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Happy Hour Roundup

* Now that Rand Paul has canceled his appearance on Meet the Press, it goes without saying that the show would never consider inviting on the guy who got the most votes in the Kentucky Senate primary, Dem Jack Conway.

* The Paul campaign tells Dave Weigel they're canceling because they're done talking about the Civil Rights fracas.

* Ya think? Fox News acknowledges that Paul's comments have created a "dilemma" for the Tea Party at a time when it's trying to prove it's a racially tolerant and diverse movement.

* John Cook weighs in with a bracing fact-check of one of Rand's favorite claims about the Americans With Disabilities Act.

* Michael Calderone points out a fascinating sub-plot to the Rand Paul mess: His problems with the Civil Rights Act have been in the public domain for weeks, but the national media didn't even notice.

* Joan McCarter says Rand Paul's philosophy about the role of government, barring his Civil Rights talk, isn't all that far out of the GOP mainstream when it comes down to it.

* The New York Times is coming perilously close to adopting a campaign-like posture against Richard Blumenthal.

* New Fox poll finds a plurality thinks the Gulf spill will be worse than Katrina, as well as a sharp drop in support for offshore drilling.

* Jimmy Orr envisions press sec Robert Gibbs as Wonder Woman, but assures us he isn't imagining Gibbs in a unitard. Uh, Jimmy?

* Oedipal drama of the day: Rand may have canceled, but Ron Paul was not afraid to go on Meet the Press awhile back and diss the Civil Rights Act.

* Random things this blog doesn't understand: Why people are obsessed with the fact that a rodent walked past Obama's podium.

* And here's today's installment in the Alan Grayson chronicles, in which he says letting Republicans govern is like letting Al Qaeda members fly planes.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 21, 2010; 6:21 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Comments

Great Grayson quote. I guess the only flaw in the analogy is that the biggest difference between AQ and the GOP is that the former aren't just in it for the money. Though the results -- fear, an impacted economy, and the death of innocent people -- are pretty much the same.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"Fox News acknowledges that Paul's comments have created a "dilemma" for the Tea Party at a time when it's trying to prove it's a racially tolerant and diverse movement."

Deep thought: If the teahadis actually were diverse and tolerant, there would be nothing to prove, would there?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 21, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you might wanna edit this part:

* Michael Calderone points out a fascinating sub-plot to the Rand Paul mess: His problems with the Civil Rights Act have been in the PUBIC domain for weeks, but the national media didn't even notice.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 21, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

BG Agree with your comments. BTW halfway through "Matterhorn' and you were correct it is excellent and as a Vietnam vet I can add my endorsement as to it's accuracy as well.
Luckily however I was back on one of the "safe" bases in the South not at a forward Fire Control base like Marlantes.

My novel is complete..going through the second rewrite..however it's about my time in Thailand...spent seven months there..and a three day assignation with a hooker in Bangkok. Given your proclivities for the pool boy scenes you might like it...then again perhaps not since there really isn't much sex in the story even though she was a hooker. LOL

BTW does anybody know what happened to Tena? We all miss her...well most of us do. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 21, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Who do we lobby to get Jack Conway on MTP?

Posted by: SDJeff | May 21, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I miss Tena too. :(

Posted by: SDJeff | May 21, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Random things this blog doesn't understand: Why people are obsessed with the fact that a rodent walked past Obama's podium"

That wasn't a rodent, that was Mitch McConnell.

Posted by: tslynch27 | May 21, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/eyeblast-tv-staff/2010/05/20/video-troops-returning-home-surprised-loved-ones

Posted by: sbj3 | May 21, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

ruk, glad you like the book. It's a really great read, and the story behind it getting published is pretty good too. Some potent observations on race and class in there too.

Your book sounds really interesting. I assume also you've read John Burdett's Bangkok series?

Is yours fiction or non-?

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff, thanks for that. Yes, editing it was a good idea. :)

As for Tena, I don't know what's going on there. I emailed her and didn't hear back...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 21, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"And here's today's installment in the Alan Grayson chronicles, in which he says letting Republicans govern is like letting Al Qaeda members fly planes."

LOL. Oh, Al. Why stop there?

Posted by: CalD | May 21, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that McCarter link, Greg. Clearly I have to get up to speed on the CC issue.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"The New York Times is coming perilously close to adopting a campaign-like posture against Richard Blumenthal."

Could be worse. They could be letting Judith Miller and Ahmed "The Thief" Chalabi use their front page to start a war in Iraq or something -- not that they would ever do anything like that.

Posted by: CalD | May 21, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

From Ed Kilgore at Dem Strategist...

Rand Paul and the Constitution Party

"I don't know how long it's going to take before the past views and associations of new Republican superstar Rand Paul all come to light, but he's currently on track to serve as the living link between all sorts of older forms of radical conservatism and the contemporary Tea Party movement. Indeed, it appears that his Lester Maddox-ish instincts about the supremacy of private property rights could be the least of his problems. Now it transpires that just last year he was guest speaker at an event held by the Constitution Party.

Now this is hardly a surprise, since his old man has long been friends with CP founder Howard Phillips, and endorsed that party's presidential candidate in 2008. But most people don't know much about the CP, which combines limited-government conservatism with the peculiar doctrines of Christian Reconstructionists, for which a simpler term is Theocrats. And no, I'm not using "Theocrats" as an insult, but as a technical description of what they support." http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/

(the post above that one, on the Commerce Clause, is also very good)

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

From James Vega (same link as above)... See "On a Note of Triumph"

d"But what Democrats have faced for the last year has not been a normal political conflict, but rather an assault modeled on a military campaign -- an attack conducted in the language and spirit of warfare. The defeat of the Health Care Reform bill was to be – in Jim DeMint’s memorable phrase – “Obama’s Waterloo.” The fierce conservative resistance to his plan would resonate with Americans like a modern-day version of the Alamo, or the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae and lead to a stunning, catastrophic defeat that would not produce a renewed and sincere search for compromise but rather a body blow to the democrats that would break Obama’s spirit and doom his agenda. "

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Seems Rand Paul's rollout onto the national stage wasn't all that his campaign hoped it would be.

And it's all the left-wing media's fault for asking him questions. Really, how dare they!

Run and hide in your hole little mouse.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 21, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Please dems, make Grayson your celebrity spokeman again. And enjoy his clown show while you can, since you'll never hear of him again after November.

That you take this nut and his mad rhetoric seriously tells all.
Makes about as much sense as missing Tena.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 21, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder with Rand realizes just how many ads he's written for his opponent in the last couple days:

"Conway told me this afternoon he will make sure voters know about Paul's remarks, especially about his views on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"What does that say to our disabled veterans coming back from two wars," Conway said. "

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/jack-conway-to-tpmdc-paul-civil-rights-comments-relevant-to-general-election-campaign.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 21, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it deeply troubling that anyone could consider America a free country restaurant owners no longer have the god-given liberty to throw negroes and jews and homosexuals and women out of their establishments. What has this country come to?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"a free country where..."

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

qb, when Grayson wins handily in Nov., I expect you to admit that you didn't know what you were talking about.

Or you could just do it now.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Digby has a thoughtful post up (see "Let's Not Play The Blame Game") on the commonplace refusal of conservatives/Republicans to attach blame and to demand accountability (she's referencing Paul's "accidents happen" and his suggestion that Obama bad-mouthing British corporation BP is un-American).

Following Harry Shearer, she argues correctly that this serves corporate interests and certainly not the public's interests.

She also notes one of the most successful propaganda campaigns we've seen arise over the last thirty years or so, that is, the derogation of tort law/lawyers. It's not at all uncommon to have some right-wing poster on boards like this to toss out the 'tort lawyer' meme, having accepted it as an axiomatic negative.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, it's like no one remembers Erin Brockovitch (or even the tv show "Damages").

And I wish Matewan was standard viewing in high school history classes.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, Greg, you have me officially worried about Tena. I miss her comments on all sorts of things.

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 21, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

In the case of BP, it also lets the GOP sidestep publicly acknowledging that it was THEY who allowed BP to drill this well without spending the extra money to install an automatic shutoff in case there was a problem like this.

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, I've been going to respond to something you said maybe a week ago to the effect that, given Palin's support from Kristol, et. al., that must mean her views are the same as theirs and the Republican Party's.

Rough paraphrase of what your wrote I'm sure, but I don't think that view is right. It's my sense that their M.O. continues to be putting a shiny object out there to rile up or attract people and, with luck, garner votes. But it needs to be someone they can run, just like Cheney ran Bush.

The thing is that a lot of this maybe starting to spin way out of their control. You can only put forward or countenance so many incompetent or frightening candidates. It's the old saying about not being able to fool all the people all of the time. They may be getting close to their limit.

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 21, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"She also notes one of the most successful propaganda campaigns we've seen arise over the last thirty years or so, that is, the derogation of tort law/lawyers."

People who say things like this either are ignorant of the realities of the contemporary legal world or don't care so long as wealth gets spread around.

Anyone who battles the plaintiffs' bar can tell you stories to make your hair stand on end, and those in the plaintiffs' bar sometimes will laugh about their own exploits in unguarded moments.

Every day of every week our legal system and economy are burdened with billions and billions of dollars of groundless and frivolous suits. The plaintiffs' bar knows it just as surely as the defense bar.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 21, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

BG, you'll be waiting a long time for that admission.

In the meantime, your celebration of this malignant and malicious clown speaks volumes.

It's an amazing demonstration of hypocrisy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 21, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

A check at Media Matters reveals that Limbaugh today did NOT talk about Rand Paul at all. Nor did he yesterday, it seems. As this has been the big media story for two days, the omission is...uh...notable. Further, he severely limited his callers today, saying he wasn't accepting any "kooks".

Shall we theorize? First off, Limbaugh clearly doesn't know what he ought to say (or he'd be saying it). Like so many Republican/conservative leaders, he understands there's an abyss just waiting. They need the Tea Party rebranding of Republicanism (at least that's their strategy) but they can't acknowledge the extremities broadly afoot in the movement. And they understand that Paul is a loud and now in-the-spotlight exemplar of certain significant extremities. And they know he's not one of them in important ways and thus could mess up their PR and messaging game very badly. It's going to be rather difficult to forward the "look at the conservative fresh faces!" gambit if those faces have spinning eyeballs and lunatic ideas.

So the first thing the GOP and its supporters/propagandists want is for Rand to shut up. And for themselves, they don't want to talk about it either. Further light on all of this presents real problems.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"First off, Limbaugh clearly doesn't know what he ought to say (or he'd be saying it)."

Luntz must have asked for more time to figure out what the appropriate talking points should be.

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 21, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

qb, he's provocative, but not a clown. Grayson actually has credentials, brains, and is working hard at his legislative job. I can see why you're terrified.

He'll be a Senator from FL without doubt.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

NBC News ran a couple of segments on the oil spill tonight, both of them indicating that Jindal and local officials plan to go ahead without permits to pump the oil and dredge and then barricade the beaches. The implication was that the federal gov't has delayed on issuing the permits for no reason other than foot dragging. This is one time I'd really like to know the other side of the story, but I can't find it. Does anybody know what's going on with this?

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 21, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, good catch on the Limbaugh lacuna. Hard to believe he could keep his mouth shut. You know he wants to weigh in.

Can't wait till Palin drops a missive on her Facebook page.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

@ABC
"Bernie, I've been going to respond to something you said maybe a week ago to the effect that, given Palin's support from Kristol, et. al., that must mean her views are the same as theirs and the Republican Party's."

Did I say that? I wrote poorly, if so (not unusual, I suspect).

My notion is that if Bill Kristol supports someone, he is doing so in order to further Republican electoral chances and power. There is no necessity that he and the person supported hold the same ideas. It's merely necessary that the desired end can be promoted. I suspect that his initial support for Palin was driven by a need to change the dynamics of the McCain campaign and that his continuing support is driven by the clear talent she has (if choreographed) to gain a lot of serious supporters.

The only further thing he needs from her is that she has no significant political notions which contradict those he prefers and/or that she would be, if in power, manipulatable.

As to the relationship between Kristol and the Republican establishment, he's as close to being that as anyone alive.

"Shiny object" is, I think, exactly it. Sorry, I'm not sure what I might have said that suggested something other than the above. And I'll ask you to try and be forgiving for such lapses as I did see Hendrix and the Doors while ripped on acid and that sort of thing can put a wobble into anyone.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Just got this from Media Matters via email:

"Yesterday, John Stossel took to the air on Fox News to defend the right to discriminate based on race. Yes, you just read that correctly. On Megyn Kelly's Fox News show, Fox News employee John Stossel said:

"Private businesses ought to get to discriminate. And I won't won't ever go to a place that's racist and I will tell everybody else not to and I'll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist.""

OK, I know: Stossel. But for god's sake, how can people not put themselves in other people's shoes for one minute.

It's not a "philosophical problem," it's POWER. Discrimination is not a philosophy.

Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@akaoddjob - I doubt anybody in the conservative camp knows what to do right now other than cry "media attack" and "gotcha questions".

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

What a great week....the more desperate conservatives get, the crazier they become. Right now they're very desperate.

It's probably just a matter of time till one of them goes on another shooting rampage.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 21, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie--Maybe I read poorly. More chance of that. In any case, I think we have the same view on what's going on with the Republican establishment and Palin. And I'd add in some of their other inexplicable candidates. At some point, I think it's going to ricochet on them. They've already wound up with Rand Paul, who's a logical extension of their plan even if McConnell didn't want him.

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 21, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

B,

Mr. Paul was not even the endorsed GOP Kentucky candidate. Since when is he the "New" standard bearer?

And should he just might win, are a majority of Kentucky voters exemplars of certain significant extremities?

He would merely be the obverse in the Senate to TheOtherBernie (Dem, VT) or to the former Junior Senator from IL.

Theorizing+MediaMatters=∅

{I CAN'T believe I'm presently enjoined to cheer for the Habitants. O tempora o mores! BG, you guys taking on bandwagon BlackHawks fans?}

Posted by: tao9 | May 21, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"He'll be a Senator from FL without doubt."

LOLOLOLOLOL!

His degrees don't make him other than a clown, albeit a malicious and malignant one. He'll get a an honorary degree from Clown College, without a doubt.

But you should be ashamed to support someone with his record of irresponsible and destructive behavior. I don't ever want to see you complain about extremism or partisanship again.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 21, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

tao, it must hurt to root for the habs. I can see it though: can't root for the thug Flyers (OK, they used to be thugs, but memories remain).

Not sure about Hawk freeloaders. We've been bad for so long it's probably a welcome relief. The Hawks are playing GREAT hockey. They are going to be hard to beat.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"A check at Media Matters reveals that Limbaugh today did NOT talk about Rand Paul at all."

Rush didn't talk about Greg and Bernie's obssession??!! How could it be?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 21, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Any word on when Richard Blumenthal will be making the talk show circuit? Just curious.
Waiting for an update on Illinois Senate candidate and Obama bosom buddy Alexi Giannoulias' $20 million bank loans to convicted felons. Do you think the White House is grooming him for a post on the Senate banking committee?
Thanks for the update on organized labor's strategy in the Arkansas senate campaign. That was gripping (like a bad sore throat). As if either one of those Democrats has a fat chance of being elected...

Posted by: dpinillinois | May 21, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

qb, "But you should be ashamed to support someone with his record of irresponsible and destructive behavior"?

You mean his trashing of Republicans?

That's shame I can believe in.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

For those supporting Rand Paul. Just one question.

Do you believe BP is responsible for cleaning up the oil spill? If they don't do it, what is the remedy for the US? Not buying gas at BP stations?

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

BG,
I like the Byfuglien kid (6'4", 255, YIKES!). He's a great MN/Midwest puck story.
But I've always liked Gionta (Habs, LW, 5'7", 175). Cat-lic kid via Aquinas (Roch/NY) & Boston Coll.
Geez, fr*@kin' Bruins.
Great NCAA Final/8 lax game tomorrow Cornell-Army: very, very old antagonists, great, great tradition.

OK, that's it for PlumLine Sports!!!...we return you to your regularly scheduled Rand Paul Weekend Bash!

Posted by: tao9 | May 21, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Growing up in IN, we always waited through the news, not paying attention, till weather and sports came on. Then everybody had to shut up.

Byfuglien is a monster. What a set of hands for a big guy. But yeah, I like the little guys too. Besides Buff, the Hawks really aren't that big. No dominating, Pronger-like defensemen. It's more speed and skill and transition.

OK, back to you Rand.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 21, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you might wanna edit this part:

* Michael Calderone points out a fascinating sub-plot to the Rand Paul mess: His problems with the Civil Rights Act have been in the PUBIC domain for weeks, but the national media didn't even notice.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 21, 2010 6:44 PM
======================
The media needs something to cover up the fact we are seeing the worst economic indicators in a year.

Slandering an anti-establishment republican and mischaracterizing his argument as racism is a perfect cover.

Posted by: Cryos | May 22, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@tao
"Paul not the endorsed candidate"
Aside from Palin and DeMint, I guess you mean. But of course he wasn't and a big part of the reason has now become obvious.

As to "the new"... Let's just start here...do you contest the premise that Republicans are seeking to create a repeat of '94? Do you contest that Republicans are in the process of attempting to rebrand themselves after Bush?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The Times has an article on dredging and sand berms to build up the barrier islands in the Gulf. It discusses the possible downsides. It's worth a look. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/us/22berms.html?hpw

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 22, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

B,

So Rand is the new Newt. Not bloody likely.

And isn't trying to recreate 1994 what the GOP, or any minority party do? Or should they just submit to the radiance of the Lightgiver's nimbus, and let the Dems become the new American Baath w/ 97% of the vote every cycle?

2006 wasn't that long ago. And the Schlesinger cycles continue to contract due to new granular media and the extremities of BOTH parties.

I can't predict anything w/ any accuracy, nor can you, nor can the MSM warhorses, nor can Politico, nor can Dr. Marshall or Arianna. That's why I like Sargent's place, he reports from the left w/ minimal hoo-ha.

And the Media Matters hacque-z can't even predict what girlpants they're going to wear when they get up tomorrow afternoon.

Posted by: tao9 | May 22, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

tao9,
Incredibly, you still push the meme that Janet Reno is personally responsible for the Branch Davidian massacre at Waco and you expect us to accept your prognostication on ANY political matter? Not much in the way of reference to your cognitive abilities.

Paul is either insane or so ridiculously out of touch with reality that he ain’t gonna’ win, no way, no how. He is his own worst enemy. He can’t hide from the press until November and he has shown that he sure as hell can’t face the media without imploding. Name the last such candidate who prevailed. Do the initials S. P. ring a bell? Actually, I can’t think of another politician who inflicted so many wounds upon himself, so quickly, ever. In the three days since winning the primaries he essentially slit his own wrists. The guy is THE most unaware politician I have ever seen. Unbelievable.

I’ll take pretty much any odds against Paul winning in November. You don’t really have to be Nostradamus to come up with that prediction.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 22, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

tao said: "So Rand is the new Newt. Not bloody likely."

Not quite sure how you managed to get so far distant from anything I've said or suggested. But that distance does make it rather difficult to imagine we're having a conversation, old chum.

Any interest in talking about this in a careful manner, or should I just drop it?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

"LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An antigovernment Ohio man who had had several run-ins with the police around the country was identified Friday as one of two people suspected of gunning down two officers during a traffic stop in Arkansas." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/us/22arkansas.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

@ABC - I heard some folks on NPR talking about the berms yesterday as well. I don't know enough to have any sort of opinion on what the hell to do. Other than to hold a boot on the throat of BP, of course.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Just reading through this morning's WP piece on the financial reg bill... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052104874.html?hpid=topnews

This President you guys have got is getting more accomplished (and fast) than perhaps any President in our lifetimes.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

BGinCHI: "...how can people not put themselves in other people's shoes for one minute." Well, BG, that would be the definition of 'empathy', and, as we all know, GOPers don't do empathy. Actually, I'm pretty sure they can't. It just isn't in their nature.

Is there room enough for me to jump on the Hawks' bandwagon too? I may be a Yotes fan these days, but my NHL roots go back to the days of the Scooter and the Golden Jet.

Finally, I miss Tena too, and now Greg's got me worried about her.

Posted by: azportsider | May 22, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

"This President you guys have got is getting more accomplished (and fast) than perhaps any President in our lifetimes."

Whether or not that is true, it could perhaps have something to do with his having the largest Congressional majorities of our lifetimes.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 22, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Senator Bennett, just defeated in his primary, has an op ed in the WP this morning. Here's part of it...

"[Tea Party's] two strongest slogans are "Send a message to Washington" and "Take back America." I know both very well because they were the main tools used to defeat me in Utah's Republican convention two weeks ago. They also worked in Kentucky on Tuesday. They are more powerful than most pundits inside the Beltway realize.

Yet when the new members of Congress whom these slogans elect in November take office, the question becomes: Will they be Carter or Reagan?
Will they stand firmly on partisan sidelines continuing to shout slogans? Or will they reach across the aisle in the interest of the country?"

That "new members" bit is an explicit voicing of the hopes for a '94 reprise. But it is the last sentence above that catches one's attention.

The best answer to that rhetorical question is another rhetorical question - Are you out of your frigging mind, Bennett?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

@az - She's posting at Huffington.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

B,

"...do you contest the premise that Republicans are seeking to create a repeat of '94?"

No.

And Gingrich ran the '94 show ∴
Rand ≠ Newt. Not by a bloody longshot. All the squinting lemmings on Memeorandum notwithstanding.

Posted by: tao9 | May 22, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

As well all surely know, the Texas state school board fell dropped into full-on crazy...http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052104365.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Careful education theory take great pains to recognize the deficiencies of metaphors common to education theory or ideology. For example, the classroom as a garden and the children as plants requiring nourishment.

But such metaphors can have usefulness as well. In the case above, it seems helpful to consider Texas school-children as seedling conservatives and the Texas school board as manure.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Gas,

"I can’t think of another politician who inflicted so many wounds upon himself, so quickly, ever."

2004: Windsurf, Magic Hat, BoTox.

heh

Posted by: tao9 | May 22, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Gas...BTW, did you date Janet Reno in high school or something?

Posted by: tao9 | May 22, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

@tao - On the "no" answer, thankyou.

But I've not made any equation between Newt and Rand. You are still well off the beam here and I'll try to guide you in to a safe landing. I trust you are belted in?

Newt and Armey and some others were the strategists that created the reigning narrative of that election. In a quick nutshell - "Washington is rotten and new, fresh-faced independent-minded citizens, signatories to this Contract, will flush out the rot and bring America back to sensible anti-elitist governance"

Paul is exemplar of the fresh-faced and independent of mind "conservative" who will, again, sweep into DC on the wings of doves. It's a sort of virgin-worship thing.

The real dynamic (hoped for dynamic, that is)
1) rebranding (as you acknowledge)
2) fomenting anti-Washington, anti-government sentiment so as to facilitate the rebranding and to encourage fears/anxieties/angers towards the present Dem administration
3) gather up, for Republican electoral advantage, the Ron Paul crowd who proved so motivated and organized over the last few years and
4) ensure they don't push towards a third party break-away group

Please remain seated until the flight attendants wave goodbye while exposing their bosoms.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer." http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/21/un-biodiversity-economic-report

My most fundamental worry about the future, which I don't expect to be pleasant for my daughter and her children, is that our brains will prove insufficient to the task of conceiving of problems as large and complex as climate and bio-diversity present, and that this insufficiency will manifest itself as we see in Texas or in the institutionalized defenses of BP. Sorry to be depressing. But if one is without the happy notion that a benevolent daddy-god is protecting us, then it is all up to us alone and that isn't looking very promising.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - I confess to being somewhat jealous of your time working with Tomasky. My take is that he is not only very bright but a hell of a nice guy too. And really very funny.

"Whatever Paul says now, we know that this is what he believes. It'll be a test of Democrat Jack Conway's political skills to see if he can exploit this disjunction artfully.

And by the way, that's very nice, isn't it? Segregated facilities are just the price of a free society. It's free as long as you're not on the receiving end, which is maybe one reason why roughly 99% of Libertarians happen to be white." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Josh has what I think are some very bright thoughts on Paul, Kentucky and the national picture... http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/05/theories_of_the_fall.php#more?ref=fpblg

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

And here's Newt, in full psychotic regalia... http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37489.html

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

And this last one before doctor-ordered nap.

Benen's last graph after detailing the Paul retreat from media spotlights...

"As for my favorite headline, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this gem from my friend John Cole: "And I Rand, I Rand So Far Away.""
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ (see Not Ready For Primetime)

Posted by: bernielatham | May 22, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

ust Wondering:

Since Rand, Country Club Populist, Paul ran scared, and cancelled his scheduled Sunday morning National TV interview;

Can Sue Lowden now barter him?

Bawk Bawk Bawk

Posted by: Liam-still | May 22, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Tea Baggers.

Your chosen one. Rand, Country Club Populist, Paul promises to take on all the special interests, and clean up Washington,

As Soon As He stops running away from That Big Scary David Gregory, and dons some fresh diapers.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"And here's today's installment in the Alan Grayson chronicles, in which he says letting Republicans govern is like letting Al Qaeda members fly planes."

A perfectly apt analogy. You don't let the person intent on destroying the plane (or government) fly the plane (or govern the country).

Posted by: wbgonne | May 22, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

tao9,
You normally seem like a relatively bright chap. The “JANET RENO DID IT!” idiocy is about as sensible as “ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT!” and “BLACK HELICOPTERs!” gibberish. I would expect such a rant from an uninformed toddler, but not a reasonably intelligent adult.

As for your pithy comment about me dating Janet Reno, THAT was your witty retort? What, no “YOUR MAMA” cracks? Not your using your “A” level material this weekend, are you?

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 22, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

bernie,
Newt is indeed psychotic. There is nothing new in his book; it is just the same old schtick that the GOP has been pedaling for, oh, the last 60 years. Newt is just making his own cash grab from amongst the teabaggers. Since his demographic is the same people that would buy Palin’s book, he fill his latest tome with the kind of mindless platitudes that resonate in Gooberville.

Newt tells us, “"The Left has thoroughly infiltrated nearly every cultural commanding height of our civilization. That is, they hold power, influence and control of academia, the elite news media, Hollywood, union leaders, trial lawyers, the courts, the Congress, and the bureaucracy at all levels of government."

Newtie is going all McCarthyesque on us. Then he breathlessly asks, “Will we be able to save America before it is too late?”

Of course, to get that last question asked, you have to buy the book.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 22, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Of course in my pre coffee morning world,

asked = answer

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 22, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

All, Saturday roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/saturday_roundup_2.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Historian Tom Woods, who has contributed to Ron Paul’s best-selling books, addresses the smear campaign using concise and eloquent language:

The Left is going after Rand Paul over the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Why, Rand Paul secretly wants to repeal it, they say, which means we’d have segregated restaurants all over again. Now any non-hysteric knows a segregated restaurant would be boycotted and picketed out of existence within ten seconds, but we’re supposed to fret about fictional outcomes from the repeal of a law that will never be repealed. And certainly we cannot question the 1964 Act, since our betters have decided the matter is closed.

Of course, someone might have objected to that Act on the grounds that it would of course lead to affirmative action, since racially proportionate hiring is the only practical way to prove one has not been “discriminating.” One might also object to the law on constitutional grounds, or on the grounds that (as has indeed happened) it would lead to legally protected classes whose members simply cannot be fired, since their employers know they will be hit with groundless but costly and time-consuming litigation. (Incidentally, black employment statistics saw far more progress in the one year before the 1964 Act than in the two years after it.)

As the Left sees it, none of these reasonable concerns can be the “real reason” for opposition to the 1964 Act. The real motivation is (what else?) a sinister and arbitrary desire to oppress blacks and other minorities for no good reason. The Left’s opponents are always and everywhere wicked and twisted people, who spend their time wondering how they can cause gratuitous harm to black people they have never met. Don’t believe me? Read the comments to this Politico article. These people have never in their lives deviated from what Official Opinion has demanded they believe. Without federal guns, we’d be back in the Dark Ages. The Left has its bogeymen and the neocons have theirs. The outcome is always the same: more power to the monopolists with the guns, and the unshakeable conviction that peaceful remedies are impossible.

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | May 22, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Why, Rand Paul secretly wants to repeal it, they say, which means we’d have segregated restaurants all over again."

Ezra Klein has noted that regardless of whether Rand Paul does or does not want to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the real question here is Paul's political philosophy with regards to the proper role of the federal government.

It isn't what Paul would want to repeal, it's what Paul would vote against in the future because of his highly atypical political beliefs.

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 22, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

(And from that perspective, the reason it's legitimate to question Paul about the Civil Rights Act isn't to find out whether he'd try to repeal it, but to learn from his views about that act as to what he would or would not do with regards to legislative initiatives in Congress now and in the future.

For instance, would he be another vote for the privatization of Social Security?, is he opposed to federally created social "safety nets"? Those are highly legitimate questions and Paul's take on the Civil Rights Act is illustrative of what he would probably want to do with such initiatives.)

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 22, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

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