July 23, 2007


An Unusually Effective Minority: Bush and the congressional GOP embarrass the Democrats (Fred Barnes, 07/30/2007, Weekly Standard)

The biggest surprise in Washington in 2007 is who's turned out to be the strongest force in town. It's not Democrats, though they control the House and the Senate. It's not a bipartisan alliance of moderates, who often imagine themselves as pivotal but never are. And it's certainly not a conservative coalition, if only because there aren't enough conservative Democrats in Congress to fill a closet at the Heritage Foundation. The most powerful group is President Bush and congressional Republicans.

But of course, you say. A Republican president and Republican legislators are a natural coalition. Except not in this case. After the calamitous 2006 election, there was no love lost between the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Republicans blamed Bush for losing Congress, while he and his aides felt congres sional Republicans had largely brought disaster on themselves. Full-scale cooperation seemed unlikely. But it's happened.

True, Bush and the Republicans aren't dominant. They're a minority, but an unusually effective one. One measure of this: At the end of 2007, there will be more American troops in Iraq than when Democrats took over Congress in January. Another: Democrats have momentum on no domestic issue, not even health care. A third: Senate Republicans last week defeated an amendment urging Bush not to pardon former White House aide Scooter Libby and won overwhelming passage of another that says terrorists jailed at Guantánamo shouldn't be transferred to U.S. soil.

There's more, much more.

It's understandable that Democrats are surprised -- they're delusional -- but how can the Beadle be so after thirty years in Washington?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 23, 2007 10:15 AM

I think the surprise for the Washington establishment is that the Dem+MSM coalition isn't enough to completely dominate a Republican minority anymore. The last time the Dems controlled Congress there was no internet, and the NYT, WashPost, and network news shows could regularly intimidate enough of the country club GOP into going along with the Dem agenda.

Posted by: b at July 23, 2007 11:17 AM

A large minority can resist better than a small majority can insist; at least in the US system, where party discipline isn't very strong.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 23, 2007 12:10 PM

That inside the beltway question answers itself.

Posted by: Mike Beversluis at July 23, 2007 1:11 PM

Isn't he "the Beetle"? I never heard tell of a 'Beadle', although I suppose it could be some obscure English term.

Posted by: ratbert at July 23, 2007 10:12 PM

A minor parish official formerly employed in an English church to usher and keep order during services.

Middle English bedel, herald (from Old English bydel), and from Old French bedel (from Medieval Latin bedellus, from Old High German butil; see bheudh- in Indo-European roots)

Posted by: Bartman at July 24, 2007 7:41 AM