Monday, October 16, 2006

Even the Brits are Laughing At Steve King

Even the Brits are Laughing At Steve King

From the Guardian:

Voters in Iowa have on offer the Republican Steve King. He wants to keep out illegal immigrants by constructing a 700-mile wall along the border with Mexico. Better still, he built his own model of this 'Tortilla Curtain' out of cardboard and wire which he demonstrated to Congress in Blue Peter fashion. That is outdone in the crazy stakes by the Texan Republican Sam Johnson who offered personally to fly an F-15 to nuke Syria. Afterwards, he said he was: 'Kinda joking.' Don't you love the 'kinda'.

But in the end a cautionary, comparative note:
The story of this election is one of Republican collapse rather than any great enthusiasm for the Democrats. They don't have a clear message delivered by a popular and plausible leader. It is in the nature of the American system that the executive can speak with a single voice - that of the President - while the opposition talks in a cacophony of tongues.

A senior member of the Clinton cabinet put it to me like this: 'The Democrats don't have one spokesman. They have 10 spokesmen.' There is no such thing as the Shadow President. If ever there was a country in need of a leader of the opposition, it is the United States today.

Part of the different dynamics of our system. In America, parties choose the new leader then go immediately into the general election. In the UK, they have the equivalent of the primary season right AFTER the general election. You lose, you resign, the party chooses its new leader, then the new leader, in theory, has four to five years to make her or his case. Something to be said for doing it that way?

Meanwhile Steve King gives the Brits more material, spending Saturday hangin' with the neo-Know-Nothings, the Minutemen. (No, not the D. Boon Minutemen.)

Talking Points Memo notes:

Normally at this phase of the cycle you're triaging races, pulling the plug on ones that didn't pan out and focusing money on races where wins still seem possible. But the playing field only seems to be expanding. In every cycle there are bunch of campaigns out there yammering on about how they're really in a winnable race and that they could win if only this or that party committee realize how close they and give them some money. This time, though, some of them, and possibly a lot of them, are going to be right.

More Clinton coverage: DI and Iowa Politics.

Loebsack-Leach debate tonight...

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