Pre-Weekend State of Play

Lots of good stuff to read today and I may add other items to this post as I discover more. Right now , this New York Times piece is a pretty good summary of the thinking on the GOP side of the aisle.

UPDATE

This is pretty good too — Andrew Sullivan (who has a super interesting blog and who is the Profiles in Citizenship subject in Chapter 15) is collecting reader contributions he calls “The View From Your Shutdown.”  Worth browsing through for real life first person accounts of the toll the shutdown is taking.

America Held Hostage, Day 2

A couple of very good pieces to read today.Tom Friedman from the New York Times hits the nail on the head.  And this piece from Business Insider makes a similar point.

Think about what we argue in Chapters 1 and 2 about people who do an end run around the democratic process when it doesn’t produce the results that they want. What kind of political system is it where the leaders believe they know what is right for the people and impose their vision regardless of what the people would choose themselves? What is the place for that in American culture?

Also think about what Madison had to say about the effects of factions.  What would he say about the Tea Party?

And for comic relief, late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel has some fun with how people feel about Obamacare.

Closed for Business

As we predicted, the government shut down last night at midnight.  What does that mean?  Basically, this.

Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon.

We have already been over the events leading up to this but you can read about the last minute back and forth here.

How long will this last?  Hard to say.  Tea Party Republicans want to hold out, much to the chagrin of their more practical party colleagues, because they believe they are right.

How did the Tea Party caucus get so radical, anyway? One analyst’s answer here.

Here’s another take on the evolution of the Republicans, this one by a liberal reporter for the Huffington Post.

A Republican gives his take on the situation here.

Another argues that the problem is that the Tea Partiers took the wrong hostage

Veteran Washington Post reporter Dan Balz argues that regardless of the dissension in their ranks, the Republicans need to learn how to govern.

Has this happened before?  Yup.

Meanwhile, enrollment in the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act begins today.  Almost all Americans will need to sign up for a plan if they are not already covered through an employer or a parent.  What will it cost you?

This is a long piece, but if you want to hear one smart (though leaning liberal) guy’s take on why Tea Partiers are driven so crazy by Obamacare, read this.

And remember, we reach the debt ceiling limit in just 17 days and that has the potential to be much, much worse.  Will the Tea Party Caucus have gotten their need to stand on principle out of their system by then, or will national inconvenience tumble into international disaster?

As I seem to be saying a lot these days, stay tuned.

 

Ticking Clock

It’s a crazy Monday morning, but let me quickly give you two pieces to think about as the clock ticks down to a possible (and increasingly probable) shut down at midnight tonight.  The first is from the National Review, a conservative journal with very good sourcing among Republicans.  What does that mean? It means Republicans talk to their journalists and those journalists know what they are talking about.  Costa and Strong paint a fairly grim picture of how intra-party politics is going for the Republicans.  A second view, a little less insidery but more comprehensive, is here.

Think about the split in the Republican Party in terms of the figures on American political ideologies you read about in KTR‘s Chapter 2.  Is this playing out as we would expect?  Who do you think will win and lose in this internal power struggle for control of the party?

What If?

Despite all the shenanigans last night from Texas senator Ted Cruz, we still don’t know what is going to happen with respect to a government shutdown or a default on the national debt. Though the latter is looking more likely than the former at this point, we are all still hopeful that neither will come to pass.  Here is the New York Times’ Annie Lowry on the difference between the two fates, and why the default is much worse than shutting down the government.

View of the Gov’t Shutdown Debate from Within the Conservative Ranks

National Review is a conservative journal.  This piece is written by a someone with good sources within the Republican Party. More detail on the minority who supports the effort to defund Obamacare comes from the more liberal Plumline at the Washington Post.

John Boehner only keeps his job as Speaker if he has a majority of his party behind him, but it looks like he can only keep the government running by going with a majority of Democratic votes.  Given the the Democrats and President Obama will never agree to defund Obamacare, what do you think John Boehner should do?