September 11, 2013

* James Downie on a remarkable intra-party GOP spat: House Republicans are angry with Senate conservatives for making them look like squishes on Obamacare, and are calling their bluff, in public.

* Don’t miss Roll Call’s account of House GOP anger with Heritage and the Club for Growth for refusing to drop their demand for the defunding of Obamacare. This:

“Heritage Action and Club for Growth are slowly becoming irrelevant Neanderthals,” one senior GOP aide said. “Heritage is working harder to elect Democrats than the DCCC,” another senior GOP aide said.

Irrelevant Neanderthals? Actually, such groups continue to exert far too much influence over House GOP policy.

* Ed Kilgore is absolutely right about this: The defund-Obamacare brigade just doesn’t understand that Dems will “see them in Hell” before they will agree to even a delay in the law.

Friendly reminder: Dems didn’t even cave on Obamacare during the fiscal fights in 2011, when they were at their weakest.

* Speaking of leverage: A new CNN poll finds majorities would blame the GOP for a government shutdown and default — versus far fewer who would blame Obama — and large numbers think each would cause major problems.

* Brian Beutler continues to do good work gaming out how the longer term fiscal battles are likely to play out, and how badly the GOP may continue to damage itself with its Obamacare obsession.

* Also see Jonathan Cohn on how GOP spending proposals are more extreme than they might appear.

* The Center for American Progress has a really deep, wonky dive into what all this “CR” talk really means.

* Jonathan Bernstein on why Obama failed to win Congressional support for Syria strikes: The disappearance of establishment Republicans who take foreign policy seriously and are willing to work with Democratic presidents.

* Dan Balz has a sobering look at how tough the political and policy road ahead on Syria is for the president. I still think if Obama can manage a diplomatic solution, previous mistakes will fade, but that is far away indeed.

* Worth watching: The White House is apparently worried about an upcoming vote the AFL-CIO may hold on a resolution critical of Obamacare, and is looking to ease labor concerns. Such official union criticism of the law would be a terrible story for the White House just as implementation is set to kick in.

* And Dave Weigel attends a Capitol Hill gathering on Benghazi, and finds turnout to be extremely modest. Haynes Brown has the backstory.

What else?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.