Capitalizing on their momentum for the ’04 elections Democrats take a senate seat in Montana. Arch-conservative mesfit Santorum loses in Pennsylvania, and the pusialanimous wuss Lincoln Chafee gets replaced by a Dem in Road Island. The popular governor Mark Warner squeezes past Allen in Virginia. Republican Zach Wamp holds on to Frist’s seat in Tennessee when his Democratic opponent, Harold Ford, dies in a mysterious plane crash a week before election day. Democrats pick up a few seats in the House.
So in ’07 the Senate is Republican by 50-49-1 (Bernie Sanders replaces Jeffords as the I from Vermont). Olympia Snowe, upset over the White House’s attempts to purge her with a more conservative candidate in the Republican primary, pulls a Jeffords and becomes an Independent. Sanders changes his I to a D and the Democrats control the chamber. With the ability to call hearings the Bush Administration’s secret deals with oil companies to increase the price of crude comes to light. Republicans stick by their man, but Bush becomes an icreasingly unpopular figure as he enters into his lame duck phase.
In a bitter primary fight Bill Frist runs hard to the right and beats out John MCCain. He resolidifies his support to the theocractic wing of the Republican Party by selecting Santorum as VP. Their hateful, negative campaign gives ample opening for the Democratic ticket of Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton to claim the middle ground and the high ground. Richardson/Clinton win 53% of the vote and an electoral landslide, taking all of the Kerry/Edwards states and Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Montana for 363 EVs.
Their coattails, in combination with lingering frustration over the oil scandal, allow Democrats to increse their Senate majority to 54 seats and to take back a bare majority in the House with 224 seats.
In firm control of the Federal government for the first time since 1992 the Democrats prepare to sieze the day by supporting their agenda of………….
I’m drawing a blank. Sure, I could write down a series of policy positions and they would be better policies than what the Republicnas are doing, but that does not create the important “vision thing” as Bush the First put it so concisely if inartfully.
With the Republicans you know what you get: a combo of theocracy and corporate socialism.
During their last similar wildrness phase in the 1920s the Democrats, at the grass roots anyways, stood against the railroads and vested corporate interests and for programs that would assist the common person in accomplishing his dreams. FDR won in 1932 promising nothing in particular, but the longtime stands of men like Rayburn gave a purpose to the sudden and unexpected power (Who would have envisioned a Democratic sweep in ’32 in July of 1929?).
Where can Democrats go for a transcendent vision? The crux of modern problems of terrorism and pollution center on oil. Funding the brain power to solve this problem is a vision that unites environmentalism, with militarism, with capitalism. The blueprint is already there with Representative Inslee’s “New Apollo Program for Renewable Energy.”
Withou some larger, unifying vision for all of the policy details the Democrats will not be able to capitalize on circumstances like they did in 1932.