What are they putting in the water at the freshman GOP caucus meetings? First, Minnesota freshman congresswoman Michele Bachmann told Chris Matthews that Obama probably had "anti-American views" and called for a broad investigation into anti-Americanism in both chambers of Congress, triggering a denunciation from none other than Colin Powell and enabling the lamest defense of a politician by her flack ever: "Michele Bachmann, people either love her or they hate her," her spokeswoman told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Then this happened, courtesy of freshman GOP representative Bill Sali in Idaho:
Congressman Bill Sali and his campaign staff disrupted a NewsChannel 7 reporter and a representative for his opponent during an interview Tuesday in Downtown Boise. KTVB reporter Ysabel Bilbao was interviewing Walt Minnick's campaign director John Foster Wednesday afternoon. During the interview, someone loudly yelled and was laughing during the interview at the Grove plaza. Bilbao and Foster initially ignored the intrusion, but quickly noticed the source of the heckling -- Sali and members of his staff.
Foster said he saw Sali making faces at him and holding up “bunny ears.”
Bachmann's comment overwhelmed her Democratic opponent with donations, while the dismal local coverage of Sali's heckling caused CQ to upgrade his race's competitiveness. Neither must make national Republicans happy, but it's hard to feel sorry for them on account of their renegade freshmen: The party at large made this particular bed of pain. The GOP eagerly promoted Bachmann, a rhetorical protege of Michael Savage, as one of the party's big rising stars, prizing her nyah-nyah attitude towards Democrats over political good sense. As for Sali -- well, who can blame him for following the behavioral example his comrades-in-arms have set at recent rallies for the Republican presidential candidate?