A quick look at the parties’ fundraising numbers shows that there is little for the Republicans to celebrate. Their recruitment is appalling. The current composition of the House of Representative is 233 Democrats, 200 Republicans, and 2 vacancies. Here is the current number of races with a Republican (260) and a Democrat (344) in the race. That means that the Republicans are contesting 60 Democratic seats (25.7%) while the Democrats are contesting 144 Republican seats (72%). The NRCC, in charge of electing House Republicans, is -2.25 million dollars in debt. The DCCC, in charge of electing House Democrats has 25.3 million dollars. Let’s do the math. For each contested election, the NRCC can contribute -$56.250.00 and the DCCC can contribute $175,695.44.
Obviously, all signs point to a bloodbath in the House. The Senate isn’t a whole lot better. And the Republican presidential candidates are a joke. Charlie Cook notes all of this before going on to criticize (rightly so) the House Democrats for interjecting a debate about the Armenian genocide into already tense relations with Turkey. But his narrative is getting tiresome.
The penalty for this move is arguably more generic against the Democratic Party and is more likely to be paid by the eventual Democratic presidential nominee rather than by any member seeking re-election.
It is important to remember that the Democrats’ only presidential victories since 1976 were in 1992 and 1996; the first two elections after the Iron Curtain fell and the Cold War was over. At that point, the foreign policy aspect of the presidency was pretty much discounted, and Democrats nominated Bill Clinton, widely considered to be a moderate.
While many voters might disagree with the Bush administration on foreign policy issues, it doesn’t mean Democrats get a free pass. They have to be very careful…
…But the important takeaway is that while Republicans might not be a credible threat in terms of recapturing majorities in the House or Senate, congressional Democrats should still be more concerned about the consequences of their actions on their party’s chances of winning the White House next year.
Voters seem angry enough at Republicans today to take the presidency away from them, but putting a Democrat into the post can’t be seen as a risk.
For fuck’s sake, Cook, what could possibly be a bigger risk than putting another Republican in charge of our foreign policy? Is there nothing that can change your Beltway Wisdom narrative? Five years of pointless war haven’t had any effect?
And, of course the Weekly Standard gets a chubby reading this stuff.
Cook is right, but the question of the Armenian genocide is the minor one; the real question is whether Democrats will be seen as credible on national security. If the situation in Iraq continues to improve, some swing voters will reconsider how much might have been lost by the precipitous withdrawal pushed by Democrats. They will wonder why Democrats have been so conciliatory toward Iran, and why they are fighting against reasonable measures to continue surveillance of foreign terrorists.
If the situation in Iraq improves any more there won’t be a cockroach left alive in the country. I doubt there are 10 people outside of the Israeli lobby that are really wondering why the Democrats are not threatening to start another unwinnable war by bombing Iran. And there is nothing reasonable, whatsoever, about ditching our fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. But that’s the world elite Republicans live in…wrong about everything…except, most likely, for this:
If the liberal Senate Judiciary Committee produces a bad [FISA] bill that makes it harder to listen in on terrorists’ communications, it will complicate the effort to produce a bill the president will sign. Nevertheless, Democrats in both houses seem to be charging ahead on a plan that may — against all odds — produce a bill favored by a minority, which is sure to be vetoed. They may succeed in setting up a game of chicken that they’re sure to lose.
The Democrats will surely lose if they try to pass an acceptable FISA bill. The only choice is to force the president to veto a good bill, let the law sunset, and tell the American people to choose sides on who has better vision on foreign policy. Our constitutional rights are non-negotiable.