Posts by David Weigel
Washington memoirs are all about settling scores. Karl Rove’s “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight” takes that tradition to new and self-parodying heights. To read Rove’s recollections of George W. Bush’s White House is to believe that, for eight years, men of “courage and moral clarity” governed the United States and were beset by critics who refused to give them any credit. On page after page, Rove names the naysayers and picks apart their claims. He’s most at ease — his delight jumps right off of the page — when he’s able to recount times he shoved the criticisms back in their faces.
WASHINGTON– Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) blockade on extending temporarily unemployment benefits put the Tea Party movement in an unfamiliar position. Instead of nudging the Republican Party to take a stand, activists watched a politician pick an anti-government fight they didn’t even know existed.
WASHINGTON– The news that Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) had won the 2010 CPAC presidential straw poll was leaked early, to soften the blow. Before GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio had even begun to click through a Powerpoint presentation that shared the results, reporters were informed of Paul’s easy, 31 percent victory over nine Republicans tipped as serious 2012 contenders. Those reporters started to write stories on Paul’s surprise win, waiting for the official announcement — and an explosion of jeering and booing in the main ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Sighing with relief, press aides for the annual conservative conference made sure that the on-site media had heard that reaction.
WASHINGTON– Mitt Romney has not spoken at any Tea Parties. He has largely avoided the messy debates over the 10th Amendment, nullification, Paul Ryan’s budget proposals, and whether TV stars should be punished for using the “R” word. But at CPAC, at his mid-afternoon address to an overflowing crowd of conservative activists, it was like he’d been waving a Gadsen Flag and a tea kettle from the start.
NASHVILLE — In the weeks leading up to the National Tea Party Convention, Judson Phillips didn’t do much talking to the media. The founder of Tea Party Nation, the chief organizer of the conference alongside his wife Shelley, was buffeted by attacks from Tea Party activists who accused him of staging a costly, “elite” convention, and dirtying the reputation of the movement by paying Sarah Palin $100,000 to speak there. On January 14, Tea Party Nation put out word that only five conservative media outlets would get full access to the convention. On January 30, they issued an email to their internal list pushing back against “baseless accusations and criticism” from angry Tea Party activists.
On Monday morning, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, both age 24, dressed up as telephone company workers and walked into the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Inside the office, waiting for them, was James O’Keefe, the 25-year-old conservative activist who posed as a pimp in 2009 for a series of undercover videos that badly damaged the national community organization ACORN. As Basel and Flanagan clumsily worked on the phones, O’Keefe was recording them for a reason that remains unknown. When the “repairmen” and accomplices were asked for ID, they gave themselves up and were arrested.
BOSTON — The volunteers, journalists, and donors who entered the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel on Tuesday were greeted by a kind of enthusiasm uncharacteristic to Massachusetts Republican campaigns. The room was packed only an hour after the polls closed. Among the throngs were Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler, leaders of Tea Party Patriots, who’d flown in from Georgia and California to watch the final stretch of Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate bid. Meckler held up a Video camera, panning it across the room to capture the Brown supporters as they chatted and lined up for food and drinks.
QUINCY, Mass. — In this city a few minutes south of Boston, working-class voters were splitting between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown.
“I always vote Democratic,” said Frank Creighton, a construction worker who voted with his wife Patty…
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Katherine Monroe started making phone calls to “soft Dems”–the term that Scott Brown’s Republican campaign for Senate uses for registered Democrats who don’t always vote the party line–in mid-December. At the time, to her surprise, they were splitting 50-50 between Brown and Martha Coakley, the Democratic state attorney general. As Brown has gained momentum for his out-of-nowhere bid, her responses have been getting more and more one-sided for Brown. At times, they’ve gotten rapturous.
The organizers of the National Tea Party Convention are not responding to reporters looking for basic logistical questions. Kevin Diaz explains that the convention, to be held in Nashville next month, will be closed to all but “select” members…