Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Hundreth Post : Chris Shays' Meltdown

There are some interesting posts in the blogosphere about the troubles in the GOP as of late.

First off, is the sad turn of seeing moderate Republican congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut self-destruct. Shays has a good record on many issues like gay rights and the environment. He has been part of a small bulwark of good Republicans against the far right. This year he is in a tight race against a Democrat who is hammering Shays for his support of the Iraq war. It seems that all the pressure is getting to him, because in the last week he has made some stupid comments about the Foley scandal and the abuse of prisioners at Abu Gharib. On the Foley issue, Shays lashed out, saying that at least no one died in this scandal, making a reference to Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick affair, circa 1969.

Okay, that was a comment that at least I could let slip (said in the heat of the moment and all). However, then he unleashes this:

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays was under fire yesterday after saying in a debate earlier this week that the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison was not torture but rather a "sex ring" involving National Guard troops.

Note to Mr. Shays: if you a running as a Republican in a Democratic district where there is a lot resentment over a certain war conducted by a certain president of your party, it is wise to not do anything that will rile up those important voters that you need to win.

Shays may have very well sealed his fate with that statement. I can just see Democratic operatives producing ads with his incredibly stupid statement.

As Joe Gandleman notes, Shays feels he has to defend the GOP since he is being linked to the party. Maybe. But wouldn't Shays win more votes in saying expressing his outrage at the Foley scandal or saying that Abu Gharib was a sad statement in American history? It seems at this point he needs to assert his independence from the party leadership (something he has done in the past) than trying to prop up a failing party. Saying what he has said already will only make his Democratic opponent more attactive.

I think it would be a shame to lose Mr. Shays. He is one of those great "Yankee Republicans" that the party needs to counter the radical right. But if he loses on November 7th, he only has himself to blame.


Paul Wartenberg said...

I have no sympathy for any Republican right now. The entire party leadership has been getting away with corruption and sleaze for the last 12 years and noone in the party has called them on it. Shays may be 'independent' but he didn't do anything to fix the party: he enabled it, he marched in step with the party drummers. He's only interested now in staying in power, no longer interested in serving the public trust. So depart I say, you have sat too long...!

The Truffle said...

The average moderate Republican on the street I can sympathize with. But the Whitmans and Snowes? Shays and Specter? Colin Powell? Forget it. They've done nothing but rubber-stamp the White House's disastrous policies since Bush was elected.

Christine Whitman's actions are especially criminal. She's the one who, as head of the EPA, told recovery workers at Ground Zero that the air there was safe to breathe. She didn't have the courage to speak up when it could've saved lives.

And don't get me started on Colin Powell allowing himself to be manipulated by Bushco. He could've put his foot down and said "Hell, no. Find someone else to be your stooge at the UN."

Shays is little more than an enabler, as are the rest of the so-called "moderates" in Congress who aren't brave enough to stand up and say, "Enough is enough."