2006 and 2008
I was quite depressed heading into the 2006 midterm election. Congress has always seemed more important to me than the presidency. If we’re ever going to reduce the size of government it has to begin by cutting government spending in Congress. It wasn’t just losing Congress that hurt, but the idea that any hopes for reform ended when Newt was ousted and the 2006 election was the final nail. The Republicans had everything they needed for reform and decided to break out the Amex instead tarnishing the conservative brand for the short-term goal of re-election.
I can’t stand to watch Bush on TV anymore. When I saw him praising the bailout the other night I yelled at the TV. The bailout wouldn’t be necessary if the government didn’t already have everyone’s money. Republicans are like those Martians in Mars attacks that chant “we come in peace” as they destroy the Capitol Building. Except that they chant “It’s the people’s money” and “We’ll get government off your back” all the while deal making with Democrats to increase the size of government. And it’s no surprise that if you give the electorate the choice between Democrats and Democrats Lite they will eventually choose the real thing.
We got two Supreme Court Justices (and that took a fight) out the deal and little else. And the Democrats hate Bush, the guy who delivered all the goodies that Congress denied Clinton.
2008 gives us a chance to return to divided government with the theory of gridlock, although McCain will be reaching across the aisle like there is a peanut bowl over there. McCain in theory will nominate the kinds of judges that respect the constitution rather than re-invent it. McCain will bring us Sarah Palin, a person who actually understands what it’s like to live in the real world that Washington creates disrupts.
But the odds are now against it.
I said a few weeks ago that the election would most likely turn on a news event and I think we got that event with the govt. bailout. It allowed Obama to blame the economic and stock market problems on Republicans. McCain didn’t help anything by suspending his campaign to fly up there. A good lawyer never asks a question in court that he doesn’t already know the answer to. This close to the election a good politician should never bet everything on his negotiating skills unless he knows how he’ll win his points and get what he wants out of such legislation. The whole business made McCain look like a headline hound and then the way he ran back to Mississippi to catch up with Obama made him look desperate.
McCain could have come out against the bailout in all forms and talked about the waste and all the earmarks attached and re-enforced his image as a maverick and straight-talker, but he played it safe and went along with the crowd like Obama. We already have an Obama, Senator McCain. Who were you trying to play in that scenario?
It looks like Osama Bin Laden will have to make a cameo to save McCain.