Tom Tancredo

Harry Enten marvels at the possibility that Pat Toomey could win a Senate election in Pennsylvania: Toomey ranked more conservative than 97.9% of all United States legislators since 1995. He had a more conservative voting record than J.D Hayworth, Jim DeMint, and was about as conservative as Jesse Helms.

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Color Revolution?

WASHINGTON -- So what exactly is the Tea Party movement and why has it risen up? The ferocity of its opposition to President Obama is mystifying to political progressives. Most of the left simply doesn't see the current occupant of the White House as especially liberal, let alone "socialist." Obama, after all, is the man who saved the banks and the capital markets.

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Time's Up

ALISO VIEJO, CALIFORNIA--Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, lives in a one-story home in a gated community in Orange County. On a late August afternoon, the 59- year-old former accountant invited me into his backyard, which is strewn with potted plants, blue-and-white pinwheels, and a ladybug wind chime. "There are some Pakistani immigrants that live over there," he says, pointing over his fence, "and a nice Japanese family, and a Taiwanese family that lives around the corner.

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According to the WaPo's Jonathan Weisman, Tom Tancredo is upset that John McCain has been secretly meetings with Latino leaders in Chicago. In a disgruntled letter to the GOP nominee, Tancredo charged: "[A]ccording to several news reports, you promised the group that you plan to pursue 'comprehensive immigration reform.' Senator, given your past sponsorship of amnesty legislation, such statements raise troubling questions." Troubling questions? Not really. Anyone who still has questions as to McCain's real position on the issue of illegal immigration hasn't been paying attention.

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Phantom Menace

John B. Judis: The psychology behind America's immigration hysteria.

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The Demagogue

Mitt Romney's colleagues truly loathe him. When John McCain fields questions about the former Massachusetts governor, you can see his smile tighten and that famous rage begin to well. Or take the healthy dose of gratuitous gloating that emanated from Mike Huckabee's camp upon Romney's second-place finish in New Hampshire, when the Arkansan's aides openly relished the fact that Romney squandered millions of dollars and even vastly more precious neighborly good will.

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  Tom Tancredo on Mike Huckabee: “There’s nothing there. There’s nothing there. You remove the curtain, and you see that it’s not the wizard at all.” Even though he denies it, I think Tom Tancredo kind of misses the campaign game. When I get him on the phone, he starts pummeling me with questions--what’s it look like out here? Who’s holding up, who’s melting down? I start to explain Huckabee’s special “moment” with the anti-Romney ad on Monday, but not only does Tancredo know about it, he was just listening to the audio clip.

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Tancredo And Romney

It might seem odd that an immigration hawk like Tom Tancredo never made a dent among GOP voters in a fever pitch about the borders. But to me, Tancredo's problem was his personal presentation. Great immigrant-bashing requires a degree of theatrical demagoguery that Tancredo couldn't pull off. His demeanor is academic, even a bit aristocratic. And he was an inept presence in the Republican debates, a stammerer unable to deliver a sharp soundbite.

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Jonathan Martin speculates that Tom Tancredo is about to drop out of the race. He says the endorsement of Fred Thompson by Rep. Steve King, the Eastern Iowa immigration hawk and longtime Tancredo ally, was a possible the coup de grace. Which raises a question: Would Tancredo himself endorse Thompson? I imagine we could see some real Fred-mentum here if that happened. (On the other hand, maybe Tancredo will just be bitter about King's Thompson endorsement...) --Noam Scheiber

Contemplating Life After Tancredo

While my colleague Brad Plumer is right to warn us about dwindling snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, we should be more hesitant to predict thawing Republican control over Colorado's sixth congressional district, despite today's news that lovable demagogue Tom Tancredo will not run again in 2008. The reason? Well, for starters, CD6--cultural home of filmmaker Matt Stone, myself, and the suburban militarists featured in Bowling for Columbine--is around 24% Democratic and 46% Republican.

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