Maybe I should act chagrined now that my record is
in the toilet about par for the pundit class…heh, of course not. Smart pundits just keep making predictions, which gives people something to think about other than how the last predictions turned out. So here goes.
Last night’s news hit president Bush like a figurative freight train. As referendums go, and exit polls suggest that is exactly what it was, messages don’t get more explicit. Bush doesn’t very much like it when a news cycle spins out of his control so naturally he wants to get ahead of the next round of headlines with a presser of his own. Maybe he’ll say something newsworthy or make a particularly scandalous accusation. Then at least the news becomes a give-and-take, rather than the nation giving its rebuke via the Democratic party and the president silently taking it. More importantly the president’s words will very likely set the tone for the next two years of intragovernmental relations.
David Broder and friends expect the president to channel his governor-era bipartisanship, which I will consider the antithesis to my thesis, for two important reasons. First, it would be the smart political move. A gesture of bipartisanship would be politically difficult to turn down. It could easily pull the oxygen out of a no-holds-barred subpoena party and the press would eat it out of his hand. Second, Broders have the collective memory of a fruit fly. The president hasn’t seen bipartisanship since around the time he declared Tom DeLay a crucial ally; by now he wouldn’t recognize comity if it sat down next to him. Every word and deed out of the White House telegraphs contempt for the Democratic party (for example, he refuses to call it the Democratic party). The minimal self-abnegation required for the kabuki of saving face acknowledges weakness, even if only ceremonially, and when it comes to the Democrats even kabuki humility won’t happen in this president’s lifetime.
In line with similar thoughts from Grover Norquist, I expect the president to invoke 9/11, complain about Democrats wanting to lose Iraq and invite Speaker Pelosi to kiss his black ass. Stupid and politically self-destructive, yes, but the model by which these guys have operated for six years allows for nothing else. Once again being wrong will make me quite happy.
WTF? Okay, I predict that New England will win the superbowl.