The Deflating Democrats

Have you heard that strange sound at night lately? No, it's not cicadas. That's the Democrat bubble deflating, a phenomenon that recurs more frequently than every seventeen years, and sounds like this:

Pssssssssssssssssss.

The Democrat bubble gets almost no press coverage, even though the media loves to report about other bubbles. Most Americans are certainly familiar with the stock market bubble of the late '90s, as well as eager media reports for years of a looming real estate bubble, so far more imagined than real. But few people are aware that a political bubble has been forming this year and is starting to deflate.

For most of 2006, as energy prices climbed, news out of Iraq (as reported by those with an agenda) worsened, and virtually every bad thing that happened in America got blamed on President Bush or his administration. As a result, a media consensus formed that the Democrats were in a great position to win back one if not both chambers of Congress in the upcoming elections.

Such a view has become so pervasive that even Republican media members and pundits are buying into it. In fact, you can't turn on talk radio or Fox News without hearing some expert discuss his or her fears over how bad things could be for the right in November.

Yet, what all this conservative hand wringing ignores is that the Democrats have been able to hide in the fruit cellar much like Norman Bates' mother most of this year and allow events to favorably control the agenda without their input. However, as we get closer to November 7, these folks are actually going to have to speak to the American people.

And when they do, the bubble will burst.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Of late, we've begun to see evidence of the first molecules of air starting to escape. The most prominent such seepage has to be Congressman William Jefferson's disgraceful freezer act, and his removal from the all—important House Ways and Means committee.

This one incident by itself deflated the Democrat Bubble by at least several pounds per square inch, for it makes it impossible for the left to claim that corruption in the nation's capital is exclusively a Republican problem.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Following this up a week later was the revelation about Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D—Nevada) accepting tickets to boxing matches in Las Vegas from the Nevada Athletic Commission while in the middle of crafting laws to regulate the sport. Even though three weeks have passed, it is still delicious to review the excuse for this behavior as offered up by the Associated Press on May 30. See if you can read the following without spitting coffee all over your keyboard:

'He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry.'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

A few weeks later, prohibitive 2008 Democrat presidential favorite Hillary Clinton (D—NY) was booed at a liberal gathering called the Take Back America Conference held in Washington, D.C., on June 13. The attendees weren't thrilled by the senator's declaration that there shouldn't be a specific date set when troops must be withdrawn from Iraq. So much for taking back America.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Moving from one presidential wannabe to another, after three weeks in movie theaters, Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' has actually sold less than $7 million worth of tickets. This suggests that despite an almost unprecedented media exposure for one politician's Hollywood exploits, Americans either aren't buying into his vision of doom and gloom, or just aren't buying into him. Go figure.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Moving from one failed Democrat presidential nominee to another, a front—page New York Times article about Sen. John Kerry (D—Massachusetts) on June 21 indicated a huge rift between Lurch and his own party:

'[Democrats] fear the latest evolution of Mr. Kerry's views on Iraq may now complicate their hopes of taking back a majority in Congress in 2006.'

What's this all about? Well, much as the aforementioned expedient political position of the moment expressed by Madame Hillary, the Democrats — always looking to straddle fences and be noncommittal — want to advocate a reduction of troops in Iraq, but without a certain fixed date for a complete withdrawal. But:

'Mr. Kerry has insisted on setting a date, for American combat troops to pull out in 12 months, saying anything less is too cautious.'

When is the junior senator from Massachusetts going to learn from the senior senator from Massachusetts that actually taking a definitive stand on an issue people can hold you to doesn't ingratiate you with your party? As such, his fellow Democrats weren't pleased:

'But interviews suggest a frustration with Mr. Kerry, never popular among the caucus, and still unpopular among many Democrats for failing to defeat a president they considered vulnerable. Privately, some of his Democratic peers complain that he is too focused on the next presidential campaign.'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Meanwhile, the left's second—favorite anti—war puppet, Congressman John Murtha (D—Pennsylvania), practically did a meltdown on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on June 18 when he actually suggested several times to host Tim Russert that American troops in Iraq be redeployed to Okinawa.

Yes, he really did say 'Okinawa,' and I've got the digital recording on my DVR to prove it.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Speaking of incoherent views regarding the war, a few days prior to Murtha making a fool of himself on 'Meet the Press,' House majority leader John Boehner (R—Ohio) released a statement at his website making fools of the entire Democrat Party:

'After failing to produce a Democrat leadership alternative about how best to combat terrorism in a post—9/11 world, it's clear that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D—CA) and her Capitol Hill Democrats are divided on their 'retreat and defeat' message on the Global War on Terror.  Neither House nor Senate Democrats are sure of when they want to retreat or how they want to concede defeat.'

Boehner went on to quote various news agencies depicting Democrats in total disarray concerning this issue. Once again, go figure.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Finally, on June 21, Democrat political pundit Susan Estrich wrote a scathing op—ed concerning her party:

'Why is it that Republicans are united in their support of an unpopular war and Democrats are divided in their opposition? How is it that, speaking purely politically, the war right now seems to be working better as an issue for Republicans, who are forced to support the unpopular president and his ill—begotten war, than the Democrats, who are free to oppose it? Is it a question of leadership? Of competence? Can the Democrats simply not get their act together?'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Adding it all up, this has been a terrible four weeks for Democrats that has proven the only way they gain support from the electorate is when they keep their mouths shut. The problem for them is that with November 7 now less than five months away, those up for re—election can't stay quiet any longer.

And, as Estrich pointed out, what might be popular this November mightn't be so in November 2008. As a result, Democrats seeking re—election now as well as a presidential nomination in two years have to emote ideas that might not help their party win back Congress. This has not only created a division within the party, but is producing a hole in its veneer that might be irreparable.

As such, though silence has been golden as a political strategy for Democrats the past six months, as the election draws near, this luxury is dissipating as quickly as the air inside their bubble.

Noel Sheppard is a contributing writer to the Business & Media Institute as well as contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org.  He welcomes feedback.

Have you heard that strange sound at night lately? No, it's not cicadas. That's the Democrat bubble deflating, a phenomenon that recurs more frequently than every seventeen years, and sounds like this:

Pssssssssssssssssss.

The Democrat bubble gets almost no press coverage, even though the media loves to report about other bubbles. Most Americans are certainly familiar with the stock market bubble of the late '90s, as well as eager media reports for years of a looming real estate bubble, so far more imagined than real. But few people are aware that a political bubble has been forming this year and is starting to deflate.

For most of 2006, as energy prices climbed, news out of Iraq (as reported by those with an agenda) worsened, and virtually every bad thing that happened in America got blamed on President Bush or his administration. As a result, a media consensus formed that the Democrats were in a great position to win back one if not both chambers of Congress in the upcoming elections.

Such a view has become so pervasive that even Republican media members and pundits are buying into it. In fact, you can't turn on talk radio or Fox News without hearing some expert discuss his or her fears over how bad things could be for the right in November.

Yet, what all this conservative hand wringing ignores is that the Democrats have been able to hide in the fruit cellar much like Norman Bates' mother most of this year and allow events to favorably control the agenda without their input. However, as we get closer to November 7, these folks are actually going to have to speak to the American people.

And when they do, the bubble will burst.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Of late, we've begun to see evidence of the first molecules of air starting to escape. The most prominent such seepage has to be Congressman William Jefferson's disgraceful freezer act, and his removal from the all—important House Ways and Means committee.

This one incident by itself deflated the Democrat Bubble by at least several pounds per square inch, for it makes it impossible for the left to claim that corruption in the nation's capital is exclusively a Republican problem.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Following this up a week later was the revelation about Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D—Nevada) accepting tickets to boxing matches in Las Vegas from the Nevada Athletic Commission while in the middle of crafting laws to regulate the sport. Even though three weeks have passed, it is still delicious to review the excuse for this behavior as offered up by the Associated Press on May 30. See if you can read the following without spitting coffee all over your keyboard:

'He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry.'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

A few weeks later, prohibitive 2008 Democrat presidential favorite Hillary Clinton (D—NY) was booed at a liberal gathering called the Take Back America Conference held in Washington, D.C., on June 13. The attendees weren't thrilled by the senator's declaration that there shouldn't be a specific date set when troops must be withdrawn from Iraq. So much for taking back America.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Moving from one presidential wannabe to another, after three weeks in movie theaters, Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' has actually sold less than $7 million worth of tickets. This suggests that despite an almost unprecedented media exposure for one politician's Hollywood exploits, Americans either aren't buying into his vision of doom and gloom, or just aren't buying into him. Go figure.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Moving from one failed Democrat presidential nominee to another, a front—page New York Times article about Sen. John Kerry (D—Massachusetts) on June 21 indicated a huge rift between Lurch and his own party:

'[Democrats] fear the latest evolution of Mr. Kerry's views on Iraq may now complicate their hopes of taking back a majority in Congress in 2006.'

What's this all about? Well, much as the aforementioned expedient political position of the moment expressed by Madame Hillary, the Democrats — always looking to straddle fences and be noncommittal — want to advocate a reduction of troops in Iraq, but without a certain fixed date for a complete withdrawal. But:

'Mr. Kerry has insisted on setting a date, for American combat troops to pull out in 12 months, saying anything less is too cautious.'

When is the junior senator from Massachusetts going to learn from the senior senator from Massachusetts that actually taking a definitive stand on an issue people can hold you to doesn't ingratiate you with your party? As such, his fellow Democrats weren't pleased:

'But interviews suggest a frustration with Mr. Kerry, never popular among the caucus, and still unpopular among many Democrats for failing to defeat a president they considered vulnerable. Privately, some of his Democratic peers complain that he is too focused on the next presidential campaign.'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Meanwhile, the left's second—favorite anti—war puppet, Congressman John Murtha (D—Pennsylvania), practically did a meltdown on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on June 18 when he actually suggested several times to host Tim Russert that American troops in Iraq be redeployed to Okinawa.

Yes, he really did say 'Okinawa,' and I've got the digital recording on my DVR to prove it.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Speaking of incoherent views regarding the war, a few days prior to Murtha making a fool of himself on 'Meet the Press,' House majority leader John Boehner (R—Ohio) released a statement at his website making fools of the entire Democrat Party:

'After failing to produce a Democrat leadership alternative about how best to combat terrorism in a post—9/11 world, it's clear that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D—CA) and her Capitol Hill Democrats are divided on their 'retreat and defeat' message on the Global War on Terror.  Neither House nor Senate Democrats are sure of when they want to retreat or how they want to concede defeat.'

Boehner went on to quote various news agencies depicting Democrats in total disarray concerning this issue. Once again, go figure.

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Finally, on June 21, Democrat political pundit Susan Estrich wrote a scathing op—ed concerning her party:

'Why is it that Republicans are united in their support of an unpopular war and Democrats are divided in their opposition? How is it that, speaking purely politically, the war right now seems to be working better as an issue for Republicans, who are forced to support the unpopular president and his ill—begotten war, than the Democrats, who are free to oppose it? Is it a question of leadership? Of competence? Can the Democrats simply not get their act together?'

Pssssssssssssssssss.

Adding it all up, this has been a terrible four weeks for Democrats that has proven the only way they gain support from the electorate is when they keep their mouths shut. The problem for them is that with November 7 now less than five months away, those up for re—election can't stay quiet any longer.

And, as Estrich pointed out, what might be popular this November mightn't be so in November 2008. As a result, Democrats seeking re—election now as well as a presidential nomination in two years have to emote ideas that might not help their party win back Congress. This has not only created a division within the party, but is producing a hole in its veneer that might be irreparable.

As such, though silence has been golden as a political strategy for Democrats the past six months, as the election draws near, this luxury is dissipating as quickly as the air inside their bubble.

Noel Sheppard is a contributing writer to the Business & Media Institute as well as contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org.  He welcomes feedback.