Point-Counterpoint: U.S. state and local elections

Pauli, Ben

It seems that the republican house of cards may finally be crumbling. A number of signs over the past few weeks have pointed to an ever-weakening GOP-dominated America. Last Tuesday republicans suffered election losses in Virginia and California. In California, Gov. Schwarzenegger had campaigned hard for four state initiatives which would have severely limited union activity and capped state spending. But in the California special election last week, all four initiatives were defeated, perhaps ending Arnold’s career as governor as well. Perhaps more troubling for republicans, however, were the gubernatorial election results from Virginia last week. Long considered a republican stronghold (and a state Bush twice won easily), Virginia residents elected a democratic governor despite personal campaign trips by the president. This general victory was further bolstered by the fact the Timothy Kaine, the democratic candidate, won in counties in northern Virginia which are often considered the reddest part of the state. While other factors are certainly at play, this, along with the results from California, hint at the first signs of a right-wing collapse.
This idea was further illustrated in this week’s CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll which recorded President Bush’s lowest approval ranking of his presidency (37 percent). Furthermore, more than half of the poll participants considered Bush to be untrustworthy while 60 percent believed that going to war in Iraq was not worth the costs. Certainly these figures, taken in conjunction with the recent election results, show a general displeasure with the republicans’ handling of the country.
Americans are tired of the lying and underhanded tactics used by the current administration (think Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, WMDs etc.). They are upset about the absolute mismanagement of an unnecessary war and costly war (now more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed), the bumbling of relief in a time of national crisis and the general mishandling of the economy. The recent election results and poll figures are an indication that the American people are finally realizing the truth about the right-wing agenda and the abominable costs it is having on this country.