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OpEdNews Op Eds        5/28/2004

Could Bush Step down from the 2004 Race? Would McCain Beat Kerry,  While Bush and His Policies Are Melting Down? Is McCain the Leading Edge of a Movement among Republicans to reject Bush and the failed policies that have tarnished the GOP?

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Could Bush Step down from the 2004 Race? Would McCain Beat Kerry,  While Bush and His Policies Are Melting Down? Is McCain the Leading Edge of a Movement among Republicans to reject Bush and the failed policies that have tarnished the GOP?

By Rob Kall


I just sent a note to pollster  John Zogby, suggesting some different poll questions. Here's what I wrote:

Why not match John McCain up against John Kerry? As Bush's poll ratings  plummet, McCain is one of the few Republicans remaining with integrity. My guess is McCain would do much better than Bush.

If you also ask about republicans standing independent of Bush and DeLay, you might actually help the US by showing republicans that they need to act independently.

I'm a democrat, and really would not want to see McCain running against Kerry, since I think McCain would run away with it, but I am also a patriot, and at least then, there would be two honest people running for president. And that's a win win for everyone. 

I think that McCain would poll much higher than Bush, higher than Kerry, if a poll were taken now. As I stated in my note to Zogby, I think McCain could probably beat Kerry. I don't want that to happen. But why can't pollsters show that Bush is not only a loser against Kerry, but that continued support for him is a losing proposition for Republicans. 

I keep wondering what it will take before Republicans finally see the light, that Bush was a mistake, that Iraq and DeLay are mistakes, and that the USA, democracy and the vision of the founders of America are threatened by George Bush's white house and his team of bumblers. How many Republicans will, at some point, face the reality that Bush and his team are trashing America ?

There's all this talk about McCain being Kerry's running mate. McCain is already in the campaign "radar." Why shouldn't the pollsters take a look at him from a different perspective. After all, there is still a Republican convention coming up. What if Bush's ratings are so low the Republicans DO face the harsh reality that Dubya can't win. What if the delegates  go into the convention and rebel, or, even are encouraged by the RNC to vote down Bush so the floor is open to nominations (OK, I'm ignorant, maybe it's illegal and this is all hypothetical. It's still interesting.) What if Bush is persuaded to withdraw from the presidential race?

If McCain is the leading edge of the crack in the extreme right's control of the Republican party then there are other signs of further weakening of their armour. In this report about republican senator Lugar, Lugar Critical of President on Iraq, Terrorism,  AP writer Mark Pratt states:

" Republican Sen. Richard G. Lugar on Saturday said the United States isn't doing enough to stave off terrorism and chided President Bush for failing to offer solid plans for Iraq 's future."

And right wing pundit and CNN Crossfire host Robert Novak writes in a column title Unaccountabale But Messianic about Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, who Novak reports

"is blunt in addressing two overriding problems in the war on terror: lack of accountability in the intelligence community and a messianic desire to recast the world in the American image."

Novak goes on to comment:

"These are precisely the concerns I have heard all over the country from people who call themselves Republicans and are distraught about the U.S. adventure in Iraq. They ask questions. Who is responsible for the false forecast of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that was the immediate cause for war? Are we really intent on planting democracy throughout the Arab world? These skeptics are not about to vote for John Kerry for president, but they are very unhappy."

Novak concludes:

"But Bush can be faulted for lack of interest in accountability and for succumbing to messianic pretensions of spreading democracy, even though Roberts does not single out the president. The questions remain whether any official ever will pay for the intelligence failures and whether the difficulty of nation building in Iraq is a lesson learned.

"Roberts is not alone among Republicans. The GOP's top two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- Richard Lugar of Indiana and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska -- have their own misgivings. These Midwestern Republicans know their constituents are concerned about what has sent the nation into Iraq and what comes next. But how does George W. Bush adjust to these realities while fighting a shooting war and campaigning for re-election?"

So the cracks in the extreme right wing wall are starting to appear and even widen. They are beginning to let in light, hopefully light that will illuminate the vision of more and more of the temporary Republican majority in the House and Senate. Perhaps we'll see the beginnings of true bi-partisan action and policy making. Perhaps one or a few republican senators and or representatives of the House will pull a Jeffords and go independent, or even Democratic. 

An article published in THE Hill,  Bush slide worries the party, by Alexander Bolton and Geoff Earle reports :

Republican members of Congress are growing increasingly concerned over President Bush 's sinking approval rating and the souring public mood over the war in Iraq .

At the same time, many members say Bush 's poll numbers are also affecting them by coloring public opinion about the economy and other issues more directly linked to their own re-election prospects.

A recent Gallup Poll showed Bush 's job approval at 46 percent, the lowest of his presidency, and a Zogby International poll earlier this week put his job approval number at 42 percent, also the lowest of his presidency. Not since Harry S Truman in 1948 has a president won a second term with an approval rating below 50 percent ...

An ABC News and Money magazine poll released Sunday showed that a majority of those surveyed, 63 percent, rated the economy as "not so good " or "poor. " Only 37 percent said the economy was "good " or "excellent. "

A NBC News and Wall Street Journal survey earlier this month showed that 53 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Bush 's handling of the economy while 41 percent approved.

But perhaps most alarming for Republicans, a Time/CNN poll conducted May 12 and 13 showed that respondents favored Democrats over Republicans on a generic congressional ballot by a margin of 13 points, 53 to 40 percent ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports in an article GOP Infighting Rises, Poll Standings Fall . The news keeps coming.

Eric Alterman writes, in THE NATION, in an article titled Hawks Eating Crow

The Bush Administration has not made it easy on its supporters. David Brooks now admits that he was gripped with a "childish fantasy" about Iraq . Tucker Carlson is "ashamed" and "enraged" at himself. Tom Friedman, admitting to being "a little slow," is finally off the reservation. Die-hard Republican publicist William Kristol admits of Bush, "He did drive us into a ditch." The neocon fantasist and sometime Republican speechwriter Mark Helprin complains on the Wall Street Journal editorial page--the movement's Pravda--of "the inescapable fact that the war has been run incompetently, with an apparently deliberate contempt for history, strategy, and thought, and with too little regard for the American soldier, whose mounting casualties seem to have no effect on the boastfulness of the civilian leadership."

Carl Bernstein writes, in his article, History lesson: GOP must stop Bush,

"The equally relevant question is whether Republicans will, Pavlov-like, continue to defend their president with ideological and partisan reflex, or remember the example of principled predecessors who pursued truth at another dark moment.

Today, the issue may not be high crimes and misdemeanors, but rather Bush's failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly."

Bernstein observes:

"Like Nixon, this president decided the Constitution could be bent on his watch. Terrorism justified it, and Rumsfeld's Pentagon promoted policies making inevitable what happened at Abu Ghraib -- and Guantanamo Bay , Cuba . The legal justification for ignoring the Geneva Conventions regarding humane treatment of prisoners was enunciated in a memo to Bush, dated Jan. 25, 2002, from the White House counsel.

"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Alberto Gonzales wrote Bush. "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva 's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."

Every day, it seems that more pundits observe and more Republicans are crossing the line, speaking out about the problems, at the least, and about the outrages at failures, when they come closer to the whole truth.

Hopefully, constituents throughout the US will begin to see this now slight but growing change in perspective, from unanimous goose-stepping to independent patriotic thinking. Hopefully the people will see the reasons that some Republicans are remembering that these senators and congressmen seeing the light  are US citizens before being Republicans. Hopefully those citizens will make wise decisions on whether their own legislators care more about America or the lying, corrupt Bush-led extreme right Republicans who have been taking our nation down the drain. 

John McCain deserves the thanks of nation for having the courage to stand up to partisans like Hastert and DeLay who put party before country, president before democracy.

McCain lost his first bid for the presidency when Bush's surrogates used dirty campaign tricks to erase his lead.  It appears that finally, the dirt is beginning to settle back on its source-- Bush and his team of extreme right wing corporatist funded, anti-democracy zealots who have sold out America for the wrong reasons.

And it's not just Bush who may be replaced, in the right wing website Newsmax, former GE CEO Jack Welch  speculates that Cheney May Step Down.   I predicted last year that they'll use an excuse to pull him out and put in a more attractive vote-getting instead of vote-losing VP candidate. I wonder who McCain will run with.  Rick Santorum would draw the core Christianist fundamentalist vote that is Bush 's strongest core constituency.

Kerry could learn a thing or two from McCain about standing up and standing against the easy positions on Iraq, on military funding, and he could learn more from Dennis Kucinich on corporate regulation and the WTO and NAFTA. It's not surprising to hear from some progressive colleagues that they might vote for McCain over Kerry if that was the race. Kerry needs to pull from the undecideds in the middle, but he must also clearly show that he has his own internal compass that guides him with integrity, not with polls. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has shown new guts and the courage to stand up to and speak out about the outrages of the Bush cabal. She sets a good example for Kerry. If he follows the lead from  Pelosi and McCain, he'll have a lot surer ride to the White House.  Of course, if as is being contemplated  Kerry delays accepting his nomination, then Bush pulls out, ceding the nomination to McCain, and then, if the polls show Kerry doesn 't have a shot, that could throw the whole race wide, wide open.  

 Rob Kall rob@opednews.com is editor/founder of  OpEdNews.com.   This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached.  Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall including a series of articles on the need for progressive policy promotion think tanks.

Recent articles by Rob:

Christianist Ayatollahs Bring America To Shame By Rob Kall  they are a worse threat to the nation than communism ever was. Steps to Confront Them

Bush Torture Chamber Court-Martials Are Distractions From What They Want You to Ignore by Rob Kall

American Atrocities Due To Rapacious Privatization and Asymmetric Military Tactical Failure;  The Solution; Patriotic Republicans must cut from Corporatist Sellouts and Rescue America. Blaming a handful of soldiers is a red herring. By Rob Kall Rumsfield admits, President was blindsided.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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