Monday, November 14, 2005



Republican losses last week were not confined to high-profile governors races in Virginia and New Jersey. Republicans took it on the chin on the city, county and even school board levels. A former Republican County boss of Suffolk County-- once home base for both Helen and myself-- said that GOP losses there on the county level were so devastating that he didn't believe the party would recover... ever! On top of the plummeting approval ratings in every single poll, even right-wing polls, and the mounting corruption scandals sweeping the Republican Party, rifts between the Bush Regime and elected Republicans who have an eye on keeping their jobs, deepened... cataclysmically.

The first reports of Republicans declaring Bush radioactive came from deep inside the right-wing base. Long time neo-fascist propagandist Robert Novak was the first to thrust the dagger into Bush's back. As they watched heretofore moderate Republican suburbs in New Jersey and, more important (to them), in Virginia vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, Novak says DC "Republicans in Congress envision their own doom. The antidote to avoid that fate is to keep as far away from President Bush as possible, a lesson underlined by the president's failed election rescue mission for former Virginia state Attorney General Kilgore. The consequences may be profound. As his approval rating dipped, Bush increasingly has been treated in Congress as a lame duck. Tuesday's Virginia outcome increases the propensity of Republican senators and House members not only to avoid their president on the campaign trail but also to ignore his legislative proposals."

Then even far right fringe nuts like Rick "Dog on Man" Santorum, whose approval ratings are even worse than Bush's, and Arizona kook J.D. Hayworth both issued loud broadsides that they weren't interested in Bush campaigning for them. Hayworth, who is likely to be indicted as part of the Abramoff scandal told Don Imus on morning radio that he doesn't want Bush in Arizona and that he wouldn't be interested in Bush cutting any campaign spots for radio or TV for him. And then one of the more right-wing papers in the country, DC's MOONIE TIMES, declared flatly that Kaine's victory in Virginia over Kilgore was because of Bush. The Moonies quote a local VA legislator who escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth, David Albo: "We know that George Bush is just killing us. His popularity just brought the ticket down. There's no other way to explain it."

Polls show that Virginia voters were turned off by election-eve campaigning by Bush with Kilgore. In fact the conservative Rasmussen Poll found that Kaine won votes from 22% of registered Republicans! And today the THE NEWARK STAR LEDGER has a piece from New Jersey's defeated Republican gubernatorial candidate, Doug Forrester, saying flatly that he lost because of Bush! And Establishment Republican Tom Davis is going to extreme lengths to show his suburban constituents that he is independent of BushCo, even threatening Bush associates with subpoenas (something they feel they have more than enough of right now, thank you).

In the runup to Virginia's vote, pragmatists tried to keep Bush away but he showed up in Richmond Monday night and that was the nail in Kilgore's coffin. One aide claims that most people in the White House "knew an appearance by the President would hurt Kilgore rather than help him but (Karl) Rove rammed it through, convincing Bush that he had enough popularity left to make a difference.” It was soon clear to everyone, everywhere that Bush doesn’t have any popularity left. Overnight tracking polls showed Kilgore dropped three percentage points after the President’s appearance and Democrat Tim Kaine won on Tuesday. Republican pollsters are privately telling Republican leaders that unless they stop the slide they could easily lose control of the House and Senate next year. And while Republican pollsters are astonished by the virtual free fall in Bush's and the GOP's support, Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin points out the usual dirty tricks always used by Republicans all failed.

And, of course, the question on everyone's lips in DC is whether Bush has any clout left with Congress at all. DeLay's number two (and now acting Majority Leader while DeLay struggles to stay out of prison), the odious Roy Blunt was forced to postpone a vote on a budget reconciliation bill that would have cut $50 billion primarily from food stamps, Medicaid, and student loans, all on the kill list for the dominant extreme right-wing of the party. And their plans to allow oil companies to drill in Alaska's natural preserves was also scrapped. Both fell for the same reason: panicked Republicans from moderate districts (districts far more moderate than they are themselves) refused to go along with the extremist BushCo legislative agenda. And it wasn't only in the House that WingNutia is falling apart. Olympia Snowe, who only 2 weeks ago joined with the worst drooling neo-Nazis and fascists in the Republican Party to defeat a modest minimum wage increase, this week scuttled Bush's #1 priority-- extending the existing tax cuts for the wealthy.

No amount of scaring Americans with tall tales about avion flu is gonna save Bush's ass this time.


I thought I should update this in light of the release of today's Gallup Poll, which shows Bush's approval ratings going lower and lower and lower. I don't just want to say it couldn't happen to a better person. But I do want to point out how this will increase Bush's utter radioactivity to Republican candidates running in next year's elections. In fact, among all the disapproving of this and all the disapproving of that, is an interesting new subject. LESS than 10% of respondents say they want to vote for a Republican who agrees with Bush on most major issues. Could this be any clearer? Even a huge majority of Republicans say they want candidates who disagree with Bush and about 20% of admitted Republicans disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

In case you're too lazy to click on the link and you're wondering how the Bushster is doing overall, the headline question was "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?" 37% now approve (down from 41% last time) and 60% disapprove (up from 56%). Even worse is that 53% of Americans trust Bush less than previous presidents and 60% say that going to war against Iraq was "not worth it." This doesn't sound like something Bush is going to recover from... ever.


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