Sen. Mike Lee Will Do the Honors

It used to be that after the President’s State of the Union address, the opposing party would offer a response.

But since 2011, the GOP has offered two responses to President Obama, the official Republican response and a Tea Party response.  Because, you know, when you’ve got a Kenyan Muslim Socialist in the WH, one rebuttal can’t possibly be enough to deal with the horror.

This year, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah will do the Tea Party honors on January 28, following in the hallowed footsteps of Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rand Paul.

The GOP hasn’t yet announced who gets their official gig.  But whoever it is will not eat anything salty or spicy for 24 hours beforehand, having learned the lesson of Marco Rubio’s “Big Gulp” from last year.

So look forward to Crazy and Crazier, Dumb and Dumber.

Quote of the Day — And Maybe the Month

“Between you and me, I’m sort of holding my nose for two years cause what we’re doing here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in ’16.”

Jesse Benton, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager (probably not for long) for his 2014 re-election, in a recorded telephone conversation with Republican activist Dennis Fusaro.

Fusaro leaked the conversation to the Economic Policy Journal as part of the scandal about Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign paying Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to jump ship from Michele Bachmann to Paul.  Under Iowa law, Sorenson couldn’t be paid by a presidential campaign, but he was. We’re talking a couple of hundred thousand dollars here.

Jesse Benton, who married into the Paul family, was Ron Paul’s national campaign chairman in 2012 and Rand Paul’s campaign manager in 2010.

McConnell needs Rand Paul’s support in his fight against Tea Party primary challengers, and then of course McConnell would be heavily in Rand Paul’s debt come 2016.

This is getting nasty, and it isn’t just about Kentucky, it has national implications for the next presidential election.

It’s Early, But…

I know it’s early for 2014, but GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is already running TV ads for her re-election campaign in Minnesota.

A new PPP poll shows her 2012 Dem opponent, Jim Graves, who plans to try again, ahead of Bachmann, 47 to 45.

Last time, Graves lost by only 5,000 votes, little more than 1% of the vote.  And last time, Bachmann wasn’t dealing with a blossoming campaign finance scandal from her 2012 presidential campaign.

Maybe Bachmann will go where she belongs, looking pretty and spouting crazy on Fox.

They Can’t Just Take the Gift

You’d think the Tea Party folks would just take the gift-wrapped IRS bias scandal and exploit it for all it’s worth, which is a lot actually.

But noooooooo, because they’re crazy, they have to over-reach.

Michele Bachmann is running around saying that because the IRS is involved in Obamacare (they will administer the monetary penalties for those who choose not to buy health insurance), the IRS is going to delay or deny health care itself to conservatives.  So they’re not just giving your group a hard time about getting a tax exemption, they’re going to kill you!

And so the tide turns back against them because they can’t resist one-upping the IRS on being outrageous.

This Brightened My Day

From “Former chief of staff to break silence on Michele Bachmann,” Kevin Diaz, Minneapolis Star Tribune:

“GOP operative Andy Parrish, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, is expected to tell an Iowa Senate ­ethics panel that her 2012 presidential campaign made improper payments to its state chairman.

“…Parrish referred questions Wednesday to his attorney, John Gil­more, who said his client will corroborate allegations from another former Bachmann aide, Peter Waldron.

“Waldron, a Florida pastor, claims that the campaign hid payments to Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, in violation of Iowa Senate ethics rules that bar members from receiving pay from presidential campaigns. …

“Waldron’s accusations are also the subject of inquiries by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The investigations are part of a growing web of legal problems facing Bachmann, including a lawsuit by former staffer Barbara Heki alleging that Sorenson stole a proprietary e-mail list of Iowa home-school families from her personal computer. Those allegations also are the subject of an ongoing police investigation in Urbandale, Iowa.

“Gilmore said Parrish can provide the ethics panel documentary evidence that Sorenson was paid $7,500 a month to work on Bachmann’s campaign, money that was funneled to him indirectly through C&M Strategies, a Colorado-based company controlled by Bachmann fundraiser Guy Short.

“Among the sources of the funding, Waldron contends, was Bachmann’s independent political organization, Michele­PAC, also headed by Short.”

It would be fantastic to see Bachmann go to the Big House, but I’ll be thrilled just to get her out of the people’s House.