Opening Act: Beat the Retreat

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 17 2013 8:21 AM

Opening Act: Beat the Retreat

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- I'm spending the end of the week at the House Republicans' annual retreat. The dateline may end up being showy -- much of the day will be spent in a media bubble, a short ways away from the meetings.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Alec MacGillis asks whether the Emergency Committee for Israel is blowing it, in the wake of full-page newspaper ads that haven't much slowed down Hagelmentum.

Most notably, it spent a whopping $823,000 attacking Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin, in ads that called her “extreme” and said she had “called terrorists who attacked Israel innocent victims.” She won. It spent $58,000 attacking John Tierney, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts. He won, despite allegations of family corruption and a strong GOP challenger. It spent $61,000 attacking California Democratic congresswoman Lois Capps. She won.
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One argument (whether or not you buy it) is that ideologically right-wing pro-Israel groups weaken overall support for Israel by alientating Democrats. Barney Frank, a gay, Jewish, left-handed Democrat who should have been the last on the Hagel train, ended up endorsing him explicitly because he didn't want the neocons to win.

We have a second freshman Republican talking about impeaching the president because freedom.

Real talk from Garrett Epps about Richard Posner.

And Peter Baker publishes an oral history of the first Obama term.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.