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This Election Is a Fluke

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One thing is for sure, whatever happens today, this election cycle is an absolute anomaly. Democrats have been handed an unpopular war, a polarizing president, a divided Republican party, six years of terrible policy all around and a burgeoning group of corruption and sex scandals afflicting their opponents.

Bush has lost two wars, presided over two of the biggest intelligence failures in our history, turned a record budget surplus into a record deficit and is putting forth a legacy that historians are saying could make him the worst president ever. His enablers in the House and Senate have made Congress slightly more popular than a case of the clap.

If Dems can't win an election under these circumstances I don't know how they ever could.

It is worth it to note that Bush and the Republicans have been wiping the floor with Democrats in elections for six years now. Even longer if you want go back to the 1994 midterms. Democrats have taken close elections and somehow managed to get blown out.

Why?

Lots of reasons, but probably the two most important are that for all too long Democrats have allowed Republicans to frame the debate while appearing to stand for nothing themselves, and Dems are way too risk averse when it comes playing both offense and defense in a campaign. They run as milquetoast moderates and sound as if they had to consult a focus group before telling the press what they had for breakfast. They have few defining phrases if any. Republicans repeat mantras constantly and quite effectively. "Strong on Security." " Lower your taxes." Simple, for sure, but they work, and Democrats have trouble competing with that. Especially if Democrats quit actually acting like Democrats.

If voters have a choice between and actual Republican and one who kind of sounds like one, well, they will go with the real one every single time. At least all the Republicans and most independents and even some conservative Democrats. That leaves the progressives holding their noses and voting for the Kind Of Democrat, simply because he sucks less than the other candidate.

It's a bad situation.

And, ultimately, has proven time and time again to be a losing strategy.

There are exceptions. Bill Clinton, for one. However, Bill Clinton is like this year's election cycle, he is a fluke within the system. Clinton is a southern Democrat with tons of charisma and eloquence. He could charm the hell out of anybody, including Newt " I melt around him" Gingrich. Clinton won elections because he was Bill Clinton. No other Dems out there even approach his political skills, certainly none in the last several losing years. Barack Obama has that type of potential, for sure, but he lives in a Blue state that would have most likely voted for a Democratic senator anyway, let alone one with Obama's obvious gifts. Nobody knows if he could win a national election. The point is Democrats cannot keep relying on flukes like a one-of-a-kind politician such as Bill Clinton to win elections. If they do win tomorrow it will be more because of the six years of terrible policy, failed wars and rampant GOP scandals.

It takes a special brand of dumbfuckery to mess things up as bad as the GOP has these last few years. That sort of thing does not come along every election cycle.

So Dems might want to do some soul searching. If they win, was it because of how great they are and what a fantastic message the party has? Or was it because the war has gone to hell, Bush has screwed everything up beyond belief and they had a last month rash of sex and corruption scandals that pushed them over the top?

I am going with the latter.

Democrats need to start acting like Democrats. They need to let the whole country know what they stand for. They need to fight hard for Democratic ideals and fight back against dirty campaign tactics, because as bad as it is, that is just part of the game nowadays.

Then maybe they can put together a string of elections that are won on merit, and not on some anomaly.

Some predictions:

I will not pretend to guess on certain congressional races I have not followed closely, but I will make a few predictions.

In Arizona, you will see at least one sitting Republican congressman go down in defeat. Rick Renzi is a possibility as he is facing a stiff challenge in a swing district. However, I am going to say that Democrat Harry Mitchell will retire cartoonish Republican J.D. Hayworth to a long, lucrative and illustrious lobbying career.

Unfortunately, I believe right-wing maniac Jon Kyl will retain his Senate seat, but Jim Pederson will make it extremely close. Like thisclose.

In Montana, you can bet that democratic rancher Jon Tester is going to help heal the long suffering citizens of my home state by defeating that other guy who is nothing short of a national embarrassment. (I will speak no more of this clown)

In Virginia? I am going with Jim Webb. I think George Allen's implosion has been one of the most bizarre political occurrences I have ever witnessed. It may be just enough for Webb to win.

Unfortunately, Joe Lieberman will still be around, boring the whole world to death. Joementum..ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz

In Tennessee....

How about a close win by Bob Corker. I hate to say it, I think he might squeak it out. I hope not, truly I hope not.

To my individual race predictions on a positive note, Claire McCaskill is going to win in Missouri.

As for the overall scheme of things, I am going to say the Democrats take control of the House, by around 15 seats or so. I think the Senate is going to either go 50-50 or 51-49 for the Dems.

So we will see if I am a dead on Nostradamus, a mostly right Miss Cleo or a couldn't predict tomorrow's date, William Kristol.

What are your picks?
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Bill Wetzel is Amskapi Pikuni aka Blackfeet from Montana. He's a former bull rider/wrestler turned writer and a coauthor of the short story collection "The Acorn Gathering." His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the American Indian Culture (more...)
 

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