The Coming Democratic Congress?

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Conservative commentators Michael Barone and John J. Miller are starting to brace for Dem wins in the House and Senate in November.

Says Barone, who devotes his col to what a Speaker Pelosi would do: "It is time to take seriously the possibility the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in the elections next month. The breaking of the Mark Foley scandal on the last day of the congressional session—who held onto the incriminating instant messages until this strategic delivery date?—put the Republican leadership on the defensive and changed the political landscape."

And Miller surveys Senate races over at National Review with some trepidation, asking whether the Dems will pick up the six seats they need to take contol: "Odds are they'll come close. If they gain five seats, Vice President Cheney will spend his final two years in office as the Senate's tiebreaker.

And the Wash Post is now reporting that GOP officials are expecting to lose between seven and 30 seats in the House, where the magic number for Dems is 15.

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  1. I for one welcome our new insect overlords..

  2. Fantastic. Hopefully sweet gridlock will call a halt to the damage, for 2 years at least.

  3. It’s rope-a-dope, again. The Republicans are trying to lower expectations so that if there’s anything short of a complete rout, they’ll be able to claim victory. They do this every election.

  4. It would also be interesting if the Democrats gained three Senate seats.

    With a 52-48 Republican majority, the New England liberal Republican triumvirate of Chafee, Collins and Snowe would suddenly become far more influential — and could stop the Senate’s Radical Right dead in their tracks.

  5. Bubba Zanetti

    Unfortunately, in my lifetime gridlock has only occurred with a Democrat President and Republican Congress.

    Republican Presidents have either grudgingly or, in the case of Nixon, enthusiastically signed every piece of big spending social or corporate welfare or warfare bill that was sent up.

    Truman bitched about the do-nothing Congress till he got one to his liking. Clinton just pretended that everything was his idea all along.

    Do you seriously think that W would suddenly find a veto pen?

  6. The era of Big Ideas is over.

  7. The era of Big Ideas is over.

    Unfortunately the era of Good Ideas shows little hope of ever beginning.

  8. Issac Bartram — The fact that Dubya doesn’t have reelection to think about anymore might lead him to dust off his veto pen, but my hopes aren’t too high either.

  9. On many issues the Democrats won’t be much of an improvement–is the logic behind smoking bans and racial preferences better or worse than, say, the logic behind teaching ID in public schools? …and if Kerry and Ms. Clinton were any indication, I don’t think we should expect much in the way of a better Iraq policy. Are the Democrats going to overturn Patriot?

    I too am hopeful that competing interests in Congress will give us some budget relief. …but the last time the choice between the two major flavors of yuck were bad was the last election, and the choices will be awful in the next election too.

    I suppose one of the reasons I was skeptical about elections legitimizing the newly installed government in Iraq was that I never completely bought into the legitimizing effects of elections here at home. …What makes these people think that winning a silly election somehow legitimizes their intrusions into my life? So give the Democrats a majority in the House–I’ll just start using the middle finger on my left hand instead.

  10. Maybe GW will just sign a blanket statement that all legislation passed after November will be vetoed. It’ll save on ink.

  11. Or maybe he’ll start vetoing bills but with a signing statement. You know, “I’m vetoing this bill, but I will enact it if I decide I want to later.”

  12. The wisdom of Michael Barone:

    …and Iraqi leaders would be well advised to heed pressure, coming already from Republican war supporters like Christopher Shays, to get their army and police force operating more effectively.

    Duh…shouldn’t need a Democratic controlled House in order for this to happen.

  13. Barone and other right-wingers are “convinced” that the Foley story was deliberately timed by a vast left-wing conspiracy. They ignore some real deliberate timing–Bush’s demand that Congress pass his “lock ’em up and torture ’em till they talk” legislation without the slightest respect for the kind of deliberation appropriate for such a drastic policy shift, even though he didn’t even have anyone he wanted to torture! Vote for it or you’re a terrorist!

  14. Speaking of Barone, wasn’t there some time when he wasn’t a Republican hack? I seem to remember like 10 or 15 years ago he was something like a journalist. Spectacular Koolaid-based decline for that guy.

  15. This year’s election is a great example of how far politics has fallen in the US.

    The Democrats will win the House not because they offer some thing that people want, they will win simply because they suck less than the Republicans.

    When the Democrats are partying after election day this is a mandate for change and their (non)ideas, I will be wondering if they truly get it and if the US had a true 3rd party, would they be there celebrating.

  16. The Republican leadership in Congress has been so dismal I think there may be something to the purported desire of some Republicans to see their party lose control of at least one chamber, since it might justify some long-needed purging. The problem, though, is similar to that of the Democrats–I don’t think they have a clue what they stand for anymore, except for the desire to cling to the patronage and money-dispensing power that control of the legislature gives them.

  17. I have a cunning plan. The LP should change its name to the Bull Moose party. Using some generic “reform” platform, all the while secretly plotting the wholesale diminishment of the federal government. Bully!

    No, that’s all there is to it.

  18. My rationale for gridlock is this, if you’re being attacked by two mad dogs you can either:

    1) Run like hell, but you’ll never make it, or

    2) Trick them into fighting each other long enough for you to get a head start.

    Either way you’re probably gonna get bit, but the head start at least gives time to think about your next defensive move.

    Henry Kisinger once defined Diplomacy as knowing how to say “nice doggie” until you can find a big rock. That doesn’t have anything to do with gridlock, I just like the quote.

  19. “is the logic behind smoking bans and racial preferences better or worse than, say, the logic behind teaching ID in public schools?”

    Uh, YES. IT FUCKING IS.

  20. “is the logic behind smoking bans and racial preferences better or worse than, say, the logic behind teaching ID in public schools?”

    Uh, YES. IT FUCKING IS BETTER.

  21. Uh, YES. IT FUCKING IS BETTER.

    How so, exactly?

  22. Anon Idiot,

    “Is X better or worse than Y?” is not a yes/no question.

    Ken Shultz,

    The logic behind racial preferences is that there is a problem with racial injustice. The logic behind smoking bans is that people are being made physically ill by other people’s cigarette smoke.

    The logic behind teaching creationism in schools is that American children are not being sufficiently indoctrinated in Christian fundamentalism.

    So, yeah, even if you want to grade on a curve, the former are much preferable to the latter.

  23. The logic behind the idea that government should discriminate against people because of their race is bad. The logic behind the idea that the government should protect people who don’t mind smoky environments from themselves is also bad. The logic behind the idea that the government should teach theology to children as science is bad. It’s all bad logic.

    But I guess some people really do prefer one flavor of bad logic to another. …I guess that’s what being a partisan is all about these days? Sorry, anymore, I just can’t get excited about the nuances between manure and crap.

  24. I thought it was Will Rogers who came up with that quote.

  25. A smoking ban is hardly “protecting people who don’t mind smoky environments from themselves.” Smoky buildings and workplaces are health hazards, plain and simple. When you can find a business that is entirely composed of people who chose to be there, you might have a point.

  26. On many issues the Democrats won’t be much of an improvement–is the logic behind smoking bans and racial preferences better or worse than, say, the logic behind teaching ID in public schools?

    —-Comment by: Ken Shultz at October 10, 2006 10:36 AM

    Uh, YES. IT FUCKING IS BETTER.

    —-Posted by A Non Idiot at October 10, 2006 02:25 PM

    Smoky buildings and workplaces are health hazards, plain and simple. When you can find a business that is entirely composed of people who chose to be there, you might have a point.

    —-Comment by: Nonsmoker at October 10, 2006 11:31 PM

    So the rest of you see what I mean, right?

  27. So you don’t have an explanation as to how the logic behind teaching ID is the same as smoking bans or affirmative action? You called it “bad.” Quite an argument. Well, I think your arguments are bad. Do I win?

  28. Ken, congratulations to another year of life as a smoker… (HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY on Monday). If smoking bans contributed to that, then bring them on. It’s always nice to hear your cogent arguments proving that you’re getting both older and wiser.

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