When I began blogging somewhere around Memorial Day 2004, I egotistically wanted to have a conversation with myself about my ongoing transformation from a center-left Democrat to a center-right Republican -- with the even more egotistical thought floating in my consciousness that I might be able to turn it into a book two years or so down the road. Never mind that narcissistic thought (for now) but still uppermost in my mind is my political move away from the politics of most African Americans.
Purposefully choosing to be a cultural orphan is more than a notion, believe me.
That said, the 2006 mid-term elections will serve as a good marker for my journey. The opening of the 110th Congress will likewise serve as a good endpoint for my future retrospective. At present, the 109th Congress shows the House of Representatives with 229 Republicans, 201 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 4 Vacancies. The Senate has 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 1 Independent. I presume the 110th Congress will convene on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007. Unless something extraordinary occurs, that will be the date-certain I use to review my personal political journey and examine how it mirrors any observable political transformation in the nation.
About the 2006 mid-term elections, Hugh Hewitt provides a context for my future review:
The Washington Post continues its election eve blitz, but again goes over the cliff with this story: "Midterm Vote May Define Rove's Legacy: Big Losses Could Dim Aura of Bush Advisor."
First, some very basic political history:
In the 1986 election, Ronald Reagan saw the Democrats gained a net eight seats in the Senate and take control from the Republicans with a 55-45 majority. The Dems added 5 House seats to increase their majority to a 258 to 177 margin in the lower chamber. For the math challenged, that is an 81 seat majority for the Dems.
In the 1974 election, the sixth year of eight Republican presidential years, the Watergate/pardon election saw Democrats add four seats in the Senate, for a total of 60 Democrats. Democrats crushed the GOP in the House, adding picking up 49 seats for a post-election day margin of 291 to 144 --a 147 seat edge!
In the 1958 election, Ike saw the democrats add 14 senators (including two from Hawaii) for a 65-35 Democratic-GOP split. The Democrats added 48 seats in the House and controlled that body by a margin of 283 to 153. Again, math fans, that's a 130 seat edge!
Now, with some facts in hand, go back and read the Post's agenda journalism. President Bush's unique electoral record is matched only by FDR's, and FDR's Democrats lost 76 House in 1938, and six Senate seats.
The Bush-Rove political legacy is already established, and even a narrow loss of both the Senate and the House would not dent it. If neither body's GOP majority is held, but the margins remain narrow, the Bush-Rove record becomes the most potent political performance in modern times for an eight year presidency, and if either or especially both are held, retire the laurels.
I am used to MSM's almost maniacal determination to diminish the Bush Presidency and especially its political skill.
But facts are stubborn things. If Bush and his policies in Iraq were as unpopular as the left (including MSM) says they are, the GOP would be facing numbers like those in '86, '74, and '58, or even '38.
That the GOP's candidates and operations are in fact in reach of holding both bodies 10 days out speaks volumes about the president, Karl Rove, and the MSM's ignorance of history.
This frames matters for me nicely; historical context is provided and mainstream media bias is unquestionably documented. Beautiful, just beautiful -- with the extra-added-benefit of being yet another look into Democratic Wing of the Democrat Party misunderestimation. President Bush has already made history and the congressional losses, if any, will be historically insignificant (admittedly, however, losing control of either chamber will still be bad for the country). But if the Republicans maintain a majority in both chambers, it will be an extraordinary accomplishment in American politics and 9-11 Republicans such as myself will be a primary reason for that accomplishment.
That's what the 2006 mid-term elections mean to me, personally.