Wednesday, September 27, 2006

October Surprise: Much Worse Than You Think

Dems are poised to win back the House. Will there be an October Surprise? In a word: Yes. The only surprise will be if the country isn't on red alert by the week after next.

1) If the Dems pick up the House, they thereby pick up the ability to effectively investigate White House and White House-sponsored misconduct.

2) Democratic investigations of White House and White House-sponsored misconduct are likely to uncover serious wrongdoing and egregious misconduct. Obviously there's no way for outsiders to know ahead of time what aggressive investigations might uncover, but the White House knows. As a general proposition, we know that this gang is disposed to lawlessness, radicalism and corruption. They've been operating without Congressional oversight for years, in a war- and propaganda-induced climate of fear. With a few notable exceptions, the press has been AWOL. Given what we know about these guys, and given that they've been operating essentially without any constraints on their conduct for so long, my speculation is that there is lots and lots of misconduct waiting to be uncovered. How afraid is the White House of facing a Dem-controlled House? Very, very afraid.

3) If the White House were constrained by either respect for the rule of law or adherence to the conventions and traditions undergirding the American system of government, it would be Document Shredding Time at the White House. If these were traditional wrongdoers facing the prospect of being caught, they would be trying to cover up the evidence of their wrongdoing.

4) This White House does not operate on the basis of respect for the rule of law or adherence to the institutional traditions and customs underlying the American system of government. These guys are lawless radicals. Sure, if it comes to that they'll try to cover up evidence. But whereas traditional wrongdoers might cut straight to that step, this gang has a more primal impulse: holding onto power and retaining total control.

5) If it looks like they're going to lose the House, let alone the House and the Senate, the White House will resort to extraordinary means to change that outcome. There is almost nothing they won't do. To put it mildly, this White House does not distinguish between domestic electoral politics and foreign policy, even in matters of war.

6) Please take a moment to let this sink in. If it looks like they're going to lose the mid-term elections, these guys will try to sweep the pieces off the chessboard, whatever it takes. Bombing Iran? Yes, absolutely. Bombing, blockade, whatever it takes. Mounting some sort of fantasy land special forces commando raid snipe hunt to capture Bin Laden based on "new actionable" evidence? Yes, absolutely. Foiling a trumped up domestic terror plot? Yes, they would do it. Using tactical nuclear weapons? If they thought it would help, yes they would do it.

7) For clarity and emphasis: if it looks like the GOP is going to lose the House, the White House will take the country to Red Alert. Wag the dog? Sure, but it won't just be show business. These guys are prepared to do the real thing, on a big scale if necessary.

8) Are Dem leaders prepared for this? They need to be. What happens if we wake up one morning and the White House announces that Operation Bomb Iran to Freedom has begun, what will Dem leaders do? Will they salute? Will they "give the President the benefit of the doubt?" Will they be considering the issue for the first time?

Dems need to be ready for this. We all need to be ready for this.

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