Karl Rove, President Bush's political lieutenant, told a closed-door meeting of 2008 Republican House candidates and their aides Tuesday that it was less the war in Iraq than corruption in Congress that caused their party's defeat in the 2006 elections.
Rove's clear advice to the candidates is to distance themselves from the culture of Washington. Specifically, Republican candidates are urged to make clear they have no connection with disgraced congressmen such as Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley.
A lot of folks on the left are really obsessed about the war, and no doubt, it's a complete FUBAR. But even for folks who are in favor of the war or who are neutral, the big issue was the corruption and abuse of power by Republicans. Rove mentioned Foley and Cunningham specifically, but I think that the wider abuses of power were what finally got to the voters. The Pubs had been in power for a long time and were starting to act like they owned the joint rather than being the servants of the people. The longer they were in power, the more narrow their loyalties became -- mainly to religious fanatics and the wealthiest 1% of Americans -- and finally the average voter just didn't even recognize them any more because of their stands on issues such as Social Security "reform" and the whole Terri Schiavo mess.
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