Monday, March 20, 2006

What Does the Republican Party Owe President Bush?

President Bush is speaking in Cleveland, Ohio today. Salon's War Room is reporting that the State's prominent Republicans are all skipping the speech, largely due to "prior commitments." What ever happened to showing respect for the President?

Robert Novak has an article out about this very phenomenon. Apparently the species Republicanus Politicious feels little to no requirement to be loyal to the President when said loyalty will hurt them politically. This is not very surprising (at least not to me, and probably not to you). But it shocking to those who are still loyal to President Bush.

Truthfully I don't think it's all that shocking to Novak either, although he does make a feeble effort to push his party back to the warm embrace of the President.
One of the president's top political operatives is telling the party's members of Congress that they should support Bush, not out of loyalty but for self-preservation. In 1952, Democrats in Congress, accustomed to more than 20 years in power, thought they could survive by separating themselves from Truman. Instead, Republicans swept the November elections, which might be an object lesson about abandonment of their president.
I wonder who that "top political operative" could be?

I think though that the analogy is flawed. Or to put it another way, then as now, it is hard to argue that sticking close to the President would have made a huge difference. In 1952, the Democrats were going to get walloped over the Red Scare fury and what not. In 2006, the Republicans are going to have to face up to their support of an unpopular war. Running back to the President wouldn't have and won't change that problem.

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