Bush’s poll numbers are in the toilet, the war is a disaster (Iraq now, Afghanistan soon), the GOP is sodden with corruption and scandal, so obviously conditions are ripe for a Democratic landslide in November — right?
As my answer, let me cite a recent statement by the GOP’s ace sleaze-weasel, Karl Rove: “We’re going to be fine in November.” Rove’s got it right.
As I see it, there are two ways to start a landslide: either you push things until they start rolling, or you make a noise so loud that something on the verge of collapsing actually shakes loose and starts tumbling.
I don’t see the Democratic Party leadership doing much pushing, and they sure aren’t making much noise. All I hear is the mild cheeping of Nancy Pelosi assuring Tim Russert that the Democrats would never dream of doing something so gauche as censure or impeach a president who lied the country into an unnecessary war.
I’d love to see a political leader give Russert a disgusted look and say, “Gee, Lil’ Russ, just because you’ve forgotten how to do your job doesn’t mean everyone else has to.” I’d also love to see a political party that honors fighters like Russ Feingold and tells a mingy appeaser like Hillary Clinton to give all that money she’s raised to somebody who’ll put it to good use, and then go wind-surfing with John Kerry. But I guess we’ll have to wait for some other political party to come along before that happens.
We’ve been down this primrose path before, you know. Once again, the Democratic leadership thinks all its candidates have to do is stand around looking smart while the Republicans sink of their own weight. When the polls are with the Republicans, the Democrats sit tight for fear of offending someone. When the polls are against the Republicans, the Democrats sit tight for fear of re-energizing the Republican base. And when Republicans win the election, they sit tight and make delusional noises about bipartisanship. They read stories about rebellion in the Republican ranks and figure they can just wait for the GOP to kill itself off, then walk back into the White House and start airing out the rooms.
But the Republicans don’t do “sitting tight,” and fights over the soul of the GOP get settled pretty quickly. Just ask Arlen Specter. Last week he was supposed to be the only thing standing between us and a dictatorship. The latest revelations about Bush’s domestic spying operation had him on the warpath. This week he rolled over and begged for the party leadership to rub his tummy, the way a fat, spayed cur always will.
They also don’t worry too much about polls. They know that their task is simply to keep their heads above water during the election, that’s it. Once they’re back in power, they can go back to doing whatever they like and to hell with the Zogby polls. They might even make Tom DeLay chairman of the RNC just to give their Fox News lickspittles something to coo and squeal about.
So I’m here to tell you that unless something major happens, don’t expect any tectonic shifts in power come November. If the Democrats were in the real estate business, they’d tell their clients to buy houses on mountain tops and then sit there waiting for the winds of change to erode them down into beachfront property. I’m always open to being pleasantly surprised. But I’m not holding my breath.Powered by Sidelines