En toda circumstancia extraordinaria surgen teorías de conspiración, y las pasadas elecciones en EEUU no son la excepción. Conspiración o No, el hecho de que los democratas ganaron ambas casas hará que ellos sean también responsables de lo que ahora en adelante le suceda al ejercito estadounidense en Irak. Esto si beneficia a Bush, pero hay una larga lista de irregularidades e imposiciones legislativas que la administración Bush apoyo y que no benefician a los democratas, es aqui donde estos serán un dolor de muelas para el presidente.
"Under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than with a hit."-- Accountant Leo Bloom, from "The Producers."
There are five stages of grief -- anger is the second, right after denial, and that's where the Republicans are at right now. The sudden ouster of the highly unpopular defense secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, just hours after the GOP electoral bloodbath, has led to most angry Republican fingers pointing straight at Karl Rove & Co.:
"The White House said keeping the majority was a priority, but they failed to do the one thing that could have made a difference," one House GOP leadership aide said Thursday. "For them to toss Rumsfeld one day after the election was a slap in the face to everyone who worked hard to protect the majority."
Maybe it's just because the Democrats actually won something, but for the last few days, something has just not felt quite right about either Tuesday's election, or the White House's handling of the voting and the aftermath. We have no doubts that a majority of American voters wanted change on Election Day, and they wanted the Democrats to be the agent of that change.
But we've also followed politics -- and the rise of George W. Bush and Karl Rove -- intensely these past six or seven years, and so beginning on Tuesday night, we were increasingly surprised at all the dogs that did not bark in the 2006 election -- dogs that raised quite a ruckus in the last three national elections.
The exit polls that leaked out in the late afternoon ended up matching the final results almost exactly -- nothing like what happened in those other Bush-era elections. The razor-close races all broke late for the Democrats, unlike Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004...and when that happened, there were no major charges of fraud, no "Brooks Brothers Riot," and no demand for a recount. The last two losers -- Conrad Burns of Montana and George Allen of Virginia -- went quietly into the autumn night, despite relatively close vote tallies. There appear to be no other Rovian stunts, like calling in the GOP's chits with Joe Lieberman to get him to caucus with the Senate Republicans. And there was no October surprise, not in Iran and not back home.
And we thought most of these things before Bush's makes-no-sense-at-all handling of the Rumsfeld matter. We don't think a pre-election firing of Rumsfeld would have changed many voters' mind, but what if had changed just 1 percent. Burns and Allen (heh) would be returning to the Senate, and the GOP would at least control one house. Likewise, a lot of nailbiters like Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy's win in Bucks County would have gone the other way if Rumsfeld had been canned a week sooner.
All this is a long prelude to our thinking the unthinkable.
Is Karl Rove even more of an evil genuis than we think? Did he and Bush just produce an election flop...on purpose?
It sounds completely off-the-wall, and before this post is over we'll give some good reasons why they wouldn't do that. But we'll also give you a couple of good reasons why life could be better for the Bush White House and the future presidential ambitions of the GOP with the Dems running Congress.
But any good conspiracy theory -- and even a whacked out one -- needs evidence, so here goes:
1. Here in Pennsylvania, why did the Bush-led Justice Department step up its investigation of vulnerable U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon just weeks before Election Day. Weldon had a tough challenge from Joe Sestak, but few pundits thought he would lose before Oct. 13, that unlucky Friday when word leaked out that the lobbying activities of Weldon's daughter was the subject of a federak probe. His fate was sealed three days later, when FBI agents raided the daughter's home and other locations, in plain view of a stunned news media.
2. How did it come to pass that the predatory sexual habits of Rep. Mark Foley -- which we now know was a closely held secret among GOP insiders for years -- suddenly leaked out to ABC's Brian Ross a month before the election. There is one political operative in this country who is notorious for using rumors or allegations of homosexuality or pedophilia to destroy his election rivals -- and that operative is Karl Rove. According to accounts of how the story broke, it was Republican staffers who leaked the emails to Ross and to other D.C. insiders on the summer of 2006.
3. Given that Bush's approval rating hovered in the 35 to 40 percent range thoughout the election season, why did the White House suddenly make the president more visible by having more press conferences -- and thus taking more hostile questions on Iraq and other unpleasant subjects -- than at any other time in his six-year presidency, including two in roughly one week during the October home stretch?
4. Despite voters' increasingly strong dislike of Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary was deliberately put in front of the cameras at a key time in the race, on Oct. 26, just 12 days before the election. His news conference was alternately awkward and combative; he said that "that anyone demanding deadlines for progress in Iraq should 'just back off,' because it is too difficult to predict when Iraqis will resume control of their country."
5. Likewise, given Bush's low popularity and approval ratings, why was he dispatched at the last minute to the closest races, when other Republicans thought that his presence did more harm than good? Bush appeared with Sen. Conrad Burns in Montana just five days before the election, and for Missouri Sen. Jim Talent the day after that; and made frequent visits on behalf of Virginia Sen. George Allen. All three lost by narrow margins. Tennesee's GOP candidate Bob Corker got the more popular Laura Bush instead...and won.
6. Just four days before the election, and with polls showing the Iraq war highly unpopular, you had these comments from Vice President Cheney: The Bush administration is determined to continue "full speed ahead" with its policy in Iraq, regardless of Tuesday's midterm elections, Vice President Cheney said Friday. Cheney said in an interview with ABC News that the administration is convinced that it is pursuing the right path in Iraq. "It may not be popular with the public. It doesn't matter, in the sense that we have to continue what we think is right," Cheney said. "That's exactly what we're doing. We're not running for office. We're doing what we think is right."
7. Then you had the whole Cheney-Rumsfeld fiasco. Bush went out of his way to praise the two men just five days prior to the election, knowing full well how unpopular they were: He said he valued Cheney's advice and judgment. "The good thing about Vice President Cheney's advice is, you don't read about it in the newspaper after he gives it," the president said. Bush credited Rumsfeld with overseeing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while overhauling the military. "I'm pleased with the progress we're making," the president said. He replied in the affirmative when asked if he wanted Rumsfeld and Cheney to stay with him until the end.
8. And of course Rove made a number of confoundingly bad decisions, dumping millions of dollars into Senate races that seemed hopeless for the Republicans -- and ultimately were -- in the solidly "blue" states of New Jersey and Maryland, where in hindsight a few dollars spent in the right ways might have salvaged the once-"red" Montana and Virginia.
And that's on top of all the things that that the Rove-Cheney-Bush White House didn't do, as we mentioned in the outset -- recounts, massive voter intimidation, or -- as proven by those accurate exit polls -- even worse.
So why in the name of God would Bush and Rove want to produce a flop in 2006?
Well, on the domestic front, there may actually be some advantages for Bush with a Democratic Congress. For one thing, they'll probably pass a favorite program of the president and his big-business buddies, the guest worker program for immigrants, since it was the conservatives in the House holding that up. The GOP was probably also ready to relent on the minimum wage, which was becoming a political albatross for them.
The other stuff that Bush wouldn't like -- higher taxes on oil companies and the rich -- he can always veto, if his 49 senators (nine more than necessary) don't block a vote before it gets that far. He's already been promised by Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean that he won't be impeached. From what we've seen, Bush didn't like the Republican leaders in Congress (especially the ousted Tom DeLay) all that much anyway.
But it really boils down to one word:
Everything we watched Bush do since Wednesday morning seems to be geared in one direction: Bringing Democrats to the table on Iraq. The problem for the Democrats is this: They came to office without a plan for Iraq. Bush doesn't seem to have one either. Nobody does, although James Baker and his friends are said to be working on one. But now whatever emerges from the coming discussions will not longer be the GOP plan. It will be the Bush/Democrats' plan.
And we're afraid that the war planners are expecting things to get worse over there in 2007. Good politicians are able to ensure that when bad fallout is inevitable, that the blame can be shared. A GOP majority in Capitol Hill would have guaranteed that "the Republican war in Iraq" would dominate the 2008 presidential race, and that equation would hand the keys to the White House to the Democrats for sure. And Bush's patrons -- oilmen and the defense contractors -- need the White House a lot more than Congress, especially after the recent expansion of presidential powers. And now both parties will have a stake in Iraq, and the mostly likely in the coming fiasco there.
So, does that make sense, or is it the most ridiculous theory ever? There are certainly holes. The GOP did spend millions on dirty tricks like robo-calls, although the impetus seemed to come from the individual campaigns more than the White House. There was the November surprise of the Saddam Hussein death sentence, although that carried much less of a wallop than when the scheme was first cooked up. It wasn't that long agp that Rove and others were talking of a "permanent Republican majority."
Is Karl Rove not the evil genius we all thought he was, or is he brilliant beyond the reckoning power of us mere mortals? Whatever the strategery, the more we look at it, the more we think that Bush's difficult next two years may work out slightly better for him with a Democratic Congress.
Like Sen. Arlen Specter was just saying in those Rick Santorum radio ads...think about it.