Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman swept through central Florida early this week for a town hall meeting in Orlando and two fundraising events today. He was the featured guest at the Polk County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner Monday night at The Lakeland Center. The chairman took time to speak with the Tampa Tribune, saying that President Bush and Congress acted on principle instead of politics when they decided to pass a bill to intervene in the Terri Schiavo affair. In addition, Mr. Mehlman said that government's interference in the case would not cause any political fallout.

Sorry, Mr. Mehlman, but you must not have been reading the latest polls or watching public sentiment...or you must be simply unable to comprehend the information.

A recent Time magazine poll published Monday shows that President Bush's approval rating has fallen to 48 percent. Also, three quarters of those surveyed disapproved of congressional interference with the Schiavo case, and 70 percent disagreed with the president's efforts. Other polls have generally shown between 65 and 80 percent saying that the federal government's efforts to interfere were wrong. Of those who identify themselves as "born-again" or "evangelical" Christians, just over half --- 53 percent --- agreed with the decision to remove Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube.

Even Republicans are fighting among themselves over this case. State GOP lawmakers who voted against a proposed bill that would have, in effect, mandated reinsertion of Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube, are seeing themselves with a potential target on their back from their brethern.

Maybe the Republican chairman --- and, for that matter, the rest of their leadership --- need to look and listen to the common people more. But that's not good for the pocketbook.


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