The Moose ponders the political Zeitgeist.
The Moose has a sense that the Democrats may very well capture the House and/or the Senate this year. It has nothing to do, however, with the donkey. It has everything to do with the incompetence of the elephant. And of course, the perception of chaos in Iraq colors everything.
If the example of '94 repeats itself, Democrats will capture the House and/or Senate and proceed to dramatically over-reach. And Sunday, the #2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin kept the door conspicuously wide open to impeachment in '07.
The GOP could soon reap the whirlwind that it unleashed back in '98 with the Clinton impeachment. The polarization and criminalization of our politics continue apace.
Perhaps, however, it is premature for Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi to be measuring drapes in the Leader's/Speaker's offices. Much can happen between now and November. The situation in Iraq could improve and the withdrawal of troops could accelerate. Americans could feel better about the economy as the market soars.
And, the other caution is that the American aren't exactly taken with the donkey. In most polls, the Democrats' popularity is near the Republicans' - in the tank. The folks aren't enamored with either party and they loathe Washington. Democrats - don't pop the champagne corks just yet.
While the Democrats lead the Republicans on most domestic issues, the Moose senses that the country isn't moving significantly to the left. Cultural issues still matter. And if there is some improvement in Iraq, the Democrats are vulnerable to the charge that they are naysaying defeatists.
Moreover, while the Republican coalition is under stress on issues such as government spending and the war, it is not yet in danger of splitting apart. It is still fairly united as a low tax, social conservative, hawkish party.
And what of the Democrats? What are their ideas for governance? Is the Democratic coalition growing? What new groups are attracted to the donkey? Exurban voters? Moderate Republican women? Independents? Anyone?
In the '80 Republican Revolution, the Reagan Democrats entered the GOP. In '94, it was the Perot independents who bolstered the Republican ranks. Is there a similar trend in '06?
Alas, time will tell. But at the moment, it seems that Republican mishaps and Democratic rage are the key factors in the political dynamic.
While this looks like a Democratic year, '08 might be an entirely different picture. If both parties are incapable of offering nothing more than partisan bile, expect some interesting developments in American politics. What is the Moose talking about?
The Moose is a mysterious creature. --