Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What would happen if the Democrats took back the Senate?

Ryan Lizza (he of TNR fame) looks at Senator Chuck Schumer's dream of regaining a majority in the Senate in our must-read of the day, an excellent piece (make sure to read the whole thing) at New York magazine called "The Bush-Cheney Era Ends Here". Just what would happen? Consider this:

Democrats have a dream. They dream that they will wake up on November 8 and that West Virginia senator Robert Byrd, the 88-year-old antiwar firebrand, will be in charge of appropriating every dollar spent in Iraq. They dream that Patrick Leahy, the Vermont senator who led the effort against Samuel Alito, will be the man deciding which Bush judges get considered. They dream that a senator from South Dakota named Tim Johnson will be running the now-dormant Ethics Committee, aggressively investigating GOP lobbyists looting their way through Washington. They dream of a vote on a minimum-wage increase and public hearings on global warming. And Democrats soothe themselves to sleep every night with visions of beating six years’ worth of secrets out of the Bush administration -- on pre-9/11 intelligence, the Plame affair, Katrina, Dubai Ports World, Halliburton -- through the fearsome power of the subpoena.

Democrats needs to win six new seats to take back the Senate (and, thereafter, to hold Bush accountable): "Unlike reclaiming the House, or the far-off presidential race, it is a goal that seems tangible, achievable... Winning all six of these races as well as the open seat in Minnesota while holding on to all their vulnerable incumbents is hardly a sure thing for Democrats. But the national climate is getting more poisonous for the GOP, and polls show that the mood of the country is as sour now as it was at this point in 1994 when Democrats were turned out of power."

Schumer is the man leading the way as head of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. From all appearances, he's doing a great job. November is still a long way off, but it's been a long, long time since the Democrats looked this good. A Democratic-controlled Senate may still be a dream, but there's hope yet.

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