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Right Now: May 2, 2010 - May 8, 2010

Tim Bridgewater 57, Mike Lee 43

n other news, Utah Democrats forced Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) into a primary, giving the veteran congressman only 55% of the vote against progressive activist Claudia Wright, clearly blowback for Matheson's votes against the Democratic agenda. Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini sneakily suggests that GOP voters change their registration to back Wright.

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 7:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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FreedomWorks: 'We're going to build on this momentum'

"You're seeing the rise of a new kind of conservative leader," said Jordan. "Maybe guys like Romney are fading a bit, even in Utah. We're going to build on the momentum from this race."

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Sen. Bob Bennett loses nomination battle at Utah GOP convention

Bennett was never able to overcome an anti-incumbent sentiment in the GOP base. In his speech after coming third in the first round, Bennett pleaded for delegates to consider which candidate had the most influence in Washington.

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Sen. Bennett survives first round at Utah GOP convention

The problem for Bennett is where the votes for those candidates who've been ousted will go. The problem for Mike Lee really is a failure to crack even 30 percent support, making a clear-cut convention win look less likely than a primary.

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Watching the Utah GOP convention

Even though the career of Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) hangs on its results, it's tough to get live coverage of the Utah Republican convention. The best stopgap solution: Twitter. The Utah GOP has aggregated tweets from activists Politico's @davecatanese and the Salt Lake Tribune's @thomaswburr have the best reporter accounts out there. By 3:30 Eastern, we'll have the first votes (of, at most, three rounds of voting) and know to what degree Bennett can compete with his challengers, including front-runner Mike Lee.

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Last call

Anthony Bourdain battles the nanny state. (Wait, shouldn't Ezra be linking that?) The Chamber of Commerce sticks up for Arizona, sort of. Spencer Ackerman witnesses a disgrace. Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane find Republicans sniffing about the "luck" of...

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 9:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Last call  
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RNC fires finance director Rob Bickhart

The Republican National Committee has fired finance director Rob Bickhart and finance staffer Debbie LeHardy, according to a memo provided by the RNC to the Washington Post. Mary Heitman, the finance director of the Republican Governors Association from 1998 to 2001, will be replacing Bickhart. This comes in the same week that three communication left the RNC.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Michael Steele , RNC  
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Jim DeMint's strategery

Why are so many Sarah Palin fans angry about her endorsement of Carly Fiorina? Because DeMint got into the California fray first and endorsed Chuck DeVore, and they take him seriously. By not waiting until a candidate is obviously going to win, DeMint has built real cred.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Massachusetts conservatives versus the RGA

"I'm a registered Republican," said David Stubbline. "I typically vote Republican. Charlie Baker represents, in our estimation, a died in wool liberal. He is staunchly pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, and he has a lackluster record economic fiscal policies. There is no way he'll get my vote. The RGA, spending a million dollars on Baker -- that makes no sense."

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election , Conservatives  
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Michele Bachmann, optimist?

Since one of the games of the day seems to be needling Republicans over their pithy reactions to pretty good economic news, it's worth pointing out the reaction of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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A good day for the birthers

The movement, with yet another confirmation of its size in our poll today, gets its cause celebre Lt. Col. Terry Lakin on CNN, where he'll talk about his case on Anderson Cooper 360. (Thanks to the rampaging news cycle, he will only appear at 10 p.m.) The American Patriot Foundation informs us that since Lakin started publicizing his case, the organization "has received generous donations from more than 1,200 separate individuals," which is sort of the point.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Fringe  
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Petraeus salutes 'Team Kagan' at AEI

The American Enterprise Institute has posted the text of the address given by Gen. David Petraeus upon receiving the Irving Kristol Award. It's largely fascinating, especially the part where he gives credit to the Kagan family for the "surge of ideas" that made his surge in Iraq possible.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  National Security  
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Tom Coburn blocks Dana Perino

That's one of the repercussions of Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) decision to deny Democrats votes on 108 stalled nominees today. One of the blocked nominees: former White House press secretary Dana Perino, nominated to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Senate  
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Bob Barr sued by ghostwriter

His presidential campaign was a bit of a mess -- raising less than $1.5 million, going into debt and getting into a useless spat with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.). Its immediate legacy has been the prominence of Wayne Allyn Root, a betting expert who penned a book called "The Conscience of a Libertarian," frequently appears on Fox News and is running for Libertarian Party chairman.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Libertarians  
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Anti-gay activist Ryan Sorba angles for CNN special

CNN won't comment directly on this, but I'm informed that Sorba is one of several conservatives that producers have spoken to as they've covered the conservative movement. The odds of him getting his own documentary might be oversold.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Gay  
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Massachusetts candidate mocks 'good ol' boy' Barbour

it's been, I think, the first ugly media week for Barbour's RGA. The Cahill campaign in particular seems incredibly adept at fueling this and trying to disqualify Baker with conservative voters.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Greece is the new France

Expect to hear more of this -- both the argument that the U.S. shouldn't even think about aiding Greece, and the argument that Greece's crisis was brought about by deficit spending.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Poll: 31% of Republicans and tea partyers doubt Obama's citizenship

But at this point we could have predicted that -- birtherism has remained a stubborn belief in the conservative base, despite widespread denunciation from elite conservatives. The more interesting part of the poll is that 31 percent of people who think Obama was born in another country approve of his job performance, and 34 percent give him a favorable rating. That validates a theory of mine -- that many so-called birthers don't actually hold Obama's (to them) foreign-ness against him, or think it's a way to oust him from the presidency. They have little information, they know he's half African, and they jump to conclusions.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (210)
Categories:  Fringe  
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Mark Penn's tragically timed case of Cleggmania

With only 22 out of 650 seats left to count, the Liberal Democrats have won 53 seats -- down slightly from 2005. Their overall vote percentage (a flawed number in these elections because so many other parties get votes in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) is up only 0.8 points. The Conservative Party has, as many thought they would before last month, grabbed a swing vote that hadn't trusted the party until it made some left-leaning reforms over the past five years. This isn't an error on the scale of the ones Penn made in the 2008 campaign, but it's one anyone could have predicted.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Polls  
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Last call

Mike Huckabee responds to Sarah Palin's endorsement in California. Eric Cantor's Republican rebranding project is, as we suspected, in limbo. Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman see the Republican Governors Association continuing, painfully, to pour cold water on Steve Levy's claims...

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Last call  
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David Cameron, Obama fan

Since then, of course, Obama campaign and White House veteran Anita Dunn helped out Cameron's conservatives on their media strategy. American conservatives will celebrate a Tory victory if it happens, but Cameron will likely get along better with Obama than, say, any member of our GOP.

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Religious-right leader ensnared in gay travel-assistant scandal threatens suit

"If today’s news story in the Miami New Times is accurate," Rekers said in an e-mail to me, "I have been advised to retain the services of a defamation attorney in this matter, because the fact is that I am not gay and never have been."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  Gay  
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Annals of unconvincing insults: Goldberg vs. Yglesias

National Review's Jonah Goldberg has fired off another salvo in his vaguely amusing years-long war with Center for American Progress Action Fund blogger Matthew Yglesias today.

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Palin bucks the tea parties, endorses Carly Fiorina

Fiorina, who's struggled a bit to regain front-runner status in this race since former congressman Tom Campbell entered it, has collected endorsement after endorsement from national conservative groups -- especially anti-abortion rights groups. The most conservative candidate in the race, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, has been endorsed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and the Tea Party Express, so there you go if you're looking for a story of "tea party infighting."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Hawaii Gov. Lingle answers the birthers, who remain surprisingly unconvinced

"People continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue," she said in an interview. "And I think it's, again, a horrible distraction for the country."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (182)
Categories:  Fringe  
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RNC loses four staffers

Yesterday, CNN's Peter Hamby reported that three RNC communications staffers had left the organization for other jobs. I've also confirmed that New Media Political Manager Elizabeth Lauten left the RNC last week, on April 29. These aren't boat-rocking departures on the scale of what happened in the wake of the Voyeur embarrassment, but they're symptomatic of a mood that hasn't gotten brighter since the media moved on from that story.

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  RNC  
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Democrats looking at amendment to ban 'secret' holds

"Clearly this is more than just individual judgments about candidates," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters. "Clearly there is a systemic attack underway against this administration's ability to govern and to have its people in these significant and responsible positions. And that would be consistent with all of the secrecy of the hold. If you're engaged in a systemic attack on the administration's ability to govern, then you don't have to have a reason, you don't need a reason, and you don't have to disclose. Secrecy becomes a wonderful thing."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Senate  
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'If you imagine that this first glass represents we, the people...'

Culberson has been on this kick for at least a year, including for an audience at the Heritage Foundation in March 2009.

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress , Conservatives  
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The softer side of John Boehner

"Look, Henry Hyde was a hero of mine," he said. "I've always believed that life begins at conception. I've always thought abortion was wrong, and speaking out against it was never difficult. It was a moral position I felt very strongly about."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress  
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Finally, a vast-right wing conspiracy

The Republican State Leadership Committee is shooting to raise $50 million to $70 million -- that later number would more than treble its 2008 budget -- in order to win as many state legislatures as possible to influence redistricting. (This is the closest that I think Republicans have gotten to something like the left's 2006 "Secretaries of State Project," to win those sometimes obscure offices to make sure decisions on vote counts went Democrats' way.)

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Conservatives  
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A people's history of 'teabag'

The turning point, as The Week points out, came when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and CNN's Anderson Cooper started making "teabag" jokes. And that was the start of tea partyers viewing the term as a snooty slur by coastal elitists. That's why I don't use it, even though "---bagger" rolls off the tongue easier than "---partyer."

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Tea Party  | Tags: Anderson Cooper, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Tea Party movement, Tea bag, United States Congress  
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Last call

Sorry for the lateness -- I went to a reception where Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) received the Henry Hyde award from Americans United for Life. Over the course of four minutes, he teared up and paused the speech twice --...

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 8:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Last call  
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Sean Duffy stands by criticism of stimulus

GOP candidate Sean Duffy: "Just because an economy eventually turns around, to say that is because of the stimulus package is misguided."

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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A sexy day at the NRSC

"You can’t make this stuff up," said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. "We’re simply highlighting Reid’s own words and a picture from a video that Fisher helped produce and participate in. The question is, what exactly is going on with the Democrats these days?"

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NRSC  
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The Family Research Council co-founder and the gay 'travel assistant'

I'm actually quite interested to know why George Alan Rekers, a Baptist minister and scholar who co-founded the Family Research Council, was spotted with a male prostitute at Miami International Airport. He told reporters Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp that he hired the man to help him lift luggage during a trip to Europe.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
 
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Tammy Bruce takes leadership role in gay GOP group

This move actually represents a small shift in GOProud's issue stances. The group has come under fire from anti-gay marriage groups like the National Organization for Marriage; Bruce has generally been supportive of the fight for "traditional marriage," while criticizing Republicans who want to enshrine that definition of marriage in the Constitution.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Judson Phillips talks about tea parties, race, slurs and more

The myth not withstanding, he is not a bipartisan president.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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Jim DeMint endorses Rand Paul

I'm told that DeMint was extremely unhappy by the dog pile on Paul from national Republican leaders -- Mitch McConnell included -- which implied that Paul was an unpredictable libertarian whom social and national security conservatives could not trust.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Forcing out Dave Obey

You'll hear people credit the endorsements of Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty for Duffy's success, but that gets the story backwards.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Talking conservatives and social media on PBS

I'm interviewed on how the conservative base has lucked out a bit, finding itself in opposition again just as technology has made it cheap, easy and fun to organize without a central structure.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Race and the tea parties: The saga continues

One of the promising black candidates of this cycle, Lou Huddleston in North Carolina, went down to a huge primary defeat last night, with the nomination to challenge Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) going to a white candidate.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Tea Party  
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A mixed primary night for the tea parties

It was in Ohio that the Republican establishment proved most resilient. Reporters had fun with the fact that Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) drew two tea party challengers; he got 84.6 percent against them. But at the same time, Rep. Charlie Wilson (R-Ohio) drew only 68.9 percent of the vote against his challenger, Jim Renner, a conservative who explicitly allied himself with the tea parties and scorched Wilson over his vote for health care reform.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Tea Party  
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Poll: Americans skeptical of tea party movement

movement is based on." Only 28 percent of voters say it's "racial prejudice against Obama." The biggest majority, 61 percent, say it's "distrust of government in general." That's not surprising, as 69 percent of all voters -- the highest number since 1996 -- pronounce themselves dissatisfied with how the federal government works.

By David Weigel  |  May 5, 2010; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Polls , Tea Party  
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Last call

We're going to have primary results soon from three states. Follow the results from Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio, and get all the analysis you need from Chris Cillizza, who pointed out those links. Marco Rubio wants to drill. The...

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Last call  
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Talking about same-sex marriage

I'm getting a good number of responses to this blog post talking about how I view one of the issues I occasionally cover. Below the jump is one of the more sharply argued e-mails, and anything else that I find compelling I'll throw in this post.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Steele: 'Questions are being asked' about Obama response to oil spill

Here's how Republicans can thread the needle on criticizing the response to the Gulf Coast oil spill.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Michael Steele  
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Virgil Goode joins the Constitution Party

The former Virginia congressman -- who was elected as a Democrat, an independent, and a Republican -- is joining the Constitution Party. There's no sign yet of him joining the race against Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), who beat him in 2008, but I know that tea party activists have been looking for a vehicle to win the seat without backing the GOP's preferred candidate Del. Robert Hurt.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Jon Kyl: Time to revisit drilling in ANWR

"Absolutely," said Kyl. "You're not in 5,000 feet of water. You've got a pipeline nearby. And you've got experience drilling in that area."

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Republicans reject 'blame game' on oil spill

At a small scrum inside the Capitol, reporters asked Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) variations of the same question -- did he assign any blame to the Obama administration for the disaster on the Gulf Coast?

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Senate  
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Turning 'teabagger' into a slur

"When [Obama] was interviewed for the book, I assume he thought this was a moment and not a movement," said Adam Brandon, a spokesman for FreedomWorks. "Now he realizes that we are here to stay. If he is sincere in what he said about civility in political discourse, he should apologize for his mean-spirited and derogatory comments directed a concerned group of citizens who simply believe the government has grown too large and spends too much. But I guess this is step up from being called domestic terrorists by the president's Organizing for America and President Clinton, and Astroturf by Speaker Pelosi."

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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No love for 'militia'

My other favorite result? Overall, 38 percent of Americans view "libertarian" favorably to 37 who view it unfavorably. Democrats (39-37) and independents (44-32) view the term most favorably, while Republicans view it negatively by a 13-point (31-44) margin.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Polls  
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Synergy!

The National Republican Congressional Committee discovers this and blasts it out to reporters with the headline "Liberal Left: Obama Has Failed" and the extra text "FYI. A tipping point?"

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  NRCC  
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Resurgent Republic: GOP should run against VAT, one-party control, terror trials

"Providing 9/11 terrorists an open trial in civilian court is a bad idea. It gives terrorists the same rights as American citizens and weakens our national security."

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Mitch McConnell endorses Trey Grayson

The Senate minority leader puts skin in the game in his home state -- a position that reminds me of the one Democrats were in when it was clear that Martha Coakley was blowing the special election for Massachusetts's open seat.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Michael Barone wins the Bradley Prize

Washington Post columnists Charles Krauthammer and George F. Will were on the selection committee, and they produced an honoree list that mostly avoids the criticism I hear every year about this award: that the substantial cash prize ($250,000) is going to people who aren't going to apply it to new endeavors.

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Franklin Graham: 'Muslims are getting a pass'

Graham also accepts the premise that his experience was in line with a mounting persecution of Christians. "It's coming," he says. "I think when you preach that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light, I think we're going to see, one day, people will say this is hate speech."

By David Weigel  |  May 4, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Islam  
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Last call

David Horowitz's Web site jumps on the Obama rumor train. Jeremy Scahill gets Erik Prince in trouble (or rather, Prince lets Scahill get him in trouble). Arnold Schwarzenegger supports offshore drilling? Who said that? Rush Limbaugh moves on from questioning...

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 7:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Last call  
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Covering same-sex marriage

Who's threatened by legal same-sex marriage? Whose life is made worse?

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Republican National Lawyers Association: Organizing for America is 'creepy,' cultish

It’s a permanent personal apparatus built around one man, meant to reinforce his cult of personality.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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Tea Party Express backs Arizona immigration law

The Republican-leaning (yes, they have endorsed and will endorse at least one Democrat) Tea Party group launches a petition in support of the law, which continues to divide the libertarian side of the tea party movement from the rest of it.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Immigration , Tea Party  
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Why Sen. Jim DeMint hasn't endorsed in Utah or Kentucky

DeMint endorsed Pat Toomey over Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) when the senior senator from Pennsylvania was still a Republican. There was ugly speculation over whether DeMint, in being uncollegial, set Specter off. Never again!

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Another take on conservatives organizing for Djou

Chris Bowers, the OpenLeft blogger who's one of the most battle-hardened and influential members of the lefty Net roots, rakes me over the coals for my post on conservatives organizing for Hawaii GOP congressional candidate Charles Djou. Chris Bowers, the OpenLeft blogger who's one of the most battle-hardened and influential members of the lefty Net roots, rakes me over the coals for my post on conservatives organizing for Hawaii GOP congressional candidate Charles Djou.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Battling the birthers in Georgia

While we're on the subject, Marc Ambinder compares the ultra-mega-flimsy National Enquirer report on Vera Baker to birtherism -- a fair comparison, I'd say, given the sudden change in tone and subject in the angry calls I get, and the angry comments that appear on political sites. In its way, though, wouldn't a move from "Obama's not even American" to "Obama is a lech" be a sign of evolution?

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Fringe  
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Color of Change denounces business group's 'Bangalore' ad

"We think that if American companies have opportunities to create jobs in America than they should," said DeMaura. "Our name is 'Americans' for job security. To argue that this is not inside our wheelhouse is sort of silly."

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Vote! For! A! Patriot!

This unofficial video for Tim Burns, the GOP's candidate in the special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), is a nice example of what happens naturally when a candidate convinces conservatives he's part of the tea party movement. In short: total adulation.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Andrew Breitbart's new look

On Twitter, Andrew Breitbart and Media Matters senior fellow Eric Boehlert have the sort of feud that Showtime docudramas are written about.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Media  
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Charles Djou to chat on RedState

Apropos of what I wrote below, how does GOP congressional special election candidate Charles Djou build on the news that Hawaii's most trusted newspaper poll has him in the lead? With a live chat on RedState.com.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Todd Palin backs Sen. Lisa Murkowski's opponent

Todd Palin, the former governor's husband, will attend Miller's first fundraiser, a Friday evening reception in... Wasilla, Alaska.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Election , Sarah Palin  
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James Dobson endorses Rand Paul, apologizes for having previously backed his opponent

Dobson had been convinced, by a fairly successful whisper campaign, that Rand Paul's libertarian approach to the abortion issue was more or less pro-choice. That's not what Paul has ever said, though; like his father he's anti-abortion rights but wants the issue decided in the states.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Abortion  
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How the right is winning Hawaii

Just like Scott Brown was able to excite conservatives with the prospect of "taking Ted Kennedy's seat," Djou has dangled the possibility of an embarrassment for the president -- something that makes the otherwise modest goal of shrinking the Democrats' majority by one seat sound more enticing.

By David Weigel  |  May 3, 2010; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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