Tuesday’s mid-term elections have world-wide significance.
Indeed, the whole world is watching us to see if we re-affirm the decision to pre-emptively invade Iraq and occupy a country that had not invaded us.
The 2004 re-election of President Bush was such a re-affirmation; the question now is will the American people again support Mr. Bush and his war.
A loss of one house of Congress will be interpreted as a rejection of the Bush-led GOP; if both the House and Senate go Democratic, that will be seen as a massive rejection of the entire Bush presidency.
Predictions are a dangerous game, so instead of ‘guessing’ the numbers in each race, it is better to predict what happens after the election:
1) If the Republicans win - in a surprise - and keep the House and Senate, not much will change at all. Mr. Bush and his staff will read that as support for his policies - and he will feel no cause to change. He will also reject the James Baker ‘Commission’ - formerly known as the Iraq Study Group. The White House will feel they have two more years to do as they please in Iraq.
2) If the GOP only loses control of the House, the Bush White House will try to pin the blame on Mark Foley and the House leadership’s “mis-management of that and other scandals.” The White House spin machine will immediately try to marginalize the Democratic leadership - and paint them as out-of-touch lefties. Thus, we will be back to DC Gridlock for the last two years of the Bush Presidency.
3) If the Democrats somehow win both houses of Congress, the Bush White House will wake up Wednesday knowing that their world is going to be radically different - and difficult - for the next two years. Such a victory will be read as a rejection of Mr. Bush himself and of the war in Iraq. Suddenly, Jim Baker’s recommendations will find a receptive ear in the Oval Office.
4) Unless the GOP maintains overall Congressional control, we are about to enter a stalemated DC - heading into a wide-open 2008 presidential campaign. It will be ugly, contentious and petty; and the result will be even more disgust for our career politicians by the 2008 primaries.
5) The rise of Obama already signals a deep-seeded unhappiness on the Left with Hillary’s ‘inevitability.’
6) The Mainstream Media’s- annoited GOP fave - John McCain - is an old tree nine tenths sawed through: one strong puff of wind and he falls. That is how tenuous his candidacy already is. We on the Right are awaiting our ‘Obama’ - a new, fresh face to take over the weakened GOP and conservative movement.
All of this will become clearer on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on close races and late ‘calls.’
No matter what happens, the political world is about to change. In what direction? We do not yet know.
That’s what makes politics so much fun.
John LeBoutillier is a former U.S. Congressman and a nationally recognized political commentator. He has been a frequent guest on many national talk show programs and is author of the book “Harvard Hates America”.