by Milo Clark
(Swans - January 2, 2006) Keep it simple even though doing so may appear stupid.
Core prediction: In the 2006 mid-term elections, Republicans will retain control of Congress.
(1) The Red states will stay Red.
(a) Larger Blue state pluralities do not affect Congressional districts.
(b) Only roughly one-third of the Senate stands in any given election year.
(c) Election processes are strongly tilted toward returning incumbents through in-place gerrymandering. Extreme gerrymandering, illustrated by Colorado and Texas, designed to increase Republican Congressional seats, are only extremes. The norms existing elsewhere reflect the structure of the present Congress; i.e., Republican majorities.
(d) As shown in 2004, a majority or controlling plurality of Red state voters are beyond reach of rational arguments, or affected by, administration outrages. For them, Iraq is irrelevant. For them, God has spoken.
(2) Rovian strategic designs, shown to be effective in national politics since 2000, will move beyond "take no prisoners" into scorched-earth tactics never before seen. Squeamish Democrats, wishy-washy Progressives, and gutless once-Liberals are too much prisoners of what they may profess to abhor.
(3) The Bush family will call in chits carefully cultivated worldwide over decades. Most significant of these will involve the Royal family of Saudi Arabia. They hold the levers of OPEC. About the only surplus capacity in crude existing in 2006 is under Saudi sands, control or influence. While this situation may represent a dying gasp, its power is real for 2006.
(4) To prevent threats of impeachment, Republican control of all three branches of federal government remains critical.
That's all we need to know as far as the US domestic policy plays out. (I'll be glad if my short analysis is proven incorrect.)
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