Pete Wehner seems to be transitioning out of the highly crowded market of Chait-hating and instead carving out the more specialized niche of bashing kindly, beloved Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. Today Wehner accuses Dionne of hypocrisy -- he has decried the Republicans for their willingness to play chicken with the debt ceiling, but didn't bash Democrats for doing the same in 2006: Do you recall the column by Dionne excoriating Obama and other Democrats for voting against raising the debt ceiling during the Bush presidency? That’s funny; neither do I.
Marco Rubio's Wall Street Journal op-ed today is a deeply hilarious document. The headline is Rubio's pledge to refuse to lift the the debt ceiling, and therefore possibly collapse the world economy, if Democrats don't agree to "a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid." (That's all you need, just the immediate enactment of the entire GOP economic agenda? No permanent abolition of the Democratic Party?
Jennifer Rubin has an item headlined, "Marco Rubio continues to impress," which gushes over Rubio's deep grasp of public policy. Here's the Rubio-authored passage she cites: Approving free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea would be a boon to our economy, create jobs for Floridians, and help solidify our alliances with these steadfast allies. The agreements with Colombia and Panama in particular would boost Florida’s economy, where over 1 million Floridians remain out of work.
How will the Republican primary election of 2012 unfold? It's impossible to predict the exact result, but now that the midterms are over, we are in a position to make some educated guesses.
-- The best and worst parts of Sarah Palin's new show. -- Marco Rubio's rollout. -- The word of the year for 2010? Refudiate.
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin and The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes are waging an utterly hysterical skirmish over which one loves, and is loved by, Marco Rubio more. Levin argues that he's the real Rubio supporter: Steve Hayes conveniently ignores two things. First, when did the Weekly Standard endorse Rubio? Second, the first nationally syndicated talk show to endorse Rubio was ... mine. Au contraire, replies Hayes -- the Standard has been slavishly supporting Rubio from the beginning: THE WEEKLY STANDARD doesn’t endorse candidates.
If there is one thing that remains untarnished in the Obama legacy thus far, it is that the man has raised the bar for public speaking in American political culture. Until a couple of years ago, this was a country where the last time anyone had made a speech worthy of anthologizing was Mario Cuomo in his “City on a Hill” speech way back in 1984.
Also, somewhere along the line, the Tea Party stars appear to have been taught that effective speechmaking requires regular incantation of swaggery little jabs of a “Make My Day” redolence. Presumably Ronald Reagan is the model, reinforced by Sarah Palin’s fondness for lines about pit bulls and reloading. But this works best when there is a certain “there” there to back it up; call it star quality, which all will admit even Palin has. Poor Ms. O’Donnell does not.
The months leading up to an election always involve a rush of frantic activity. There are key states to visit and swing voters to court. And so, late this summer, Michael Steele was paying timely visits to crucial battlegrounds . . . in Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Perhaps those aren’t considered key states in the elections that most Republicans care about, the 2010 midterms.
So let’s say you’re a Republican politician who’s been working the far right side of the political highway for years, getting little national attention other than the occasional shout-out in Human Events. Or let’s say you’re a sketchy business buccaneer with a few million smackers burning a hole in your pocket, and you’ve decided that you’d like to live in the governor’s mansion for a while, but you can’t get the local GOP to see you as anything more than a walking checkbook who funds other people's dreams. What do you do?