[O]n Meet the Press this weekend, Todd made this even more explicit, accusing Republicans of “trying to sabotage the law.” The current GOP campaign isn’t just about opposing the law or arguing for its repeal. It’s about making it harder for uninsured Americans to gain access to coverage under a law passed and signed by a democratically elected Congress and President, and upheld by the Supreme Court, in service of the political goal of making it a greater liability for Democrats in the 2014 elections (the law, after all, isn’t going to get repealed). This is not typical opposition, and its good to hear this stated outright by someone as respected inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd. The only mystery is why more journalists aren’t willing to point it out. After all, Republicans are making this basic reality harder and harder to ignore.Now, this isn't new -- Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein have been at it for some time now. But it's worth noting that it may be spreading.
It's still not clear whether it matters. Well, it certainly matters if Republicans think it does -- if they believe that it's in their interest to keep those neutral-Washington types from taking sides. If, however, Republicans simply re-categorize everyone who calls them out as vicious partisans, then they'll ignore the criticism.
Otherwise...I don't know. I could matter, around the edges, electorally, if the neutral press is willing to describe many Republicans as ideologically extreme (although note that what's at stake here isn't in fact ideological non-mainstreamness, but instead basically a willingness to play by the norms).
My best guess about the real danger of this for Republicans has been that GOP-aligned interest groups who are not being well-served by the strategy might bolt. To the extent that press coverage might encourage them to believe that their disappointments are part of something systematically wrong with the GOP, and not just the kind of temporary setbacks that happen all the time, then things like this could accelerate some sort of interest-group reaction.
At any rate: nice catch!