Monday, March 27, 2006

Herding Cats

2006 will be an important year, and not for any of the reasons your Republican task-masters want you to think. Sure, millions will be stirred to the polls--as in 2004--to ban gay marriage with their votes. Along the way they will check every Republican box. Then, they will happily pile back into their church busses and probably attend a potluck of some kind.

But that’s not why 2006 will be important. No. It will be important because it will not be like 2004. 2006 is the year the anti-Republican wave comes crashing down and the twelve year hold on our government is released. Though the Bush administration has done its best to distract us from the war—no draft, no tax cuts, no problem!—all that Iraq news is finally starting to take hold, driving indicators the wrong way for Republicans.

The war is a quagmire, and so is Bush’s job rating. It sits, de-railed at 39%. 60% of Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. The wave is slowly turning into a tsunami. "The only question is how high, how big, how much force it will have. I think it will be considerable,” says independent electoral handicapper Stuart Rothenberg.

It seems like everyone in the Republican Party is now distancing themselves from Bush and Cheney. The botched UAE ports deal sent a wave through the ranks. The result? People now see Republicans criticizing Republicans. Not a good sign. When that happens, people vote for the other party. Thankfully that will be the party trying to uphold your civil liberties for the last twelve years.

In a recent Time Magazine poll, when asked who people think would be better at rebuilding New Orleans, controlling spending, up-holding your rights, and finding Osama Bin Laden, people picked the Democrats. To counter this alarming trend gay marriage bans will be placed on your local ballots to strike the fear of God into you and scare you to the booth. But, personally, I’d rather allow same-sex marriage than have an ineptly handled war and bloated government response to our countries real problems. Call me crazy.

We all know getting Democrats united and to the polls is no easy task. It’s a lot like herding cats. That would, of course, make Republicans the dog party. Dogs like to guard and they want someone to tell them what to do. They stink and they chase their tail (I couldn’t resist). Voting for them seems like a good idea at the time until they’re soiling all over your rug and spending your money rampantly. How much is that doggy in the window? Too much; way too much.

Republicans are also nosey. They want to dig around in your underwear drawer where they clearly don't belong. They want to bury things and then dig them up again to impress you. Democrats, on the other hand would rather just leave you alone. Personally, I like that kind of government. Like cats, they're independent thinkers. If they don’t like a candidate they’ll just vote for Nader. What dog would ever go against the party line in that way? That’s why when Bush comes out so decisive--barking loudly at pedestrians--the Republicans are pleased, while the Democrats appear to be soft.

Of course the argument will be made: what would you rather have guarding your house? The dog or the cat? But dogs can be over zealous. Their enthusiasm gets the best of them when confronted with a nice piece of laced meat. Don't believe the hype. What dog has ever stopped a highly motivated and highly intelligent criminal?

The real question is: how do you motivate those frisky Democrats and get them to the polls? What is the catnip they seek? This very question, I’m sure, is on the mind of Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Sure, Democrats can point to Republicans chasing their tails and ask: would you follow that? But Democrats also have to prove that they can unify and lead as well. After-all, given the choice between a crazy dog chasing it’s tail and a bored cat, most people seem to find the dog at least amusing. If people want to turn things around in 2006 they have to build the wave and then ride it. Personally, I think it’s time to kick the dogs out of the House and into the doghouse where they belong.

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