Oh yeah, making predictions is a dangerous business - just ask Bill Maher.
And finally, New Rule, in two parts: A) You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid. And B), if you're someone from one of the think tanks that dreamed up the Iraq War, and who predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that we wouldn't need a lot of troops, and that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, that the WMD's would be found, that the looting wasn't problematic, and the mission was accomplished, that the insurgency was in its last throes, that things would get better after the people voted, after the government was formed, after we got Saddam, after we got his kids, after we got Zarqawi, and that the whole bloody mess wouldn't turn into a civil war...you have to stop making predictions!
Aint that the truth?
I know I should heed Maher's advice too, but I just can't help myself - so here goes...
Democrats are going to take BOTH HOUSES. Say it, see it - believe it!
Doesn't that feel good? Just take a moment and bask in the possibilities.
Ok, moment over.
The one thing we can't afford is overconfidence. The Repubs have the cash on hand to still do some damage on November 7th, even though by all rights - based on their policies and governing - they shouldn't have a prayer of surviving as the majority in either house.
How bad does it have to get before America throws these bums under the bus?
Unable to actually campaign for anyone other than Dennis the Menace Hastert the President took his "message" directly to the people this Sunday with an appearance on This Week (Counterpointed by John Kerry who also appeared)
BUSH: Frankly, I hear disparate voices all over the place from the Democrats' side about Iraq. We got some saying: Get out. The person I ran against in 2004, Senator Kerry, said at a date certain, time, withdraw.
We got one of the top leaders in the House said: Let's move troops to an island and maybe respond from there.
I would suspect most voters are going to be saying: What is the plan? Or most voters will be saying: How come the majority of Democrats voted against the detainee program where we're going to question high-value detainees to determine whether they've got information necessary to protect the country?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You've used some pretty tough rhetoric, though. You said this election's a choice between Republicans and Democrats who want to wave the white flag of surrender in the war on terror.
Can you name a Democrat who wants to wave the white flag of surrender?
BUSH: I can name a Democrat who said there ought to be a date certain from which to withdraw from Iraq, whether or not we've achieved a victory or not. And I...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that surrender?
BUSH: Yes, it is, if you pull the troops out before the job is done. Absolutely, George.
Kerry in response...finally using the "L" word.
In an exclusive appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rebuked President Bush's assertion that those who advocate a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq are supporting "surrender."
"That's reprehensible. It's a lie," Kerry said.
Yes, it is a lie. Kerry went on to explain that calls such as his and Senator Feingold's for a Date Certain on removing our troops should not be cast in stone. But that this was "the stick" to be used to push the Iraqis to govern and protect themselves. Kerry was right during the 2004 election that we need to set goals for the Iraqis and gives those goals consequences - and he's right now.
"I think you have to be more blunt: I think you have to say, 'No young American is going to die or give their life or limb for Iraqi politicians who refuse to compromise,' " Kerry said. "They have to want democracy for themselves as much as we want it for them."
Of his date-certain approach, Kerry argued, "You have to set a date because it's the only way to get Iraqis to respond," adding, "The date is not a date in a vacuum. I mean, I'm not stupid."
Kerry later summed up the situation.
"Either they resolve the political differences within this year because they want to, or they don't want to. If they don't want to, there's nothing American troops can do," he said.
On the issue of whether Iraq is in the midst of a Civil War - Bush:
STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you don't think that Iraq is in the middle of a civil war...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But whatever you call it, aren't American men and women now dying to prevent Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other?
BUSH: No. George, I -- it's dangerous. And you're right, no matter what you call it.
"The president just misled America again in that interview," he said. "Al Qaeda is not the problem in Iraq."
Kerry added, "The violence in Iraq today, George, is between Shia and Sunni; this is a civil war."
The fundamental question is: Are we on our way to achieving a goal, which is an Iraq that can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself and be an ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems like, every month, we're going farther from that.
BUSH: Well, I don't know why you would say that. I mean...
STEPHANOPOULOS: The casualties are going up.
BUSH: ... if that's the definition of success or failure, the number of casualties, then you're right. But that's what the enemy knows. See, they try to define success or failure.
I define success or failure as to whether or not the Iraqis will be able to defend themselves. I define success or failure as whether the unity government's making difficult -- the difficult decisions necessary to unite the country.
I define success or failure as whether schools are being built, or hospitals are being opened. I define success or failure as whether we're seeing a democracy grow in the heart of the Middle East.
Well, since the Iraqi government can't even pick up the bodies -- let alone open new schools, new hospitals and fresh new shopping malls - in the President's own terms, this isn't a "success"
BUSH: Because a democracy in the Middle East, a society based upon liberty, will be a defeat for the terrorists, who have clearly said they want a safe haven from which to launch attacks against America, a safe haven from which to topple moderate governments in the Middle East, a safe haven from which to spread their jihadist point of view, which is that there are no freedoms in the world; we will dictate to you how you think.
You mean a safe haven like say - our "ally" Pakistan? By the way - how's that Afghanistan thingy coming along?
As Kerry made plain, the path to creating a stable Democracy with Iraq (or Pakistan or Afghanistan or anywhere else) means doing something this Adminstration is absolutely incapable of doing - employing effective Diplomacy.
They refuse to pay attention to tensions and issues between Shia and Sunni, still claiming that the big bad bogeyman of Al Qaeda is behind everything that is wrong in Iraq even though according to General Abizaid - there are only about 1000 Al Qeada fighters IN Iraq.
The President claims that those who simply wish him to abide by the FISA law and prefer that we honor our international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions -- are somehow "soft" on terrorism, although the Whitehouse can not name a single Democrat who doesn't want us listening to Al Qeada's communications or to lawfully interrogate detainees.
Republicans have made this theme "The Stakes" central to their campaign to retain control of the House and Senate and so far this strategery has been a total bust.
Protecting America isn't the issue - the issue is what America becomes in the process of protecting itself. The only way to bring this Administration to heal before 2008 is for Democrats to take over Congress and start implementing some freaking oversight.
It's clear that Bush with his suddenly frequent TV appearances (including O'Reilly) as well as Veep Cheney last night on Hannity and * are simply trying to keep the happy talk flowing to the base.
Never mind about Foley, Hastert and that "idealistic liberal with the brain tumor" David Kuo. Everything will be just fine tomorrow - bet you're bottom dollar Daddy Warbucks.
You can see the desperation in Tony Snows eyes as he puts on his dog and bone show at the White House. (Here ya go Stretch - Fetch This Quote) Just take a look at some of his more recent nutball statements.
- Bush only said "Stay the Course 8 times" -- No, it was 30 times.
It's "Silly and Gratuitous" to ask Bush if he made any mistakes with North Korea. (Yeah, it's not like they suddenly got The Bomb on his watch or anything....)
"Please show me where the NIE says were not winning" (How about where it says "If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide." on Page 1 or "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives." on Page 2!)
"Saddam had a relationship with Zarqawi because he was in the country." Which is sort of like saying Bill Clinton had a "relationship" with the Unibomber since they were both in the country at the same time too, and y'know Clinton was like trying to capture the Unibomber just like Saddam was trying to capture Zarqawi. (But then again, we probably shouldn't give the Wing-nuts too many bright ideas when it comes to Clinton smears - so you didn't hear that one from me ok?)
Sniff. Smell that? That's fear baby. Pure and undiluted.
But it's not like the media is really doing much to get the truth out:
- Matt Lauer on Today : The (Presumptive new House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi is suddenly and inexplicably "controversal".
Chris Matthews : Nancy Pelosi is too "scary" and "San Francisco" to be on 60 Minutes.
CBS reported the Barron's study which allegedly indicates that Repubs will keep both the House and Senate, but failed to mention the inconsistencies in thier methodologies. (It's almost as if they were gaming their methods to produce a desired outcome - shocking for a GOP friendly paper isn't it?)
And let's not even get into what Faux News has to say.
Despite all this and all the BS and psychoticbabble coming from the Wingnut Brigade - CQPolitics currently shows just 8 Democratic House seats in potential "jeopardy" by merely leaning Democratic:
- Colo. 3 -- Salazar
Ga. 8 -- Marshall
Ga. 12 -- Barrow
Iowa 3 -- Boswell
Ill. 8 -- Bean
Ill. 17 -- Evans*
La. 3 -- Melancon
Vt. AL -- Sanders*
Zero Democratic seats show No clear winner. Zero are leaning Republican.
Compare that to 1 Republican seat where a Democrat is currently favored:
- Ariz. 8 -- Kolbe*
Five more that Lean Democratic
- Fla. 16 -- vacant*
Ind. 8 -- Hostettler
N.Y. 26 -- Reynolds
Pa. 7 -- Weldon
Texas 22 -- vacant*
Nineteen with No Clear Favorite.
- Colo. 7 -- Beauprez*
Conn. 4 -- Shays
Fla. 22 -- Shaw
Ill. 6 -- Hyde*
Iowa 1 -- Nussle*
Ind. 2 -- Chocola
Ind. 9 -- Sodrel
Minn. 6 -- Kennedy*
N.C. 11 -- Taylor
N.M. 1 -- Wilson
N.Y. 20 -- Sweeney
N.Y. 24 -- Boehlert*
Ohio 15 -- Pryce
Ohio 18 -- Ney*
Pa. 6 -- Gerlach
Pa. 8 -- Fitzpatrick
Pa. 10 -- Sherwood
Wash. 8 -- Reichert
Wis. 8 -- Green*
And an additional 21 that only Lean Republican.
- Ariz. 1 -- Renzi
Ariz. 5 -- Hayworth
Calif. 11 -- Pombo
Calif. 50 -- Bilbray
Colo. 4 -- Musgrave
Conn. 2 -- Simmons
Conn. 5 -- Johnson
Fla. 13 -- Harris*
Ky. 3 -- Northup
Ky. 4 -- Davis
Minn. 1 -- Gutknecht
Nev. 2 -- Gibbons*
N.H. 2 -- Bass
N.J. 7 -- Ferguson
N.Y. 19 -- Kelly
N.Y. 29 -- Kuhl
Ohio 1 -- Chabot
Ohio 2 -- Schmidt
Pa. 4 -- Hart
Va. 2 -- Drake
Wyo. AL -- Cubin
I'm not expecting Democrats to run the table, but if they do that's a 36 seat pickup. Ouch!
The picture in the Senate isn't so clear. Democrats are at risk in New Jersey where there's no clear favorite in the Menendez race.
Republican Senate Seats Leaning Democratic.
- Mont. -- Burns
Ohio -- DeWine
Pa. -- Santorum
R.I. -- Chafee
Republican Senate Seats with No Clear Favorite
- Mo. -- Talent
Tenn. -- Frist*
Republican Senate Seats Leaning Republican.
- Va. -- Allen
Losing Menendez would be a major blow, but it's still possible for Democrats to reach the magic six if they can knock out Senator Macaca-witz in Virginia.
Unless there's a huge series of election night upsets across the country - Democrats are standing on the verge of gettig it on!
I for one, though not overconfident, have my sunglasses ready for that dawn. Just in case.