Unfortunately I've spent a few long days writing the stuff I actually get paid to write, which means I'm out of words and I will have to throw link salad at you today.
1. Speaking of "enduring appeal", how about that Tea Party? Here's a real photo of a recent TP event in South Carolina. Granted, keynote carny Donald Trump canceled at the last minute…but even minus the headliner you'd think they could get more than the estimated "crowd" of 15 to show up.
2. The upcoming election is going to see a revival of the 2004 Karl Rove strategy of driving up far right turnout by putting gay marriage referendums on the ballot in key states. I question the wisdom of that from a political perspective. It's only a matter of time until one of these measures gets defeated, and you have to wonder if it will happen in Minnesota. That's just the kind of population to be more annoyed than enthused by this sort of red meat being thrown at Bible thumpers. Social attitudes about gay issues are changing rapidly and it's possible that the GOP is going back to the well one too many times with this trick.
3. Give it a few more weeks and penis cancer will have a higher approval rating than Rick Scott.
4. David Frum has a very interesting commentary on the right shooting itself in the foot with the wildly unpopular Paul Ryan budget; party activists demand that candidates swear fealty to it under penalty of death (ask Gingrich), all but guaranteeing that they'll be radioactive to voters outside of the GOP base. I caution against reading too much into special elections, but the numbers from NY-26 are alarming to conservatives like Frum who can think about things and understand numbers.
5. Watch Rob Woodall, the GOP Rep who made waves earlier this week by telling a constituent to "take responsibility" for her own health care rather than asking the government to give her Medicare. When questioned about why he doesn't lead by example and decline the government health plan (note: He has repeatedly advocated abolishing not only Medicare but all employee-provided health insurance as well) in favor of going out and purchasing his own insurance – like he tells his constituents to do. His brilliant response? "Because it's free." I haven't seen a man eat a bullet on video like that since Budd Dwyer.