Comment of mine on this quote from another blog... got a compliment on it, so maybe it isn't just blather afterall:
If this is any indication, then it's obvious that GOP voters care as little about corruption as do their leaders. It's sad, but what if none of what's come before makes any difference in November? What if there is no price for Republicans to pay for Katrina, torture, NSA wiretapping, Valerie Plame, Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay? - Original Post
It's not so much the GOP voters not caring. It's that GOP voters will, like Democrat voters, tend to believe the opinions on issues that support their guy or their agenda.
The spin machines on both sides work hard to keep the party loyalists loyal and believing that they are supporting the good guys.
The real factor for 2006 will be swing voters and how they are affected by these various stories. It could really go either way on many of them. Swing voters tend to be the least interested in politics. People who've already picked a side tend to be the most interested as they want to defend their choices and confirm that the other choices were obviously wrong. With the exception of habitual party voters and the lazy variety of single issue voters that don't really delve too deep either.
Those swing voters tend to be the folks that would rather watch, talk about, or complain about the big game, or who they saw Shannon hanging out with last night, and probably haven't heard much at all about Abramoff or Plame, even if the names sound somewhat familiar. Additionally the swing voters aren't as likely to blame a whole party because of some news story about a completely different guy than who they are going to be voting for. All the stories that reflect poorly on Bush may affect some swing voters negatively on republicans in general, but Bush isn't who is running, and it's a toss up over which sides of the story they'll cling to.
We aren't necessarily talking about nice and thoughtful people either. Sure some are. But others are the same jackmonkies that cut you off in traffic and then scream and yell and flip you the bird as if it was your fault. Some are the yahoos calling for the US to nuke Mecca. Some are the folks who think torturing the bad guys sounds like a great idea. They've never read the Geneva Conventions or have any understanding of the dire potential ramifications. A lot of them will probably think that wiretapping terrorist phone calls is all good, and all this legal mumbo jumbo over the deal is just typical political bickering and nonsense. Some will outright tell you that if you have nothing to hide you have no reason to worry. Such a view is absurd to people who understand the vast potential for abuse, a fear that is well grounded in historical fact. But that isn't necessarily the mentality of a swing voter.
Some of these issues could have some sticking power... but it's hard to say since the voting patterns of the vast mass of swing voters doesn't pay that much attention and tend to vote in a very chaotic fashion.
With the right spin, campaigning, and general propaganda... the GOP might be able to pull off another 'Teflon Party' year. If they manage to pull it off a lot of Democrat pundits will be baffled at how people could vote for these people... but it will only point out their misunderstanding of the swing voting animal, that doesn't read the stories they do, isn't interested in those stories, and may not know enough about the context to even understand those stories.
Meanwhile the propagandists can slam an idea into their heads through channels that don't require the disinterested voters to actively get all the details, which they are unlikely to do anways. In close races that depend on that swing vote for a win, the candidate with the most effective propaganda on his side wins. And another election will have been decided by those who had little to no actual knowledge of the issues, ramifications, or people involved.
Should be interesting to see who prevails, who is conquered and how it was accomplished come November. Still way to early to start guessing as far as I'm concerned. Plenty of time for the propaganda machines to cause all sorts of chaos.