The White House appears within reach of winning enough votes to approve a new arms control treaty with Russia. Nine Republicans are now on record supporting the treaty or signaling that they could support it in a vote this month. The shift in momentum in the last week has been striking. Before Thanksgiving, it looked like the treaty might not get approved before the departing Congress leaves at the end of the year due to the resistance of Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the lead Republican negotiator who has said there was not enough time to address his concerns.
Empowered by their election gains, Congressional Republicans are giving little ground to President Obama and weakened Democrats in the final weeks of the 111th Congress, imperiling Democratic efforts to pass major tax and spending legislation, unemployment aid and a nuclear nonproliferation treaty among other issues.
Mr. Boehner placed Republicans and Democrats alike in the cross hairs, arguing that both parties had engaged in the sins of earmarking, overreaching and partisan pettiness. Mr. Boehner was perhaps trying to appeal to an electorate weary of partisan bickering and legislative inaction and to respond directly to the calls for changing the system that have fueled many Tea Party candidates this year and President Obama s campaign in 2008.
"We need to prove to the Republican Party that we need to move it to the right, that we need to move back to good basic values and the Constitution," said Lynn Brannon, a leading Tea Party activist in Delaware. "I will have a little bit of regret, but the Republicans need to learn their lesson: that we want things to go back to the right."
Outside groups supporting Republican candidates in House and Senate races across the country have been swamping their Democratic-leaning counterparts on television since early August as the midterm election season has begun heating up.
WASHINGTON - Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, drew fierce criticism and a call for his resignation on Friday after declaring at a party fund-raiser that the United States was on the wrong side of history with its conflict in Afghanistan, a military fight he called "a war of Obama s choosing."
Paul is a libertarian, certainly, but more importantly he s a particular kind of a libertarian. He s culturally conservative (opposing both abortion and illegal immigration), radically noninterventionist (he s against the Iraq war and the United Nations), and so stringently constitutionalist that he views nearly everything today s federal government does as a violation of the founding fathers vision.
Rand Paul s win in the Republican Senate primary here is the first authentic Tea Party victory a candidate from the movement, powered by it. But Mr. Paul s campaign from now to November will present the young movement its toughest test yet as voters focus on what the Tea Party is for, rather than what it is against