Don't Let the Door Hit yer Ass on the Way Out, Congressman!
There will be no shortage of treacle-on-newsprint when John Dingell (Satrap - MI) steps down from his 24,000 year tenure in Congress.
Thank all that is good in the world for the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. They offer a more realistic assessment in The House that John Built. Dingell is taking his parting shots at everyone who refuses to bow to him. "I find serving in the House to be obnoxious," the 87-year-old told the Detroit News. "It's become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets."
The WSJ editorial staff he might accept some of the blame for that acrimony.
Mr. Dingell may have intended his "obnoxious" barb at the tea party and Americans angry with Washington, but most of those people don't know how to maneuver through the corridors of power. They can't afford to hire someone from "the Dingell bar," the name adopted with an almost civic pride by the Washington lawyers who were well paid for representing businesses caught in the Dingell investigative cross-hairs. Many were his former staffers.
The "Dingell method," another phrase from the era, was to conduct an investigation, selectively leak what his staff found to a newspaper and TV network (double the media points), then haul the poor business targets for a public grilling before the cameras. The journalists would win prizes for the appearance of enterprise. The CEOs would be advised by the Dingell bar to be obsequious and remorseful whether guilty or not. The acrimony was one-sided.
"Congressmen" Udall and Bennet Vote to Discontinue US Senate
"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
For five years, Senate Republicans have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the presidentís nominees.
Part of the Times' defense of this headlong rush to make the Senate indistinguishable from the House is that it only applies to Presidential appointment nominations, not including the Supreme Court.
But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.
"A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
"Keep it? From what?"
"From becoming a democracy."
Yesterday, Colorado's two Democrat Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet joined 50 other Democrats to resolve that the United States Government shall henceforth have two majoritarian chambers with little difference between them. In the process they essentially "demoted" themselves from Senators to Congressmen, and I for one shall refer to them as such.
UPDATE: Investors Business Daily, on the other hand, says this is the furthest thing from democracy.
Appearing as himself in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," then-CBS radio commentator H.V. Kaltenborn called the filibuster "democracy's finest show: the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form."
Of the excitement surrounding Stewart's fictional senator taking a stand against a majority deluded into believing the slanders spread against him, Kaltenborn said: "In the diplomatic gallery are the envoys of two dictator powers. They have come to see what they can't see at home: democracy in action."
Thanks to Reid and his power-hungry liberals, Americans can no longer see it either.
It seems to me that there is a silver lining to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (Fascist-NV) rule change to eliminate any semblance of a filibuster process and make the Senate's advise and consent function a purely democratic process, subject to the same transient passions as any other majority-rule institution. "Cooling saucer" be damned.
On the bright side, there may no longer be any practical use for the once powerful RINO politician. After all, not a single Republican vote will be required to impose the Democrats' will upon the once Constitutionally protected American citizen.
Chaplain Barry Black was featured on FOX News Sunday yesterday, prompting the lovely bride to say "they have a Chaplain?" And me to groan assent. I don't get uptight over church-versus-state as plenty of others can be counted on to do it on my behalf.
But I was grossly offended that he took sides. (Maybe he is kind of a Democrat Shepherd Book, keep an eye on him...) It's all well and good for low information voters to seek comity and compromise. But those paying attention should know that to disagree is to take a stand and that arguing for compromise is taking one side's position over the other.
And that, I humbly submit, is outside the aegis of the Senate Chaplain.
"Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable," Black appealed in one of his recent morning prayers that have been doled out like daily scoldings to the deadlocked Congress.
Black sat down with "Power Players" to discuss the critical tone of his recent prayers, explaining that he sees it as his job "to be gadfly of sorts" -- spurring his congregation of senators to action.
"I'm not judging and I'm not scolding, actually," Black said. "My responsibility as a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. I need to be a gadfly of sorts. ... I think that I should reflect the challenges of the environment that I'm working in."
And I think he should say some pretty words when they start in the morning and then sit down. "Afflict the comfortable?" That in the job description?
BUT BUT BUT . . . It's those intransigent Democrats that are "shutting down the government!"
Yeah, I'll even put my fair hat on and say it takes two to tango. When an agreement cannot be reached, it is difficult to pin blame on one side. Yet, John Hinderaker has the scoop: the AP has already found Republicans culpable. [That is a powerline link, apologize to your browser before clicking...]
Tomorrow, the AP will cover the current spending standoff in an article that will appear across the country, likely in whatever newspaper you read. The AP's piece, by Andrew Taylor, begins:
With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the presidentís health care law.
There you have it! Our government is "teetering," but those dastardly Republicans have "vowed" to use an "otherwise routine" spending bill to "try to attack" Obamacare. It's all their fault! Nowhere do the Democrats "vow," nowhere do they violate "routine," nowhere do they "attack" anything. So whatever is going on here, it evidently is the doing of Republicans.
And that's the AP. How will it be covered on CNN, The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, local teevee news, and most importantly Stewart/Colbert on The Comedy Channel?
Pro-shutdown forces like to hide behind polls that the polity-at-large is more distrustful than 1995 and that ObamaCare® is unpopular. But this is all before the steady drumbeat outlined above.
Well, if we must truly try everything... I have been shamed by a less-political-than-me Facebook friend. She likely voted for both our Democratic Senators, but has contacted both to ask them to defund.
We're really trying everything:
I appreciate your position as a Democratic Senator, but I have been very impressed with your independence and your ability to choose constituents over party politics.
And I boldly ask you to do it one more time.
I have MS and my wife is recovering from a severe stroke. We both require quality care and technological innovation -- both of which suffer under the ACA.
I also have privacy concerns -- again I applaud your devotion to privacy even in times uncomfortable by your party. I cannot imagine handing this most personal information over to the Federal government.
Please put your Colorado constituents over party pressure and vote to at least allow amendments to this out-of-control legislation.
Thank you for your time,
<jk & the loveley bride>
& the same to Sen. Bennett with the bipartisan praise toned down substantively.
These critics portrayed the Boehner plan as a sellout because of a campaign that captured the imagination of some conservatives this summer: Republicans must threaten to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare. Their demand is that the House pair the "must pass" CR or the debt limit with defunding the health-care bill. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots. -- WSJ Ed Page
The editorial is titled "The Power of 218." We cannot undo the President's signature initiative from the House. Sad but true. Purists demanding a pointless gesture are endangering actual efforts.
UPDATE: NO! NO! NO! Rasmussen: 51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding
That's a majority, innit? I appreciate research and I am genuinely pleased that the ACA is so unpopular. But 100% of media disapprove. I call to mind the best episode of the best show.
Simon: I don't think my last act in this verse is gonna be betraying my sister.
Jubal Early: You're gonna help me. 'Cause every second you're with me is a chance to turn the tables, get the better of me. Maybe you'll find your moment. Maybe I'll slip.
Jubal Early: Firefly is a good design. People don't appreciate the substance of things. Objects in space. People miss out on what's solid... It's not your moment, Doctor.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the powerful Senate Finance chairman who steered President Barack Obama's health care overhaul into law but broke with his party on gun control, has decided to retire, Democratic officials said Tuesday.
Smaller Government Republicans 1, Obama Administration 0! The Hill:
On Wednesday, the White House said it was "open" to a legislative fix for air traffic controllers, even though President Obama had previously rejected greater flexibility as a fix for the sequester. In February, he argued that there would be "no smart way" to carry out the cuts.
"You don't want to have to choose between, let's see, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid? Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other one? When you're doing things in a way that's not smart, you can't gloss over the pain and the impact it's going to have on the economy," Obama said Feb. 26.
This is still subject to the full media spin. John Harwood was on CNBC weeping to Larry that this wouldn't fix anything else in the sequester. Harwood is a good newsman as it goes, but his idea of "fix" is raise taxes and throw money at.
But we are reinstating staff just in time for my great Midwestern adventure -- with no additional revenue. This one goes in the W column.
I'd like to sponsor the "Do Not Use Names That Sound Like They're From Atlas Shrugged For Legislation Act." Any co-sponsors?
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Oleaginous Weasel - MD) has put together a bill to finally strip Big Oil of all those tax breaks and subsidies that [my Facebook friends assure me] they get. Merrill Matthews suggests on the WSJ Ed Page that the bill shows just how ephemeral these lavish subsidies are. Van Hollen seems intent to replace Rep. Barney Franks as our modern day Wesley Mouch:
Mr. Van Hollen's '"Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now Act" would raise taxes on individuals--what he calls the "Fair Share on High-Income Taxpayers"--and effectively hike taxes on the oil and gas industry by changing the way their taxes are calculated. The problem with the bill is that the so-called tax breaks the industry would lose are not specific to oil and gas at all. They are widely available to lots of industries.
But whatever the percentage allowed, this isn't a special deduction for oil and gas. Many other manufacturing industries--including farm equipment, appliances and pharmaceuticals--take the deduction. Mr. Van Hollen's bill refers to the disqualification of two industries from these benefits as a "Special Rule for Certain Oil and Gas Companies." In terms of fairness, it's like telling oil company workers that they can't take the home-mortgage deduction anymore because they work for politically targeted companies.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, sitting in for Kudlow, did a feature on the rush of manufacturing firms to relocate in the United States to take advantage of inexpensive natural gas. We are seeing a new American manufacturing boom creating good, high-paying, potentially union manufacturing jobs.
Will the desire to punish Big Oil be allowed to derail it?
American government got out of the way of innovative drilling companies and allowed the shale boom to take off. Europe took the opposite tack, choosing to stick to its green policies and snub shale. As a result, natural gas prices in the US are a quarter of what they are in Europe. And as industry departs, unemployment in the Euro zone is hitting a record high. That's yet another failure that can be laid at the feet of Europe's greens.
Please, jk. Can we ppppleeeeeaaaaseeee fire up the Internet Segue Machine®?
Why, sure! We start the day with this dreary business found by blog friend Terri at Ruminants. This is hard to watch. How. Dare. That. Little. Freshman. Senator. Turd. Question. The. Great. Feinstein?????
That about ruined my day until I saw this: Savor the Richly Deserved Defeat of Feinstein's "Assault Weapon" Ban
But this time around it was not enough to obscure the absurdity of Feinstein's attempt to distinguish between good and evil guns by reference to irrelevant features such as barrel shrouds and adjustable stocks. With no evidence or arguments to offer, Feinstein despicably invoked dead, "dismembered" children in a transparent bid to short-circuit logical thought.
As Jacob Sullum says "At the risk of reading too much into this delightful development, I count it as a victory not just for the Second Amendment but for rationality in lawmaking."
The clear premise of all this political activity is that taxpayers are still on the hook if Wall Street blows up again. Mr. Levin's staff doesn't spend a year investigating beer companies that fail to engage the age 25 to 34 demo with new advertising campaigns. Software executives don't have to explain to Congress why they missed the scheduled launch of an important app. In those industries, big mistakes are issues for customers and shareholders, not taxpayers. -- WSJ Ed Page
Blog friend T.Greer has an interesting post. Did we hear echoes of great statesmen in the US Senate?
Senator Paul's actions are placed in proper context by a simple question: what was the last speech -- or heavens, even the last sound byte -- made by a legislator on the Senate or House floor that garnered this level of national attention? When was it? Was it delivered within the last year? The last decade?
Senator Rand famously downplays the fact that he holds Henry Clay's seat. He proudly asserts -- and repeated in his filibuster -- that he identifies with Cassius Clay, the uncompromising abolitionist over the author of two compromises which preserved the Union.
TG compares Rand to "the Godlike Daniel" and finds him wanting. Me, I heard echoes...
The Tanenhaus and Berkowitz essays reminded me of two recent conversations.
The first was with Vernon Jordan, the veteran civil rights activist and Democrat. We met up on the train to Washington in January and he asked me why people weren't making more of the appointment a few weeks before of Tim Scott to South Carolinaís U.S. Senate seat. I said it was true that not enough had been made of it, the first black man to serve in the Senate in that state's history, the first from the South since 1881. I asked Vernon why he was moved at the rise of a conservative Republican. He said, "I didnít expect when we were crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge that weíd all agree on everything when we got to the other side."
That's beautifully put, and a truly liberal thought.
I all but wept when Senator Rand Paul (HOSS- KY) yielded the floor. I, too cheered through the furious gaveling.
While it is not quite a hangover, today dawns a beautiful day in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, but:
I was up too late;
Nobody else really paid any attention. ThreeSourcers and the liberty crowd were enthralled, but the rest of Facebook has no idea anything happened;
My buddies at the WSJ Ed Page were not impressed.
Blog friend Terri shares my joy and woe. Ruminants requires a Wordpress login lately, you can yell at her here.
On the WSJ editorial, I am pretty hawkish for a libertarian-of-any-case, and similarly lenient to executive war power for one distrustful of that branch. I will even confess to wishing a couple of times yesterday that the debate were on spending. The abstract freedoms ("not to be nuked in a café") are more difficult for me to get excited about than consequentialist regulation and taxation policies.
At the end of the day -- into the night in this case -- being a nation of laws and not men, and Fifth Amendment protection of due process have to be defended and celebrated. "A Miss" to the Journal Editorial Board.
C'mon, send some money to Paul McKinley. I don't know if he has a shot at Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D -- SingSing) seat, but I would love to see this guy show up to a Congressional Black Caucus meeting:
Charges that he is a deadbeat and welcher, however...
WASHINGTON (WaPo) -- Sen. Robert Menendez's office says he reimbursed a prominent Florida political donor $58,500 on Jan. 4 of this year for the full cost of two of three trips Menendez took on the donor's plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010.
More details about the New Jersey senator's trips emerged as his office said unsubstantiated allegations that the senator engaged in sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are false.
And who wouldn't accept the word of a man who pays his debts in three years?
The district [IL - 2] represents a steep challenge for Republicans; the district gave 90 percent of its vote to Barack Obama in 2008 and was until recently represented by Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., who managed to easily win reelection in 2012 even though he was under criminal investigation and on medical leave. The district scores a D+32 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, but it does have some less heavily Democratic sections, stretching from 53rd Street on the city's South Side through the south suburbs of Chicago, all the way to Kankakee County. -- Jim Geraghty
What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.'"
This is from a Stephen Moore interview with Speaker Boehner. Also well excerpted outside the paywall by Matt Welch.
The President thinks we have a health care problem and that once that is fixed (by the addition of large quantities of government, natch) all of our other priorities will be seen to be very affordable.
I don't know where I got the job "President of the Speaker Boehner Fan Club" (my card just arrived in the mail). But how do you negotiate with a man who a) believes that; b) is not a compromise politician; c) has a Senate majority; and, d)can expect sympathetic press? "I need this job like a hole in my head" is the other takeaway quote.
One can find fault with the Speaker but I think it requires context. All in all, another grim reminder of IowaHawk's wisdom:
Larry Kudlow is in. I just caught Thursday's show last night (Yay TiVo and Yaayy Broncos!). It was not one to miss.
Here is the Gov. Dean piece The Refugee quoted. Gotta raise taxes on everybody, not just the rich!
But the jewel for me was Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY). He confirmed my parliamentary suspicions, and favors strategic retreat to getting killed in a compromise:
Senator Rand Paul, who may have the best idea, told me in an interview this week that he's prepared to pin the tail on Obama's tax-and-spend donkey. "In the Senate," Paul said, "I'm happy not to filibuster it, and I will announce tonight on your show that I will work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike, with a simple majority, if that's what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes, and they can own it."
Mister Mencken had it right: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
UPDATE: I left out that Kudlow repeated this to his guests on Friday in the spirit of endorsement. Elections have consequences, right H.L.?
But my favorite opinion writer nails it today. I have said it, she said it better: give the President his stupid tax increase, vote "Present" and let it be the Democrats' gift to a gleeful nation.
The president will also finally have to show his math. He has argued his entire presidency that America's debt hole could be filled by soaking the rich. He'll now get his way, in a bill that likely provides $800 billion in revenue over 10 years, or $80 billion a year. To repeat: $80 billion a year. That is 7% of the $1.1 trillion deficit Mr. Obama ran in fiscal year 2012 alone. His tax hikes in hand, he can now explain why the hole keeps getting bigger.
Especially as no further tax revenue will be forthcoming. The president's grand plan was to pocket the top tax rates and commit the GOP to later tax "reform" worth an additional $800 billion in closed tax deductions. His leverage has been holding hostage the middle-class rates. That hostage will now be dead. The GOP will have no reason to give him more.
Nor will Mr. Obama get any of the spending wish list he sent to House Speaker John Boehner last week, since a deal was his only real shot at slipping in some of that money. No $50 billion in stimulus. No extension of unemployment insurance or payroll tax holiday. No money for his mortgage program.
We're not going to win this one. Strassel suggests a managed retreat, and I think she is right.
No question, the Republicans would suffer a bitter defeat if top marginal income-tax rates rise. Then again, if those rates are going up anyway--either because we go off the cliff or because Mr. Obama maneuvers them into a panicked, last-minute deal--the rational GOP response is to instead choose a deliberate course that mitigates its own political damage, and lands some blows. This is the corner our intransigent president has backed Republicans into.
So, that Obama "victory": On Jan. 1, the president gets to give a news conference gloating over his tax win. He then faces four years and 20 days of a presidency marked by his ownership of a faltering economy, a spiraling debt problem, automatic sequester cuts, no prospect of further spending or tax revenue, and a debt-ceiling time bomb. If that's this president's idea of "victory," maybe it's what he deserves.
Two years into a six-year term, DeMint decided there was nothing going on in the Senate worth sticking around for, at least in the near future -- another four years of President Obama, another two to four years of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. No conservative reform likely to be enacted, no likely prospect of constructive compromise, nothing likely to get done. That is some depressing stuff there, brother. -- Jim Geraghty
I share his disappointment. Mister DeMint is needed in the US Senate.
It would be funny, if we had not just had an election and an embassy attack, how the media portrays Grover Norquist as the villain.
This link takes you to a video with a pretty nuanced interview with Darth, but the portentous half photo well-represents the obsession. Republicans are not avoiding tax increases because they disagree -- mean old Grover got 'em drunk and made 'em sign a pledge!
Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Newsletter [subscribe] is an interesting if maddeningly comprehensive look at polling data (guy's gotta work some).
Dr. S "sticks his neck out" in today's, and revises positions on many House races. Of big interest to me was Ed Perlmutter (Satan - CO)'s seat being moved from "Safe Democratic" to "Likely Democratic." Like a great line near the end of Cabin in the Woods: "We work with what we get."
As our House race charts show below, there are dozens of competitive races for the House, and many of them will be difficult to call, even right before Election Day. However, there is little indication that the majority of the closest races -- the leaners and the toss-ups -- are strongly moving in one direction or the other. A closely contested House race, with no wave building for one side or the other, is by default a good position for the incumbent party. But watch the generic ballot; if races start moving to Democrats en masse, the trend will probably pop up in that number.
To be fair, I was sick yesterday. I could not carry my general equanimity in the face of gloating and venomous Facebook friends. Sadly, some had a point. I'm feeling better today and agree fulsomely with brother jg's trenchant comment. Let us celebrate the instant, unequivocal, negative reaction.
I need some schooling on one thing, though. There were many attempts to tie "Clod" to Chairman Ryan. I understand the lame ones (voted with Ryan 93.427183748% of the time) and can ignore the splenetic and irrational. But they have one good point, do they not? Among the venom and slobber and shouting?
The good point is the "forcible rape" language in HR 3. I am not going to abandon Rep. Paul Ryan over it, but that was ill advised. I have my talking point responses: It was not in the final bill. And: the nerdy, wonkish Ryan was clearly more worried about who was paying for abortions than how rape was defined.
Yet the first version, with Ryan among many GOP cosponsors, tried to sneak through a dilution in the definition of rape more in line with our buddy Akin than civilized people.
Forgive me as I have just read one book and am now an expert, but this is exactly what Justice Scalia's book was about. If I didn't have broken code, I would look up the exact cannon name, but when a new statute adds language to an existing law, it is a signal to judges that the meaning has changed and should be taken seriously. Had it passed, courts would not consider "forcible rape" a scrivener's error or a stylistic equivalent to "rape."
Some folks drafting the law tried -- on purpose -- to water down the definition of rape. Only for federal funding, yes. But post Roe, that's the only place they have authority.
Seems the recipes for Pow Wow Chow may have been plagiarized. Mai non!
Among the ingredients for Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing: "Imported mustard," Worcestershire sauce, cognac, and of course crab, all presumably readily available to a, er, 19th-century agrarian Cherokee settlement in Oklahoma. No wonder Scott Brown's campaign is now fundraising off of this clusterfark.
Jim Geraghty was worried that The Cornhusker State was "pulling a Buck/O'Donnell."
After Tuesday's Nebraska GOP Senate primary, I wrote that I hope Nebraska Republicans know what they're doing.
It turns out they do: "State Senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in the first Rasmussen Reports survey of the Nebraska U.S. Senate race since her upset win in last week's state Republican primary."
November will tell, but I am more proud of the Gadsden Flag Gang with each passing season. The media, the left, and even my man Larry Kudlow suspect that they have fizzled because they're not marching. If I may change to first person, we are demonstrating a superb mix of idealism and pragmatism. We have less time to march now that so many of us are State Delegates and Precinct Committee Chairs.
And, sometimes you have to overshoot or else you don't know your range. While I admit that I'd be happy with "Senator Jane Norton" from Colorado, I can't say I miss Mike Castle in Delaware. Speaking of witches, I'd like another term for Sen. Snowe in Maine, but replacing Hatch and Luger with TEA Party Republicans -- this is shaping up to be an excellent year.
UPDATE: Blog friend Terri links (thanks!) and reminds fo a great post of hers Ihad read but not linked
What is clear is that the "Tea Party" is not dead. Iím still here.
Elizabeth Warren has pushed back hard on questions about a Harvard Crimson piece in 1996 that described her as Native American, saying she had no idea the school where she taught law was billing her that way and saying it never came up during her hiring a year earlier, which others have backed up.
But a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School's "first woman of color," based, according to the notes at the bottom of the story, on a "telephone interview with Michael Chmura, News Director, Harvard Law (Aug. 6, 1996)."
Well, you could make this stuff up -- but would yours be as good as this? The Tale of Fauxcahontus takes a curiuos turn:
In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony, not only is it unlikely that Elizabeth Warren's great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, it turns out that Warren's great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears.
It is a newspaper truism that what is good for journalism is bad for the country, and vice versa. Let's just say that regarding the pending retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, we're delighted to make the professional sacrifice. -- WSJ Ed Page
Diogenes the Cynic searched Athens for an honest man (ht: br); Abraham searched Sodom and Gomorrah for a straight guy.
Now, the Washington State Republicans are searching the Evergreen State for a Senate Candidate:
So far, the GOP has found no one to run against Sen. Maria Cantwell, the two-term incumbent Democrat, despite continued signs that a weak economy may threaten the re-election prospects of President Obama and Democrats nationally.
Although the 2012 election is 16 months away, time is growing short for a Republican here to attract attention from big-money outfits that will pour TV ads into states where they believe Democrats are vulnerable. Last week, for example, the conservative group Crossroads GPS targeted five Democratic senators as part of a $7 million ad blitz. Cantwell was not among them.
About that rational voter, America is finally serious about tough choices, new wave of teaparyism thing... The initial returns are not promising:
We hope Republicans don't believe their own spin that their candidate lost Tuesday's special House election mainly because of a third party candidate or because New York state is hostile territory. They lost because Democrats ran a Mediscare campaign, and the GOP candidate lacked an adequate response.
Democrat Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk, won 47% of the vote in a district that was one of only four in New York that John McCain won in 2008. She ran a one-issue campaign against Paul Ryan's Medicare reform, and she had the advantage of not having voted for ObamaCare's $500 billion in Medicare cuts. Ms. Hochul also caught a big, late assist from Newt Gingrich and his own-goal attack on Mr. Ryan's plan.
Republican Jane Corwin, a state legislator, won 43% after saying she would have voted for the Ryan plan but then devoted most of her time to deploring Mediscare tactics rather than fighting back. Ms. Corwin admitted Monday that she let the attacks go unanswered until the last minute, and the House GOP campaign committee was remarkably unprepared for what everyone knew was coming.
I am not, cannot, and will not advise the GOP to shy away from reform to elect a bunch of DeLay-Hastert Republicans. But the WSJ Ed Page is dead on: we need an articulate (clean would be nice) spokesperson that can clearly and quickly explain the peril in the status quo and Democratic Death Panels proposed solutions.
It's going to be a long hard slog, and if the right people do not step up the game is over, we'll enjoy our last years of becoming Greece.