democrats more than Bush's circle of cohorts, yes.

Again, "Taller than Mickey Rooney". That attitude of Anybody but Bush won't last.

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