The best prospect for the White House's congressional party in an off election is a popular president. The congressional party undercuts their own electoral prospects by undercutting and weakening their president. But sometimes -- as in 1990, when President G.H. Bush came out for tax increases -- it is the lesser of dangers to oppose their president on a vastly unpopular (and unwise) policy. Insecure borders and immigration looks to be shaping up as the tax increase tar baby of 2006.
Overhanging Republican anxieties is the war in Iraq -- which is not yet a lethal threat to a Republican congressional majority but might become one.
With the Republican Party thus mired in this bog of despond, one would expect the Democrats to be as chipper as a roue bouncing up the stairs of his favorite brothel. But the regular, elected Democrats are more likely to be playing the song "Blue Monday" on their CD players and reaching for their razor blades.
That is because the mainline Washington Democratic Party has been all but possessed by their lunatic, MoveOn.org, Howard Dean, anti-war, anti religion, anti-pickup truck, anti-normal, activist wing -- and they know it. Not only is their left-wing fringe forcing its goofy ideas and obnoxious, off-putting rhetoric on the party regulars, but they are raising most of the money.
The Democratic Regulars find themselves similarly situated to the1970s' British Labor Party, which, though possessing many sensible members and some sensible ideas, came to be seen as the party of the loony Left. They lost power in 1979 to Maggie Thatcher and didn't shed their loony image and regain power until 1997 -- a full 18 years later.
Once the loons get a hold of a party, it is the devil's own time unprying their maniacal grip from a party's throat. Thus, currently, the normal Democratic senators and congressmen know that, to placate their loony Left, they will have to pronounce various foolish and irresponsible things about Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and the Iraq War.
Even Sen. Clinton -- who it had been presumed would get a free pass from the liberals in order to moderately position herself for a general presidential election -- may find that she, too, will have to placate the loons by feeding them with the harsh and foolish words they demand from their politicians.
But in this parity of despair, the Republicans have one advantage over the Democrats. They have the executive branch and legislative power to actually carry out some good ideas -- if any pop into their heads.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.