Lightning Round: Conservatives Uncover Fiendish Government Plot to Spend Money on Infrastructure.

  • Mitch McConnell explains the governing strategy of his political party: "If the president is willing to do what I and my members would do anyway, we're not going to say no." In other words, McConnell doesn't believe in politics. You know, give and take, compromise, deal-making -- all that stuff. I'm surprised he believes in democratic government at all. I mean, why bother having elections if sometimes people end up choosing representatives who aren't Republicans?
  • President-in-waiting John Thune takes a foray into political philosophy: "When the President talks in his speech about investment, the American people need to understand that translates into spending." You lost me, professor. Are you telling me that the government spends money on things? I'm shocked. You know, when I watched Tim Pawlenty's awesome video about Americans doing awesome things, I just assumed going to the moon, winning wars, etc., never cost the American taxpayer a dime. But now, now I just don't know what to think.
  • There is something to this Ron Brownstein piece describing the Republican presidential field as divided between managers and populists, and as Ramesh Ponnuru points out, not only does having a college degree determine voting preference, but the Republican Party has become increasingly dependent on voters who lack a college education. Off the cuff, I'd say this will lead to a situation where more populist Republicans win the nomination, then have to act like managers to win the general election. Not sure how well that will work out.
  • Remainders: The balanced-budget amendment is back, and it's still a terrible idea; letting the Patriot Act expire would be great, but I'm not holding my breath; this "cable news fact-checking right-wing nonsense" phenomenon is new to me; and Matt Bai thinks Barack Obama has not successfully availed himself of the Internet as a communications tool, but fails to argue why, exactly.

--Mori Dinauer