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Political Limbo: How Low Can the Republicans Go?

by Pamela Leavey

Just when they thought it was safe to run on the same old tired themes and memes that many Americans are wise to, the hubris of the GOP has come back to bite them in ass. Big time. Newsweek reports that the ” drip-drip-drip of scandal surrounding the former Congressman from Florida,” Mark Foley, which became a deluge this past week, “now threatens to sink Republican hopes of keeping control of Congress.”

Ah, but was the “good news for the GOP.”

More worrisome still, the Foley fiasco is jeopardizing the party’s monopoly on faith and power. For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent.

The Republicans can’t seem to quell the tide on their downward slide, as the news on FoleyGate continues to spiral out of control. Despite the attempts to draw the Democrats into the fray, the public isn’t buying it. Adding insult to injury, Senator John Warnerdeclared that the United States had 90 days to quell the violence in Iraq, or risk losing the war” and yesterday, “an aide to Karl Rove resigned over the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling and corruption scandal.”

Capping off the implosion of the GOP is the latest low in Dubya approval. Move the limbo poll down a notch or two, Bush’s “approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low for the Newsweek poll: 33 percent, down from an already anemic 36 percent in August.” A whopping 67 percent of those polled say that they are not “satisfied with the direction of the country.”

Further results of the Newsweek poll are equally enlightening. The Foley scandal widen the already cracked credibility gap between the “President, his party and the nation.” Here’s some key points:

  • 52 percent of Americans believe Hastert was aware of Foley’s actions and tried to cover them up, it’s part of a larger loss of faith in Republican leadership, thanks mostly to the war in Iraq.
  • a majority of Americans now believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein: 58 percent vs. 36 percent who believe it didn’t.
  • pessimism over Iraq is at record highs on every score: nearly two in three Americans, 64 percent, believe the United States is losing ground there
  • 66 percent say the war has not made America safer from terrorism (just 29 percent believe it has)
  • 53 percent believe it was a mistake to go to war at all
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s approval rating has fallen to just 30 percent, and more Americans believe he should resign than remain, 48 percent vs. 37 percent
  • a solid majority, 58 percent, believe Rice did not pay as much attention as she should have been expected to pay to the domestic terror threat posed by al Qaeda before 9/11. (Only 22 percent believe she did.)
  • The poll also shows that “Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7.”

  • on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent)
  • moral values (42 percent to 36 percent)
  • the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34)
  • the economy (53 to 31)
  • health care (57 to 24)
  • federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29)
  • gas and oil prices (56 to 23)
  • immigration (43 to 34)
  • In the blogosphere, Stuart Rothenberg is reporting on Real Clear Politics that “the national atmospherics don’t merely favor Democrats; they set the stage for a blowout of cosmic proportions next month.” Ouch!

    There should be no resting on our laurels at this point. Democrats need to keep hammering, harder than ever.

    5 Responses to “Political Limbo: How Low Can the Republicans Go?”

    1. GOTV

      We need a rout!!!

    2. How low can the Republicans go? It’s amazing that with the apparent merger of their Party with the Religious Right, that we end up with this. Then again, maybe it was bound happen. Now, after all of the other Warts on the face of the Ruling Republican Party, more of the glaring truths about the Republican Party’s marriage of Oldlinepolies with the Religopolies have been dragged out of the closet of their House of Arrogant Pomposity. Foleygate unveiled to all corners of planet Earth. Should we call this Foleygate or Foley needs an older Mate.

      The real story of magnitude here certainly isn’t about sex, and may not even be about the serious failures of trust. The deeper story or stories here, may need more time to define, but we all can start down that path.

      Religious leaders, pumped their followers up with righteous zeal, then led their flocks across the Church-State Barrier, like Caesar leading his Army across the Rubicon River.

      Clever Republican politicians, anxious to regain control of local and national power, courted these Christian. A marriage occurred, new candidates born and rapidly won offices.

      A thousand times a thousand chips were taken from the Wall separating Church and State. Small steps to take over some public schools, to make members vote for Christian Republican Party Candidates, to attack science and revise the history concerning our Founding Fathers intentions. Small steps to take over our government. Small steps to place blame for the world’s problems on the Liberals, Seculars, and those pitiful people of other Faiths, all of whom, they believe, are destined for Hell.

      Now innate problems with this marriage flood out into the public arena. What’re you going do. Most old time Republicans will probably batter down the hatches and ride it out. But will those with Religious Zeal stick with their Party, either voting now, or staying home and work to take firmer control of the Republican Party and get better Christians to run next time, or will we witness an earthshaking spectacle.

      After demonizing the Democrats, how many of these Super Christians can swallow their pride and support the Democrat Party. Perhaps a new Christian Party will form and rapidly become the third largest political party. Let’s wait for Pat Robertson to tell us what path God says to take. Then we can take a different path.

    3. WOOHOO!! My Louisiana war cry for Nov. 7th is Storm the Bastille!!

    4. Mannington Phil

      Personally I think it was bound to happen for a multitude of reasons. Now that it has it’s just deserts and watching them implode is delicious.

      This is a classic line – “Should we call this Foleygate or Foley needs an older Mate.”

      I LMAO!

    5. M Phil,

      I have been pretty much in the ‘how long until people cannot escape seeing how low these people will go?’ group.

      The implosion as Pamela says, is sometimes great entertainment – and all the world is watching to see if enough US citizens get the lesson.

      There are some of the old GOP in the wings – the ones who were kicked out or left in disgust. It is possible they will reform the party. What the evengelicals do is not as important to me as what the wealthy running the country do.

      I’d love to see K street closed down. But that could be a civil war…