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The Bush GOP, post-2006


The New York Times wonders if Bush can actually return to his bipartisan ways when he was governor of Texas.  Democrats are suspicious.  Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D) "invoked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who famously repaired his relationship with Democrats.  'But I don't think he's motivated in the same way...  Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to get re-elected.  There's no real motivation for Bush.'" 

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger yesterday praised the new Democratic majorities in Congress, the Sacramento Bee writes.  "'I think this is good that we have new blood coming to Washington, that we have new people and new ideas coming to Washington,' Schwarzenegger said." 

McClatchy notes that some Democratic politicians who worked with Bush in the Texas legislature "speculated that key Bush political adviser Karl Rove, who's known for hardball politics, pushed the president to become more partisan [as president].  To be sure, Democrats also have played a big role in escalating partisan warfare." 

"The Bush administration will soon launch a big 'energy independence' initiative, likely to include renewed emphasis on biofuels, as part of an attempt to regain the political initiative following the midterm elections," says the Financial Times.  "Political analysts say a bold energy initiative could help Mr Bush regain some political momentum, while buttressing Republican support in the farming states of the west and the mid-west, where Democrats made inroads." 

The party lost serious ground among Latino voters between 2004 and 2006, and some blame it on harsh rhetoric about immigration. 

The party also lost a bunch of moderate lawmakers, giving House Republicans "a smaller and more ideologically homogenous caucus," with a lot less representation in the Northeast and Midwest.  "Republicans will have a difficult time recapturing many of the seats they lost," in part "because the districts are dominated by Democrats and independent swing voters," says the Washington Post