Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And Now, The Aftermath

OK, so we've had the better part of a day to digest the results from last night. Opinions vary wildly, and I'm of the mind the Democrats were smart to target vulnerable GOP seats held by moderates/RINO's, running perceived moderate candidates who in some cases ran to the right of the Republican.

The Democrats generally have no use whatsoever for pro-lifers, except when they can use them to further advance their agenda.

They're Democrats, they use people. Nothing new there. However, those pro-life candidates who won better not expect to have their voices heard once they get to Washington. They owe their victory to the party, and they better tow the party line or they'll be back home in two years.

Over at NRO, The Editorial suggests a number of things that went wrong could have been prevented.

Republicans lost roughly 29 seats in the House. If party leaders had forced Don Sherwood, Bob Ney, and Mark Foley out in 2005 or early 2006, they would have cut that total by three and been able to spend more resources turning narrow defeats into narrow victories. Tom DeLay and Curt Weldon should have left earlier, too. In the Senate, Conrad Burns should have been forced out. Had Ohio governor Bob Taft been pressured to resign early, a number of races there might have turned out differently.

It is congressional Republicans, more than the president, who are responsible for the loss of the party’s reformist credentials. Republicans were perceived not just as the party in government, but as the party of government. That perception, deadly for the relatively conservative party in our politics, was accurate. When it came to earmarks, or Social Security reform, or the Foley scandal, or lobbying reform, the Republican Congress seemed more interested in preserving its own power — or sticking with dysfunctional Hill traditions — than in the public good. The Senate inexplicably dropped the issue of judges. There will, and should, be changes in the Republican leadership now, starting with Denny Hastert’s departure.

And of course, they blame the war and the myriad mistakes made there. I can't disagree with much they say, and recommend reading the rest.

Meanwhile, for all the drivel about congeniality and a moderate tone coming from Pelosi and her cabal, don't buy any of it. We know what they want, and it's going to get ugly, and fast.

Halliburton, the CIA and big tobacco companies are among the early targets identified by top Democratic staff to ABC News as likely targets for investigation once the Democrats take control of the House at the beginning of next year.

The staffers say Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), now expected to become speaker, has told top Democratic donors there is a "100-hour agenda" she wants to push through -- taking on the minimum wage, drug and energy prices and corruption.

Defense contractors, including Halliburton, the intelligence rationale for the war in Iraq and CIA secret prisons are what one staffer called "uninvestigated scandals."

This isn't necessarily what people voted for, but that's what they'll get.

It's a dilemma for them. They're beholden to the nutroots who fantasize about frogmarches, Bush and Cheney in jail, and all sorts of oddball stuff. So they have to throw them a bone. Besides, their hatred for all things Republican clouds their better judgment, so they'll move straight ahead with investigations, aided by their willing accomplices in the drive-by media.

Though the quandary it presents, not grasped by them, is such behavior will blow back on them fiercely, and their heady glory of the 100 hours had better be savored, because it will be over quickly.

Two years is a short time, and Pelosi and her minions will have to fight for facetime with Her Thighness, who will be fawned over by the slavish media. Before Nancy realizes it, her ratings, currently at 24%, may be in single digits, as the GOP plots their return, chastened by their defeat.

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