PANIC IN THE RANKS….The sense of panic among Republicans after their congressional loss in Louisiana on Tuesday is pretty remarkable. Here’s Scott Reed, a former RNC official: “Republican leadership needs to really take a good look in the mirror. They’re taking the party off the cliff.” And Tom DeLay: “”We haven’t hit bottom yet. I’ve never seen members so frustrated or demoralized.”

There’s plenty more where that came from, and the most popular response seems to be a stampede by everyone to run away from everyone else. John McCain doesn’t want to be associated with Congress, the GOP congressional caucus doesn’t want to be associated with George Bush, and Bush himself is on autopilot, currently in Israel accusing Democrats of being the heirs of Neville Chamberlain. Meanwhile everyone agrees that the Republican “brand” is now toxic. Maybe they need a new slogan?