Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Bug man in winter? Hmmm, too much empathy. Twilight of the bug man? No. Bug man Agonistes? Definitely, not. Käfermanndämmerung? Bears more thought.

Late Update: TPM Readers chime in with their own headlines. The bug man goeth, says one regular. Hammerdämmerung, suggests TPM Reader AS.

Later Update: The Eugene O'Neill version of this farce might also be Long bug's journey into night.

Shays says DeLay's a handful, calls the Majority Leader an "embarrassment" who won't survive through this term as head of the caucus.

"He is an absolute embarrassment to me and to the Republican Party," Rep. Christopher Shays (R) of Connecticut told a constituents at a townhall meeting in Greenwich on Saturday.

"Do I think Tom DeLay will be the majority leader by the end of this term? No," Shays went on to say. "I don't think Tom DeLay is going to survive."

Meanwhile, arch-bag-man Jack Abramoff, is telling friends, "Everyody is lying," according to a new piece out from Newsweek's Isikoff.

"Those S.O.B.s. DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details."

Mark your calendars.

According to Mike Allen's piece in tomorrow's Post, next week David Keene and a gaggle of conservative leaders "will show their solidarity by announcing this week that they are holding a tribute dinner for DeLay on May 12 at the Capital Hilton, complete with a film 'summation of what Tom has done for conservatives.' Keene said 1,000 people are expected, and tickets will be about $200."

Duce! Duce!

Actually, if I were down in DC on the 12th, I could see laying down $200 to be on hand for this train wreck.

DeLay's allies say the future of DeLay is the future of conservatism, reports Mike Allen in tomorrow's Post ...

Allies and friends of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) have concluded that public attention to his ethics is unlikely to abate for months to come, and they plan to try to preserve his power by launching an aggressive media strategy and calling in favors from prominent conservative leaders, according to Republicans participating in the strategy sessions.

The Republicans said the strategy combines leaks from DeLay allies about questionable Democratic trips and financial matters; denunciations of unfavorable news stories as biased, orchestrated rehashes; and swift, organized responses to journalists' inquiries.

The resistance was launched two weeks ago when DeLay flew back to Washington from Texas during Easter recess to speak to a group of about 30 conservative leaders who had gathered in the conference room of the Family Research Council for a call to arms on his behalf.

Officials working with DeLay said he is trying to lock in support by sowing the message that an attack on him is an attack on the conservative movement, and that taking him out would be the Democrats' first step toward regaining control of the House and Senate. These officials said they believe the attacks are part of a strategy by Democrats, aided by watchdog groups funded by liberals, to use the ethics process to try to regain power.

As you can see, when they <$NoAd$> give the advance word to journalists, there's little attempt to conceal the fact that charges of 'bias' aren't interpretations or claims, but little more than a cudgel to reassure the faithful and hoodwink gullible journalists.

And if there's any more evidence needed to know that the defining motif of all conservative politics is victimization, see this graf at the end of the piece ...

Becky Norton Dunlop, a Heritage Foundation vice president who was formerly Virginia's secretary of Natural Resources, attended the meeting, and said charges similar to those that have been made about DeLay could be made about Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

"And yet, these are not happening. Why? Because they're liberals," Dunlop said. "We think that those who are so intent about making charges against Tom DeLay should also take a look at Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and some of the liberal leaders."

Poor conservatives: embattled and villified in the town they run.

The St. Petersburg Times comes out against the loyalty test the White House is imposing at Social Security events on the president's Bamboozlepalooza Tour: "The Bush administration might not appreciate the difference between campaign events that are paid for through private donations and official events put on with the public's money, but the Constitution surely does."

With all of Tom DeLay's bossism and corrupt rule now finally being revealed to a wider audience, I figure it's time to revisit the DeLay Rule, and remember which Republican members of the House were so devoted to DeLay (i.e., owned by DeLay) that they were willing to rewrite their caucus's rules on his request because they thought he was about to indicted back in Texas. We've got a whole library of the letters the DeLay Rule backers sent to their constituents trying to explain themselves.

Another nice Dana Milbank article, this one on some of the borderline-violent anti-judiciary nut-cases the Republican majority (particularly in the House) is in the process of selling itself to.

How high on the list of national priorities for the American people do you figure disciplining the federal judiciary is? Higher than the economy? Terrorism? Health care? Iraq? Social Security? Long-term care? Road quality?

Perhaps it is time for the Democrats simply to embrace their destiny as the party of grown-ups. No members of congress threatening judges. No gonzo federal legislation cooked up in the middle of the night to game a family struggle in Florida. Borrowing money and saving money are not the same thing. A reasonable respect for the rules under which the country has long been governed. Congressional staffers will neither steal work material from members of the opposition party nor stand on principle when caught. Bribes tendered on the floor of Congress will be frowned upon ...

Somehow I found my way over this article by John Hinderaker at the Weekly Standard website. And in the course of providing an elaborate history of press malfeasance and liberal bias in the coverage of the Schiavo talking points memo, he notes: "The Post's story was picked up by the Reuters news service and by dozens of newspapers, and was, in large part, the basis for a widespread popular belief that the leadership of the Republican party had played politics with the Schiavo case."

Spinning and BSing is always less interesting than the genuine article of denial and self-deception. Was it really the reporting of this memo -- however accurate or inaccurate (and we're finding out it was pretty much completely accurate) -- that led overwhelming numbers of Americans to judge that 'the Republican party had played politics with the Schiavo case'?

You really have to be far gone to believe that.

I think most people judged this one by believing their eyes.

Andrew Sullivan sounds the same waters in this post out this evening.

I'd missed this article from the Post.

It's about Wes Clark and Richard Perle testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Iraq and WMD this week, a reprise of a similar engagement in 2002 and a sort of anticipation of a reckoning before the judgment of history.

Watch a hustler dig himself even deeper.