Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elsewhere: Boehner, Cruz, more

Over at the Post this week...I think I'll pull a quote from today's PP post:
We can’t know for sure, at least on the evidence we have right now, whether Boehner was following the wishes of the majority of his conference on October 1 or on October 16. But what evidence we have strongly suggests he was. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the shutdown and debt-limit fiasco, but any account which focuses mainly on Boehner is probably letting both the moderates and the mainstream conservatives — in other words, most House Republicans — off far too easy.

More on extortion for the sake of extortion

Why this is bad for Ted Cruz's nomination hopes

And looking ahead to January


  1. If the party begins to poll negatively, I wonder if they'll throw the baby out with the bathwater and rid themselves of Boehner in an effort to create the perception of unity; he's the only true potential scape-goat, though we have seen Cruz getting much of the public blame.

  2. Your Post piece on Republicans' use of the shutdown to justify extortion for the sake of extortion strikes me as fitting in with your suggestion that Republicans' post-policy priorities are hurting their ability to govern. If we were talking solely about the policy and political preferences of the Republican Party, yes, they gained some token research into verification of income verification requirements for health care subsidies, and a bunch of Republican congresspeople managed to up their conservative credentials. In order to get those two benefits (neither of which is actual substantial policy), they had to spend two weeks without crucial government services that even most Republicans support, the country got dangerously close to default, the financial markets and ratings agencies became spooked, Congressional Republicans are getting the lion's share of blame for the shutdown in neutral media and public polling, their caucus is split and sniping at each other in the media, they have suffered immense embarrassment and brand deterioration, they appear incompetent to the general populace, in the end they were forced into accepting roughly the same deal the Democrats offered before the government shut down, and the moderate Republicans are now being criticized by crazies and charlatans who will complain that the RINOs sold them out (even though this is not even close to true). For most Republicans, this was an easily avoidable policy loss brought about by the desire for extortion for the sake of extortion. Failing to pass legislation that is obviously not zero-sum counts must count as a failure of post-policy Republican governance. One of two things must have happened: either party actors failed to foresee the severe damage that would unfold, or they made an active decision to allow the damage because their party rewards taking stands over enacting preferred policy, right?


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