Republicans Beholden To Bush

I've often wondered where the Republican Party goes post-Bush. Can they hold their neoconservative/corporate/social conservative coalition together without one centralizing figure at the top? After eight years of Bush in the White House, I think the American electorate is going to be looking for a change. (Hey, they seem to be ready after only five.) One of the dynamics we're seeing emerging now is Bush becoming something of a punching bag for Congressional and state Republicans. Witness as one example Republican governors joining with their Democratic colleagues in  criticizing the administration on both cuts to the National Guard and the UAE ports deal.

Earlier this month, the governors signaled their displeasure with the Pentagon's new budget -- which called for a reduction in National Guard troop strength -- by sending a letter of protest. That brought a quick decision to rescind the proposed cut. But governors said they still have many questions about what the Pentagon is planning.

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R), who met earlier with Rumsfeld and encouraged him to speak with all the governors at the NGA meeting, said states may not be able to respond adequately to natural disasters or terrorist attacks at home if the equipment shipped to Iraq with National Guard units is not replenished and if other Guard funding is reduced. "This is a formula for disaster," he said in an interview yesterday. ...

The port issue has drawn criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

Huckabee said the governors association would take no official position but said elected officials in both parties were justified in challenging the administration, given the outcry over the agreement.

But make no mistake, no one should accept this as proof of actual independence. After all, the Republican governors still need Bush's money.

Republican governors and gubernatorial hopefuls briefly put aside worries that Bush administration stumbles could hamper their chances with voters this fall to address a more immediate concern: the need for cash to fund their races.

A swank crowd of Republican governors and supporters from corporate America and elsewhere gave President Bush a rock-star welcome as he headlined a Monday night reception that added $9.6 million to GOP campaign coffers for fall gubernatorial races.

"I thank you for your steadfast support," Bush told the audience gathered in the stately National Building Museum.

Some have wondered if the administration had been deliberately allowing Republicans further down the food chain to loudly go after Bush as needed if it suits them politically. It's not the most advanced jujitsu, but sometimes it's hard to tell with this administration where the incompetence ends and the tactics begin. I'm still not sure one way or the other, but it's telling that the Republicans are only willing to distance themselves just so much from the leader of their party.

Tags: Governor 2005-2006, Republicans, states (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Re: Republicans Beholden To Bush

My friend's daughter is being deployed to Iraq.  This is just terrible and senseless, but it is being replayed all over our country.  I am sick about this, because I have no power alone to do anything about it.  Together we can make a difference.  Now that Bush's approval rating on the handling of Iraq is only at 30%, we need to push Murtha's plan:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.  
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.  
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

The people need to "speak up" against continuing this war.  It is over.  Iraq is close to or in a civil war.  A civil war is not our fight.  Please write to everyone you can think of and push them to end this madness.  We need to bring our troops home before we lose anymore of our true treasure - our men and women.

by debbiehamil 2006-02-28 04:46AM | 0 recs
The Republicans will be happy

To be rid of Bush.  Much like the Democrats were happy to be rid of Clinton, only with much, much better reason - he's unpopular.

The question is whether they can find a new smiler to put a happy face on their cronyism.

by Drew 2006-02-28 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans Beholden To Bush

Agree with your analysis Scott, in particular your remark about voters looking for something different.  I personally think both sides will we crave a more "moderate" candidate in 2008 because of some of the reasons you mentioned.  

Although I do think George Allen has an inherent advantage because he is the establishement's pick, people obviously want a less polarizing figure to lead. This is why I think McCain is going to be a real tough contender for the Republican nomination.  Although a staunch conservative, he is the "moderate" candidate.  Voters appreciate it.  Mark Warner is the Democratic version.  

by Eric11 2006-02-28 05:52AM | 0 recs
Not all things are equal

What's worse, lies about a blow job in the Oval Office, or lies that get us into war, or lies about outing a national intelligence operative, or lies about torture, or lies about spying on American citizens?

by Michael Bersin 2006-02-28 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Not all things are equal

Well sure, but the behavior and thought process is the same.

You equate lies about personal activity with lies about high crimes?

by Michael Bersin 2006-02-28 11:40AM | 0 recs

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