After nonstop debating for months, the Republicans have hit a wall, with just one debate scheduled in February – and now, after Mitt Romney said he would pass on it, the only debate scheduled in March before Super Tuesday has been scrapped. I wonder if this means that Team Romney is seeing some good news in the Michigan polls that the rest of us haven’t seen. . . or if the campaign workers are just more worried about their candidate’s ability to hold his own than I’d expect them to be. At any rate, it’s going to be mass campaigning from here on out, I guess.
1. A great column by Brendan Nyhan on why reporters should give up the idea of candidate “authenticity.” I agree: The search for who the “real” Romney is, or who the “real” anyone is, asks the wrong question.
2. On the other hand, it’s also true that we can pick up some clues to future governing style from past actions. For that, consider Andrew Sprung’s take on Mitt Romney as…a community organizer?
3. Of course, Jonathan Chait points out that Romney’s real danger is the upcoming surge of Genghis Khan.
4. And a taste of what Romney is going to face in the general election on Detroit: Taegan Goddard has the DNC video.
5. Josh Putnam goes deep into the weeds on Republican procedures for delegate selection.
6. For excellent coverage and analysis of all today’s birth control developments, go to Sarah Posner’s terrific article: Shazam!
7. Adele Stan asks a great question: “Has Obama Exposed the Powerlessness of the US Bishops?
8. Steve Benen has more on whether Scott Brown is just ignorant on the bill he’s backing.
9. As the underwear bomber is sentenced to life, Adam Serwer explains how the reaction to his attack turned a pathetic failure into a success.
10. Fighting torture.
11. Kevin Drum defends Marco Rubio on the recent Politifact/Rachel Maddow question of whether Rubio was lying when he called the U.S. “majority” conservative. I think he’s got a point. However, question for Drum: What about the rest of Rubio’s speech?
12. Larry Bartels: Poor whites are not conservative. With bonus discussion of how to kill zombies.
13. Oh, gosh. . . you’re going to be hearing about the Evil Nanny State Thugs who are interfering with preschool kids’ lunches, so you might as well go over to Mark Thompson to hear about what actually happened, and what the conservative propaganda machine has morphed it into (via Drum).
14. And Andrew Sullivan is brutal to Republicans who tell teleprompter jokes.