IRAQ and the Republican Collapse
guest post by Taylor Marsh
You’ve got George Allen going all Strom Thurmond, with Rick Santorum cozying up to LGF, while John Bolton is so desperate to get out of committee he’s doing interviews with a drunk wingnut blogger. But that’s not even the worst of it. The Republican Party base no longer believes the president or their own party can handle their jobs.
If you haven’t seen the video posted on Crooks & Liars yet you simply must watch it, because it says it all. It comes from MSNBC’s "Scarborough Country" and proceeds to lay Bush out flat. The title across the screen is: Is Bush an "Idiot"? Mind you, Joe Scarborough was once a Republican member of Congress. He questions whether Bush is curious enough to be able to lead this country over the next two years. Lawrence O’Donnell said Bush looks overwhelmed with the job of being president. John Fund tried desperately to stick up for Bush, but even he seemed to only mount a half-hearted defense. O’Donnell thinks Bush’s troubles started with Katrina. I just think it was the tipping point. The real reason everyone is walking away from Bush and the Republican Party is Iraq.
It’s the number one topic on everyone’s mind. It’s impossible to shake; the never ending bad news inalterably fixed in our minds. But there’s something else, sort of a Joe Lieberman lesson waiting for George W. Bush in November. After all these months, even years, no one, absolutely no one has been held accountable for the incompetence, the abject failures and the stubborn "stay the course" mind set that has led to an unmitigated catastrophe: an Iraqi civil war. The other cost is that Iraq has put our military at grave risk.
But it’s not just Democrats who want Republicans to be held accountable; after all, they’re in charge of the House, the Senate and the executive branch. Republicans actually want Democrats to hold Republicans accountable. You know why? Because Republicans don’t believe their own leaders are up to the job.
Chris Bowers and Rick Jacobs over at MyDD did an extraordinary post recently marching out poll data on the Republican Party that is simply stunning in its implications. Now, my strong suit is not analyzing polling that’s for sure, but even Bush would recognize the red alert warning in this baby.
In an important development paralleling the Vietnam-era split in the Democratic Party base, a split is developing among Republican Party base voters around the war in Iraq and the credibility of Republican Party leaders who initiated the war. In post-election polling done by Courage Campaigns and MyDD.com in the Republican-leaning California 50th district, we found that only 19% of Republican voters believe that the Republican Party will hold Bush accountable for mistakes made in Iraq, versus 48% of Republican voters who believe that the Democratic Party will hold Bush accountable.
Other findings include:
63% of Republican voters believe that Bush has made some or a lot of mistakes in Iraq. 24% of Republican voters believe that Bush has made ‘a lot of mistakes in Iraq’, and another 39% believe that Bush has made ‘some mistakes in Iraq’.
34% of Republican voters believe that Bush has definitely or probably not told the truth about the situation in Iraq. 14% believe that Bush has ‘definitely’ not told the truth about the situation in Iraq, and another 20% believe that Bush has ‘probably’ not told the truth about the situation in Iraq.
34% of Republican voters believe that Bush should probably or definitely be held accountable for the situation in Iraq. 19% of Republican voters believe that Bush should ‘definitely’ be held accountable, and 15% believe he should ‘probably’ be held accountable.
48% of Republican voters believe that the Democratic Party is likely to hold Bush accountable for mistakes in Iraq, versus only 19% who believe that the Republican Party is likely to hold Bush accountable.
When you go back and look at the video on Scarborough Country yesterday, Is Bush an idiot?, then think about all that’s happened, you have to wonder what might have been, especially since John Kerry turned out to be right, which even George Will had to admit it recently. Kerry slammed Joe Lieberman’s "scare tactics" over Iraq just yesterday on The Young Turks.
However, thinking about the thousands of civilians killed in Iraq, the thousands of U.S. soldiers who have been injured or maimed, not to mention all the families destroyed over the long deployments, the real reason for Bush and the Republican collapse becomes clear. It’s about Iraq. Just ask Joe.
It’s about Bush and the Republican controlled Congress not holding anyone accountable on Iraq. Joe Lieberman is now included in that bunch. The people, Democrats and Republicans, want this to change, but since Republicans don’t even believe their own party will do it, it’s time for Democratic progressives to take the lead.