Politics and Vegas have something in common – gambling. The bigger the pot gets, the bigger the gamble becomes in both cases. And when the pot includes the control of congress, you can bet – no pun intended – that at some point one of them throws all their chips on the table.
I have reason to believe that the White House thinks the Democrats took a calculated gamble on making the war in Iraq their winning hand and that they’ll lose.
President Bush said something interesting at Wednesday’s press conference that stood out in my mind as significant when he suggested, “they’re dancing in the end zone but they haven’t scored the touchdown yet.”
Could it be the case that the Democrats are starting to celebrate prematurely thus jeopardizing their advantage? Most polls are showing a tightening of the races, not a widening of the gap.
I think that President Bush may be trying to set an example for his fellow struggling Republicans by putting it all on the line – he believes the American people will look at the Iraq war and decide it’s worth staying in the fight to win. I also expect that we will see the administration become more aggressive in trying to define the Democrats as the party who doesn’t want to do things – like winning the war on terror.
It’s a big gamble and if it doesn’t work, then the Democrats will run away with the day. Placing your money on an unpopular war that isn’t producing pleasant headlines is like a Hail Mary with 5 seconds left in the game.
Both in 2002 and 2004 President Bush went “all-in” betting on the war on terror, and both times it paid off. The third time could be the charm. And if that happens, it’s time for the Democrats to fold altogether.
I can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.