Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Will Money Bail Out the Republicans

With a $55 million advantage in their war chest Republicans at the highest levels in the White House believe a blitz in the final three weeks before elections will "bail out" the candidates.
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How many chances does Karl Rove believe he has? Reports claim Rove and Co. believe retention of control in the House and Senate are not only probable but inevitable. Are they hanging out in the Rose Garden or the poppy fields of Afghanistan?
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The facts, regardless of the outcome, is Republican have squandered their political capital and embarrassed their base as well as the general constituency. The Iraq war is a dismal setting with Shite death squads and Sunni payback killing dozens on a daily basis. It's just not al-Qaeda anymore but civil strife with a corrupt government in place. If we continue the heavy lifting the Iraqi army will standby and watch.
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On the homefront the Republican scandals have mounted, enhancing the spending spree the so-called Conservatives have gone on in recent years. Irresponsibility has cost Republicans votes as much as Iraq. Earmarks have done harm while Democrats sit around and issue negative talking points, which are beginning to gain momentum because the scandal drum beat continues.
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It seems even "allegations" of a scandal are gaining traction along with the Mark Foley October surprise. He left Congress because it's an election year otherwise he would have stuck around in complete denial. The accusers have yet to prove the accuracy of reports if the "victims" were actually underage but the fact Foley was seeking out same sex relationships with male congressional pages is despicable.
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The embarrassment of irresponsibility has grown:
  • Jack A. Abramoff, lobbyist with deep Republican ties pled guilty on January 3, 2006, to three criminal felony counts in a Washington, D.C., federal court related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. The following day, on January 4th, he pled guilty to two criminal felony counts in a Miami federal court related to fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos
  • Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) left the House because of partisan politics, probably false accusations but he could have been much more careful. Delay's ties to Jack Abramoff didn't help.
  • Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) admitted guilt in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation on charges of conspiracy and making false statements.
  • Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham (R-Ca) was sentenced to prison for accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion.
  • Rep. Doolittle accepted campaign money from Abramoff, interceded on behalf of his clients and used the lobbyist's luxury sports box for a fundraiser without initially reporting it. In addition, Doolittle's wife and one of his former aides worked for the lobbyist.
  • Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition executive director, lost the Republican primary for Georgia's lieutenant governor after being tarred by his ties with Abramoff.
  • Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) accepted and returned $150,000 and pressured the Interior Department to award a $3 million grant to a wealthy Indian tribe that was an Abramoff client.
  • Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform with deep Republican ties, allegedly served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns. A second group Norquist was involved with, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, received about $500,000 in Abramoff client funds.
  • Michael Scanlon is a former communications director for Rep. Tom DeLay, lobbyist, and public relations executive plead guilty to corruption charges.

The list will probably grow and the embarrassment continue. Golf trips, paid vacations, private jets, dirty deals, promises of donations. The Democrats have avoided the downfall although many of them, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have ties to Abramoff and have committed other indiscretions if not criminal acts.

Mark Foley's indiscretions have taken over the front page while the media and Democrats sniff the chum in the political waters and go on a feeding frenzy. The Foley scandal simply produces more ammunition to the already mounting scandal list that Republicans created for themselves.

The only thing besides a healthy war chest that can keep Nancy Pelosi out of the House Speakers chair is the reality setting into the Republican base. This fear alone may provide the impetus to get out the vote, despite an inept party who took political success and squandered it.

If Republicans stay in control of Congress will they have learned their lessons or will the next free trip to St. Andrews become too tempting?

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