The controversy surrounding conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff is
creating headaches for red-state and swing-state Republicans and
opportunities for Democrats to turn a national bribery and
influence-peddling scandal into political paydirt.
Progressive groups that mobilized for the 2004 elections are
now dismissed as failures. But though they were unable to defeat Bush,
grassroots activists are creating waves across the country. They may be
the ticket to Republican defeat and the creation of a new movement.
John McCain is a war hero, a sometime Democratic ally, a crusader for
campaign finance reform. But the centrist maverick will most likely
take a turn to the right if he wants to get to the White House.
Democratic gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey gave the lie to
the GOP contention that “conservatism is on the march.” But infighting
among Dems doomed electoral reform in Ohio, gay marriage is still
illegal in Texas and there’s a long way to go to mid-year elections.
The lesson of the defeat in California of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s referendum
revolution is this: The American people will not forever be fooled. The
negative message of the Republican right has lost its power to terrorize voters.
Democrats celebrate electoral victories in Virginia, New Jersey and
California, they shouldn’t waste time gloating. They need to find
effective candidates like Tim Kaine and Jon Corzine who will build