There are a few dumb things I heard last night that need to be put down quickly.
First and foremost was a silly discussion across several news networks that the race for GOP Conference Chair in the House between Jeb Hensarling and Michelle Bachmann was a race between the tea party and the establishment.
To say that Michelle Bachmann is of the tea party and Jeb Hensarling is not is to say that Minnesota is a state and Texas is not.
It is absolute and utter nonsense. This contest is not in the least bit a race between the tea party and the establishment and the only people who think it is are the people who’ve sat inside Washington, D.C. all year licking their chops waiting for a Republican Civil War.
This. Is. Not. It.
This is a matter of who would be the best face for the GOP to explain their positions to those not of the GOP and Tea Party. It is also a matter of showing the GOP is serious about cutting spending. That is why Jeb Hensarling will probably get it.
We all know and love Michelle Bachmann, but while she is one of the best at firing up the base, she is not necessarily the best at explaining GOP policy to a media typically hostile to the GOP.
The other dumb thing I heard last night was from Charles Krauthammer. God bless him, I like Charles, but this was just dumb.
Krauthammer last night on Fox News was venting about Jim DeMint and explaining that the future of the GOP was Marco Rubio, not Jim DeMint. He was scornful and dismissive of DeMint.
The problem, of course, is that but for Jim DeMint there would be no Marco Rubio. It was DeMint standing up and fighting the NRSC on Marco Rubio’s behalf that got Marco Rubio elected.
Ever the myopic sage of conventional wisdom on inside baseball matters, here is what Charles Krauthammer said on May 12, 2009:
BAIER: There is the Republican race for Senate, the seat of retiring Senator Mel Martinez in Florida. Charlie Crist has 60-plus percent approval ratings, and he is running against a 37 year old former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio. And you will see the battle as it is waged there in Florida.
Let’s bring back our panel — Charles?
KRAUTHAMMER: If you have a governor with, as you say, 60 percent approval, who has a really easy shot at retaining the seat for the Republicans, I don’t see how the Republicans have any choice but to support him and support him strongly.
The argument against him ideologically is he supported the stimulus package. Look, if Washington is offering to fly helicopters over your state and dropped dollar bills, I don’t see how any government will deny them over-flight rights.
So I do not understand exactly why Republicans are going to be so ideologically fastidious as to say you have to be a movement conservative.
I would — the Republicans ought to be spending money in places like Connecticut, where Chris Dodd is very weakened by a lot of scandals surrounding his finances, and support somebody like Rob Simmons, a former congressman, who is going to be putting up a very strong race against him next year.
KRISTOL: I think given that the mood it in 2010 will be pretty antiestablishment, anti-Washington, I think some of these challengers have a pretty good shot. I think Rubio has a real shot against Crist. I would prefer him personally. I think he could win a general election.
Charles’s statement last night sure is a change from a year ago. And it is a change ignorant of the fact that Rubio’s win would not have happened but for the man he attacked last night as irrelevant — Jim DeMint.