We took what we had and we ripped it apart

Obama is planning on pushing for immigration reform. There’s no way in hell the House will pass anything, but it might be help drive more of a wedge between the teahadist wing and the pragmatic corporate lackey wing of the Republican party.

I’m still skeptical there’s an intraparty Civil War, but a couple events of note: Palin may campaign against Mitch McConnell and a bunch of conservative groups (including Club for Growth) are going after the very liberal Thad Cochran in Mississippi.

It’s hard to know what to make of all of this. There’s always been a lot of infighting among Democrats, and I wonder if the Republican infighting is striking because it’s more rare among Republicans or because their lack of practice at infighting makes them particularly inept at it.

La commedia ê finita


With the Treasury Department warning that it could run out of money to pay national obligations within a day, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday evening, 81 to 18, to approve a proposal hammered out by the chamber’s Republican and Democratic leaders after the House on Tuesday was unable to move forward with any resolution. The House followed suit a few hours later, voting 285 to 144, to approve the Senate plan, which would finance the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 7.

Meet the next budget negotiation, same as the this budget negotiation, though. For once, William Galston is probably right:

It’s hard to see how the U.S. can govern itself unless corporate America pushes the Republican establishment to fight back against the tea party—or switches sides.

Keep fighting. Remember: doesn’t matter who the president is — Obama, O’Malley, Warren Clinton — these crazy bastards have the power to flush the country down the toilet under our current system. It only stops when we become a supermajority.

You know it’s a lie `cause…

For all the No Labels wanking about non-extremist Republicans forming a “centrist” third-party, the truth is Joe Scarborough and Lindsey Graham will leave the Republican party in a wooden box. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin, though….they’ve got the moxie to strike off on their own.

David Frum (correctly) gives a good argument to this effect and then (incorrectly) claims that a Palinista exodus would be good news for conservatives. You can guess why: it will free up Burkean moderates to appeal to the radical center. Nah. Guh. Happen. There may be all kinds of great reasons to vote for Republicans 2.0 or whatever the Teabagless GOP decides to call itself, but Republicans spent the last 40 years aiming their sales pitch at Neoconfederate nut jobs. Karl Rove (et al.) is a certain kind of girl, and Joe the Plumber is his ideal boyfriend.

Most Republicans, no matter how much they think the shutdown is a shit show, know this, that the Tea Party could (and would) secede from the GOP, and that this secession would completely destroy the Republican party.

And that’s why they’ll do whatever the Palinese Liberation Army wants them to do.

Just release and you will find

I haven’t gotten into the “rest of the world is laughing at us” stuff because I think the “rest of the world” is pretty fucked up too. But if this happens, then well, yeah, they should laugh at us (via):

Here’s a cheerful thought as Congress remains deadlocked over the debt ceiling and the hours tick away toward default: Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who basically forced the shutdown and whose own private polls have convinced him that it has been a glorious success, at this point could probably force a default and global economic calamity on his own—if he were so inclined. The Treasury Department says U.S. borrowing authority will expire on Thursday.

How could this happen? Because the Senate can move quickly when necessary, but only by unanimous consent. Let’s say Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strike a deal today (that’s looking unlikely). Cruz surely won’t like it and has said repeatedly, “I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare.” If he’s true to his word, he could drag out the proceedings past Thursday and possibly well beyond. “If a determined band of nut jobs wants to take down the global economy, they could do it,” says Jim Manley, a former top staffer for Reid. “Under Senate rules, we are past the point of no return—there’s not anything Reid or McConnell could do about it.”

All the children are insane

The one surprising positive thing I can about this shutdown is that a lot of conservative journalists did a good job of covering it, especially Byron York and Robert Costa. Costa’s twitter feed right now is top-notch:

Over at the Times, Ross Douthat is ripping off our patented Balloon Juice Apocalypse Now shtick.

A friend says it all sounds like Hitler’s bunker in 1945. Who will be the first to do a Downfall parody of Hitler learning that the shutdown did not work for Republicans?