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What if? « Previous | |Next »
October 24, 2006

In the US the Republicans are bracing for House losses in the forthcoming mid-term elections. According to the Washington Post, these losses could go as high as 30 seats whilst the Republican's Senate majority is beginning to look more wobbly. You can see the Republican response in the way that Bush's slogan to "stay the course", used to counter what the White House terms the Democrats' "cut and run" push for withdrawing US forces from Iraq, is being retired. It is still a 'what if' isn't it.

Greg Grandin concludes a post on the mid-term elections at Tom Dispatch exploring the implications of this 'what if' by saying:

If the Democratic Party wants to halt, or even reverse, its long decline and avoid yet again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, it will need to do more than investigate the six-year reign of corruption, incompetence, and arrogance presided over by Cheney and company. Progressive politicians who protest the war in Iraq will have to do more than criticize the way it has been fought or demand to have more of a say in how it is waged. They must challenge the militarism that justified the invasion and that has made war the option of first resort for too many of our foreign-policy makers. Otherwise, no matter how many tanks they drive or veterans they nominate -- or congressional seats they pick up -- the Democrats will always be dancing to Ollie's [Ollie North] tune.

The Democrats will also need to roll back the gains made by the neoconservative campaign against Congress and in defense of the imperial presidency. Will they?

A the moment it does look as if 2006 midterm elections are becoming a referendum on Iraq, a war in which President Bush and his Republican party have lost the political center and significant chunks of their base. It is crunchtime for the corruption ridden Republicans as the Bush Administration is now unpopular. So it looks as if Bush will be a lameduck President for his last two years. What will he do? Work with their Democrats? Or veto their legislation on increasing the minimium wage, lowering prices for prescription drugs for those ont he Medicare program, and lowering student loan interest rates etc etc.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:59 PM | | Comments (2)


If it does end up being a Democrat majority in the house I suspect that much of the time will be spent investigating the executive, not so much because the Democrats want to, I suspect they have a legislative agenda of their own, but it will be because there will be so much that will need investigating, even if it doesn't lead to impeachment.

There has been so little executive oversight that I expect a lot will appear simply because it hasn't been investigated prior to there being a Democratic majority.

Parties pose a real problem to those that believe in checks and balances as a way to curb legislative and executive excess. Party discipline is sufficient to overcome the constitutional requirements from the different branches.

The power to investigate, the power of a subpoena, will certainly end the Bush administration's dreams of endless domination.

The fall of the neocons from the heights of power has to be a good thing, even though I'm sure that fall doesn't mean the end of "benevolent world hegemony". It may mean nan end to the military agenda of preemptive and preventive strikes as the core of national security policy. It may also mean no more Iraq's---ie., the smashing up of nation states in the Middle East into a pile of ethnic and religious splinters; warring factions fighting over the rubble, and a region being dragged into ethnic conflict.

However, there are a lot of liberal hawks in the Democrat party who think that the US Middle East Policy should be one based on furthering Israel's interests.