October 11, 2013

* Nice piece by Steve Benen: Republicans worried about the “precedent” set by a clean debt limit hike should remember there’s precedent for the normal give and take of governing also working quite well. Of course, that might work for both sides, and we can’t have that, now can we.

* Brian Beutler finds faint hope in the latest GOP offer, because it isn’t “hopelessly unrealistic and extortive,” which says something about how low the bar has dropped. As Brian says, if Republicans just accept Obama’s process concerns have some validity, resolution isn’t impossible to imagine.

* The White House reiterates: Any linkage between the debt ceiling and further talks on the budget is a non starter. For all their desire to escape this mess, House Republicans just can’t bring themselves to accept the Dems’ fundamental position here.

*  And that brings us to Jonathan Bernstein’s dispiriting diagnosis of the current House GOP state of mind:

Republicans do seem to be getting ready to surrender (although they seem to have only reached the stage at which they’re asking for rewards for surrendering; it may take a while longer for them to fully understand the concept).

Okay, but how much longer?

* Paul Krugman marvels at the ways the great right wing fear of a dominant alliance of freeloading takers and Democratic Party handout merchants is becoming a self fulfilling prophesy.

* Relatedly, Jonathan Chait on how apocalyptic Tea Party visions are stoking the GOP’s intra-party divide, even as supposedly responsible establishment Republicans are, if anything, behaving even more recklessly.

* Also, Ed Kilgore: Tea Party anti-government fervor isn’t really about the size of government; it’s about who benefits from it, and this helps explain the intra-GOP schism that’s causing all the stalemate.

* Atrios on why a protracted government shutdown is a disaster:

The longer this shutdown goes on, the more chance that the just barely recovery reverses itself.  It’s one thing to have a recession after a boom period, quite another to have a recession before there was really a recovery from the last one.

The terrible threat of default has got everyone thinking that a shutdown is the “easier” option, but none of this has to be happening.

* Francis Wilkinson offers the long-term nightmare scenario: Republicans give up on winning the White House anytime soon and hunker down for protracted guerrilla war, rendering the destructive tactics more refined and effective.

* Politifact confirms it: Yes, House GOP leaders did previously say funding the government at sequester levels is a victory for them. Again: Republicans demanding extensive concessions in exchange for the outcome they themselves want.

* Also from Benen: Cruz’s comical cherry-picking from the NBC poll, which was truly awful for the GOP, suggests real contempt for the intelligence of his supporters.

* Quote of the day, courtesy of Pete King:

“No one has done more to strengthen Obamacare than Ted Cruz.”

Indeed, the very NBC poll Cruz himself cited as proof that the shutdown movement is carrying the day shows Obamacare’s standing has improved.

* And some bonus Friday Cruzian comic relief: Jed Lewison has video of his “values” speech, in which he again exhorts House Republicans to stand strong (this is on you, suckers!) and, incredibly, hails the shutdown as a model for future GOP fights.

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.