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The U.S. Capitol is photographed through a chain fence in Washington September 30, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  
One of the eye-opening hallmarks of this latest Obamacare/government shutdown battle has been the steely resolve of the Democrats in both chambers. Admit it, you're as surprised about it as I am. There hasn't been a hint of a waver.

Sure, a handful of Blue Dogs have voted with Republicans in the House, but that's not as much of a problem, since after 2010 there are only a handful of Blue Dogs left. They are pretty irrelevant. The part of the party that matters has been steadier than I've ever seen it in my 11 years of running this joint. It threatens to bring tears to my eyes.

Thus, we have the rare spectacle of a convulsing Republican Party, united in its votes, but tearing itself apart behind closed doors and in the media.

And it's more than standing still. They're going on the offense. For example, it looks like Senate Democrats leaked these private emails from House Speaker John Bohner's staff. Hardball tactics? Damn right. And look what else is up ahead:

I also spoke to a leading Democratic congresscritter over the weekend who told me that, very soon, the Democrats in the Senate will start going through the sequester line-by-line, demanding public votes on funding things like medical research and environmental protections, and sticking Republicans with a choice of being for or against curing, say, Alzheimer's Disease or cancer.
It is time Republicans face the repercussions of their actions. They have been so worried about their Right flank, that their left is wholly exposed to a counterattack, and Democrats are finally charging ahead.

The effects on our country will be difficult, and given the debt limit fight up ahead, could be disastrous. Republicans have chosen this path. There's nothing we can do about that. What we can do is do everything in our power to make sure Republicans pay the price.

So far, so good on that front. Also:

Republicans had a 12 point lead on the generic House ballot with independents on our July poll, that's now a tie:

Originally posted to kos on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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