The 20 percent or so of Americans who still think we're winning in Iraq happen to be the Republican base. And so the GOP in Congress has to pick between surviving their own primaries, maintaining civility with their own faithful, and potentially getting wiped out in the next election. The game of chicken is getting very intense. I guess we'll know how strong the kool-aid is by September.
I have thought that the Republican
With public opinion tilting firmly toward ending U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq, Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.) might have expected praise for his votes that would start to bring the troops home. Instead, at town hall meetings on the Eastern Shore, the former Marine and Vietnam combat veteran has been called a coward and a traitor.Yes the cultist wingnuts are still fully in charge of the Republican party. We are seeing this play out here in Oregon. Wingnut Senator Gordon Smith saw the writing on the wall and became an opponent of the war after the 2006 elections. He has been rewarded with threats of a primary challenge. The Republicans will be forced to march over the 2008 cliff with George W. Bush. Perhaps this accounts for the trouble the Republican party is having finding candidates and raising money. Who wants to join a parade that's marching off a cliff?
After Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) voted for a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush's troop increases, reaction in his district was so furious that local GOP officials all but invited a primary challenge to the reliable conservative. Inglis responded with multiple mailings to his constituents, fence-mending efforts and a video message on his House Web site pleading his case. On subsequent Iraq votes, he has not strayed from the Republican fold.
The experiences of the few Republicans to vote against the war help explain the remarkable unity that the party has maintained in Washington behind an unpopular president. Just four Republicans -- two in the House, two in the Senate -- voted last week for a $124 billion war funding bill that would require troop withdrawals to begin by Oct. 1, legislation that Bush has vowed to veto.
That cohesion reflects the views of the GOP's core voters, who see the war in Iraq in fundamentally different terms than Democrats and political independents do, said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Voters from those groups tend to see unremitting gloom, but Republican base voters continue to see a conflict that is going reasonably well, with a decent chance of military success.
The Wall Street Journal reports that even the coporate interests see the writing on the wall.
Companies Shift More Donations To Democrats
WASHINGTON -- For the new Democratic bosses in the House, power has quickly translated into money, as many big companies have shifted more of their campaign contributions to the new congressional majority, and away from longtime Republican allies.They seem to know who is going to be running the show for the next few years.