Friday, November 05, 2004

Get Ready For The Implosion
Bush himself is likely to suffer the malaise and confusion that has beset every second-term president since Franklin Roosevelt. The suppressed revolt over foreign policy in his party is likely to break out. As a lame duck, he will have to contend with a House leadership unwilling to be pushed around. And he will be faced with decisions--including appointments to the Supreme Court--in which he will have to choose between infuriating his core constituencies or inciting more GOP defections in states like Colorado and Virginia. Bush got himself elected by waging a successful culture war; but that is not going to help him in Washington--or around the world--for the next four years. (

And as Krugman wrote:
This election did not prove the Republicans unbeatable. Mr. Bush did not win in a landslide. Without the fading but still potent aura of 9/11, when the nation was ready to rally around any leader, he wouldn't have won at all. And future events will almost surely offer opportunities for a Democratic comeback.

I don't hope for more and worse scandals and failures during Mr. Bush's second term, but I do expect them. The resurgence of Al Qaeda, the debacle in Iraq, the explosion of the budget deficit and the failure to create jobs weren't things that just happened to occur on Mr. Bush's watch. They were the consequences of bad policies made by people who let ideology trump reality.
Does this mean that the Democrats are condemned to permanent minority status? No. The religious right - not to be confused with religious Americans in general - isn't a majority, or even a dominant minority. It's just one bloc of voters, whom the Republican Party has learned to mobilize with wedge issues like this year's polarizing debate over gay marriage.

Rather than catering to voters who will never support them, the Democrats - who are doing pretty well at getting the votes of moderates and independents - need to become equally effective at mobilizing their own base. In fact, they have made good strides, showing much more unity and intensity than anyone thought possible a year ago. But for the lingering aura of 9/11, they would have won. What they need to do now is develop a political program aimed at maintaining and increasing the intensity. That means setting some realistic but critical goals for the next year.

Get ready for the GOP to implode as the second term becomes unglued as the incompetence truly catches up with GW (word is many in his first term administration are lined up at the door to leave / resign). In addition, we should heed Paul Krugman's advice and just continue to organize and pour it on. He is so right about 9-11 for if it were not for the lingering tragic memory of that day, Bush would've got demolished. Oh sure, the religious anti-gay/abortion folks would've voted for him, but likely not the millions of more reasonable Republican voters who went with him this time due to fear and terror threat. The country has a short memory but try to recall the fate of GW on Sept. 10, 2001 -- he was toast. What the Dems should NOT succumb to is what will undoubtedly happen to the GOP (they're known for this) and that is infighting & power struggles.

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