Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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Reader mail ...

Just an oldish memory of Nancy Johnson--immediately after the first ethics "victory" of DeLay: I recall a televised press conference (I'm guessing I saw it on CNN) with a grinning like a baboon Nancy as part of DeLay's adoring gaggle. I'd love to see that clip used in a campaign commercial should a CT-05 Dem. of consequence run against her. If Nancy does more than hem and haw DeLay is doomed.

Note that the <$NoAd$> reader says this is an "oldish memory." So let's not take this as a certainty that this happened or happened precisely as she remembers it.

But I wanted to ask if anyone knows of the event in question or if and where the video feed might be available.

Perhaps you can help us with our collection. We're keeping tabs on various examples of Republicans lashing out at financier and philanthropist George Soros using anti-Semitic code language. We're calling it The Tony Blankley Project. Your assistance is, of course, appreciated.

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.