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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

THE BATTLE LINES

"For the politically challenged, let me spell it out: R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. This country is in a state of upheaval," says Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, citing Christine ODonnell's victory in the Delaware Senate primary. "The liberal establishment in both parties has every reason to groan. Its days are numbered. Ring the bells. Out with the old, in with the new. These are exciting and oh, so encouraging times."

But alas, jubilation must be short-lived. One entrenched foe is at hand: The mainstream press is not keen on "tea party" favorites like Miss O'Donnell, and are ready to rumble. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, for example, admitted she was "despondent" in Tuesday's aftermath and called Miss O'Donnell's victory "scary." MSNBC's Rachel Maddow also had much to say post-primaries, showcasing a 1996 MTV video that features the faith-minded candidate - then of college age - professing her disapproval of masturbation.

"The liberal press is out of control. They absolutely despise the tea party movement, and the whole world is witnessing their poisonous coverage. Theyre out to destroy these conservative candidates and their weapon is character assassination. They are making a mockery of the term 'journalists.' They are Obama hacks, through and through," adds Mr. Bozell, who on Wednesday night launched his retaliation - www.tellthetruth2010.org - to counter the liberal media push.

WHAT'S OUT THERE

Uber-progressive and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas has timed the release of his new book "American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right" to the midterm elections, to show, he says "what we're up against." He means Republicans, conservatives and the tea party among other things.

"I've got to say, I think this is my best book yet. In the book, I show how the modern conservative movement has taken on the same attitudes and tactics of the Taliban, from their fetishization of violence and guns to their elevation of brute masculinity, love of theocracy, hatred of women and gays, fear of scientific progress and education, and disdain for popular culture," Mr. Moulitsas says.

"Think about it. Both movements are dedicated to the unbridled pursuit of power at all costs, have little tolerance for the trappings of democracy, and quickly resort to violence when challenged. Hardly the principles for which America stands," he adds.

BIDEN TIME

It didn't happen for Al Gore. Yet. But Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s pop culture currency is growing. ABC is developing an hour-long prime-time drama revolving around a vice president, a first. Hollywood has long favored "West Wing"-style melodramas about presidents instead.

The veep-inspired adventure comes with "a strong dose of comedy" say developers, focused on the "underdog nature of the veep's team," office shenanigans and a romance between the female chief of staff and the vice president's son. Surely, there is a role in here for Meghan McCain.

"Joe Biden, call your agent," advises Variety writer Michael Schneider

LOLLAR RISING

So it will be Lollar Vs. Hoyer when Nov. 2 dawns. Conservative Charles Lollar, a former combat Marine who could prove the toughest challenger to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in decades, won the Republican primary in Marylands 5th Congressional District. His political surge has begun, buoyed by a grass-roots affection of those who responded to Mr. Lollar's call for a "new day" of fiscal sensibility in his state.

He also exercises a new brand of civility that has resonated with voters, and provides a teachable moment for fellow candidates.

"Don't forget the eyes you looked into and the promises you made," Mr. Lollar says. "I also want everyone to know that I am not in this race to make personal attacks on my opponent or anyone else in Congress or the current administration. We disagree with them on issues but personal attacks will have no place in my campaign."

HEALTHY DOSE

Those put off - or alarmed - by the AARP have a new alternative. The Alliance for Retirement Prosperity Association, billed as "a true conservative alternative to AARP's left-wing agenda" is officially in business.

"The alliance will offer seniors more discounts on a wider range of higher quality products and services. It also will provide a powerful and effective alternative for seniors and boomers across the country who are sick and tired of watching AARP spend their hard-earned money on its hard-left agenda," says economist Lawrence Hunter, newly minted president.

With a modest $16 annual fee, the for-profit membership association is targeted to politically moderate-to-conservative consumers disaffected with AARP, which Mr. Hunter characterizes as "a monopolistic, one-size-fits all, endorsed-products approach."

Among the services: Medicare Supplemental insurance, prescription drug coverage, individual health, life, homeowners and auto insurance, pet insurance and travel insurance, financial services, travel discounts, job search service, assorted discounts. See the details here: http://wethealliance.com.

POLL DU JOUR

  • 59 percent of Americans say it is "unacceptable" to walk away from a mortgage payment.
  • 71 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats agree.
  • 19 percent overall say it is "acceptable" to walk away from the payment.
  • 11 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.
  • 17 percent say the decision "depends" on circumstances.
  • 13 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats agree.
  • 21 percent overall say they are "underwater" (owe more on their homes than it is currently worth).

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 2,967 adults conducted May 11 to 21 and released Wednesday.

  • Grumbles, mumbles and revelations to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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