Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Heighten the Contradictions

The Moose urges the donkey to exploit the divisions within the ranks of the elephant.

While all is not peace, love and harmony, Democrats are unusually united. In contrast, there are significant divisions in Republican ranks. Schiavo, the deficit, stem cells, and immigration are just a few of the fault lines in the Republican Party. The defection of the Senate GOP moderates on the nuclear option was a direct rebuke to the leadership and the religious right. The President has failed to sell social security to a large part of his own party, much less the country as a whole. It is no secret that the business community was deeply uneasy about the nuclear option.

This is not to say that the party is about to implode. Some of these divisions are the natural result of being a majority party. However, it is hard to believe that significant elements of the Republican coalition are not uncomfortable with the growing power of the Dobsonites. That was evident in the Schiavo case and the discomfort will likely increase as abortion returns front and center with the first Supreme Court vacancy.

It is likely that many of the exurban voters who are attracted to the economic and security messages of the party do not share the religious right's view of the sanctity of discarded embryos from fertility clinics. It is not insignificant that fifty House Republicans defected on the bill which would expand federal funding. The Republican controlled Senate will also pass the legislation. After allowing billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending legislation to become law over the past few years, the President will finally wield the veto pen to kill legislation that might save lives.

If the President truly believes in the personhood of embryos, he should seek to ban In Vitro Fertilization which involves the destruction of "human life." As has been said, those who voted against the bill should take a pledge not to take advantage of any cures derived from this research for themselves or for loved ones.

All of these differences among Republicans have been largely suppressed over the past few years. The glue that has held the GOP together has been the President's leadership on the war. And as W's popularity falls on his handling of Iraq, expect divisions within the party to further widen.

Democrats need to think long and hard about exploiting these Republican divisions. And aggressive outreach efforts should be the order of the day at the DNC.
-- Posted at 8:36 AM | Link to this post | Email this post