Election 2006

Hope springs anew for progressives as the 2006 election year begins with the President’s approval ratings at record lows.

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in the Washington Post that Karl Rove’s diminishing of policy duties reflects his new mission: the survival of the Republican majority in Congress and the Senate. He writes:

As one outside adviser to the administration said, the danger of a Democratic takeover of at least one house of Congress looms large and would carry huge penalties for Bush. The administration fears “investigations of everything” by congressional committees, this adviser said, and the “possibility of a forced withdrawal from Iraq” through legislative action.

Meanwhile, my hero Senator Barbara Boxer has notified her supporters that with some focussed organization, the Democrats can, indeed, take back the Senate and use that majority to hold the Bush administration accountable. She writes:

George Bush’s approval ratings continue to set record lows. The latest polls show that we can elect a Democratic Senate in November. Now is the time for you to join the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and support its campaign to check the power of this President and get us back on track.

I agreed to be a Vice Chair of the DSCC because I believe in the organization’s unique role in Senate elections around the country. Only the DSCC will make sure our Democratic Senate candidates have the resources they need to fight back. No other organization coordinates our national message and our limited national resources like the DSCC.

I can easily imagine how Rove will fight the Democratic contenders, based on his hideous history. Democratic party candidates will be smeared with vicious lies in television ads, on Fox News, and on right wing radio talk shows. Paperless electronic voting machines will be rigged to count backward whenever a Democratic candidate gains more than 50% of the tally. Minorities and young people will be prevented from voting by various fraudulent schemes.

On the Democratic side we have the organizational skills of Moveon.org and other voter organizing groups, the swift information exchange of the blogosphere, and sheer numbers of US citizens. Say what you will, the Republican agenda truly benefits an extremely small segment of the population. The rest of their following have been suckered by marketing tricks like conferred machismo, racism, promises of sexually repressive laws to Christian fundamentalists, scare tactics like the color terror alerts, and mindless traditions (“We’ve always been Republicans around these parts. Why? Because that’s how we’ve always been.”)

For an enlightened idea on how to campaign one voter at a time, read the first reader comment on the Jane Smiley rant posted here.