September 04, 2006

Method in the madness:
Mid-term elections are almost all about turn-out, which often hovers in the area of 25-33%. What turns out people is anger. Republicans understand this in a way Democrats do not. If the Republicans can excite their base with appeals to their fear of Islamic terrorists - whether they are Iraqi, Saudi, Afghan, Pakistani, or home-grown American does not really matter - they will be able, despite everything else, to turn them out.

Rove and company are betting that their base will be paying attention while more moderate voters, who have, during the past two years, moved into the Democrats' camp on virtually every single issue related to national security - will not be sufficiently motivated to interrupt their day and wait on line to vote. With superior organisation, self-discipline, and financial resources, the Republicans think that by ratcheting up the McCarthyite rhetoric, they can divide the country just enough to squeak by in the races they've targeted to retain control of both houses.

Given the situation in Iraq, as well as the likely reaction most people have to being called traitors, wimps, appeasers and dupes, common sense would bet against them. But I wouldn't.


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