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The Scent of Victory


John Bolton got sent to the United Nations without the U.S. Senate’s approval. President Bush is saying that “intelligent design” ought to be taught in schools so people can be aware that there’s more than one theory on evolution and, on top of that, he’s going to veto any legislation that supports federally funded stem cell research.
It seems like the Bush Administration has declared war on the U.S. Congress, doesn’t it? It sure does. Particularly if, like most Americans, you think stem cell research is a good idea, you’re pretty sure evolution is a viable scientific theory and well, you’re beginning to think the invasion of Iraq wasn’t such a good idea.
It’s not quite enough to make me feel sorry for the men and women in the Republican party on Capitol Hill who bought into this sort of nonsense because they were thinking that social conservatives were the future of the party. They are not its future. They are its present. To a man – a white man – they are Republicans and they are going to stay Republicans.

And while Bush might not have proposed putting a full-blown social conservative on the Supreme Court with the nomination of Judge John Roberts, he sure did issue a big “screw you” to the moderate women – those security minded soccer moms – when he named a white guy lawyer to succeed the tough-talking fair-minded Sandra Day O’Conner. Actor Fred Thomas may be walking Roberts through his paces as a sop to women voters but, uh, I’m betting they won’t buy it.
They’re also not buying the bluster that we Democrats have come to associate with the Bush administration and its tough talk. It’s an administration that cannot change its mind. One that runs on a set of wacky macho ideas about the world and its role. This is what maddens the Europeans who dismiss Bush as a cowboy. This is why moderates like Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Mike Castle – the stem cell bill’s sponsors – are forming alliances with Democrats. And this, finally, is why the Republican party is getting weaker, not stronger.
I’m not willing to straight up predict that the 2006 elections are going to move the House or the Senate to the Democrats. But I’m getting the very strong feeling that the races that are up – all of the House and a third of the Senate – will not be the cakewalks Republicans would like.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 5:23 PM | Permalink

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