Monday, August 07, 2006


More Than Just A Cup A Joe?

Could tomorrow's Democratic primary become a headache for Republicans?

While the primary certainly has implications for Democrats, it might raise more problems for the GOP than one might think.

Consider that Saturday's W. Post also
carried a story discussing how much Republicans are running from Bush.

Running from the incumbent president was one of the major signals in '94 that the coming election was going to be a difficult one for Democrats.

And it's not just on domestic issues.

These Republicans have hardly broken with Bush. Talent and Kennedy, after all, have invited him into their states this year to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for their campaigns. But their tactics are representative of the diverse ways, large and small, that Republican candidates are trying to put distance between themselves and the president and his most unpopular policies.

Last week, Maryland GOP Senate candidate Michael S. Steele caused a tempest with his comments knocking Bush for the Iraq war and the administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina.

The contrast could hardly be sharper from the last two election cycles, when most Republican candidates were happy to be identified with Bush, confident that his popularity with conservatives would boost their own prospects. This year more closely resembles 1994, the last time a party's president and congressional leadership were simultaneously held in such low regard. Voters that year evicted Democrats from their 40-year control of the House.
If Lieberman does indeed lose on Tuesday, this race may turn out to be the campaign that opens up the floodgates for criticism -- not of the Iraq War, per se -- but those who have given Bush something of a free pass on the handling of the war.

That includes a whole lot of Republicans. Congress is supposed to be an independent and co-equal branch of government with the presidency/executive.

The GOP-led Congress, so interested in "oversight" when Bill Clinton was in office has completely, as the saying goes, "lost the plot" with the Bush administration.

Don't be surprised if a Lieberman loss emboldens Democrats -- but also scares Republicans across the country too.

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