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Well, two things, actually: Control of the House in the next session, and the 2014 GOP primaries.

I'm reminded of parenting teenagers (and I had four at the same time -- I speak from experience here).  When the argument reaches the stage where the protagonist is incoherent, it usually means there's a different and far more basic objection.  That's where we are here, in GOP incoherency.  Why?  Well, for starters, all those GOP House members we assume will vote for a clean CR have the sword of Damocles hanging over their necks, in the form of a primary challenge from the right.  When the Chamber of Commerce announce they'd consider funding GOP moderates in the next election cycle, that took off some of the edge; but if the Koch-fueled orgs match or exceed with their own fire-breathers, at a minimum the last of the GOP moderates face exceedingly expensive primaries in 2014.  We all assume Boehner is bluffing to keep his job; it's just as likely some of those GOP members the MSM has whipped in support of a clean CR are doing the exact same thing.  Sure, it might not make a difference -- they might face a well-funded Democratic opponent -- but at least they'll have money for the fall campaign.  Boehner may be stalling a vote in part to help those members; after all, he'd rather have them in a majority than yet more Tea Partiers.

That brings me to my second point.  Boehner is perilously close to losing the House majority.  In fact, he probably loses it if he allows votes on a clean CR and a clean debt ceiling raise.  If the CR passes, it virtually guarantees hard-right challenges; if it fails, it likely results in better chances for Democratic challengers.  Either way, Boehner loses.

In a sentence, then: Boehner's only hope of keeping a GOP majority in the House come 2015 is to prevent clean votes on the CR and the debt ceiling.  The ball's in our court to force the issue.  I've been saying for a while that I didn't see a way to take the House; now I do, but it depends on forcing Boehner's hand.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, hnichols, forgore, Sun Tzu, gfv6800, terabytes

    "Get over it...and get out of the way." -- Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)

    by mspicata on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 11:44:42 AM PDT

  •  When all the ACA's goodies were put off til 2014 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, True North

    they hoped they could finish trashing the bill's reputation in time.  Now it's here.  And as soon as a LOT of regular voters get better insurance than they could ever get before, that gets mighty tricky to take back.

    Letting Obamacare succeed is also a huge risk for them for 2014 AND 2016.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 11:51:40 AM PDT

  •  Boehner can't be forced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If a legitimate CR is offered, the Republican body politic has a way of shutting down.

  •  Hm. I've no inside info, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have my doubts.

    That is, I completely agree that what's happening is "about something else." Right with you there.

    As to what the 'something else" is, though, this explanation seems focused too narrowly on electoral tactics.

    Surely it must occur to a few of the wrecking crew that if they cause the government to default, their own positions would hardly be insulated from the general devastation.

    At elected officials, at bes, they end up as elected officials in a drooping and diminished Republic. At worst, their intransigence brings Constitutional crisis, economic disaster, and heaven knows what else, martial law, an actual coup, local anarchy? Compare Egypt at this moment?

    Regretfully, I think that while there may be a few idiot fellow travellers, the focus of key leadership on the wrecking crew is not tactical but strategic: as Grover Norquist famously put it, "to shrink the government to the point you can drown it in a bathtub" (approximate quote). "Drown," get it? Actually put to death.

    The reason they aren't making any sense is that they shift from excuse to excuse but the real agenda is simply to keep the government shuttered and if possible, make it default.

    Hurting people in the process, in line with the Shock Doctrine, in the process is a feature not a bug. And their interest in long-term elected office, in its current incarnation, is probably next to nil.  The something else on the part of Cruz and some others (and yes, I would have thought it was CT until the last week or so) is, I now believe, to bring our whole system of government down.

    Can they actually do it, though? I would hope not.

  •  Here is to hoping (0+ / 0-)

    that the first thing a Democrat controlled congress and white house do in 2014 is fix all the damn gerrymandering so after the 2020 census, maybe we'll have a better democracy.

    "We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them." -Sam Harris, neuroscientist

    by MarthaPeregrine on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:05:49 PM PDT

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