Allen West

Republicans still control one of the key systems of American government.

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 The slate of people vying for House seats is always littered with whacky, offensive, and just plain mystifying candidates. But, inevitably, some of those crackerjacks go on to actually win Congressional seats. (See: Joe Walsh, Allen West.) Below, a list of five candidates who make us smack our foreheads—but who, on January 3, 2013, could very well be esteemed members of the 113th Congress. Kerry Bentivolio When Rep.

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Florida Rep. Allen West, the Tea Partier notable for being one of two African-American Republicans in the House freshman class, is making headlines today for his dead-serious assertion that “about 78 to 81” House Democrats “are members of the Communist Party.” But I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more said about another recent comment with a historical tinge—the declaration by Richard Mourdock, the conservative challenging Sen. Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary, that Barack Obama and today’s Democrats are the true heirs to the Confederacy.

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Day 1 The giant, disembodied heads of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley glared down at me; they knew I was up to no good. It was the opening banquet of the National Conservative Student Conference, and I couldn’t even find a seat. I wandered through the crowd at the Hyatt Regency: flags, blue mood lighting, white tablecloths, white people, and bowties.

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&c

-- Allen West's horrible attack on Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, via Ben Smith at Politico -- People want a debt compromise. People and voters. And Republicans. -- Evgeny Morozov's cover story on Google's fall from grace -- Rick Hertzberg on how the debt ceiling debate is confused by shoddy terminology

The Cain Train

Among the many striking features of Georgia-based radio talk show host Herman Cain’s presidential announcement speech in Atlanta on May 21, the most surreal was to hear an African-American in front of a heavily white audience of hard-core conservatives, at a site within shouting distance of the Martin Luther King Center, end his remarks by declaring, “When Herman Cain is president, we will finally be able to say, ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, America is free at last.’” Cain’s decision to appropriate those famous words from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is in many ways char

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National Review's Robert Costa observes that Paul Ryan's much-ballyhooed Roadmap is being stiff-armed by Republicans in Congress: On Capitol Hill, praise for the Wisconsin Republican comes easy and often, full-scale endorsement of the roadmap less so. Most leading first-year legislators temper their words when discussing the plan. “I think it’s a good start; it’s not perfect,” says Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.). “We have to be able to be flexible.” Rep.

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How does the class of 2010 stack up against its lunatic predecessor, of 1994? There are the well-known data points—Rand Paul’s alleged kidnapping of a college classmate; Sharron Angle’s assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress—that suggest we’ve reached a new zenith of crazy, making Newt Gingrich’s bunch look like sensible establishmentarians by comparison. But Paul and Angle only begin to capture the strangeness of candidates out there who may soon be occupying your Capitol and governor’s mansion.

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How does the class of 2010 stack up against its lunatic predecessor, of 1994? There are the well-known data points—Rand Paul’s alleged kidnapping of a college classmate; Sharron Angle’s assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress—that suggest we’ve reached a new zenith of crazy, making Newt Gingrich’s bunch look like sensible establishmentarians by comparison. But Paul and Angle only begin to capture the strangeness of candidates out there who may soon be occupying your Capitol and governor’s mansion.

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