Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Will the Democrats Do?

This has certainly been one of the more ... interesting ... mid-term elections I've ever seen. I didn't comment on the Mark Foley affair before now because I was just too gobsmacked with astonishment at first. By now there's not much left to be said. Like Sullivan, I just hope that this will finally force the Republicans to confront their hypocrisy on this issue. Privately they've long had no problem with gays as friends and valued staffers, while publicly they vilify us and demonize us to attract the religious right and win elections. I don't think they're going to be able to pull that off any more.

Anyway, the big question is whether this will throw control of the House, and maybe even the Senate, into Democratic hands. There's a lot of glee in some quarters about how much will change if that happens, but there's one area where I think very little will change, and it's the area where so many people want change so badly: the war in Iraq.

The administration's unwillingness to see the disastrous mess in Iraq, its insistance that despite what we see on TV everything's going pretty darn good over there, has gone way beyond being a joke and is now just a tragedy. But if they do suffer an electoral setback in a few weeks, if the Democrats do take some measure of control, all they have to do to turn defeat into advantage is to just start noticing what everyone else has seen all along.

So if a Democratic Congress forces the withdrawal of so much as one platoon ahead of schedule and something bad happens, even at the same level it's already happening, look to see Bush on the news knitting his brows and shaking his head about how terrible it all is over there. One roadside bomb goes off, one dead civilian is found, and listen to the chorus of "WE TOLD YOU SO!!!" coming from the GOP. This of course would be rankest hypocrisy, but go back and re-read paragraph one.

This means that even if the Democrats do win in a few weeks, I think they'll be very cautious about demanding troop withdrawals. Surely they're not stupid enough to take control away from the Republicans, only to hand it back in two years. Then again, with these guys, you never know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both parties have lost their moorings, but the process of a generational rebuild is so disruptive, and the process of raising a third party even more so, that I despair of our government in general having a clear vision for years to come. It is only through laziness and the occasional interest in primary elections that keeps me from becoming a Decline To State.

(Note that, for reasons that are thoroughly mysterious, I am blogging again.)