Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Swing and a miss!

I like being right, a lot, too much in fact, so it's with no small amount of annoyance that I have to reveal that my election prediction was off, by a lot. I suppose I could imagine that after overestimating the democratic chances for so long pollsters have over-corrected and that now polls overemphasis republican chances, but that would just be an excuse, and not a vey strong one at that.

Last night wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped, which is not to say I didn't enjoy things, more that 2000 and 2004 really spoiled me as far as election night excitement. Mostly I'm looking for either raw excitement, like 2000, or something surprising, like the exit polls projecting a Kerry victory in 2004 and then Bush pulling it out. Watching the Republicans get their teeth kicked in definitely wasn't surprising, though there was a certain amount of excitement, particularly since they had it coming.

Of course they'll want to say that it was Bush's unpopularity and the Iraq war that cost them the house, when in reality it was their own greed and arrogance. As an example of this I offer the article I just read in the Economist. After it became apparent how expensive the Katrina clean-up was going to be several fiscally conservative Republicans approached Tom Delay and floated the idea of cutting some stuff out of the budget to help offset the costs. Delay replied that after 11 years of Republican control all the fat had already been trimmed, there was nothing left. That statement is ludicrous on its face and just descends into the realm of the absurd when you consider that per capita government spending under Bush and that congress was greater than any president other than Lyndon Johnson, and that this was two months after the pork-laden bill which included such infamous items as the bridge to nowhere.

In fact I would argue that Iraq and the War on Terror in general kept the losses from being greater. Because I bet there were a lot of conservatives who (and democrats like Orson Scott Card) who choked down the bile about all the extravagant spending and the horrible entitlements, and voted Republican because they were terrified of what the Democrats would do with our National Security.

Thus far the Democrats have promised not to impeach Bush, but count me as a skeptic. I know that this is not the best time to trot out another prediction, but I think that once things get settled in, the furious democratic base will eventually push them into an impeachment. Two years may not be enough time for the stars to align, so I'm only going to give impeachment a 75% probability, but if Bush had four years left in office I'd give it a 100%. Also to a certain extent what will happen depends on whether the Democrats take the Senate, though at this point I think they will.

Never uncertain, frequently incorrect


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with you that they'd try impeach Bush if it was doable. But Bush-hating seems like such a waste at this point. What's the use really? I guess it is easier than coming up with concrete plans that would be immediately smeared and bogged down in, well, politics.

Could you imagine an alternate universe "What If" for a core of Democrats to cut loose of the main party, sign onto the Libertarians and whoever else was motivated and made a run for it? That would be dynamic, inspiring and fun to watch.

6:20 AM  

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