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Brand Problems Haunt GOP

Sometimes politics is surprisingly simple.

The more people who identify with a particular party, the better chance the nominee of that party has of winning.

Since the start of the Bush administration -- and especially over the last few years -- the number of people who self-identify as Republicans has been dropping as those who formerly thought of themselves as GOPers have begun to either call themselves independents or Democrats.

The "identification gap" is strikingly apparent in three recent surveys.

In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 44 percent said they considered themselves Democrats, while 34 percent identified themselves as Republican. Those basic numbers were reflected in the relative intensities of party ID in the poll as well; 25 percent called themselves a "strong Democrat," while 17 percent described themselves as a "strong Republican". (Sixteen percent of voters said they were "strictly" independent.)

Gallup's numbers match that trend. In a survey of more than 5,000 people conducted in early June, 37 percent called themselves Democrats, while only 28 percent described themselves as Republicans. Thirty-four percent said they were either independent voters, supported some other party or didn't know their party affiliation.

And, in the Post's own surveys, from January through June of this year, Democrats hold a ten point -- 37 percent to 27 percent -- voter identification edge over Republicans. (Thirty percent of the sample called themselves independents). The ten-point gap is the largest measured in a six month period in roughly the last eight years. In 2000, the Post/ABC survey from January to June gave Democrats a six point registration edge; by 2003 that gap was down to a single point. It then increased rapidly -- from a four point Democratic ID lead in 2006 to an eight point margin in 2007.

What's the practical effect of the growing gap in party identification? We turn to Gallup's Frank Newport for an explanation. He notes that Barack Obama leads John McCain in the latest Gallup survey "because there are more Democrats than Republicans in the sample, which helps compensate for the fact that Democrats are slightly less loyal to Obama than Republicans are to McCain." Newport adds that if independents were removed entirely from the race, Obama would lead 49 percent to 44 percent thanks to the "higher percentage of Democratic identifiers in the voting population."

How big a problem is this identification gap for McCain? That depends.

What the party ID gap clearly reflects are the problems with the Republican brand. Whereas Republicans once had a concise and effective way to explain their governing philosophy -- lower taxes, less government -- they have become increasingly identified with President Bush, the war in Iraq and the struggling economy.

That change in the perception of the party has not only led a significant number of loosely-affiliated Republicans to jump ship but has also turned many previously independent voters into Democratic leaners.

All of that creates MAJOR problems for Republicans; problems that have already materialized in losses in House special elections in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi -- three district that Bush won easily during the 2004 election.

Before Republican strategists drive to the nearest bridge, it's worth remembering two things.

First, McCain has consistently run well ahead of generic markers of the Republican party. In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, 52 percent of voters said they preferred Democrats to control Congress, while just 33 percent said they wanted Republicans in control. Seven in 10 voters said the country was in a "state of decline" while 28 percent approved of the job Bush was doing and 66 percent disapproved. And yet, despite that stack of daunting numbers, McCain trailed Obama a slim 47 percent to 41 percent margin -- a tightness that may mean the Arizona Senator is not considered by voters to be one of "those Republicans" that they clearly dislike.

Second, party identification is a metric that has a tendency to change in the immediate runup to an election. Historically, more voters tend to loosely identify with one party or another in an off year and then, as the election draws close, true partisan leanings become more solidified and gaps narrow.

Could that happen in this election? Absolutely. But, given where the public appears to be on the current administration and its approach to the war in Iraq and the economy -- the two biggest issues likely to dominate this fall -- it's hard to imagine a drastic change in the numbers.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 12, 2008; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

The Republican brand is big oil and war. You're either with us or against us.

Posted by: Don from Texaco | June 27, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

The Republican brand is big oil and war. You're either with us or against us.

Posted by: Don from Texaco | June 27, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Never seen millions of frustrated, angry Americans demonstrate in the streets, like they do in Europe and the rest of the world? If the U.S. grants amnesty and gives citizenship to 12 to 30 million illegal migrants, as Senators Obama and McCain propose, those naturalized citizens could possibly add 120 million U.S. and foreign-born relatives to the U.S. in the next 20 years, who all consume energy. Diversity Alliance for Sustainable America. www.earthtimes.org/ You must decide your children's future, your jobs by demanding Democrats sponsor the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088 enforcement in the workplace) Call toll-free (2022243121 )
NUMBERSUSA.

Posted by: Brittanicus | June 17, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Never seen millions of frustrated, angry Americans demonstrate in the streets, like they do in Europe and the rest of the world? If the U.S. grants amnesty and gives citizenship to 12 to 30 million illegal migrants, as Senators Obama and McCain propose, those naturalized citizens could possibly add 120 million U.S. and foreign-born relatives to the U.S. in the next 20 years, who all consume energy. Diversity Alliance for Sustainable America. www.earthtimes.org/ You must decide your children's future, your jobs by demanding Democrats sponsor the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088 enforcement in the workplace) Call toll-free (2022243121 )
NUMBERSUSA.

Posted by: Brittanicus | June 17, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Democrat, Republican....what's the difference? If you really open your eyes, you'll see that they are both extremely corrupt.

We need a full spring cleaning, folks.

Posted by: Blue | June 14, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

If the Iraq war was to ensure cheap reliable oil; then the war can be measured in the price of a gallon of gasoline. Are we winning or losing the war? Are Republicans and McCain, who are gambling on this war, winning or losing?

"You Can Trust Your Car To The Man Who Wears The Star"

Posted by: Texaco Man | June 14, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Jon Morgan,
If socialized medicine is so wonderful, why do Canadians stream across the border for healthcare...why isn't the exodus northward? It's because medical decisions are made by bean counters who decide if it's fiscally responsible to do a coronary bypass or a kidney transplant on a patient past a "certain" arbitrary age....In England, one might wait a year for a cataract operation....you just don't see well until your"number is up". Ours is the greatest, most advanced system in the world...we need to help people who can't afford it as John McCain proposes and make patients the true consumers by providing open access to all plans...as was recently done in Florida- with no preexisting condition exclusions....by Governor Crist. If people could truly comparison shop between plans, without being locked into a given plan by their employer, there would for the first time be price competition, which would in turn make our quality system more affordable.

Posted by: Scott | June 13, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Maria, you foul mouthed hag: see the many Youtube videos of your hero making a political statement by keeping his hands at his sides during the playing of the national anthem while Clinton and Biden have their hands over their hearts, reminiscent of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the '68 Olympics...isn't it?..then see my response to ANN:
ANN,
NO OFFENSE, BUT NOONE CARES WHETHER OR NOT YOU PLACE YOUR HAND OVER YOUR HEART (at a ballgame)...IF YOU WERE AT A CEREMONY WHICH COULD GET YOU HIRED FOR THE BEST JOB YOU EVER COULD IMAGINE HAVING AND ALL THE PEOPLE PRESENT VYING FOR THE JOB HAD THEIR HANDS OVERR THEIR HEARTS...YOU BEST BELIEVE YOU WOULD HAVE IT THERE TOO, UNLESS YOU WERE MAKING A CONSCIOUS CHOICE NOT TO....WHY IS THE QUESTION. mCcAIN HAS LOTS OF WONDERFUL ANSWERS...GO TO JOHNMCCAIN.COM FOR THEM IF YOU'RE INTERESTED.

VirginiaGal2, please see afed27's post which in part answers your question:
"Yes, Obama voted to fund the war after he became a U.S. Senator. He also voted against the Kerry bill to bring the troops home & for the GOP bill to stop Congress from voting to hold back funds unless a date for withdrawl was in place. As I said, Obama can not be trusted with what he says. I feel he can't be trusted, period."
-These are my feelings as well...well said afed27.

Posted by: Scott | June 13, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The GOP Brand Is Dead Because:
The NeoConMen killed it.
They killed it with lies.
They killed it with graft.
They Killed it with flimflam.
They killed it by ripping up the US constitution.
They killed it by taking away the USA's freedom.
They killed it by destroying the American dream.
They killed it by taking away the US citizens privacy.
They killed it with traitors.
They killed it strategic blunders.
They killed it with shame.
They killed it with a misbegotten war.

Every one of them a nail in the GOP coffin.

And finally they have tried to take the USA down with them in an ocean of DEBT!

Those are just some of the many reasons US citizens no longer want anything at all to do with the GOP.

Work it out people, it is because the GOP is no longer conservative.

The Republicommie party has been acting like a kid at the mall with their parents credit card.

All Part of the putrid NeoConMen philosophy of BORROW AND SPEND, SPEND, SPEND! with which they have INFECTED US businesses and the very citizens of America! The very same sick ideology of DEBT Cheney glorified with his: "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."Pronouncement.

George Bush jnr. and his commie cronies have already left the USA with a TAX DEBT BILL of 9.5 trillion; the equivalent of a second mortgage on every US family, 30,000 dollars for every Man Woman and Child in the USA. And it is expected to reach 10 trillion by the end of the year.

TEN Trillion Dollars of Republicommie back taxes! PLUS INTEREST!

Ten Trillion Dollars that the US TAX payer has been left the bill for!

It is a Bush dollar depreciation policy that reduces the value of the US citizens dollar while it is in their pocket. That is what has halved the value of the dollar and peoples 401K and pension as a result. It is what is causing the increasing inflation.

Investors take one look at the weight of DEBT on the future US economy and they see a subprime USA and foreclosure on the horizon. And no Arab Sheik is going to take his oil out of the ground to be paid in dollars that will be worth half what they were when he agreed to sell the oil when he finally gets paid and he sure as hell is going to want to dump the the debt laden dollars as fast he can. Instead he is going to keep it in the ground until he is getting 200 US dollars a barrel.

And thus the dollar depreciates weighed down with Republicommie DEBT!

Work it out people the depreciation policy is a STEALTH TAX!

It is a STEALTH TAX created with DEBT!

TAX by DEBT.

America's Conservatives were NeoConned with TAX DEBT economics!

I call it TAX DEBT because the only true source of money a Government has is Taxes. We all know when we take out a loan we have to pay it back, so Government loans are just TAXES PLUS INTEREST, in other words TAX DEBT.

Everyone can see the Republican party ain't conservative any more, time somebody dug a hole and buried the GOP's stinking slimy commie corpse.

Posted by: walker1 | June 13, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how the party ID proportions and trends compare to the ideological ones. Do more Americans think of themselves as liberal now, or fewer as conservative? In WA, more voters identify as liberal than conservative, making it useless (other than energizing the base) to hurl the "liberal" epithet at Democrats running for office. Likewise, while Republicans keep attacking "socialized medicine", a fairly recent poll found that more Americans think socialized medicine would be an improvement than a worsening of the status quo. For Republicans who are paying attention, these kind of trends mean they can't run for office successfully the way they have in the recent past.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | June 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

My comment is for Afed27. My only response to your foolish rambling is: cry all you can. Sy all the rubish you can generate from your befudled mind. Obama will win the race come November then you can cry somemore. Hilary has endorsed him, the war is over. The real democrats will unite. Sory cryers like you will always be there to mourn and moan as always

Posted by: Dr. Godwin Alinta | June 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The Repubs are completely out of step with the vast majority of the American People.

We want the occupation of Iraq to end.

We want healthcare for the 48,000,000 Americans who have no health insurance.

We want to see fairness restored and the tax break for the Top 2% of Americans rescinded.

So... the Repubs are going top everything they can to DISTRACT you.

They will talk about lapel pins, gay-marriage, gay-anything, "patriotism" as defined by Sean Hannity, strong potential First Ladies, etc

Do NOT be Distracted. We have an obligation to our children and our grandchildren to do the right thing.

Get rid of the Cheney-Bush-McCain crowd and bring restore our inalienable Rights as Americans and our international prestige.

Focus on the issues -- do not be distracted.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | June 13, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

For 60+ voting years I have been a Democrat. I am disgusted with the way The 3 Stooges, Dean, Pelosi, & Reid, have handled their jobs, especially with their pushing Obama toward the nomination. The seating of Michigan/Florida delegates only if 50% of the delegate votes went to Obama
[ at his insistance ] was a disgusting, treacherous action to take! In reality, Obama "deserved" only 8% of the delegates, 20% of the 40% uncommitted votes, [divided by the 5 candidates].This 50% gift to Obama was what put him over the top. Obama, in thanking Dean, reappointed him as head of the DNC, giving us 2 non-performers for the price of 1. Well, I will no longer be a Democrat, I and my family will now become Independents, as more & more voters are doing these days. Many Indies will vote for McCain. I do not know what I will do, only that there is no way that I will ever vote for Obama! After researching him on the Internet & finding so many negative details on him, which, even when told of Obama's transgressions, his loving media failed to report them to the voters. I tried asking my local paper why they didn't report these things, especially the local incidents. I was called "irrational", a "racist", "it was not important" & finally, "he is entitled to do these things because Hillary has not conceded to him". In February? The day after this last remark, they endorsed him. The day after that, we cancelled our subscription. We, the voters were severely treated & abused in the pushing of Obama for the Presidency. Bill Clinton tried to say this but was sharply criticized by the very same media.
What change would Obama bring? Unity? He was not a unifier for the Dems, especially with his demand that he get 50% of the Michigan & Florida votes. Now, that he still needs the 18 million voters who voted for Hillary, he is being sweet. I pray that he will not get 1 single vote from these Hillary supporters. The only thing this man deserves is to be sent back to the Senate where maybe, just maybe, he might be able to achieve something.
There is plenty of ammo against Onbama for the GOP to throw at him. The only problem with that is that the gullible Obama fans
ignore facts that they do not want to hear, such as Obama's very important associations with Wright, Ayers, Rezko, and the Chicago politicals who have masterminded his candidacy. These associations tell of Obama's character, or lack of it. Think about that a little bit. How else, would an unknown, non-achieving 2 year Senator get so far, so fast, & rake in so much money?
To Virginia gal - There is a very good explanation for Obama's hands to remain at his side during the flag allegiance. For 23 years, Obama was a disciple of Rev. Wright who damned the U.S., Israel, & the Jews.He wrote in his books of his deep regard for Wright, of his day-to-day political teachings & he considered Wright to be his political surrogate. What is it that Wright taught Obama? It could not have been love for our flag, so why should he salute it? This would also explain Michelle's speaking of Obama's caucus wins as being the 1st time she was proud to be an American & explains why Obama had stopped wearing the flag pin.
Obama has not & will not break with the past. He broke with Wright only because of political expediency, after Wright was bringing down his poll numbers. He lies like Bush, he never admits an error, like Bush, he has already held a secret meeting [ with Canada ], like Bush, he does not believe in apologizing, like Bush, & he is arrogant, like Bush. He also takes money from lobbyists [ about 16 ]& bundlers [about 350 ] to whom he will owe favors, if elected. He has already paid back one bundler, General Dynamics, with an earmark and we will end up paying for it.[ To be fair, McCain has over 400 bundlers & lobbyists, as well.]
TO Ann - I couldn't care less about someone having taken drugs years ago nor if a person is a Muslim, Chinaman or homosexual. I care about one's honesty, one's ethics, one's qualifications, all of which are lacking in this man. A good American? Check out his book Audacity to Hope. In it, he writes ," I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction". Nowhere does he say that he will stand with the Americans.
TO aleks - Obama makes one misjudgement after another. He constantly has to say that we, his listeners, have twisted or misinterpreted his words, or we misconstrued them, or we misunderstood them. Never has he admitted that he had made the mistake.
TO Allen - My experience tells me never, ever, trust anything that comes out of Obama's mouth, especially his promises. He & his ex-advisor, Samantha Power,each said that his campaign "promises" are really "plans" & do not have to be kept.
TO 37th&Ost- Yes, the Dems voted to give Bush the option to go to war but only after he lied to them about the necessity for doing so, seconded by Colin Powell. Republicans joined them. Funny, tho, how Obama criticized only Hillary for doing this. Kerry & Dodd, also who voted "yes", were not too evil to be allowed to join his campaign. Hillary gets accused of causing Bhutto's assassination because of her vote. Why not blame Kerry & Dod, as well?
TO June 12th & 13th- Yes, Obama voted to fund the war after he became a U.S. Senator. He also voted against the Kerry bill to bring the troops home & for the GOP bill to stop Congress from voting to hold back funds unless a date for withdrawl was in place. As I said, Obama can not be trusted with what he says. I feel he can't be trusted, period!

Posted by: afed27 | June 13, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

For a brand to have meaning, it needs to have some basis in reality. The Republicans, as represented in Washington, have forgotten what fiscal responsibility means. The economic and energy policy has no more thought behind it than a 5 point Powerpoint slide summed up as 'ignore the problem and it will eventually go away'. All a politician needs to do is say a few words about free markets and free trade and that assures the pundits that he has the correct answers. No questions need to be asked like if there are limits to the benefits of free trade? is our nation served by lack of regulation?

Posted by: Rintintin | June 13, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Republicans is that they don't care about America. They are the party of the rich and the richer still. Since the super rich are a very tiny minority of the population they have wrapped themselves in the flag and carry the cross to garner the loyalty of those who are not influenced by ideas. All their phony breast beating about caring for the troops and appealing to the least intellectual version of Christianity appeals to the ignorant and the poorly educated. That they continue to milk the non-debate over evolution says it all.

Posted by: afgail | June 13, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"As an American who's not particularly interested in one-party rule, I'm hoping the Republican Party that emerges is a more diverse party, a party interested in competent governance, a party that can play well with others."

novamatt is right. As a Democrat, I agree with him completely. Unfortunately, there are the Scotts out there who taint their party with harmful neocon garbage. We need a constructive dialog to heal the incredible damage that these neoconservatives have brought to bear on this great nation. When you think about it, from the war to the economy, the environment, energy policy, education, our infrastructure, our Constitution, regulation, illegal wiretapping, and foreign relations, they have systematically destroyed the American Dream. The only thing they have been really good at is torturing people. I sincerely hope that Republican party can cleanse itself of the neocon menace, our country certainly needs to ...

Posted by: numberseven | June 13, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

".....and his lack of demonstrated patriotism is important to me"

Please tell me what you are referring to because you sound like a jingoistic loser who has spent to many nights with your head up Sean Hannity's a**.

Posted by: maria | June 13, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Dear Scott: When you start insinuating that Barack Obama and Michelle Obama "are not patriotic" enough for you somehow, why don't you explain what that means to you. Do you think it is patriotic to devote yourself to public service and upholding the Constitution? Or do you define it as NEVER questioning the policies of your Government, even when it disregards the Constitution and respect for Human Rights? Do you think patriotism means you ignore the nations past flaws or that you might recognize them and learn from them in order to make the world a better place?

I have ZERO doubts about Barack and Michelle Obama's patriotism. And as far as the Reverend Wright goes, I don't question the man's right to critique our government's policies. That is every person's right, especially someone who served their country proudly as a Marine. Perhaps you need to go back and take a look at the stain McCarthyism left on this nation before you start blithely posing "innocent" queries about someone's "real" devotion to their country. You sir, represent the worse kind of political sleaze that festers in the bowels of our political system thanks to the anonymous shield that the internet provides.

I

Posted by: maria | June 13, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Forget about Mccain. I was at one of his THM's and he doesn't remember what he is saying much of the time. His views change in the course of 15 minutes based on the question. Just tell him what you want to hear and he will tailor an answer for you. He is like a chameleon but with a bad memory for what he has said.

))))))))))))
Obama has a voting record, and his positions have certainly changed far less than McCain's. He has clarified and thought through some comments - and honestly, I want that in a president.

McCain's record, recently, is of rejecting most of what he's said he's believed, in order to pander to voters.

I very strongly disagree with you about Obama's patriotism. I think Obama clearly loves this country and wants what is best for it. I also believe he has the intellect and the leadership skills to make those things happen.

I believe patriotism shines through his books, his actions, and his life. I do NOT think patriotism is demonstrated by flag pins or putting your hand over your heart - I think patriotism is working for what is best for our country.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | June 13, 2008 12:12 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm ignorant

Posted by: Scott | June 13, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your words of reason. Perhaps if we heard such more reasoned overtures like this the HC supporters would more seriously consider Sen Obama.

No one believes or cares about the garbage posts questioning O's patriotism, birth certificate, bogus Muslim affiliation, or past drug use. So those Rs posting such garbage should realize they are wasting their time and I say that as someone who is not an O supporter.

Its kind of weird that this is the first time in my life that party affiliation does matter and so many lifelong D's are being told to leave the party or being piushed out by rabid O supporters. Seems really bizarre but a major problem for your campaign.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 13, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a voting record, and his positions have certainly changed far less than McCain's. He has clarified and thought through some comments - and honestly, I want that in a president.

McCain's record, recently, is of rejecting most of what he's said he's believed, in order to pander to voters.

I very strongly disagree with you about Obama's patriotism. I think Obama clearly loves this country and wants what is best for it. I also believe he has the intellect and the leadership skills to make those things happen.

I believe patriotism shines through his books, his actions, and his life. I do NOT think patriotism is demonstrated by flag pins or putting your hand over your heart - I think patriotism is working for what is best for our country.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | June 13, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your words of reason. Perhaps if we such more reasoned overtures like this the HC supporters would more seriously consider Sen Obama.

"I am absolutely sure that if Obama could speak on this board he would denounce Tom3 and say he is not a supporter he wishes to have on his team.
As for me, an Obama supporter, if Obama himself began to present himself the way Tom3 does, I would be voting for McCain. So, while I don't understand clinton supporters reaction to Obama, I do understand your reaction to extremely insulting so-called Obama supporters.
Obama/Sebelius 08!

Posted by: 1rap | June 12, 2008 "


Sebilius other than being a woman governor offers nothing to the ticket.

It needs to be either HC or Biden to heal the party. Personally I would have preferred Biden at the top of the ticket, but either would send a strong message to the 18 million HC supporters that I would reluctantly get behind and would urge other reluctant HC to join. But that is doubtful since there seems to be so little respect from the O side except for the rare thoughtful supporter in the post above for the consideration of 48% of the members of the D party.

For those here wishing to continue slamming the HC supporters, keep in mind that her moderate voters make up almost 50% of the D party.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 13, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

VirginaGal2-
I care about all of those thing too, and I don't agree with McCain on his positions or his voting record on all of them. Obama has little voting record on them and his poitions change, as with NAFTA and the Canadians and Jerusalem and the Palestinians....he'll say whatever you want to hear...I can judge McCain on his record, I have to judge Obama on something other than his promises...and his lack of demonstrated patriotism is important to me...sad it's not important to you.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Scott, I don't care why he has his hand at his side. It's irrelevant.

I care about the war.

I care about health care.

I care about the economy.

I do not care about personal attack BS, and it's insulting to my intelligence to have people think that sort of nonsense would sway my vote.

Posted by: VirginaGal2 | June 13, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Difference in Annual Middle Class Tax Cut-

$700...

Difference in Experience-


Priceless.

Posted by: Scott | June 13, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama Junkie...Please quiet this issue: why did Obama have his hands to his sides, while the other candidates saluted the flag during the national anthem? It's a simple question about a less than 2nd year senator who has little record to go on...we would judge him on the issues in his record if we could...promising the sun, the moon, and the stars is not the same thing. He promised Israel at Aipac a nondivided Jerusalem and took it back the next week when Abbas objected....woops.

Posted by: Scott | June 13, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The Republican brand has taken a real beating under George W. Bush. McCain does have a history and track record over 25 years in Washington of working with Democrats and Republicans to resolve issues. But the McCain of 2008 is not the McCain of 2000. On over 95% of the most important issues to Americans. McCain agrees with Bush on issues from the economy, to Iran, Iraq, to health care and much more.

McCain and Republicans know that they can't win the November elections on the issues only! The politics of personal destruction has to be the Republican brand choice weapon!

The GOP will attack Obama, his wife, his former-pastor, his former-guest pastor, his former church and his other past relations (i.e. Rezko & Ayers) because the national issues of the economy, Iraq War, energy policy, climate change, Social Security, Health care costs, education and others are toxic to the GOP. The only issue in which they have a chance to complete is on national security.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 13, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

A wave of presidential polls was released yesterday bringing some very good news for Obama in diverse states like Wisconsin, Iowa and North Carolina. Full roundup here: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/06/polls-dems-get-good-presidential-day.html

Posted by: Dan | June 13, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Ann, You see these questions...how many sermons did Obama in reality hear Rev Wright deliver against America, clapping with those around him whose vote he desired, for example...have not been answered, they've been sidestepped...so, why didn't he salute? It's not old news until 1 day after the election...plenty of time to answer.

Posted by: SCOTT | June 13, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

ANN,
NO OFFENSE, BUT NOONE CARES WHETHER OR NOT YOU PLACE YOUR HAND OVER YOUR HEART...IF YOU WERE AT A CEREMONY WHICH COULD GET YOU HIRED FOR THE BEST JOB YOU EVER COULD IMAGINE HAVING AND ALL THE PEOPLE PRESENT VYING FOR THE JOB HAD THEIR HANDS OVERR THEIR HEARTS...YOU BEST BELIEVE YOU WOULD HAVE IT THERE TOO, UNLESS YOU WERE MAKING A CONSCIOUS CHOICE NOT TO....WHY IS THE QUESTION. mCcAIN HAS LOTS OF WONDERFUL ANSWERS...GO TO JOHNMCCAIN.COM FOR THEM IF YOU'RE INTERESTED.

Posted by: SCOTT | June 13, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that posters are still trying to make Obama un-American or a closet terrorist. If your candidate can't deliver, he doesn't deserve to win. Obama seems pretty American to me.

1) I, along 50% of the people at a sporting event, don't put my hand over my heart during the national anthem. Heck, a lot of people can't even be bothered to stand still.

2) Obama's father was a Muslim for a while, that's true. Obama Jr. saw Obama Sr. one time between the age of 2 and 10. My mother assures I visited with my uncle many times before he died when I was 10. I have no real memory of that, nor did it make me become a Methodist.

3) Repeat after me, the Manchurian Candidate is a movie. It is not real. The Manchurian Candidate is a movie. It is not real.

4) Howie Mandel does that weird little handless handshake thing I believe is called a Dap. He's unfunny, but he's not a terrorist. I see people do it all the time, especially at sporting events. Therefore, you cannot call it a terrorist handshake when the Obamas do it.

5) Obama has admitted to experimenting with drugs while he was a teenager. It's stupid and a waste of time. But teenagers are well-known for that. If we all had to be held accountable 30 years later for the stupid things we did, no one could get elected.

If you can't think of a reason to vote for McCain, that's fine. Stay home and watch TV on election day. But stop spreading crap about his opponent.

Posted by: Ann | June 13, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Of course Republicans have a problem with their brand. Every chance Big Media has to smear the R's they do. With the D's, a different story.

Take Spitzer. It was extraordinarily rare to see media coverage identifying Spitzer as a D. The prolonged CNN report of Spitzer's eventual resignation featured Wolf Blitzer in front of a wall-sized screen with a picture of Spitzer and the lettering "Spitzer R". Only in the very rare shots of the whole studio did the audience see that the "R" was not the designation for political affiliation--as traditional coverage required--but the first letter in "Resigns". This from the same source that ripped the GOP for one frame in one ad that had the letters "RATS" as part of "bureaucrats"!

Other examples abound.
-Wm Tate,
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 13, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Ann

Not sure about what your calculations are - hhhmmm - the House?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Ann

Not sure about what your calculations are - hhhmmm - the House?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

you have to hand it to the Republicans. It only took a six years in power to drive the country into the ground. It took the Democrats 40.

Posted by: Ann | June 13, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Like other posters below, I think this goes a little deeper than just a branding problem. The Republicans have long-term demographic and managerial problems as well, and those can't be fixed by better commercials.

The Republicans are going to get another thumpin' this November, probably a bigger thumpin' than '06, and they will then have to decide among themselves how to move forward. It might be a quick turnaround, or it might take a few more cycles of thumpins to convince them. As an American who's not particularly interested in one-party rule, I'm hoping the Republican Party that emerges is a more diverse party, a party interested in competent governance, a party that can play well with others.

Posted by: novamatt | June 13, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

McCain voted with Bush about 95% of the time last year. That isn't a break with the past.

McCain has abandoned some of his better previous positions to fall in line with Republican party orthodoxy and thus get the nomination. That isn't a break with the past.

McCain supports a HORRIBLE health care plan that would, at its core, undermine our current system of employer-provided health care (where the majority of insured get their insurance), would not provide enough funds for decent health insurance (less than half of the average cost would be covered), and would make it nearly impossible for anyone with any kind of health condition to get decent insurance at a reasonable cost.)

That is virtually identical to how George Bush wanted to screw up Social Security. That is not a break with the past.

As far as Iraq - I supported going into Afghanistan. As soon as I heard about Iraq, I thought it was a mistake. Yes, the Dems supported it based on misleading and slanted information provided to them by this administration. Yes, they have supported our troops since then with funding.

Know what? Iraq was a stupid war that has wasted many lives and has taken the health of many, many more fine young men and women. That's not dividing the country - that's how the VAST majority of the country feels - and pointing out that the current administration SCREWED UP is just acknowledging the majority view.

We need a break with the past. And McCain is not it.

Posted by: VirgininaGal2 | June 13, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

allen-

The national anthem's playing, and Biden and Clinton have their hands over their hearts...Obama's are at his sides...no editing possible or necessary...just an explanation...shoulder injury or a political statement?

Posted by: scott | June 13, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

The people on this board who want our country to be run by a former cocaine user - AND then they have the nerve to say that Obama has "better judgement" Is that what they've got? Where was Obama's "better judgement" when he was buying cocaine???

Posted by: | June 13, 2008 1:42 AM


How old was Obama when he used cocaine, and how old was McCain when he promoted the invasion of Iraq, supported Bush's election and reelection, or sang about bombing Iran? I guess I'm less worried about a three decades old teenage mistake than policies and positions taken over the last decade, especially when McCain continues to push them.

Posted by: aleks | June 13, 2008 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama very much does have a good history of working with the Republican Party. Ever heard of the Lugar-Obama Nonproliferation Initiative? It helps to keep the world safer from deadly weapons, and I appreciate it since Senator McCain and President Bush just keep on making more war. To learn more about the Obama-Lugar project, go to Senator Obama's site:

http://obama.senate.gov/press/070628-obama_lugar_sec/

At the same time, Senator Obama has gone on record, stating that he will sponsor legislation to ensure Senator McCain could become president (despite some critics' comments that the Panama Canal - McCain's birthplace - doesn't count as the U.S). So even though McCain is his opponent, Senator Obama is effectively giving him a helping hand. Obama's a classy guy - that's why so many people admire him.

Posted by: Allen | June 13, 2008 3:36 AM | Report abuse

The country is already run by a former cocaine user: George W. Bush.

This is a childish argument. I don't like President Bush's policies, but I seek to provide alternatives. I don't demagogue the fact that he previously used cocaine and was an alcoholic. A little tolerance goes a long way.

Posted by: legan00@ccny.cuny.edu | June 13, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse


Allen

It is everyone's war - we are ONE country


The democrats are seeking to DIVIDE this country by saying really divisive things like "its not the democrats' war"

The democrats vote FOR the war.

The democrats supported the war in the 2002 elections.

The democrats supported the war in the 2004 elections.


The democrats were afraid to say what they were supporting in the 2006 elections.

Pelosi and the democratic majorities in Congress CONTINUE TO FUND THE WAR YEAR AFTER YEAR.


According to your logic, after all that the democrats have NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WAR.


All the democrats do is sit there and blame Bush and the Republicans, for their own personal advantage.


The democrats do not have the national security in mind, they simply want to fool people into voting for them.


And fool the American people IS the democrats' strategy.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris

I am not happy with the premise you have here because McCain represents a break from the GOP past. McCain won the nomination - his straight talk policies and anti-lobbyist reforms are not the platform of the Republican Party.


I am not sure where you are coming from.


McCain is the REAL CHANGE AGENT in this election - he is the only candidate with a history of working for UNITY and working with the other party.

This race is getting silly.


The race is with one candidate who actually has a TRACK RECORD of doing what the other candidate pretends that he will do -


Obama has no history of working with the other party.


Obama has no history of legislative achievements


Obama has no history of anything much more than affirmative action programs and snorting cocaine.

The people on this board who want our country to be run by a former cocaine user - AND then they have the nerve to say that Obama has "better judgement" Is that what they've got? Where was Obama's "better judgement" when he was buying cocaine???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris

I am not happy with the premise you have here because McCain represents a break from the GOP past. McCain won the nomination - his straight talk policies and anti-lobbyist reforms are not the platform of the Republican Party.


I am not sure where you are coming from.


McCain is the REAL CHANGE AGENT in this election - he is the only candidate with a history of working for UNITY and working with the other party.

This race is getting silly.


The race is with one candidate who actually has a TRACK RECORD of doing what the other candidate pretends that he will do -


Obama has no history of working with the other party.


Obama has no history of legislative achievements


Obama has no history of anything much more than affirmative action programs and snorting cocaine.

The people on this board who want our country to be run by a former cocaine user - AND then they have the nerve to say that Obama has "better judgement" Is that what they've got? Where was Obama's "better judgement" when he was buying cocaine???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris

I am not happy with the premise you have here because McCain represents a break from the GOP past. McCain won the nomination - his straight talk policies and anti-lobbyist reforms are not the platform of the Republican Party.


I am not sure where you are coming from.


McCain is the REAL CHANGE AGENT in this election - he is the only candidate with a history of working for UNITY and working with the other party.

This race is getting silly.


The race is with one candidate who actually has a TRACK RECORD of doing what the other candidate pretends that he will do -


Obama has no history of working with the other party.


Obama has no history of legislative achievements


Obama has no history of anything much more than affirmative action programs and snorting cocaine.

The people on this board who want our country to be run by a former cocaine user - AND then they have the nerve to say that Obama has "better judgement" Is that what they've got? Where was Obama's "better judgement" when he was buying cocaine???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Chris

I am not happy with the premise you have here because McCain represents a break from the GOP past. McCain won the nomination - his straight talk policies and anti-lobbyist reforms are not the platform of the Republican Party.


I am not sure where you are coming from.


McCain is the REAL CHANGE AGENT in this election - he is the only candidate with a history of working for UNITY and working with the other party.

This race is getting silly.


The race is with one candidate who actually has a TRACK RECORD of doing what the other candidate pretends that he will do -


Obama has no history of working with the other party.


Obama has no history of legislative achievements


Obama has no history of anything much more than affirmative action programs and snorting cocaine.

The people on this board who want our country to be run by a former cocaine user - AND then they have the nerve to say that Obama has "better judgement" Is that what they've got? Where was Obama's "better judgement" when he was buying cocaine???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Here you see the real Republican Party. They pretend to support the war, while "strongly"opposing abortion and gay marriage; but in the end, it's all about their money. You can't blame them too harshly. If you had massive sums of wealth, you'd likely support this President and John McCain, too. But unfortunately these last eight years the middle class has been lapped 80 times by the wealthy, and now it's beginning to undermine the entire economy. The reason why Barack Obama has not been abhorred by Wall Street is because they recognize the need to level things off. And to all these people who keep calling this socialism, fine! Be sure to report your mail man, your fire fighters, your cops, your teachers, and your troops. They are all financed by the state. If it's socialism to lower health care premiums for people who need that little extra help to feel comfortable in America, then I'm a proud socialist. If it's socialist to repeal the $14Billion subsidies to Exxon Mobil, Chevron, British Pretroleum, Valero and the rest of Big Oil, then I'm a proud socialist. And if it's socialist to demand that Big Oil utilize the 68 million acres they've already leased from the government, only a quarter of which is being utilized sufficiently, then yeah, I'm a proud socialist. And I'll feel vindicated when I grow old, knowing I didn't defend the petroleum companies over people like my grandparents, and yours. There comes a time when the wealthy must concede, if they want the middle class to retain the purchasing power necessary to buy wealthy America's goods and services. This is why Obama will win. The pendulum must swing, my friends. If we were to continue George W. Bush's fiscal and tax policies, which John McCain has grudgingly pledged in order to get his party's nomination, we will look like Mexico in 5-6 years. That is not meant as a sleight toward Mexicans, but I don't want to live in Mexico. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that crazy socialist, once countered critics of the New Deal by saying: "I'm the best friend the capitalists ever had." The alternative is a hostile public with little or no consumer confidence. This is bad for business, and bad for BIG BUSINESS. But to the people earning less than $250k, you're livelihood is not in danger. Were the '90s an awful time? No! You're just afraid your parents might have been wrong and blanket opposition to taxes might not be sound economic policy. It's okay, your pride is in tact. But I'll bet you my tax cut that Barack Obama will win, because big business needs him to win. They need consumers to be confident again. And to all these anti-socialists on here: the ardent conservative/libertarian Ayn Rand once mocked the so-called conservative National Review and "neoconservatism" in general, by charging that they have no political philosophy, they're simply against communism. This is why they all sound so frustrated on this blog. Their party has lacked a sound philosophy of governance since the mid-'70s, and their cohorts are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their product is deficient. It' not you guys, it's that ideas are careless, and worse yet, thoughtless. Take this defeat as a lesson: REMODEL! Hell, even Tom Delay says the same!


New York City Secession 2010

Posted by: legan00@ccny.cuny.edu | June 13, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Chris

The American people are upset about the war, which is understandable - however, how many democrats voted to get us INTO the war? I believe it is a little deceptive to blame the entire thing on Bush and the Republicans.


What the democrats have been doing ALL ALONG is playing politics with the war.


The democrats have NEVER been concerned about a STRONG FOREIGN POLICY - instead when the democrats saw an electorial advantage in supporting the war, they were for the war, when the saw the wind shifting, they changed.


This kind of political game playing turns the stomach of most Americans.

What about the people who have died over there ? They gave their lives to WIN the war, not to cut an run at the first sign that the democratic party might pick up some electorial gains.


It is sickening and sad.

I find these democrats to be pathetic. NOW the democratic party line is this: the democrats will vote to fund the war because it will hurt them politically not to, however they will run around, throw their hands in the air and still say how much they want to end it.

Give the country a break.

That is not leadership.


Keep the democrats away from implementing their "cut and run" policies which will hurt this country in the medium and long runs.


.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 13, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

To all you dingalings who believe that Obama is a devout Christian I give you Mohamed Ali.Before he became the heavyweight champion he too was a Christian.That is until he became the heavyweight champion. Soon after that he declared that from now on he was a Muslim. I have a feeling we may have the same experience with this guy. Let's hope that enough people feel like I do and would rather not have a Muslim President at this time. Perhaps some other time, just not now!

Posted by: Opa2 | June 13, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

If you voted for Bush in the last election, you should have a 'brand' on your forehead. An 'I' for IDIOT!

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 13, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

A more succinct headline, Chris:

"GOP is f*cked."


Or. . .


"Who Wants to be in the Suck Party?"


You all made a faustian pact with the neocons and got your Three Branches of Government. Then you messed everything up and showed that you can't govern anything. So now we Democrats will run things again, as we have before [see: 1933-1980] when being Republican meant something other than being corrupt and inept. At least you guy once stood for balancing the books, now you can't even do that.

You all get the party you deserve.

Posted by: Christian in NYC | June 13, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

To clear things up, we need to realize that - It's not the Democrats' war. Every time the Democrats try to make the Iraqis take charge - Bush intervenes and won't let the Democrats take control. Bush vetoes almost every bill the Democrats put out there because he uses that dumb logic of "you're either with me or against me." He is so blind to who his enemies are.

He's unable to compromise - and that's a serious downfall. Bush needs to wake up and see that we can't baby-sit the Iraqis FOREVER. Our GREAT soldiers tore down Saddam Hussein, and so NOW, the Iraqis must stand up and help themselves. We can't keep spending $12 billion a month in Iraq when we have poor, jobless Americans in Ohio and West Virginia who need help. The Iraqis must do more.

As for McCain, he doesn't want to help our 160,000 men and women in Iraq - he just wants to keep them there for the next 100 years! McCain thinks this is okay - but I think the families disagree and want to see their husbands, sons, daughters and wives! It's time for change. To help make this change happen, click on over to www.barackobama.com and get involved. He has good plans for our veterans and armed services. You can learn more at:

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

Posted by: Allen | June 13, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

why is obama afraid to debate mccain

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 13, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Has Obama ever voted to continue the war funding? Congress holds the purse strings under the Constitution - it's the democrats' war now.


Tell that to everyone who is complaining.

For my part, I favor a strong national defense.

However I hate deception.


I hate liars even more. I also hate "false charges of offensive remarks." Obama has so many contradictions it is not funny. He is against the war, but the Pelosi democrats are funding the war.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Has Obama ever voted to continue the war funding? Congress holds the purse strings under the Constitution - it's the democrats' war now.


Tell that to everyone who is complaining.

For my part, I favor a strong national defense.

However I hate deception.


I hate liars even more. I also hate "false charges of offensive remarks." Obama has so many contradictions it is not funny. He is against the war, but the Pelosi democrats are funding the war.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Nick, most of those who call ourselves "anti-Bush Republicans" have not, in fact, ever voted for the man. While many Democrats and Independents must have voted for him in order for him to be elected twice. This time both parties are nominating the least partisan option. It will be interesting to see how each candidate sells himself to Independents and to members of the opposing party who are tired of routine betrayals in the name of party unity.

Posted by: Viejita del oeste | June 13, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama is a devoted Christian, and actually, I'm an Obama supporter from the South. But while we're talking about religion, I have to say that it's sad to hear people putting down Muslims. We have to stop generalizing about Muslim people as "bad" - and the distubing fact is that ultra-conservatives lump peaceful Muslims and extreme Muslims together. We need to move beyond that kind of blindness. We need to focus on defeating John McCain because I don't want to see another 4,046 men and women die in Iraq. I hope to see my friends in Iraq come home alive. God Bless them and the good work they do.

Posted by: Allen | June 12, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

If the democrats were really against the war, Pelosi and the democrats in Congress would not be funding the war. The American public sees this central contradiction: the democrats are keeping the war going.


Anything else is a deception.


McCain wants to end the war BY WINNING IT.


That is what the AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT.

The American People do not want to cut and run from a war WHICH WE ARE WINNING. Grow up, be strong and finish the job.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Allen must be working at Obama headquarters

Allen - how is it that the Obama campaign can say "radical Muslim school"


AND leave out that Obama went to a REGULAR MUSLIM SCHOOL

Obama thinks there are 57 States, like 57 states of Islam.


What is wrong with you?

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Higher taxes and bigger government is NOT the way to go.


The democrats are stuck in that frame of mind.


The democratic brand is this: higher taxes, affirmative action and gay marriage.


Chris............

Your pollsters have it wrong - the democratic party is so far to the left it is out of touch with almost half its own democratic voters - AND the entire rest of the country.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually, *some* videos do lie when the conservatives *edit* the videos to make them look a certain way - so please don't believe everything you see. If you want to learn the truth, go to Senator Obama's new site - www.fightthesmears.com - and you can see the truth. There's actually a good (i.e., real) video on there where Senator Obama leads the Pledge of Allegiance (at the bottom of the page). It's a great site. You can also donate some dollars there to stop the McCain from winning in the fall. Vote Obama 2008!

Posted by: Allen | June 12, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Maria: Your anger led you away from the point of the post: Your candidate would get close to anyone he felt would help him politically regardless of their past actions and outrageous statements....I didn't say they were building bombs together. In fact as you point out I posted a blog that stated he's NOT responsible for the weathermen's terrorist acts...How could he be? What he is responsible for is befriending those who seek to tear down our country, like Ayres and Wright, who applauded 9/11 as a "the chickens coming home to roost" for his own political gain. Maybe he's being inclusive or maybe he's being unpatriotic. His wife certainly sound unpatriotic...hey watch Youtube...videos don't lie...why DOESN'T Obama place his hand over his heart when the national anthem is played on all those videos? Please do answer, but don't be angry....

Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"I don't regret setting bombs," Bill Ayers said. "I feel we didn't do enough."

appeared in the New York Times on the morning of September 11, 2001.

"Barack Obama is in no way responsible for anything William Ayers might have said or done, and anyone who suggests otherwise is guilty of demagougery.

But here's a thought experiment. What if John McCain had visited the Unabomber's cabin? Or had been photographed with Terry Nichols? Or had stopped off at David Duke's house at some point because he was gathering support and donors?

How big a story would that be?"
************

Oh dear me Scott. Where to begin with this piece of idiocy.
By your own low standards YOU are guilty of "demogougary."

That Ayers quote was published ON 9/11 which means it was written and printed before the attacks took place and to somehow suggest that Ayers was intent on "talking like a terrorist while we were being attacked by terrorists" is just garbage.

Whatever Ayers was involved with during the Vietnam War happened when Barack Obama was a CHILD, okay? Can you figure that much out? If William Ayers was still considered a terrorist "threat" equal to the Unibomber or Nichols do you think that any of the community organizations he is involved in today in Chicago would tolerate having him on their board or as a faculty member? Maybe you should complain to Chertoff and see if DHS can go after him since you see him as a SCARY SCARY guy.

You and the Tool Podhoretz, the spawn of the biggest Warmonger of our time, Senile Norman, want to start playing the "guilt by six degrees of separation" game with Obama you better watch out because McCain has a truckload of corruption waiting to burst forth. For starters, who was #5 in the Keating 5?

Posted by: Maria | June 12, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that the media is picking up on the Republican Culture of Corruption. To learn more about these ultra-conservatives' mistakes, just go to: www.republicancultureofcorruption.com.

Afterward reading that depressing news, you can help Americans take back the country by visiting www.Democrats.org and donating a few dollars. It's quick, easy and you'll be helping the Democrats to undo Bush's failed policies. Did you know Bush's approval rating hit a record low at the beginning of June - just 25%? It's time for change folks. And if you want a FREE "Obama for President" bumper-sticker, just visit the following site: http://www.democraticstuff.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=BSfree&Click=23876

Posted by: Allen | June 12, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Given the conventional wisdom that the Dems will have wider control of Congress, McCain should promote himself as somebody that will make sure that the government will remain in the center. Having a split government should actually be good for the country as this will provide the check and balance that was sorely missing in most of Bush's term.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 12, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Another worthwhile read on the Democrat brand's spokesperson:

Obama's Ayers
John Podhoretz - 02.22.2008 - 11:30 AM
Ben Smith of Politico discusses the relationship between Barack Obama and American terrorist Bill Ayers, who has become a leftist mainstay in Chicago's Hyde Park, which Obama represented in the Illinois State Senate before becoming a U.S. Senator. Ayers's home has evidently become an important political waystation for politicians of a certain sort, and it was there, according to Smith, that Obama's predecessor introduced him to various neighborhood activist types.

Ayers now teaches at the University of Illinois in Chicago. That's an outrage in and of itself, but at least he does not teach bombmaking, the craft that what made him infamous. Ayers was a Weatherman, and was resident in a Greenwich Village townhouse where his lovely group was working on a bomb intended to kill army personnel at Fort Dix in 1970. Fortunately, the device destroyed the Greenwich Village townhouse where it was being assembled and killed three of the bomb assemblers instead of innocents.

Ayers and his companion-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, went on the lam, and while she was sent to jail in connection with a Brinks truck robbery a decade later, he was never prosecuted owing to the kinds of objections about the FBI surveillance of his group that helped create the backlash against liberalism in this country in the 1970s and eventually gave rise to the Reagan era.

Smith says he couldn't get anyone on the Obama campaign to comment, nor Ayers. Someone who was at the 1995 gathering at Ayers's house, Smith notes, "described Obama and Ayers as 'friends,' but there's no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles, and served together on the board of a Chicago foundation."

Ayers was last in the news when the New York Times published an article about how wonderful he and Bernadine Dohrn were, and how they had adopted the child of cop-killer Kathy Boudin. The piece in question, which began with Ayers saying

"I don't regret setting bombs," Bill Ayers said. "I feel we didn't do enough."

appeared in the New York Times on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama is in no way responsible for anything William Ayers might have said or done, and anyone who suggests otherwise is guilty of demagougery.

But here's a thought experiment. What if John McCain had visited the Unabomber's cabin? Or had been photographed with Terry Nichols? Or had stopped off at David Duke's house at some point because he was gathering support and donors?

How big a story would that be?

Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Who does this remind you of?...especially the part about talking to Iran without preconditions, sharing his secretary of state Zbigniew Brzezinski's theory of "direct talks" with the President of Iran with Obama...Carter couldn't win a second term...Obama's truly running for it now.

Jimmy Carter's Legacy of Failure
Cinnamon Stillwell

Wednesday, December 12, 2006
SF Chronicle Submissions

It seems that everywhere one looks lately, former President Jimmy Carter is hawking his new book, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid." The inflammatory title has not won Carter any new fans from the pro-Israel side of the equation. But for those who buy into the history of the Middle East conflict that's been promulgated through years of anti-Israel propaganda, Carter's use of the term "apartheid" is a confirmation of all they hold dear.

The attempt to associate Israel with apartheid era South Africa has indeed been a popular and effective tactic in the arsenal of anti-Israel talking points. It matters little that the charge is untrue. One simply has to insert the word "apartheid" into the discussion and the damage is done.

Carter himself admits toward the end of his book that his use of the term "apartheid" was not meant literally and that the situation in Israel "is unlike that in South Africa -- not racism, but the acquisition of land." In response to criticism of his choice of words, Carter told the Los Angeles Times that he was trying to call attention to what he sees as the "economic form" of apartheid afflicting the Palestinian territories. During an interview with Judy Woodruff of "The News Hour" on PBS, Carter reiterated that he only used "apartheid" in his title to "provoke discussion." When an author concedes that his chosen title is inaccurate, it calls into question the entire premise of his book.

There are those who have called Carter's entire book into question, including friend and colleague Dr. Kenneth W. Stein. A well-known Middle East scholar, and until recently a fellow of Emory University's Carter Center, Stein resigned his position because of strenuous objections to the content of Carter's book. In an e-mail message regarding his resignation, Stein described the book as "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments."

The copied materials involve two maps from former U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross' book "The Missing Peace." In an appearance on Fox News, Ross confirmed that the maps originated with his book, and he objected not only to the lack of attribution but also to Carter's inaccurate presentation of the historical facts involved.

Similarly, attorney Alan Dershowitz, in a scathing review, writes that "Mr. Carter's book is so filled with simple mistakes of fact and deliberate omissions that were it a brief filed in a court of law, it would be struck and its author sanctioned for misleading the court."

Top-ranking Democrats have also disavowed Carter's work. Both Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi issued statements on Carter's book, distancing themselves and the Democratic Party from his divisive rhetoric. Meanwhile, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., an African American, condemned Carter's inappropriate use of the term "apartheid" in his title, labeling it "offensive."


Intimations of Anti-Semitism

Carter's contention in the book, and one that he recently discussed with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, is that a "minority of Israelis have refused to swap land for peace." This is laughable, considering the repeated examples of Israeli governments doing just that. Successive administrations, whether under Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon or now Ehud Olmert (who's practically falling all over himself to give away Israeli land), have offered or given up territory, only to be met with increased aggression. Recent examples include the ongoing violence in Gaza following Israel's disengagement plan and the war in Lebanon six long years after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon.

One has to wonder if Carter's single-minded obsession with Israel as the root of the problems in the world -- not to mention the stubbornly one-sided view of the Middle East conflict to which he has a history of subscribing -- has any anti-Semitic underpinnings. Such is the suspicion among many of Carter's harshest critics. In fact, during a recent appearance by Carter on C-SPAN's "Book TV," a caller accused him of being an "anti-Semite" and a "bigot," to which Carter reacted with denial.

But this was hardly the first time that intimations of anti-Semitism have tainted Carter's career. In an article titled "Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem," Jason Maoz, senior editor at Jewish Press, reveals that "during a March 1980 meeting with his senior political advisers, Carter, discussing his fading reelection prospects and his sinking approval rating in the Jewish community, snapped, 'If I get back in, I'm going to [expletive] the Jews.'" Maoz also references the 1976 presidential campaign during which Carter, fearing that his opponent Senator Henry ("Scoop") Jackson had the Jewish vote in the Democratic primaries locked up, "instructed his staff not to issue any more statements on the Middle East. 'Jackson has all the Jews anyway ... we get the Christians.'"


Strengthening Israel's Enemies

Carter's history of involvement with the Middle East conflict is no less troublesome. It was Carter who brokered the first in a series of largely ineffective and in the long run incredibly damaging Arab-Israeli peace treaties. Far from pushing peace, such agreements have only strengthened the disdain toward Israel from its Arab neighbors and led to further violence.

Carter's claim to fame in the peace process arena was the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty signed at Camp David by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. While the alleged peace between Egypt and Israel has held up to this day, increased hostility in Egypt toward Israel and Jews has been the true legacy. At some point, one has to come to the logical conclusion that a peace treaty that inspires hatred is not worth the paper it's printed on.

Instead, Carter received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his efforts in the Middle East, among other locales. Such efforts continue with Carter's apparent fondness for Hamas, the terrorist group turned government, which, he insists, will become a "non-violent organization" despite all indications to the contrary. Before that, it was his cozy relationship with Palestinian dictator Yasser Arafat.

Friend to Dictators

Indeed, it seems there are very few dictators in the world to whose defense Carter has not rallied -- Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, former Yugoslav strongman Marshal Josef Tito, former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, former Pakistani General Zia ul-Haq, former North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung and now his son Kim Jong Il, to name a few.

Carter's eagerness to appease the former Soviet Union and his opposition to his successor President Ronald Reagan's uncompromising approach (which has been widely credited with helping bring down the "evil empire") also speak to his lack of understanding when it comes to the nature of totalitarian regimes. Then there's Carter's propensity for certifying obviously compromised elections in places such as Venezuela and Haiti.

Carter's failed approach to foreign policy has indeed put America in a perilous position in the world. If we look at some of the major challenges facing the United States today, we can thank Jimmy Carter for getting us off on the wrong foot. Whether it's the Middle East, Iran or North Korea, Carter's track record as president is nothing to brag about and his career as ex-president has been even worse.

'Worst Ex-President'

Author Steven F. Hayward, who has labeled Carter the "worst ex-president" certainly thinks so. In his book, "The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry," Hayward runs down the ways in which America continues to reap the legacy of Carter's missteps, both during his presidential term and after.

When it comes to the belligerence of North Korea, Carter's past involvement has done considerable damage. In the early 1990s, Carter traveled to North Korea on another of his "peacekeeping missions" and brokered a deal with dictator Kim Il Sung. He did so without the blessing of the Clinton administration, although, at the behest of then-Vice President Al Gore, President Clinton later agreed to adopt Carter's deal. The United States ended up providing aid, oil and, incredibly, material for building light-water nuclear reactors to the North Koreans in exchange for their abandoning their nuclear weapons program. The problem is they didn't abandon their nuclear weapons program; they just said they did. And in 2002, they admitted as much. Still, to this day, Carter claims that his approach was a success and that it was President Bush's inclusion of North Korea in the famous "axis of evil" speech that led to current leader Kim Jong Il's hostility toward America.

The fruits of Carter's history with Iran are even more rotten. Carter's abandonment of the shah in 1977-78 helped lead to the Islamic revolution (and the murder or imprisonment of many of the Iranian leftists who had supported overthrowing the shah), the emboldening of the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and the rise of radical Islam worldwide. His botched approach to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 inspired Islamic terrorists all over the world, culminating in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The threat of nuclear war emanating from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be seen as another offshoot of Carter's ineffective policies. Predictably, Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski, his former national security adviser, are now pushing for "direct talks" with Iran. But considering the abject failure of U.N.-brokered negotiations (supported by the Bush administration) thus far, it is difficult to imagine how U.S.-led negotiations would fare any better.

Wherever U.S. interests have been imperiled and a temporary "peace" could be bought at the expense of long-term security, Carter has always been on board. The late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan summed it up when he said of Carter in 1980, "Unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies, he has essentially adopted our enemies' view of the world."

Meddler and Failure

Another of Jimmy Carter's dubious legacies has been the now common habit of former presidents meddling in current politics. Carter has made many an enemy among both Republican and Democratic administrations by undermining their foreign policies via the Carter Center. As Chris Suellentrop put it in an article for Slate magazine, Carter has "difficulties coming to grips with the fact that he ... [is] not president."

Despite the overwhelming evidence of failure, Carter has become something of a sacred cow to many liberals, who often express outrage when their hero is criticized. But no one who inserts himself into the public sphere is above criticism. And how quickly Carter's fans forget the malaise that gripped the nation under his presidency.

My own childhood memories of the time consist mostly of long lines snaking around gas stations due to the embargo on Iranian oil, not to mention a general feeling in the country of want and hopelessness. Carter may have inherited a recession, but his presidency did little to improve the weak economy. This was among the reasons that he lost re-election to Ronald Reagan in 1980. Yet somehow Carter's presidency is still held up by some as a shining example for the current leadership to follow.

Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

This is why McCain must run as far away from Bush as possible. Even on Iraq.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | June 12, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Dwight posts:
"the democrats are worse than the Republicans. look at all the bills they tried to pass into law. feinstein wanted to sneek pass the senate a bill legalizing illegal immigrants and we all know they need them to be able to vote to keep them in power forever.
people, look at the issues, then go vote in november. that's all I ask. if the candidate of the party you are trained to vote for doesn't think the same way in terms of issues, vote for the one that does..."

That shows such a misunderstanding of the electoral laws of the nation. What it would grant is that those who are "illegal immigrants" the "legal immigrant status" It does not confer the right to vote on any of these individuals. YOU MUST HAVE U.S. CITIZENSHIP IN ORDER TO VOTE. A legal immigrant does not have the right to vote unless they take out U.S. Citizenship.

I know of at least one person who works in Cancer research (at Massachussets General Hospital and Harvard) who does not have U.S. Citizenship, but she is a legal immigrant to the U.S. She cannot vote.

Just by changing their status from "illegal" to "legal" (especially since they do jobs that no self respecting guy like Dwight would do, doesn't affect the voting make-up.


Posted by: Work at Home guy | June 12, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party stands for big spending and lower taxes and that means pass the expense to the unborn and let the next generation pay for this generations' waste. The Republican Party is the pass the buck party, they pass the expense to either the states or the next generation. They don't mind fighting a war as long as they don't have to pay for it. That is not leadership

Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I think will be changing soon. I'm a life long Democrat but after making the Presumptive Nominee Barack Obama and moving Democratic Headquarters to Chicago is shocking to me. Obama's a creep and the Democratic leadership is so incompetent, they don't know what they're doing. As a New Yorker, I am not allowed to write in a vote but I can vote for Mc Cain. He may bring about changes in the Republican Party that I can appreciate and bring it back to the center.

Posted by: Lynn E | June 12, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans don't have a 'brand' problem - they have a problem facing the realities of this nation and this planet.

From global warming to taxes, outdated social mores to hypocrisy in their own ranks, use of force versus diplomacy...the beat goes on.

The Republicans don't have a brand problem: They don't have a clue how to govern. Nor how to lead.

My suggestion: Get the h&ll out of the way.

Posted by: Captain John | June 12, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Things are cyclical. The Republicans were "destroyed" in 1964, and elected Nixon in 1968 & 1972 (unfortunately). They were "destroyed" in 1974 courtesy of Watergate. However, because of Jimmy Carter, "the gift that keeps on giving", they came back with three administrations in a row. So, it may be a bit premature to kill them off. Besides, the Democrat leaders like Reid and Pelosi are not exactly the greatest recruitment tools for the Independents and Country Club Republicans.

Posted by: Howard | June 12, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

AB Stoddard in The Hill.com (see below)
A Really good read...couldn't agree more- McCain is not synonomous with Republican...just ask the wise voters in New Hampshire-the independents went to McCain, surprising the Obama camp in the Primary...more surprises to come....sure Congress will go left, but not the White House:

"In fact, if Obama's campaign staff got beyond the bad visuals and listened carefully to McCain's speech, then they are aware of the strong challenge they face. The gimmicky refrain and tortured delivery belied an otherwise great speech, with a message tailor-made for independent voters and disaffected Democrats. Not only did he remind voters of his numerous differences with President Bush, but of his personal sacrifice as well, saying the American people have "seen me put country before any president -- before any party -- before any special interest -- before my own interest. They might think me an imperfect servant of our country, which I surely am. But I am her servant first, last and always." McCain also spoke of costly healthcare, job loss, rising gas and food prices, failing schools, disappearing pensions and endangered entitlement programs and acknowledged that "your government often acts as if it is completely unaware of the changes and hardships in your lives."


Essentially, McCain is not Bush, and he is pretty good at explaining why. He is also good at explaining that he has experience and a proven bipartisan record, and Obama does not. It doesn't translate when McCain looks anguished, but if he can be himself, voters will hear this message. Many of them, including Clinton voters who aren't especially fond of Obama, will like it."


Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why hardly any Americans identify with the Republican party. The GOP stands for:

1) trying to make rich people more wealthy

2) protecting the interests of the corporations above the common people

3) being against meaningful expansion of health care to those who lack coverage

4) not wanting to protect the environment adequately

5) being opposed to generous GI educational benefits for returning veterans

6) being responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which if they have their way will continue for decades

7) opposed to extension of unemployment benefits for those having difficulty finding new jobs

8) being opposed to human rights by their opposition to equal treatment for gay and transgendered persons

9) pretending to espouse family and Christian values, but supporting policies which do neither

10) refuse to adequately fund public schools in inner cities

I understand why some persons do not consider themselves Democrats. But gee, how can anyone be a Republican anymore?

Posted by: Independent | June 12, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

the democrats are worse than the Republicans. look at all the bills they tried to pass into law. feinstein wanted to sneek pass the senate a bill legalizing illegal immigrants and we all know they need them to be able to vote to keep them in power forever.
people, look at the issues, then go vote in november. that's all I ask. if the candidate of the party you are trained to vote for doesn't think the same way in terms of issues, vote for the one that does...

Posted by: Dwight | June 12, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

When will you write an article about the hypocrisy of John McCain's campaign?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/12/mccain-lobbyist-scandal-c_n_106832.html

Posted by: Just don't get it | June 12, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party stands for hate-mongering, smears, jingoism, corporate control of media, anti-civil liberties, religious control of government and unconstitutional use of power to benefit the powerful. It's anti-environment, anti-womens rights, anti-sex, anti-evolution. They've screwed up this country, watch it fall apart under the weight of it's own failures. Good riddance.

Posted by: theb | June 12, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are just more loyal to their wallets

Hopefully everyone will read this and pass it on

www.time-blog.com/swampland article by Michael Scherer

The reputable and non-partisan Tax Policy Center has done a preliminary evaluation of the Obama and McCain tax plans. Some highlights:
1. Both cut revenue significantly. "Although both candidates have at times stressed fiscal responsibility, their specific non-health tax proposals would reduce tax revenues by $3.7 trillion (McCain) and $2.7 trillion (Obama) over the next 10 years, or approximately 10 and 7 percent of the revenues scheduled for collection under current law, respectively."
2. The benefits would go to different people. "The two candidates' plans would have sharply different distributional effects. Senator McCain's tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. . . . In marked contrast, Senator Obama offers much larger tax breaks to low- and middle-income taxpayers and would increase taxes on high-income taxpayers. The largest tax cuts, as a share of income, would go to those at the bottom of the income distribution, while taxpayers with the highest income would see their taxes rise."
3. Both have ways to increase revenue. "Finally, each candidate promises to broaden the tax base and reduce corporate loopholes. McCain lists eight breaks for oil companies as targets but, other than that, is short on details for his pledge to eliminate 'corporate welfare.' Obama identifies a variety of steps, including basis reporting for capital gains, taxing carried interest as ordinary income, and enacting sanctions on international tax havens that don't cooperate with enforcement efforts, but he would also need additional as-yet-unspecified policies to achieve his revenue target for base broadening."

Posted by: ann | June 12, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be considerable and growing evidence that the November 2008 elections will be a landslide sweep for Democrats up and down the ticket and across the nation.

The broad midsection of the American political spectrum (including millions of folks who have not voted in years) seems to have passed the tipping point about who is responsible for the disaster befallen our nation. The Republican mismanagement of George W. Bush's misdirected domestic and foreign policies has placed our nation's economy at serious risk: VERY serious risk.

Bush policies and his attempt to impose an "American style" democracy on a Middle East country after removing its leader by force --has cost America its legitimacy as a world leader. This has resulted in our sharply diminished capacity to leverage the price of oil and control the value of the American dollar. A weaker dollar raises the price of oil, and that impacts our foreign markets - our trade imbalance is getting much worse.

What's more, our friends have lost faith in the U.S.A. Bush has run roughshod over American interests here and abroad to impose his highly suspect worldview on both the American people and those countries that we have long counted as our allies.

This mismanagement of the American "brand" has been recognized by the American electorate - and can be seen in the facts related to the huge number of Congressional seats now "in play." Reports today (Cook Report) confirm that scores of additional Republican Congressional districts are now considered ready to shift away from the failures of a "Republican" administration that has spent the nation into near bankruptcy.

Big spending Republicans are directly to blame. That's right - Borrow and Spend - Republicans. What happened to fiscal conservatism? - ask George W. Bush!!

Normally, Congressional seats are not influenced by American foreign policy blunders - but today, a combination of rising unemployment and skyrocketing gas prices have awoken the American voter to the fact that there is a direct connection between Republican foreign policy and economic crises here at home. Our economy and our children's future have been mortgaged to China - so Bush could pay for HIS WAR.

The results seem to be pointing toward a tsunami of voter rejection for Republican candidates who are properly seen as aiding and abetting the Bush War in Iraq and the wholesale transfer of American jobs overseas. Blind support by Republicans for Bush has exacerbated our economic crises. And, the Republican "old hands" know it --- they are retiring from Congress in droves.

This connection between Bush and economic meltdown is the focus of Obama's national message.

The impact of the broadening and deepening economic crisis on Hillary --- is a case in point. Her candidacy and its huge swath of voters are being overwhelmed by the greater issue of anger about our national economic wellbeing. Hillary's courageous run -is not the story any longer - we are all under attack. Our jobs and our homes are under attack.

The result is that Hillary's campaign is but a footnote in a much larger story --- the rise of America against the Bush debacle.

Republicans are deserting their Party's "brand name" and lining up to sweep the entire party's slate of national and state candidates into the dustbin. And, Independent voters are turning their backs on the GOP. National Security starts at home with a strong economy.

The story across this summer will not be the narrowly focused anxiety of a group of Hillary supporters - but rather the national outrage at what the Republicans have done to our economy.

Events are overtaking the national dialogue about race and gender -- we are Americans first and we have started doing something about the attack on our national wellbeing.

All Republicans must go---all must be pushed from their seats of power -- and cast aside in 2008. Every single Republican candidate must be held accountable for their support of the Bush Presidency and its horrendous impact on our nation.

From Maine to Hawaii --- Republicans must be defeated so that we can restore our American priorities and American values.

They had their chance -they chose to support Bush - they chose to borrow, borrow, borrow and then -spend and spend and spend -- now they must pay.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The rewards of a protracted Clinton v Obama battle spells possible disaster for republicans (unless the democrats blow it big).

Not only are more people identifying with democrats this year than in years past but democrats are going to be better organized because the 50 state primary means EVERY state has a ready to go democratic political operation.Democrats have been identified in many of these states, and the political operatives have been battle tested and have gained experience in getting their members to the polls.

This is Huge.

Thanks to Dean's 50 state battleground map AND the tight primary contests that was fought in all 50 states (thanks to Clinton and Obama), this election is both congressional democrats' and OBama's to lose (but with democrats this is ALWAYS a possibility).

Posted by: David M | June 12, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are more loyal, they say? Then account for the fact that, even after McCain wrapped up the nomination, Ron Paul drew 15%-25% of the vote in Republican primaries.

Now the Republican Party has denied Ron Paul a speaking slot at the convention, so he'll hold a parallel convention. Just like his primary victories, it will get no media coverage. The reason? Well, consider that Ron Paul doesn't take a side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The U.S. news media ignores all voices that are anything other than rabidly pro-Israel. Therefore, Ron Paul has gone down the memory hole. Let's just see how loyal his voters are to the Republican Party this year.

Posted by: Interested Bystander | June 12, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republican brand used to be classy, and invoked long summers at the second home and quiet nights of bridge with chums from the country club.

Once they started letting the evangelicals and hillbillies in, it really cheapened the party. Can you imagine Eisenhower or Taft being chummy with yokels like Rush Limbaugh, James Dobson, and Ralph Reed? I thought not.

McCain is the last vestige of those good old days, and once he is vanquished in November, the Republican Party of our youth will be gone, too.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 12, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

What brand problems?

The Repukes stand for torture, treason, destroying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, running a gulag, lying 935 times to start the wrong war, war profiteering, secret energy meetings to carve up Iraq for big oil...the list goes on and on and on...

What brand problem? The Repukes are just like any other big nasty crooked corporation, and we buy stuff from them all the time.

Americans are dimwits and will vote for whoever has the flashiest 30 second TV spot.

We are doomed. Finished.

Posted by: Tom3 | June 12, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

This is not a brand problem Chris.

A "brand problem" implies that a slick marketing campaign could fix this. The Republican problem isn't their brand, it is their policies.

Their policies are not beneficial to the majority of Americans. The positions that they support hurt the middle class and the middle class has begun to realize this.

There is a reason that on pretty much every issue you can think of, solid majorities of people favor the approach of the Democrats over that of the Republicans.

Posted by: Jim Crozier | June 12, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

What branding problem? Everyone in the allegedly liberal media, including The Fix, reflexively refers to the Republicans as the GOP ("grand old party"), and not just in headlines either. Until that habit is kicked, the Republicans have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Lonely Pedant | June 12, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It is amusing to read those comments which say, "I'm a republican but just not a Bush republican." Sorry. You can't change the rules now. If you voted for the man at any time to put him into office, you are a Bush republican. At least have the courage of your convictions to stay with the other rats on a sinking ship.

Posted by: Nick | June 12, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

i find it interesting that mccain gets a pass on his past.we know all the stroies but one that is really interesting about his philandering in 1974 which was many,but he should have been court martialed because its violaion of the ucmj,adultery.you think his admiral kin had something to do with that?

Posted by: kent | June 12, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a republican and I can tell you there is no more GOP.Republican values have been replaced by neocon values which seem to be corporate values to me.These people are not conservatives thier just cons.The people no longer control the government this government owns the people.When the people wakeup and take back control of the government maybe there will be a republican party once again and then even I can vote for someone.

Posted by: gary | June 12, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, middle of the road. Mix and match, who really feels they have the biggest stake in the outcome of this election. It comes down to the question "Are you better off than you were in 2000, 2004" A change of direction seems in the wind, but unfortunately, with enough scare tactics, people will vote against self interest. If the 3 categories on the ballot were D's, R's, and none of the above, somehow I think none of the above win.

Posted by: nclwtk | June 12, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse


Clearly it is not a Republican year. People want change, and the issues people care about most do not play in the favor of Republicans.

Two obvious questions. One, how could the Democrats blow it or the Republicans change the conditions on the ground?

Second, if it is a Democratic year, how Democratic will it be?

It is unlikely that the economy will get better before fall, and that alone would be enough to sink Republicans most of the time. This is also true about the war.

Can an attack on Iran rally the nation, or is it too late? Can the Republicans successfully use social wedge issues in selected states (gay marriage comes to mind) to rally their forces and grab moderates to their side? Is McCain maverick enough to make a difference, and if he is, does he have any coattails?

I think that those who expect the Democrats to commit suicide are fooling themselves. There is no greater political aphrodisiac than the smell of power.

In some ways the most interesting event of the year is Obama's decision to go with Dean and his 50 state theory. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | June 12, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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