A TIPPING POINT OR A TURNING POINT?
Not only has the field changed with the 2006 election but so have the choices. The question for everyone is whether this watershed rebuke by the electorate represents a tipping point toward disaster a turning point for something better?
President George W. Bush has to face the fact that he has not only been sharply reprimanded by the voters, as often happens to the Chief Executive in midterm elections ,but he has squandered the lease on power the GOP had in controlling all three branches of government. Never has a party worked so long for such power, used it for so little lasting effect and lost it as quickly as have the Republicans.
How the Bush administration acts over the course of the next two years will weigh heavily in 2008 to determine whether the voters who deseted the GOP wil return to the fold. While I genuinely admire Rumsfeld and feel his accomplishments as SecDef are being ignored by those who once were heaping accolades on him not long ago, his position was untenable as of this morning. Even the Congressional Republicans disliked him and if someone had to go, Rummy was highest profile stand-in to atone for the president's mistakes
. His departure - and the Democrats own weak position despite being flushed with victory -buys the administration a breathing space to reconsider their political strategies and style from top to bottom.
On the opposite side, the Democrats are to be congratulated for running a smart race in a technical sense and for avoiding their usual ideological self-destruction. The Democratic leadership talked moderate, walked moderate and ran moderates in GOP-leaning states instead of sacrificial lambs hailing from the lunatic fringe of liberalism. James Webb is literally a very conservative" Reagan Democrat" who, frankly, I am more comfortable with politically than his socially conservative Republican opponent. Two years ago, if somebody told us that Democrats would elect a James Webb
, Rush Limbaugh would have been doing backflips.
If Pelosi and the Democrats listen to folks like Rahm Emanuel for the next two years and formulate a coherent and honest strategy on Islamist terrorism that actually involves fighting Islamist terrorists rather than patting down Scandinavian grandmothers at airports, they will be well-positioned for 2008. If the elderly liberal bulls, like Waxman, Kennedy, Leahy, Dingell and Conyers, who soon will be easing themselves into chairmanships, drive the agenda and wave " bloody shirt" leftist issues to the ecstatic ululations of the Moveon.org/DailyKos wingnut base, then 2009 will see the inauguration of President McCain.