Visual source: Newseum
Charlie Cook at The National Journal:
While I don’t buy into Greenberg’s argument of a potential Democratic wave, if any kind of partisan wave is likely to develop -- barring some cataclysmic political, military, or economic development at home or abroad -- it sure seems more likely to break in favor of the Democrats, as he's suggesting, as a result of a backlash against Republicans going too far to the right. I don’t yet see signs that the Republicans’ obsession with their conservative base has reached a tipping point that will create a Democratic wave. But if I were a Republican leader, I’d at least consider the possibility.
Jamie Elizabeth Stiehm
at U.S. News & Word Report
There's something else long delayed here, and that's a profound indictment of the Republican Party. The messengers are absolutely right, the elephant emperor has no clothes. But Ornstein and Mann's belated recognition of reality could have been written years ago, and rung true.
Does the impeachment trial of William J. Clinton ring a bell? That Democratic president, too, was relentlessly hunted as prey, even though the country was doing well in times of peace and prosperity. The House Republicans led by Newt Gingrich didn't give a damn, driven by partisan zeal—since we're being real, partisan hatred. The difference is Clinton fought back against his enemies. Obama has chosen to act as if they're not there, or that he can, with time, win them over. In fact, that strategy has been the worst flaw of his governing style.
The editors at The Anniston Star
in Alabama believe that rational Republicans need to step up to save their party:
It’s not fair to dismiss all elected Republicans as know-nothings who have embraced an uncompromising anti-science/anti-reason platform in an all-out war with opponents. While some more extreme Republicans fall into those ranks, we suspect many others are merely too politically nervous to challenge the zealots within their party. Their silence in the face of irresponsible and dangerous notions about government, science and war may keep them in office — at least until the winds of politics shift — but it ultimately does damage to their nation and their own political party.
Robert G. Kaiser
This collection of quiet Republicans must summon the strength to call out extremism within their own ranks. The nation didn’t put a man on the moon with anti-science politicians running the show. It didn’t produce the world’s leading economy by crank notions about economics. And it didn’t provide more of its citizens a pathway out of poverty with nothing but a scornful sneer and a miserly budget.
at The Washington Post
reviews the blunt new book by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein:
Now Mann and Ornstein have decided that the time has come to abandon the evenhandedness still fashionable among political journalists (as opposed to the partisan talking heads and bloggers now so popular). The blunt result will be invigorating for some readers, and infuriating for others.
Their principal conclusion is unequivocal: Today’s Republicans in Congress behave like a parliamentary party in a British-style parliament, a winner-take-all system. But a parliamentary party — “ideologically polarized, internally unified, vehemently oppositional” — doesn’t work in a “separation-of-powers system that makes it extremely difficult for majorities to work their will.” [...]
Today’s Republican Party has little in common even with Ronald Reagan’s GOP, or with earlier versions that believed in government. Instead it has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition . . . all but declaring war on the government.”
No one could have imagined that the deficit-obsessed Republican Party would throw all those talking points out the window when it comes to handouts to the wealthiest Americans. From Russell Berman and Bernie Becker
at The Hill
House Republicans say they have no plans to pay for the extension of the Bush-era tax rates, a move that could erase the deficit reduction they have achieved since winning their majority in the chamber in 2010.
The income and investment tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire at the end of the year and are at the center of a thicket of fiscal decisions that Congress must make in the next several months.
While President Obama and congressional Democrats want to extend only the Bush rates for middle-income earners, Republicans have long argued that the entire slate of tax rates should be kept in place until Congress can agree to a complete overhaul of the tax code.