Bloggers delight in Ron Paul's record haul and ponder the politics behind Michael Mukasey's now sure-fire confirmation. They nod knowingly at news that Obama supporters factored in the end of Stephen Colbert's White House bid.
"Whatever happens in this race, Paul's candidacy has already provided a focus for all of those conservatives who despise the big-spending, unchecked executive, busy-body, Christianist wing of the GOP," writes conservative Paul supporter Andrew Sullivan. Over at the National Review's Corner, conservative David Freddoso sees progress, saying, "Paul's big day is going to win him a second look." Even liberal Glenn Greenwald at Salon sends a (quite lengthy) nod Paul's way: "While Barack Obama toys with the rhetoric of challenging conventional wisdom, Paul's campaign -- for better or worse -- actually does so, and does so in an extremely serious, thoughtful and coherent way."
Many bloggers marveled in the feat itself. Liberal Jerome Armstrong at election-focused MyDD thinks other candidates should emulate Paul in pushing supporters to use existing Web architecture for fund raising: "It's a brilliant tactic. … There is no RonPaul2008.com community. Instead, it exists out on the web, outside the campaign website walls." The DailyKos himself calls Paul's one-day drive "the single biggest example of people-power this cycle … a beautiful thing to behold," though he laments bestowing the honor upon a GOP contender. David Weigel at libertarian Reason's Hit & Run thinks the whole thing is nuts, but in a good way: "Before this campaign, who thought there were tens of thousands of anti-war or isolationist or gold bug Republicans and independents who'd donate to a presidential campaign? Who thought Ron Paul would run TV ads before Rudy Giuliani?"
Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters and fellow righty Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine agree that Republicans have to address Paul's candidacy but reach different conclusions. Mirengoff writes: "Republicans should respond to voters who find Ron Paul appealing with a cold shoulder."
Politico's Jonathan Martin thinks that Paul, like Howard Dean in 2004, "is becoming a vessel with which one can fill with his hopes, dreams, resentments and grievances. He is, in effect, what you want him to be." Martin also wonders whether Paul's supporters are so smitten by his perceived willingness to speak truth to power that they're ignoring his quirkier views. Bryan over at Hot Air agrees that supporters should not disregard Paul's actual views: "The gold standard stuff is not a 'schtick.' Neither are the batty foreign policy or the associations with Alex Jones et al. That's who Ron Paul is."
Read more on the fund-raising blitz.
Confirmation, confirmed: The Senate judiciary committee voted 11-8 Tuesday in favor of sending attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey on to the full Senate, where he is expected to be confirmed by Thanksgiving. Two Democrats, Charles Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California, joined the panel's nine Republicans in voting for Mukasey, whose unwillingness to definitively call water-boarding illegal had threatened his nomination.
Liberal Atrios sees more evidence that the Democrats are unable to stand up to President Bush, even when the public agrees with them. But Wall Street Journal law blogger Peter Lattman admires how Schumer managed the situation: "Say what you want about New York Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, the guy is a skilled politician."
Others discussed a last-minute letter sent to the Senate, signed by two dozen military and intelligence officials, diplomats, and law-enforcement officials, asking the judiciary committee to hold off voting until Mukasey clarifies his position on torture. Cockney Robin at Buck Naked Politics sounds an exasperated note in discussing the letter's failure to forestall a vote: "The letter is signed by an array of persons whose credentials to speak on this subject and cumulative should surely, in and of themselves, reduce any rational opposition---emphasis on 'rational'--- to silence." But Bluto over at the Jawa Report discredits the signatories as "people who have been 'distinguished' by partisan activity and relentless self-promotion."
Colbert gets Obama'd: Stephen Colbert's bid for the White House ended this week when South Carolina refused to add him to their primary ballot. According to reports, phone calls to prominent South Carolina Democratic Party officials from Obama supporters were partly to blame.
Jim Newell at Wonkette was far from surprised: "Who can blame the Obama supporters for their worries? The big demographic here is college students, who base their votes on which candidate is (a) more of a black person and (b) more of a late night comedian." Kinaesthesia over at Colbert fan-blog the No-Fact Zone found the move particularly humorless: "I guess he'd rather see the 'Report' back on the air than have to deal with Stephen in his voter pool."
Read more on Colbert vs. Obama.