Had Enough? [Color by number, or Deus ex Diebold Machina]

If you try to color by number, then the G.O.P.’s numbers would, at the moment, be a dismal shade of grey, according to this compendium of today’s poll results by Billmon. The polling consensus puts the G.O.P. behind Democrats generically (though, not of course, in a seat by gerrymandered seat match-up) by a jaw-dropping twenty-three percentage points. As Billmon’s piece notes, that does not augur well when compared to prior cycles, such as 1994, where the Democrats weren’t nearly that far behind in polling despite getting clobbered in the mid-terms. While, thanks to yon gerrymandering, the system is rigged to ensure that a 50 or 60 seat bloodbath won’t happen, we could easily still see a flood tossing out the incumbents in both the House and the Senate that flips one or both to Democratic control. And the margin for this may not even be remotely close enough even for rigged voting machines (unfortunately, they exist; fortunately, they are by no means universal) to change the ultimate result.
I must say, I personally thought the Foley thing was a dangerous diversion, and would cost Democrats the opportunity to take the initiative going into the election. What I failed to count on was that the Democrats are constitutionally (small c) incapable of taking the initiative, while the Republicans always insist on taking the initiative themselves. It was hard to figure that the disciplined Republicans would, instead, chose to actively implode, rather than simply shut up and win; a simple sacrifice of their stuffed shirt speaker Mr. Hastert, and this problem would have been solved. But nooooooooo….. Without DeLay there to pull its strings… the GOP appears to be floundering and foundering… Accordingly, if the Republicans want to hand this one to the Democrats, I guess I’ll have to suggest to the Democrats that they simply let them. What can I say?
I mean, if GOP pollster and right-wing communications oracle Frank Luntz, of all people, writing in Time, asks the question that most Americans ask about the Republicans (“Had enough?”) [Frank figured prominently in my interview with George Lakoff] because he believes that the Foley scandal is the last straw in terms of a calcified and corrupt GOP Congressional leadership… well, what else can I say?
I will say this: the Democratic party apparatus seems to be trying to win, for a change. They have been constantly hounding me for money on the internet, on the phone, and even door to door. I’m aware of their existence in a way I wasn’t even two years ago. Move-on seems to be on the move. Polls in key states are going in the right direction. I might fear that we are peaking too early, but 23 points with 29 days left is very hard to argue with.
All I can say is “Go get ’em, girls and boys!” If the Democrats are at this level of effort everywhere, and actually intend to mount a credible all out effort, given the public’s sentiment that is lining up overwhelmingly against the calcified and hypocritical incumbent party of the plutocrat, the parochial, and evidently, the pedophile, we just might eke out victory here despite our own party leadership’s best efforts to blow it. We can’t let up for a minute; as Digby notes here, the religious right is not only undeterred by the Foley scandal, they show every indication that they will redouble their efforts because of it.
So, I guess, we will have to quadruple our own. Nothing can be taken for granted this time. Gasoline prices will be manipulated to be lower still; an attack fleet is now headed for Iran; OBL will be heard from, one way or another; perhaps a Democratic candidate will die in a mysterious plane crash. Who knows? It’s all happened before.
We have to be prepared for any of it, or all of it. And we have to be realistic. Because even in the unlikely event we win either house of Congress (see above re: gerrymandering and rigged voting machines), we still have a run-amok executive in the hands not merely of mediocrity, but of dangerously incompetent mediocrity, who will thwart virtually any legislative effort to do any good at all.
But at least it would be something.