Sunday, November 12, 2006

Good News for Republicans

When I went to bed election night the Republicans still controlled the Senate and Price had beaten Kilroy for a House seat. The next day two close races were called for the Democrats giving them the Senate. In the meantime, the Price/Kilroy race is the tightest in the country and will not be official until the recount. In fact it is so tight that I heard a radio ad asking provisional voters to be sure that their votes were counted.

So, the Democrats will control Congress. The question is how long? Possibly not very long at all.

A recent poll was released with headlines saying "bad news for Bush". Typically, the important part is buried at the bottom.
While a bare majority of 51 percent called the Democrats' victory "a good thing," even more said they were concerned about some of the actions a Democratic Congress might take, including 78 percent who were somewhat or very concerned that it would seek too hasty a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Another 69 percent said they were concerned that the new Congress would keep the administration "from doing what is necessary to combat terrorism," and two-thirds said they were concerned it would spend too much time investigating the administration and Republican scandals.
According to exit polls, the country did not make a giant step to the left last Tuesday. Instead the voters signaled that they were tired of corruption in government and lack of progress in Iraq. If the Democrats pursue a moderate course with a few populist centerpieces such as raising the minimum wage then they stand a good chance of holding onto Congress and taking the White House. As this poll shows, if the voters are not interested in punishing Republicans nor do they want a quick surrender in Iraq.

So what is on the Democrat's schedule? First, Henry Waxman is promising to probe the Bush administration. In fact, he is promising lots of probes.

“I’m going to have an interesting time because the Government Reform Committee has jurisdiction over everything,” Waxman said Friday, three days after his party’s capture of Congress put him in line to chair the panel. “The most difficult thing will be to pick and choose.”
This sounds like just the sort of thing that Pilosi was supposed to be preventing. This may be an impossible task. Liberals such as Frank Dwyer at Huffington will never go along with limited probes. He wants probes into everything
Wolfowitz and Perle, Tenet and Bremer, Chertoff and Brown, Colin and Condi (what did they do? what did they know?), big oil execs, big pharmaceutical execs, Haliburton execs
The object of all of this is to force Cheney to resign before moving onto impeaching President Bush. Just what 2/3s of the electorate is afraid will happen.

What of Iraq? With Murtha being endorsed as majority leader and several high-ranking Democrats calling for a quick "redeployment", any chance of achieving a stable Iraq is probably a lost cause. No mater what you call it, pulling the troops out in the next few months unilaterally is a retreat. Most Americans will recognize this and remember who lost Viet Nam.

The Democrats seem to be living down to the electorate's worst expectations. All of this should be coming to a boil just in time for the next election.

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