Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just Say NO

Nationalizing the Elections

With a little over two months to go, one thing is obvious about the elections of 2006: The Democratic Party is poised for a very successful November if we fight hard, work smarter, come together, and nationalize the election.

Nationalizing the election means making this election about the failed Presidency of George W. Bush and the abysmal record of the Republican-led rubber-stamp Congress. (In Oklahoma this means Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, John Sullivan and Ernest Istook; also Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe.) Make this election, from the courthouse lawn to the halls of Congress, about the dismal leadership of Bush Republicans (the ones in DC and the ones in Oklahoma too) their misplaced policies, lack of competence and utter inability to govern effectively.

This President has been a disaster. Already historians are writing that he is likely to be considered the WORST PRESIDENT EVER. His approval ratings are at consistently in the low to mid-30’s. Based on current Survey USA approval ratings, President Bush is at 50% approval or better in just four states: Utah (59%), Idaho (56%), Wyoming (52%) and Oklahoma (51%). In terms of electoral votes, if an election were held today, based on these approval ratings, out of 538 possible electoral votes, President Bush would receive 19. Nineteen votes.

While Oklahoma gives Bush his 4th highest approval rating at 51%, his disapproval rating in Oklahoma is 48%. And, look how high his disapproval is in states surrounding us. In Louisiana, 49%. In Bush’s home state of Texas 51% of the people disapprove of the way he is doing his job. In that bastion of hard-right conservatism just to the north of us, Kansas, 58% disapprove. Same in New Mexico: 58%. And, it gets worse. In Colorado 60%. In Missouri 60%. In Arkansas 63%. Now, that’s disapproval.

Overall, in the 50-state average, the Bush Administration is getting a big thumbs-down from 60% of the American people. But, as bad as the numbers are for the job President Bush is doing (with good reason), the figures are worse for the Republican-controlled Congress. The disapproval rating for Congress is consistently in the 70’s.

Now, is the time for Democrats to change the direction of our country and provide honest, effective, responsible leadership.

When you are out campaigning this year, or talking to your friends and family, remind them how the rest of the country is saying NO to Republican politicians. And, how Oklahoma should, too. (That means NO to Istook, Hiett, and the others.) Remind them that Democrats, not Republicans, truly stand for the best and most important of our American, and Oklahoma values.

Point out the disregard the hard right-wing Republicans have for our Constitution and our people. Need some examples? The misguided and mismanaged war in Iraq. Failure to secure our borders. The monumental national deficit. Tax cuts that help the rich and punish the middle class. The destruction of vital international relationships. Sky-high gasoline prices. Unwarranted, illegal spying on Americans. The flop that is No Child Left Behind. Jack Abramoff. Katrina.

Remind your friends and neighbors that a vote for a Republican at any level, from the Courthouse to the White House, is a vote in favor of a philosophy of governing that is irresponsible, ineffective and corrupt. The reckless and incompetent policies of the Bush Administration and Republican Congress is the kind of government you get from people who hate government.

But, the red tide of radical Republicanism is turning. Republican elected officials in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, fed up with the right-wing extremism of the Republican Party, have changed parties and found a home in the party of moderation and reason, the Democratic Party. I urge you to help us spread the good word. Reach out to every Democrat, moderate Republican and Independent, and invite them to join the Oklahoma Democratic Party in building a state that respects our rights, invests in people and builds community.

The far-right Republicans cannot be trusted to govern. The future of our state depends on regular Oklahomans to unite behind the Democratic Party.

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