Friday, June 09, 2006

Nine hundred and fifty six days

That's how long George W Bush has left as President of the United States of America. But his status for much of that time will be settled in November, when mid-term elections determine who controls the two houses of the American legislature. Both currently have Republican majority, making Bush the most empowered President for more than a decade. But is the US a better place for have GWB as its leader? Most American seem unconvinced, judging by Bush's approval ratings. The war in Iraq is in danger of becoming this generation's Vietnam - a long, painful conflict fought far from home that brings no end but offers plenty of false dawns. The significant difference between Vietnam and Iraq is the lack of conscription this time round. Had the draft been reinstated to find sufficient troops for the conflict, US public opinion would have reached its current state much sooner, I suspect.

It's possible the Democrats could wrest one house of the legislature from Republican control, but unlikely they'll gain both. For that to occur would require a massive electoral landslide away from the president's men. It has happened before - back in 1994 Bill Clinton's Democrats take a kicking in the midterms. If Bush suffered the same reversal, it would make him a lameduck president for the rest of his second term in office, unable to get many new policies enacted into law. I doubt that will happen, but am certain the next few months will make entertaining viewing for US presidential election junkies like me. Hell, it's not long until campaigning starts in earnest for the 2008 White House race. Let the fun and games begin...

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