Thursday, October 13, 2005

1994 Redux?

There do seem to be some striking similarities between 2005-6 and 1993-4 brewing. Both had newly (re)elected Presidents who overreached on their goals of reshaping a major function of the government (health care/social security); Congresses of the same party that were beginning to rebel against the President and his goals; growing public frustration with one-party government; and increased optimism by the other side about what looked like impossible dream of taking over Congress.

There are of course many differences and I personally believe that history does not (exactly) repeat itself. However the unpopularity of the Republicans and the increased optimism by Democrats in 2005-6 is replicating one feature from 1993-4: the ability to recruit strong candidates. The old adage goes that you can't beat something with nothing, and too often Congressional races are uncompetitive. But if the Democrats are able to recruit attractive, motivated candidates for 2006, they will find that races that seemed to be longshot are all of a sudden within their grasps.

November 2006 is still along way off, and many of the problems that are facing the GOP may have been resolved by then, but at least the Democrats will have recruited a talented team.