Is a Nightmare Unfolding?

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It is the final lap for election 2006, to cite one cliché. Even junkies like this writer are exhausted.

Yes, it has been one of the nastier campaigns. No, it isn't the worst in the nation's recent history of negative TV ads saturating daily programming with a tinge of personal defamation thrown in.

The major winners have been the local television stations and the consultants who place the ads. Money has been rolling in for the stations, and consultants have been pocketing big bucks for the commissions.

It is not a pretty picture.

However, the politics is important to a country apparently weary of the war in Iraq and troubled by the president's playing with words on the conflict. Republicans are clearly worried.

All the latest polls point to a Democratic takeover of the House and a gain of a few seats in the Senate.

Bush and Vice President Cheney are making trips to Georgia and Texas as well as Idaho, Nevada, and Nebraska in final swings. If those flaming red states are still competitive at this late hour, it must be near panic time for Karl Rove and company.

The one fallback for the Republicans is a resurgence of enthusiasm among the base of conservatives and evangelicals who worry more about same-sex marriage than the ravages of war.

Democrats should worry about overconfidence and complacency. Getting the angry and disillusioned to the polls is essential if those poll numbers are correct.

Even before Election Day, it is already evident that the president's final two years are going to be difficult. But a Democratic-controlled House will ensure more problems for him. And a takeover of both the House and Senate will truly be a nightmare.

With a Democratic Congress in charge down the street on Pennsylvania Avenue, the ranch at Crawford will look mighty good to the embattled Bush in 2009.