“Democrats have an advantage because you are looking at a 33 percent president,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant, referring to Mr. Bush’s popularity rating. “You can get away with a lot,” said Mr. Galen, who served as a senior aide to Newt Gingrich, the House Speaker when Republicans battled the Clinton White House in the 1990s.For what it's worth: I'm sick of them.
Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University, said: “They can push pretty hard on this stuff — especially testimony. There’s no trust right now in the Bush administration and the White House.”...
As they try to figure out what they can and can not do, the Democrats are looking back to Mr. Gingrich’s House. Republicans exercised their power with gusto, peppering the Clinton White House with subpoenas and, of course, bringing impeachment proceedings. Then came the five-seat loss.
“We got so focused on impeachment that voters got sick of it,” said Mr. Galen, recalling his experience in 1998. He said he thought Democrats had so far avoided the trap that snared Republicans, but warned of the price of coming across as doing little more than fighting. “The danger comes if there becomes this sense that they are being truculent for the sake of being truculent,” he said.
March 25, 2007
Adam Nagourney assesses the Democrats in Congress: