International Writers Magazine:US Politics Reality Check
MIDTERM ELECTIONS DILEMMA
my midterm elections '06 dilemma: Continue to root for the hapless
Democrats to crash and burn one last time to put a final nail
in their coffin and leave the dismantling of the two-party system
to this abortion the Republicans have fashioned over the past
decade...or...pull for the Democrats to sweep into Congress and
begin the always-entertaining Investigation/Impeachment Follies
for the next two years.
either way you win and lose. It is no secret that the Republicans are
ready to be had, and if the Democrats can't do it now there really is
no logical reason to have them around, save for laughs and sympathy.
Therefore, this should be the Democrats last ride at the rodeo, opening
the doors for some kind of third party or Independent run to wade into
the quagmire that is the legislative branch of our fancy federal government.
All of this, of course, is the fantasy notion of a pathetic man, who
still believes in the "better angels of our nature", despite
centuries of corruption, madness, and disaster. But forgive me, I dream
because I must.
But it would take an October Surprise worthy of Disney or the Bible
to keep the Republicans in power now, despite the parade of mediocrity
coming from the opposition, because let's face it kids, the GOP is reeling.
There hasn't been this kind of fallout on Capital Hill since the near
shooting of Missouri Senator Tom Benton by the blabbering lunatic Henry
Foote 166 years ago. Foote, a fun-loving senator from Mississippi, was
a terrible goon with a short fuse and no boundaries, but he would've
fit in well with the present legislators, who have presently turned
the U.S. Congress into a Martin Scorsese film.
Forget the Abramoff stuff, which on any normal calendar year would land
half of Congress in prison. That's merely the opening act. Since, we
have mounds of proof Texas Congressman Tom Delay has been ripping off
taxpayers for as long as he's been sworn in. Then there is the curious
case of Virginia Senator George Allen Jr., who has now publicly taken
racist stump banter to new levels and spent three days last week apologizing
for having a Jewish mother so vehemently you'd think he was caught sniffing
coke off the ass of a teenaged hooker. And what can anyone make of Mark
Foley? The Florida Representative's text-message romp with young male
pages, and the apparent cover-up from spin-conscious Republican leaders,
presents just the right kind of creepy for potential voters.
Things have gotten so bad you half expect the bastard offspring of Caligula
to burst through the chamber two-fisting Jack Daniels and brandishing
Never mind the albatross that is our Boy President defending his vacillating
approval numbers, scores of defamatory book releases, and one too many
Donald Rumsfeld media events, but these baffling presidential news conferences
are straight out of Lewis Carroll. When Bush starts yammering on about
this Iraq War of his being the "fight for civilization as we know
it" I pray for an apparition of the Mad Hatter to materialize and
bash him in the back of the head with a cricket bat.
But that's just what this reporter is willing to explore in the second
week of October with two more weeks of rallies and pratfalls. Things
have a way of turning around more than once these days.
To wit: Just last week things were looking up for the president and
his wounded charges. Firstly, gas prices were plummeting, and crazy
people were calling him Satan at the UN, proving once and for all what
kind of reeking farce that gaggle of has-beens are running on the East
Side, as they more or less pull off the impossible: Make the bully look
like the victim.
But wacky Venezuelan despots aside, the Bill Clinton FOXNEWS meltdown
made even the goofy Dick Chaney "Meet The Press" escapade
look sober. Why a man who was once the leader of the free world would
need to get into a schoolyard piss match with a hack like Chris Wallace
is beyond me. Maybe the part of Big Bill's brain that chose to solicit
Oval Office head from the kid intern took over. Either way, it was a
calling card to many voters that there still lurks mania in the hearts
of the Democrats' best and brightest.
Then the Foley thing hit the fan and House Speaker Dennis Hastert had
the balls to use politics as his party's "cover-up" defense,
as in his Washington Post quote, "I know our opponents want me
to be guilty of something." Does he mean opponents of congressmen
using government property (the people's property) to flirt with underage
boys, and then the Republican leadership covering it up? I'm sure we
can find a few of those.
Bad news for Hastert is these opponents vote. But good news for Hastert
is most people, especially mid-westerners and southerners, would sooner
vote for a bumbling Republican skank then hand the reigns over to the
scary Democrats. It gives me the same sense of American pride I felt
when listening to the National Organization of Women defend the predatory
nature of the aforementioned Mr. Clinton.
But, be that as it may, we have a job to do here, and despite our dilemma
we shall shoulder on.
There are 33 seats available in the Senate. With the vice president
holding a deciding vote, the Dems need a swing of at least seven seats
of them for a bonafide majority (this does not count Vermont Jim Jeffords,
who is an independent and repeatedly votes Democrat). Depending on what
poll you use, there or about six to seven seats legitimately up for
grabs, two or three firmly in the GOP column, and five to six leaning
to the Democrats, four of which are currently Republican.
This will be a tough go for the Democrats, but we will begin to discuss
the states, seats, and races in question next week. On to the House,
where the Dems need to pick up roughly 16 of the 31 open seats (three
vacancies to consider), to gain a majority. Again, without getting into
particulars, this is a more realistic quest for the Democrats to sniff
power, but no gimmie.
I fear the only "gimmie" is this space will likely despise
the results, whatever the results, and spend the ensuing years mocking
© James Campion Oct 9th 2006
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James Campion on Lebanon
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Elections Part One
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