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“Moderate” Senate Republicans See the Glass as Three-Hundredths Empty

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Posted on November 5 2010 12:00 pm

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In the aftermath of the greatest electoral power shift since 1932, at least one anonymous Republican senator – and a few others who probably should be anonymous – have decided the first public sentiment worth expressing is how annoyed they are about losing Delaware. This is doubtless a preview of the thoughtful, steady hand at the tiller they plan to apply in guiding the new arrivals towards moderation and pragmatism next year.

(Full article: “GOP senators fight over failure” here.)

Significantly the good senators chose to vent their collective spleens to Politico, that bastion of down-the-middle reportage that has recently graced its pages with headlines like Sarah Palin is wreaking havoc on the campaign trail, GOP sources say, Next for GOP leaders: Stopping Sarah Palin, Joe Miller race now a referendum on Sarah Palin and my personal favorite Sarah Palin the biggest beneficiary of her own ‘Palin effect’ on midterm elections. (Someone raise their hand if they spot a leitmotif here.)

When not fixated on Palin (I counted eleven posts in the last week, but then again nothing much else has been going on) Politico maintains a constant vigil on the Tea Party, which it seems to regard on evenly numbered days as an inconsequential tick on the behind of the body politic and on odd days as the end of the world as we know it.

In the former category we find recent offerings like Obama vs. tea party: Think FDR vs. Huey Long and The long view of the tea party, which take the highly original tack of leveraging a false analogy to the populist movements of the 1930’s to arrive at manifestly dishonest conclusions about the Tea Party movement today, mostly in support of the “we’ve seen it all before, this too shall pass” argument.

It doesn’t matter that Huey Long and Father Coughlin were to the left of Roosevelt and their movements agitated for bigger government not less, as long as you can muddle through to a conclusion like the one below.

…the tea party might likely be seen as a passing summer storm — whose legacy is distinctly limited to what it accomplished in 2010.

All of this is to say that any normally intelligent politician (yes, I appreciate the irony of that construction) should understand that a story suggesting division or discord within the Republican Party, especially at a time of one of its greatest triumphs, would be received by Politico like a Great Dane that just heard the word “bone,” but this doesn’t seem to have disturbed anyone’s equanimity. Indeed, if anything the cool, calm, pragmatic keepers of the “moderate” wing (not to be confused with a pack of “me first” sore losers like the Tea Partiers) seem to have said “to heck with it, let’s get some payback!”

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