By: E&P Staff
An article in this coming Sunday’s edition of The New York Times Sunday Magazine advises Democrats not to get their hopes up: Even if they win a sweeping victory in the November elections it is doubtful that this “will significantly alter the Bush administration’s way of thinking.”
Thus, the headline for the story, by Noah Feldman, reads: “The Mere Midterms.” The deck: “Even if voters send President Bush a strong message, he is not likely to listen.”
Feldman notes that Bush is “a president who has been doggedly consistent in staying the course, come what may….the president is no flip-flopper. That means he is particularly unlikley to change his policies as a result of a midterm message that the American people aren’t satisfied with the job he’s doing.”
In addition: “true-red conservatives have nowhere else to go.” And: “Even if the Democrats win big, they will not be able to effect substantial changes in either Bush’s war policy or his ability to govern better.” So
troops will remain in Iraq for two years or more, and need to be financed.
“Nor,” he points out, “can a Democratic Congress do much to make the Bush administration more competent,” or block “hack” appointees to lower positions.
Finally: “What that leaves the Democrats is oversight–an idea that right now gets their hearts racing but whose limits will eventually become apparent….Government in the sunshine is a good thing–but a brightly lit Washington will still, mostly, be George W. Bush’s Washington.”