Lightning Round: Zero to Wingnut in Eight Months.

  • Responding to anonymous sources cited in a New York Times article on Harry Reid's "quarterbacking" of health care reform legislation, a spokesman for the Senate majority leader emphatically denied that Reid plans to scuttle the public option in order to appease Senate "moderates."
  • I think most liberals would agree that Democrats have not done enough to curb Wall Street's excesses or institute a more stringent regulatory regime. But from the point of view of our financial overlords, Dems have already gone way too far and are now paying a price for it: "Democratic political committees have seen a decline in their fundraising fortunes this year, a result of complacency among their rank-and-file donors and a de facto boycott by many of their wealthiest givers, who have been put off by the party's harsh rhetoric about big business."
  • Looking back at the Take Back America Conference in St. Louis this weekend, my main impression about the conservative shindig is that the Republicans who associated themselves with it should never be given any real power in government. Here's Michele Bachmann blathering about "one-world currency." Here's Mike Huckabee engaging in some time-honored substanceless U.N.-bashing. Nothing new, but it still astonishes me how sharply to the right the GOP has allowed itself to be pulled, and with such obvious glee.
  • For contextualizing the previous, I highly recommend Conor Friedersdorf's ruminations on what the conservative movement's embrace of Glenn Beck means for conservative political discourse and how their tolerance for cranks and intolerance for apostates is a deadly cocktail.
  • Weekend Remainders: At this rate, the remaining members of the Chamber of Commerce are destined to be a radical rump; Limbaugh inspires some white supremacists to march for "white civil rights," and the 2010 wave runs into another problem.

--Mori Dinauer