As I read Ben Wallace-Wells's big Tom Cole profile, to run in this weekend's NYT Magazine, I found myself wishing it were a different story, not about Cole but about his enemies. Cole, the head of the beleaguered NRCC, is just ... so ... boring. He's utterly Alfred E. Neumann-ish in his bland, happy-go-lucky attitude about this fall's dire Republican prospects (typical Cole sentiment: "I believe that [America] is still a center-right country, and I think this election will show that"). The absence of any human insight from Cole's opinions is so marked it's astonishing. ("The biggest problem with earmarks is the potential for corruption.")

But the wrath of conservative activists against him and against the party is another matter! There's very little of that in the story, but the few details that do appear are amazing:

Many conservative activists have become so dissatisfied with the party's heresies, particularly on immigration and government spending, that as Cole's staff took over, the committee's fund-raising pleas were being ignored and, on at least one occasion, returned in an envelope stuffed with feces. 

Wow. In case you didn't know, it's illegal to mail feces.

--Eve Fairbanks