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.