The New York Times tries to temper the Democratic exuberance it has been stoking for weeks.
Flashback to Oct. 21:
There is something unusual bubbling in Democratic political waters these days: optimism.
With each new delivery of bad news for Republicans — another Republican congressman under investigation, another Republican district conceded, another poll showing support for the Republican-controlled Congress collapsing — a party that has become so used to losing is considering, disbelievingly and with the requisite worry, the possibility that it could actually win in November.
“I’ve moved from optimistic to giddy,” said Gordon R. Fischer, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. “I really have.”
And now, Nov. 7:
In most midterm elections, an out-of-power party picking up, say, 14 seats in the House and five seats in the Senate could call it a pretty good night.
But for Democrats in 2006, that showing would mean coming up one seat shy of taking control of both the Senate and the House. And it would probably be branded a loss — in the case of the House, a big one.
For a combination of reasons — increasingly bullish prognostications by independent handicappers, galloping optimism by Democratic leaders and bloggers, and polls that promise a Democratic blowout — expectations for the party have soared into the stratosphere. Democrats are widely expected to take the House, and by a significant margin, and perhaps the Senate as well, while capturing a majority of governorships and legislatures.
These expectations may well be overheated.
The Times quotes analyst Charlie Cook’s prediction if unhinged Democrats don’t win the House:
“I think you’d see a Jim Jones situation — it would be a mass suicide,” he said.
Paging all Post Election Selection Trauma experts…
Are we really going to hand Congress to the Basket Case Party?
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Conspiracy filmmaker Michael Moore was so devastated by President Bush’s election victory last month that he refused to get out of his pajamas or leave his bedroom.
“He was so unhappy over Bush’s win, he didn’t roll out of bed for three days,” reports gossip columnist Liz Smith, after chatting with the left-wing movie man.
Smith adds, “I could live forever without that visual.”
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