The Spectacle Blog
Democrats in the House, speaking privately, say that they have a clear favorite in the House Majority Leader race: Roy Blunt.
"We can run against him nationally, no problem," says one Democratic member from a Blue Dog state. "Boehner presents a bit more of a challenge, but not much more."
Regardless of who is elected on the Republican side, though, the tempest across the aisle seems to have emboldened Democrats to look at their own leadership. The Democrats say that regardless of where Republicans go with their leadership, and regardless of how their party fares in the mid-term elections, there is a sense inside their caucus that they will change leaders, too.
"Nancy Pelosi is a goner," says another Democrat. "I look forward to the day when I can call Steny Hoyer my majority leader. Or minority leader."
The boys over at RedState are now officially pushing the candidacy of Rep. John Shadegg for Republican Majority Leader in the House.
Shadegg has been speaking a bit more in the past couple of days, talking about his consultation with his fellow members. But we're hearing that Shadegg intends to make a formal annoucement within the next 24 hours.
Supporters of both current candidates for the job -- Reps. John Boehner and Roy Blunt -- have been speaking with Shadegg since Monday in an attempt to head him off from entering the race. It isn't clear that either man would lose a huge number of commitments to Shadegg, but probably enough to make their own election a bit more questionable.
Germany, France and England have called for an emergency meeting of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency to consider Iran's reopening of its Natanz nuclear facility. This is the prelude to bringing Iran before the Security Council for sanctions. This is good news and bad. The EUnuchs say they realize that their diplomacy with Iran has failed. But their remedy is to try more diplomacy in another forum. This will tie up the effort to defeat Iran's nuclear weapons plans in the UN for months or years. In that time, Iran will almost certainly achieve their ambition to have, and be able to manufacture, nuclear weapons.
For those following the leadership race in the House, The Hill has set up a daily tally page. From what I'm hearing, though, the moment-by-moment coverage of this may be a waste of breath -- until members actually return to town, phone commitments probably don't mean as much as personal commitments. And as we've already seen with the Shadegg entry, the winds can quickly change with a news story in one direction or another.
T.S. Eliot was wrong when he wrote, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.” The whimper precedes the bang, as it now does regarding
Confirming the addage that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Dana Milbank captured yesterday's confirmation hearing circus:
Thus did Democrats take their last stand against Alito. It had become clear that the committee, with unified GOP support, would clear the judge. Surveying the various lines of attack against Alito -- his opposition to abortion, his support for a powerful president, his conflict-of-interest issues -- Democrats concluded that their best hope was in Alito's membership in a group opposed to gains by women and minorities. Clarence Thomas had Anita Hill. Alito would have the Concerned Alumni of Princeton.