End of the line for the GOP

Jen Steer

The situation is really starting to look grim for the entire Republican Party. It was already looking bad before the Jack Abramoff scandal arrived in the foreground. Before intelligence reports were released explaining the war in Iraq actually made the United States more susceptible to terrorist attacks. Before Rep. Mark Foley was accused of sending inappropriate e-mails to White House pages.

With all these forces coming together, I just keep praying that the American people have enough sense to give the majority back to the Democrats.

The Democrats only need to win six new seats in the Senate and 15 new seats in the House of Representatives to become the majority in both houses of Congress. These Senate and House elections may make for some really close elections, but they will be the first step to put a Democrat back in the White House. It seems like the Foley folly is just the final nail in the coffin.

In the wake of the Foley scandal, Democratic candidates have launched new campaign ads to capitalize on the Republican weaknesses. Many of them speak of protecting children, while making references back to Foley’s interest in young boys. Congressional campaigns are a dirty business, and this whole “kick ’em when they’re down” philosophy could make the difference. That’s just the way politics works in this country. The Republicans have gone after the Dems for lesser offenses than hitting on 15-year-olds.

While many, even within the Republican party, have pointed fingers at Dennis Hastert, Republican Speaker of the House, this will only further weaken the party. Attacking its leadership is an easy way to give the Republicans another loss. If Hastert decides not to resign, people have already begun to have doubts in his competency. If he does, this takes a powerful force out of the Republican arsenal and replaces him with Ohio Rep. John Boehner, whose ethical standards have already been questioned. Either way, this is a win-win situation for House Democrats. And let’s use a little bit of common sense here, do you really think that Hastert will leave his position?

A key demographic in the path to a Republican victory has even been crying foul. The Washington Post on Oct. 8 explained that many conservatives, most notably those who are part of the moral majority, are the ones who have been the most deterred from voting Republican because of the Foley story. Analysts are predicting that many conservatives will simply just not vote because of the scandal, ultimately giving the Democrats a chance to regain some seats. The reasons to vote Democrat are just stacking up, aren’t they?

Recent polls even indicate that the Democrats who were able to control Congress for 40 years may be back. This week’s Time Magazine displays an elephant’s butt, claiming that this is the end of an era for Republicans. A poll mentioned in the article states that 56 percent of registered voters plan to vote Democrat, while only 39 percent intended to vote Republican. Polls have been known to be wrong, but at this crucial juncture for the Democrats, these numbers could mean everything.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].