Time to lower the boom on the party of gloom & doom

Republicans nowadays must feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. With just a little over three weeks to go before the pivotal November mid-term elections, that ache in their gut is only going to get worse.

More and more Republican candidates distance themselves from the fallen leader of their party and his many failed policies, ranging from the Iraq war to assaults on personal freedoms and liberties.

For many, the decision to avoid their faltering President comes too late. By clinging to a flawed political strategy for too long they will go down in flames.

Republicans last week wrote off incumbent GOP Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio and made a fateful decision to move resources elsewhere. They also know Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, the mouth that bored, is history: Same for right-wing blowhard Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island.

On the House side, GOP strategists concede privately that side is lost and barring a major political event that favors Republicans, Democrats will take control after the November elections.

GOP operatives over the weekend told me the mood in the party of the elephant is as bad as they’ve ever seen. Those old enough to remember the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate say it is even lower than the period following Nixon’s resignation.

“We’re going down and we’re going down hard,” a GOP campaign manager said Sunday, “and, frankly, some in our own ranks say we deserve everything that will happen to us.”

Yes, they do. The Republicans have been monumental failures since they took control of Congress after the 1994 mid-term elections. They fumbled away every opportunity and proved themselves even more corrupt than the Democratic leadership they replaced.

The Democrats deserved to lose in 1994. They had become complacent in power and dizzy from the lust of greed. The fall of power brokers like Speaker of the House Jim Wright and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski exemplified a party that put politics above the law.

But Republicans, who promised massive reform and elimination of “business and usual” from the Congressional system, too quickly fell under the intoxication and power. House leader Newt Gingrich soon left under an ethical cloud and the growing Jack Abramoff scandal means a still-undetermined number of Republicans will spend at least part of their retirement years in jail.

Pork barrel expanded to record proportions under GOP leadership. So did the power of special interest groups and the abuse of power.

And, of course, the Mark Foley Congressional page scandal, just the latest example of both the arrogance and incompetence of the party that controls Congress.

Finally, we have Bush – George W. Bush – the despot-in-chief, the man who led this nation to a war based on lies and used a trumped-up “war on terrorism” to gut the Constitution and rip away freedoms that used to form the fabric of American culture. For too long, power-drunk GOP congress rubber-stamped the often-insane actions of a power-mad President.

In Washington, karma has a way of coming around and it’s about to deliver a haymaker to the Republican Party.

With luck it will be a knockout punch and one that is both long overdue and well-deserved.

What remains to be seen is whether or not the Democrats learned their lesson in 1994 and don’t blow their opportunity in 2006.

I’d love to say I’m optimistic. I’m not. I’ve been around too long and watched too many campaign promises disappear in the wind as soon as the ballots are counted. In three weeks, I’m voting to kick the bitches and bastards out. At the same time, I’m praying those waiting in the wings aren’t just more of the same.


  1. South Point Man

    I’m so damn angry at the republicans. Every damn one of them should be arrested and charged with treason against the people of the United States and our Constitution.

    They have tried to turn the United States into a fascist slave state where anyone can be nabbed for any reason and imprisoned forever without recourse and torture is perfectly acceptable. Truly evil. Truly damn evil.

    They are stinking damn traitors not only to the United States and its people, but to all of humanity. So many people have died and or been horribly maimed in idiotic republican-driven wars, countries permanently poisoned with uranium dust and millions and millions of people doomed to die in truly horrendous suffering from endless cancers and heavy metal toxicity. Just so fascism could be exalted above all other things. Grotesque and revolting beyond words.

    The republican party: a party of traitors and molech-worshipping abominations (actual fact)to whom our lives have no value, no respect, no dignity.

    In the meanwhile, apparently Lips has a bolt hole in Paraguay ready in case a very, very extended stay at Leavenworth seems likely.


  2. dave

    Deserve everything they’re going to get and then some? Damned right. The ‘and then some’ should include jail time for a lot of them.

    And, re: Iraq. If I walked into a bar and started a fight with the smallest pipsqueak in there and got my ass whipped, people would only laugh at me and tell me I deserved it. So what kind of idiot rich kid starts a war with a broken down powerless nation on the edge of complete failure and then can’t win it? Saddam said if we attacked his nation we would find ourselves in a ‘quagmire worse than Vietnam’. And Short-bus Bush didn’t even stop to think, just tossed back another Tanqueray and said ‘go get him, boys’. Leader of the free world my butt.

  3. WE get the government we deserve. WE vote for the immoral and incompetent. WE listen to campaign slogans and let ourselves be deluded.

    The problem isn’t politics. Politics and politicians are the RESULT of the individual voters in our country who have poor moral reasoning, critical reasoning, and judgement.

    If you want to fix what’s wrong in this country, don’t waste your time on politics. Spend you time instead on improving the people.

    IMHO, Eddie

  4. keith

    Like Doug, I am not optimistic that we’ll see any real change even IF the Democrats happen to take control of one (or both) of the houses of our US Congress. The only thing that might do is put a few more speed bumps in front of our “What – Me Worry?” President until such time as persons with genuine integrity occupy the US Congress and the White House.

    And, speaking of the President, last week the London (UK) Times ran a brief excerpt from Bob Woodward’s new book “State of Denial”. In it, he shows a completely out-of-touch President (and a “head-up-and-locked” Defense Secretary) at a time when critical decisions were being made about post-war Iraq. It’s well worth the read at:


  5. Lou Raskin

    Civil discouse is an endangered species. Directly after the 2006 mid-term elections, the Rs (1) will turn up their vocal mean machine (2) begin framing the 2008 Presidential election. This leaves little time for the Ds to advance their agenda.

    The media feeding frenzy will also distract the Ds from advancing their agenda. Too many mindless ants running around trying to fill the same time and spaces.

    Like Doug, I have been around long enough to understand the how the national political systems functions.

    All of those millionairs created under the Bush Adminstration will be tapped to keep the “mean machine” alive and functioning. The motivation remains power and control bought by the big dollars.

    The answer rests with continued citizen pro-activity, working in the trenches and not letting up on the elected ones—we will have to keep reminding the elected ones of the 2006 mid-term election process.

  6. Alan

    Everything said is true. But left out is the major reason for the war. Bush and Cheney went to war for the oil companies and the control of the Irqai’s unparralled oil reserves.
    The admin and the oil companies have rigged the Iraqi constitution to allow the biggest oil companies to rip off untold billions in profits from Iraq and to control the majority of their oil. Read the top story on Alternet.com this morning. It’s a real eye opener.
    Will the Dems make any changes or have any impact on the process or will they too sell out for campaign money and other incentives?

  7. Fred Goepfert

    Doug,Righteous sounds, but not much else. We have the best government money can buy and the caliber of representatives we deserve
    because we sit back and bitch but mostly don’t do anything about it.
    Doug, you wanted to start a movement to bring back ground-level democracy.
    You had little response (I was interested). You gave up, because you didn’t have sufficient focus.
    What’s wrong with now?
    Even though I only partly agree with you (thats democracy) the overall goals seem good, and I would participate.

  8. Steve

    Let’s not forget that we actually need to vote them out!
    Whether or not you think your vote counts or will be counted, do your part to make sure these ditch crawlers go down.

  9. charlie

    What gets me is how in hell some 35% or so can still support his criminal gang and do so in the name of patriotism and Christianity!!

  10. It’s not the scandals that piss me off so much, it’s the fact that the Republicans have discarded all their principles and become the party of spend spend spend.

    I just can’t believe that it was a Democrat president that ran the government budget at a surplus, and a Republican came in, spent the surplus and started to run up record-breaking debts.

    Franklin Jefferson
    ***My blog: Jefferson’s Democracy***

  11. lynaqua

    Truly hoping people will get out and vote,now and in the year 2008.This has to change for the people.

  12. Janice

    I read somewhere on Friday that Bush and Rove were not showing any worry about the Nov. elections. I sincerely hope they are wrong; otherwise it may indicate that the vote is being delivered to the republicans – again. IF that happens in the face of the obvious dissatisfaction with the current misleadership, it WILL be time to take to the streets.

  13. yogi-one

    Bush, Cheney, Rummy, and David Addington should be detained and declared enemy combatants. Then they should be subjected to approved interrogation techniques like waterboarding and haviung their genitals electrically shocked. This should open up their traitor tongues.

    Then we can get some confessions to use against them in a tribunal. “If” they are found guilty, then execute them.

    Justice for them just like they think it should be. They should be very happy to experience their policies firsthand.

    If they don’t like it, tough. They now have no right to complain, according to their own law.

    Sounds about right to me.

    Hang ’em high, Texas style.

  14. George W. Bush must be terrified of the prospect of facing a congress that is hostile to his desires to be king.
    Imagine being in his shoes – knowing full well that you’ve broken the law, you’ve lied to the American people and the people of the world, and that in a few short months you may fact the ultimate humiliation for a president – you may be forced from office.
    If there is any real justice in the world court, George W. Bush will be defending himself at the dock very soon, for crimes against humanity. Of course he should first be impeached by Congress, and then tried for treason in this nation.
    The waste of human lives and ambition, the loss of confidence within our borders and faith in our nations word throughout the world, the invasion and destruction of soverign nations, the dismantling of our human rights, treating the constitution as so much used toilet paper, George W. Bush holds singular responsibility for these things, and must be brought to justice.
    If for no other reason than to provide an historical perspective for others to look back upon, who may have a kindred spirit of greed and avarice to his own as our nation heals.




  15. Bush and Rove continue to be confident because in their world, they really believe that they will win. Rove, Cheney, DeLay, Gingrich, and others are authoritarian dominants. and the 35% of true believers are authoritarian followers(ehich means that the repigs can do nothing wrong, no matter what they say) the AD’s can lie, cheat, and steal, and think nothing of it. Even better, they believe that whatever they say is true, and that dispite evidence to the contrary, they think that they are the good guys, the rover boys if you will, and those who say differently are lying.
    This information on authoritarian types comes from over 40 years of studies, with over 22,000 subjects. I haven’t yet been able to decide if GWB is just an idiot bumbler, an incurious george, or if he is in fact one more AD. Or it could be that Cheney just controls him. I just finished reading Woodwards book, he seems to absolve GWB, putting the blame on everyone else for not telling GWB the truth, but then GWB never asks anyone any questions either. vWoodward tries to paint GWB as an incisive leader, who asks deep and penatrating questions, or just goes off on a tangent and never asks anything. He tries to have it(GWB) both ways. Rummy is an AD(one of the classics) but between him and Cheney, its no wonder we are in the position we are in in Iraq.

  16. Lysistrata

    Charlie, it is a puzzle, read Conservaties Without Conscience by J. W. Dean. It helps explain at least a little.

  17. Ray

    Diebold will decide who rules. Electronic voting machines, with programs that leave no paper trail have the say now. That is why Bush is not worried.

  18. J Green

    Like Janice, I hope Bush and Rove are wrong, but what make then so confident? that’s what concerns me the most. These people are power hungry and will say or do anything to stay in power. But the voters have the power, if they get off their back-side and use it.

  19. Dale Miller

    I hope you’re right. Just remember, it isn’t the person who votes, but the person who counts the votes that makes the final determination.

  20. If your institutions are as hollow as an outhouse, you are only going to produce flies. All of our institutions have congealed to create a 1984.

  21. the man

    already the gop is trying to distance themselves from bush and his policies by saying “he’s not a true conservative”
    bullcrap- bush and the congress passed as much of their agenda as people could swallow and now that it turns out to be a complete and utter failure they want to disown it. it was a gop gov’t and they passed thier laws and now they have to eat it. in your face!
    look at every issue facing the country healthcare- worse, education- worse, the environement-worse, the economy- good for the investor class,everyone- worse, security – worse. the are the poarty of grand ole failure! I laugh at them!

  22. tbob

    Should the Dems actually win a majority, how about the first order of business be (instead of impeachment or campaign finance reform), a new law mandating that every elected official, at federal level, be immediately sentenced to prison after leaving office? The length of sentence would equal the term served, with time off for actually admitting any fuckups. I’m sure a few innocents would be unjustly punished, but not many.

  23. TRUTH 101

    Of all the posts above, Eddie has it best. It’s the People stupid !!

    The malaise of the voting public legendary most of the time under Bush 43 has reached new heights. Only now are people just beginning to wake up and it might be too late for November 7th AND November 2008.

    So we replace these corrupt Republicans or the majority of them trying to hold on to their seats with equally corrupt, but by party platform, people orienterd , basically corrupt Democrats. WHOOPEE !!!

    YES, change here is better than no change at all, but will anyone have the GUTS needed to bring this sorry chapter in American history to complete closure.

    That means the impeachment of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and charges against or the firing of Donald Rumsfeld and the entire gang on the hill that has so embarrassed a great nation.

    The problem might start to correct itself slightly, but without the demands of the people, and their interest, a real NOT PASSING interest in making America great again, these initial corrections will be quite short-lived I fear.

    once the new party in power, the OLD PARTY of the people rather than business, as soon as they believe we have gotten Some of the things brought to their attention will settle back down to pork-barrel spending and corruption as usual.

    That is my humble opinion.

  24. rrk1

    Many of us believed, in 2004, that the lies, prevarication, shameless mendacity and propaganda of the well-oiled Repug machine had alerted our citizenry to the need for change. And we worked hard to make it happen. It didn’t. I didn’t believe the results of the 2004 election then, and certainly not now. The swing between the polls and the alleged results was far too wide to be real. Pollsters, especially exit pollsters, know their business. It was a stolen election.

    Having said that, with even Repugs now running away from this immoral and criminal regime, and the mood of the country bordering on restless – that’s as much political displeasure we obedient, compliant Americans admit to – the polls are once again predicting what should be obvious: the Repugs are deservedly going down big time.

    Ha! I’ll believe it when it happens.

    The reason Bush and Rover aren’t worried is simply because they know the Repug machine on the ground will carry the day for them. Rover has predicted, and I don’t see it as merely spin, that the Repugs will lose 8 or at most 10 seats in the House, and 2 or 3 in the Senate. I would put my money on that, but not on a Democratic tidal wave three weeks from tomorrow.

    We have 13,000 separate electoral systems in this country, not even an understandable 50, when we should have 1. Uno. There no longer is any integrity in our electoral system, if there ever was any, and until significant reform takes place not only at the polling place, but in campaign finance and media coverage, this country has no hope of being a democracy in anything other than an outdated civics textbook.

    Americans lack critical thinking skills, are lazy, poorly educated, and anti-intellectual. They are ready made for the world-class propagandists that Rover commands, and would never take to the streets to defend our now mostly dead Constitution.

    What did Benjamin Franklin say when asked what sort of country the constitutional convention had created? “A republic, Madame, if you can keep it.”

  25. G.S.

    There is an old saying. “If there are no consequences for unacceptable behaviors, then why stop them.”

    So far, and unfortunately, there really hasn’t been severe enough consequences for our elected and appointed politicians to encourage them to stop raping our Constitution and exploiting the American public.

    I don’t even see how it’s possible for aspiring politicans to understand that they must drastically alter the status quo behaviors of their predecessors.

  26. ClarkB

    There are more Republicans who still believe in our constitution than there are Democrats who do. Unfortunately it is the far-right theocratic neocon branch of the Republican party that controls the White House.

    Thinking that a democratic congress will be an improvement is naive. A democratic congress wil put the brakes of GWB, but then the Dems will attack the rest of our Bill of Rights and serve THEIR special interest friends.

    If a person isn’t informed enough at this late date to figure out which candidates actually support our constitution and which do not, then voting a straight party ticket is a waste of a right. Better that such peole simply vote against the incumbent – that will send a message that all politicians need to hear. I wonder though if the Public is that smart …

  27. Dobro2837

    Be careful of that for which you wish.

    You just might get it.

    Imagine; more illegal gun control, oh, I mean “gun safety”.

    Then too there is the not insignificant issue of the murder of the unborn. But then that is a “pro choice” choice. How stupid of me.

    Regardless of party, I vote for a whore, not of choice but of reality.

  28. Ted Remington

    The Republicans will win in November. Yes, vote fraud will be rampant, but the real thing is that there are going to be two October surprises.

    Somewhere around the 25th of October, Bush will announce the capture or death of UbL, and the Republicans will crow about how tough they are on extremists and terrorists. My guess is they have him already, whether alive or dead, and they are just waiting until the best time to habeas the corpus.

    But the other shoe will drop about the second day of November, when the Iraqi tribunal will convict Saddam Hussein and sentence him to immediate execution by hanging.

    Hasn’t ANYONE except me wondered why the verdict in the trial has not been announced, even though it was promised for the first week in October.

    And the Republicans will not cheer Rah Rah Rah. They will cheer Rove Rove Rove.

    That’s my prognostication for the next few weeks.

  29. John Farley

    Doug, you’re right. And the most amazing thing is that the Democrats will win, and win big, without even having a coherent position on the Iraq war, the number 1 issue. If the Democrats opposed the war in a credible way, they would really, truly clobber the Republicans.

  30. Hank

    Mr. Thompson,

    I agree with your subject piece.

    Sir, I just thought you might be interested in knowing that, for the first time in my life, I plan to vote a straight Democratic ticket this November. Why? Because, I think the GOP has demonstrated that it is bound, damed and determined to destroy what is left of; the value of the dollar, the Constitution, the rule of law, and individual liberty.

    I believe the morons in the GOP are now a greater danger to world peace than the Communists or Nazis ever were.

    I am 50 plus years of age. I am a conservative. I have never voted for a Democrat. All my life I thought that the GOP was America’s best hope for; fiscal responsibility, less government and more individual freedom. It just goes to show a person how wrong he can be. May God forgive me.

    Mr. Thompson, the way I feel at the moment, I wouldn’t vote for a stinking Republican if someone held a gun to my head.

    I’ve got a strange feeling that their are millions of former Republican voters that feel exactly the same way as I do. I want to see the GOP go down in flaming defeat this November. They deserve it! They betrayed every conservative in America.

    I just pray that the Democrats have learned their lesson. The American people will stand for a lot of crap, but we will not stand for brutal, unjust and unnecessary wars and we will not stand for the trashing of of God-given rights.

    To understand what will happen to the Republicans come this November; see the motto of the state of Virginia: Sic Semper Tyrannis (thus always to Tyrants)!

  31. rbank

    I too believe that the election was stolen in 2004. THe last 6 years have been hell. I never thought that I would hear the things that came from the GOP months, or saw the things that happened. I pray they loss. I can’t believe they did not impeach king george when he stayed on vacation, ate cake and strumbed a guitar while 1500 died in NO. I too hate abortion, but when a US bomb is dropped on a day old baby it is worse.

  32. Rice Farmer

    Come on, are the Dems really any better? So the GOP takes a beating at the polls and the Dems take control of Congress; will anything change basically? Both the GOP and Dems are two arms of the Party of Empire and Money, and neither will do anything to change that. Yea, I would enjoy seeing Bush’s face as he watches his Congressional rubber-stampers go down in flames, but basically nothing will change.

  33. Bird

    I thought you gave up your column after admitting that you had crossed a journalistic line a hundred times – that you wrote and published pieces that lacked journalistic objectivity and appropriate sourcing. It seems reasonable to ask why we, even those you enjoy your articles, should believe that you are again credible. Have you explained this, and I’ve missed it?

  34. Pondering_it_all

    At this point, it doesn’t really matter if the Democrats are “better”. All that matters is that they are different. If they take control of the Congress we will go back to having a Republic.

    The main problem right now is that single party rule of all branches of our government has turned President Bush into King George. Congressional Republicans rubber stamp anything Bush wants, so we are actually living under a Monarchy.

    A wiser man might have made a better King. Unfortunately, King George does not have the wisdom or the temperment to be this country’s “Decider”.

    We don’t have to impeach him to make a huge difference. We just have to change his title back to President in November.

  35. Bird writes:

    I thought you gave up your column after admitting that you had crossed a journalistic line a hundred times – that you wrote and published pieces that lacked journalistic objectivity and appropriate sourcing. It seems reasonable to ask why we, even those you enjoy your articles, should believe that you are again credible. Have you explained this, and I’ve missed it?

    Bird, I said I was taking a break and would return after Labor Day, which is what I did. We added editor’s notes to articles that I thought were questionable and deleted some others. As for credibility, that is something that only our readers can decide. When we make mistakes, we admit them and work to make sure they don’t happen again.


  36. Fred Goepfert writes:

    Doug,Righteous sounds, but not much else. We have the best government money can buy and the caliber of representatives we deserve

    because we sit back and bitch but mostly don’t do anything about it.

    Doug, you wanted to start a movement to bring back ground-level democracy.

    You had little response (I was interested). You gave up, because you didn’t have sufficient focus.

    What’s wrong with now?

    Even though I only partly agree with you (thats democracy) the overall goals seem good, and I would participate.


    We’re working to revive the Campaing for Our America and to make it a force in the 2008 Presidential election. I tried to rush it for this election and paid the price so we’re regrouping and hope to announce the new effort around the first of the year.


  37. denversqueeze

    I love anyone who uses a Tom Leherer line as the opening to their column! Been reading CHB for years now, and really enjoy the site and The Rant. Keep up the great work Doug!

  38. ED Davis

    In view of there being no viable third party candidates in just about all federal races,I can see no alternative but to unseat All incumbents in federal races.Ousting all incumbents would definitely get their attention,and possibly jumpstart impeachment proceedings for the ouster of this entire corrupt administration.

  39. Terry (Catholic Eagle)

    I’m a GOPer because the Democrat alternative is gravely immoral. Some choice, huh: “Sir we must amputate. You choose: Your arm or your leg…” And everyone has the same gripes and the same answers: Throw the bums out. But the fact is the problem began once the federal govenrment achieved imperial status in the Civil War. You aren’t going to change people and the sewer that passes for US culture is here to stay thanks to effective US educational and media brainwashing, so the answer is to find candidates willing to strip the federal government of everything except delivering the mail which it’s not very good at either, but at least it’s a benign activity. Oh, and post service people at US borders and tell ’em if they make a move to cross the ocean, they’ll drown. The ideal visionary federal candidate is the one who is willing to “invest” in federal layoffs in numbers too large to count.

  40. Spartan75

    What if it turns out these people from Bush on down were generally trying to represent the best interests of the country as a whole, which just might include acting in the Middle East to stabilize oil price and availability and prevent a world depression? So it turns out to be a difficult task and half the country turns on them with the type of hate filled personal attacks we see from Doug and many others. Are you all so sure of yourselves looking into the hearts of others and judging their motives?