REPUBLICANS... UP THE CREEK WITHOUT THE PADDLE-- 2008 WILL BE WORSE ELECTORALLY THAN 2006 WAS, MUCH WORSE
Republicans are trying to come up with a strategy for how to deal with the political fallout over Iraq. Robert Novak reported that Bush's "attempt to revitalize his Iraq War policy has been a political failure. His 'surge' in troops won no converts, and all efforts now are based on attempting to prevent a negative resolution from being passed in the Senate... The gloom pervading the Republican Party cannot be exaggerated. The long-range GOP outlook for 2008 is grim. The consensus is that U.S. troops must be off the ground of Iraq by next year to prevent an electoral catastrophe in the next election... Iraq, one of Bush's top political advisers now notes, is a black hole for the Republican Party. A nationally prominent Republican pollster reported confidentially on Capitol Hill after the President's speech that if U.S. boots are still on the ground in Iraq and U.S. blood is still being spilled there at the end of the year, the GOP disaster in 2008 will eclipse 2006."
It is no coincidence that the Republicans most publicly distancing themselves from Bush and his policies are the ones-- minus Wayne Allard who just announced his retirement-- who are facing the stiffest electoral challenges next year: Norm Coleman (MN), John Sununu (NH), Susan Collins (ME), Gordon Smith (OR) and even the unlikely rubber stamp loon from Georgia, Saxby Chamberpot! One of the first House members to call a press conference and say she's done supporting Bush's catastrophic blunders was Heather Wilson (R-NM), who had just managed to retain her seat by a tiny handful of votes and will face an even more determined opponent next year.
But even some Republicans in relatively unassailable positions, like Chuck Hagel (NE) and John Warner (VA) are breaking with the Bush Regime. Loyalists, though, aren't giving up, many fearing they all better hang together or they'll all hang separately. CNN reports that "House Republicans plan to introduce a bill [today] that would prohibit Congress from cutting off funding for troops in the field. Boehner, who gets his orders directly from Rove is sponsoring this. Endlessly parroting GOP talking points in between applications of tan-in-a-can, Boehner babbled, "And for those who don't agree with the president's plan, what's their alternative, what's their plan? We have a new majority in the House and Senate and I think that at some point they need to begin acting like a majority and that means that if you don't approve of the president's idea and his plan, you're required, really, to put one forward and we've not seen that yet."
Nancy Pelosi's office pointed out the ludicrousness and blatant partisanship inherent in the Republican position (like you could expect something different from Rove?). "It sounds like they're trying to play politics. We've said repeatedly we support funding for troops in the field." Neither Dodd's nor Clinton's troop cap, Kennedy's ambitious bill to reign Bush in, nor Murtha's attempt to cut off funds for escalation approaches cutting off funds to American troops in the field.