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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Election: countdown to 2006 midterms

Tuesday was election day and many Democrats are smiling because New Jersey and Virginia elected new governors from their party. Of course, the outgoing governors were also Democrats, so these results were not exactly earth-shattering.

There are much bigger fish to fry.

If the 2006 midterm elections could have been held on Tuesday, Democrats apparently would have reclaimed the Congress. From ABC News:
Indeed, 55 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say they'd like to see the Democrats take control of Congress in 2006. And if the election were today, registered voters would favor the Democrat in their congressional district by 52 percent to 37 percent.
I've already received an email from a blogger working for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wanting me to link to his attack on Louisville's Representative Anne Northup.

Northup is a shrewd politician and I doubt that many of these attacks will stick. She survived accusations that she was a Newt Gingrich crony, so current efforts to link her to Tom DeLay are probably insufficient to topple Northup -- even if she is among the top ten recipients of cash from DeLay's PAC.

It is kind of interesting that she received a score of ZERO from the National PTA on education issues in 2003-2004. Then again, Mitch McConnell got the same score and he's had little difficulty winning in this state.

The same is true of the ZERO score Northup (and McConnell) received from the Disabled American Vets.

In fact, it would appear from the scores that the test votes selected to make the ratings were highly partisan issues that completely split Republicans and Democrats. I think it's a bad measure if a substantial portion of the respondents receive 0 and many more receive 100.

Would you trust a grade school test for your child if the likely outcomes were all or nothing? I'd suspect the motives or actions of the teacher, wouldn't you?

Tim Saler, the blogger for the DCCC, mentions that Northup supports private Social Security accounts -- as a means of "reforming" the program. True, Northup and other Republicans might be vulnerable on that issue.

Then again, after a lot of talk, nobody actually did anything to change Social Security for the worse. And many people embrace the Republican fantasy, supported by their sleight of hand -- preservation of current Social Security benefits with the addition of private accounts.

Naturally, I believe Saler is correct that Anne Northup should lose because of her politics, but he is missing the elephant in the room.

Most importantly to me, the piece doesn't mention Iraq at all, though the constituent mail I've received from Northup's office continued to tout the threats from Saddam Hussein's Iraq long after it became clear that these were greatly exaggerated.

Republicans are in decline because Iraq is a disaster. Her 2006 Democratic challenger needs to point out that Northup has used incredibly poor judgment supporting a war that is killing a few soldiers every day or two, draining American economic resources, and making America both hated and feared around the world.

Moreover, the war is likely increasing the threats to the US by motivating new terrorists and hastening the proliferation incentives of states like Iran and North Korea.

To me, that's a winning issue because it is vitally important. What is more central to a nation than the question of war and peace?

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