Our theme today is desperation, which seems to be gripping our nation's capital. Last night the House of Representatives voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress because she asserted her right not to answer their questions, a final desperate attempt to get people angry about yet another scandal that didn't turn out nearly as scandalous as they had hoped. Republicans may carry around copies of the Constitution in their pockets, but that Fifth Amendment can be awfully annoying.
- Republicans are also desperate for America to understand that their select committee on Benghazi will not just be a bunch of grandstanding and feigned outrage, producing nothing. "The goal here will be to select serious, sober-minded members who will make this about finding answers to some troubling questions and will not make this a partisan shouting match," an anonymous aide told Politico. "We’re not going to convene a kangaroo court." What would ever have made people think such a thing?
- In a particularly creative example of conservatives' desperate attempt to deny the reality of climate change, Charles Krauthammer says that agreeing with the consensus of thousands of studies on rising temperatures is really just magical thinking. "It's the oldest superstition around. It was in the Old Testament, it's in the rain dance of Native Americans—if you sin, the skies will not cooperate." Yeah, it's just like that.
- Speaking of which, Florida is already seeing the effects of climate change, with rising sea levels causing flooding, and things will only get more desperate. But the state's three most prominent Republicans—Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio, and former Gov. Jeb Bush—are desperate to avoid talking about the subject, despite what's happening in their own state, because as Republicans they're supposed to believe climate change is a hoax.
- When Jim DeMint took over the Heritage Foundation a year ago, he quickly set about turning a relatively respected think tank into a hackish political operation. And now, Heritage is starting its own news organization. "We plan to do political and policy news," said the new site's publisher, desperately trying to keep a straight face, "not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism."
- According to the Associated Press, in 2016, Republicans are desperate not to repeat the clown show that was the 2012 primary, which featured approximately eight thousand debates. "A frequent complaint inside the RNC headquarters is that the 2012 primary moderators were more interested in talking about differences among candidates than helping voters rally behind a favored candidate." Right—what you want is debate moderators who help voters rally behind the party's favored candidate.