Talk about your existential crises! There were two really good ones that Spot noticed today. Republicans are running hard from both of them. The first was the national Republican crisis, occasioned by Mike Huckabee winning the Iowa caucuses on the Republican side. The Republican establishment is beside itself; the beast that it has fed and nurtured since Nixon's Southern Strategy has gotten off its leash and threatens, nay promises, to lead the party into exile for a generation.
All the people who are into the apocalypse are about to create one! Live by the evangelical nut job; die by the evangelical nut job. This stuff about red heifers and pale riders and lakes of fire was just fine, but now it's pretty clear that these people want to own the Republican party. And it has the party scared. Want proof? Here's one of the most reliable party organs today:
Remember the attack ad against Mitt Romney that Mike Huckabee said he wasn't going to air, but played for reporters so they could publicize his attacks on Romney? It turns out that Huckabee did air the ad -- at least 10 times on four different stations in Davenport and Cedar Rapids, according to FactCheck.org.
Moreover, FactCheck found that Huckabee's attack ad contains several "misleading claims" about his rival. For one thing, the ad says Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts includes "no executions." That's true, but the reason is that Massachusetts doesn't have a death penalty. Indeed, Romney tried but failed to get the death penalty reinstated.
In a less egregious but somewhat misleading claim, the ad also holds Romney accountable for the fact that his state's health care program covers abortions. But Romney didn't make the decision to provide abortion coverage for a $50 co-pay. Rather, the health care legislation Romney signed provided that an independent agency would implement the law and would “develop criteria for plans eligible for premium assistance payments.”
Meanwhile, FactCheck blows the whistle on another Huckabee ad in which he touts his record as a "tax cutter." Among other problems with the ad, Huckabee's tenure as governor actually resulted in a $505.1 million net increase in taxes.
That's Paul at Power Line (no link; you can find it if you really want to, boys and girls). Poor Mittens: he had to be the governor of a state with no death penalty. Come to think of it, that's gonna hurt Governor Pepsodent in any bid for national office, too!
And then Johnny Rocketseed chimed in with this (again, no link):
I caught the first few minutes Hugh Hewitt's radio show driving home from the airport a little while ago. I won't say that Hugh sounded suicidal, but he certainly wasn't happy about yesterday's Iowa caucus results. Hugh attributed today's stock market drop to the prospect of an Obama administration.
That strikes me as a little premature. For what it's worth, I'm not sure the Iowa results changed the landscape much on the Republican side. I'm pretty sure McCain will win New Hampshire, which means that Romney's "slingshot" strategy will have failed, but I don't think it follows that Romney's candidacy is dead. As Paul and Scott have said, Huckabee isn't going much farther, and Thompson shows little sign of life. Which means that there are still three credible Republican candidates. Of the three, Romney might well emerge from the early primaries in the strongest position.
Wishin' and hopin' and dreamin'. How does that song go again? (Spot also notes that Johnny thinks it is important for you to know that he was coming from the airport, implying that he was, of course, off doing important things. Johnny is, Spot regrets to say, a blowhard.)
The second existential crisis happened a little closer to home. It is the defeat of Ray Cox by Kevin Dahle in the special election in Senate District 25. The local Republicans certainly think it was a upset, and a lot of DFLers thought so, too. Some Republicans got up extra early to start the finger pointing:
By Michael B. Brodkorb | January 4, 2008
Drew Emmer of the Wright County Republican. By his own admission, Drew did nothing to help out with the Republican effort in the SD 25 special election but he wasted no time this morning pointing out how everyone else stumbled.
The comments to Mikey's post are compelling. Well, maybe just entertaining. Spot's favorite was the comment exhorting Mikey to "remember the 11th commandment." Spotty thinks the 11th commandment is going to be recognized more in the breach that the observance this election cycle!
You know what the 11th commandment is, don't you, grasshopper?
No clue, Spotty.
Ronald Reagan came up with it, or perhaps more likely somebody working for him: Never speak ill of another Republican.
Thumps of the tail to Phoenix Woman and Charlie.