Saturday, October 14, 2006

Republican Meltdown

All the indicators are starting to swing, not just to a slim loss as seemed likely only a week ago, but to a Republican Armageddon on November 7. With the Foley coverup nightmare for the house leadership, the Bob Ney confession and now, out of the blue, the Weldon investigation, the Republicans = corruption narrative has taken hold of the public perception. The GOP have started pulling money out of races they thought they were competitive in and turned inward, fighting defense in places they thought they were safe.

Perhaps most importantly, the nature of extremist primary politics in America have shoved the Republican party so far to the right, while simultaneously abandoning fiscal conservatism outright, that they may have left their base behind.

Charlie Cook says bluntly that:
...this is without question the worst political situation for the GOP since the Watergate disaster in 1974. I think a 30-seat gain today for Democrats is more likely to occur than a 15-seat gain, the minimum that would tip the majority. The chances of that number going higher are also strong, unless something occurs that fundamentally changes the dynamic of this election. This is what Republican strategists' nightmares look like.
Daily Kos sees the narrative beginning to change as the MSM begin to hear what the public is telling them about where they are headed. Red State Ohio in particular may represent the kind of sea-change that portends massive cultural shifts in American politics. As the BBC points out:
In 1928 Herbert Hoover, who had been the hero of the American relief effort in Europe after the First World War, had been elected president with a huge majority.

Yet in 1930, a year after the Great Crash, he was seen as a liability and the Democrats made major gains in the mid-terms. The era of the New Deal began. In 1932, Roosevelt became president.

By now the caveats are familiar; this could all be moot due to the GOP's incumbency and money advantages. They spent the last several years of almost absolute power, gerrymandering and spending furiously to maintain their power through exactly this kind of storm.

But it may be the difference between a storm and a hurricane that makes things different this time.

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