KEVIN WARNS REPUBLICANSBY MAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMESThe Tea Party has many strong points: fiscal sanity, orderly demonstrations and a penchant for cleanliness that the Occupy Wall Street group should try to emulate. But they must understand they are part of the Republican defense against the president. ... A lot is at stake in the next election: the Supreme Court, federal regulations on business, the American way of life. We should look at Europe (which the president so greatly admires) and ask if we want that to happen to us. In five years, it will be too late. If you think you’re better off now than you were four years ago, be sure to order “La Dolce Vita” and “The Fall of the Roman Empire” from Netflix.
MR. PAUL'S DISCREDITED CAMPAIGNEDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESRon Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now, making things worse, he has failed to convincingly repudiate racist remarks that were published under his name for years — or the enthusiastic support he is getting from racist groups.AMERICANS ELECT: A WILD CARD FOR THE INTERNET AGEBY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POSTEffective third-party candidacies thrive when focused around a charismatic candidate — Perot, Teddy Roosevelt. Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, the only announced candidate so far, doesn’t fit that bill. Michael Bloomberg, are you listening? ... A report by the centrist Democratic group Third Way shows registration among independents up significantly. Absent a nominee, it’s hard to game out which party might benefit, although, as Third Way notes, independents are key to the president’s reelection bid. Conversely, to the extent that third parties tend to be an outlet for anti-incumbent sentiment, the group could drain away votes from the Republican nominee. In this grumpy time, Americans Elect is a phenomenon worth watching.OBAMACARE'S LATEST CASUALTYEDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALDemocrats will now have to scramble to find another candidate in a year when the GOP Presidential nominee is likely to carry the state. Democrats are talking up former Senator Bob Kerrey, but he's lived in New York City for years. Mr. Nelson's retirement means Republicans are closer to picking up the four seats they'll need to retake the Senate in 2012. It's also a reminder that when Democrats govern from the left, they do so at the cost of the red state Members needed to build a majority.IOWA WILL CLAIM GOP SCALPSBY RICH GALENDAILY BEASTGingrich claimed at the beginning of December, in an interview with ABC News: "I'm going to be the nominee. It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.” This past week he figured out the “expectation game” by saying, “My goal is to be the top three or four” in Iowa. Gingrich has not had the money to fire back with ads of his own, and so has had to resort to claiming he will only run a positive campaign. That strategy is mindful of the old legal saying “If the facts are not on your side, argue the law. If the law is not on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, call your opponent names.”