Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democrats take control; Rummy falls on his sword
So after all, Webb managed the Virginia win and the Dems take control of both the Senate and the House. An incredibly result for the Democrats, which highlights just how far the independents have swung against the Iraq war.

So the first, most obvious casualty? Rumsfeld. It didn't take him long to resign, and after all his belligerence on previous calls for his resignation, it's patently obvious that he was pushed from the top. Many will be celebrating that move, but don't look for to many changes in the Iraq policy until Bush needs to go back to Congress for more Iraq funding - that's when the crunch will come. The Dems have waited 12 long years for this, and it's unlikely they're going to make it easy for Bush. Let's just hope though, that there is a more bipartisan approach than was felt under the Republican rule.

Also watch for Bush to now become firmly entrenched in the 'lame duck presidency'. He will move away from hot-button issues like gay marriage amendments and move onto areas of common ground such as education. This must be especially tough for Bush, given that he has been one of the most inflexible presidents of recent memory.

All in all, a huge turnaround from 2002, in what has been a very tough year for the Republicans. The key question now is, can the Democrats find enough alternative policies to retain power when the elections are not a referendum on Iraq?