The Fear Factor is No Longer Working for Republicans
Rove's strategy for winning the election of 2006 is the same as 2002 and 2004: scare the crap out of people by pounding the terror drums and smearing the Democrats as weak on national security. They think that the American public is like Pavlov's dog and will instinctively react as they've done before. It's a key piece to the Republican support for Joe Lieberman as reflected by Newt Gingrich's endorsement of Lieberman because he backs Bush's foreign policy.
"The right thing for people who believe the world is deeply dangerous is to re-elect Lieberman," Mr. Gingrich said. That is especially true, he said, because "the Republican Party’s own candidate does not have any possibility of winning."
Yet, 2006 isn't 2004 or 2002. Americans have had a lot of experience with the Bush's war on terror. Even if they've bought into the idea that Iraq is a central front in this war, WaPo is reporting that this belief is also backfiring on Bush.
Republicans have done such a good job framing the invasion of Iraq as part of a "war on terror" that bad news from Baghdad is casting doubts on the anti-terrorism effort, Kohut said.
Last week's Pew poll had some very bad news for Republicans. The voters who voted for Bush during 2004 because they were afraid of the terrorists and believed the lie that Kerry was too weak on national security, are turning away from the GOP in droves. In fact, one thing that the Pew poll showed was people are starting to be more worried about how much Republicans like war:
And while roughly a third of Americans (35%) say they are very concerned that, if Democrats gain control of Congress, they will weaken terrorist defenses, even more (46%) express great concern that Republicans will involve the U.S. in too many overseas military missions if the GOP keeps its congressional majorities.
The warlike answer to everything along with the piss-poor results of their wars are starting to bring the Republican machine down. And it couldn't be a moment too soon. Unfortunately, relying on Cheney's philosophy that military force is the only lever needed to assure security has caused almost irreversible damage to the real security of our nation and we will long pay for their insanity.