Shutdown countdown

The federal government runs out of money at the end of the day today and will shut down tomorrow unless the House of Representatives and Senate can strike a deal to keep the money flowing.  Republicans, who control the House, are saying they won’t pass such a resolution unless Obamacare is delayed for a year.  (They earlier wanted to strip funding from it entirely.  Now they are settling for a delay.)  Democrats are refusing to back down from their signature health care legislation (a major part of which goes into effect tomorrow).

So now we are on the brink.  Tomorrow the government may shut down AND the Obamacare insurance exchange sign-ups begin.

What do you think will happen?  Do you predict a last-second compromise?  If the shutdown takes place, what impact will that have?  What impact would that have on the Republican Party? [Read more…]

Republicans as the new 1989 Democrats

Today’s Republican party is in exactly the same situation as the Democratic party of 1989 and making exactly the same excuses for why they can’t win a national presidential election.  This is the point made by two Democratic strategists who revisit an essay they wrote way back then, only this time they apply it to Republicans. [Read more…]

How Germany does elections

Germany’s conservative Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was re-elected, as voters gave her party an overwhelming victory in seats in parliament.  Political campaigns in Germany, though, are rather different from the way they are in the United States. [Read more…]

Defund Obamacare or shut down the government

Republicans in Congress say they will agree to stop the impending shutdown of the federal government only if Democrats agree to defund Obamacare.  Does this strike you as a disastrous strategy? [Read more…]

The Left-Right coalition

The same Congressional coalition of Tea Party conservatives and far-left liberals that blocked an attack on Syria also came close to reining in the NSA surveillance program.  Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent sees an on-going alliance coming together. [Read more…]

Colorado throws out anti-gun lawmakers

Citizens of Colorado voted for the right to smoke marijuana, but they have also voted or the right to own firearms.  In a recall election, this blue state ousted two state legislators who pushed anti-gun laws.  Might this be another example of a leftwing/rightwing alliance for civil liberties? [Read more…]