The Tea Party's 'War on Competence and Professionalism'

Plus: Frank Rich on the Useful Idiots of the GOP

Frank Rich on the "Useful Idiots" of the GOP

"By latching on to O'Donnell's growing presence, the Rove-Boehner-McConnell establishment can claim it represents struggling middle-class Tea Partiers rather than Wall Street potentates and corporate titans. O'Donnell's value is the same as that other useful idiot, Michael Steele, who remains at the Republican National Committee only because he can wave the banner of 'diversity' over a virtually all-white party that alternately demonizes African-Americans, Latinos, gays and Muslims." - From Frank Rich's column of October 3.

The Tea Party's "War on Competence and Professionalism"

"I want to go back to the Michael Castle-Christine O'Donnell difference, which is Michael Castle was a professional, not even a politician. He was a professional legislator. He was a serious guy. He thought about this stuff a lot. You may think he's right or wrong. But it also strikes me that there's a kind of war on competence and professionalism going on here. And these insurgent candidates, one of the biggest things they have to advertise is, they've never done it before." - Times Magazine contributor James Traub on the October 7 edition of the CNN talk show "Parker-Spitzer."

Adam Nagourney Reliably Purveys Democratic Campaign Points

"The episode has proved a distracting embarrassment that has raised questions about Ms. Whitman's credibility and has threatened to derail a key element of any strategy to win election in a largely Democratic state: appealing to Latino voters. As she has sought to explain what happened, Ms. Whitman said she had fired the housekeeper on the spot, even as she described the maid as a close part of her family, and seemed undisturbed by the idea that her onetime friend and employee might be deported." - Reporter Adam Nagourney on a trumped-up Democratic controversy involving Republican candidate Meg Whitman's housekeeper, October 2.

Psst, Hey I.R.S! Check Out These Secretive Republican Groups!

"Nevertheless, several Republican-leaning nonprofit advocacy organizations, in particular, have begun over the last month to be more aggressive in their approach, explicitly asking for voters to cast their ballots for or against candidates. It remains to be seen whether the I.R.S. or the elections commission will scrutinize their actions more closely." - Michael Luo, October 8.

If Only We'd Heeded the Nonpartisan Warnings of Obama the Wise

"In January, during his first State of the Union address, President Obama predicted that a U.S. Supreme Court decision would 'open the floodgates' of money into campaigns. He warned against elections that are 'bankrolled' by powerful interests. Now that flood of cash has arrived, mostly into new organizations that are working on behalf of Mr. Obama's adversaries and are not required to disclose their donors. The money is helping Republican candidates take advantage of a wave of anger and dissatisfaction across the country." - Michael Shear's October 7 post on the paper's political blog "The Caucus."

A Tale of Two Controversial Candidates

"A Florida Lawmaker Not Known for Subtlety, and Proud of It." - October 6 headline over a story by inflammatory Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson.

"Paladino, Angry Crusader Against Albany, Has Aides With Tainted Pasts." - September 29 headline over a story about controversial Republican gubernatorial candidate of New York State.

Palin Flubs Still a Source of Knee-Jerk Mirth

"Was it a Sarah Palin moment? Christine O'Donnell, the Republican Senate candidate in Delaware, stumbled during the debate tonight when asked for a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that she disagreed with. 'I know that there are a lot,' she said. But she couldn't come up with one, evoking memories of Katie Couric's 2008 interview with Ms. Palin when she could not identify newspapers or magazines that she read." - From the top of Michael Shear's October 13 posting on the paper's political blog "The Caucus."

Republican Toomey "Glad to Stoke the Fury" of Ignorant G.O.P. Voters

"The voters of Pennsylvania are angry at Washington. And Pat Toomey, the Republican nominee for United States Senate, is glad to stoke the fury....Some of his assertions are fair. Some are a stretch but defensible. Others are false, like Mr. Toomey's claim that a recent law passed by Congress to aid small businesses would have the federal government buy a stake in local banks. The bill would channel government-backed loans through the banks. Details, however, are beside the point. Anger is defining this race." - David Herszenhorn, October 11.

Krugman on the "Seriously Strange People" of the Tea Party

"There are some seriously strange people running, thanks to the Tea Party....It's not just suspicion of government. We have people out there believing that this basically centrist moderate President we have is a socialist bringing Sharia law to America. None of that is rational." -
Columnist Paul Krugman on the October 10 edition of ABC's This Week