Lynch: the anti-Bush?

Today's column from E.J. Dionne, who visited New Hampshire last week and was kind enough to stop by the Monitor for lunch, takes note of the inverse fortunes of John Lynch and George Bush in New Hampshire. While polls suggest the governor is very popular, the president appears decidedly unpopular. Dionne also cites UNH Survey Center data showing that while New Hampshire residents tend to view the state as being "on the right track," they see the country as headed in "the wrong direction." Dionne says similar splits can be found around the country.

I suspect some New Hampshire readers will find Dionne's column slightly off-key. He's right that Lynch stresses "bipartisan" government and that this emphasis is very different from the tone in Washington. That said, Dionne goes too far in portraying New Hampshire as a "peaceable political kingdom" (it's not clear whether the phrase is his or comes from Nick Clemons of the NH Dems). Just ask the state's judges, the current political target of choice among Republicans.


No ifs, ands or buts

The Washington Times editorial page today calls on House Speaker Denny Hastert to resign because of the way his office handled (or, rather, didn't handle) the Mark Foley e-mail scandal.

Either [Hastert] was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.

The editorial also notes that "some Democrats are attempting to make this 'a Republican scandal,' and they shouldn't; Democrats have contributed more than their share of characters in the tawdry history of congressional sexual scandals."

The Times's choice for interim and immediate successor to Hastert: Henry Hyde.

UPDATE: The Union Leader's Drew Cline notes the comment that Foley's predilections were "no secret" and says that, if so, it reflects poorly on not only Hastert and Co. but also Washington's gay subculture.


Red State Rudy?

A Strategic Vision poll in Georgia turns up the following early, early 2008 preferences:

Republicans

  • Giuliani...............33 percent
  • Undecided...........20
  • McCain................19
  • Gingrich..............14
  • Romney...............7

Democrats

  • Clinton..............32
  • Gore.................22
  • Undecided.........14
  • Edwards............13
  • Warner..............5

Source: Houston (County) Daily Journal

UPDATE: Newt fans will prefer this poll. (HT: The Right Angle via Blogometer)


New Hampshire Senate: an early line

The last two Sundays Kevin Landrigan of The Telegraph has examined the 24 state Senate races. Republicans hold a 16-8 edge (or 15-8, with Dick Green having moved to run Pease). Kevin sees the GOP as likely to lose Green's seat and (for now) two others he deems toss-ups (seats held by former Senate president Tom Eaton and Andre Martel). That would yield a 13-11 Republican majority. Read his analysis here and here (scroll down for both).

One race where Kevin sees the GOP hanging on pits incumbent Bob Flanders against challenger Harold Janeway. That race was prominent in a Monitor story today regarding Democratic progress in fundraising.


First Monday in October

They're baaack. The U.S. Supreme Court, that is -- back in session. Which means ScotusBlog is back on the indispensable list.


Hold your nose and vote

Today's Wall Street Journal editorial is something less than a ringing endorsement of the GOP-controlled Congress. The gist is that the Republicans, who only 12 years ago were reformers, have become the lovers of power they once scorned Democrats for being. [Must have been a shock for the writer to wake up one morning and realize the propensity for office-holders to want to stay in office is pre-partisan...]

The Journal scorecard looks like this:

On the plus side: confirming Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito; financing the war on terror; extending through 2010 the 15 percent tax rate on interest and dividends; the terrorist interrogations bill; bankruptcy and class-action reform and some free-trade deals. [If you agree with the priorities, that's actually not that bad a list. Until ...]

The minus side: failing to make all the tax cuts permanent; failing to repeal the estate tax; over-hyping the immigration problem and then under-delivering a fix; running from Social Security and health care reform; too much earmarking, too much scandal; no serious effort to reduce the size of government.

Bottom line:

With his party down in the polls, Mr. Bush has tried to recast the midterm election as a referendum on the war on terror. This strategy may yet save Republicans from losing Congress, both because the war is the most important issue of our time and because the Democrats are calling for retreat in Iraq and essentially for a return to the antiterror policies of the 1990s. But it is no credit to the performance of Republicans in this Congress that their best argument for re-election is the wartime flaws of their opponents.

Yeah, our team deserves to lose. Just not as much the other team.


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