Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why Win?

Adam Nagourney write today in the New York Times about the thought I expressed in my previous post, Hillary’s Headache, namely, that the Democrats would be better positioned in 2008 if they come close but fail to capture either house of Congress in November.

Money quote:

As strange as it might seem, there are moments when losing is winning in politics. Even as Democrats are doing everything they can to win, and believe that victory is critical for future battles over real issues, some of the party’s leading figures are also speculating that November could represent one of those moments.

From this perspective, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world politically to watch the Republicans struggle through the last two years of the Bush presidency. There’s the prospect of continued conflict in Iraq, high gas prices, corruption investigations, Republican infighting and a gridlocked Congress. Democrats would have a better chance of winning the presidency in 2008, by this reasoning, and for the future they enhance their stature at a time when Republicans are faltering.


Discussions - 4 Comments

On the other hand, Democratic dominance could result in such a flood of exposure, that the republican party might never recover.

I mean, looks whats being exposed now, and the republicans are in charge!!!

Thats my fervent hope.

"Exposure" is just what the Republicans were hoping to accomplish when they retook the House and Senate in 1946. There were tons of committee hearings (HUAC being only the most notorious example) seeking to expose the corruption (and worse) that the Truman administration was allegedly riddled with. Truman chose to pursue the business of governing (working with a few key reasonable Republicans, like Arthur Vandenberg), and handed the GOP a major defeat in 1948.

A Democratic victory in 2006 will bring out the deep chasm that exists between the party’s base and the average voter. The new Congress will try to placate both, but in the end will be forced to choose. If Bush has any political sense at all he will propose all sorts of red-meat legislation (flag-burning, domestic security, immigration, etc.) that will force their hand. My guess is that they will ultimately act to appease the base--and will in the process only come off as being shrill. In any such battle between Congress and the President, the latter will win.

I’m not that familiar with the period, so I can’t say if Truman had an administration, or a party as gob smackingly corrupt as the current GOP. I think it unlikely though.

Two years of relentless bad press, no stone left unturned (assuming a decent democratic majority) should leave the republicans destroyed.

Lying, corruption, pay offs ... hookers! It’s like a bad novel. Or mabye an exceptional novel? Either way, the republicans look bad now, when it all comes out? Clinton will look like the poster boy of good behaviour.


Even if the Democrats do win a majority in a single House (or both Houses) of Congress, I think Dr. Moser’s points are certainly a major concern to address. Let’s say that we do leave "no stone unturned" and miraculously discover tons of corruption in the ranks of the Republican party. That is all good and great and would certainly hurt them quite a bit . . . but . . .

As for "destroying" them. If Bush began to push for legislation on flag-burning, immigration, domestic security and the other issues the average America doesn’t want the Democrats deciding on, we’ll definitely see some reactionary backlash and support for conservative ideals if nothing else.

While I tend to agree with you politically, I don’t think it would be quite the party destruction that you’re hoping for Brian.

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