After the pummeling they took on November 2, Democrats consoled themselves that history would be on their side in 2006 -- midterm elections normally spell congressional gains for the party out of power in the White House. Sure, that axiom didn't apply in 2002, nor in 1998 … but it's a rule, damn it, and Dems clung to it as the election-night horror show unfolded before their eyes.
Democrats have a shot at taking the presidency and a decent chance of winning control of the Senate next week. So what about those heady predictions we heard this past spring and summer that Democratic representatives would ride a national tide to a House takeover?
Don't bet on it.
Sure, some still insist that the party could achieve a net gain of 12 seats, enough to take control. “Absolutely!” affirms Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesman Greg Speed. But for those not paid to hype the Dems' chances, the possibility of a takeover is no longer taken seriously.
The short autumn session of the 108th Congress that began the first week of September came to a close this past weekend as members started shuttling home to campaign for November's elections. But what a month it's been!
Representative Porter Goss endured six and a half hours of questioning during the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearings for his nomination as the new director of central intelligence (DCI), leading up to today's all but preordained confirmation by the full Senate. Democrats ducked a fight they feared would leave them open to GOP charges of obstructionism and disregard for America's security.