Only Fear can Save Them Now

Eugene Robinson's op-ed in today's Washington Post is a good one, though one feels that it could have been written months ago:

If Democrats manage to take control of one or both houses of Congress on Tuesday, the reason will be that voters were not adequately roused into a state of heart-pounding, knee-knocking, teeth-chattering fear.

Not that Republicans haven't been trying. George W. Bush used to claim he was "a uniter, not a divider," but that was a long time ago. These days, he'd probably try to deny the quote the same way he tried to disown "stay the course." The Karl Rove formula for political victory has been to draw a bright line between "us" and "them" and then paint those on the other side not as opponents but as monsters.

Thus Bush openly accused those who disagree with his policy in Iraq of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses," he said the other day.
The remainder of the piece points to all the woes that the GOP faces this cycle. The irony that a group of Republicans that never served demonize decorated veterans like John Kerry for being 'unpatriotic.' The way that Democrats who question tax cuts in a time of war get turned into Liberal, tax-raising madmen. The inability on the part of Republicans to get any traction out of the New Jersey Gay Marriage ruling after Mark Foley and David Kuo exposed the hypocrisy and opportunism of the GOP. Even the fact that a woman (gasp!) from San Francisco (shudder!) would become Speaker of the House (and third in line for the Presidency) if Democrats take control of the House has failed to generate any real 'fear.'

It's a good column, if vaguely unexciting in a 'I've seen all this before' sort of way. Perhaps for people who don't spend hours a day pouring over political news and commentary, the distillation of the results of 12 years of Republicanism would be timely.

That's the key word - timely. For what Robinson's piece lacks in excitement, it makes up for in timeliness and it does so in spades. This is the perfect column to run four days before an election. It is clear, to the point, and devastatingly effective in exposing the failures of Bush and his Republican lackeys. I'm sure that's why Mr. Robinson put it together the way he did.

The end of the piece is one that would make any snarky blogger proud:
But while Kerry's recent gaffe produced some last-minute outrage, mere outrage probably isn't enough this time. The only thing that might work is fear, and so far not enough Americans have been made to quake in their boots.

I take that back: The president did say that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld will serve out the remainder of his term. Run for your lives!
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