Saturday, February 25, 2006

Testing one, two. Now what you gonna do?

First, GWB is hovering around 40-something in approval ratings, of course, those numbers don’t factor in the Dubai Ports World acquisition of management contracts to six American ports and the attendant political fallout. Now, the Conservative Republicans in South Dakota take a full on frontal attack of Roe v. Wade.

What else can happen?

A major influence peddling scandal can break wide open. Oh yeah, Abramoff. Disquiet rumblings among the GOP rank & file. Okay, check that one.

I have to say, it must be almost miserable to be a Republican in charge of message in this sort of fix.

It’s always tough to survive the mid-term election in the second term of your party’s president, but it gets ever more complicated with the piling on of policy decisions that directly challenge the status quo. Take the Dubai Port World situation. The idea that allowing a UAE owned company to purchase another company holding contracts to manage ports in six major US cities -- four on the Eastern Seaboard with one only forty minutes, without a jam on I-95, to downtown D.C. -- is a little alarming. Pile on the pro-life freelancers out in South Dakota. What do you think they’re thinking? “Hey, let’s scare the wits out of every Republican running in districts that require at least a few pro-choice moderate females to vote their economic interests in order to pull it red.”

This type of news isn’t just a chainsaw to the knees; no this is more like a chipper shredder moment (think Fargo).

It’s hitting close to home. A report on the South Dakota legislative action by WHO television included the obligatory survey of Iowa gubernatorial candidates.

Yesterday Senate lawmakers in South Dakota approved a ban on almost all abortions with a vote of 23 to 12. The plan would prohibit abortions unless a mother's life is in danger. The House approved the ban but because of some changes in the Senate it now goes back to the House for a vote, where it is expected to pass. The governor is against abortion, but so far has not said whether he'll sign the bill.

This plan would directly oppose the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. So could it happen in Iowa?

… So could the law change when a new person has the veto power? We asked all of the candidates for governor. Representative Ed Fallon, Sal Mohamed, Chet Culver, Mark Yackle, and Mike Blouin all said they would veto the kind of bill that was passed in South Dakota. Congressman Jim Nussle did not return our calls.

I guess Iowa Republicans can be thankful for one thing – nobody has Vander Plaats on the record over this one.

How do we maneuver around this swampy mess of policy? On the UAE management of American ports, easy, just say no … at least until an eight-month study is in the can. GWB is wrong to think this one is a done deal. On the missionary zeal of the South Dakota legislature, hmm, that is a little tougher. First, good move on not returning the phone call, there is no need to have any sort of comment on record that hasn’t been consultant scrubbed. Second, just might need to spend a little more time wooing those moderate, pro-choice Republican women. And like all girls, moderate Republican women elected officials like to be wooed with the artful application of a little chivalry, and what could be more chivalrous than to kill off a weak right-winga in primary pursuit.

Straight up, Gronstal’s got his people locked down – take a hint.

Oh, and pray that the Iowa liberals find a set of the keys.

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