Ramdom Thoughts And Updates
Some random thoughts today:
Following up on the Rice story I have below: play along on this scenario and tell me what you think. Let’s say the recent stories that Cheney will step aside for health reasons after the midterms come to pass, and let’s say for the sake of argument that Bush nominates Condi for VP (hence the Bumiller buffing treatment in the book timed for next year). Think for a moment about the confirmation process in the Senate, when there are at least 4 GOP senators who will feel somewhat pissed about what Bush did to their 2008 chances. I’m not saying that McCain, Allen (if he survives Webb), Brownback, and Hagel would actually oppose Rice at the hearings, but can you imagine what this would do to the rest of Bush’s agenda in 2007-2008, especially if Harry Reid has 4-5 more Democratic senators on his side of the aisle next year? Lastly, how much fun would a Rice confirmation battle be when it takes place during the Scooter Libby trial next year, as her former Number Two Stephen Hadley is being marched away? (Commenter aimai nails the most plausible scenario: Rice would be installed precisely because she would not be a candidate in 2008)
As for Bush’s other emerging problem in the Senate, note that payback is a bitch when it comes to Trent Lott, who is emerging to take back his job as GOP leader next year when Frist leaves. Lott blasted Bush yesterday (“Don't threaten me like that again”), and now is teaming with Dianne Feinstein to destroy the GOP stranglehold on dispensing earmarks and payola back into their districts, as well as wipe out the GOP’s ability to ram things through Congress under the table in the dead of night.
How long will it be before Bush’s quote on civil war in Iraq is contrasted with today’s stories about what amounts to ethnic dislocation and cleansing in Iraq?
And how long will it be before Charles Schumer and the rest of the Democratic caucus in the Senate destroy their GOP colleagues on the Dubai ports deal? Given the revelations that Dubai still participates in the Arab economic boycott of Israel, when will Schumer and Reid begin kneecapping GOP senators who support the White House with the simple attack “the GOP is anti-Israel?”
For entertainment value, note that Fox’s TV ratings are going down nationally, including those of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. And while this is happening, Keith Olbermann’s are going straight up.
Don’t for a moment think that the House is out of reach for Nancy Pelosi next year. As Bush’s poll numbers keep coming down, the GOP may see another 10-15 retirements, including Bill Thomas. And a DailyKos poster notes that Bush’s approval rating is at 50 percent or below in 175 GOP districts across the country.