June, 2013

House Republicans Go-It-Alone

Chris Cillizza: “Politics is a team sport. Except the way House Republicans have played it for the past few years.”

“At the root of the problems that afflict the majority party in the House is that there are simply too few members willing to occasionally set aside personal interests and ambitions for the broader interests of the party. They just won’t take one for the team… Examples of this go-it-alone approach are everywhere.”

Quote of the Day

“GOP, if you abandon us, we have nowhere else to go except to become more independent and not enlisted in a one or the other private majority parties that rule in our nation, either a Democrat or a Republican.”

— Sarah Palin, quoted by the Daily Caller, suggesting she is open to the idea of leaving the Republicans party if it “continues to abandon its conservative principles.”

Republicans Paint Clinton as Old News

New York Times: “The 2016 election may be far off, but one theme is becoming clear: Republican strategists and presidential hopefuls, in ways subtle and overt, are eager to focus a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton’s age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election, a generation removed from most of the possible Republican candidates.”

“Despite her enduring popularity, a formidable fund-raising network and near unanimous support from her party, Mrs. Clinton, Republican leaders believe, is vulnerable to appearing a has-been.”

An Unintimidating Speaker

“When someone crosses John A. Boehner, he or she can expect a couple of reactions from the House speaker. Sometimes it’s a thwack on the back and a disapproving shake of his head, quickly followed by a begrudging smile to indicate that all is forgiven. Sometimes it’s a fake yell and then a shrug. One recalcitrant even got rewarded,” the Washington Post reports.

“Never — ever — is there a sense of real anger from the Ohio Republican. His leadership style does not involve rapping knuckles, breaking arms or even threatening to rap knuckles or break arms. He has sworn off intimidation and punishment, in a House that has rarely been run on anything else.”

“As a result, Boehner has allowed rank-and-file Republicans more freedom to vote their will, with him or against him, than any speaker in modern times.”

NSA Leaker Portrayed as a Hero on Russian TV

While Edward Snowden “has remained mysteriously hidden from sight during his visit to Russia this week, Russian television has been making him a hero,” the New York Times reports.

“On programs that were hastily arranged and broadcast on the two largest federal channels, he was compared to the dissident Andrei Sakharov, to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and to Max Otto von Stirlitz, a dashing fictional double agent from Soviet television… The chance that Russia will turn him in has all but vanished, as evidenced by Thursday’s television programs, which were almost certainly produced under Kremlin orders and have a powerful effect on public opinion.”

GOP Leaders Warn Leagues Not to Promote Obamacare

“Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare,” TPM reports.

“The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and NASCAR that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the health care law would damage their reputations.”

Republicans Seek to Recruit More Women

National Republicans “launched a series of programs aimed at recruiting more female candidates and getting conservative women involved in politics,” the Washington Post reports.

“The efforts come as Republicans continue to trail Democrats when it comes to electing women and also as the female vote continues to tilt toward Democrats. Democrats have four times as many women serving in the Senate and three times as many women in the House, and President Obama won the female vote 55 percent to 44 percent last year — just one point off his 2008 showing.”

Christie Veers Right

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) veered to the right this morning, twice touting himself as a “conservative Republican” and taking a shot at President Obama within the first 10 minutes of a town hall meeting, the Newark Star Ledger reports.

Said Christie: “I know when you look at Washington right now, you shake your head at a president who can’t figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they’re doing.”