Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Short term and long term thinking

I'm still trying to understand why the Democrats are so hot to bother about the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centers. What, ultimately, is their point? In their rancor and their discussions about it, what do they propose to do in the stead of GTMO? And is it having any effect.

Well, as to the effect, they don't have much to stand on: a Rassumssen poll has about 70% of Americans saying that the terrorists at GTMO belong there ( And of the poll, only 14% of Americans agree with the rantings of Senator Durbin (where he equivocates GTMO with the Nazi death camps, and the Soviet Gulags). In a separate poll, from USA Today (which I would normally NOT link to) about 2/3rds of the country want to keep GTMO in operation (I Fair reminder, the USA Today poll is of "adults" and not voters. Methinks that a more scientific poll would be akin to the Rassumssen poll. Anyways, I think it's safe to say that the Democrats have miscalculated badly on the whole GTMO conversation. It's a dead issue from their end of the spectrum- and there is going to be hell to pay for the likes of Senator DicK Durbin (D-Il).

What this leads me to, is a discussion on the short term and long term with the political games that are being played today. The first part is that the Democrats are saying what they're saying now, simply because they don't feel the pressure of voters just yet. Next year is the mid-term elections- not this year. So they think they're getting a free pass in the meantime. The problem with that is that next year, they're going to have to come to the table with something meaningful to offer. They're essentially pandering to the 20% of the US population which happens to be the Democratic party's base of support. That leaves the GOP with about 60-70% of the population to work with (methinks that's been the GOP's problem; they don't know how to handle such a population shift just yet). Messages like their GTMO rantings aren't resonating at all with the majority of the American population- and their short term gains with their base won't matter in 2006 (and 2008 if this keeps up) when they have to reach out to the majority of Americans, once again.

Things could change, of course, but the rhetoric that they're utilizing in the present doesnt bode well for them. What happens if the situation in Iraq changes- for the better (which it is)? What happens, if by spring next year, their whinings about Iraqi security are moot, because the situation's stabilized? What about Iran, and North Korea? Are they going to extend their obstructionism and whining towards any potential confrontations with them, as well? And what if there's a major terror attack in the US? How will they respond to it? It should be obvious how the GOP will react to issues about Iraqi security, North Korea, Iran, or a major terror attack. Everything that the Dems have been complaining about may well be moot by next year.

The short term gains they are aiming for in the present aren't really anything to write home about. And the long term gains that they're aiming for are probably pipe dreams (within the realm of likelihood, but just barely so). The game they're playing is a very dangerous one- in which the more Durbins they create, the worse off they'll be for 2006, when people will be paying more attention.


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