Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Americans wise up to phony ?values? politics

Pat Murphy

Politicians on the short end of opinion polls bravely retort, "The only polls that count are at election time." OK. Then a rapid-fire series of new national surveys sure suggest the once-winning Republican sucker-bait "values" politics will be widely rebuked on Nov. 7.

The gullible have finally wised up to being conned big time.

It's not just the hubbub over Rep. Mark Foley, the alleged Republican pedophile congressman hustling young male congressional aides while his GOP bosses turned their heads.

The GOP's brewing calamity is the drip-drip-drip sequence of eye-popping disclosures that Republicans have been mocking "values" with a rainbow of corruptions—from outright lies to accepting bribes—while simultaneously feeding blindly loyal evangelicals outright lies.

Take this current example of the brash deceit palmed off on Americans.

A bipartisan congressional report found that Susan Ralston, a principal aide to Bush "brain" Karl Rove, the unscrupulous White House dirty tricks czar, had worked for convicted lobbyist-crook Jack Abramoff and was a White House conduit for Abramoff's requests for favors. So, instead of being the "casual acquaintance" the White House claimed Abramoff was, he and his assistants actually had 485 visits to the presidential offices, including 10 with Rove himself.

So, Abramoff had his own mole on the payroll doing his bidding and helping spread $25,000 worth of freebies to other White House staffers.

This is "values"?

Boston Globe columnist Robert Kuttner also did some dot connecting. He finds President Bush and Vice President Cheney have filled every executive agency with industry lobbyists and executives who've relentlessly weakened regulatory activities and virtually transformed them into industry mouthpieces.


Moreover, the Republican-controlled Congress abandoned its oversight responsibilities and allowed the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld wrecking crew to run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution.

Now, voters are rebelling. In one of several polls, a Newsweek survey finds Democrats now are trusted more than Republicans on every question.

On fighting terror, Democrats 44 percent, Republicans 37 percent; moral values, 42 to 36; handling the Iraq war, 47 to 34; national economy, 53 to 31; spending and the deficit, 53 to 29; immigration, 43 to 34.

Then there are the 58 percent who say Bush lied about reasons for attacking Iraq, 66 percent who say Americans are not safer, 64 percent who say we're losing the Iraq war and 53 percent who say the war is a mistake.

Little surprise, then, that pollsters found the public believes Democrats have higher moral values than Republicans by a stunning 47 to 38 percent.

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