"To Viguerie, the solution is clear: Cut spending, shrink government and lead from the right on abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues.
But moderates are convinced that's a formula for electoral irrelevance. Moderate Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) easily won reelection by finding common ground with Democrats -- and defying Bush -- on such issues as global warming and education spending. Moderate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) was reelected yesterday with 73 percent of the vote in a blue state.
"We misread the election of 2004 as a conservative mandate when 45 percent of the American people describe themselves as moderates," Snowe said. "If we move even further towards hard-core ideology, we'll be in the minority for a long time."
The only problem for Snowe and the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership is that nearly half of its members were defeated on Tuesday.
"Oh, my God, it was a bloodbath for us," Chamberlain said. "We paid the price for the president's agenda.""
"Bush's radical presidency consolidated the grip of Southern conservatism over the Republican Party. He completed the "Southern Strategy" launched by Richard Nixon in 1968 in the aftermath of the civil rights movement, a strategy that assimilated the Dixiecrat George Wallace third party into the Republican ranks. Over time, the strategy that was supposed to be an add-on to the traditional GOP engulfed it. Bush finished the project that Nixon began. Karl Rove, his chief political aide, hypothesized a permanent national majority rooted in a Southern Strategy in which the rest of the country was an add-on. But in his quest for realignment Rove has left a rump regional party mired in the swamps of Dixie. What purpose does Rove with his scenarios of polarization now serve Bush?"
"Meanwhile, the Democratic sweep of Congress was matched by gains in state races across the nation. Democrats picked up more than 275 seats in state legislatures. Democrats also picked up six new governorships -- giving them control of both chambers in fifteen states."
"I have watched many American elections, but still find myself shocked by candidates accusing each other in public and on television of corruption, homosexuality, lying, surrendering to terror, killing babies, favouring torture, associating with hoodlums and consorting with prostitutes. My favourites this time were "Brad Miller pays for sex but not for body armour for our troops" and, most savage of all, "Michael Steele loves George Bush".
Over 60% of electors want US troops withdrawn from Iraq now or soon. Reports from Baghdad indicate expectation and relief that American policy in that country is about to change. The US army wants to leave. The government ran on a pro-war ticket and suffered a resounding rebuff. At this point the insurgency knows it has won, however long it takes the occupying power to go. Retreat in good order is the best hope. An era of ill-conceived, belligerent interventionism has come to an end - by democratic decision, thank goodness."
* BillConroy has more on the House Of Death story:
"However, yet another document has come to light that supports Narco News’ version of the House of Death story and casts serious doubts on the U.S. government’s continued whitewashing of the facts in this case.
Even prior to this latest revelation, U.S. law enforcement sources, including Sandalio Gonzalez, the former head of DEA’s El Paso, Texas, field office, have contended for some time that Homeland Security and Justice officials have actively worked to cover-up the facts of U.S. government complicity in the murders.
Seemingly adding more weight to the charges of a cover-up, U.S. government attorneys revealed recently in court pleadings related to the House of Death that DEA is considering classifying portions of a critical joint DEA/ICE report about the mass murder case by invoking the cloak of national security."
* greg sargeant:
"Early on, anyone who suggested that Dems shouldn't be afraid to call for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or to oppose President Bush on wiretapping or torture was subjected to a steady stream of withering scorn from allegedly in-the-know pundits. Those who backed Ned Lamont's antiwar candidacy were dismissed by David Broder and others in the D.C. opinionmakers guild as crazy, extreme, beneath contempt.* upi:
In the face of this kind of contempt, some -- bloggers, a few columnists, etc. -- argued that the better course for Dems politically, and the right one morally, was to fearlessly stand up and articulate opposition to warrantless wiretapping and torture, and try to win arguments on these questions, rather than shying away from them.
In district after district, GOP candidates followed the Karl Rove "stay-the-course-versus-cut-and-run" playbook, bashing the Dem leadership's positions on wiretapping, torture and Iraq. Dems fought back hard, arguing that GOP policies made us less safe. Dems won the argument hands down. As polls just before the election showed, the electorate fully understood that Dems were going to challenge and change the White House's approach to the war on terror -- and it voted overwhelmingly for Dems, anyway. In Connecticut, GOP Rep. Nancy Johnson launched despicable ads hammering Dem Chris Murphy on wiretapping; she lost by 10 points. In Montana, Dem Jon Tester boldly called for the repeal of the Patriot Act, even though pundits scoffed that this was tantamount to political self-immolation. But Tester stood his ground, making the rather novel argument that his position was the mainstream one, no matter what anyone else said about it. He's now the next Senator from Montana."
" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez slammed the Saddam Hussein death penalty and said it is U.S. President George W. Bush who should be sentenced to death.
"If sentencing is to be done," said Chavez earlier this week, "the first one to be given the most severe sentence this planet has to offer should be the president of the United States, if we're talking about genocidal presidents," the Miami Herald reported Thursday."