BLASTS FROM THE PAST…. We all say and do things we regret in hindsight. Some are more embarrassing than others. Take for example, Commerce Secretary-designate Judd Gregg’s votes to eliminate the Commerce Department.

Gregg’s 1995 votes were cast for the fiscal 1996 budget resolution, a nonbinding blueprint that outlined the GOP’s fiscal priorities after Republicans won full control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

The Senate version of the controversial measure envisioned spending cuts of more than $960 billion, almost half of it from Medicare and Medicaid. Democratic efforts to amend it were uniformly rebuked by a united GOP majority on the Budget Committee. […]

Gregg also fought President Bill Clinton’s efforts to increase funding for the Commerce Department to administer the 2000 census. Indeed, Gregg’s commitment to basic functions of the department has been questioned at times.

Since of the days of Gingrich’s so-called “revolution,” Gregg has come around, and has actually voted to fund the Commerce Department. Indeed, if he didn’t support its continued existence, Gregg probably wouldn’t have given up his Senate seat to head the cabinet agency. Still, the fact that he twice backed eliminating the department altogether is kind of amusing in light of today’s announcement.

And speaking of embarrassing blasts from the past, this 1986 ad from Tom Daschle looks pretty humiliating today.

For those who can’t watch clips online, the ad shows then-Rep. Daschle driving around D.C. in his beat up 1971 Pontiac, not like those politicians who drive around in “BMWs and limos.” The narrator tells the viewer, “[A]fter 15 years and 238,000 miles, Tom Daschle still drives his old car to work every day. Maybe he’s sentimental — or just cheap. Whatever the case, isn’t it too bad the rest of Washington doesn’t understand that a penny saved … is a penny earned.”

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.