The New York Times' Carl Hulse knows a Culture of Corruption when he sees one:
Lawmakers and strategists say Senate Republicans are in serious danger of getting themselves in the same predicament that their counterparts in the House did in the run-up to the 2006 voting – an election that did not turn out well for House Republicans.Hulse even understands that public corruption really is a chronic Republican issue:
The indictment of the House majority leader, the conviction of two other lawmakers, a couple of domestic violence cases and the disclosure of other inquiries - topped off by the House page scandal - gave serious heft to the Democratic “culture of corruption” campaign and cost Republicans dearly.
Unfortunately for Mr. McConnell, the scales are heavily tilted against Republicans at the moment. Republicans can point to the indictment of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, but Democrats can counter with the names of Senators Craig, Vitter and Stevens not to mention those of former Representatives Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and Don Sherwood.It is fairly lopsided when Republicans keep referring to the same one Democratic isolated incident while, at the same time, there are literally dozens of Republican scandals going on.
Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona, another Republican under investigation, has already announced he will not seek re-election and top aides to Representative John Doolittle of California, a former member of the Republican leadership, were called before a grand jury this week.
This is sickening:
Here's what a top Senate GOP leadership aide told Roll Call about the Iraq War:Bush's War in Iraq, the deaths of thousands, global instability - it's all a political calculation to these Republicans.
"Our strategy in Iraq, in the short term, causes a lot of pain, but in the long term, prevents a lot of problems for the party." (emphasis added)Wow. I mean...wow. The Republican Party is now on record admitting that even though the war is "caus[ing] a lot of pain" (ie. American casualties, Iraqi casualties will refuse to support ending, weakened American national security, etc.), it will nonetheless stonewall efforts to end the war specifically because continuing the war indefinitely "prevents a lot of problems for the party." GOP operatives may try to spin their way out of that one post facto - but no amount of spin can change such a crystal clear direct quote like that.
Idaho: A majority of Idahoans wants Larry Craig out at the end of the month like a bad tenant.
South Dakota: Badlands Blue has the video of Senator Tim Johnson's return to the Senate floor. Stirring and, once again, inspirational.
Kentucky: Apparently, Mitch McConnell has used his clout with Insight Communications to get an ad criticizing his record pulled from cable stations. I'm not going to say that it seems a bit fascist to wield power to silence and suppress opposing political views and criticism, but Dictionary.com sure has no problem calling it that.
Nebraska: Could it be that Nebraska's top law enforcement official, state Attorney General Jon Bruning - who is also a candidate for Senate, doesn't care about little things like campaign finance laws? Meanwhile, Republicans are already weakly attacking former Senator Bob Kerrey's record. They must be very worried to be so vocal so early. (HT: UNO Dems)
Virginia: The latest sign that a VA-GOP Senate primary in 2008 could get very ugly is that the Club for Growth is attacking GOP Rep. Tom Davis' economic record. (HT: Carpetbagger)
Louisiana: Disappointing news: Candidate filing closed yesterday for the Louisiana state races and nobody is challenging Republican Treasurer John N. Kennedy in his re-election bid. So now he gets to focus on a possible 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu. Hopefully, someone in the Louisiana media will take note of Treasurer Kennedy's mercurial career goals and ask him why voters should elect him when he doesn't want to stick around in the job for too long anyway. The Times-Picayune did get on the record:
Kennedy declined to speculate on his political future, and would not commit to serving out his entire four-year term.Hey, John, running for Senate isn't an involuntary action like sneezing or yawning - you do actually have control over whether or not you run for Senate, believe it or not. Totally disingenuous.
"I've never made promises about things in the future that I can't control," Kennedy said, adding that he wanted to savor re-election before looking ahead.
Alaska: Could Ted Stevens be clinically diagnosed as a sociopath?
New Mexico: Democratic Senate candidate Don Wiviott is holding his campaign kick-off reception tonight. Here's his campaign website to learn more about him.
Georgia: Saxby Chambliss has been a gutless coward his entire life.
The DSCC has announced the winner of its bumper sticker slogan contest. I really like the winning slogan - check it out!