Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Feeding time has come and gone

My read on the recent shutdown drama seems to be at variance with much of the punditocracy.  I don't think the GOP "lost" all that much.  Sure they're polling poorly in national approval ratings.  And they're sniping at one another. And, of course, they look pretty stupid on cable news and all.

But the 2010 gerrymander all but guarantees the House will remain safely under Republican control. You can find people willing to argue about that right now but I'm not one of them. Plus the entire exercise sure did raise a lot of money for Republicans. Ted Cruz's PAC took in almost $800,00, for example.  

So there may not be much dignity in Tea Party politics these days, but at least it pays well.  And just to be sure no money is left on the table, Karl Rove has assured Republican leaning donors that they can also spend money on anti-Tea Party conservatism... whatever that might be.
The leading establishment “super PAC” co-founded by Mr. Rove, American Crossroads, has already started a new initiative called the Conservative Victory Project that is quietly working to head off Republican challengers whose victories in primaries, in its determination, would put party seats — or potential party seats — at risk of falling to Democrats in general elections.
Suffice to say the shutdown crisis, whatever the "optics" might be, won't leave the Team R war chest any lighter during the midterms. 

Oh and it's helpful to remember the Republicans didn't "lose" a single thing policywise. For one thing, they've been playing with house money ever since the sequester went into effect.
Because the deal only includes minor concessions, the Beltway consensus is that it represents a resounding defeat for Republicans, who “surrendered” their original demands to defund or delay Obamacare. In the skirmish of opinion polls, that may be true, for now. But in the war of ideas, the Senate deal is but a stalemate, one made almost entirely on conservative terms. The GOP now goes into budget talks with sequestration as the new baseline, primed to demand longer-term cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And they still hold the gun of a US default to the nation’s head in the next debt ceiling showdown.

Surrender? Any more “victories” like this and Democrats will end up paying tribute into the GOP’s coffers.

And, of course, they didn't repeal Obamacare. Nobody expected that to happen. What's interesting, though, is that if only they had known just what a stupendous clusterfuck the launch of open enrollment was going to turn out to be, they might have just sat back and let it fall apart all on its own.
His spokesman, Jonathan Kott, said Manchin opposes a bill proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to delay the mandate for a more indefinite period of time while problems with the insurance exchanges persist.
But there would have been less campaign money in that so... all's well that ends shitty, I guess. 


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