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What Does It Mean?: Miss. Special Election (Pt. 5)

Read Capitol Briefing's original post
Read Capitol Briefing's second post
Read both of The Fix's responses

Dear Fix:

The shadows grow longer this afternoon, as does the list of questions raised by yesterday's special election in Mississippi.

You closed your last message with: "I'm interested in what you think the two or three core issues Republicans should use to united an obviously fractured party. Or do you think such agreement is impossible in this political climate and a go-it-alone strategy is the only one that will work?"

Funny you should ask, because Capitol Briefing this afternoon attended a press conference with about two-dozen House Republicans that was meant to be the roll-out of the party's fancy new message document: "American Families Agenda: Assuring the American Dream." It's a melange of proposals large and small, most of them not new, on domestic issues like energy, health care and crime. But on a larger scale, can the GOP agree on a few core issues that will actually get voters' blood racing?

On gas prices, the number one economic issue at the moment (and the focus of Travis Childers' winning campaign in Mississippi), Republicans' basic message is: The Democrats won't let us drill for more oil or build more refineries and nuclear power plants. Democrats' message is: The big oil companies and their Republican allies are sticking it to us at the gas pump. Which message do you think works better?

On Iraq, most Republicans still support the war (President Bush and John McCain certainly do), while most Democrats think the troops should be brought home ASAP. You've seen the polls. Which message do you think works better?

On taxes, Republicans still believe that voters are scared to death of Democratic tax increases. As we speak, Democrats are working to push through the House a plan to tax millionaires to pay for college for veterans. Republicans say this is actually a tax on small businesses, while Democrats say the GOP cares more about the rich than about veterans. Again, which message do you think works better?

The point here is that the electorate is angry, fearful and disillusioned. The econonomy is bad and the Iraq war remains a huge drag on the GOP brand. So in answer to your question, Mr. Fix, no, it does not seem possible for Republicans to agree on a few core issues that will be effective in elections across the land UNLESS the party actually shifts to the middle, or at least toward a more populist series of policy positions. That's why it makes sense for GOP candidates to run against Bush and against their own GOP leadership whenever they feel it necessary.

Now back to one of my original questions: Is Tom Cole going to remain chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee? As of this writing, it appears he will. Is there anything he should have/could have done differently in Mississippi, Louisiana and Illinois to prevent those losses? Is he actually doing a bad job running the NRCC?

Awaiting your response with baited breath,
Capitol Briefing

By Ben Pershing  |  May 14, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  What Does It Mean?  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What Does It Mean?: Miss. Special Election (Pt. 3)
Next: Pelosi Slams Bush for Israel Speech


Whoever sent Vice President Cheney to Mississippi needs to be fired. They lost votes in the traffic jams his visit created the day before voting. Couple that with the burning anger toward him for the high gas prices and you have a lost election. Davis just could not overcome baggage like that. The discussions in the coffee shops should give somebody a clue.

Posted by: thependulumswings | May 14, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse


You misspelled "economy" - there is only 1 "no" in the middle.

You also misspelled "bated." "BaIted" means, for example, "put a worm on a hook," or "put cheese in a mousetrap." In the expression "bated breath," the "bated" is an archaic form of the word "abated," meaning "lessened" or "reduced."

You may want to review your articles before submission. I suggest use of Word's "spell check" feature.

Your enthusiasm is good to see, though. Revise and re-submit.

Posted by: English teacher | May 15, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Women have been messed over for many years by the Democrat Party and it appears that millions of "US" will be returning the favor, should this primary continue on its current path. Hillary Clinton is clearly the best choice to be our current parties' choice as the nominee for President. As a life-long Democrat (55), I find it unacceptable to tolerate just how my party has hosed their most loyal and largest voting block; women. I am confident the Democrat Party will pay a severe price for this blatant assault on us women. Cry all you want about this being "sour grapes" but, little good will result in your on-going efforts to unite Hillary's staunch supporters around "your chosen candidate" and not the peoples. All the Democrat Party wants us to do now is get their selected, from the start, elite, wimp Barack Obama elected in November. It will be a cold day in hell before I do that and I hope Hillary Clinton walks away from this Party, as well. As with most of the women I have contact, as well as many men, are finished with the Democrat Party now and forever. Many of "US are starting a grassroots movement to assure these kind of sorry tactics employed by my now soon to be former party, favoring a man who clearly has no shot without her support to win over the best women who can win this on her own, will never happen again. Until the final results are in Democrat Party leaders, we will just have to wait and see how things turn out once this primary season comes to a close. I for one am changing my registration to Independent, if not Republican, on the same day that I vote for Hillary in Kentucky. Once all our votes are counted, if you the party leaders allow that to happen, you'll just have to wait and see how deep this "bitterly disappointed" and highly ashamed of this blatant insult to women is across America. To do this to the largest voting block in America is truly, for my soon to be former Democratic Party, a travesty. Bye, bye now and good riddance from Mary L. O'Bryan, Louisville, KY, soon to be former Democrat, no matter what happens in the primaries left to come.

Posted by: Mary O'Bryan | May 15, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Mary O'Bryan, Is your article an eqivalent of a rasom? Do not forget there are other voting blocks in these election. At the end of the day it is not theineret of one particlular group that must prevail BUT rather the interst of the majority ( Average of voting groups)This is what democracu is all about. If you want to be an Independent or Republican you are free to do so but just do not mislead other women. you seem to have uneplained bitternes and hatred in you.

Good luck in November as an Independent/ Republican. As for now, America must move on.

Posted by: Wisedom | May 15, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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