Fingers in a Dam
After Congressman Gallegly (R-CA) announced he would retire, within hours of the filing deadline, there was a mad scramble to salvage the seat for the House majority. Like in Ohio-6th, the seat is a likely hold for the incumbent party, if they had a candidate – just about any candidate at all. For a few days, they didn’t have anyone, and that spooked Karl Rove. So, they got Gallegly to reverse his retirement.
Now, Bush and Company are doing the same thing in New York, trying to retain hold on the seat held by moderate Sherwood Boehlert. A term-limited chairman of the Science Committee, whose near-liberal voting record almost assures him of being relegated to the backbenches for the rest of his House career, would rather retire. After all, he’s up there in age, anyway. But his seat is a toss-up or even a likely pick-up opportunity for the Dems, especially in a year with Bush’s approval rating hitting new lows every week (and now falling below 35%). So, they are scrambling to convince him to serve one more term.
It’s all starting to look like they are stuffing fingers in the dam here. After all, polls show a special election in California has the Democrat, Francis Busbay (sp?) way out in front. Very few articles and pundits ever mention tough races for Democratic incumbents – even perennially endangered ones in Utah, Kansas, and South Dakota. And Bush’s approval rating actually seems to be going south again, if that is actually possible, while Democrats have opened huge generic ballot leads for Congress, their largest (in Gallup?) since 1982.
Now, I’m a realist. I know even with all this going on, it still would be a tough sell to convince me that either or both chambers are in danger this year. After all, Democrats have been saying that for years to no avail. But something is not right – something foul is in the air. And the Republicans have no one but themselves to blame, as they control every branch of government and they control a majority of the states. Maybe the Democrats can overcome their flawed leadership, or lack thereof, and change their own poor approval ratings, to the point where they can pick up seats in both Houses.
After all, dams do break. One in a while.