The stars in the heavens and a virtual sex page scandal aligned perfectly this election season to give Democrats perhaps their best opportunity in years to fulfill their dream of taking back the House and (in their wilder dreams) the Senate, too. So how on earth are they going to spin it when they fail?
I don’t know that Democrats will fail to take control of the House or Senate, but my gut, and the way the pendulum appears to be swinging this week, tell me that the GOP is likely to retain control. Obviously it could go either way. There is no way to know how many more “surprises” are left in the final days of October, and even a week is an eternity in politics. Consider, for example, the Bush DUI revelation just days before the 2000 election. When “surprises” break late there is little time for candidates to react and the fallout can determine the results of an election.
With that qualifying disclaimer made, I am going to go out on a limb and predict the GOP, barring any surprises, will hold Congress, although slimly. If that happens it will be incredibly interesting to see how Democrats react to such a result and how they, and their media organs, spin it.
With Nancy Pelosi declaring she will have any suite she wants after November and most pundits having declared a Democrat victory months ago, stakes in the expectations game couldn’t get any higher. Mark Steyn described the election night many pundits have predicted as a scene with “Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi… doing the Landslide Lambada with Senate Majority Leader-Designate Harry Reid.” Anything less than a Democrat takeover of the House and Senate will have to be seen as falling short, although a House takeover making Pelosi the first ever woman Speaker would be celebrated by the media as the biggest story since 9/11.
If Democrats don’t win in this climate, with all the help they have received from the media, I just wonder what hope they have to ever retake control?
The network news programs have worked overtime to push the perception that America is in a sorry state under Republican leadership. Even stories on sharp decreases in gas prices have been presented in a negative way with network news reporters floating wild conspiracy theories about the drop being tied to the upcoming elections.
Meredith Vieira on The Today Show introduced one of her segments this week as follows: “You know the good news is that gas prices are down but do the elections have anything to do with it? In other words are we being manipulated?" Reporter Carl Quintanilla followed with a segment about what he said some see as “a vast right wing conspiracy that leads right from the pump to the booth.” To answer Vieira’s question – yes, we are being manipulated, but it is not manipulation orchestrated by an evil Rovian plot, but rather by people like her in the media.
CNN has been doing their part for the Democrats for years, but really stepped it up this month by airing a terrorist propaganda video of snipers in Iraq shooting American soldiers. They defended the decision to air the video as a desire to show the “unvarnished truth” of war. It seems the “unvarnished truth” of partial birth abortion, the record-setting Bush economy, and other truths that might cause voters to look favorably on Republican policies don’t need to be shown.
I learned from the Oprah show that the Dixie Chicks’ free speech has been stifled mercilessly by some red state types so you probably haven’t heard, since they have been silenced and all, but the Chicks don’t care much for President Bush, or for war (or for the fans who made them multi-millionaires). The Chicks interview, airing less than two weeks before the election, painted a picture of a scary America in which citizens were not allowed to express their displeasure with the mean Republicans getting our kids killed in Iraq and letting people drown in Katrina.
I don’t know whether or not Democrats will pull off their expected control shifting wins this time around (though my prediction is they won’t), but I do know that if they don’t, they will have one heck of a problem spinning the failure as anything other than a complete disaster considering all they had going in their favor this time around. If Nancy Pelosi fails to get that office suite she is counting on, what Democrats will have to worry about more than how they will spin the loss though is how they will hope to win in the future.
If they want the advice of a member of the opposition, then I am glad to oblige. If Dems aren’t successful this time around, next time they might want to try (1) running on an actual agenda, (2) running against someone who is actually on the ballot (hint: George Bush is not), and (3) refusing the help of far left kooks. My prediction is that the candidates that followed those tips this time around will be the ones celebrating on November 7. It just remains to be seen whether enough of them were Democrats to allow Nancy Pelosi to start slinging those fabric swatches.