Guess What Committee Todd Akin Is On?

He’s on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Wondering whether to laugh or cry?  Me too.

Advertisements

Great Choice for Biden Prep

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been chosen to play Paul Ryan in Joe Biden’s debate prep.  Van Hollen is the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee (Ryan is the Chairman), and he knows how Ryan thinks and what he will say.  He knows the important numbers to plant in Biden’s head.  He knows what buttons to push and which to avoid.

Despair and Panic in GOP

From “GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan,” Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, Politico:

“You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO — cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.

“Don’t buy it.

“Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.

“In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.

“It is not that the public professions of excitement about the Ryan selection are totally insincere. It is that many of the most optimistic Republican operatives will privately acknowledge that their views are being shaped more by fingers-crossed hope than by a hard-headed appraisal of what’s most likely to happen.

“And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races. ”
Emphasis added.

Out-for-Himself Eric Cantor Really Steps in It

Eric “Lean and Hungry” Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is right where I like to see him — “in damage control mode,” according to Politico.*

Cantor’s EricPAC gave $25,000 to a super PAC, the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA), that is devoted to kicking out incumbents, including many of the Republican congressmen whom Cantor is supposed to serve as Majority Leader.  This is a huge stab in the back to those who have put him in a leadership position.

One of the major funders of CPA, Leo Linbeck, told CNN that Cantor’s behavior was “forward-thinking.”  I guess forward-thinking is a new synonym for suicidal.

“House GOP Leadership aides…said they were perplexed by Cantor’s decision to donate to a group that was openly trying to take down sitting incumbents of his party.

“‘It’s just a mess,’ said one leadership aide.

“‘People are a little bit stunned,’ said a senior House GOP aide.”

I imagine John Boehner is delighted.  I think he hates Cantor, who is always breathing down his neck trying to replace him as Speaker, more than he hates President Obama.  Obama isn’t vying to become Speaker.  If Boehner smooths things over for Cantor, then Cantor will owe him big-time, and Boehner will have him right where he wants him, in his back pocket.

* “Cantor donation roils House GOP,” Alex Isenstadt and John Bresnahan

As the White House Goes, So Goes Congress

In his column for Sunday, George Will concedes that the GOP may well not win the White House in 2012.  He urges conservatives to focus on keeping the House and taking the Senate.

But if the big win that Will foresees for Obama occurs, it will be impossible for the GOP to gain control of Congress.  The same forces that doom the GOP presidential nominee will poison those down ballot from him.

Voters are not going to reject just Mitt or Santorum as individuals, although they will certainly do that, but GOP extremism and out-of-touchness as a whole, on issues like birth control, where the current Republicans in Congress seem to be doing their utmost to alienate and infuriate moderates and independents.

George, appealing to 20% of the electorate isn’t going to win you any branch of government.