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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:13 PM
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Derailing the Republicans

Derailing the Republicans
James Crabtree
October 10, 2006 06:09 PM

It isn't easy to derail the most effective political machine ever built. But that is exactly what Mark Foley just did. And it's difficult to see how Karl Rove can get his jack-knifed party back on track in time to avoid losing control of the House of Representatives next month.

This morning's slew of polls tell of a landslide coming. The Washington Post shows that two thirds of Americans think, quite correctly, that the Republicans hushed up Foleygate. The Gallup poll, which two weeks ago seemed to suggest a Republican recovery, reports that Democrats have "a 23-point lead over Republicans among every type of person questioned." Voters now give the Democrats the biggest congressional poll lead in 20 years, much larger than that enjoyed by the Republicans before their 1994 landslide.

Foley's scandal has done what the Democrats themselves were unable to do - portray the Republicans as the corrupt, failed, out-of-touch embodiment of nasty establishment politics-as-usual.

The Republicans aren't helping themselves. Each day brings new embarrassment. The weekend's best example saw the Republican head of the congressional page programme trying to explain to defend Dennis Hastert on a Sunday talk show. The interviewer actually laughed out loud having heard the contorted logic that finally confronting the corruption of Tom Delay, Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham were examples of Hastert's "strong leadership."

Yet the amazing thing about the current collapse is that almost none of it can be attributed to the Democrats. Hastert is flailing around accusing George Soros of orchestrating his demise. But as one democratic strategist told me yesterday: "Frankly, we're not that good."

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