Monday, November 13, 2006

Victory, But Not Too Much

[posted by Callimachus]

Several Democrats I read or listen to have independently acknowledged they were privately wanting to win only one branch of the national legislature on Nov. 7. Not that they're sanguine about taking both.

But their arguments amount to this: "It would have been better for our long-term prospects," by which they mean 2008. So, get a foothold in power, but not so much as to deprive the GOP of the room it needs to demonstrate afresh its incompetence and misdirection. That way you deprive the Republicans of the opportunity in the '08 presidential race to blame on Congress whatever has gone wrong in the previous two years.

Which shows an astonishing lack of self-confidence in the Democrats. Worse, it shows a thinking purely in terms of political expedience. That strategy doesn't seek a government balanced and checked. It seeks a Democratic version of what the GOP has enjoyed from 2002 to now.

And it seeks it at the cost of allowing the country to deteriorate for another two years -- as the Democrats insist it will under Republican hegemony.

This is typical crass political gamesmanship, and needless to say the modern GOP would do the same if the situation were reversed. But what is overlooked in all this is beyond horrible. No one at the top here is thinking past 2008. I am sure, however, the jihadis are.