The Democrats will gain the Presidency in 2008, as well as gain seats in both the House and Senate. I'm calling it tonight.
Well, it helps that every Republican Presidential candidate, pretty much, is an idiot. Either corrupt beyond belief or so polished your average used care salesman looks like an altar boy by comparison. Hell, give Ron Paul $100 million and the nomination and the Republicans might have a chance. Beyond that, given their lack of decent choices (Fred Thompson? Newt Gingrich? Please...), and political trends going Democratic pretty much everywhere save Georgia and Louisiana (maybe), the chances for the Republicans are grim from the start.
But it's quite a stretch from that to total Democratic success down the latter (err... coattails) when the polls close on November 4, 2008. What amazing event precipitated my joyous prediction for the Democrats? In 2005, we Kaine staffers heard ad nauseam about how our race was a bellweather for the 2006 midterm elections. Only five states are cool enough to have off-year statewide elections. Virginia and New Jersey share a cycle, and Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana share the other. Little do most people know, but the Kentucky governor's race (yes, the general election) was decided today. It's a Democratic pick-up. Technically, today was just a primary day. But the results speak volumes.
On the Democratic side, a very well funded DINO/Republican ally was soundly rejected in favor of a real Democrat, Steve Beshear.
But the real fascinating decision comes on the Republican side. Generally, is it not an unusual event when an incumbent is renominated. This is exactly what happened today, when Kentucky Republicans renominated Gov. Ernie Fletcher
by an overwhelming margin. But, you see, Ernie Fletcher is extremely unpopular in Kentucky, garnering a 58% disapproval rating, including only 53% approval amongst Republicans. Fletcher can contribute his low ratings to a massive scandal involving rewarding state employees based on political affiliation. Turns out that's a illegal, and Fletcher has been indicted and has admitted he acted inappropriately. And, it turns out, he still may still face federal criminal charges.
As a political operative, I feel for Kentucky Republicans. I really do. They had a choice between Fletcher, a corrupt official with virtually no chance to be re-elected, and former Rep. Anne Northup, who would have had a much better chance at acutally winning the election, and they chose corruption. Today, they basically handed the Governorship to the Democrats. It will be a very sad November for them.
But, I have to say.... IDIOTS!!!! Did they learn nothing from 2006? Did they not even learn that they have to at least pretend they are not corrupt? I feel for them because I know how it would have felt had we lost in 2005, but damn, do they deserve it. They had the opportunity to choose a real leader, someone who could have given them a decent chance at a respectable party leader, but they shot her down and instead chose one of the most transparently corrupted politicans in the entire country.
The turnout numbers are also very telling. 348, 759 Democrats voted versus 202, 131 Republicans. Clearly, the Dems are more energized, despite having a lower profile election. And as a political operative, I know full well what that means. The only hope for the GOP now is a GOTV program unlike any the world has ever seen, and in a state where Dems and independents are overwhelmingly against the incumbent, even this seems like an unreachable goal.
What does this mean nationally? It means that Republicans haven't learned a damn thing from 2006. But in 2008, thanks to the Democrats suddenly having subpoena power, the Republicans will be faced with a situation in which many details of their corruption are publicly known, but have not been repudiated by candidates and party leaders. They will be even more so tied to Iraq and corruption than they were in 2006. With Republicans overwhelmingly endorsing their corrupt business as usual, they are leaving themselves no options but complete failure in 2008. 2006 will seem like just the sneak preview.
So, let them keep their most corrupt as their party leaders. That way, we keep them out in the open, where we can see what they're up to, and then extinguish them like the vermin they are.