Will The GOP Implode As The Wingers Desert Them?
What happens when the “moral values” party implodes weeks before a midterm election? Well, its incumbents start to lose their minds under the pressure of a strong Democratic challenge. As there are more and more indications that the GOP is a criminal enterprise, they are giving up any efforts to capture Democratic seats and instead are focusing their resources on playing defense to stave off losing one or both houses next month. But it is also clear that some of the endangered GOP incumbents are cracking under the pressure of facing strong Democratic opponents for the first time in years.
Case in point is Connecticut GOP representative Chris Shays, who heretofore had been well-regarded by many in Washington, but who under the pressure of a strong challenge this cycle by Democrat Diane Farrell is showing signs that he is losing his marbles. Aside from the ugly shot Shays fired against Ted Kennedy in trying to defend his unwavering support for Denny Hastert, Shays has now said inexplicably that the detainee abuse we’ve seen at Abu Ghraib wasn’t torture, but rather a National Guard sex ring. Good job Chris. Smear the Guard and say something stupid that flies in the face of the evidence.
Nationally the GOP now concedes that they may lose 12 House seats, and as many as 25 to 30, something that Democrats also believe. The GOP is spending valuable resources to defend its own seats in places like red-state Indiana. And this was before the testimony by Kirk Fordham yesterday that undercut Denny Hastert’s claim that he didn’t know about Mark Foley’s transgressions until recently. Bush has tied himself to Hastert, a guy whose credibility will be in tatters in the coming weeks.
The big problem for the GOP as evidenced by their concern in red states like Indiana is that the Foley cover-up has made the winger base understand finally that they have been used as saps by Rove and the K Street cabal all along as the means to maintain the GOP in power without actually committing to the evangelical agenda. Rove, DeLay, Hastert, Bob Ney, and even Bush have used the evangelicals to gain and hold power, and the assertions contained in the David Kuo book will rock the GOP next week and depress the base further. This will come on the heels of news that there was another class of weasels like Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist who engaged in money laundering through tax-exempt GOP front groups to maintain power and personally enrich themselves as well, rather than commit themselves to the evangelicals’ agenda. The evangelicals will see clearly between now and November that they have been used by the modern GOP, including Bush himself, and that may make things even worse for the GOP than it is now. Democrats need to make an issue of how the evangelical community has been used by the GOP.