* Jonathan Cohn has an excellent, well balanced look at Obamacare’s implementation failures, including a clear-eyed assessment of why the next few weeks are critical.
* Also see Lucia Graves on why the rocky start to the exchanges won’t matter, at least as long as they’re fixed in a hurry. If not…
* Good stuff from Brian Beutler on how liberal criticism of Obamacare implementation has shown the left to be more reality-based than the right, and may be what prompts the administration to get its act together. Key on GOP critics:
If you’re a reporter or a news junkie or a constituent, you should be absolutely clear that these people don’t want Healthcare.gov to work and are making wild, unsupportable claims to discourage people from becoming insured.
* A new CNN poll finds the GOP’s unpopularity is at record highs. Sixty four percent of Americans, including 68 percent of independents and moderates, and 66 percent of seniors, view the party unfavorably. If national polls mattered to GOP lawmakers, this might send a message.
* The HuffPollster team has a very comprehensive overview of all the recent polling, confirming an absoultely brutal stretch for the GOP and a slight uptick in popularity for Obamacare. I don’t believe that was the shutdown strategy’s intended outcome.
* Steve Benen captures the GOP poll implosion in one handy chart.
* Also, a new CBS News poll finds:
Americans disagree with making changes to the health care law in the debt ceiling and government funding agreement. Three in four say the health care law should have been separate from any agreement. Americans across the political spectrum hold this view.
Have I mentioned that disapproval of Obamacare doesn’t translate into support for GOP sabotage of it? Of course, this would be moot if it weren’t very possible that the hard right will demand GOP leaders do this all over again.
* Oops! The Post reports that major banking lobbyists and big corporations found that many lawmakers they donated to voted against raising the debt limit. There’s little reason to believe this will really change the big donors’ relationship with the GOP, though.
* House Republicans are claiming they feel snubbed because the Obama administration is briefing only House Democrats on the problems with health law implementation. Nancy Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill responds:
“For months now, House Democrats have held briefings on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and tomorrow’s Caucus meeting is yet another in this series of discussions. While we appreciate House Republicans’ newfound interest in the implementation of health reform, it is clear they are not interested in anything other than continuing their desperate drive to sabotage this law, which so far has included shutting down the government.”
Republicans are very good at getting folks to follow shiny bouncy balls…
* And as Luke Johnson documents, Maine GOP Governor Paul LePage has come down with his very own case of uncontrollable 47 percent-ism.