Tuesday was not a good day for the Muslim-baiting wing of the GOP, with the defeat of Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and with onetime presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann holding her House seat in Minnesota by a razor-thin margin. They have been among the most high-profile members of Congress to spend a goodly amount of their political capital chasing down the bugaboo of Muslim jihad in America.
Bachmann won her re-election by barely 4,200 votes. Her spotlight-grabbing antics, a laundry list of kooky comments and presidential campaigning, probably played into that, but the Associated Press noted that her recent attempt to tie Hillary Clinton’s top aide to the Muslim Brotherhood, which earned Bachmann a smackdown from John McCain and other Republicans, contributed to her unpopularity among constituents. As for one-term West, who left his 18th District in south Florida for an ostensibly more GOP-friendly one in the 22nd District, he seems to have lost to Democrat Patrick Murphy by only 2,500 votes. He has filed injunctions for a recount and an examination of the electronic voting machines, citing “irregularities” and violations on the part of local election officials.
West is one most Islamophobic pols around, a compatriot of jihad hunters Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who not only claim that Islam is evil, but insist that Muslim radicals have infiltrated the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and top levels of government. Geller recently made headlines when her group sponsored pro-Israel New York City subway ads that suggested Palestinian Muslims are “savages.” Read More…
Marijuana – smoking it, eating it, growing it in modest amounts — is legal. To even be writing those words is historic. But don’t light up just yet. The new pot laws passed in state referendums Tuesday night only apply to Colorado and Washington, and as far as the feds are concerned, smoking pot is still a criminal offense and a critical threat in the decades-long War on Drugs.
But enough of the buzz kill. There have been small steps toward ending marijuana prohibition — state medical-marijuana laws being the most radical — in the last several years. Recently the tide has turned against draconian laws that have sent pot offenders to prison while drug smugglers and gangs thrive off the black market. Thus more mainstream attention and credibility has been given to plans like the ones passed Tuesday that would regulate, tax, and sell marijuana to adults, just like alcohol, in both Colorado and Washington.
If not for establishment support, including from government figures, law enforcement and the medical community, these measures would never have passed. A medical-marijuana initiative in Arkansas and a legalization plan in Oregon did not pass last night because they did not have the same kind of support.
What does this all mean? First off, Colorado and Washington have a lot of work to do to establish the infrastructure to make this happen (the state of Colorado, by the way, hopes to make anywhere from $5 million to $22 million yearly by taxing marijuana sales). Read More…
The Austin American-Statesman spent six months inspecting state records of young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have died since returning from the war.
What they found was stunning: among the 266 dead for which they were able to gather information (there were 345 overall — almost two-thirds of Texas’s casualties in both wars!), one in three died from a drug overdose (a fatal combination of prescription pills or suicide), and nearly one in five were killed in a motor-vehicle crash, half involving alcohol and speeding.
These are by no means all the veterans who’ve died after coming home (the state sent a total of 53,000 men and women to the wars), just the vets who had sought VA care before their demise. But from what the paper was able to glean, 80 percent of the veterans who had died from drug overdose, suicide or in a motor accident, had been preliminarily diagnosed with PTSD.
The investigative team at the Statesman did not merely hunt down down toxicology reports, autopsy results, accident reports, inquests and obituaries, but also reached out to families for the veterans’ personal stories. What a painstaking reporting job this must have been! But thanks to the digging, the VA now has better information about Texas veterans than its own limited data could provide (the VA does not consistently keep track of individual causes of death). Now that the newspaper has shamed the government by doing its work for them, some positive systemic change may come about.
Despite cutbacks, state and local papers have continued to cover extended military communities. These communities stretch from giant Army bases and spill over into outlying cities and towns and the nearest VA hospitals or clinics. Some of the best coverage has come from reporters in these areas, like Dave Philipps at the Colorado Springs Gazette. In 2009 he published an intensive examination of the troubled 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team — chillingly dubbed the “Lethal Warriors”— at Fort Carson in Colorado. The series made him a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and helped bring the fallouts of combat stress into mainstream consciousness.
Mitt Romney, who once said yes, “corporations are people, my friend,” and has defended the Supreme Court’s decision that unrestricted — and now unprecedented — spending by corporations and unions on campaigns is protected under the First Amendment, is now whining that teachers’ unions may be giving too much money to Democrats, who are likely to be more sympathetic “at the bargaining table.” From the Washington Post this morning:
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he thinks teachers unions should be banned from making political contributions because union leaders often negotiate contracts with Democratic politicians they’ve helped elect, a situation he called “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”
“I believe that we simply can’t have a setting where the teachers unions are able to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians, and then those politicians, when elected, stand across from them at the bargaining table, supposedly to represent the interest of the kids,” Romney told host Brian Williams in a 45-minute appearance at NBC’s Education Nation Summit in New York.He said it is “a mistake” to allow unions to make such donations, which he argued represent “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”
“I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns,” he said. “It’s the wrong way for us to go. We have got to separate that.”
Add to that the silly charge that “the largest contributors to the Democratic Party are the teachers unions,” which can easily be refuted by a few clicks on OpenSecrets.org, and you’ve got a profoundly disturbing picture of how Romney understands politics in Washington — and the Constitution. Like it or not, the Supreme Court said
campaign contributions independent expenditures were the same as “speech” and ruled that corporations and unions are afforded the same free speech rights as individuals. This is something that Romney has said he supports, and he should know better than picking and choosing which organizations deserve the right just because he doesn’t like their politics. Are we getting just another glimpse of the real Mitt Romney, a man who doesn’t seem to believe in anything unless it is politically (if momentarily) expedient? Shame on him #1.
Shame on him #2: if Romney is going to start grousing about how money in politics is affecting the decisions politicians make in government he need not look farther than his own backyard. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs OpenSecrets.org, the largest contributions to the 2012 federal election are coming from the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industry (FIRE), which primarily comprises insurance companies, securities and investment firms, real estate interests and commercial banks, according to CRP. The industry has given a whopping $422,907,981, so far, between 2011-2012.
Of this group, the biggest contributor is Goldman Sachs with a running total of $6.3 million this cycle. The second top contributor is Bain Capital, Romney’s former company, which has given $4.6 million, mostly to undisclosed outside groups. That’s a little more than the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.5 million teachers nation-wide. It gave $4 million, with about half to Democrats and half to outside groups. The “evil” National
Teachers’ Education Association contributed $7.2 million. These two unions pretty much represent the whole of the teachers’ unions’ influence on politics today. Meanwhile the entire labor industry contributed $78.4 million — far less than the FIRE industry which, with the generous assistance of their political friends on Capitol Hill, recently helped plunge this country into greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression.
Let’s move on to the defense industry, which Romney has promised to reward with heaps of new money in the form of contracts once he wins the White House. So far this industry — represented by top contributor Northrop Grumman ($2.3 million), followed by Lockheed Martin ($2.3 million), Boeing ($2.1 million) and Raytheon ($1.7 million), has given a total of $19.7 million, mostly (60 percent) to Republicans this year.
Politico reports this week that veterans are “retreating” from Obama, showing that “back in May, Obama had the lead among Afghanistan and Iraq veterans,” but that recent polling indicates that the lead has “evaporated,” with Romney now up 48 percent to 34 percent among veterans.
First of all, the assertion that the president was ever “leading among veterans” is generous. With no links provided in the report it is hard to immediately identify which poll reporter Darren Samuelsohn was referring to, but I’ll assume it’s this Reuters/Ipsos poll from early May that had Obama over Romney 44 percent to 37 percent among veterans. The accompanying story here weaves an ambitious Obama-friendly narrative that does an effective job underscoring how unhappy veterans are over the recent wars, the poor economy and government in general — no huge surprises there — but it doesn’t quite explain why or how recent vets would prefer the president over Romney in the fall.
It’s possible that the Reuters poll was an outlier. A major Gallup Poll that same month showed Romney far ahead of Obama among veterans, 58 to 34 percent. And all polling since, both nationwide and in some key battleground states (including Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and Ohio) indicate that things are falling into the usual pattern, with veterans and military families preferring the Republican by a comfortable margin.
In any case, the use of “retreat” in the Politico headline is unfortunate, given that it has been both parties who have retreated from their duty to military men and women and veterans in the last 10 years. Romney’s edge is likely due to the fact that military voters tend to be more conservative and vote Republican, as evidenced in the last three presidential elections: Vets favored George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000, Bush over John Kerry in 2004, and John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008.
The Arizona State University foreign policy debate on Wednesday — with former Pentagon official Janine Davidson pitching for the Obama administration and long-time neoconservative Dov Zakheim swinging for Gov. Romney — offered a rare opportunity to get the measure of the two campaigns on pressing military and national security issues, which up to now have been relegated to the back seat.
Unfortunately, Davidson seemed determined to make President Obama sound like the candidate we thought we were getting back in 2008, while Zakheim insisted on building Romney up to be the Frankenstein President Bush we supposedly got rid of that year.
If Wednesday night was any indication, the foreign policy discussion in this race has devolved into a rehashing of the 2008 election — or even 2004 — as Zakheim blew the dust off the old GOP playbook and guilelessly tossed about meaningless victuals like: “you are likely to be more successful if you are strong, not if you are weak,” and, “there is talk and there is action … [the Democrats] are all talk and no action.”
“An America that is perceived as weak is one that will be despised. Right now we don’t look very strong.” Obama has lost all respect in the Middle East, he noted: “people who respect us don’t destroy our embassy and kill our ambassador,” a jab at last week’s attack in Libya.
And so on and so forth. Zakheim – when you Google his name the pantheon of Bush-era warhawks appear next to him like the Legion of Doom: Feith, Kagan, Perle, Cohen, Chertoff – blustered and bluffed through the 90-minute debate before a largely college audience, brushing off both reality and the history of last four years for the sake of the aggressive sound bite.
“You cannot keep the peace if you are not strong and when you look at our military today you see our strength dissipate before our eyes,” he said, referring to the threat of defense budget cuts. Zakheim had better get a new prescription for those glasses. Despite what the Cassandras over the budget want to say, the U.S continues to have the largest, best-equipped, most disciplined and capable military on earth, and of course the most-generously funded.
This is where Davidson, who assumed her former position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans after the last election — an erstwhile COINdinista who enjoyed at least a few years in the Petraeus-ordained Washington in-crowd – was best equipped to call Mr. Zakheim out on playing fast and loose with facts that one could easily dispel with two taps on a smartphone. But for whatever reason Ms. Davidson did not, or could not, rise to the occasion.
Instead, she seemed bent on defining Obama not just in the broadest possible terms, but more importantly, as though he did not spend his term pursuing a foreign policy and national security posture more aggressive and yes, more militaristic than even his predecessor’s. The word “drone” was not mentioned even once (by any participant on the panel).
Davidson offered no response to Zakheim when he accused Democrats of “rah-rah-ing Afghanistan” and “politicizing” the killing of Osama bin Laden. She let him reduce the U.S-fortified regime change in Libya to “leading from behind.” She neglected to mention the dramatic expansion of U.S Special Forces under President Obama’s watch to more than 100 countries across the planet, not only expanding Bush’s Global War on Terror, but also doubling down on the idea of the U.S as the world’s police with a growing presence in Africa. Meanwhile, Obama has brought executive power to new heights of audacity, operating off a reported “kill list” that invariably includes American citizens, with no publicly offered, legal justification. The only “weakness” here seems to be in congressional and judicial oversight and the lack of public outrage.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) should be commended for raising two issues near and dear to civil libertarians in the majority report on the Transportation Security Agency’s performance since 9/11, released Tuesday: the troublesome increase in intrusive security measures, i.e. “enhanced” pat-down searches, and the pervasive deployment of so-called full body scanners for the traveling public:
In many ways, TSA has become its own worst enemy by underestimating the privacy impact of its operations, and limiting lines of communication and the flow of information to the public. The American people could be more supportive of TSA if they understood why TSA was implementing a particular policy or procedure and what threat or vulnerability it was addressing. Instead, in the last eleven years the American people have become increasingly more critical of TSA.
That is an understatement. For the last 11 years the TSA has been besieged by a litany of scandals and bad news stories that it brought upon itself, all concerning passenger rights and its inability to treat fliers as customers and human beings and not criminals or worse, cattle being prodded to the slaughter:
- Last summer a 95-year-old woman suffering from late stage leukemia and in a wheelchair was told she had to remove her Depends diaper or not fly home after an enhanced screening at a Florida airport. TSA defended the screening. She certainly isn’t the only elderly or disabled person to have been humiliated by these inconsistent and let’s face it, unjustified, draconian searches. Links here, here and here.
- In March, a three-year-old boy in a leg cast and wheelchair was given a physical pat-down at O’Hare Internation Airport in Chicago on his way to Disney World with his parents and siblings. He is just one in a string of appalling reports and You Tube videos of small children — including babies! –being touched and prodded by screeners to the shock and disbelief of their parents. Links here, here and here.
- In 2010, an experienced flight attendant and breast cancer survivor was forced to show screeners her breast implant in an aggressive pat down. Supposedly, outfitting female suicide bombers with bombs in their boobs has been a problem. The result, a rash of complaints by horrified cancer victims who showed no other signs of being a flight risk other than carrying the prosthetic reminders of their painful illnesses.
- In 2008 a woman was forced to remove her nipple rings with pliers before she could fly.
- In 2002, a women was forced to drink her own breast milk before she could fly.
- A 31-year-old New York marketing executive was charged with “obstructing justice” but disorderly conduct charges were dropped after this disturbing incident, caught on tape, in 2010. Makes one wonder why four beefy security guards were necessary to constrain her, slam her into a chair and then onto the magnetometer, handcuff her and eventually throw her into the clink. Needless to say, she missed her flight.
- Sen. Rand Paul engaged in a brief “stand off” with TSA screeners in January after he refused a pat-down. He wasn’t the first lawmaker to feel the indignity of post-9/11 airport security. I remember talking to Rep. Bob Barr several years ago after he mixed it up with screeners at a Washington airport.
As chairman of the transportation subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rogers has had a front row seat for all of the agency’s bumps and scrapes since it was created in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist hijackings. While there has been no similar attack on U.S. soil since then, TSA has maintained a mixed to dismal record across a number of key metrics, which the report duly points out. The agency spends and wastes too much money (its budget at this point is $8 billion a year). Oversight of its most critical job — screening passengers and cargo for explosives, weapons and contraband — is constantly missing the mark. TSA invests too much in lame technology that doesn’t work ($29 million for “puffer” machines that ended up in the garbage) and not enough in the tactics that do work (canine units). Its attempt at behavior screening has been a joke, and it has not implemented promised programs that would expedite checkpoint security for frequent travelers.
There is a reason why they call them Beltway Bandits, that species of defense consultants, contractors and assorted think tankers who shrewdly facilitate contracts and support for the industry, wielding influence over legislative agendas and politicians on the Hill. Like the bandits of our pop-culture past, they wear “masks,” so everything looks proper, straightforward.
Think tanks are non-profit, for example, but they are often associated with political action committees (PACs) under a different shingle. Ex-generals and admirals serve as vice presidents or board members for defense contractors or as heads of industry associations, not for their sage experience but as non-registered lobbyists and skid greasers for the companies’ Washington interests. The associations themselves are masks, storefronts really, for fielding political funds and battalions of lobbyists who fight for appropriations and contracts on the Hill every day. Much has been written about these “pay to play” machinations but too much is invested on both sides of the political aisle to put an end to them.
From time to time what’s underneath the mask is exposed and tactics change. A couple of years ago, it was reported that more than 100 ex-generals and admirals had taken jobs as paid “mentors” within the services, even though many had extensive ties to the defense industry. Nonexistent disclosure requirements hid the fact that these “mentors” were advising the services on weapons systems and other contracts near and dear to their private employers’ hearts. Once exposed, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put in new disclosure rules. As a result, the number of mentors has decreased from 158 to 20 as of 2011, according to USA Today.
All told, the Washington Beltway very much resembles the intro to the old “Tales from the Darkside” TV series: there is another Washington just below the surface, “which is just as real, but not as brightly lit” as the one most visible to the public eye.
That is why it was so bombastically audacious for “military analyst” Loren Thompson, CEO of the non-profit Lexington Institute (which gets funding from defense contractors), and CEO of the for-profit Source Associates, which represents defense contractors seeking access on Capitol Hill, to write a column for Forbes this week called “Five Reasons The Defense Industry Is Still A Better Investment Than Other Sectors.”
Thompson’s read on defense industry stock is a lesson in pure venality and cynicism: global turmoil and war keep the the industry humming and stock prices jumping. Market domination by a few big fish and the Pentagon’s insatiable appetite for expensive new things insulate the real players from serious downturns, making their stock an attractive bet, too. And “the politics” — we cannot forget that. Here is Thompson’s cringe-worthy take:
Although military contractors complain endlessly about the drawbacks of doing business with a political system, there are also big benefits. The Pentagon is relatively insensitive to price increases and Congress tries to protect jobs at defense facilities even when performance is sub-par. So the defense industry is insulated from market forces in a way that few other industries can ever hope to be.
This political aspect to the business is especially important in protecting U.S. defense contractors from foreign competition at home. The Pentagon tells a good story about welcoming foreign suppliers, but the simple truth is that most overseas companies can’t get past the cultural and security barriers. Trade treaties exempt military purchases from most of the rules applied to other international transactions, and thus U.S. arms merchants seldom need to worry about foreign competition on their home turf. Imagine how General Motors would be doing if it operated under those conditions.
Translation: thanks to all of the lobbying and “consulting” by Thompson and his ilk (Harper’s took an expert crack at Thompson in 2010), politicians are too fat with contributions and too paralyzed with fear they’ll be labeled “soft on defense” to hold the line on spending or to cancel major projects. Furthermore, the MIC (military-industrial complex) has been designed such that there is a little piece of the industry in nearly every state and congressional district, making it that much more difficult for lawmakers to make a stand.
It seems that there is no place for Jumpin’ Joe Lieberman, at least not at this year’s national conventions.
The outgoing Connecticut senator, who became an Independent in order to keep his seat back in 2006, is beltway “homeless,” ostracized by the extremists on either end of the duopoly, punished for being consistent about promoting progressive social ideals while defending a muscular foreign policy and “the use of military power to support our values.”
So waxes former Bush 43 speechwriter Michael Gerson in a Washington Post column today that can only be described as a kind of lover’s lament:
Over the years, Lieberman (I-Conn.) has broken a number of barriers — marching with Martin Luther King Jr., and becoming the first Jew on a presidential ticket. Toward the end of his career, however, this nation’s ideological segregation proved impossible to overcome. Lieberman’s political homelessness is less a statement on his remarkably consistent views than on a party system where moderation has become heresy.
Gerson describes Lieberman as a Scoop Jackson-Truman-Democrat and JFK acolyte blindsided by polarization and the WWE tactics of the squared circle of Washington politics (how apropos is it that a candidate running to replace Lieberman used to run the WWE?). Lieberman wants to be JFK, but he’s competing against Michael Moore on the left and The Donald on the right, and so he stands as a lonely marker of an America that could have been.
“[I]t’s an indictment of both main parties that a supporter of civil rights, economic justice, strong defense, economic opportunity and religious values should end his service as a party of one,” Gerson groans in conclusion.
He ends the piece after spending much of it blaming the Democrats for not being duly appreciative of what Lieberman had to offer. To Gerson it is clear: when the party needed him in 2000, it supported his nomination as vice presidential candidate alongside Al Gore. His credentials lent an “independence factor” to the ticket at a time when Gore was trying to distance himself from his boss Bill Clinton (such irony, given that Clinton is now giving the keynote at the 2012 DNC!). For this, the choice of Lieberman, the so-called conscience of the Senate, who had openly scolded Clinton for the Lewinsky affair, appeared inspired.
Gore and Lieberman nonetheless lost the election, decided by a Florida recount and divided Supreme Court decision. Lieberman seemed to emerge with Democratic goodwill intact.
Then, as many political narratives go these days, 9/11 happened. Lieberman’s Coldest War inclinations drove him straight into the neoconservative Republican camp that soon came to run the Pentagon’s policy shop and the entire war enterprise (my colleague Daniel Larison has more). No doubt by the time he officially went Independent after losing his 2006 Democratic primary, there were people in town who could not tell whose team he was on. The Democrats offered him the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which he has used in many respects to fuse his warmongering impulses with domestic jihad hunting. This has done little to foster the warm and fuzzies with the Muslim and Arab-American communities. So much for civil rights.
The rightwing of the Republican Party has been lapping this up all along, treating Lieberman as an honorable — if junior — member of the club. This culminated in his speech before the 2008 Republican convention in St. Paul, when he not only stumped for his old friend Sen. John McCain, but called VP nominee Sarah Palin a “reformer” and “a leader” who could really “shake up” things in Washington.
It seems like Lieberman seems to have less of a problem swallowing his principles (just how did cheerleading for Palin square with his “progressive interests in civil rights and domestic programs”?) than he does picking the wrong bandwagon on which to leap.
Gerson, for obvious reasons, wants to heap scorn on the Democrats for pushing Lieberman out, but never mentions 2008 or why the Republicans chose this year to leave him off the RNC invite list. That would be a more interesting story. The most this Hill newspaper account offers is that Mitt Romney doesn’t count him as a friend, nor an asset:
Lieberman does not have a close relationship with Mitt Romney, this year’s putative GOP standard-bearer. Even if he did, Romney — who has fought off charges that he’s a faux conservative — would not want a former Democrat on the stage extolling his efforts to bridge divides on healthcare or other issues.
Lieberman’s response is sad: “This is one of the benefits of being an Independent — you don’t have to go to either convention,” he told The Hill. Snarkiness aside, no one wants this kind of send-off, especially a politician who has been at the center of the Washington scene for 25 years. But he chose the war, he chose to be in a “party of one,” and now, regretfully, he has no party to go to.
The Washington Post, ever the establishment paper of record, will probably never get it. In a piece about how the presidential “losers” are recasting themselves in respective swan songs to the electorate, David A. Fahrenthold chose today to spotlight perennial loser Newt Gingrich, who is so blind to his own narcissism at this point that he was holding — no joke — “Newt U” before a “quiet crowd of about 100″ during the Tampa Republican Convention.
Gingrich has one more bell to ring — a speech he is delivering with his wife Callista Thursday night at the convention, “before the networks tune in” the WaPo notes. Instead of addressing American jobs and energy independence (both “core electives” at Newt U), or old standbys like how Sharia law is taking over the American judiciary, however, the couple plans to break new RNC ground by instructing the Republican faithful who might have skipped the class about “applying the principles of Ronald Reagan to 2012.”
Gingrich has been most comfortable pontificating in this academic conceit. He has built an enterprise around it. Made — and spent — a lot of money with it. But as he is doomed to find out, playing professor all the time can be a lonely perch on which to set one’s fading laurels.
Meanwhile, the Post appears keen on reducing Paul to the same caricature. The day before Newt U hit campus, Fahrenthold writes:
(Paul) had convened thousands of supporters in a basketball stadium in Tampa. He spoke for about an hour, dissecting the history of the 20th century and describing where others had gone wrong. But the site of Paul’s speech — 10 miles away from the convention itself — emphasized that Paul himself was still far from influencing that history.
Far from influencing the Republican convention, for certain — the party made sure of that — but in fairness, Paul’s supporters have managed to shape a couple of planks in the GOP platform. They also rallied movement conservatives against the committee’s plans to change its rules mid-stream, prompting an announcement today that Paul will make a surprise appearance on the convention floor (he was asked to speak but declined because — sticking to his guns — he refused to endorse Mitt Romney).
Fahrenthold also fails to mention that unlike the former Speaker of the House, Congressman Paul managed to draw an estimated 8,000 people to his rally, and another several thousand came out to celebrate him at the Tampa Fairgrounds for the P.A.U.L Festival.
He did not need to “convene his supporters,” they had been waiting for a year or more to be there for him — just like they were in 2008 and for numerous freedom rallies and marches before that. Paul is not an enterprise, but a movement, a movement that will likely go on, perhaps without his signature impish face and blunt, homespun rhetoric, but with a spirit that inspired fans of all ages to crash recent Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) events in Washington, as well as local GOP conventions, to eek out delegates for their man in this week’s Tampa confab.
He leaves this campaign on a wave of goodwill and devotion and pledges to carry on the fight. Gingrich is leaving, quietly, as the Post points out, his enterprise bankrupt. It’s a bright line that cannot be ignored — though the Post would never bring itself to make the distinction. Gingrich might be a peacock, but Paul — at least to the establishment press — is ever the crazy old bird.