Barring an unexpected and big event, Democrats will win control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November and conceivably the Senate, too. Whether it's a tsunami or just a powerful wave, the political dynamics are moving in that direction, or more accurately, against the Republicans and President George W. Bush.
Democratic insiders, who months ago thought their chances of winning a majority in the House were no better than even, and that the Senate was a lost cause, have become far more optimistic. Now, they say, winning the House is a lock, and the Senate is within reach.
'People Are Angry'
I think that may qualify for 'understatement of the year'!
Privately, Republican congressional leaders are bracing to lose 20 to 30 House seats -- more than the net 15 gain that Democrats need to take control of that chamber -- and to barely hold on to their Senate majority.
A Dem Senate would be the icing on the cake.
The most important difference -- and the reason the White House desperately hopes to avoid a Democratic House -- will be much more aggressive oversight. With tough lawmakers like Dingell of Michigan and Henry Waxman of California setting oversight agendas, defense contractors such as Halliburton Co., eavesdroppers at the national security and intelligence agencies and anti-environmentalists at the Interior Department will be in for a rough few years.
Heh. They have no idea!
To be certain, the party's confidence is occasionally tempered by the realities of recent elections. At a private gathering sponsored by Democratic House Leader Pelosi for some of the party's biggest givers in California early this month, there was a palpable sense that Karl Rove and the White House will engineer some "October surprise."
And Republicans, with a better get-out-the-vote system, generally tend to close better in American elections. But October surprises usually are the invention of summer nervous nellies; the public mood, not organization, will shape this year's elections.
Maybe so, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. The most dangerous, unpredictable animal is one who's cornered.