ONE WEEK TO GO
But you know what? We've seen this before. Rebublican leadership has one week to bust out the big guns. I believe they'll try. And experience tells us the Dems'll be anything but blunt & tough in their response. So far, during the skirmishes leading to the culminating battle, I'm surprised no one's talking more about Saddam's verdict and sentence coming down 48 hours before Election Day. I'm surprised Democrats aren't hammering more at the inequities and shaky fundamentals in the economy. I'm surprised advertisements aren't focusing more on the concrete failures of the last 6 years. In all areas, not only Iraq. I'm surprised Bush's lies & incompetence aren't always in the spotlight. I'm surprised every ad doesn't include the name "Bush" early & often. Bush should be the main character in this story.
Is it "fair" for every Democrat links his Republican opponent to Bush? Yes & no. Not to the degree that rank-and-file GOP congresspeople had little to do, affirmatively, with the policy brush-strokes of the past half-decade or so. Especially if they served only two years.
But on the other hand, every member of Congress (Democrat included) has been complicit in national policy, if only through passivity in the face of Administration directives. And if someone's likely to continue that passivity, or even worse, actively foment hard-line strategies, then that person's gotta go. And simply playing the odds, who's more likely to fall into those categories?
The passive? Slightly more likely for a Republican, but the Democrats get no free pass on this count. But the active? That's the crux of this year's election. It's that large body of "normal" GOP Representatives and Senators that need to go. They may not want to support Bush anymore, and they may even pay lip service to opposing him. But you know what? They won't.
Because they can't. A position that creates hurdles for the party leadership's program, means death next time around: no money, no campaign help, no quid pro quo on sponsored legislation next term. To be sure, the Dems also will remain beholden to lobbyists, corporate influence, and pandering to quasi-official bodies like the Fed. But, for all that, it's in their best interests to actively & directly oppose an unpopular President. And what the hell, strange though it'll look after 25 years of backsliding, political suicide, and a failure of will, maybe the Democrats will actually do that. And if they do, it'll be good for the country. And that's why a lesser-of-two evils approach, which I've always railed against, is the answer right now. Unpalatable as it is in the ideal, in the abstract, it's the only reasonable choice in 2006.
One week left. Let's hope they don't screw it up.