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These Days, a Not-So
Grand Old Party


The Republican Party has a long way to go to regain the standing it enjoyed just a few years ago. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Larry Craig's press conference on Tuesday was one more weird moment in a bizarre personal story. But for the Republican presidential candidates, it was one more reminder of the challenge awaiting the party's 2008 nominee.

From the intoxicating heights of President Bush's 2004 reelection victory, the GOP has fallen into a state of disrepair that rivals the party's low ebb after Watergate in the 1970s. In some ways, conditions may be worse today than they were then.

Whoever leads the party into the 2008 general election will be saddled with responsibility for charting a vision that offers independent voters a credible break from the record of the past few years while reenergizing a conservative coalition that has been vital to the party's achievements.

The party's political success over the past three decades was built by assembling a conservative coalition based on economic, security and moral issues. Consider the ways in which Republicans have surrendered the high ground on all three.

First, opposition to the Iraq war has dramatically reduced the GOP's advantage on defense and national security issues.

At the beginning of 2004, Americans trusted Bush over Democrats in Congress to deal with the situation in Iraq by a margin of 20 percentage points in a Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Last month, Democrats enjoyed a 23-point advantage.

In early 2004, Bush held a 29-point advantage over the Democrats on who the public trusted to lead the campaign against terrorism. Last spring, Democrats enjoyed a 6 point advantage.

Second, the party that once prided itself as responsible stewards of the public's money has squandered its reputation for fiscal discipline. Few issues inflamed conservative Republicans around the country more than the failures of the president and his GOP allies when they controlled Congress to control federal spending.

The administration's economic record is mixed, and White House officials believe the president has not received adequate credit for the economic gains of the past few years.

Whether that is a reflection of general dissatisfaction with the president or the fact that economic insecurity is now far more pervasive despite low unemployment and modest job growth is not clear. What is clearer is that the promise of tax cuts lacks some of the political potency they enjoyed earlier.

Third, on moral issues, the party faces a crisis of hypocrisy.

From Larry Craig to Mark Foley to David Vitter, Republican elected officials have admitted to, or been charged with, behavior sharply at odds with their own and their party's rhetoric on promoting family values. These are individual failings, certainly, but they have dramatically compromised the GOP message.

Even without these embarrassments, the force of some of the values issues Republicans used so effectively in past elections appears to have diminished. Even among Republicans voters, issues such as abortion are seen as far less important today than they were in past elections, according to GOP strategists tracking their electorate.

Add to Craig, Foley and Vitter the celebrated cases of individual corruption -- Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney -- that contributed to the Democratic victories in the 2006 elections and the party's situation seems extraordinarily grim heading into 2008.

All the Republican presidential candidates can claim to offer a path away from this mess.

Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney can present themselves as outsiders with no ties to the party in Washington that has been discredited. Fred Thompson has begun to warn of disaster unless the country turns away from its current path.

John McCain can remind voters that he has been one of his party's harshest critics on wasteful spending. Mike Huckabee is another outsider and one who has been more than willing to chastise his party.

But do any of them yet have a set of policies that provide a new direction for the party? So far the evidence is slim. On Iraq and national security, the presidential candidates have been among Bush's biggest supporters, putting themselves out of step with a majority of the country.

On the economy, tax cuts are at the heart of their message but Republican candidates have only begun to lay out a broader vision for assuring both continued growth and greater security for families. On values issues there is a notable absence of consensus or consistent records, with the choices ranging from Huckabee on the right to Giuliani on the left.

There is still plenty of time for one of the GOP candidates to find the right combination to lead the party out of its current trough. Democrats face their own problems (more on this on another day soon) and the GOP candidates have begun to step farther and farther away from the president and the congressional wing of the party.

But with so much to be done to rehabilitate the once-proud GOP, there is little time to waste.

--Dan Balz

By Post Editor  |  August 29, 2007; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

A Republican presidential candidate that can give an alternate course for the Republicans and lead them out of this mess already exists. His name is Dr. Ron Paul.

Posted by: youknowwho306 | August 31, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

GOP = Greedy Old Perverts.

Don't vote for Republicans if you care about your country, and your fellow citizens.

Posted by: rdfreel | August 30, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The party of war and secret sodomy! What's so grand about it? Just "old."

Posted by: thrh | August 29, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

What bothers the left is the Hypocrisy, not the fact that this senator is involved in deviant behavior in a men's room stall. Actually, that's the part they more or less agree with.

Posted by: CraiginJersey | August 29, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

As a former NJ Madam who was arrested 10 years for running an escort service, I just want to thank all you bad boys in the "system" for proving just what I said 10 years ago to be true. You are a bunch of hypocrites, and it's time to get out of people's bedrooms. Let ADULTS do what they want as long as there is no victim. Our lawmakers are lawbreakers, and just a few of you go caught. How many have cheated on their wives with a girlfriend, ie Newt Gingrich, Guiliani. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, has been married twice, as have so many Catholic politicians. Decriminalize prostitution, and mind your own business as to what consenting adults do behind close doors. Oh, I don't mean the closed bathroom door, lol. Privacy and discretion is a must.

Palfrey was setting up dates between two consenting adults. She did not ask the client was he was going to do on his "date". It's not always about sex. If I was arrested now, in 2007, I would take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and watch everyone's hair turn grey because they would have to rule criminalizing prostitution as a Civil Rights violation.

I hope someone like Larry Flynt starts a revolution over this hypocrisy and lobbies to decriminalize prostitution. Maybe I'll let myself get arrested again and do it myself. The State of Rhode Island has no laws criminalizing what two consenting adults do. Hawaii is working on the same issue. Two States down, 48 to go. How sad that I was facing 5 years in jail for setting up a date. I can be reaced at njmadamx@yahoo.com

Posted by: njmadamx | August 29, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party is the laughing stock of the nation. The "family values, moral" party--- ha, ha, ha!!! What a joke! Newt Gingrich pursued impeachment proceedings arising out of his affair with Lewinsky, while Gingrich was cheating on his 2nd wife with a Congressional aide, to whom he later married. Because the Clinton impeachment backfired against the Republican Party, Gingrich did not run again and Rep. Livingston was nominated as speaker of the house. But when his marital infidelity was revealed, he resigned from the House. Then David Vitter (now Senator) won Livingston's seat. At the time, Vitter ran an op-ed in the New Orleans Times Picayune calling for Clinton to resign because of his immoral behavior. We now know that Vitter used the services of the DC madame, and is alleged to have hired prostitutes when he was in Louisiana state legislator. Oh the joy of family value Republicans!!! Fast forward to 2006 and 2007, and we have Mark Foley's and Senator Craig's misdeeds. Of course, let's not forget the endless corruption scandals, including Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Rep. Ney and Rep. Cunningham. For good measure, let's include Scooter Libby, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. This occurred in the administration that promised to restore integrity and honor to the White House. Then there's Alberto Gonzales, the bumbling buffoon who fired 9 U.S. Attorneys because they either were not prosecuting democratic government officials or were contemplating prosecuting Republican officials. That's a great way to run the Justice Department!

Thank god the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 and will lose the White House in 2008. The country will soon be liberated from the most corrupt, evil incompetent hypocrites and perverts in history. Good riddance!

Posted by: Kennyb900 | August 29, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't judge the GOP because of the actions of Craig. He is but one person in the party of thousands of good persons. I've been a Democrat, an Independent, and now am a conservative Republican. President Bush has been a great leader who believes in morality. It's so easy to be critical and speak negatively about the administration, and in the meantime we as a people have enjoyed a great economy. For this we can be most grateful.

Posted by: drees | August 29, 2007 09:52 PM

GRAND OLD PERVERTS

and a bunch of hypocritical sychophants!!!!

What a bunch of GASBAGS.

And to believe that there is one more poor sap that buys this drivel is SO SAD!!!!!

Posted by: smtpgirl08 | August 29, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't judge the GOP because of the actions of Craig. He is but one person in the party of thousands of good persons. I've been a Democrat, an Independent, and now am a conservative Republican. President Bush has been a great leader who believes in morality. It's so easy to be critical and speak negatively about the administration, and in the meantime we as a people have enjoyed a great economy. For this we can be most grateful.

Posted by: drees | August 29, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

It goes to show
they got a tough row to hoe.
But all the mo'
they reap what they sow.

Posted by: glenglish | August 29, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This Christian GOP gives airport "lay over"
new meaning...

Posted by: fwonschik | August 29, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Dan.
One thing we can count on is the Liberal media leading our poor Democrat down the primrose path.
If tax cuts aren't popular then let's see if Hillary or Barack run on raising taxes.
Just like the War in Iraq where the media tells us it is so unpopular.
If that's the case why haven't your Democrat majority in Congress voted to cut off funding?
Keep it up Dan!

Posted by: RichardJFlorinoJ | August 29, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

And for the idiot who is denying Bush's conservative credentials, you are a lying Repukeliscum, like all of the Repukes.

Bush has run as a conservative, he has governed as a conservative, he embodies conservative principles. These are:

1) Helping your friends and fleecing the public

2) Stealing from the poor and middle class to help the rich

3) Trying to destroy government and damaging it as much as possible.

4) Attempting as much as possible to subvert the Republic for the Fascist State of America.

Bush's failed presidency is a failure not because he avoided conservative ideas, but because he worked so hard to implement them. Conservative ideas are failures, and the Bush Presidency is the example of this.

You will not be able to run away from Bush. Conservatives own Bush, and he owns you.

The American people have seen the face of conservatism, and they are still throwing up.

Posted by: storageboy | August 29, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course something like Craig would only occur to Republicans. Democrats can get sex from their circle of friends, so for the dems, there is never any need to solicit strangers in bathrooms or hire prostitutes. Republicans, by their very nature, are not the type of people who can get any free nookie. So they have to take risks to get any.

Posted by: andrewp111 | August 29, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The "Gang Of Perverts" is now a totally disfunctional and disgusting bunch of scum. They should disband.

Abraham Lincoln would have thrown these scum sucking pigs out of the Republican Party. Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, and so forth are members of the Repukeliscum Party.

Posted by: storageboy | August 29, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Craig's actions in the bathroom should have little effect on picking a Republican or a Democrat at election time. The electorate must understand that there is a difference between the parties. The Republicans were able to gain a majority by electing Sens. and Reps. who agreed with nominal Democratic positions then proceeded to vote almost totally Republican when it really mattered. If the Republican national strategy is not how you would like your country run don't vote Republican no matter how much you may agree with your particular Republican representative.
A good example would be the vote on expanding the number of children who would be eligble for government subsidy for health insurance. Bush has restricted the help to only those who make up to 250% of the low income figure. He has added a restriction that is not possible to meet to prevent states from moving that figure up to 400%. The only solution to this problem is to pass legislation that removes the restriction. I am willing to bet that this legislation would probably pass. However, it would be vetoed by Bush and Republicans would not vote in high enough figures to override the veto. Typically enough would vote to override in left leaning states to give cover to as many lawmakers as possible but not enough to override.
The question should be whether every child in this country should have health insurance. If your answer is no you are probably a Republican. If your answer is yes then your number one course of action would be to make that happen. Our legislature can't seem to look at the problems that face our nation in those terms. We as voters need to make that happen.

Posted by: twalsh1000 | August 29, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Once the GOP had some reasoned individuals -- even if you didn't always agree with them.

Some examples:

Theodore Roosevelt: "The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"While exercising the great powers of the office I hold, I would regret in a crisis like the one through which we are now passing to lose the benefit of patriotic and intelligent criticism." - Woodrow Wilson ((1856-1924), U.S. president.

"[I despise people who] go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center." - Dwight Eisenhower, 34th U.S. president

"Certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do." Richard Nixon on 4/16/69

Posted by: femalenick | August 29, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Those paragons of rectitude, Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and perhaps even Gingrich will surely lead the party of Craig, Vitter, and Foley out of its current sexual mores morass.

Yes, indeed, bring it on. Or should I perhaps say, "Mission accomplished"?

Posted by: mmeyerdc | August 29, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with TLackner. I used to support GOP candidates until 1992, when Pat Buchanen became the keynote speaker at the GOP convention. In his speech, he talked about religious war in America and how Hillary Clinton and "the liberals" were giving rights to homosexuals and helping children sue their parents(?) That speech showed me that the GOP Big Tent had shrunk to only include religious freaks and rednecks. Since 1989, the party has systematically done away with Reagan's vision. Bush's "tax cut" was B.S. and he has spent more money than any president in history. Republicans now openly try to divide the country along cultural lines. Reagan was inclusive of everyone. Sorry, guys, it's over. Bush is a j-o-k-e and so is your party. If you want me back, stop listening to Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh, and start listening to Reagan, Perot, and even Jack Kennedy (the creator of the first tax cut.) Until then, the right-wing loony-tunes will be running your party into the ground. Good luck!

Posted by: sslatten3 | August 29, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Not since 1876 has an unpopular incumbent President been succeeded by someone from his own party. (That was when Hayes succeeded the unpopular Grant, both Republicans.) It would be almost miraculous for a Republican to win the White House in 2008, in the teeth of a highly unpopular Republican incumbent, Bush, and an equally unpopular war started by Bush.

The GOP cannot begin to rebuild itself until Bush is out of office and the divisiveness of his administration can begin to heal. It probably can't begin to rebuild itself until America has largely withdrawn its troops from Iraq too.

That was what happened the last time the GOP hit bottom after Watergate. By the time Reagan ran a successful campaign for President in 1980, Nixon had been out of office for 6 years and the Vietnam War had been over for 5 years.

So 2008 is a lost cause for the GOP, period. But as the other major political party, it can always come back but it will take years. There are basic issues dividing the GOP on nativism vs. globalization, on limited government vs. supporting so-called "Christian values," and of course on what to tell the American voters about Iraq. The GOP is never going to resolve those issues before Bush leaves office.

It's an open question whether the GOP can come back by 2012. But by 2016, all of this current trouble will be a dim memory.

Posted by: sinz52 | August 29, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The most shameful thing about this whole sordid episode is the fratricidal fury of Senate Republicans. Senator Craig's offense was a sexual pecadillo; in the bizarre and repressed GOP, it is treated as the crime of the century. Of course, his hypocrisy is a significant moral issue, but if we are to expel all Senators who are guilty of that, there will never be a quorum in the Upper House again. I feel terrible for the guy, who has been a victim of his own intolerance and that of his peers. How he must despise himself, and suffer.

Posted by: REClayton | August 29, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe the biggest problem Republicans face in the next election is that they've been supporting a president who is not a conservative. I don't know what Bush is--would-be emperor, I guess--but he represents almost none of the values that conservatives believe in. The fact that our Republican friends in Congress have enabled the president to push our country AWAY from traditional conservative values has hurt them and will continue to do so.

Republicans had better remind themselves what it means to be a Republican. And they had better find a way to get back to that. It will involved disengaging not only from the president, but from the lunatic Evangelical right who they've been courting lately.

By the way, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are not conservatives.

Posted by: mwfree | August 29, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Senator Craig is not only grand, he's what used to be called "piss elegant".

Posted by: murphytom | August 29, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey the Dems. aren't so pure, there's Rep. Jefferson, Rep. Frank, Bill Clinton, the late Rep. Studds. Not to mention the back room meanderings of Craig Livingston & Chuck Schumers assistants.

Posted by: kenmcg414 | August 29, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself a Reagan Democrat, meaning, when they elected Reagan, I became a Democrat. Unfortunately, the rest of my family, except my gay brother, continue to belong to the 28% that like this administration. No matter what logic you try to use, you are some kind of defeatocrat, bleeding-heart. Hopefully, the next president, D or R will work toward a middle ground that has not been seen for the last 6+ years.

Posted by: karraker630 | August 29, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Poetic justice - the pendulum has swung. It seems the Republicans are getting just what they asked for. Republicans milked this family values teet until it was dry - now they have become a laughingstock - the influence of the right wing whackos has reached it's peak cause we just ain't buying it anymore. I'm glad they are being exposed for the lying hypocrits that they are - it as a liberal confirmed my faith in God!!! WHAT?!?! What's that a liberal who believe in God???? And he's exposed these frauds for what they are. So Republicans remember this - when you want to demonize a group of people, use Bible scripture to beat the hell out of them and legislate against them I can promise you this it will always come back to bite you.

Posted by: Regguy507 | August 29, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess it doesnt ever get old seeing family values people get busted for not having any family values. This story isn't nearly as funny as the recent one about the sanctimonious Republican in Florida who tried to pay a man for sex and then claimed he did it out of fear. Can we all agree that from now on, when a Republican says anything about 'family values' or defense of marriage or anything like that, it pretty much gaurantees that he's gay?

Really, the funniest part of all of this is that what makes these people truly bad ISNT that they're gay, or even that they lied about being gay... it's that they're the first to get in line when it comes time to disfrancise or persecute what turn out to be their own kind. I honestly just hope these guys come to grips with their sexuality and find themselves a partner that will fulfil whatever needs they hold deep down inside. Who knows, once they clean up their act and start being honest to themselves and everyone else they might even have a shot to win as a Democrat, or by affiliating themselves with a less self-hating group of homophobes.

Posted by: spotch | August 29, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The GOP can only begin to rebuild their credibility when they stop protecting the Neo-Cons they let hijack their party. Did the Christian conservitives realy beleive Dick Cheney cared about Family Values. Did the fiscial conservatives realy beleive George And Dick wouldn't let the Big Hogs to the trough while chokeing the little ones. True, the fiscial conservatives are glad to see the little hogs chocked, but had no idea at the feeding Wall Street would get. When the Republicans and all those who ran behind the neo-cons in supplications to get Bin Laden from under my bed so he won't eat my childern that they were duped, the nation and the party cannot heal.

Posted by: damianraphaelbrumley | August 29, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Looks like is time for a third party. Let's make all these blood suckers go to the unemployment lines.

Posted by: jarl66 | August 29, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I will concede that Washington attracks a type of person that has to have emotional issues to want to be there. There's no excuse for this guys behavior.

Both parties are guilty, not just republicans. I don't remember when Barney Frank had a male escort service operating out of his home, that all democrats had a problem. And, don't forget what Bill got in our oval office. It wasn't on the job training.

Term limits must be used to eliminate the "Beltway mentality".
Rob

Posted by: fordcrml | August 29, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's respond to this without creating a wedge. CNN would prefer a wedge cause it sells more ad-space. People love a fight, but Democrats can show their leadership abilities by how they handle this stone in their hands that is so easy to throw. Let's surprise everyone by showing compassion to someone dealing with some sensitive personal issues.

D vs R doesn't work. "A house divided cannot stand", first quoted by a Republican. Bush is the worst president, but it's not Republican principles that make him so bad, it is his lack of real leadership and his willingness to let the ends justify the means. A leader needs to be able to work with others, be it other parties or other countries. It is a round world, and we are a nation of purple states.

If we wanted, we could in the future see Barack Obama shaking hands with Mike Huckabee, separating politicians not by party lines but by who on either side has good judgement and can work with others to get real things done.

Posted by: grimmix | August 29, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I did stop voting for them. Born and bred a Republican, I realized in 1992 that my party had been hijacked by a bunch of sanctimonious RINO hypocrites - been voting for the Democrats ever since.

Sad to say, those running now don't excite any deep-seated Lincolnesque passion in me. Only two of them bothered to attend Lance Armstrong's cancer forum, so I guess we know where the others stand on public health issues. None of them are bright enough to recognize a lost - or illegitimate - cause. And "Republican family values" has become an oxymoron. I guess I'll just have to keep voting for the Democrats a while longer, until Newtie and the Blowhards are evicted.

Posted by: tlackner | August 29, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time not so long ago before the neo-conservatives and religious nuts hijacked the Republican party the name "Grand Old Party" meant something positive. In an earlier generation the Republican party claimed to be a thinking persons party. Not any more. At best they are a bunch of mindless Rush "ditto heads" chanting one talking point after another supplied by the RNC. That is on a good day and there are few good days.

Unfortunately once these people get their hands on power it is wise to watch your back and grab your wallet. As sure as the sun comes up in the morning they are either practicing cronyism, gathering boodle, spending public money like drunken sailors, invading foreign countries, losing wars, spreading malfeasance and corruption to all branches of government, practicing sexual perversions and chasing booty like a bunch of over stimulated rock cocaine addicts. They need to do the world a favor and disband the party. If not they could be honest for a change and name it accurately such as BBP, Brokeback Bathroom Party or if they insist on still calling themselves the GOP it's name should be Groping Other's Privates.

There is nothing grand about the GOP anymore. Any parent should consider a ban on underage children attending any political function sponsored by Republicans. Attendance by children should seriously be construed as child endangerment. Any adult who attends should prophylactically get a full course of any available anti-biotics and inoculations first and shower vigorously afterward.

Posted by: red-ruffian | August 29, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The GOP may end up as the "Gone Old Party" in 2008 if something doesn't give and soon. If Bush tries to appoint another "hack" as Attorney General, vote him or her down, please.

I am a Republican at the local level. The national party, excluding Lugar, Warner and a few others, is really a bunch of "Blue Dog Democrats" who jumped ship. Craig is latest fraud in a growing line of hypocrites. Please give me someone rather than Hillary to vote for in 08. I don't think I can pull another GOP Presidential lever!

Posted by: travelgallery | August 29, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Rubber stamp, rubber stamp, rubber stamp; nothing but collusion within the GOP. The Republicans behave like a bunch of school children in need of some serious parenting.

Posted by: rp1123 | August 29, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

509 days until the end of the Bush administration, as CardFan says. Amen.

Here in Ohio, we have a new Democratic governor who took over for a tired, ethically-challenged GOP governor, and he's a breath of fresh air. Let's hope that the next President is as refreshing. The stink coming out of Washington is awfully bad right now.

What goes around comes around. Bush is inept, Gonzales was inept, and Foley and Craig are hypocrites. It's all coming back to bite them in the ass.

Posted by: chrisohio | August 29, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's tell the whole story. The 'soak the poor' 'feed the rich' GOP passed NAFTA, but President Clinton signed the bill into law and the results have been catastrophic for middle class America. Manufacturing jobs- gone. Wages- flatlined.

In fact, let's put the fault where it belongs, with Democrats and Republicans, beholden to their special interests, who have been negligently asleep at the switch for a long time. We don't need a so-called "Progressive Liberal" solution nor a "Compassionate Conservative" solution- what we need is a long overdue 'common sense revolution' and reform across the board.

The hardcore partisans don't have the answer. It's the ones who don't live, eat, breath Dems-good, Reps-bad or vice versa, who need to stand up and retake our country from the extremists on both sides

With the exception of raising the minimum wage (which was held up because Democrats didn't want to give small business tax breaks to compensate for their increased labor costs) and a watered down reform package, what's changed in Congress since Pelosi and Reid took over? Answer- not a lot. Special interests still run Congress and the Republicans are still beholden to big business, the religious right, and big oil while the Democrats are bought and paid for by big labor, the Hollywood elitists, and environmentalists. That's a fact. There's too much politics going on in Washington D.C. and not enough work being done to help ordinary folks who continue to get squeezed by stagnant wages and an ever-rising cost of living. And if you can't see that the root cause of the problem extends beyond Democrats-good, Republicans-bad...and vice versa...then you're not part of the solution- you're a big part of the problem.

Posted by: jjdelder | August 29, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that DoctorDoom put it best:

It is time to stop voting for a party and starting voting for a person. I believe that the leaders of this country would be alot more interested in national well-being rather than their party...most because their job would depend upon it.

Posted by: kgunn1 | August 29, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Neither party is going anywhere - after 74 the republicans would never come back, after 80's the democrats would not rebound, after 82, reagan was a done for one termer, after 84, the democrats were done for, after 86, the republicans were over and done and democrats were ready to move into the white house, after 92, republicans were dead, after 94, the democrats were goners and clinton was a one termer, after 02, the democrats were done for, after 04, new political alignments, after 06, republicans are goners.....

when will we realize - it's all bs meant to keep political columnists and campaign activists employed. The two party system is here to stay. Each party has it's ups and downs but lets stop being so freaking dramatic people!

Posted by: krgrvc | August 29, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

That's funny I have always thought that GOP stood for Greed, Obstruction and Perverts: Seems those three items are more in line with the views of the GOPERS then what they profess to believe.
They love telling everyone else how Moral they are, how to live their lives and when they get caught in a well situation it's the Newspapers fault, or it's the Dems fault or nobody told me all those people in New Orleans were drowning.
How about that Torture policy huh, pretty good moral values issue if I ever saw one.
Better yet, maybe the wives should write a little how to book like "How to keep your marriage together, even if you husband is a pervert", or "We leave only the poor and middle class behind, everyone else climb aboard".
That is what happens when a group of people feel that "they and they alone are morally superior to everyone else, it's also what happens when one party feels that they can cram down the throats of all Americans their beliefs and ideals.
They govern for themselves not the masses, and do so unapologetic, because they really do believe they and they alone are "True Patriots", anyone questioning them or their leaders are Traitors and helping the enemy.
So, how about they simply get their own country, they can all live together under Marshall law and a Dictatorship, with private schools and their own personal military. They can bring in as many foreigners they want to do the jobs that "They won't do", and pay them crumbs, they don't have to take care of their island or it's environment, because we all know global warming is a myth, and finally they can have all the Gay sex they want because it will only be between them and the bathroom stall!

Posted by: sfilutze | August 29, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought the big-time power-brokers cut deals in the backroom, apparently for the GOP it's the bathroom.

Posted by: farkdawg | August 29, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, yes, while it is true that the Reps have come to stand for a morally and fiscally bankrupt party, a large portion of the blame has to be apportioned to the electorate.

As Abbie Hoffman once said, "Think for yourself and question authority." At the time his words were considered treasonous, but if Americans considered his words in the 2000 election - and done a little pre-election research - they'd have found that Cheney, along with the NeoConservatives of the Republican Party, were on a mission, as evidenced by his tenure with Rumsfeld in Nixon's White House, as Ford's Chief of Staff, as Reagan's Defense Secretary and, most telling, as signatory of the Project for a New American Century (along with Elliott Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among other NeoNotables).

The Project, as early as mid-1997, laid out a blueprint of what they would do if they attained the White House.

Well they attained the White House and have been executing on the Project's Statement of Principles ever since.

So the party, in it's infinite wisdom, chose to go with leader's in the thick of the most corrupt administration of the 20th century. They've managed to outdo themselves, as certainly this administration will be remembered as the most corrupt of the 21st.

Posted by: keyser1 | August 29, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I may never, EVER, understand how the average Joe can so blindly swallow the myth that the Republican party is his side. This party is famous for tax cuts for the rich, famous for assaults on the constitution, famous for deficits (Reagan and now Bush) and famous for scamming the "values" voters. How many times must a voter be smacked up side the head before he realizes he's being used and abused? Apparently we have yet to find that count.

509 days till the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by: CardFan | August 29, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Republicans thought Bush was so smart? And us lefty loonies who tried to warn them, well we were just idiots because we couldn't see his subtle genius.

Seems Republicans have failed on every issue they attacked us on. They should have spent less time attacking us on morality, economics, and national defense, and more time studying those issues.

Posted by: leftcoaster | August 29, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This is the crap we lefties have been railing against for the last 6 years. I guess we ain't "loony" lefies after all ay?

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | August 29, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The author forgot the whole issue of states rights, and the GOP Founding principle of promoting state and local control over federal control of law, life and everything.
The Bush Adminstration has expanded the relative power of the Federal Government more than any President in History.
Example: Total take over of how schools are run at the local level, test the test or die.
Federal Gov: Overruling states on drug laws, environmental laws to an unheard of degree.
and a huge list of other expansions.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | August 29, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Republicans cry they are singled out when one of their fold strays from the flock. The galling reality is that those caught up in the scandals were all screeching hypocrites when it comes to Karl Rove dividing issues like gay marriage and who howled the loudest over Bill Clinton's Lewinsky.

Posted by: coloradodog | August 29, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with tjallen. The GOP should just go extinct. In his first year in office Bush appointed over 100 former lobbyists to oversee the industries they once regulated (Denver Post: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0523-02.htm). This is a party that is corrupt to its core. It stands for nothing but greed and ignorance.

Posted by: TheDukeStir | August 29, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

All that, and Republicans have also ended up on the wrong side of the environmental issue. The majority of the public may have been late to the party, but the GOP seems to have misplaced their invites altogether!

Posted by: mobedda | August 29, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that article pretty much summed up the disgust that many former Republicans such as me have with the current Nazi's that are in control of the party. To bad balz didn't have the balls to add those Democrats who have been just as bad. Sigh it's a D vs R thing no one seems to want to look at both sides and start getting rid of the old guard of BOTH parties, and begin to vote for a person rather then a LETTER

Posted by: DoctorDoom | August 29, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Dan B said: ...rehabilitate the once-proud GOP...

Why not instead disband it? It has failed in its purpose.

The religious right didn't get what they want (fundamentalist moral laws like anti-abortion or anti-homosexual laws), the fiscal conservatives got the worst, biggest spender EVER, and only the pro-business clique got what they wanted - low taxes, little oversight, and lots of govt contracts for the connected.

So why not expect those whom the party failed to LEAVE?

Oh I see, it also provided the political class with re-election money and government positions. So the GOP, though not worth rehabilitating, will continue its corrupt immoral conspiracy.

If you don't like what they do, STOP VOTING FOR THEM! Maybe they will wither and die.

Posted by: tjallen | August 29, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Give this Bushie a presidential medal of freedom! While the Singing Senators were playing with children, the Bushes protected Senator Mark Foley (Republican, Florida) and enjoyed a sausage tasting with Bush White House spiritual leader Pastor Ted Haggard at prayer breakfast. Even Senator Vitter (Republican - The State Formerly Containing New Orleans) followed Neil Bush's example of Bush Family values. Republican Bob Allen is not only another Bushie RPOF backroom insider, he is also another Florida Republican who did it like they do on the Discovery Channel and Bushy Republican Senator Larry E. Craig certainly fits tightly in Bush's loyal family. So now we know what made the Singing Senators sing!

"Let the eagle soar...

Posted by: Open1 | August 29, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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