You know, politics is a funny old dog. If Amnesty Juan had won, we'd still be having the same speculative articles about his upcoming policies: "bailouts", amnesty, climate change legislation, government healthcare mandates; all policies he supports -- just like Obama.
And then, of course, the GOP would be stuck "owning" those upcoming disasters.
Instead, we have the Senate last night turning down the "auto bailout", because the GOP in the Senate finally seems to have heard at least part of the message, and wouldn't go along with it unless the unions made major concessions (which they refused to do). They finally grew at least one stone. Only 35 GOPers in the House signed onto it; an improvement there, too, so maybe they're also starting to get it.
Plus, the Senate Dem majority keeps shrinking, with Obama plucking Senators as Cabinet appointments.
Jorge Bush is still committed to bailing out the carmakers, which shows what a frikkin disaster he's ultimately turned into. His legacy's totally in the toilet, with this economic collapse happening on his watch; rightfully so. He got three things right in 8 years: tax cuts, Ashcroft and gun rights support, and SCOTUS appointments (and that one only AFTER the Harriett Meyers whiffer). He turned the whoppingly successful Iraq War into the SNAFU Iraq Occupation.
So.... now we'll see. After Jan 20, the GOP will have the opportunity to finally start acting like the "opposition party" they're supposed to be. If they do it, I think they'll see major gains in 2010 a la 1994. If they just continue to roll over like three-dollar hookers, they're simply doomed, and rightfully so.
What's REALLY interesting is that neither Pelosi nor Reid have the guts to force policies through unless the GOPers sign on in significant numbers. Have you noticed that? They know they don't want the Dems to own the full responsibility. That gives the GOPers a really strong hand in shaping policies, if they'll stick to their guns. I wonder if they're even aware of that? And if they have the 'nads to act on it? It sure as hell wouldn't happen if Amnesty Juan had won.
Anyway, this is the perfect confluence of events that affords them the opportunity to make a clear distinction between themselves and the Dems, and to make the Dems fully "own" the lousy policies they're going to try to enact.
We'll see if they have it in them.