Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Can Bush want the GOP to fail in the mid-term elections?

By Aussiegirl

Frum has really stunned me with his suggestion that Bush may want the midterm elections to go to the Democrats so that he can get his amnesty bill through the Congress. As awful as that sounds, it makes sense -- there can be no other reason for his intransigence and unwillingness to listen to the overwhelming sentiment in this country against what he is doing.

But as wacky as that sounds, there is a Tony Coelho memo that Rush read on his show today, which espouses the exact same theory. It would be to the Democrats disadvantage, writes Coelho, to win the mid-term election and take over leadership of the House and Senate because it would make them responsible for all the problems that the country faces of the next two years. If they merely gain a few seats, according to him, but fail to become the majority, they retain their ability to snipe and criticize from the sidelines, thus positioning themselves favorably for the election of a Democratic President in 2008.

I recently heard a perfect analogy -- politics is like a soccer match -- the players know it's only a game, while the fans tear each other up on the sidelines.

In the long run, it's power and money that runs politics, not ideology. At least that's the way politics appears to be run today. There is a pretense of debate, while backroom deals are struck which completely ignore the will of the people.

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online

When the Bush administration fitfully attempts to enforce the immigration laws, it looks for measures that meet four criteria:

They must be 1) spectacular; 2) expensive; 3) unsustainable; and 4) ineffective.

The proposal to deploy the National Guard to the border meets all four!

This plan won't work, and it is not seriously meant to work. It's supposed to look dramatic and buy the president some respite from negative polls - and then it is supposed to fail, strengthening the administration's case for its truly preferred approach: amnesty + guestworkers.

Tonight though the administration will do something that cannot be respected. It will misrepresent its actual policies. It will say one thing and do another - a recurring vice of this administration's policymaking, alas. It will promise enforcement in ways it knows will fail - and it will then use the expected failure to justify doing the exact opposite.

[...]That's pretty shabby politics. It's also pretty dumb politics - so dumb that it raises this question: Could the president possibly want the GOP to lose in November 2006?

It sounds crazy, but hear me out:

A Democratic Congress would give the president the amnesty + guestworker program that remains as his only possible domestic legislative legacy. A Republican Congress - or rather a Republican House - won't. If James Conyers replaced James Sensenbrenner as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, amnesty would fly through the House. A Democratic Senate would show even more enthusiasm for amensty than the Republican Senate.

But wait: Wouldn't a Democratic Congress make the administration's life miserable? Would it not persecute the administration with subpoenas and oversight and possibly impeachment hearings? Yes, so it would. And it would do something else too: It would rally the Republican base to the president.


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