Monday, September 08, 2008

Republican Incumbents Flee From Bush And His Policies


Reichert & Bush-- they should leave together

The Republican Party's right wing religionists are demanding their right to endorse Republicans from their pulpits. Of course, they already have that right. If they do, however, they lose their tax exempt status and have to pay taxes like everyone else.
Declaring that clergy have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.

The effort by the Arizona-based legal consortium is designed to trigger an IRS investigation that ADF lawyers would then challenge in federal court. The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

The neo-fascist Alliance Defense Fund was founded by James Dobson and other Republican shills who take in billions of dollars a year fleeces their flocks and pay no taxes at all. Dobson is determined to see Sarah Palin as president and will do whatever he can to make that happen. He is also determined to hold expected Republican losses in the House and Senate to a minimum and to accomplish that, his prayers will have to work a lot better than they did when he begged for rain on the night Barack Obama spoke at Mile Hill Stadium in Denver.

This morning's Congressional Quarterly has two features on the congressional races. Bob Benenson and Greg Giroux posit that, post-Conventions, the Democrats have the advantage.
While all this suggests a closely contested White House race may well be in the offing, it appears very unlikely that the messages each party tried to hammer home have had any effect on the political battlegrounds where this year’s congressional elections will take place.

And a status quo ante would mean a big advantage to the Democratic Party in its down-ticket races because it went into the conventions favored to expand the majorities it won in the Senate and House with its big gains in the midterm elections two years ago.

Democrats put a great deal of focus on their congressional candidates, will the GOP played down what they see as a lost cause. Making an already bad situation that even worse was "the fact that the convention was mainly oriented to bolstering the images of McCain and Palin as mavericks who have at times battled with their own parties may make their 'coattails' rather short for fellow Republican candidates." So far this year, every candidate McCain has campaigned for-- all in heavily Republican districts-- has lost in high profile upsets. His "image as a GOP contrarian"-- which is primarily self-serving hype-- actually hurts GOP candidates since it's based on issues like immigration, global climate change and campaign finance regulation where he differs-- at least image-wise-- from the rubber stamp positions held the right-wing Republican members of Congress and the even more right wing challengers.
There have been no signs so far that McCain’s hopes of rehabilitating the party’s fortunes have taken hold, after the nosedive in public opinion polls that it and President Bush have suffered because of issues such as the prolonged Iraq war, the stumbling economy and the aftermath of public outrage over the slow governmental response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A USAToday/Gallup poll taken Aug. 30-31 showed that while respondents’ opinions of the Democratic Party were 54 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable, the ratings for the Republican Party were 39 percent favorable to 51 percent unfavorable.

Elsewhere in the same CQPolitics issue John Cranford and Rachel Bloom write about the panic among Republican incumbents turning into a stampede to distance themselves from the most hated men in American politics, Bush and Cheney. They point out that in 2008 "the erosion in support" for Bush and his policies is "dramatic among Republicans."

Interestingly, this Congress has been the most rubber stamp bunch since 1953 when Congressional Quarterly started keeping track! Bush's failed, even catastrophic, policies have had higher support from members of Congress than even Ronald Reagan's! Among Republicans in Congress there have been years during the Bush presidency when the rubber stamp rate was an astounding 94%-- which is why Republican senators like Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Sununu (R-NH), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ted Stevens (R-AK) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and scores of House members-- they single out Robin Hayes (R-NC), Jon Porter (R-NV), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Chris Shayes (R-CT) and Don Young (R-AK)-- are facing difficult battles for re-elction in November.

By 2007 there were some savvier Republicans who started realizing voters were dissatisfied with the reflexive rubber stamp postures they had been taking and some started moving away from Bush's agenda a bit. By 2008, the rubber stampism that saw members voting with Bush more than 90% of the time, sunk down to an average of 63% in the House and 68% in the Senate. Only hard core rubber stamps like McConnell, Inhofe, Cornyn... and McCain-- despite the fake maverick image constantly pushed by his media allies-- stuck with Bush over 90% of the time.

Blue America candidates have been struggling to overcome GOP-friendly local media barons cooperating with Republican incumbents who have had long, solid records of supporting Bush's policies across the board but who are now claiming to be "moderates" or "independents." On the Senate side Tom Allen has to convince a Maine electorate that his opponent is the Susan Collins who has voted with all the Bush policy initiatives Mainers detest, rather than the Susan Collins of the millions and millions of dollars in TV and radio spots trying to convince voters she's been good on issues. The dishonesty has been just as bad on the opposite coast where Oregon's arch rubber stamp Gordon Smith has been insinuating in his ads that he's "with" Obama.

Sam Bennett (PA-15), Darcy Burner (WA-08), Joe Garcia (FL-25), Annette Taddeo (FL-18), Alan Grayson (FL-08), Jim Himes (CT-04), Larry Kissell (NC-08), Eric Massa (NY-29) and Russ Warner (CA-26) each faces a right wing rubber stamp incumbent who has blindly supported Bush for years and is now claiming to be "independent." Each s massively financed by the corporate special interests they have represented over and above their own constituents. If today is a good day for a donation, these are the candidates who will make the best use of getting rid of the kinds of reflexive right wing rubber stamps who will stand in the way of the change Obama represents.

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At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about the other candidates you talk about, but Jim Himes is certainly not running against a "rubber stamp." The idea that Chris Shays, literally the most liberal Republican in the House according to CQ, is a rubber stamp is absurd. Jim Himes would love for that to be true, because then he would have a chance of winning. But - its not. Get your facts right!


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