Sunday, August 12, 2007

How is 2008 shaping up so far?

J.R. Dunn has some interesting thoughts on the upcoming elections:

The Democrats, in control of both the House and the Senate, have astonished the world by getting even less done than the recent GOP Congress. None of their electoral promises have been kept. (Apart from raising the minimum wage, which took eight months, and an "ethics" bill distinguished only by the fact that it's emptier than most such exercises - I'm surprised they didn't add an earmark or two before they passed it.) Their greatest effort was put into trying to pass - not once, but twice - the immigrant amnesty act, possibly the most actively detested bill of the new century. The boast of the new Congress, run by some of the most ghastly personalities on the national stage (Pelosi, Murtha, Schumer, and Reid) is that they've done their best to undermine the Iraq war effort - not, historically, a stance to gain much in the way of a public following. (Trust me on that; I've checked.)

The numbers concur here as well. Confidence in the Congress bottomed out at14%, one the worst levels (the worst, did I hear someone say?) on record. Fool all the people all the time? This crew can scarcely fool themselves.

[. . .]

If the GOP of 2006 deserved its beating, today's Dems are if anything worse. They're not only corrupt, incompetent, and arrogant, they're energetic about it. They seem to be operating under the impression that they were elected to outdo the GOP at this kind of thing. There's not a single piece of ineptitude or corruption that they're not underlining, highlighting, and capitalizing with as much in the way of in-your-face theatricality as they can produce. Which in the case of people like Schumer, Pelosi, and Murtha is plenty. The Republicans have been lax in taking advantage of this, but maybe that's all to the good. There's such a thing as gilding the lily.

The sudden change in fortunes in Iraq has pulled the carpet out from under the Dems. It appears that their entire 2008 strategy was based on hammering the war effort, and that Gen. David Petraeus's success with the surge has caught them with no plan B. So we can gather from House Majority Whip James Clyburn's comments, a favorable report by Petraeus would be "a real big problem for us." To say the least. The Democratic response has been to put their hands over their ears and hold their breaths: witness Representative Nancy Boyda's tantrum over General Jack Keane's optimistic testimony, which amounted to "I won't listen and you can't make me."

It's difficult to see how the Dems can maneuver their way out of this. The best they can do is to hope things turn sour and validate their position as defeatists, a stance that has its own shortcomings. The Democrats may have won the netroots, only to lose everyone else.

The amnesty bill was a bipartisan botch. But two things must be kept in mind: the biggest senatorial name attached to that bill was "Kennedy", and the thing was finally put to sleep through the efforts of a group of junior Republicans. There are plenty of ways the Dems can be made to ache over their part in that fiasco, from Harry Reid, who had the gall to reintroduce the bill after it was clear that the nation at large had rejected it, on down.

And there's something odd about Bush's unpopularity - it doesn't seem to have much of an effect. Perhaps because he ignores it, and perhaps also because it is to a large extent artificial, the product of seven straight years of media and Democratic effort. If you asked the sixty-odd percent majority what antagonizes them most about Bush, the majority probably would simply shrug and say, "Well, everybody says the same thing..." No particulars, no real grievances. Bush's unpopularity may be strictly situational, fated to change when circumstances do. In any case, he's not running in 2008. It would be best for the GOP to act as if this is not a factor at all.

. . .[T]he Democrats really don't have all that much going for them. There's not an issue that doesn't threaten to blow up in their faces. They have saddled themselves with the ugly labels of defeatist and appeaser, labels that they will find very difficult to peel off. Their overconfidence is a sight to behold, their arrogance without precedent. Charles Schumer, the Democratic Mister Rogers, has suggested the Congress simply not confirm any more of the President's Supreme Court nominations.

The Dems have openly embraced gay rights, including overturning the Defense of Marriage act and allowing gays in the military. Last week, unhappy with the way a vote was going, Democrats in the House simply threw out the results and reopened the voting once they'd lined up a few more of their people, the kind of procedure common in countries run by people with names like Mugabe and Chavez.

Such behavior contains the seeds of its own correction. Retribution comes not from any particular effort, but simply because of the way the universe operates. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. At this moment the Democrats are as mad as any political party in this nation's history.

This is only a small part of the whole and I highly recommend going over and reading it all. While I fully acknowledge that the Republicans had their defeat coming to them I said at the time and maintain today that while the Republicans did not deserve to be returned to power the nation did not deserve what would happen if that power were given to the Democrats.

As things stand now the Democrats in congress deserve defeat far more than the Republicans ever did.

Right now the Democrat presidential hopefuls are engaged in a high profile contest to see which of them can pander in the most degrading way possible to the most distasteful fringe elements of their party.

The Breck Girl cannot seem to open his mouth without emphasising, yet again, how incredibly stupid and hypocritical he is and his wife has acted like such a thug and bully that it is rapidly becoming impossible to even have any sympathy for the fact that she is dying of cancer.

Obama, who once seemed as though he might have something real to offer the nation, has distinguished himself with pronouncements so foolishly naive that it almost seems that the Klan was writing his scripts in order to discredit the idea of a black man as president.

And Hillary? Mr. Dunn puts it best:

So we've got a candidate who is among the most radical ever to stand for the presidency. One who was furthermore at the very center of the most corrupt administration in modern history. Who has a lengthy trail of dubious (to put it mildly) deals and arrangements behind her. Whose record as a senator is conspicuous for lack of any serious accomplishment. Who is, above all, one of the most unappealing personalities to run for president in this or any other era.

According to reputable polling, 52% of the voters have gone on record to declare that they will never, under any circumstances, cast their vote for Hillary Clinton. The last time I looked, 48% was a losing number in the presidential sweepstakes.

I think its time for Republicans to start showing a little confidence.