Mark Green, one of the Dems’ staunchest progressives, has an encouraging post up at the HuffPo “Why 2008 will be a Perfect Storm for Republicans,” with this happy prediction:
Adding it all up: look for Democrats to end up with a near filibuster-proof 58 Senate seats (up from 51) and 260 House seats (up from 213 in 2005 and 233 in 2007). The 2006 and 2008 elections would then be the equivalent of a rolling realignment, comparable to the 51, 49 and 53 House seats that switched hands in 1958, 1974 and 1994 respectively. For when there’s a tidal wave of sentiment, it doesn’t tip some close contests but nearly all close contests.
Green’s perfect storm has four elements, encapsulated in the GOP’s disastrous policies in the following areas: Iraq; the economy; intolerance; and children. Green adds:
Beyond these four problems, a variety of other realities combine to dig Republicans into an even deeper hole. Recent polls show Democrats are more trusted on every domestic and foreign policy issue: education, health care, environment, economic growth, fiscal discipline, even terrorism. The number of Americans who self-identify as Republican is at a seven year low. While Americans believing the country is on the wrong tack was 50 percent in 2002 and 2004, it’s now 67 percent. National Democratic committees and presidential candidates are outraising their Republican counterparts better than 2 to 1. And then there’s the fact that Republicans are defending 22 Senate seats in 2008 compared to 12 for the Democrats. Nine Republican Senate seats are now considered vulnerable (Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia).
In other words a thorough housecleaning is in the making. Another Green, David Michael, a Hofstra poly sci professor, thinks the “perfect storm” analogy may fall short in describing the political weather taking shape for Republicans. As he writes in his Common Dreams post, “The Coming Progressive Era“:
Calling this a perfect storm may not do justice to the tsunami headed the GOP’s way. They’ll be lucky if they wind up as well off as the Tories in Britain after Thatcher, exiled for a dozen or more years…Democrats are likely to get one more chance in 2008, and they’re likely – with one exception – to sew up total control of the government, with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and little need for overriding vetoes.
Lest we get too optimistic, Professor Green points out that we’ll still have a reactionary Supreme Court. But even that could change with a lucky break or two. And yes, I know, a million things can go wrong between now and November ’08. For now, however, we can be cheered that political observers are beginning to envision a very different political climate for the opposition. ‘Perfect Storm’ or tsunami — either one will do nicely.