I hope an important piece out today from Ed Kilgore, James Vega, and J.P. Green gets plenty of attention. They argue that the Republican Party has embraced a “politics as warfare” approach – not Tea Party, grass roots Republicans, but elite Washington politicians and operatives. I have a few criticisms I could make, but their point about the “establishment” is a good one: there’s a tendency to assume that it’s always the yahoos out there in the country somewhere that are the problem, but what’s wrong with the Republican Party now is very much about their leaders, not the rank-and-file.
On to the other good stuff:
1. I realize it’s not exactly news, but related to the point above, Newt Gingrich remains a blowhard and a demagogue, as Luke Johnson reports.
2. Dean Baker doesn’t believe in the military spending fairy, and doesn’t think you should either: “During a downturn where there are lots of unemployed workers, any government spending will create jobs, regardless of whether or not it is on the military.”
3. If you want to know How Rick Perry’s Tax Plan Would Affect You, see Catherine Rampell’s tables from the Tax Policy Center.
4. And Steve Benen catches Perry promising to provide recession-level job growth if only you’ll elect him.
5. I highly recommend E.J. Graff’s essay on abortion, choice, and a pro-choice view of celebrating life. Today’s must-read, whether you agree or not.
6. Family farms are still not in danger from estate taxes, as Paul Waldman reminds us.
7. A very useful clarification on how many Americans will have health insurance once (and if) ACA is fully implemented, from Sarah Kliff.
8. Justin Elliot talks to Michael Kazin about the Occupy movement.
9. The key difference between the Occupy folks and the anti-globalization movement in the 1990s? Matt Yglesias is right; the Occupy stuff is just better policy analysis.
10. Ari Berman follows up Greg’s epic takedown with more about Paul Ryan: Class Warrior for the Wealthy.
11. Paul Krugman doesn’t see why politicians shouldn’t talk about the effects of the other party’s policies.
12. Atrios adds an excellent point to what Krugman said.
13. Kevin Drum positions GOP tax rhetoric squarely within the culture war, a good theme he’s been pushing recently. I think he’s right, although it’s important to remember that GOP tax policy really has produced lower rates for rich people, and will no doubt do so again should President Romney or Perry have Republican Congress. Even if the more fanciful ideas are going nowhere.
14. Mark Bluthenthal finds that GOP party actors are whistling past the graveyard; they don’t see Herman Cain as an electoral loser should he get nominated. Interesting.
15. Updates on war-on-voting items around the country from Amy Friend.
16. And Dave Weigel explains how hits on Elizabeth Warren work.