Dems Give Up on House, Look to 2014 and Crash of TEA Party
President Obama remains at least an even bet to win reelection. Democrats are favored to hold on to the Senate -- an outcome few prognosticators envisioned at the beginning of the year. And yet, with a little more than a week to go, the party holds almost no chance of winning back the House.
This on the front page of the WaPo, instead of Benghazigate, one presumes.
Analysts cite several factors why the Democrats haven't been able to take advantage. First was a redistricting process that made some Republicans virtually impervious to a challenge and re-election more difficult for about 10 Democrats. A few Democratic incumbents have stumbled in their first competitive races in years. And Republicans have leveraged their majority into a fund-raising operation that has out-muscled the Democrats.
A majority? The Trunks? First time I've seen that suggested!
That means that regardless of who wins the White House, the Republican caucus will remain a critical player in the coming showdowns over tax and spending cuts. Such a result will have defied the chorus of prognosticators who saw so many of these inexperienced freshmen as beneficiaries of blind political luck -- swept up in the 2010 wave of sentiment against Obama and presumably poised to be swept back to sea when the tide went out this November.
To dream, the impossible dream...
Democrats have put a few high profile tea-party lawmakers on the defensive. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), whose confrontational style made him a YouTube sensation and a regular on Fox News, is running behind in his suburban Chicago district.
In Florida, Rep. Allen West (R), a former Army lieutenant colonel, moved north of his previous Palm Beach-based district but still faces stiff competition, even as he declines to tone down his rhetoric.
I have split my contribution so far between Mitt, the Tea Party, and Col. West.
"It's about two different ideologies going forward. It's the opportunity society against the dependency society. It's the constitutional republic against a socialist egalitarian nanny state," the conservative icon, one of just two black Republicans in Congress, said in an interview in St. Lucie.
Beyond the freshmen, Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Steve King (Iowa) are fighting for their political lives. Bachmann's Quixotic presidential campaign left her open to charges of ignoring her district. King is facing Christie Vilsack, the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a still-popular former governor. She is also focusing on local issues rather than King's national conservative platform.
Democrats believe that such high-profile victories could send a signal that hyper-partisanship is not the route to reelection, giving hope for more bipartisan work in 2013.
Maybe if we get rid of the hyper-partisan occupant of the White House the boot...
Posted by: Bobby