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As Long as We Remember...

October 5, 2005

Democrat’s Revenge

Edward Lulie III

The Left is elated over the prospects for revenge. Everywhere they look they see bad news for Republicans! Around coffee bars and cocktail tables the conversations all center on what will happen now that the “tide has turned.”

Happily for Republicans it’s the Democrats that are still stranded on the beach of political insignificance. The talking heads seem blissfully ignorant of that fact that the election cycle is still too far away for Democrats to gain any significant advantage from the current sea of bad news.

Tom DeLay, Republican House majority leader, has been indicted twice for a felony violation of Texas law. To hear the cries of joy and happiness from Democrats you might think they had won something; actually they are elated over imagined revenge and nothing more.

If Howard Dean wasn’t so determined to keep heading Left, there might be political gain in all this for Democrats. Representative DeLay, the “Hammer,” helped orchestrate the continuing fall from majority status to minority irrelevancy for Democrats. In short, they hate him.

It is bad enough that he’s a Republican; but worse is that he’s a successful one. The problem for elated Democrats is that even if Congressman DeLay were convicted, something even the liberal Washington Post doubts will happen, it still doesn’t help Democrats. The prosecutor is a well known partisan zealot and not considered likely to succeed in this case; Republicans have known that this was coming for years.

So why are Democrats so happy? To me it is just another example of the perils of “pure thinking.” Democrats under Governor Dean share the same political beliefs and viewpoints. Anyone with a different view of reality is scorned and cast out from the ranks of like minded Dean Socialists.

They see President Bush and Congressman DeLay as masterful and evil political geniuses that cleverly destroyed a resurging Democratic Party. If Mr. DeLay is gone and Mr. Bush weakened, what then can possibly stand in their way to reclaim power? Well, consider for a moment, reality; the fact that there aren’t any elections for over a year.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, it is recognized that Mr. DeLay, while having achieved his goals of getting the Republicans in control of the House, Senate and presidency, is not vital to the task of keeping them there. Just recall Newt Gingrich. When he was gone Democrats were certain that a new age of power would be restored to them. It didn’t happen.

The cycle of bad news for Republicans and President Bush has not come at a great time for Democrats, as it is an off year for elections. Mr. Bush, serving his second and last term, doesn’t need to be re-elected. For him the biggest issue has been his selection as his second Supreme Court nominee in less than three months. For Republicans it is the 2006 elections and the balance of power, trying to keep control of both the House and Senate.

Then the fight will be over the election for president in 2008. If Republicans pick a rational, presentable human being, someone that maverick Sen. John McCain (R., AZ) can endorse comfortably, the chances for them staying in control of the presidency will increase.

Democrats may trust Howard Dean to go left of Sen. John Kerry (MA), (their nominee in 2004) in search of a candidate because inside his closed loop of fellow travelers the consensus reason that Mr. Kerry lost was because he was too moderate!

The problem for Democrats is really critical. Let me put it this way: with all of this bad news for Republicans they still can’t make headway in any direction.

Unlike the old days when they ruled everything, Democrats do not win just because they stop Republicans. Back then stopping Republicans meant thwarting them in some attempt to stop a Democratic initiative.

Now what happens? Victory? How? The Republicans still control both houses of Congress and the presidency. New Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., was easily confirmed; he is not a centrist and while he probably is less rigid than the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he is not someone who shares much if anything in common with Howard Dean.

Now the fight comes over Harriet Miers, and, even with all the bad news for Republicans, the fact remains that the “gang of 14” compromise has left Democrats in a precarious and weakened position; unless MS. Miers fits “extraordinary circumstances,” which justify a clear reason to filibuster, then Democrats have no way to stop her for sitting on The Supreme Court. If they try to filibuster they risk a Republican majority move which eliminates the filibuster and for which the earlier agreement gives political cover to make. This scenario (which I predicted a few months back) is not one that favors Democrats.

So where is the source of joy for Democrats in Tom DeLay being indicted? It is nothing more than simple mean spirited revenge. To be fair, the “Hammer” has done much to earn the unyielding contempt of Democrats; but the Left shouldn’t confuse revenge for success because they are not the same.

Revenge, however sweet, fails to bring Democrats closer to regaining power. Worse is the fact that by focusing on revenge they fail to capitalize on issues, like disaster relief, or corporate fraud and greed in extortionate gasoline prices, which might yield potential political gains.

Then there remains another consideration, what happens if Tom DeLay is acquitted and there is good news for Republicans? How bitter it will be for Mr. Dean and company if even sweet revenge is denied them once again.

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