There are three points that deserve to be discussed and I've decided to cover them in three separate blog entries over the next three days.
First, in what will be the shortest entry, I'm going to take just a couple of paragraphs to discuss the sorry state of the Republican Party. This ought to be really short.
Al Gore wrote to me today (along with about ten million other Democrats and liberal leaning folks). What former Vice President Gore wanted, of course, was money for the Democrat Party. But he did make a really important observation.
|Dear Robert, (Good old Al always calls me Robert) |
I've seen it happen. In 1992, Democrats had finally regained the White House and had control of Congress. Everything was in place to bring about historic change.
But in 1994 - just two years later - the Republicans surged back, capturing the Senate and the House. As a result, every bit of progress was a struggle, and Republicans blocked many important initiatives entirely.
We can't let it happen again, but history is not on our side. In all but three midterm elections since the Civil War, the president's party has lost seats.
Good old Al is right. If one party controls both Houses of Congress and the Presidency it is likely the opposing party will take some of that power back. It happens for a variety of reasons: buyer's remorse, desire for a balance of power, and a re-energized opposition.
This year, for reasons I will discuss thoroughly in my third blog entry, Republicans should really gain ground. The mistakes President Obama and the Democrats are making are huge and potentially devastating to the country. But the Republicans may not be able to pick up the pieces.
In 1994 Republicans had a secret weapon: Newt Gingrich. Gingrich was probably the brightest and most able member of the House of Representatives in our generation. And he was organized and had a superb marketing plan. He capitalized on Clinton's mistakes and energized the party and, ultimately, the nation.
Today there is no Newt Gingrich, not even the badly tarnished and out of power Gingrich himself.
Although we Democrats are wasting our time, energy, intelligence and credibility attacking Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, neither of these people, nor any of the other talking heads are leading the Republican party or speaking for the Republican party. And potential leaders like Governor Mark Sanford are self destructing.
In the House and Senate there is literally no leadership with even marginal credibility. A few are captive of far right Christian groups bent on repealing the laws of Evolution, others lack the charisma to capture the imagination of the populace.
So while my close personal buddy Al is right, history favors the Republicans, there is no cohesive group able to capitalize on this historic opportunity.
That is a shame and I'll explain why in part three.