Howard Dean, Mark Foley is on the phone and he wants your Job

by Chris Seibold Oct 17, 2006

The Republican Revolution can mean different things in two ways. If you’re a resident of China you likely remember it from the history books as the moment in time when the Qing dynasty was overthrown. If you’re an American, you remember the Republican Revolution as the result of the masterful job of nationalizing the 1994 congressional elections.

To set the table for the later discussion, the revolution went like this: The republicans came up with the Contract for America (derisively called the Contract on America by opponents). The contract promised lots of things, lower taxes, lower crime, reformed legal system etc, basically a bunch of stuff that sounds really great in snippets. The contract had the effect of freeing voters from voting for an individual and empowered them to vote for a party. It was a masterstroke of political maneuvering that took advantage of then President Clinton’s weaknesses, the growing popularity of talk radio, the constant disdain for congress (of course most people only hate everyone else’s representatives).

Thing is, the Contract for America should be easily copied. It wouldn’t take a lot of imagination to come up with a democratic version that promised fair wages, the end of overly influential corporations, sensible environmental policies and (of course) cheap friggin gas. All the stuff people want to hear. In fact, nationalizing the election was the avowed goal of the democrats in this year’s election. Instead of a contract the strategy was that the democrats would make every race about the democratic option versus Bush. In such a fashion voters fed up with Bush, the war and various transgressions wouldn’t be voting for the Democratic option they’d be voting against Bush.

The strategy was sound, the President’s popularity was taking a beating and every single story seemed to make Bush just a little worse. The implementation left quite a bit to be desired. Where the Republican revolution of ‘94 tapped the popularity of talk radio the Democrats didn’t manage to capture the growing popularity of blogs. Where the republican revolution managed to nationalize issues any particular race this time around is more focused on the minor issues than the President. For example, the race for the Senate in Tennessee will likely come down to what college Harold Ford attended or how many illegal aliens Bob Corker hired.

Perhaps it wasn’t a surprise the democrats couldn’t nationalize the congressional elections, under the guidance Howard Dean the implementation has been haphazard at best and completely chaotic at worst. Fortunately, for the democrats, the republicans decided to nationalize the election for them.

Where Dean and the other strategists failed, Mark Foley stepped in and boldly clicked on the instant messenger icon. Sure, people should have known way back in ‘95 when Foley sponsored the all congressional page weight lifting contest and installed himself as body oiler that something was up but it took the permanence of quick notes to really drive the point home. The appeal of the scandal is obvious, homosexuality and teenage boys? It is right out of the Socrates playbook. So, it was natural that voters would latch onto the scandal, much more interesting than say, the over extension of the military.

So Mark Foley has to been given a lot of credit if the democrats manage to grab the house in the next election. If a democratic miracle happens and the dems get both the house and the senate they should thanks Foley the same way the republicans thanked Limbaugh when they swept into congress in the mid-nineties: appoint Foley an honorary congressman. Just don’t send him the screen names of any pages…

And, since this article kicks off the iPod giveaway contest all comments are worth an entry!




  • Great, another contract on America.
    So, now, it’s the Democrats turn to ruin this country.
    Actually, the more time the pols argue, the less time they have to spend our money.  Let the gridlock begin.

    idon had this to say on Nov 13, 2006 Posts: 2
  • Dems, for good or bad, don’t have an equivalent Contract on America.  I think it’s a good thing.  My impression is that they were sent there to FIX the gigantic mess created by the inept, corrupt Republicans, not implement any particular new program, like Universal Health Care.

    My wish list:

    Restore habeas corpus.
    Get rid of the secret prisons and outlaw torture across the board.
    Create a plan for phased withdrawal from Iraq.
    Fix the Medicare boondoggle.
    More tax credits for the lower and middle class, let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
    Ban earmarks.
    Try Rumsfeld for war crimes.

    Okay, that last one won’t happen and is admittedly incendiary, but I think it’s warranted nonetheless.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Nov 13, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • so you’re thinking is that the recent election was more a repudiation of the republicans worst abuses than a endorsement of the democrats? I concur.
    My top list:
    challenge signing statements
    torture/secret prisons
    Increase diplomacy
    cut spending

    Chris Seibold had this to say on Nov 14, 2006 Posts: 354
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