Another Bush legacy - a decimated Republican Party

The RNC Chairman resigns. The former House Speaker Dennis Hastert resigns. The former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott resigns. The number of Senate and House GOP incumbents retiring continues to rise. The Senate Minority Leader is in serious political trouble. By any measure the GOP's Presidential field is one of modern times. Their party's handling of the war in Iraq, the economy, the budget and immigration have left them ideologically in tatters. In the Presidential debate process they have repeatedly stiffed minorities, fighting in a reactionary way the changing demography of our nation.

As NDN's recent national poll shows the national GOP is at 33 percent in both the Presidential and Congressional generic polls, a remarkably low number by any measure. As the NY Times reports today, another sign of the utter collapse of the GOP brand is their inability to raise money. Democrats, using new and old methods, have outraised the GOP this year by hundreds of millions of dollars. In Congress the political and financial collapse is so complete that the GOP is now turning to wealthy self-funders, a potentially perilous political choice at a time when the middle class is desperately looking for champions to help them navigate the rigors of the ever competitive global economy.

The political and ideological collapse of the modern GOP is perhaps the most dramatic story in American politics today. It is a theme we've been discussing for some time at NDN. It is also what makes the current opportunity so great for progressives, an opportunity Peter Leyden and I write about extensively in the current issue of Mother Jones magazine, in a story called The 50-Year Strategy.

What a sorry legacy Bush and Rove are going to leave the nation, their party, and their own ideological movement. And what an opportunity they have given progressives to seize the initiative and lead America with confidence and grace into a challenging new century.