Blogging Around: Ralph Reed is down, how to beat ‘cut and run,’

Fellow Georgian NewDonkey discusses bad news for Ralph Reed this morning:

With six days to go until the Georgia Primary, Ralph Reed’s plan to get to the White House via the Lieutenant Governorship and then the Governorship of his adopted state ain’t looking like a very good bet, even for real gamblers. Two new polls came out today showing Reed trailing state senator Casey Cagle. And one of them, released by Insider Advantage, shows a really bad trend for Ralph: in just two weeks, he’s gone from leading Cagle 32-27 to trailing him 41-36, indicating that late deciders are breaking towards Cagle.

Happy fourth blogging anniversary to Skippy the Bush Kangaroo!

Jonathon Alter has some advice for Democrats: How to beat ‘Cut and Run’

Anyone who dares criticize President Bush’s Iraq policy is a “cut-and-run” Democrat. The White House’s object here is not to engage in a real debate about an exit strategy from Iraq; that would require acknowledging some complications, like the fact that Gen. George Casey, commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, believes it’s time to start bringing some troops home. The object is instead to either get the Democrats tangled up in Kerryesque complexities on Iraq—or intimidate them into changing the subject to other, less-potent issues for fear of looking like unpatriotic pansies.

These are the stakes: if Rove can successfully con Democrats into ignoring Iraq and reciting their laundry list of other priorities, Republicans win. It’s shameful that the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in nine years and that thousands of ailing Americans will ultimately die because of Bush’s position on stem-cell research. But those issues won’t get the Congress back for Democrats. Iraq can.

You would think it would be the GOP running away from the war. Instead, in gamblers’ parlance, Republicans “doubled down” on Iraq. After the good news about Zarqawi’s death, they bet that by uniting behind Bush, they would shift the blame to the squabbling Democrats, even though the Democrats have no power at all to change—or even affect—policy on the ground. Rove’s notion is that strong and wrong beats meek and weak.

Jonathon Cohn at the Plank dips his toes in the Lieberman/Lamont debate.  Commenting on Harold Meyerson’s recent column in the Washington Post, Cohn takes aim at this passage:

To expect his region’s voters to dump the area’s moderate Republicans but back Lieberman is to expect that they will adopt a double standard in this year’s elections.

There is one very good reason why Democratic voters might choose to back Lieberman while dumping moderate Republicans who have similar voting records: The way they vote on the Senate leadership.

Lieberman’s presence in the Senate means Democrats are that much closer to having a majority, which would mean–in turn–controlling committees, running investigations, setting the agenda, etc. Chafee’s presence means the oposite. And that’s no small matter.

Now, there’s a legitimate debate to be had over whether the prospect of replacing Lieberman with a more loyal Democrat is worth the risk of losing Lieberman’s seat to the Republicans outright. But that’s a separate question. From a purely partisan standpoint, there’s nothing illogical about backing conservative Democrats and opposing liberal Republicans, even if they’re basically the same philosophically.

Great point, although I do disagree with Cohn’s suggestion Lieberman and liberal Republicans of the New England area are “basically the same philosophically.”  They’re not.



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