The sudden rise of Fred Thompson as a leading Republican candidate for President shows that the Republican leadership still does not understand their impending implosion as a national political party. Thompson is a “sex-up” version of a failed product. With Thompson, voters are getting the same old package of ideologies and policies that have been total disasters for the vast majority of Americans with new wrappings. Fred Thompson is much more “Bush-lite” than the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
Thompson is total political hypocrite. As a Tennessee resident and voter when Thompson was in the US Senate, I watched Thompson vote against the interests of middle class Tennesseans, the working poor, the environment, clean elections, education and most of the things that the majority of Americans support. Trust me, Fred Thompson is a far right wing politician who votes on behalf of the wealthiest of the wealthy and the largest of corporations.
Fred Thompson knows how to be an actor. He acts like a common man. You will see him at campaign events in a red pick-up truck that he almost never drives except at campaign events.
Thompson urges Michael Moore should be condemned for visiting Cuba while making his latest film. It has been widely reported that Thompson violated repeatedly US law concerning the trade embargo of Castro’s Cuba by smoking illegal Cuban cigars. Some published reports state that Thompson had these illegal Cuban cigars in his US Senate office. If these reports are true, Thompson is both a public hypocrite and lawbreaker who should be prosecuted by the US Department of Justice.
The real problem facing the Republicans in upcoming elections is not their candidates. The real Republican political problems are their extremist political ideology and tolerance of corruption. The problems are closely related.
Republican power comes from money, really big money. They have crafted a political program that serves the interests of really big moneyed interests completely and to the determent of every other class of American citizen. From the rewriting of bankruptcy law to student loans to environmental legislation to tax policies, the super rich were rewarded while the rest of us suffered. Trade policies put corporate interests over the national interests. The Republican Right reversed all of our anti-monopoly government policies.
Because their power is based on serving the elite few, Republicans are not really committed to American Democracy. This is why they are in deep trouble in upcoming elections.
Republican tactics reveal their desperation. Republican politicians are using their power to limit the voting rights of American citizens and reduce the number of voters. Voter ID laws will not significantly reduce voter fraud (which is not statistically significant) but will reduce the number of voters by 3% to 5%. The voters who will not vote after the voter ID laws are passed will be overwhelmingly poor, urban or elderly citizens who do not drive. Instead of designing policies that appeal to these voters, Republicans are pushing for laws that stop them from voting.
Native Americans, Hispanics and blacks have systematically been targeted by Republican politicians and operatives for vote suppression campaigns. College students have also been frequently denied equal voting right opportunities by Republican officeholders like Ken Blackwell.
The current Attorneygate (Gonzales 8) scandal has shown that the Bush White House and the Republican Party national leadership have been deeply involved in using the US Department of Justice to manipulate elections. It certainly looks that many members of the national Republican leadership both in public office and outside are willing to break or distort laws in order to win elections in their lust for power.
Republican policies on the Iraq War benefit oil companies, defense contractors and other corporate interests. They do not serve the interests of American soldiers, American taxpayers or the American nation. The same basic situation remains when the subject is the economy, clean elections, civil liberties, national debt, taxes, trade, worker rights, consumer rights, educational policies, immigration, the environment, etc. instead of the Iraq War.
Of the 25 different pieces of legislation that Bush has threatened to veto, the vast majority have majority public support. All of them are opposed by powerful corporate interests. All of them would benefit average Americans. Sadly, this has become the Republican way.
The era of complete Corporate control of politics is over. The George W. Bush era has been so extreme and incompetent that it has produced a massive backlash. Unless the Republicans find a new reason for existing besides being complete Corporate clowns, they are likely to return to a reduced, permanent minority Party status. Republicans need to learn to modify their policies to obtain more supporters instead of relying on dirty tactics and undermining American Democracy to achieve power.