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The Tentacle


October 25, 2006

When It Rains Frogs

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Perhaps I have my head in the sand and suffer from a great reality disconnect, but I'm just not buying the grand Democratic Wave Theory that is being drubbed into everyone's head these days by the main stream media.

Often when I think of the "Democratic Wave Theory," I have visions of the Australian 1977 Peter Weir occult movie "The Last Wave" and the prophetic scene where it rained frogs.

The steady drumbeat of "The Democrats are coming" hype is just not ringing true and reminds me of an almost cult-like obsession. Get a grip. Focus and get on message. There's a nasty storm on the horizon and we're all going to get soaked, but it is not really going to rain frogs.

To be sure, Republicans are going to lose seats in both the Senate and the House. And yes, I will concede that the House of Representatives contest is the stuff of full-metal-Maalox. All the Democrats need to do is pick up 15 seats out of the 435 contests; it will be a nail-biter.

And yes, in many ways the Republicans in Congress deserve to lose the majority. The 109th Congress has been a waste and all of us deserve a refund.

But not taken into consideration in most discussions about the upcoming election is where is the alternative? There is no depth on the Democratic bench.

The problem for Republicans continues to be leadership fatigue and 'staying on message' that this mid-term election is about the economy, taxes and spending, national security, immigration reform and - what was the other? - oh, yeah - the economy.

Yes, all elections are local, and, yes, some changes are in order; but when the curtain is pulled - or when the absentee ballot is about to be sealed in the envelope - it is inconceivable that most Americans are going to embrace the traditionally soft-on-national-security approaches and increased taxes of the Democratic Party.

Not to mention the potential of two years of endless congressional hearings undermining our national security and non-stop partisan attempts to impeach the president on groundless charges and lay the groundwork for a Democrat to occupy the White House in 2009. If you thought the 109th Congress was a waste, you ain't seen nothin' until you see what a Democratic majority would do in the 110th.

Let's face it, when your head hits the pillow at night, the over-aged teenager Barrack Obama, Belgium waffle Hillary Clinton and a hate-spewing Nancy Pelosi may cause you nightmares; they certainly don't inspire confidence.

Considering the threat of a nuclear North Korea and Iran, the specter of Iraq becoming the next post-Russian Afghanistan, human remains still being discovered in the ashes of the World Trade Center, and an unsecured southern border, it is time to get real.

Lost in all the talk of conservatives staying home because of justified discontent over the obscene spending by this administration, lack of immigration reform, and the steady stream of members of Congress betraying our trust stands the obvious question: So you are going to turn this mess over to a wave of Democrats?

If anything, after years of touting the Internet as the new information dissemination system, and a decade of ranting and raving about the liberal main stream media, it is amazing how well the liberal media has been able to focus and define the debate on the upcoming election.

"It's the economy, stupid."

In the 1992 presidential election, Democratic strategist James Carville was brilliant in keeping the legendary attention deficit beleaguered Bill Clinton on message. The liberal media picked up that drumbeat and over and over it was drilled into our heads that the election was all about the economy.

Staying on message has not been a strong point of national Republican leaders recently as they have drifted from one knee-jerk issue to the next.

As the war in Iraq became defined by the liberal media as the Achilles heal of the majority party in Washington, Republicans scurried about mindlessly looking for some definition and purpose in life.

That would be the same leadership that also forgot the core conservative constituency's value of holding the line on spending.

Say what you want about Rep. Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco's 8th District, her voice may sound like fingernails on a blackboard and on TV she looks likes everyone's ex-wife, but that shrill acid-laced mouth of hers has stayed on message and it has had an effect.

When was the last time you read an informative piece about the state of the economy? That is, with the exception of a media segment or article with the context of some limousine-liberal explaining that the best economy in decades has not trickled down to the middle or lower classes?

If the economy was paramount in 1992, why isn't it now?

And after the 1992 election, what was the first thing the Democrats did? They passed one of the largest tax increases in history.

And, let's be clear, the war in Iraq is getting old and increasingly looking like a never-ending quagmire. It is time for the Iraqis to assume responsibility for their future and it needs to happen yesterday.

But the alternative is not to cut and run and leave Iraq to become like Afghanistan was in the 1990s after the Soviets withdrew. It then became a terrorist training ground, with results that we continue to confront. At this point, most everyone, liberal or conservative can agree that it is time to be looking for a defined exit strategy.

When Republican candidates get off message and start to waffle and distance themselves from a president and the core conservative constituent values that put them in office, they are doomed.

In these last two weeks before the election, Republican candidates should get a grip and get back on message.

If anything, we can hope that the national feeding frenzy over the Democratic Wave Theory will help folks come to their senses in the voting booth and think hard about the alternatives and just say no to frog legs for dinner.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster: E-mail him at kdayhoff@carr.org



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