Republican Problems Just Beginning This Year

National Journal shows that losing this fall can be just the beginning of the Republican Party’s downward spiral. From Hotline on Call:

Charles Mahtesian, the editor of the Almanac of American Politics, writes in the latest edition of National Journal that “losing the House might be just the beginning of the House Republicans’ troubles: The post-1994 political era has demonstrated that a congressional caucus newly relegated to minority status continues hemorrhaging long after Election Day.That was the bitter, unexpected lesson that Democrats learned in the aftermath of the 1994 upheaval. Within a year, the scent of majority power had enticed five House Democrats and two Senate Democrats to switch their allegiance to the Republican Party. And that wasn’t the end of the Democratic Party’s bleeding. As the durability of the House GOP’s majority became clear, three more Democrats found their way to the Republican Conference between 2000 and 2004, each defection making the party’s climb back to power that much steeper.Despite vigorous claims to the contrary, nearly every case of party-switching involved a calculus that apparently had as much to do with ambition and self-preservation as ideology.”

He continues: “It will be difficult for Republicans to imagine that they have other potential traitors in their midst. That’s because congressional party-switching has been an almost exclusively Democratic malady for more than a quarter-century. When the occasional Republican like Jeffords or then-Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire did leave the family, the defector became an independent, never going so far as to formally join the Democratic ranks. (Smith, in fact, returned to the GOP fold in November 1999, less than a year after leaving it for a short-lived presidential bid.)”

“However, if the Democrats retake the House this November 7, the self-serving calculus used by a generation of Southern politicians in defecting from the Democratic Party may well begin to make sense for nail-biting, blue-state Republicans across the Northeast and in parts of the Midwest as they begin to ponder a future without chairmanships, a future weighed down by the drag of a socially conservative, Southern- and Western-based national party.”

John Kerry and the L-Word

I’ve heard John Kerry accuse George Bush of misleading the country in public. I’ve heard of John Kerry accuse George Bush of lying in comments not intended for the public. I may be mistaken, but I do not recall John Kerry repeatedly use the word lie in public previously. Apparently the gloves are now off, and presumably Kerry is preparing for a major fight in 2008. At the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraising dinner, the l-word was used repeatedly:

“A lie, a lie, a lie, a lie. What we have in Washington is a house of lies, and in November, we need to clean house.”

“They tell us we’re making progress in Iraq and that there is no civil war. That is a lie,” Kerry said. “It’s immoral to lie about progress in that war in order to get through a news cycle or an election cycle.”

Republicans also are lying when they claim the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley is a Democratic plot to win the midterm elections, said Kerry.

Update: Full transcript under the fold.


Dick Devos: Extremist, And Dishonest About His Views Too

Dick DeVos is an extremist even within the Republican Party, and he knows Michigan will not elect him Governor if they realize how far right he is. When he debated Jennifer Granholm on state wide television he tried to hide his views on stem cell research and abortion, but when talking to supporters on Ave Maria Radio he showed his real self.

During the first debate, DeVos attempted to hide his opposition to stem cell research by expressing support for adult stem cell research and avoiding mention of his opposition to embyronic stem cell research, which is far more likley to provide cures to many diseases. In the second debate he was similarly misleading about his views on abortion when he opposed changing the abortion laws and said, “our current laws as it relates to abortion in Michigan are sufficient.” While most listeners would take this to mean he would continue to allow abortion to be legal, it turns out this is not what he really intends:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos told a Catholic radio program that he’d be “thrilled” if the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a woman’s right to an abortion is overturned and abortion is sharply restricted in Michigan.

Before the court issued its decision in Roe v. Wade, Michigan had a law banning abortion except to save the mother’s life, a position DeVos shares. The state law was superseded when the court issued its opinion, but it could be enforced again — or a new ban passed — if that decision is overturned by the high court.

“As soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, which I think we all pray that it will be … we will revert back to Michigan law,” DeVos said Thursday in an interview with Al Kresta, host of the syndicated Catholic talk show “Kresta in the Afternoon” on Ave Maria Radio. “We would go back to that standard, and I would be thrilled about it.”

DeVos said Tuesday during a debate with Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm that “our current laws as it relates to abortion in Michigan are sufficient.”

He made that comment to explain why he opposed an effort by the anti-abortion organization Michigan Chooses Life to get a measure on the 2006 ballot that would change the state constitution to legally define a person as existing at the moment of conception. The group failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Kresta asked DeVos if there was anything in his statement during the debate that represents backing away from “a full pro-life stance.”

“Not one inch,” DeVos said.

DeVos campaign spokesman John Truscott said DeVos wasn’t saying anything new in the radio interview and has consistently opposed abortion except when necessary to save the mother’s life.

“He knows that anything dealing with abortion would go to a vote of the people. He knows it would be most likely a referendum or an initiative” to come up with a Michigan standard if Roe v. Wade was overturned, Truscott said.

Granholm campaign spokesman Chris De Witt said the interview showed again that DeVos has an extreme position on abortion.

“He says one thing during the debate the other night and now he is saying something else in this radio interview,” De Witt said. “His views are out of step with mainstream Michigan.”

During the interview, DeVos told Kresta, “You’re not going to find a more pro-life governor in Michigan’s history than me.”

While Michigan has a history of supporting moderate Republicans (such as William Milliken , who endorsed John Kerry in 2004), Dick DeVoss knows that if Michigan voters were aware of how extremist his views were they would not vote for him. In June, Detroit News columnist Laura Berman also found DeVos was attempting to hide his views, in contrast to Jennifer Granholm:

To her credit, Granholm has always been open about her views on abortion — and twice vetoed restrictive legislation.