10 August 2006

This Post Good For Republicans

You might think that after a year in which seemingly nothing has gone well for the Republicans --- not the war, not Medicare, not Social Security, not the economy, not, well, you get the point --- that someone, somewhere (non-traditional media excluded) might point out the the Republicans are back on their heels. Rather --- with more than fifty percent of Americans favoring a Democratic takeover of Congress in the fall; sixty percent opposing the War in Iraq; Republicans Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, Jerry Lewis and Katherine Harris all either indicted or facing indictment; President Bush's approval hovering at 40% --- the Republicans are in great shape.

And why are Karl's Kids so obviously in the driver's seat? Two words: Ned Lamont. Personally, I think the GOP will have a hard time branding a WASPy, Greenwich cable executive as a radical liberal. Lamont, though a progressive in some senses, doesn't have the foot-in-mouth issues that some great progressive *cough* Dr. Dean *cough* hopes have had, therefore allowing fewer opportunities for national media to display just how wacky and out of touch Lamont is. (note: Dean and Lamont are actually both moderates but that's for another day.)

There is, of course, also the national security matter, on which Republicans feel they have the upper hand. I don't know enough about international relations, foreign policy, or anything of that ilk to make bold pronouncements concerning that situation (it's not going to stop me anyway). I don't think, however, that, approaching the five-year anniversary of 9-11 without the capture of bin Laden, Zawahiri and the descent into madness that is the Middle East, the Republicans can really run on a record of success. Of course, they couldn't run on a record of success in 2004 either and it didn't seem to matter.

It seems that the Democrats might want to steal --- and promptly paraphrase --- an oft-stolen line in preparation for the fall: "Are you safer now than you were five years ago?" In light of this morning's events, it shouldn't be hard to make a compelling case that America is not, and that failed Republican foreign policy is as much a culprit as Islamic Fundamentalism.