Republicans Jumping Ship?

This morning, AP writer Tom Raum noticed something I wrote about here a month ago. Republican candidates love the money President Bush can help them raise, but they sure aren't fond of being seen with the guy in public. When I first brought it up, I was talking about Republican Governors. Call this the Senate edition.

Many worried Republicans on the ballot in November have been pushing away from the White House, not wanting to be dragged under by President Bush's sinking approval ratings and growing anxiety over Iraq.

That doesn't mean they're also fleeing his cash offerings, however.

Despite approval ratings in the mid-to-upper 30s, Bush remains the nation's most successful fundraiser. Vice President Dick Cheney, whose poll numbers are even lower than Bush's, is not far behind. Both have raised tens of millions of dollars for GOP congressional and gubernatorial candidates running in this year's midterm elections.

Even as some Republicans are becoming increasingly defiant on a range of issues, they're still lining up dutifully for the president's campaign dollars.

The examples Raum gives are hilarious. Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele appeared with Bush at an event that took in $500,000 after being a no-show at a Bush speech at the Naval Academy. It was a similar story for Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy. New Jersey Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr showed up late to a $400,000 fundraiser after Dick Cheney had already left, laughably blaming a traffic tie-up.

And he's not the only political writer who's noticed the trend. Steve Goldstein of The Philadelphia Inquirer catches Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum trying to run from the President's shadow publicly while accepting millions at country club fundraisers with Bush in private. The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire calls out Mark Kennedy and Steele, as well as Ohio Senator Mike DeWine, for publicly running away from Bush.

This is, of course, par for the political course. But it's still funny to watch the Republicans squirm. No matter how much they may want to distance themselves from Bush in the media, they're completely beholden to him and his money. Much in the same way McCain publicly criticizes Bush and then goes along with the White House agenda, this is all kabuki. Republicans aren't really jumping ship. They're 100% behind the guy running the ship headlong into an iceberg.

Tags: 2006, Mark Kennedy, Michael Steele, Mike DeWine, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Senate 2006, Tom Kean Jr (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: Republicans Jumping Ship?

I guess Republicans jumping off of things is going to be a theme today...

by Scott Shields 2006-03-24 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans Jumping Ship?

Has anyone done any research into fundraising efforts Bush is doing on behalf of Republicans v. similiar efforts Clinton engaged in for Democrats? I think that would be an interesting aspect to this discussion.

by Scott Shields 2006-03-24 07:35AM | 0 recs
Let us see if George W Bush affects 2006 elections

However we cannot wiat until then. What happens if the Democrats do not take over the house and senate. You still have the worst resident ever blocking progressive legislation.

Join the Campaign for progressive legislation.

"Because just blogging or complaining about Republicans will not get you anywhere significant."

Browse http://www.boycott-republicans.com

by maximus7 2006-03-24 07:52AM | 0 recs
Pull out pics of Bush and XX when he was at 90%

they were slobbering over him then, pull the pics out and use them in this year's ad, Bush is an ANVIL, USE it

by gasperc 2006-03-24 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans Jumping Ship?

Speaking of Bush's fundraising, he'll be here in Pittsburgh today raking in some cash for Santorum. No word yet on whether Santorum will be there as well.

http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_0 83080120.html

Since I work by the airport, I'm ticked off at  the rush-hour arrival time. Can't wait to fight through the extra traffic that occurs whenever they block off the roads for a Presidential visit.

by gorillagogo 2006-03-24 08:06AM | 0 recs
Malkin

Malkin's conclusion:

"The bottom line is: I know it when I see it. And, painfully, Domenech's detractors, are right. He should own up to it and step down. Then, the Left should cease its sick gloating and leave him and his family alone."

Only the right is allowed to gloat. They are the ones with the moral values. Don't forget that!

by matbiscan 2006-03-24 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

I'll gloat a little bit, but not too much because the liberal blogosphere has plenty of snakes in their own basements, too. Reality is that the blogosphere is pretty much of a fact-free, ethics-free, freedom-free zone these days. The wingnuts are a little quicker to hit the "ban" button but the libs do it just the same.

And everyone is busy hiding and/or looking away from their own side's dirty laundry.

by cwilson 2006-03-24 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

You keep making this point over and over again without offering any evidence of how we're just as dishonest as the rightist blogs. What's up with that?

by Scott Shields 2006-03-24 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

The evidence is bulky, in the sense that it takes up a lot of words. I don't want to just do a cut & paste thing into a bunch of threads but I want to make the point. For more detail look at my comment in this thread.

Liberals get really pissed when their righteousness is questioned, but the reality is that the blogosphere is essentially a bunch of competing megaphones with very little cross-fertilization and virtually no ethical standards. I see it across the board.

by cwilson 2006-03-24 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

Okay, let's get some things cleared up here.

1. I don't know anyone from Capitol Hill Blue and I don't know anything about the issue you're talking about, but I do know that even you can only go so far as to be reasonably suspicious about what you read. That's not proof of anything, even though such proof that, you're right, may indeed exist.

2. The "gore-for-porn" scandal. You didn't like the way Aravosis covered it, so you claim it's falacy? That's ridiculous.

3. This one's my favorite. "A couple months ago, I was effectively banned from Daily Kos for repeating the verified fact that one-third of the contributions from Abramhoff's corrupt keiretsu went to Democrats."

This is just flat out dishonest. I like your clever use of the word "keiretsu." Obviously, most people don't know what it means, so they'd think it meant allies, cronies, footsoldiers, whatever. Whatever it meant, they were "Abramoff's." In this context, I don't even know how you define "Abramoff's keiretsu." Are you talking about his clients? If so, you're misusing the word. Are you talking about lobbyists Abramoff worked with, as would be a more accurate use of the word? How do you think that implicates Democrats in the Abramoff scandal, exactly? I'm perfectly willing to let you use this comment thread as a forum to post the evidence of that, but honestly, if there was, it would have been front page news at every paper in the nation.

The problem is not that people are threatened by your facts so much as your facts aren't facts. That's just annoying. How do you think people like me are supposed to react when you go off saying that I'm just as ethically challenged as Domenech? You get that that's really insulting, right?

by Scott Shields 2006-03-24 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

I'm getting ready to go on a trip out of town, so if I don't reply for a while no one should read anything into it. Just thought I'd say that at the outset.

Rather than C&P the story of Americablog's "coverage," such as it was, of what it called a "gore-for-porn scandal," I'll refer to the message thread where I re-posted a comment I had left on a different blog. Aravosis lied about the nature of the "scandal," which was never "gore-for-porn," and was instrumental in railroading the blogger into jail. While this was happening -- and ever since -- the liberal blogosphere has been silent. So much for freedom of expression.

As for the mention of the Abramhoff keiretu's contribution patterns, I cited information reported on the Open Secrets.com website. But because the truth offended the righteous liberals of Daily Kos, I was effectively banned. dKos bannings are of the "soft" variety; essentially, the community votes people off the island and then their comments can no longer be seen. Censors are censors, one way or the other.

Capitol Hill Blue seems to have fabricated a tale about government threats. Liberal blogs have happy to republish their information when it reinforces their opinions, although I will also note that in this case most of the liberal blogs stayed away from it. I think Capitol Hill Blue has been losing credibility even among them, so maybe I should have put some sort of asterisk on that example rather than lumping it in with the others.

Oh, and I was kicked off of Democratic Underground for criticizing Kerry's campaign's timidity in responding to the Swiftboat attacks. I voiced my criticisms in August and September of 2004. The politburo over there didn't want any dissent; now, of course, it's conventional wisdom.

I should also note that the liberal blogs are hardly the only offenders on any of these fronts. The wingnut blogs censor and ban, and in fact usually do it faster than the liberal blogs. Red State.com blocked my posting privileges yesterday after I left a comment on the plagiarism; Free Republic.com is quick to ban; many wingnut sites don't even have comment sections.

The bottom line is that the blogosphere in general is so bitterly divided along partisan lines that respect for fact and truth, and vigorous yet civil dialogue among competing points of view, is the exception rather than the rule. That observation spans the political spectrum on-line, and in my opinion renders the blogosphere largely unreliable as a source of news or opinion.

The only real exceptions to that are those relatively rare occasions when the blogs find irrefutable facts contrary to a stated reality. The liberal blogs tend to be better at that sort of thing, but it's a thin reed on which to base any sort of claims for the "Netroots."

by cwilson 2006-03-24 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

I know you're probably no longer reading this, but I've got to point out that my main question -- how you define "Abramoff's keiretsu" -- remains unanswered. That's a pretty big deal in context of the larger debate and I will continue to insist you were implying something that is patently false -- that Democrats were in Abramoff's pocket.

And on the more personal point, you're unfairly tarring people with an overly broad brush here and, speaking as one of the tarred, I don't appreciate it.

by Scott Shields 2006-03-24 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

The keiretsu gave about one-third of its "contributions," which I would called "legalized bribes," to Democrats. Only 5% of the money came from Abramhoff himself, but there is abundant evidence that he directed contributions by the keiretsu members.

When I pointed this out on Daily Kos before being banned there, the response was that the contributions were legal and that therefore I was somehow a liar for noticing that Democrats got one-third of the money.

There were flaws in that logic. One was that the "Kossacks" (great name, recalling the Czarist secret police) were willing to stomp all over Abramhoff's contributions and on the Republicans who got them not just from Abramhoff but from his cronies. As soon as I mentioned Democrats getting money, they immediately switched to a legalistic defense. But only for Democrats.

It was absurd, but what was even more absurd was that I was banned from Daily Kos because of it. That speaks volumes about the liberal "Netroots" crowd. They are just as eager to ignore facts and censor those who don't click their heels and shout Jawohl! as the wingnuts are.

Until and unless that changes, the so-called "Netroots" will be nothing more than Rush Limbaugh behind a keyboard.

by cwilson 2006-03-25 07:56AM | 0 recs
again and again and again and again and again and

No. Liberals get really pissed when a single poster says the same insulting thing twenty times in ten different diaries with the same smug self-satisfaction.

Please. Get over your unproductive self-righteousness.

by Curt Matlock 2006-03-24 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: again and again and again and again and again

Please get over your oh-so-typical refusal to consider anything that doesn't stoke your ego or ratify your pre-existing opinions.

by cwilson 2006-03-24 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: again and again and again and again and again

Yes. I'm the close-minded one in my circle. Got me.

Mr. Status Quo they call me. ;)

But please, do go on and tell us all again how irrelevant we all are. We need to hear the awful truth. Again and again and again and again and again!

by Curt Matlock 2006-03-24 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: again and again and again and again and again

It all reminds me of the opera singer at La Scala. She got the usual two encores, and then a man stood up and said, "Encore! Encore!" She sang again. "Encore! Encore!" he shouted. She sang a fourth time. "Encore! Encore!" he shouted. She gave a fifth encore, feeling highly complimented.

"Encore! Encore!" he shouted. "You will sing it until you get it right!"

by cwilson 2006-03-25 08:02AM | 0 recs
by hcy0331 2006-03-31 05:37AM | 0 recs

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