September 30, 2013

* With House Republicans set to hold another vote on government funding, this one with a year-long delay of the individual mandate attached, Harry Reid says it’s over:

“Our negotiation is over with,” he said. “You know with a bully you cannot let them slap you around because they slap you around today, they slap you five or six times tomorrow,” Mr. Reid, a former boxer, continued. “We are not going to be bullied.”

This is interesting, because the measure House Republicans will vote on would also nix Obamacare subsidies for Congress and staff — which was supposed to make it impossible for Dems to say No. And yet Reid seems to be saying No.

* Speaking of the latest House GOP funding proposal, there’s always this: “It was not immediately clear whether Republicans could secure the votes for the leadership’s latest plan.” No end to it.

* Some great stuff from Sahil Kapur on a House GOP presser today:

“The 2010 election was all about Obamacare. And I know me and my class members came to fight with every tool that we have,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). “And so if we can delay, defund — anything we can do with Obamacare, that’s what we came here for.”

What about the 2012 election? TPM asked. “I’m sorry — ask that again?” he said, before adding: “Oh I was re-elected in 2012 too, so I can stand on that.”

Perfect! Never mind that despite the enormous sums poured into anti-Obamacare ads, Obama won reelection decisively against the pro-repeal candidate, Dems won a string of unexpected victories in Senate races, and won the popular vote in the House contest. It’s always 2010!

* Dan Balz aptly sums it up: “House Republicans are continuing to grapple unsuccessfully with what it means to be a governing party.”

* Relatedly, Jonathan Cohn has a nice meditation on what the GOP’s drive to attach funding of government to repealing the medical device tax tells us about the party’s aversion to basic governing norms.

* And Jennifer Rubin says “bubble wrap Republicans” are dangerously close to losing touch with the “silent majority,” just as Dems did in the1970s.

* GOP Rep. Charlie Dent tells CNN’s Dana Bash that the GOP will take the blame for a government shutdown. How many GOP Members would privately be okay with a “clean CR” passing, even if they wouldn’t vote for it?

* Also from Bash: “CNN has learned: House GOP moderates who want a clean spending bill working to stage a revolt on the House floor.”

* Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Peter King is claiming that as many as 25 House Republicans may be ready to defy the House GOP leadership and vote against funding of the government that’s tied to undermining Obamacare.

* And Byron York reports this:

There are 233 Republicans in the House. Insiders estimate that three-quarters of them, or about 175 GOP lawmakers, are willing, and perhaps even eager, to vote for a continuing resolution that funds the government without pressing the Republican goal of defunding or delaying Obamacare.

But will the House GOP leadership ever allow that vote to happen?

* A good point here from Rick Klein: John Boehner can survive such an outcome if House Republicans privately understand it was for the good of the party.

* Mark Blumenthal has the deepest dive into Obamacare polling I’ve seen yet, and it confirms what I’ve long thought: Confusion and disapproval about the health law doesn’t translate into support for GOP sabotage of it, even though dissatisfaction is very real.

* A new CNN poll finds Congress’ approval rating is now all of … 10 percent. And while Obama’s numbers have also dipped — yes, he will take a real hit in the crisis, too — this signals again that he’ll likely have the advantage in the blame game to come.

* Joshua Holland pillories “he said she said” reporting on the current crisis by noting that the press reaction would be absolutely merciless if Dems did anything comparable. This is a symptom of a larger inability to reckon with the reality of today’s GOP.

* And no end to the lying from demagogue Ted Cruz: He claims a “strong bipartisan majority” in the House voted to defund Obamacare, and Politifact rates it “false.” Of course, for Cruz supporters, it will remain true forever.

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.