The CongressThe latest polls are in for the national Congressional outlook and the situation as far as the numbers go looks worse for the Republicans now than it did for Democrats during the same period in the run up to the 1994 General Election, when the GOP first took control. If trends continue the way they are going and I happen to be in Knoxville on election night (I have been invited and Nicole and I are hoping we can be there), I hope that somewhere there is a free and open bar, as I may have a serious need for a very hard stiff drink.
Liberals and Democrats need a reality check, however. If some major liberal bloggers like the Daily Kos are to be believed, some of these people are naive enough to think that a major seat gain for Democrats means that the national mood has suddenly shifted radically to the social and political left. I couldn't disagree more with that kind of assessment. Giving big gains to Democrats is the only way people have to punish a Congressional leadership that spends as if they were the New Deal Congress, continues to allow the White House to wage war with virtually no oversight and no victory strategy, and conducts daily business like...well, like the Democrats did before 1994. The present Congress has forgotten the kind of abuses that brought the Republican Party to power in Washington to begin with.
Democrats also need to remember that the Foley scandal (which as we wrote here yesterday, some Dems in Nashville may have had a hand in for all we know) was a gift to them, because had it not happened, the GOP would likely have maintained control of Congress without a problem, albeit with a one or two seat majority. Nancy Pelosi may be a left-wing loon, but I suspect she is pretty shrewd politically. If she indeed does become Speaker of the House, she will not take unlimited license with the Congressional agenda precisely because red States are still plenty red enough that a hard left Congressional turn would meet with as much public outrage as Congressional incompetence has met with in this Congress. In other words, if you are a really liberal Democrat and you are thinking that a change in Congressional leadership will mean a fundamental change in national policy, you are not only dreaming but you are in cloud-cookoo land.
If the Democrats take control of Congress, that outcome may barely register in East Tennessee. David Davis, Jimmy Duncan, and Zach Wamp, all Republicans, all stand to win their races with such ease that I wouldn't even do them the dignity of being called races if that weren't the accepted political term. What's more, the GOP stands a very real chance, if an outside one, of taking control of both Houses of the General Assembly. If such a thing were to happen (which is not at all outside the realm of possibility), it would be as though Tennessee were some miniature parallel universe inside the United States.
If you are thinking that a Democrat victory will suddenly make America a giant living Woodstock museum, you've smoked too much Mary Jane. We're still as conservative as we ever were here in the Heartland, or else Junior wouldn't be trying so hard to sound like one of us.
Labels: Federal politics