Sunday, May 11, 2008



We've tried to cover the jaw-dropping spin coming from the various committees that make up the Republican Party's Inside the Beltway Establishment as they make excuse after excuse for their abysmal losing streak in the Special elections of late. We even did a little video clip, a special one. Today's Washington Post finds we're not the only ones who think the GOP should stop spinning and start a process of serious self-examination.

Most party insiders pray that they'll manage to scrape by in the GOP stronghold in northern Mississippi and can banish the unpleasant idea of any kind introspective analysis for a few more months. But even as conservative and Stepford-like a hack as Texas' Jeb Hensarling realizes a time for reckoning is upon them: "It's a time of sober reflection and, to some extent, resolve. I hope these special elections are a wake-up call."

After the party was devastated and demoralized by shocking defeats in overwhelmingly Republican districts in Illinois and Louisiana NRCC chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) blamed the low calibre of Republican candidates, although not as a way of looking in the mirror and examining how extreme the party has become or how out of sync their positions are from the aspirations and judgments of everyday Americans. He mentioned that the party is out of money and that if they had another big messy scandal in the headlines they'd be sunk.

As if on cue, within days, the tale of Staten Island's hypocritical congressman Vito Fossella starts unfolding like a soap opera on TV. "Just when Republicans thought they had seen everything, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) admitted Thursday that he has a 3-year-old daughter from a long-running extramarital affair with a retired Air Force officer. Fossella, who is married and has three young children at home in Staten Island, is also facing drunken-driving charges in Virginia. GOP strategists are debating whether he should resign or announce that he will not seek reelection in November. Fossella's resignation [expected this week] would mean another special election, this one in the nation's most expensive media market."

If they lose Tuesday in Mississippi it will clearly be because they haven't learned anything at all from watching which way the wind is blowing. The NRCC and right-wing front groups are still pouring millions of dollars into the campaign to poison the atmosphere with irrelevant filth about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, as though that is going to make up for Republican policies that have wrecked the economy and left us stranded in a no-win war in Iraq.
Independent analysts agree that a loss Tuesday would leave Republicans with no excuses. They blamed poor candidates in races in Louisiana and Illinois, where the GOP lost a special election for the seat long held by former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert.

"The Republicans would be ignoring reality if they try to explain away this race," said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.
Since 1994, Republican Roger Wicker has been reelected to his House seat with between 63 and 79 percent of the vote.

But with Wicker appointed to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott, who retired, Republicans are having difficulty unifying behind Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, a Memphis suburb in the northwest corner of the 1st District. Davis beat a Republican from the eastern portion of the district in the March primary. That win puts Davis on the ballot in November, whether he wins or loses this week's special election.

Democrat Travis Childers, a court officer in Prentiss County, came within a few hundred votes of outright victory in the first round of special-election balloting April 22, prompting national Republicans to send out an SOS for Tuesday's runoff. Davis, the NRCC and conservative allies have flooded the airwaves with a multimillion-dollar campaign that tries to negatively tie Childers to Pelosi and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

This is the second special election this month in which House Republicans have tried to turn the race into a referendum on a Democratic candidate's ties to Obama. The strategy was unsuccessful in Louisiana, but Republicans view the Mississippi district as more receptive because it is slightly more conservative and has fewer African American voters.

But while Tom Cole doubles down on the negative campaigning and puts the whole bankroll of Rev. Wright, less extremist minds within the party realize it's a strategy with little hope for success.
Tom Davis, who chaired the NRCC for four years, said he doubts the effectiveness of the anti-Obama strategy because of the contrast between the consistently unpopular Bush and the likely Democratic nominee.

"When Bush tries to articulate a vision," Davis said, pausing to choose his words carefully, "he will butcher the Gettysburg Address. Obama, he will make an A&P grocery list sing."
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), in a private meeting with Republicans on Tuesday, admitted the limitations of the anti-Obama strategy and tried to sell his troops on an Obama-like message of "change" as their only hope for success.

"We can't win SOLELY by tying our opponents to Barack Obama and his liberal views. We also have to prove Republicans are agents of change," Boehner told his colleagues, according to talking points prepared by his staff and provided to the Post.

With the party's presidential nominee having rubber stamped every significant agenda item on the Bush-Cheney agenda, spinning the GOP into agents of change isn't likely to get much traction, not even in northern Mississippi. And the Republican congressional leadership will have a difficult time transforming the GOP image as the party of obstruction and rubber stamp docility for a hated and failed president into one that stands for any kind of acceptable change-- unless they can convince people that more war, more deregulation, more greed and avarice, more corruption and more divisiveness is the kind of change they're looking for. Sounds like a tough row to hoe. GOP professional propagandists share, at least to some extent, the myopia of the party's leaders. "The political environment isn't as bad as it was in 2006 when Republicans lost both houses of Congress and a lot more," writes the cloistered and clueless Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard. Still he has to admit that "more than 80 percent of Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction. Democrats have steadily maintained the 10 percentage point lead in voter preference they gained two years ago. And President Bush's job performance rating is stuck in the low 30s, a level of unpopularity that weakens the Republican case for holding the White House in 2008." Maybe what they need to do is listen to a little Velvet Underground, something I suspect not many of them were doing back in the 60's and 70's.


Think Progress found a major discrepancy between two McCain surrogates, Mitt Romney and Roy Blunt. Both were in CNN's Late Edition this morning-- but with very different messages about what NcCain would be if-- God forbid-- he ever got to the White House. Romney claims McCain will be a big change from the failed and hated policies of the Bush Regime. Blunt, perhaps more honest than Willard would ever be, admits that McCain is just the same snake oil in another vial:
BLITZER: So it would be in effect a third Bush term when it came to pro-growth tax policies?

BLUNT: It would be. I think it would be. And I think that’s a good thing.

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At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When Bush tries to articulate a vision," Davis said, pausing to choose his words carefully, "he will butcher the Gettysburg Address. Obama, he will make an A&P grocery list sing".

Well, at least Tom Davis does not appear to be clueless. He's leaving, though.

"Just speeches", as some have called them, are perhaps the most important thing a president, or any leader, does. It isn't the speech, it is the power to communicate, motivate and inspire.

Look at Reagan, 1980, or Bill Clinton, 1992, for all you need to know about "just speeches".

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tom Cole (R-OK) blamed the low calibre of Republican candidates." The GOP is morally bankrupt. What these lockstep clowns may be experiencing is that their flock is starting to discover that it ain't the GOP of their parents. When Ann Coulter tried to reserect the Fascist movement of Joe McCarthy by writing a book about how the sot was misunderstood, some moderate members of the club took notice, and started paying attention. Some of them came through in the congressional elections of 2006. Unfortunately those members weren't in Congress.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come off it....all the party lines are full of you know what...if you look at all records on where they have holdings in stock and shares...then you will have your is against the law to have special interest that reflect how you vote....for a grassroot campaign and a real American hero for congress to fight for the home of the brave and free go to website and do something...Have you had enough yet?????

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UnfortunatelyHere's one thing they can't change.

Read "An Open Letter To President Bush" at

Pass on the site and leave a comment in support of ending the war.


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