Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dumb Luck Will Have To Be Good Enough

Obviously, sometimes it’s not. But if we get a change in political control of the House and Senate after the mid-term elections in November, we will have received dumb luck by virtue of an opportunity to upset George Bush’s strangle-hold on government at the same time his popularity is in free-fall.
Fearbasedpolitics Smart luck hasn’t worked, blocked at every turn by a combination of Republican control and Democratic hesitancy—in fact it has largely been Democratic uselessness at fault. Nevertheless, we've run on as a nation, loose cannons, indictable offenses, hysteric punditry and fear-based politics overwhelming the courage and optimism that made us great.
Bushapproval It’s no longer a partisan issue to claim the choices made by this administration have been wrong. Americans, by a two-thirds margin agree. Democrats, in my view voice too loud a complaint without any real programs, solutions or ethical integrity of their own. Republicans, desperate to maintain their majority, try every which way to distance themselves from their own administration’s failed policies and still remain Republicans.

But the facts beyond dispute find us with.

  • Another unwinnable and wrongheaded war on our hands, this one in the Middle instead of the Far East

  • A Congress, hopelessly at cross-purposes, viciously partisan and devoid of ethics, on both sides of the aisle

  • A president whose every venture into policymaking has crashed and burned, embarrassing and alienating everyone in the world except himself

  • A level of hubris, enemy-listing, prevarication and lawlessness that pales by comparison with the discredited Nixon administration

Trusting to dumb luck is a weak stick to lean on, but it’s better than no stick at all. Mid-term elections are for the most part a national ho-hum, of little importance to anyone other than the entirety of House members and third of the Senate that are running. So mid-terms have traditionally garnered less interest and smaller voter-turnout than the already embarrassing percentages that attend a presidential election.

This year may be the exception that proves the rule.

  • Terrorism seems to have had its fangs pulled as the predominant issue now that five years have elapsed without a repeat since 9-11.

  • The continued killing of American troops, a number that has eclipsed the WTC dead, is a primary issue and the hollow lie that Iraq was connected to WTC has been exposed.

  • Immigration is a hot topic and 50 million Hispanics will be heard from on that issue.

  • Bush’s crocodile tears from St. Louis Square, followed by turning his back on black New Orleans will energize 45 million black voters.

  • The total incompetence with which the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, the CIA and the Pentagon have been run, is finally a factor.

  • The truly chilling amount of debt left in the wake of this administration is beginning to sink home to those who will be left to pay it off.

And last, there are no coat-tails upon which to ride in a mid-term election. The truly vitriolic levels of personal attack against presidential candidates were horrific to witness, but they were (to our national dismay) effective. Lacking a national candidate, the business of local issues and party discontent play out entirely differently.

If this mid-term fails to overturn the Republican hold on Congress (and that is a distinct possibility), freedom as we know it will not disappear from the American scene. Nor will the world (probably) fall any further apart than it already has in the next two years. What will happen is we will have lost the opportunity to bring this administration to justice. The course that two out of three of us find unacceptable will not be reversed and the precedent of lawless disregard for Constitutional freedom will go unpunished.
Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
This president reads about Lincoln and compares himself to Lincoln, but bears no discernable resemblance.

So what he will not yield we must take from him. That has not been possible in the current configuration of control of all three branches of government by his party, nor will it be unless his grip on the levers of government is broken 12 weeks from now. Dumb luck presents us an historic election at precisely the time winds of change are blowing across the nation.

What comes of that is, quite properly, in the hands of the electorate.
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What's being said about the mid-terms;