Suspicious doings at the Harvard Republican Club: Michael W. McLean ’12 won an uncontested race for the Harvard Republican Club presidency last night after Luis A. Martinez ’12 pulled out of the contest while denying accusations that he forged an e-mail from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company to Harvard students. Martinez said that McLean confronted him in Winthrop Dining Hall on Monday night, alleging that he was responsible for sending the e-mail (see here for text).
I think a lot of people are underrating the potential for a government shutdown. Here is the dynamic. Republican leaders in the House recall the 1995 government shutdown as a disaster and do not want to repeat it.
On the assumption that a good idea—even one that’s 15 years old—can never be replicated enough, Washington conservatives are hard at work designing knockoffs of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. Three of them, in fact. The options so far: Republican Study Committee: On Wednesday, I reported that Republican Study Committee members have joined with movement conservative groups on a “solutions agenda,” to be released sometime in the coming year.
The closest thing Congress has to its own Tea Party takes place every Wednesday afternoon, in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office building.
Jonathan Martin flags an interesting tidbit from the new Fortune article on McCain: Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), who has sharply criticized McCain in the past, says now, "I'm happy." Norquist still can't get McCain to sign ATR's no-new-taxes pledge, but he has the next best thing: video of the candidate promising as much on national television, three times.
'I could go on all day about what I'm proud of," Tom DeLay exults into his microphone at a recent Oxonian Society-sponsored luncheon in New York to hawk his new memoir, No Retreat, No Surrender. A year after his downfall, DeLay's leathery skin and the loose,papery bags under his eyes make him look old. But the message he delivers to the crowd is energetic and unrepentant: "I'm ... proud of the K Street Strategy. I was proud of the Terri Schiavo incident," he says.
Grover Norquist always has the best lines: Mr. Norquist said he remained open to any of the three candidates who spoke to the council or to Mr. Romney. He argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex."It's called secondary virginity," Mr. Norquist said. "It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians." --Isaac Chotiner
Everyone who watched this summer's race for College Republican National Committee (CRNC) chair with any detachment has a favorite moment of chutzpah they admire in spite of themselves. Leading the count are the following: speaking sotto voce of your opponent's "homosexuality"; rigging the delegate count so that states that support your candidate have twice as many votes as those that don't; and using a sitting congressman to threaten the careers of undecided voters. I can understand the perverse appeal of each of these incidents.
Government-appointed bipartisan commissions have played an important role in recent American politics. The social security commission in the early '80s and the commission on closing military bases in the early '90s both helped resolve thorny issues that legislators, beholden to special interests, couldn't settle on their own.