Wednesday, November 08, 2006



This morning I talked about the debt Americans owe Ned Lamont for bringing Bush's occupation of Iraq to the fore and helping Democrats win House seats, governors' chairs, Senate seats, legislatures, secretaries of state, etc. I forgot to talk about John Laesch, Coleen Rowley, Victoria Wulsin, Robert Rodriguez, Angie Paccione, Tony Trupiano, and the other hard-fighting progressives who took the battle to the rightists and didn't quite make it. I feel very strongly that we will be seeing these men and women again and that they will continue to fight for the values and principles were all share and hold dear.

I admire the 6 people mentioned above as much as I admire the progressives who won seats. And I am eager to help each one of them prepare for 2008 (if they chose to try again, which I hope they will). Certainly John Laesch, our 32 year old carpenter/veteran, has every reason in the world to feel a great deal of optimism about the future, having garnered 40% of vote-- considerably more than any of Hastert's previous challengers-- against the most powerful Republican in the legislative branch. Many congressmen were elected with far fewer votes than John was given. But there is something else we should all feel a great deal of gratitude for. Today Time has a 4 word headline that has a great deal to do with the impressive campaign John and his band of volunteers waged against Hastert: Hastert Will Step Down.

Hastert will not seek reelection to the Republican leadership in January and he will certainly not run for congress again in 2008. Let's make sure we help John Laesch build for a future run so that Emanuel or someone like him doesn't step in with some anti-grassroots, corporate shill to try to benefit from all the headway John has made thus far. Hastert never knew an electoral fight until he was confronted with John Laesch. He's had enough.

While Republicans fight amongst themselves for the remnants of minority status power and while they and their media allies and corporate masters bog down in an orgy of mutual recriminations-- just this morning GOP propagandist Laura Ingraham was screaming like a raving maniac for the heads of Boehner and Hastert and Mehlman and this one and that one and the other one-- more pragmatic, less ideological Republicans like Chuck Hagel and Arlen Specter are calling for a re-evaluation. While radicals and fanatics like Mike Pence are calling for an even more extremist agenda and while the grubby power-mongers like McCain jockey for position, Specter has "called for a more progressive agenda that changes the strategy in Iraq and puts more emphasis on education and health care at home... 'We have just witnessed a seismic earthquake. There will have to be a fundamental re-evaluation of what is going on in Iraq.'"

Like so many others, Specter pointed to extremism and far right ideology as the reasons loons like Santorum, Talent, Macacawitz and Burns were defeated. Fred Barnes' Post Mortem will not be easy reading for the kinds of nutcases that read the Weekly Standard. "The House seats the party lost in New York and Connecticut and Pennsylvania will be hard to win back. Just as Republicans have locked in their gains in the South over the past two decades, Democrats should be able to solidify their hold on seats in the Northeast, as the nation continues to split sharply along North-South lines. What should worry Republicans most, however, is erosion of its strength in the West and in two states in particular: Colorado and Arizona. Fours years ago, Colorado was solidly Republican. Since then, Democrats have won a Senate seat, two House seats, the governorship, and both houses of the state legislature. At the state level, that's realignment."


At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the coming months could very imformative about the Republican party. As they implode(and they will) we're going to learn a lot about the inner workings of the party and maybe a few dirty little secrets.

Ultimately, the party could splinter into two or three groups. The original core of the party, the fiscal and foreign policy consevatives will be one. The religious right will foolishly believe they can survive on their own. The neo-cons are finished. At least for now. History shows that they always return, though. The libertarians will probably stay with the core group' although I think it's possible to peel some of them away over time.


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