For weeks now, even months, Democrats and the mainstream media have had their fun. They’ve gleefully predicted a Republican debacle on Election Day, savored each sordid revelation in the Mark Foley scandal, and trumpeted every poll that seems to support their own foreordained conclusions about the outcome. But no narrative has been more cherished than the supposed defection of formerly Republican voters from President Bush and their party’s nominees.
If the Democrats are counting on depressed Republican turnout for victory, they’d better reconsider. It’s far too soon for them to begin “measuring the drapes” (as President Bush put it in last week’s press conference) for their new offices – because the more the press treats a Democratic sweep as an electoral inevitability, the more that even the most disgruntled conservatives are forced to focus on what defeat would really mean.
Republicans understand that a Democratic Congress will raise Americans’ taxes – as Karl Rove pointed out, 85 percent of congressional Democrats have voted against cutting taxes on income, cutting taxes on families with children, and cutting taxes on married couples at work. They realize that a Democratic majority in the Senate will thwart President Bush’s efforts to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy with a judge in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly – and Democrats must penalize economic success and find judges who, like New Jersey’s Supreme Court, will enact by fiat the liberal social policies that voters consistently reject at the ballot box. That’s just what they do.
But even those willing to take their chances on domestic policy must balk at the notion of handing the war on terror over to a Democratic Congress – at least, if conservatives take the war on Islamofascism as seriously as they’ve claimed to. After all, does anyone in America think that a Democratic Party dominated by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and John Kerry will fight it with the same vigor and determination as Republicans?
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