Saturday, May 06, 2006

Anniversary Question

In all the calculations and handicapping of the November midterm elections, one thing I have not heard mentioned is the upcoming 5th anniversary of 9/11. I expect that this is going to be a pretty huge deal, full of maudlin, overwrought propaganda.

My question is, will this help or hurt the Republicans in November? Will they be able to successfully spin the anniversary as A Reminder Of What's At Stake, Of What We're Fighting For, and how Only The Republicans Can Keep Us Safe? Or will the Democrats be able to use it as a reminder of just how little Bush and the Republicans have accomplished in those five years?

I don't think this is going to be a minor thing. One of the reasons Bush beat Kerry in 2004 was that he managed to convince just enough people that his total incompetence somehow did not extend to Keeping Us Safe, and that Osama bin Laden would nuke us into the stone age if we elected a Democrat. The Republicans will aggressively court the bedwetter vote again this fall, and the Democrats need to be ready to counter that with some harsh reality. F'rinstance, the Dems might want to point out that they are the party pushing for port and chemical/nuclear plant security, and the Republicans are the ones against. The Republicans are the ones leaving the doors and windows unlocked, and the Democrats should not be too polite to say it.

8 comments:

spork_incident said...

I hadn't thought of this (5th. anniversary).

On the one hand, it might remind people that BusCo hasn't done much to *really* go after the perps but on the other there might be some residual "kill 'em all" attitude.

Anyway, I've given up trying to be a political prognosticator. I used to be good at it but not so much anymore.

I blame Diebold.


.

flory said...

I don't think the anniversary will help him this time. Big difference in people's opinion of Dear Leader between 2004 and now.

In 2004 people still supported the Iraq war and thought it was an important fight in the War on Terra. And they wanted to support the resolute leader who was making them safer. Now they recognize Iraq for the meaningless debacle it truly is.

I would think memorials to 9/11 will only serve to remind people that the guy responsible is still walking around free while we're wasting lives and treasure in Iraq.

Might end up leading to a lot of uncomfortable questiong of Dimson on exactly what he thinks he's accomplishing in Iraq.

My bet is they try to play the anniversary down.

Eli said...

This is my hope, certainly. I just thought it was an interesting wildcard for November, especially considering that SCARE EVERYBODY! is one of the Republicans's favorite campaign techniques ever since 9/11, and the Democrats have yet to make much of an effort to counter it (even though it should be pretty easy to do).

cabearie said...

Eli, you raise a very interesting point.

9/11/06 could very well be a significant anniversary, although I think there is a certain fatigue at play, at least right now.

I think that if gasoline prices keep hovering around the $4 per gallon mark, this election might very well turn out to be about the economy.

Diane

sdf said...

Boy, flory, I hope you're right (though I'd be very surprised if they try to play the anniversary down; this is their number one thing, after all). My pessimistic instincts -- born of a lifetime of liberalism and Philadelphia sports fan-dom -- make me worry about precisely what Eli is talking about. Hopefully this time'll be different.

-- Stu

flory said...

I hope I'm right too. I just don't see how reminding people how completely ineffectual they've been in their signature issue is gonna help them this cycle.

Especially if, as Eli points out, even the simplest Democratic countereffort is made this year.

(crosses fingers and toes)

hisstorymn, Hunter of Da Snark said...

But.. But.. islamofascist, gay, immigrants, seeking abortions might get us Eli!!

How can you be so blind! Dubya has made it safe for over 2400 soldiers to die in Iraq so that Cameroonians could be free!

Or something like that....

Great article Eli.

Spear and Magic said...

My prediction (and indeed, my recommendation, were I an evil GOP strategist) is that they will play up rather than downplay the anniversary. If you've run the ball up the middle 16 times and the other side has not shown that they can stop it, you run it again. And the SCARE EVERYONE! strategy has had a pretty damned good track record for the GOP.

In fact, if you're not sure that the back you're running now is going to be up to the task, then you bring in someone from the sidelines who's done the job before. Hence Iran. Hence Cheney's ridiculous provocation of Putin, leading to a ton of headlines about a "New Cold War." Everyone scared yet?

I'm convinced the Dems could do a much better job handling these challenges. I'm not convinced that they can sell it.