An anecdote from 2004... and lessons for 2006
Jim Geraghty, writing at National Review Online, asks some key questions concerning the 2006 elections:
|...Today there's frustration in the land. Understandable, bloggers are fed up with pork, want to track down Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, get a good secret hold on their collars and shake them vigorously. But do Democrats get to win back Congress this year based on the performance they've turned in lately? When their plan on Iraq is essentially pull out and hope it gets better, and the most prominent spokesman wants a rapid response force based in Okinawa, do they deserve to win what a potential committee chairman John Dingell said he 'doesn't want to take sides' for or against Hezbollah. Do they get to win when they object to the term Islamic fascism essentially arguing that the guys we're fighting can't be fascists, because they don't have spiffy uniforms and a distinctive march?|
...What? Are they worried that the label fascist will unfairly tarnish the reputations of Al-Qaeda, Iraqi insurgents, Nasrallah and Hezbollah and the Iranian mullahs? Judging by the reaction to Durbin last year, Nazi comparisons are okay for US troops guarding Al-Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, but not okay for the actual terrorists these guys are guarding. When they knock out the one undisputed hawk in their caucus, Lieberman, replace him in Ned Lament, who pledges America is stronger when we work with our families and our allies, do they deserve to win for this? Do they deserve to win? Do they get to win back Congress?
...When they've spent much of the year beating the drums over a crime that didn't occur? The Plame episode. When they had to abandon the culture of corruption argued because members of their caucus had cash in their freezer and took a swing at a capitol police office? When there’s no chance whatsoever that these folks would really crack down on illegal immigration, and they not-so-subtly suggest that wanting immigration laws enforced is de facto racism?
...Look – I can see losing to Bill Clinton. The guy could sell ice to Eskimos, always had the perfect touch on television, and campaigned as the most noncontroversial welfare-reforming centrist ever to kiss a baby. (And, er, uh, other people.) ...But these guys? The GOP is going to lose to Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, John Murtha, Ned Lamont? The crowd that shares its stages with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan?
Maybe my inclinations are blinding me. And there’s still a lot of campaign season to go. But I just don’t think it’s likely that this crowd is going to seal the deal with a majority of the American people.
TKS on National Review Online: An anecdote from 2004, and thinking of 2006