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May 21, 2006

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The reason for courting Hispanics is demographic--because the non-white population is growing faster than the (non-Hispanic) white population, the GOP coalition can't attain true majority status without expanding. Put that together with the fact that they seem to be on the wrong side of history on many issues, like gay marriage, science, stem cells, global warming, you name it, the future of the current GOP seems much less bright than Rove would have people believe.

In addition, Rover and Bush are experiencing the flip side of governing by 50+1, or the majority-of-the-majority. That is, when you lose even a sliver, you lose period.

I tend to agree with the analysis I read somewhere that people projected onto Bush the strength they wanted to see in their leader after 9/11. They voted for him agian in 2004 with some trepidation. Katrina was so devastating because it revealed that Bush was both incompetent and feckless--he nbot only didn;t know what to do, he didn't care about anything but himself and his patrons. That was an eyeopener for those who had supported him.

Having seen the error of their ways, no wonder they are tuning him out. There is an anti-incumbent fever that will redound to the Dems' benefit, to the extent they portray themselves as interested in bringing about change in the name of the comon good.

I could see the Dems winning 35, even 40 House seats and 7 Senate seats, if they play their cards right.

Jeez, one comment, and already that's pretty much everything I wanted to say.

I will add one thing: I think the Dems have a big advantage right now simply in being The Other Guys, standing for "change," attacking the incompetence and corruption of the Republicans, etc. But I don't think that's enough, on its own, to pull off a 1994-type power-shift.

The Dems simply have got to stand FOR something, and not just a watered-down version of what Bush and the Republicans want. For example, they could stand for a prompt, just, and stable resolution of our military involvement in Iraq, based on a clear, achievable set of conditions under which we would begin to rapidly reduce our commitment of men and money. They could stand for a reasonable, market-compatible solution to the health insurance crisis that has left over 40 million Americans without any insurance and is impoverishing many of those who still have it. They could call for a massive investment in technology to reduce our consumption of foreign oil by 50% in less than 10 years, paid for by reducing our military expenditures (over a billion dollars a week) in Iraq. And they could commit to repairing our broken public-education system and restoring American education to its formerly pre-eminent position in the world.

Yeah, they would be roundly attacked, in the slimiest and most underhanded way, by the Rovian spin machine and its barking-head mouthpieces. And so what? If they fought back, giving as good as they got, they'd finally be perceived as standing for something, instead of diving back under the bed every time a Republican growls at them.

THAT, imho, is what would get us 35-40 seats.

bleh, that's a matter of timing. but until they come out with something, they'll be hammered - and deservedly, and in a different way then the way they'll be hammered after.

Well, the Right sure isn't happy. This screed by a very unhappy Richard Viguerie could, with a few changes, have been written by a Lamont-ite. Maybe, if we have a dual revolt of the footsoldiers, we will have three parties--the conservatives, the progressives and the corporatists. That would be interesting.

what a screed from viguerie:

In 2004, Republican leaders pleaded with conservatives -- particularly religious conservatives -- to register people to vote and help them turn out on Election Day. Those efforts strengthened Republicans in Congress and probably saved the Bush presidency. We were told: Just wait till the second term. Then, the president, freed of concern over reelection and backed by a Republican Congress, would take off the gloves and fight for the conservative agenda. Just wait.

We're still waiting.

Sixty-five months into Bush's presidency, conservatives feel betrayed. After the "Bridge to Nowhere" transportation bill, the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination and the Dubai Ports World deal, the immigration crisis was the tipping point for us. Indeed, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found last week that Republican disapproval of Bush's presidency had increased from 16 percent to 30 percent in one month. It is largely the defection of conservatives that is driving the president's poll numbers to new lows.

Emboldened and interconnected as never before by alternative media, such as talk radio and Internet blogs, many conservatives have concluded that the benefits of unwavering support for the GOP simply do not, and will not, outweigh the costs.

The main cause of conservatives' anger with Bush is this: He talked like a conservative to win our votes but never governed like a conservative.

For all of conservatives' patience, we've been rewarded with the botched Hurricane Katrina response, headed by an unqualified director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which proved that the government isn't ready for the next disaster. We've been rewarded with an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. We've been rewarded with a war in Iraq that drags on because of the failure to provide adequate resources at the beginning, and with exactly the sort of "nation-building" that Candidate Bush said he opposed.

No one likes the war. Take note. Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan.

Maybe, if we have a dual revolt of the footsoldiers, we will have three parties--the conservatives, the progressives and the corporatists.

Would be an interesting test – to see if the People or the Money has more rights under our system of government. One of the fascinating things about Bush's dive in approval is that it breaks the heretofore unbreakable link between what people think and how much money has been spent to get them to think that way. Bush is tanking despite the huge resources put solidly behind him by corporate media, which until recently has been largely unwilling to report anything negative about the guy. I've been thinking that the slide towards fascism in this country has been very much our own fault as citizens, the majority of whom have been content to vote according to what they learn from 30-second spots on the teevee (or to not vote at all). Increasingly it looks like the American citizenry may be willing and able to entertain other sources of information. What will Big Money do when it is unable to dominate those other sources?

"First, change the subject -- shift the public's attention away from problems that are dragging the poll numbers down."
What if the problems are everywhere, and everything?

that's why it's Mission Impossible.

Bush's confused immigration message is leading to even more suffering:

"Mr. Calderón said his native town of Churintzio had been nearly emptied by migration to the United States. He himself had gone back and forth across the border for much of the last two decades. But he said he had spent the last five years in Mexico, trying to start his own restaurant.

His son, on the other hand, had made enough money working in restaurants between San Antonio and Corpus Christi to return to Michoacán and build a home. Now the two of them were off to the United States again to seek more work, this time in California.

Mr. Calderón said he had heard that President Bush "is going to give work permits, and so I have come to get one."

He would not, however, get one this day. Border Patrol helicopters buzzed overhead. A few minutes later came the trucks. And without much of an exchange, Mr. Calderón and his son were taken away."

Desperation on Unforgiving Arizona-Mexico Border

This immigration issue was blessed by Karl Rove in part to divert attention from the lack of effort on port security. Immigration, from the Administration, was addressed in terms of national security. It became the national security issue for them.

Democrats need to reshape this discussion by keeping port security in the discussion.

I'm finding the administration's approach to the latest political news out of Iraq really interesting. Since the occupation began, they've used every tiny event to mount a huge PR push. We caught Sadam! Major pr offensive. We've handed over sovereignty! Another one. On and on. This time - seemingly the biggest news yet - and what are they doing? Not much. You really have to wonder what's up with that. I'm betting that their focus groups are telling them that
a. All their blather about "milestones" in the past have completely erased their credibility.
b. Whatever they have to say about Iraq is regarded as bad by the huge majority of the populace.

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