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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star editorial: "It been heartening the past few days to hear a few Republicans finally voicing public criticism of Rep. Tom DeLay. More should join the chorus. It's time for Republicans to renounce his leadership and choose a more principled and temperate representative as House Majority Leader."

(ed.note: Thanks to TPM Reader JT for the report from the field.)

Duce! Duce!

My life is yours Tom DeLay!

Rep. Joe Wilson (R) of South Carolina in his statement out today: "Congressman Tom DeLay has been called one of the most effective leaders in the history of the House of Representatives, and it is his effectiveness that motivates his critics. Radical liberals, such as George Soros, are leading a desperate smear campaign against a decent man who has delivered remarkable results. His critics are inspired by bitterness, hatred, and partisanship."

Associated Press: "To House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Republican Party's "Contract With America" ranks right up there with the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights among the "great documents of freedom." So says DeLay's Internet Web site. It describes that 1994 campaign treatise, credited with helping the GOP end four decades of House rule by Democrats, 'a written commitment that presented to the people an agenda for the House of Representatives.'"

The Hartford Courant says Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons should join Shays' (new) Handful.

Representative Tiahrt (R) of Kansas auditions for our new GOP nutball watch (from the Times) ...

At a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the court's spending request, Representative Todd Tiahrt, Republican of Kansas, veered from the budget issues to press Justice Kennedy.

"Lately we've had rulings that seem to go beyond the rule of law" and that reflect "outside influence," the congressman told the justice. He pointed to a Supreme Court decision last month barring the execution of those who were juveniles when they committed their crimes. That decision, which was written by Justice Kennedy and which cited international treaties and practices abroad, appeared to reflect "pressure put on by the United Nations and other agencies," Mr. Tiahrt said.

Mr. Tiarht said the court was "not interpreting the Constitution and laws that govern America anymore," and added that his views were shared by people "across the United States."

Justice Kennedy, appearing unruffled, replied mildly that disagreements over the meaning of the Constitution were "a very important part of democratic dialogue." He added, "This give and take is very healthy."


I guess we're into the black helicopters phase of the anti-judiciary crusade.

A question, though. Are we allowed yet to point out that a party whose members routinely make threats against members of the federal judiciary and suggestively dangle hints of violence has no claim to being a constitutionalist party?

There's a legitimate and healthy debate over whether contentious issues like abortion are best hashed out in the courts or in legislatures. But to say that the trend is moving toward greater judicial assertions over and against legislatures is foolishness. That's not what this is about. These people are uncomfortable with the rule of law itself.

Across the board, Tammany rule in the House, <$NoAd$> keystone kops loyalty tests at presidential events, tolerance and emulation of crankish attacks on sitting judges. This Republican party just isn't a constitutionalist party. It's just not.

Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Too big for just one House of Congress?

In Wednesday's Post Mike Allen brings the slightly bizarre news that Tom DeLay held a lunch meeting with the GOP Senate caucus on Tuesday at which "implored Republican senators yesterday to stick with him while he addresses questions about his travel and his dealings with lobbyists."

Attendees told Allen that DeLay "told the senators that, if asked about his predicament, they should blame Democrats and their lack of an agenda."

This move seems so outside-the-box that the bug man has temporarily stymied my ability to mock him. But I'm rallying.

It's great to know that DeLay not only gets Republicans in the House to say 'how high' when he says 'jump' but that it works with senators too. Who was at this luncheon exactly? Allen suggests most of the Republican caucus was there. Certainly Rick Santorum was, since DeLay, in Allen's words, "thanked Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) for supportive comments on ABC's 'This Week' on Sunday."

That must have been a fun moment.

Was Linc Chafee there? Olympia Snowe? Gordon Smith? Do they have to do the DeLay happy talk now too?

TPM Reader Paul Gulino gets his letter published in the Times. And he seems to have a better handle on the Social Security debate than David Brooks. Take a look.

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