Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Showdown: Who Blinks First?

The Daily News Takes No Prisoners
The battle lines are drawn:

  • An attempted rebellion by House GOP moderates failed utterly.
  • Rasmussen's Presidential Approval rating skyrockets to +5 (and generic Democrats extend their lead of generic Republicans to +4, its highest since April).
  • Obamacare exchanges crash, delighting Republicans--but that means people are trying to use them.
  • Republicans want to pass a stop-gap measure as the shutdown battle careens towards Oct 17th and the truly catastrophic Debt Ceiling breach.
What Now!?
Historically these things last a little under a week (and cost about a billion dollars per week). The question is: what does the end-game look like? I see a few possibilities:
  1. Drag It Out: If we can drag this to the Debt Ceiling the stakes go WAY up. That's 16 days or so. We might have short-term CR's to "extend payments" in there--but I doubt it. Who wants that!?
  2. Obama Caves. At this point it's not clear what 'caving' would look like. The exchanges are open and paid for. People (some, anyway) are signing up. Would this mean canceling insurance people have already brought? Shutting down the website so they can't sell any more? I'm not sure.
  3. Boehner Caves: He uses Democrats to pass a Clean CR infuriating the base and ending his political career. 
  4. Moderates Prevail: In this case the GOP moderates prevail and pass a clean CR infuriating the base.
  5. The Base Caves: If things get bad enough that red-state "safe" districts might possibly lose a general election rather than a primary then we might see some of the House Reps moving away from their position.
Possible GOP Concessions
Here are some things the GOP might get:
  • Put congress under Obamacare. This will cost their staffers a few grand a year as Obamacare is not meant to be a health care system for large corporations (or governmental agencies). They were put on it in the first place to embarrass Democrats. It didn't work. Read that liberal rag the National Review Online's take on the non-exemption exemption here.
  • The Keystone Pipeline. Meaningless--but if it makes people happy, why not.
  • Ending the Medical Device Tax. Ehhh ... why not?
Possible Obama Concessions
  • Government and National Parks / NASA stays open
  • America keeps her credit rating more or less safe

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