* Michael Tomasky keeps up the drumbeat: Yes, there’s something different and unprecedented about the radicalism of today’s GOP, and yes, it has effectively ceased to be a normal opposition party.
* Dems blast the RNC over that video blaming Obama for the failure of the gun bill with footage showing a grieving Newtown mother. The tactic of hitting Obama for failing to overcome GOP obstructionism is only the latest sign that Tomasky is right.
* E.J. Dionne calls on Obama to use his executive power and bully pulpit more forcefully in service of what he can accomplish, which one can certainly demand while also dismissing the Green Lanternite critique of Obama as the nonsense it is.
* Jonathan Capehart recaps the history of GOP obstructionism during Obama’s first term, which again was planned before Obama even took office. It’s a history the Green Lanternites simply refuse to reckon with.
* David Dayen offers an extensive and nuanced critique of the Obama administration’s strategy in nominating Mel Watt to oversee Fannie and Freddie, and argues that liberals are letting the administration off the hook for its failure to fix the foreclosure crisis.
* The robofirm Public Policy Polling finds new evidence that voting for Manchin-Toomey could actually help senators Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan in 2014, as expanded background checks are overwhelmingly popular in their states.
In case you forgot, both those senators who voted Yes represent red states — and they have yet to experience immediate political immolation.
* More key context on the above polling, from Michael Keller:
On the flip side, as we showed here on Tuesday, approval ratings for several senators in both parties who voted against the measure — ultimately defeating it — have taken a noticeable dip. Kelly Ayotte, Mark Begich were among the most bruised, according to the numbers.
* It’s good to hear Obama saying this about expanded background checks:
“This was just the first round,” Obama told reporters at a joint press conference in Mexico. “I believe we’ll eventually get that done. We’ll keep on trying.”
Though there are no immediate plans for a new Senate vote, it’s crucial that Obama signal that he will keep prodding Congress to revisit the issue. The history tells us that it always comes up again and that passing such reforms takes a good long time.
* Rhode Island has officially legalized marriage equality. That makes New England the first region in the country where gay marriage is legal everywhere.
Somehow, conservatives think this is a big win for their opposition to universal health insurance. Why? What it suggests is that the health benefits of ANY kind of health insurance are somewhat hard to identify over a two year period; so, are you about to give up your own insurance, or is your best bet that having that insurance is still a very good idea? And the financial benefits are a big part of that! Since you are going to treat your illnesses, better not to bankrupt yourself in the process, right?
* Dems lost a lot of leverage by caving on FAA delays. Jonathan Bernstein provides Dems with a roadmap for what remains of the sequester fight, and urges them to force Republicans to deal with specific programs Democrats want refunded.
* Much has been made of polling showing middling approval of Obama despite solid to overwhelming support for his policies. I think Andrew Rosenthal is right to argue that this probably reflects general disappointment with his failure to realize them.
I doubt there’s been an outbreak of Green Lanternism among the public, in which Americans blame him for failing to prevail over Congress; many polls show more blame directed at the GOP for the ongoing stalemate.
* The New Hampshire Union Leader rages at a Newtown family member for having the temerity to confront Kelly Ayotte over her vote against Toomey-Manchin. (link fixed)
* And Ayotte lies to her constituents, claiming Toomey-Manchin could lead to a federal gun registry. In reality, Toomey-Manchin strengthens protections against the registry Ayotte claims to fear.