“Cut and run”

Straight from Slate's John Dickerson:

“But if the Democrats were to take control, their policy is pretty clear to me: it's cut and run.” ? George W. Bush Oct. 24, 2006

“The Democrats are the party of cut and run.” George W. Bush Oct. 10, 2006

“I don't know how many members of Congress said, “Get out right now.” I
mean, the — candidates running for Congress and the Senate. I haven't
seen that chart. I — I — some of the comments I read, well, they
said, “Well, look, we just need a different approach to make sure we
succeed.” Well, you can find common ground there.” George W. Bush Nov.
8, 2006?2:59 (link)

Bill Boettcher is the man

A slight deviation from normal here, rewarding a friend a reader with a blog post, but Bill thought it very important everybody know that he and Michael Struett, another colleague of mine, pretty much nailed the Democratic House seat pick-up in our departmental pool, despite being scholars of International Relations.  Meanwhile, the supposed students of American elections, Michael Cobb and I, picked too low.  At lunch today, Bill said “Rumsfeld will be gone by January.”  As we looked at the TV while walking out of the restaurant, the screen said “Rumsfeld to step down.”  This blog post (and perhaps $28) is Bill's reward for his prescience.  

On Pelosi as the first female Speaker

The truth is that it really is a very big deal that Nancy Pelosi will be the first ever female Speaker of the House (a position, among other things, which falls immediately after VP in succession to the presidency).  Political science research has clearly demonstrated that having prominent female political role models politically empowers female citizens.  Having a Speaker of the House who is a woman means that more ordinary American women will pay attention to politics, not write it off as simply a man's domain, and actually become more involved in politics themselves.  An unconditional good thing in my book.  

Initial post-election thoughts

Wow.  So much to say, so little time to blog.  Well, I would have more
time to blog if I was not obsessively reading every possible
post-election analysis I could find.  Everybody knew that the Democrats
would pick up the House, but picking up the Senate too is huge
deal (seriously– do not hold out your hopes for George Allen.  Not
going to happen).  The Democrats now completely control the legislative
agenda in Washington.  Every single committee chair in the Capitol will
belong to a Democrat.  The Democrats, if they are smart, will only
bring up legislation that makes them look good (and Republicans look
bad).  Bush will likely veto much of it, but they win politically if
they can successfully put forth an agenda that is popular with the
American public.  Something which is impossible as the minority party. 

The control of the Senate is enormously important because now Democrats
can easily block the most conservative of Bush's judicial
appointments.  It also creates a greater potential for the Democrats to
successfully pass popular legislation that Bush would either have to
sign or look bad for vetoing.

The other big deal is that even with just one house under control, the
Democrats can vigorously reinstitute the principle of Congressional
oversight of the executive branch.  Bush's days as a king are over.  We will finally begin to see some real accountability as those responsible for the disastrous policy decisions regarding Iraq will be forced to testify under subpoena before Congress. 

Some have argued that it would be better for Democrats if they did not take Congress this time.  As you can see from above, I heartily disagree. 

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