Well, Republican governance may indeed be winding down, although far more by its own hand than anything the Democrats will ever do.
For one thing, the Donks aren't raising much money:
Republicans are handily winning the fundraising race by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, reports the Washington Post. That massive imbalance has caught the attention of Democratic leaders, who are worried the party will suffer as a result in the 2006 midterm elections.
Dean, a former Vermont governor, assumed the top DNC job amid questions from leading Democrats who wondered if he was suited for a job that traditionally has centered on fundraising. The latest figures are an indication those concerns were well founded.
From January through September, the Republican National Committee raised $81.5 million, with $34 million remaining in the bank. The DNC, by contrast, showed $42 million raised and $6.8 million in the bank.
"The degree to which the fundraising has not been competitive is obviously troublesome," former Representative Vic Fazio, D-CA, told the Post....One House Democratic leadership aide put it more bluntly: "There is plenty of time, but the red flashing sirens should be going off there."
Brother Hinderaker raises a valid caveat that the Dems will probably make up this shortfall via their Sorosian fatcats and their 527 organizations. But they didn't turn the tide a year ago, and, then as now, party fundraising is a prominent sign of base enthusiasm. If Dr. Demented is having this much difficulty prying open the checkbooks of the Donk rank & file, that suggests that turnout may be a problem for them after all, something all the 527 "independent expeditures" in the world might not be enough to overcome.
In part this gets back to the desperate folly of the Democrats putting Chairman How at the DNC helm in the first place. As one DNC staffer reportedly admitted, "People aren't certain that the DNC is a wise investment."
Naw - ya think? Just look at the latest outpourings of Deania.
Dem Chair Dean Ducks Last Second Joint MEET THE PRESS Appearance With GOP Chair Mehlman:
The DRUDGE REPORT has learned from exclusive sources that Democrat Party Chair Howard Dean turned down Republican Party Chair Ken Mehlman’s last minute offer to appear together on NBC’s Meet The Press [Sunday] morning.Is Howard Dean afraid of Ken Mehlman? Is ducking a head-to-head on-air clash even Dean's idea? This certainly suggests that somebody in that party thinks Dean is a public relations liability, which in turn gives you an idea of how egregious an internal problem has to get for Dem poobahs to recognize and accept it - though not to the extent of actually solving it by getting rid of the guy. Of course, the same thing was more or less true of Dean's predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, but then again McAuliffe's legendary fundraising prowess largely offset it. Howlin' Howie is all but forfeiting on that front as well.
Moments before taping was to begin with host Tim Russert, Mehlman asked Dean outside the NBC studio’s green room: “There’s still time for us to go on together Governor.” Dean declined with a shrug of his shoulders and an uncomfortable cackle and then proceeded to walk away into the green room.
DRUDGE has learned Meet The Press producers have been working to get a head to head Dean/Mehlman appearance on the program since Dean was named chair back in February. Dean and his handlers have repeatedly turned down the request. The former Vermont governor only agreed to do this week’s program if they appeared in back-to-back interviews.
No Dean Apology for Michael Steele:
So far, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has still offered no apology for derogatory racial slurs made by Democrats against Maryland Lieutenant-Governor Michael S. Steele, a black Republican....
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman challenged Dean on Sunday to condemn the racist statements and offensive behavior by some Democrats.
"He’s [Steele] had racial epithets thrown at him. He’s been derided on a Web site that the Democrats have. And while some Democrats in Maryland have criticized it, there’s been utter silence from national Democrats on this important issue,” Mehlman said.
"I would also hope he’d condemn the following: There are a whole bunch of Democratic candidates and Republican candidates around the country. But [Senator] Charles Schumer and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] chose one candidate [Steele] to go after his credit report and engage in identity theft against him,” Mehlman said in framing his challenge to Dean.
Dean ignored the Steele issue and, instead, focused attention on himself - a white Democrat from Vermont - by responding that he had received no apologies for slurs thrown at him.
Ah, continuity. Could it be that Dean was told, in no uncertain terms, that as a man who said earlier this year (paraphrased), "The only way Republicans get African-Americans into their rallies is to let in the maids, janitors, and bellhops," he was not, under any circumstances, to appear in a setting where he would be issued this challenge?
If so, there was a degree of prudence in that decision; after all, Dr. Demented has long ago lost himself in the crazoid role he took to playing as the early Dem 2004 frontrunner. Putting him on MTP with Ken Melhman and a Steele controversy that is just the kind of thing Dean himself would perpetrate would be positively combustible.
However, the titular head of the Democrat party pointedly ducking the issue doesn't exactly reflect a whole lot of racial sensitivity given the appallingly racist attacks on the future Maryland Senator, and is yet another example of the Dems taking a key constituency patronizingly for granted. And that can only harm their efforts to hold on to the Sarbanes seat.
To say nothing of actually gaining ground, much less retaking the majority in either house of Congress. There is a reason, after all, why Howard Dean is emblematic of the Democrat party:
Right now it's not our job to give out [policy] specifics. We have no control in the House. We have no control in the Senate. It's our job is to stop this Administration, this corrupt and incompetent Administration, from doing more damage to America. And that's what we're going to do. We're doing our best.
In other words, they don't stand for anything other than flipping the double bird at GDub. And they're such left-wing extremists that they dare not submit their version of a "Contract with America," nor a fake centrist manifesto without having a top-level BSer to front it. That'll have to wait for 2008 at the earliest, unless l'il Ronnie Emmanuel really believes he's the Donk Newt Gingrich:
“We’re going to talk about cronyism, corruption, and abuse of power and how it ties to everything that’s gone wrong.”
I'll take that as a no, even though Emmanuel doubtless thinks otherwise.
The New York Times obviously concurs with him:
Democrats dream of another 1994, with control of the House changing hands, this time to them....They are preparing to run as a party of change, offering "new priorities"... with an emphasis on "putting our fiscal house in order" and making new investments in energy independence, healthcare and education.
But as the aforelinked AmSpec piece points out, the above is little more than a confused pipedream:
Which is it? Putting finances in order or making new investments? What new priorities? What change? What is new on the platter here? And the message isn't the only problem. Incumbency is seldom overturned. Democratic legislative victories are few and far between. (Name a piece of popular Democratic legislation.) Democratic mantras are negative and coarse, if not downright paranoiac.
Like I said, there's a reason why Howard Dean is emblematic - and the titular head of - the Democrat Party.