As is so often the case, there's a practical way for Republicans to handle the Cantor dilemma, and then there's what hardline conservatives want.
Now Republicans Are Upset Obamacare Doesn't Help More People
April 23, 2014
House GOP leaders say they are upset so many people are still uninsured. Yeah, right.
TRB From Washington: Medicare and Brimstone
August 24, 2012
Democrats and Republicans always claim that if their presidential candidate loses then the country will suffer. But this year, the GOP’s rhetoric has become apocalyptic. Mitt Romney says that he is running for president because “this country we love is in peril.” He wants to “save the soul of America.” Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, has a name for this looming Democrat catastrophe: the “tipping point.” In a 2010 speech, Ryan carried on like Kevin McCarthy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (“They’re here already!
The Republican Crazy Is Not An Act
July 13, 2011
This last weekend, Ross Douthat argued that Republican intransigence on the deficit was not really evidence that the party had lost its marbles. The party, he postulated, was shrewdly attempting to maximize its leverage. Douthat's argument hinged on the premise that Republicans had to account for the fact that any budget deal would come with future tax hikes when the Bush tax cuts expire: The White House hasn’t made spending concessions just because the president wants to campaign as a deficit cutter next year.
Why The House Will Kill The Grand Bargain
July 07, 2011
Every time somebody suggests there might be a big deficit deal, and every time I catch myself thinking it could happen, I return to one basic question: How does this pass the House of Representatives? I've never heard a remotely persuasive answer to this question. To understand the obstacles in place here, you need to return to the 1990 budget agreement. That was a deal between George Bush and Congress that ran along roughly similar lines to the agreement being floated in the press today: mostly spending cuts, with some tax hikes along with it.
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.
October 26, 2010
In 2004, Fabian Núñez, then the Democratic speaker of the California State Assembly, received an odd phone call. It was the assembly’s sergeant at arms, reporting that Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader, was sitting at the speaker’s dais in an otherwise empty chamber. “Kevin McCarthy looks like he’s presiding, but there’s nobody in there,” the sergeant at arms told Núñez. Despite their political differences, Núñez and McCarthy were friends; both had been elected to the assembly in 2002 and had swiftly risen to the top posts in their respective conferences.
GOP Confusion On House Reform
September 02, 2010
Republicans are promising the change the way the House works if they win a majority.
Contract With America Redux
April 15, 2010
Politico reports that Republicans can't agree on their new Contract With America: Republicans are salivating over the prospect of winning back the House in November, and they’re planning to produce a new “Contract With America” in the hopes of sealing the deal. The catch: They don’t agree yet on what should be in it. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor wants a document, akin to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract With America, that identifies specific pieces of legislation Republicans could pass if they win back the House.