2006-10-27 / Columnists

From The Right

Dreams of Grandeur
By Eric Ulrich

On almost every major news network, political pundits and analysts alike are predicting a democratic sweep in both houses of Congress. The liberal elitists are practically foaming at the mouth when they see polls, which show democrats leading republicans in the few competitive races.

They are counting on the situation in Iraq and President Bush's low approval ratings to propel them to a majority in Congress. For them, nothing would be better than to open impeachment hearings on the President and to roll back much of the progress that has been accomplished by the republican majority.

Democrats believe that this year will be their "1994." In case you don't remember, that was the year republicans took control of the House of Representatives under the Contract with America agreement authored by Newt Gingrich. Their dreams of grandeur may just turn out to be a nightmare. Democrats will admit they have a long history of 'blowing it,' and this year should prove to be no different. Luckily for republicans, 2006 is nowhere near 1994 in terms of potential turnover.

In fact, thanks to successful redistricting there are only 45 seats 'in play' this year as opposed to more than 100 over a decade ago.

In addition, the national democrats are not as unified as their political adversaries were in '94. Back then, republicans put forward a single message pledging to cut taxes, balance the budget and enact a line item veto. This year, democrats are scrambling to get on the same page on the major issues. Even former President Clinton, perhaps the most prominent democrat, admits that his party has not done a very good job at offering a single, positive case for change.

Many voters, although dissatisfied with the handling of Iraq and political corruption in Washington, are not motivated or energized enough to pull off a changing of the guard in our nation's capitol. Let's face it, the conservative base of the party is not angry enough to stay home this November and until that happens, democrats will have a hard time making headway in some of the red states.

Fundraising must also come into account. Money is undoubtedly the bread of politics. You either have it or you don't. Consider this, the Democratic National Party Chairman, Dr. Howard Dean, has raised a mere $97 million in campaign cash to help elect democrats to the House and Senate. Much of this money has been spent rather loosely over the past few months and shies in comparison to the massive $176 million republican war chest. This will definitely hurt democratic expectations.

In this year's election, republicans have an excellent chance of maintaining control of both houses. Everything from fundraising to strategy is in the republican's favor. Public opinion polls, much like the wind, can change direction. In the end, people vote their conscience and their values.

After this election is over, maybe people will finally realize that a donkey is no match for an elephant.

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