“Repeal and Replace"—the slogan is as meaningless as it is catchy. The Republicans have zero intention of replacing the Affordable Care Act with a law that would make insurance available to everybody, regardless of income or pre-existing condition. That was obvious before an article that appeared in Politico on Thursday.
A Politico story on House Republicans, by Marin Cogan and Jake Sherman, is generating a lot of buzz this morning. And the item getting all the attention is a blind quote, from a senior House Republican aide, questioning why Republicans would pass a bill that might improve Obama's chances for re-election. Here it is: Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?
The first week of the Rick Perry presidential campaign has put the Republican establishment in a full panic. Perry has defined himself as a full right-wing stereotype, an over-the-top George W. Bush impersonator. Much of the tension between Perry and party elites in Washington has been portrayed as the continuation of a longstanding grudge between him and the Bush circle.
The widespread assumption in the bond market that the debt ceiling showdown will, somehow, some way, end well strikes me as a classic underestimation of risk. We quietly assume that something terrible and pointless won't happen because it's never happened before, even if the potential causes of disaster are blindingly obvious. Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman have a good story about the craziness of the Republican caucus. How crazy are these people?
Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan have an eye-opening piece describing the attempts by GOP House Whip Kevin McCarthy to support some kind of debt ceiling increase. The reassuring part of it is that McCarthy genuinely seems to be working hard to bring his members up to speed. The alarming part is that, hoo boy, they're starting from a pretty low point: The presentation McCarthy and other top Republicans are giving to lawmakers is stunningly simple and illustrates just how unfamiliar House Republicans are with governing.
Matthew Yglesias agrees that Glenn Thrush and Jake Sherman's story, about how the House GOP decided to pass the Paul Ryan budget despite clear warning signs, is deeply revealing. One thing it reveals is the almost absolute level of party discipline at work: All put together, it’s a fascinating picture of the emergence of very strong party discipline of the sort that hasn’t traditionally existed in the United States and continues not to exist in the Democratic caucus.