The failure of a complaisant, Republican-controlled Congress to enact
meaningful changes to the Patriot Act means that midterm elections are
the only true path to reform.
Eight months ahead of the 2006 midterm vote, Democrats are either ignoring Iraq or supporting the war while criticizing Bush's prosecution of it. But it's not too late to mount a strong opposition.
Pete McCloskey, the first Republican member of Congress to call for Nixon's impeachment and withdrawal from Vietnam, has resurfaced at 78 to challenge Richard Pombo and the Iraq War.
With persistence and strong convictions, insurgents can change a political party. Galvanized by the war and disgusted with weak-spined party leaders, rank-and-file Democrats may at last be ready to bite back.
The Iraq debate will be a central issue of the 2006 Congressional elections, and there is reason to believe antiwar candidates will prevail. The first step in that process is to encourage support for such candidates.
The controversy surrounding conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff is
creating headaches for red-state and swing-state Republicans and
opportunities for Democrats to turn a national bribery and
influence-peddling scandal into political paydirt.
Buoyed by their defeat of Schwarzeneggar's "referendum revolution,"
Democrats and organized labor are now energized to defeat the
governor's re-election bid next year.
Democratic gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey gave the lie to
the GOP contention that "conservatism is on the march." But infighting
among Dems doomed electoral reform in Ohio, gay marriage is still
illegal in Texas and there's a long way to go to mid-year elections.
The lesson of the defeat in California of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's referendum
revolution is this: The American people will not forever be fooled. The
negative message of the Republican right has lost its power to terrorize voters.
Democrats celebrate electoral victories in Virginia, New Jersey and
California, they shouldn't waste time gloating. They need to find
effective candidates like Tim Kaine and Jon Corzine who will build