No, no need for new vision, better policies, or retooled political rhetoric. The National Republican Congressional Committee has determined that this next election can be won for the GOP by ... vigorously bashing embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel! From PolitickerWA:

The RNCC is attempting to connect local politicians to news stories about ethics issues involving Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), one of the top Democrats in the House. ... Below is the key statement in the press release pertaining to Rep. Brian Baird (D-Vancouver).

"Brian Baird was elected to Congress with the help of dirty money from one of Washington, D.C.'s most blatantly corrupt legislators," said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. "If Baird truly is the ‘independent voice' that he claimed to be on the campaign trail, he'll come forward and join the calls for Charlie Rangel to step down from his committee chairmanship for the benefit of the American people. So far, though, Baird has been conspicuously silent, and he's sending a clear signal to the people of Washington that his idea of being an ‘independent voice' is shirking his responsibilities to his constituents in an effort to stay in good graces with crooked political insiders."

An e-mail sent out regarding Rep. Rick Larsen's (D-Arlington) association with Rangel says virtually the same thing, as do a number of e-mails sent out about congressmen in a number of other states.

--Eve Fairbanks