Thursday, May 15, 2008



Blue America didn't raise money for conservative Democrats Bill Foster, Don Cazayoux or Travis Childers but some smart DWT readers questioned our cheers-- even restrained cheers-- for their victories. Undoubtedly they will be tugging the Democratic House caucus in a dangerous rightward direction. But what the Republican defeats have meant is probably worth it, at least right now. Congressional Republicans desperately want to distance themselves from Bush and embrace McCain. McCain wants to distance himself from Bush-- and from the congressional Republicans! Today's NY Times paints a compelling picture of a political party on the verge of implosion with phrases like "waves of apprehension" and talk of "senior Republicans urging congressional candidates to distance themselves from President Bush to head off what could be heavy losses in the fall." In the most insanely Pollyanna pipedream for Republicans in November former NRCC head Tom Davis (R-VA) warned that all that Bush rubber stamping had damaged the congressional Republicans so severely that "unless Republican candidates changed course, they could lose 20 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate." By fall they'll be asking their church auxiliaries to pray they only lose 20 House seats and 6 Senate seats. Even Davis admits “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than it was in 2006.” 31 new Democrats were elected in the House in 2006 and not a single blue district turned red... not one... not anywhere.
The victory by Travis Childers, a conservative Democrat elected in a once-steadfast Republican district on Tuesday, was the third defeat of a Republican in a special Congressional race this year. In addition to foreshadowing more losses for the party in November, the outcome appeared to call into question the belief that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois could be a heavy liability for his party’s down-ticket candidates in conservative regions.

Republicans had sought to link Mr. Childers to Mr. Obama in an advertising campaign there. Republican leaders said they were looking to Senator John McCain of Arizona, the likely Republican nominee, as a model whose independent reputation appears to allow him to rise above party in a year when the Republican label seems tarnished.

But Mr. McCain’s advisers said the Mississippi race underlined his intention to distance himself as much as possible from Congressional Republicans. Mr. McCain has already been openly critical of some of President Bush’s strategies.

Republicans are already declaring it's every man for himself. The 66 64 lobbyists that make up the McCain brain-trust claim the problems the GOP congressional candidates are having has nothing whatsoever to do what them-- NOTHING. DO YOU HEAR ME? N-O-T-H-I-N-G! "But they said it steeled their resolve to run a campaign that distinguished Mr. McCain from both Mr. Bush and a Congress where he has served, in the House and the Senate, since January 1983. They said Mr. McCain would seek-- sometimes explicitly, sometimes not-- to distance himself by speaking critically of what he has described as excessive spending in Washington, as well on issues like the environment." In other words, McCain will throw the rest of his hated party under the bus at every opportunity. He feels very burned after campaigning for Oberweis in Illinois and after having done a recorded message for every single Republican household in MS-01, endorsing their dead dog candidate there. McCain was made to look weak and with toxic coattails.
The special election results left Democrats and Republicans in rare agreement about one thing: President Bush looms as a drag on Republicans.

Yesterday's GOP House caucus meeting, according to Christian Bourge's report for CongressDaily was a mad house with Republicans screaming at each other and everyone pointing fingers at everyone else. "Sources said the meeting erupted into yelling at several points, with Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., the most vocal about the problems the GOP faces heading into the fall. 'There is chaos among the ranks,' said one GOP insider close to the House leadership. 'Some people are pissed and they want [National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole] out.'" Most of the rank-and-file blamed the whole leadership, not just the hapless Cole.

Today the desire to distance themselves from Bush and their own reactionary leadership helped stampede dozens of House Republicans to vote with the Democrats in passing a farm bill that Bush has vowed to veto. In fact, so many Republicans wanted to make the point to their constituents that they do not stand with Bush, the it passed with a veto-proof majority, 318-106. Among the usually dependable Republican rubber stamps loudly eschewing Bush were vulnerable members like Phil English (R-PA), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Randy Kuhl (R-NY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Sam Graves (R-MO), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), the two pathetic Diaz-Balart brothers (R-FL), Don Young (R-AK), Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), John Kline (R-MN), Jon Porter (R-NV), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), etc.

So who stuck with Bush? What kind of unabashed, tone deaf rubber stamp addicts? Glad you asked; many of the usual suspects, the worst of the worst-- Patrick McHenry (R-NC), John Boehner (R-OH), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Melissa Bean (Blue Dog-IL), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Heather Wilson (R-NM), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Mike Pence (R-IN), Ric Keller (R-FL), David Dreier (R-CA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Robin Hayes (R-NC), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Daniel Lungren (R-CA), Virgil Goode (R-VA), etc. Too scared and paralyzed to vote at all: Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), and Mary Bono (R-CA).

And it isn't only members of Congress who are despairing. "Scott Reed, a former chief of staff to the Republican National Committee, said the defeat would dampen fund-raising. 'Republican leadership needs to really take a good look in the mirror,' Mr. Reed said. 'They’re taking the party off the cliff.'” Yes they are-- and none to soon!

On a related note, I met New Mexico congressional candidate Martin Heinrich in person tonight. He's in a fairly unique-- and enviable-- position. When every quasi-rational Republican in America is running as fast and as far from Bush as they can-- especially after Cheney's and Rove's magic touch moments in Mississippi this week drove up the Democrat's winning margins-- Martin's clueless opponent, Darren White, is embracing Bush and running around Albuquerque chanting "4 more years." On May 27 Bush will be flying in to Albuquerque to host a fundraiser for his former Bernalillo campaign chief. We decided to invite Martin back to Firedoglake this weekend for another live blog session.


I wonder what the GOP paid the consulting team to come up with that one! Even the most brain dead Republican hacks and cheerleaders realize that superficial slogans are going to do no more to save their asses than attacks on Jeremiah Wright.

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At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And could it be possible to picture His Fraudulency's remarks before the Israeli Knesset seeking to excuse a Total and Continuing State of ur-RAHOWA as nothing short of desperation tactic?


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