Talk Box: McConnell’s Earmark Flip Encourages at Least One Liberal


Mitch McConnell’s sudden capitulation to Jim DeMint’s anti-earmark crusade got the cable-news pundits excited about how much sway the tea-party caucus really has over the seemingly weakened Republican leader and whether their quick victory is a sign of more changes in the way business gets done in Washington. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is fascinated by the power slash fear that the tea party has instilled in McConnell and incumbent Republicans, while Chris Hayes of The Nation suspects that it could all just be a distraction, but he’s “so desperate to see the political system react to voter input” that he finds the status quo’s disruption encouraging. If the tea party isn’t enough of a headache for McConnell, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is happy to point out the problems he may encounter thanks to George W. Bush’s accusations that the minority leader was scolding Democrats for pushing withdrawal from Iraq while he lobbied the former president to do the same in order to avoid GOP losses in the 2006 midterms. Watch our compilation to see what you missed.