Will the MSM ever call Republicans out on their extremism?
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

The elder statesmen of nonpartisan political analysis, Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann, took to The Washington Post op-ed pages over the weekend to lay down a challenge for every political reporter: Quit this evenhandedness malarkey and start calling out Republicans as the extremists wrecking American government. It's a message that tickled our hearts at The Prospect; we've tried to hammer the point home over the past few years as the GOP becomes increasingly dominated by its loony fringe, a sect of anarchists dressed in politicians’ clothing who have no interest in serving as governing partners but would rather watch the whole institution (save the Pentagon) burn to the ground. But the mainstream media has hesitated to point out the unprecedented abuse of the filibuster, anonymous holds on appointments, and general hostage-taking in Congress that Ornstein and Mann highlight.

Unfortunately, their message didn't inspire journalists to recalibrate their framing overnight. Today Roll Call published a piece trumpeting a revival of bipartisan lawmaking in the Senate. "Don’t call it a comeback, or even a detente, but a strange thing is happening in the Senate: Democrats and Republicans are working together to pass legislation," the article opened. The evidence? A transportation bill, the Violence Against Women Act, and postal reform. Left unsaid is why Senate Republicans have the freedom to occasionally cooperate with their Democratic colleagues. They no longer need to oppose every single initiative favored by the president; they can shift that responsibility  to the reliably intransigent Republican House majority.

If Senate Republicans had any true interest in crossing the aisles, they would have cooperated during the first two years of President Obama's administration, when they didn't have the safety net of a House populated by rightwing ideologues. Instead, just three voted for the stimulus, another three for financial reform, and not one for health care reform. Even during this current burst of newfound friendship, the Senate GOPers are as resistant as ever when it comes to the confirming Obama's appointees, the one area where they can't fall back on the obstructionist House. The truth is, Republicans on both sides of Congress are still operating from their plan from day one, as articulated by Representative Kevin McCarthy: "We've gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign." Let's hope a few reporters will listen to Ornstein and Mann and begin to take note.


"Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order."

Mitt Romney on the raid against Osama bin Laden  


  • Jonathan Chait spends a few thousand words trying to explain the right—and the media's—fascination with self-proclaimed wonk Paul Ryan.
  • Paul Krugman: "The real story here isn’t so much about Ryan as it is about the fundamental unseriousness of the Very Serious."
  • The Times also ran a front-page story on Ryan, describing him as “a hunting-obsessed gym rat" who loves noodling catfish.
  • If you're an ignorant city slicker like most of us at the Prospect, you'll find this video of noodling catfish quite illuminating.
  • The American Spectator takes issue with the Times article.
  • Kevin Drum sums up Ryan: "Somehow the fact that he quotes budget numbers off the top of his head and refrains from bellowing in public has turned him into a teddy bear in the eyes of much of Washington. Go figure."
  • Even more important than the discussion these two articles started is the controversy surrounding Ryan's waning love for Ayn Rand.



  • As Obama volunteers register voters, they’re grappling with new voter ID laws.
  • The president’s fundraiser with George Clooney is set to take in $10 million.
  • Restore Our Future deletes anti-Newt and anti-Rick ads from its YouTube channel.
  • Jonathan Cohn takes a deep dive into Romney's economic policies.
  • Harry Reid gets the Robert Caro stamp of approval.
  • To the chagrin of national reporters, Iowa Republicans are perfectly satisfied with their caucus and straw poll.

President Obama still has strong support among Jewish voters, despite Republican efforts to peel away the traditionally Democratic constituency. Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, and according to a new poll from the American Jewish Committee, he's retained support from 61 percent. While that might seem like a precipitous drop since last time, Romney isn't doing much better than John McCain in ’08; he only takes 28 percent in the poll.


Copyright © 2011 The American Prospect
1710 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

You are receiving this message because you have indicated you are interested in receiving election 2012 updates from the Prospect. If you would no longer like to receive these updates, click "unsubscribe" below.
Compiled daily by
Patrick Caldwell