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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Open Mic Legislature

Conservative voters and prominent Tea Bagger pontificators are glossing over the fact that the incoming Freshman class of "patriots" are actually being considered for "leadership" positions.

In a nod to the strength of their newest constituency, House Republican leaders will grant incoming freshmen more say in the party’s direction than most first-term lawmakers receive.

House Republican Leader John Boehner and his No. 2, party Whip Eric Cantor, will notify newly elected Republicans Tuesday that one member of their class will get a seat at the leadership table and another two will be given spots on the Steering Committee, which decides committee assignments and chairmanships in the new Congress.

Members of the class will run for these positions, along with those of class president and freshman representative to the policy committee, on Nov. 17 after the entire Republican caucus selects its leaders for the next two years, according to the letter.

I, and many others, actually expected this to happen. However, it seems that Boehner is looking for a political angle to play, considering this idea is likely to backfire. Not in the sense that the Tea Bagger class will attempt to push legislation that makes them look even more unqualified to lead, but that when the inevitable investigations and lack of forward momentum take center stage, Boehner is going to have the sacrificial lambs to offer up to the masses.

Allahpundit hints at this idea, but it is overshadowed by the gimmick that is Kristi Noem:

Kristi Noem, who’s frequently compared to Palin, is reportedly interested in the leadership position and has the support of Boehner, Cantor, et al. Makes sense for the GOP brain trust: She has tea party cred, knocked off a high profile Democratic up-and-comer in Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, and is plenty telegenic and well-spoken enough to serve as a spokesman for the new Republican class in TV interviews. More importantly, though, as the Times puts it, Boehner wants to ensure that the new crop is “not tempted into immediate acts of rebellion.” That is to say, they don’t want freshmen tea partiers wandering off and becoming a thorn in the leadership’s side, either by forming their own caucus or joining Bachmann’s tea-party caucus; giving them a voice in the top group is a way to reduce that pressure, and of course to purchase some political cover on tough votes. If they end up bringing something to the floor that makes tea partiers howl, now they can point to Noem or whoever and say, “Hey, she’s partly responsible too.”

So who is Noem?

Here's a clip that Hot Air highlights in an apparent attempt to show that she has the skills and ideas to be an effective representative.

She certainly has her "Palinese" down pat. I didn't hear any specifics, though.

Considering that Sarah Palin's favorability rating is down to roughly 40% as of last week, I'm wondering if conservatives' desire to deify Pailin are backfiring on them. Sarah Gallup results were also the subject of a piece at Hot Air where Allahpundit seemed to infer that Gallup was "cooking" their numbers to reflect badly on Palin. After all, it surely wouldn't have anything to do with her inability to vet those that she endorsed - and those that lost big - in the recent midterms.

But as we all know, "Sister Sarah" can do no wrong.

Let's get back to the incoming Tea Bagger class.

Rand Paul is already starting to look like a complete flop, considering his backpedaling on key fiscal issues that he championed on the campaign trail. From the perspective of the big names that were in play before election day, it's looking like Rand is going to have all the light shining on him. With the losses of Angle, O'Donnell, and Miller, the quartet of unhinged voices is now reduced to a solo performance. Rand, most likely, is well aware of this and likely isn't going to be too comfortable being what his easily lead voting block expects him to be - a game changer.

I think it's fair to say that the spin coming from conservatives in the media and across the country is going to be quite dizzying after January gets under way. Have your Dramamine ready, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Exit Question: Is Sarah's Facebook Syllabus" for incoming Freshman on Capital Hill going to be seen as a positive or negative for her? Despite the fact that Palin likely has these posts ghost-written, I would have to say that this is more of a preemptive dose of damage control rather than actual encouragement. After all, when things don't pan out exactly the way Palin and her handlers want this to, they are now going to be able to fall back on the "why didn't you do what mommy told you to" narrative.

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