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FixCam: Why House Republicans Are Frowning

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Here's something to ponder over the weekend: House Democrats picked up 30 seats in 2006 including several they had no business winning. So, coming into the 2008 cycle, it was assumed the House would be a bright spot for a Republican Party desperately in need of one.

To date that hasn't been the case as retirements in competitive seats have buffeted the party and the lingering whiff of scandal continues to haunt them.

Two events in recent days typify Republicans' House problem.

First, former state representative and 2006 lieutenant governor nominee Ethan Berkowitz (D-Alaska) formally declared his candidacy against Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Young hasn't faced a serious race in years but the ongoing Veco scandal in the state has damaged his political standing and put the seat in play.

Second, Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) announced today he will retire at the end of his term -- bringing to eleven the number of House Republicans heading for the exits in 2008. President George W. Bush carried Regula's 16th district with 54 percent in 2004 but Democrats are keen on state Sen. John Boccieri who is the likely nominee.

Republican retirements and competitive races where there shouldn't be any -- coupled with Republicans' fundraising woes -- are forcing the party on the defensive already in the race for the House majority and could spell even larger problems in the year ahead.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 12, 2007; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  FixCam  
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Comments

The HOUSE outllok in '08 hinges upon:
1) Dismal ratings for the GOP in general
2) Weak Prez candidates vs probably Hillary
3) 5 top Rep Senators retiring, eps Warner, VA and Hagel NB
4) Widening money gap, with Dems far outfront at this early stage.
5) Energized netroots, Dem base!
Now, with all of the above, it's reasonable to assume the GOP will rival '06 performance in HOUSe (30 seat loss)

Posted by: mainetimes | October 15, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"God will judge them .Tehy cannot say they were not warned. Now we will see the real christians and those merely paying lipservice while practicing everything the bible is agaisnt. Time always revels."

Unfortunately, we don't have time to wait for God to judge them. Bush/Cheney have 16 more months in office to wreak more havoc on this country.

How many more soldiers have to die for the Bush/Cheney/neocon nightmare? How many Iraqi civilians? How many CHILDREN will die for not getting diagnosed early enough because they don't have health care? How many adults in the same boat? How many more innocent people detained and tortured for months or even years for political reasons under the GUISE of terrorism? Will 16 months be all he needs to complete his North American Union and dissolve the United States completely? Will it be enough time to complete his "Keep Texas Moving" super highway which will destroy thousands of miles and millions of acres of land and thousands of landmarks in half the states in this country.

I think God's judgment will come MUCH TOO LATE to do any of US any GOOD.

Posted by: weslen1 | October 15, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

When a guy like Hobson resigns -- a loyal party soldier in no danger of losing his seat -- you know the people in the know in the GOP expect to be in the minority in the House for a while.

Posted by: Spectator2 | October 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think we are in agreement - anyone who is seriously arguing there is no problem has her/his head in the sand and the debate should be about what to do and how can we get the world to do it. That debate is as Andy intimates, postponed to our detriment by the nay-sayers.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 15, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: the basic inference - that the atmosphere has an infinite capacity for CO2, that it could be 100% CO2 and no harm would result - seems to be their fall back position. Even though they won't admit to such a wacky idea it's what appears to be lurking at the back of all of their arguments.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 15, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Mark,
I hear your point but I guess it kind of strikes me as debating what the definition of Genocide is, while things like Rwanda and Sudan continue to happen.
The scientific community has had alot of these debates already. The thing is that you as the general public don't hear or see those discusions since they are usually way over the general public's collective head, not to mention very technical and boring. Now that those discussions are resolved in the scientific community we have to now inform the public, and that isn't easy when politicians question the validity of the work that scores of scientists have done over decades.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 15, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, Judge, and Andy, I was going to post that it is fair to note that not all Rs refuse to accept the notion of human contribution to global warming. I would be correct,if I posted that, but because John McCain does accept the human contribution to global warming does not diminish from the wave of rejectionism so many on the right.

There is certainly room to debate, from the data, the magnitude of the human contribution; there is room to debate, in the political arena, the economic and environmental effect that any policy might
be expected to generate; and there is room to debate whether any policy could be expected to bring results if China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Southeast Asia were not completely on board. JD often made these latter points, here.

There may even be legitimate criticism that the "looming crisis" is enthusiastically over-sold by its scientific and political supporters, as they try to be heard over the nay-sayers [Crichton, a friend of Gore's, is in this camp].

However, having read the WSJ editorial, I, too, was struck by the angry head-in-the-sand approach.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 15, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the Republican party with the exception of Ron Paul are all pretty much the same. Oh and Fred Thompson who's Stuttering and Stumbling all over the place, he needs a his screen script that he usually uses on Law & Order.

Putting aside your favorite candidate, whose Policies in the Republican Party stand the best chance against Hillary Clinton?
------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=711

.

Posted by: PollM | October 15, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"...they might come back as the fiscal conservative, budget balancing, state's rights party that I know many Republicans wish to see again."

Not only R's wish to see that. It may also take several cycles before anyone will take those positions coming from the GOP seriously again. Wouldn't it be nice to see R posters who could argue those ideas with a straight face?

Not sure why anyone would think that the R's are better at balancing budgets than the D's since all recent data suggests that the opposite is true. The "state's rights" descriptor is taking a beating as well. Ask any governor.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 15, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Great link, Judge. Thanks.

Novamatt's analysis is, as I'm seeing is quite common for him, quite accurate. The will stave off massive losses but be eaten away at for at least 2 cycles. If they do wander in the wilderness a bit (a very apt metaphor) they might come back as the fiscal conservative, budget balancing, state's rights party that I know many Republicans wish to see again. By laying off of the social issues that shouldn't be the federal government's concern, they could attract more independents and maybe conservative Democrats at the same time that they eliminate the deep dissatisfaction among Republicans that's causing this national swing.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 15, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Blarg & Crater, The thing is the more that the right denies the possible catastrophic effects of Global Warming the more they marginalize themselves from the majority of Americans.
And attacking a Nobel prize winner is just stupid. That is like saying that Nelson Mandela doesn't deserve the Nobel cause Apartheid wasn't that bad it was really just a left wing over-exaggeration.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 15, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that there's no such thing as an unambiguous physical event to the deniers. Global warming's effects on the climate are subtle and gradual, involving wider temperature variation and small but significant changes in average temperatures. That's not something that people can just go outside and observe. Deniers don't care about scientific climate models, which are already unambiguous. And even if the climate obviously is changing, they can say there's no causal link to human activity, so they still have a way to pretend there isn't a problem.

Posted by: Blarg | October 15, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Blarg: I wonder if the rank and file GOP will ever be able to throw off the chains of this particular lunacy? How much of the party has to leave it in order for the remaining leadership to say "hmmm, I wonder if we should actually acknowledge the basic facts surrounding global warming?" The pro-business slant you mention carries weight at the highest levels but probably has limited resonance for those at the poverty line.

It's sad that it seems to take a multitude of unambiguous physical events (make your own list) to make GOP members wake up and say "Hey, this is wrong!" rather than simply accepting someone's logical foresight (another long list) and saying "Yeah, that makes sense." By the time the latter happens, coastline is gone, thousands of Americans are pointlessly dead, the deficit has gone through the roof etc.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 15, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Yup, Judge, Krugman nailed it. Global warming requires action by our federal government and international organizations. Much of that action involves regulation on businesses which may potentially reduce profits. Republicans say that regulation on business is never necessary. Therefore, global warming must be a myth. Its existence would contradict free-market ideology, so it doesn't exist.

What I find particularly amusing about this "Gore Derangement Syndrome" is the way personal attacks substitute for science. Al Gore has a big house, therefore global warming is a myth. A judge found that a few parts of Gore's movie were inaccurate, so everything in the movie was a lie. These people think if they can make Gore look bad, then global warming won't be an issue anymore. It's just silly.

Posted by: Blarg | October 15, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Amazing that Regula will be out; if Hobson and McConnell go as well they should replace "Hail to The Chief" at HRC's swearing in with the legendary standard "The World Turned Upside Down." Is this backlash continuing to build? With Bush as the standard-bearer, can anything be done to stop it?

Those of you seeking insight into right winger psycology should read Krugman's column
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/opinion/15krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

It really is amazing how Truth has been made so subservient to politics within the GOP. Even when the Truth hurts and will continue to do so for generations, they remain 'deranged,' to use Krugman's word. He mentions that the WSJ published a Who SHOULD'VE Gotten the Nobel Peace Prize article; I saw Faux News run the same piece. The latter was particularly laughable coming from the network that couldn't make an objective call of "heads or tails" if its life depended on it.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 15, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Hobson in OH-7 is heading for the exits too...the 3rd Ohio Repub to do so.

Bush won 57% of the vote in 2004, so it could be close.

Spike, the retirements are just part of the problem for the GOP. The toxic national environment is making it difficult for them to recruit plausible candidates for the race (they may have already conceded Pryor's seat to Kilroy in OH) and the NRCC is actually millions in debt. The Dems are rolling in the cash and can afford to pour money into races to make them more competitive.

It's still obviously early, but my guess is that the Dems pick up another 15 seats this cycle.

Posted by: uckeleg | October 15, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Hobson in OH-7 is heading for the exits too...the 3rd Ohio Repub to do so.

Bush won 57% of the vote in 2004, so it could be close.

Spike, the retirements are just part of the problem for the GOP. The toxic national environment is making it difficult for them to recruit plausible candidates for the race (they may have already conceded Pryor's seat to Kilroy in OH) and the NRCC is actually millions in debt. The Dems are rolling in the cash and can afford to pour money into races to make them more competitive.

It's still obviously early, but my guess is that the Dems pick up another 15 seats this cycle.

Posted by: uckeleg | October 15, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The (national) Republicans really need to wander in the wilderness for a little while. They don't really stand for much policy-wise that appeals to the median voter, and the rah-rah stuff that they break out for elections seems to be wearing thin. The next few cycles won't be complete disasters for the GOP, since some of the state parties and individual candidates remain appealing, and there are still a lot of reliably Republican voters around, but they're not going to pull out of this descent until they realize that a) this is not an ideologically conservative country, and b) a vast majority of voters want government to do what it's supposed to do.

Posted by: novamatt | October 14, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

A new poll out of Alaska has GOP Rep. Don Young TRAILING his Democratic challenger! Link:
http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2007/10/good-week-end-news-for-house-democrats.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | October 14, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Rufus' bringing up Blackwater here is relavent because of Hillary Clinton's ties to hat disgraceful company. I am not sure of what the GOP is up to but they are assembling a mountain of dirt and mud which they will dump all over Democratic candidates everywhere if Clinton is the nominee. They are counting on it and genuine liberals don't much appreciate CC and other's constantly mentioning her as if she was the front runner. Her sole support is from feminists (who, in general aren't liberals), the "gay rughts crowd (which is pushing transgender recognition, lawsuits aginst mainstream churches, and all sorts of other things that have nothing whatsoever to do with physically protecting gays and everything to do with shoving their lifestyle down this country's throats), a quite a few mindless single issue fanatics. Clinon IS the Republicn candidate, the corporate and big business candidate, and the candidate of small minded clodhoppers everywhere.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 14, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound??
When Rudy speaks does anyone hear him??
Strong national security, fiscal conservatism - America we have listen to these LIES for the 7-years.
Rudy get your lips of Bushies jock and maybe we will listen.

Better yet Mr. I was the only one in New York on 9-11. Keep bringing the repuglicants down.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | October 14, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the 2008 result will be small Dem gains in the House. There's fairly clearly lasting disatisfaction with the GOP and not much enthusiasm either for Congress or the WH. There's also the fact that some of the GOP retirements are happening in the worst possible districts for them while incumbents are staying in places where Republicans could win an open seat easily but the incumbent is tainted with some sort of scandal.

Posted by: spike1518 | October 13, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, the situation is dismal for House GOP -- though they could get some good news next week in MA-05 (stunningly). Check out these recently updated House rankings for a rundown of the current situation:
http://www.campaigndiaries.com/houserankings

Posted by: campaigndiaries | October 13, 2007 2:49 AM | Report abuse

How is Blackwater relevant to this thread?

Posted by: crd203 | October 12, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I told you. Party over country. That used to be called treason. What changed? The term treason, or the defense of treasonous behavoir?

"U.S. Colonel: Blackwater "Actually Drew Their Weapons On U.S. Soldiers."
By: Logan Murphy @ 5:10 PM - PDT Newsweek's Oct. 15, 2007 issue:

The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company. Asked to address this and other allegations in this story, Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "This type of gossip has led to many soap operas in the press." Read more...

As if being trapped in the middle of a bloody civil war by their civilian leadership hasn't been humiliating enough for our troops, we find out they also have to protect themselves from high-paid thugs from Blackwater -- in the Green Zone, no less. I wonder if Crayzie Shayzie will still hold the same unbridled passion for these guys after learning of this hackery? Oh, and Mr. Romney you STILL have Blackwater's Vice Chairman on your campaign payroll -- how's that working out for you?

"

www.crooksandliars.com

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 12, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

" The Emperor has no clothes and they spent 8 years telling the world that he was dressed by The Christian King himself. 40 years in the political wilderness for worshiping false idols."

hERE hERE. False prophets. HAs anyone watched the cbn lately? Horrible. One republcian propoganda story after the next. One democratic attack after the next.

God will judge them .Tehy cannot say they were not warned. Now we will see the real christians and those merely paying lipservice while practicing everything the bible is agaisnt. Time always revels.

Time always heals. If we let it. The important thing is for the future leaders of this coutrny to know what they gop has been doin gthe last 7 years is treasonous, like bob said. We must make it knwon that bush is not setting presedence for new presidents and future governments. how do we do that? who can we say to teh country and the world that THIS IS NOT OK? Jail time, imo. Real hard jail time. Like any other american that spits at the law. We are a nation of laws. Without those laws we have anarchy. No grwooth and change can come out of anarchy. This si the gop plan. The A with a circle around it.

The year is 2007. The future is now. Have a good weekend cc. God Bless you. May God shine his/her light on you my freind.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 12, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

They're frowning because they hooked their wagon to an ex-drunk, chicken-hawk frat boy. They trashed the place, the rich-kid walks and they're left explaining their incredible, if not treasonous, lack of judgment to the American people. Constant parroting of slogans like No Taxes, Morality Party, Strong on Defense, Hate Homo's, Support our Troops. They've all been exposed as cynical manipulations and fairy tales. The Emperor has no clothes and they spent 8 years telling the world that he was dressed by The Christian King himself. 40 years in the political wilderness for worshiping false idols.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 12, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Why no posts cc? Is the gore peace prize that demoralizing to these people? Why?

Why can't I make use of this blog if otherws will not? Why am I he bad guy?

What a waste. i could have used this blog up today. Which is better. No posts. Or me posting 40 times a day? I say the latter. Growth is better than not.

Sad day to see the gop machine attackng gore all day. You'd think they would be happy. He's an american.

The gop has chossen party over country. That used to be called treason, didn't it. What changed? the law or the defense of treason?

Fascists. Your reign of terror is almost at an end.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 12, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who have lived long enough to see this round
of Republicanism hang themselves, it is a happy day.
The largest hope, of course, is that the Republicans will find
themselves a "rump" party by the time the election is over.
They truly deserve it because they have betrayed all moderate
Republicans and all "Reagan Democrats". These people actually
gave their trust to the Republicans. They were bamboozled, like the rest of us, into believing that Republicans believed in fiscal
responsibility, NO nation building, and, not to emphasize the money toooooo much, believing that we should NOT straddle our
children and grandchildren with enormous debt.
Well, what has this current generation of Republicans given us?
Enormous debt. Think China, anyone? War without end. Think the Middle East, anyone?
This administration has betrayed every thing "ordinary" Republicans believed in.
The saddest of all saddest things is that all these goood, and decent Americans went along with it. OOh woe.

Posted by: cms1 | October 12, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Fred used Senate experience to aid fund


By: KENNETH P. VOGEL | 10/12/2007 03:26 PM
Thompson joined advisory board of hedge fund after leaving Senate, and reaped rewards."

What else is new. Abuse your peopel to make yourself and your freinds money. this is nothing new. That is the gop platform if you spinkle in racist sexism and the hatred of freedom

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 12, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Well said cc. 06 was a awakening moment for this great nation. Since, the gop has fallen very very fast. sinking like a rock. Scandel after scandel. I don't see how they could improve what they are sitting on now, even.

To me they have lost all real credibility with real americans. They are done for 30 years.imo

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 12, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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