As we wind down toward the end of this, the most bizarre Congressional election in memory, the Democrats appear to be holding their breath in anticipation of victory, hoping against hope that no one realizes that the national media, their candidates, and even their opponents have failed to ask the one question that any political party on the cusp of power should be able to rattle off an answer to with ease:
Just what is it you stand for?
Fortunately, it has not been necessary for them to annunciate any grand ideas or overarching themes that would motivate their mass of voters to go to the polls on election day. This is because the Republicans have all but handed the keys to the Majority washrooms to the Democrats on a silver platter with nary a vote being cast. Spectacular arrogance, malfeasance, cowardice, and a slimy essence permeating the halls of Congress during the last few years have all but sealed the deal and, failing a not insignificant miracle, guaranteed a Democratic coup.
Having acknowledged that the Republicans certainly don’t deserve to win, this could be one election where all those dead people registered to vote by ACORN, the unions, and other Democratic party activist organizations may actually have as much idea of what the winning party stands for as anyone else – thus making their vote as intelligent and perspicacious as say, the mindless morons at the Democratic Underground or Daily Kos. Of course, dead people probably don’t smell very good which means they’d fit right in at gatherings of other Democratic party activists such as those at Moveon.Org meetings.
But promising America their supporters will bathe once and a while would at least be an idea that Democratic politicians could run on. The fact is that few Democrats in competitive races are bothering to annunciate any set of coherent principles save 1) George Bush sucks; and 2) They’re not Republicans.
Iraq? No plan to win or get out except “timetables” for troop withdrawals that don’t mean diddly because there are as many timetables floating around as there are Democratic candidates for President. The economy? (SHHHHHHHH…no go zone). Immigration? We are against calling it amnesty even if it really, truly is. Homeland security? We can do better even though we reserve the right to impeach the President of the United States for initiating surveillance programs that precious few of us have called on him to abandon.
Even believing in bad ideas is better than believing in nothing at all. But since the focus of this election is entirely on Republican shenanigans and stupidity, all the Dems have to do is tread water, smile for the cameras, and accept the glowing encomiums of a press that is beating the Tom-Toms (is it racist of me to include that descriptive?) for every Democrat within range. Gone are all the wild-eyed liberals. This is the party of “moderates” now. Not scary at all just a little eccentric about things like national security and enemy identification. Don’t worry about a thing we’re told. Elect a Democratic majority and all will be right as rain.
Given the way the polls have been trending the last week or so, it appears that most Republicans and many conservatives have “come home” just in time to make many races competitive while perhaps even tipping some Senate races into the red column which would allow the GOP to keep their majority in the Senate. And what Charles Franklin at Pollster.Com calls a built in “firewall” for the Republican House members against huge losses thanks to both 1990 and 2000 redistricting efforts by the GOP that managed to carve out dozens of safe seats, it seems likely that Democratic gains – while significant – could probably be erased in 2008 with a strong candidate at the top of the ticket and much better candidate recruitment.
And given the state of the world, including coming confrontations with the madmen in North Korea and Iran, the differences between the two parties on the overriding issue of national security will still be at the top of the voters’ agenda two years from now. Unless the Democrats can prove over the next two years that they take the security of the United States as seriously as they take investigating Republicans – including the President – the voters are more than likely to lose patience rather quickly and put back into power a party (hopefully chastened and back in touch with its conservative roots) that knows what side it wants to win in Iraq and who the enemy trying to kill us is.