October 1, 2013

1. Who broke the Republican Party? Newt Gingrich has to be at the top of the list; Adam Kushner with a good look at Gingrich and the 1995-1996 shutdown.

2. And who drives it today? Shane Goldmacher with the case that Jim DeMint is the key force behind the shutdown.

3. Highly recommended: Ezra Klein interviews National Review’s Robert Costa, who has done some of the best reporting about Republicans in Congress.

4. My take: The key here isn’t John Boehner, or the handful of Republican moderates, or the crazy caucus: it’s the ‘fraidy-cat conference of mainstream conservatives.

5. The “spoiled brats and their far-right enablers” analyzed by James Downie.

6. Henry Farrell on the advantages and disadvantages of acting like lemmings.

7. What’s the opposite of a lemming? Jennifer Bendery reports on, at last count, 12 House Republicans who publicly claim they would vote for a clean CR.

8. David Drucker reports on Republicans “losing patience.” Here’s the problem for the Cruz caucus: As long as Republicans are publicly split, there’s no way the media are going to report that they’re winning.

9. Not to mention, as Steve Benen points out, that far too many Republicans have claimed that they wanted to use the shutdown for leverage for anyone to reasonably conclude now that Democrats are at fault.

10. A reminder of what’s actually at stake in a shutdown, from Jordan Weissman.

11. Brendan Nyhan on the structural roots of the shutdown, and why reporters should get out to the districts to see what pressures members of Congress are under.

12. An analysis of the electoral effects of shutdowns, from Sean Trende.

13. Sarah Kliff has “New stats from HHS: 2.8 million healthcare.gov visits since midnight, 81,000 calls to the call centers, 61,000 live chat requests.” No numbers yet, however, on how many people have actually signed up so far.

14. And Paul Krugman agrees: What matters to the future of the Affordable Care Act is whether it works.