Friday, October 4, 2013

Shutdown Mk IV: Who Remembers Obamacare!?

We enter day 5 of the shutdown with the course holding more or less steady. Here's where we are:
  • A dental hygienist with a 1 year old toddler in the back of her car rammed security barricades and then led police on a chase reaching 80mph. She was shot dead by Capitol Police who, despite being paid in IOUs, received a standing ovation on the floor of the House. She may have been unarmed. At least that's what we think we know right now. It'll probably change to Adam Laza's zombie and Piers Morgan discovering she was driving an Buick AR-15 Assault Stationwagon or something.
"We are really in an unprecedented place. Consider the following: The President of the United States is refusing to actively engage to end the current impasse. Respected author Bob Woodward has called President Obama’s avoidance of talks “baffling.” The President and his team’s absence is in stark contrast to the last Democrat President. During government shutdowns in 1995, President Clinton actively engaged Republican leaders in an attempt to find a solution."
Conservatives read the rest of the memo as the party-line that Obama is refusing to engage and therefore it's all his fault. ALL OF IT. Liberals read it as "We're throwing a tantrum and he's walking away. Can he do that!?"
  •  It's unclear how many people have made it through the Obamacare website but the numbers (still unreleased) cannot be good. Here are some images from my attempts:
We're Too Busy. It DID Refresh to Let Me In Though

I Didn't Get Far: We Know Their Vendor Strategy, At Least
  • Fittingly, someone discovers that the letters in the Obamacare hotline number? They spell out "1-800-FUCKYO" (that's 1-800-3(F) 8(U) 2(C) 5(K) 9(Y) 6(O).) No one said they were subtle.
What's It Mean?
The Republicans need an exit strategy: they have to come away with something that either looks good or feels good--and with Obama more or less disengaged and with the leadership getting personal, it appears that a "grand bargain" that looks good to Republicans is pretty distant. Although it isn't the MSM party-line, some people think the Obama administration is "going for the throat:"
In sum, there appears to be no variable that will change the chessboard. If it is to change, the White House will have to move the pieces on its own. The president's only hope appears to stake everything on a single move.

In this case, it appears the move is to goad Congressional Republicans into a dramatic loss in a high-profile - and ideally prolonged - budget battle. That means a shutdown or worse, default, to discredit his opposition - in his best case scenario, to such an extent that he reverses the trend of normal midterm losses and the rapid decline of second term presidents' political relevancy.

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