Sunday, March 26, 2006



After 5+ years of acting the role of rubber-stamp and going about the non-legislative business of self-enrichment and nest feathering, the Republican congress is starting to wake up to the reality of bad times ahead-- maybe really, really bad times. Maybe some of them will actually be forced to seek honest employment.

This week's TIME Magazine has a story about how the Republican's would lose their majority in the House of Representatives if the election were held today. Karen Tumulty and Mike Allen make is clear that to many (many, many) Republican congressmen, Bush and Cheney have become radioactive and association with them is lethal. "As the campaign season kicks into gear, Republican incumbents are having a hard time figuring out how close they want to be to the White House. Voters have plenty to take out on Republican candidates this year— ethics scandals, the GOP's failure to curb spending, the government's inept response to Hurricane Katrina, a confusing new prescription-drug program for seniors and, more than anything else, an unpopular President who is fighting an unpopular war. Iraq could make a vulnerability of the Republicans' greatest asset, the security issue."

Even "aggressive gerrymandering they believed had turned the vast majority of districts into fortresses for incumbents" looks like it might not protect congressmen who have been rubber-stamping the Bush Regime's destructive, even catastrophic programs. TIME talks about the Republicans losing the 15 seats they need to hold control over the House. Without Diebold-style vote rigging, some question whether the Republicans might not lose as many as 80 seats!

"If the elections were held today, top strategists of both parties say privately, the Republicans would probably lose the 15 seats they need to keep control of the House of Representatives and could come within a seat or two of losing the Senate as well. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who masterminded the 1994 elections that brought Republicans to power on promises of revolutionizing the way Washington is run, told Time that his party has so bungled the job of governing that the best campaign slogan for Democrats today could be boiled down to just two words: 'Had enough?'"

With Bush's approval ratings in freefall-- lately bottoming out at approximately one-third (a number coinciding with the approximate number of Americans who are awaiting the arrival of the End Times)-- TIME is reporting that only 41% of Americans would choose a generic Republican against a generic Democrat running for Congress today. But the build up of anti-Republican sentiment has barely begun and the avalanche of hatred towards Bush, the rubber-stamp congress and their self-serving and corrupt policies is just gathering force. "The signs suggest an anti-Republican wave is building, says nonpartisan electoral handicapper Stuart Rothenberg, whose Rothenberg Political Report is closely followed in Washington. 'The only question is how high, how big, how much force it will have. I think it will be considerable.'"

TIME points to Pennsylvania, where they pronounce Santorum a dead man walking and claim that 5 of the 9 Republican congressmen are in danger of losing their seats. ( Lois Murphy is a good example of a reform-minded PA Democrat who is now favored to beat a Bush/DeLay incumbent, Jim Gerlach, widely perceived as a spineless rubber-stamp Republican.) But here in California severely gerrymandered seats under the anti-democratic incumbent protection scheme (which protects incumbents of both corrupt political parties from the potential wrath of informed voters) may not be enough to save the skins of bribe-taking crooks like Jerry Lewis, Duncan Hunter, John Doolittle, and Richard Pombo and right-wing policy whore (not that the 4 aforementioned crooks aren't also right-wing policy whores) David Dreier.

A couple weeks ago I did a story here about the vulnerability of Republicans based only on having been elected in close calls in 2004. There are 27 GOP-held seats in that category, seats that elected Republicans with very tight margins, from Mike Sodrel (IN), Randy Kuhl (NY), Marilyn Musgrave (CO), Dave Reichert (WA) and the aforementioned Jim "Flip-Floppin'" Gerlach (PA)-- all of whom won with less than a 2% margin-- to GOP leaders who also just squeaked by, like Tom DeLay (TX), Dave Dreier (CA), Chris Shays (CT), Katherine Harris (FL)-- whose friends are currently more concerned that she wind up in a mental health facility than a prison rather than pursue a whacky religionist-tinged race for the U.S. Senate.

But the best news for Democrats is that they have some extremely attractive candidates who have not been destroyed by Rahm Emanuel and his venal DCCC. Some are running in for open seats and some are running against endangered Republican incumbents, true blue Democrats like Francine Busby (CA), for whom there's a special election in 16 days, Jerry McNerney (CA), Charlie Brown (CA), Eric Massa (NY), Gretchen Clearwater (IN), Rick Penberthy (FL), Jan Schneider (FL), Coleen Rowley (MN), to name just a small handful. In fact, if you're feelin' flush today, even $10 and $20 contributions go a mighty long way against Republican big money PAC interests. The DWT ACT BLUE Page is open for business. Take a look.


And there are more ways to help than just by donating money. Our pals at Firelakedog are planning some direct action to help de-rubberize the Republican rubberstamp Congress. I suggest that you click over there and give them a hand.


At 7:48 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

I've been pondering the possibility that the only holdup to sweeping all those poor clinging Republicrooks out of office is that the poor dears don't know what else to do, including the ones who are violating solemn term-limits pledges they made way back when--way back when it was politically expedient to make them, that is. And I've had a thought.

I know I'd be happy to kick in a few bucks toward setting up some sort of Office of Career Counseling for Future Former Republican Officeholders. Talk about a worthy cause! (Don't we want some of them at least to consider a future as something other than lobbyists?)

I realize that many of those FFROs still have to go through their trials and then serve their time before they can move on to that next career opportunity. But it's never too soon to begin planning, is it?



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