The Republicans Took a Dive

By Ezekiel Jones

11/12/06 ""SFTS"" -- -- The whole thing could have been a Frank Capra movie. 

An evil cabal seizes control of the Republic through means so ruthless and clever that they remind many of the Nazis' rise to total power in 1930s Germany.  They invade countries on false pretenses as a cowering opposition party supports the wars before it opposes them   Clause by clause, the Constiution is shredded by Newspeak laws like the "Patriot Act" and the "Military Commisisons Act."

At first, the people  were fooled.  They believed it when their leaders told them that their safety required endless wars and a police state.  But freedom turned out to be harder to extinguish than the evil warmongers had imagined.  What began as a still, small voice on the "Internets" was echoed by a few brave comedians and commentators until a deafening roar was heard on an election day "thumpin'" that transformed the fearsome bullies into whimpering cowards.

All that's left is for Jimmy Stewart (or is it Jon?) to utter the closing speech about how good is always stronger than evil.

Or not.

What explains the curious decline from the high--powered Republican machine that could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in 2000, 2002 and 2004 to the broken down jalopy of 2006 that blew control of both houses of Congress?

More specifically:

  • Why did the Republicans leave so many ethically-challenged Republicans in the line-up--people like DeLay, Foley, Sherwood, Weldon, Ney and Burns--until it was too late to even replace them on the ballot?
  • Why didn't Republicans use their vaunted Right Wing Noise Machine to counterattack corrupt incumbent Democrats?
  • Where was the "Diebold factor" on election day when a mere change of 50,000 votes spread across 20 districts would have denied Democrats the House and a few thousand in Virginia or Montana would have held the Senate?
  • Why did George Bush promise that Rumsfeld would remain as Secretary of Defense until the bitter end and then fire him the day after the election when that might have saved the Republican majorities?

There are non-tin foil hat explanations for each on its own:

  • Republican arrogance fooled them into thinking they could slip through sleazes like DeLay and Foley.
  • Democrats have neither serious corruption problems nor spicy sexual issues.
  • There never was a "Diebold Factor."
  • Bush is stubborn.

We might believe that one, two or even three of these combined to create, or at least not stifle, the great Democratic wave of 2006, but all four?

Why would the Republicans, at least the core leadership including Rove, take a dive when they have been so determined and unprincipled in their drive for power? 

Misery loves company is the simplest explanation.  When you look two or three years into the future, there are some terrifying probabilities coming up, and how much better it would be for the long term prospects of the group currently running the administration to be able to have Democrats share the balme in the eyes of voters.

What would be so terrible that it would be worth letting your party lose control of the House and Senate? 

Let's start with the war in Iraq where there will be no good news to report for the forseeable future.  There are accelerated new call-ups of National Guard and Reserve troops coming.  John McCain and Hillary Clinton are both calling for increasing troop levels, and it's new Democratic House Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel who has long been calling for a re-institution of the draft  And if the few truly antiwar Democrats push for quick withdrawal by threatening to cut the war's funding, what will happen?  The Democratic leadership will dismiss that option out of hand because they believe they can't be seen as "losing" the war in Iraq.  What the public has come to see (mistakenly) as a Republican war will increasingly be seen as a bi-partisan debacle.

What about the economy?  Aren't things supposed to be going great on that front with unemployment down and the Dow Jones up?  Why would Repulbicans want Democrats to share the credit for a growing economy?   It looks like Bush administration insiders are preparing for another kind of future.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the UK Telegraph reported last week that:

(Treasury Secretary) Paulson re-activated the secretive support team to prevent markets meltdown. Judging by their body language, the US authorities believe that the roaring bull-market is just a sucker's rally before the inevitable storm hits.

The dollar's collapse and a deep recession/depression in the United States are on the horizon, and why not let Democrats share the blame when it turns out there's little that can be done to turn the situation around?

Many of us before the election thought that the Bush administration would do everything within its power to stop a Demcoratic takeover because they feared the possiblity of Democratic committee chairmen who would wield the power of the subpoena to investigate their crimes, impeach them and put them in jail.  We were wrong.  Whether there was an explicit deal before the election or not, Democrats are falling over themselves promising that there will be no impeachment even though the people who elected them have listed corruption as their top concern.

 And a serious investigation of 9/11?  Fuggedabout it.  Even the "progressive" Democratic websites like DailyKos have rules against talking about that topic.

Don't expect these "new" Democrats to repeal the police state laws that have been enacted since 9/11 either.  Most of them voted for them in the first place, and none wants to be in the position of defending such a repeal if there is another terrorist attack on American soil.

There may be more than a few Republicans upon whom the realization is dawning that they have been sacrificed by the leaders of their party so that Republicans will not be alone in taking the blame for the disaster that lies ahead.  It may be some months before realism overcomes euphoria among Democratic officeholders.

By the time the average American realizes what has happened, it may be too late.

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