Obamacare Is More Popular Than the Republican Party – By 14 Points

The Wall St. Journal/NBC poll released yesterday had nothing but bad news for Republicans. For starters, their 24 percent favorable rating is the lowest ever recorded in the poll.

Sure, it could be an outlier, except that just 24 hours earlier Gallup released a poll that also found Republicans with the lowest favorability it had ever recorded. The GOP’s 28 percent favorability was 3 percentage points lower the previous lowest point ever recorded by Gallup — the 31 percent approval Republicans received in 1999 after their bogus impeachment of Pres. Clinton.


The Collapse of Institutional Republican Power

What we’re seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power. It’s not so much about Boehner. It’s things like the end of earmarks. They move away from Tom DeLay and they think they’re improving the House, but now they have nothing to offer their members. The outside groups don’t always move votes directly but they create an atmosphere of fear among the members. And so many of these members now live in the conservative world of talk radio and tea party conventions and Fox News invitations. And so the conservative strategy of the moment, no matter how unrealistic it might be, catches fire. The members begin to believe they can achieve things in divided government that most objective observers would believe is impossible. Leaders are dealing with these expectations that wouldn’t exist in a normal environment.

— Robert Costa, reporter for the right-wing National Review, in an interview with the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein

Stand Down, Boehner

Speaker John Boehner’s epic fail last night — his inability to deliver enough Republican votes for his own “Plan B” for avoiding the fiscal cliff — proves that he has been negotiating in bad faith all along. He has never had the votes to pass any sort of deal, because, as the tea party has shown repeatedly, conservatives want the U.S. economy to fail. Why? Apparently, their objective is to replace our century-old regulatory capitalist system (which in other advanced nations is called “democratic socialism”) with an Ayn Randian, regulation- and tax-free utopia, where the sick and old die in the streets.

David Kurtz at TPM suggests that if the United States had a modern parliamentary system like the governments of all our allies and competitors, Boehner would be history:

It is easy to overreact to these things in the moment, to overread them. But Speaker Boehner just put it all on the line. The entire nation was watching, and he was exposed. He knows it. His conference knows it. Anyone left in Washington who had doubts about this speaker’s clout now knows it, too. In a parliamentary system, he would resign and his party would elect a new leader. We don’t do it that way here … usually. But it’s hard to see how Speaker Boehner continues from here — or why he would want to.

Republican operative Craig Shirley agrees that last night’s fiasco was the equivalent of a vote of “no confidence” for Boehner:


Boehner and McConnell Dissed Obama on Election Night – Refused Phone Calls from the President, Claiming They Were Asleep

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Pres. Obama said he was ready to work with Republicans in Congress on the big issues facing the country:

“I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together: reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil.”

According to the New York Times, minutes after the president made those remarks, he placed calls to the two top Republican leaders in Congress — and they dissed him:

After his speech, Obama tried to call Boehner and the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, but was told they were asleep.

So Republican leaders can’t be bothered to get their dead asses out of bed when the president of the United States calls them? Seriously? These people are hopeless.

Flashback 2008: Watch Boehner Lead Republicans off House Floor During Contempt Votes Against Top Bush Staffers Who Refused to Testify Before Congress

With some House Democrats planning to walk out today when House Republicans vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for no good reason, it’s instructive to look back to a similar moment in 2008, when then-Minority Leader John Boehner led a walk out over a vote to hold Bushies Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton in contempt for a legitimate reason: they refused even to show up for a hearing about Bush-Rove firing U.S. attorneys who refused to play along with Rove’s bogus voter fraud campaign.

To Boehner’s credit, at least did not cry, via Dave Weigel:


GOP ‘Shredding the American Political Process’

[Boehner’s debt-reduction bill] needed to be bipartisan, but was written in secret to be as partisan as possible. The proposal needed to be sensible, but would instead force us to go through all of this again in six months and would mandate approval of a constitutional amendment in both chambers before House Republicans would allow the United States to pay its bills. Think about that for a moment. Elected GOP lawmakers have come to believe extortion is a legitimate tool to get Congress to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When I talk about Republicans shredding the American political process, this is what I’m talking about.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly

Boehner’s Got a Problem with the ‘C’ Word

BoehnerFirst Read reminds us of House Speaker John Boehner’s 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl last December which revealed he knew his caucus would not let him compromise with Democrats. Or else he just can’t bring himself to pronounce, you know, c-c-c-c-com-com-comp-compost …

BOEHNER: We have to govern. That’s what we were elected to do.

STAHL: But governing means a — compromising.

BOEHNER: It means working together. It means find…

STAHL: It also means compromising.

BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.

STAHL: OK, is that compromising?

BOEHNER: I made clear I am not going to compromise on — on my principles, nor am I going to compromise …

STAHL: What are you saying?

BOEHNER: … the will of the American people.

STAHL: And you’re saying I want common ground, but I’m not going to compromise. I don’t understand that. I really don’t.

BOEHNER: When you say the — when you say the word “compromise”…

STAHL: Yeah?

BOEHNER: … a lot of Americans look up and go, “Uh-oh, they’re going to sell me out.” And so finding common ground I think makes more sense.