Friday, December 14, 2007
The Hope of Audacity
By Keith Schmitz
Never one to let reality get in the way of a dubious story, today Charlie Sykes looks to bring some holiday (oops Christmas) cheer to his despondent readers. They may not recognize the looming environmental crisis, the possible collapse of the economy, or that the better late than never surge in Iraq may not hold. No, he has to keep up the spirits of his audience in the face of a Republican rout promising to roll over the party in 2008.
What cheers Charlie is the results of special election this week held in a Congressional district in suburban Dayton, OH district. Republican Bob Latta won that one by 14 points and was sworn in a few days later.
Charlie quotes the typically unreliable Jim Vandehai at the politico.com website. The Dailyhowler.com chronicles a bunch of Google pages full of Vandehai reporting miscues.
As usual Charlie rips and reads the piece with the terse comment "The Politico is reporting that the immigration issue has reshaped politics -- and poses a real threat to the Democrats." He goes on to quote the piece which relates that Latta beat his Democratic opponent by 14 points. Vandehai credits Latta and the Republicans working the immigration issue.
Notable was Vandehai's clowning through the Social Security issue a few years ago and fumbling reporting about the Plame case.
So let's be the Grinch that steals Charlie's Christmas.
What Vandehai and Charlie fail to credit is that the Ohio 5th is in actuality a rather strong Republican district. Democrats haven't won there since the days of FDR and in fact Latta's father held the district for many years.
Sure Paul Gillmor, the guy who died to open the seat, beat the Democrat by just 10 points in 2004. But like many Republicans a cloud of scandal was starting to form over his head. Rewind a bit to 2002 when he handily pounded his opponent 2 to 1.
Kind of reminds you of our 5th district. Ask Bryan Kennedy about a Democrat's chances in this area which wraps around Milwaukee and is home to some of the state's biggest reactionaries.
That immigration issue also had a little help in the form of cash. Latta outspent his opponent by 2 to 1.
This can't be good news for the GOP no matter how they fluff it up. If the Republicans have to spend their depleting coffers lustily to hold a pretty safe seat; they can huff, and puff and not blow the Democratic House down.