Only a Minor Earthquake:
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 10, 2006; Page A31
How serious is the "thumpin' " the Republicans took on Tuesday? Losing one house is significant but hardly historic. Losing both houses, however, is defeat of a different order of magnitude, the equivalent in a parliamentary system of a vote of no confidence.
On Tuesday Democrats took control of the House and the Senate. As of this writing, they won 29 House seats (with a handful still in the balance), slightly below the post-1930 average for the six-year itch in a two-term presidency. They took the Senate by the thinnest of margins -- a one-vote majority, delivered to them by a margin of 8,942 votes in Virginia and 2,847 in Montana.
Because both houses have gone Democratic, the election is correctly seen as an expression of no confidence in the central issue of the campaign: Iraq. It was not so much the war itself as the perceived administration policy of "stay the course," which implied endless intervention with no victory in sight. The president got the message. Hence the summary resignation of the designated fall guy, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Nonetheless, the difference between taking one house vs. both -- and thus between normal six-year incumbent-party losses and a major earthquake that shakes the presidency -- was razor-thin in this election. A switch of just 1,424 votes in Montana would have kept the Senate Republican.
More of the Op/Ed can be read here: http://www.washingto...6110901775.html
Moderator's note: Guidelines prohibit posting entire articles. I've edited it because Nittany Lionness was apparently not around to do it herself. - QT
Edited by QueenTiye, 20 November 2006 - 12:37 AM.