Monday, October 09, 2006

October Country

Via Billmon comes word of a spate of polls that were released today, all of which paint a picture of considerable electoral disaster for Republicans at this point. Within one month, GOP candidates have lost 12 points to the Democrats and Bush's approval is back down to 37%. As Jill Lawrence points out, the current situation gives Democrats twice the lead the GOP had before their 1994 majority win. This would spell utter congressional collapse for the GOP just four weeks before the election.

Which, of course, means things are getting desperate for that band of hoodlums. And as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. This leads us to consider the two pronged strategy that must currently be whirling around Karl Rove's pulsing orb right now: one domestic the other, well, let's call that the "foreign policy" front.

On the domestic side, the GOP have a rather extensive and elaborate election engineering infrastructure already installed. Some of this was manifest when six states, expected to be of the "swing" variety, passed various voter ID laws and other overt laws designed to disenfranchised certain demographic populations that normally vote Democratic. Judges in Missouri, Arizona and Georgia tossed out those states' laws, calling them unconstitutional, but three states still have such laws on the books (Ohio's law is currently being challenged) and, of course, we have the charming US House of Representatives, which passed a voter ID law all on its own, apparently convinced that hordes of illegal immigrants were so swarming the polling booths that something had to be done, by god.

More immediate actions by GOP operatives have been noted in Tennesee where Nathan Sproul, of the infamous Sproul and Associates, is now engaged in what is sure to be a voter registration scam that will see the registrations of Democratic voters somehow disappear or otherwise be compromised. And if the voter purges, unconstitutional acts of disenfranchisement and registration scams don't do it all, there is still the Diebold full frontal assault on the vote count that will render November's outcome anything but certain, the domain wherein election fraud thrives.

All of these electioneering efforts still can't work if the polls are so fantastically lopsided that a fraudulent vote count would be obvious. And that is where "foreign policy" enters the picture. As is well known, Rove had promised his people an "October surprise," which immediately meant in the minds of many that the Bush administration was going to launch an attack on Iran. Indeed, the Pentagon has apparently already moved to "second stage planning" for just such a strike and this was further enforced when the USS Eisenhower deployed from Norfolk last week, en route to the Persian Gulf and due to arrive October 21.

But then North Korea tested a nuclear device, much to the chagrin of most of the world. This was likely viewed by the GOP as a positive development for them. They always think that their own gross incompetence leading to greater threat somehow reinforces the message they are the only party who can handle the situation. So far, they haven't been wrong, despite the intrinsic weakness of the argument and their performance.

Though they have done nothing but make the world a more dangerous place, the Bush administration's embrace of the "scary world" theme -- the kind of world only they can handle -- would move into play for Republicans now that the crazed Chuckie doll in Pyongyang had gone off and detonated a nuclear bomb. This was certainly some kind of "October surprise," but not quite what Karl had in mind. Besides, while I am willing to impute a lot of mischief to Rove, even I don't think he's got Kim Jong-il under his thumb.

Which means that Rove's promised event is still in the offing. As the Eisenhower nears her destination, we'll all have to wait and see whether the crazed fanatics in the White House actually believe that launching another unprovoked war is the way to win voter trust. That is, win enough so that the polls on election day seem close enough that that expected fiasco yields results that are, at best, "uncertain." Then the courts will move in and, who knows, maybe Hastert will start swearing in every Republican he can find before the results are even known.

I have been told by devout Democrats that if this election turns the tables as much as these recent polls indicate should happen, the Democrats (the elected ones, that is) will turn back five years of the Bush agenda. Given that these future Democrats will be the same ones who barely squeaked when most of it was passed, this seems fanciful. The Democrats won't say impeachment now, I am further assured, but it will happen. The detainee bill? gone. As attractive as all that sounds, especially if Bush does attack Iran, judgment shall be reserved. Of course, all this is assuming that the Democrats win big in November.

I started out this post by citing the polls, which paint a very bleak picture for Republicans, a picture so bleak, in fact, that normally this election would be considered all but sown up. But despite these polls, the election, such as it will be, really is too hard to call. And that's because it isn't about what the voters think or how they might vote. It will be about how many are defrauded, disenfranchised, turfed out, locked out, never get to vote, told they can't vote, told they've already voted, told they don't exist, told they're Martians, etc. And that's before Diebold gets to work its magic. With Rove's domestic affairs in place and an expected new war that will be used to russle up some patriotism, what we all can expect is utter mayhem on November 7. That much is guaranteed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I kind of wonder if maybe Rove, Cheney, et al. want the Dems to win. We are headed for some serious, serious problems in this country. They have already looted the national treasury and have enough money to live high on the hog for many lifetimes. When the crash comes, they can then blame it all on the Dems.

I too doubt that the spineless Dems are going to turn things around significantly. Alas, I think the Neoconvicts will get away with every illegal act they have done. And the best that we Americans can hope for following 8 years of hell, is to be left with our economy and country fairly intact and to pick up the pieces of our shattered "democracy".

11:53 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...


I'm with you. I doubt the Dems have the fortitude to go after these guys as they deserve, preferring to "move on," as they will no doubt say. And, yes, it could be viewed that giving the Dems a majority might give the GOP some relief from having to answer for their incredible, terrible governance.

But I almost get the feeling that the GOP thinks the Democrats might be tougher than the Democrats actually will be. Why else push that "detainee bill," with retroactive immunity, through so quickly? If the GOP thought the Dems were as gutless as you or I do, they wouldn't have bothered. Of course, they also wouldn't have gotten the bill to the floor either.

I still the Rove machine is too hung on its own power to relenquish it for a marginally prudential reason, i.e. letting the Democrats deal with the mess Bush hath wrought. November 7 will be a very interesting day.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous robb said...

I wonder if Bush will figure out a way to give "Preemptive Presidential Pardons" to himself and his entire adminstration before he ends his term.

12:40 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...


Surely you know that that has already been passed. The detainee bill contained retroactive immunity for any and all war crimes. They also amended the War Crimes Act of 1996 to make any past violations legal. The self-pardoning has already been done.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this blog post on the subject from "Brilliant at Breakfast"

2:13 PM  

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