For John, BLUF: Is anyone in DC thinking? Nothing to see here; just move along.
Way back on 1 October the on-line presence Defense One asked "We Negotiate With Terrorists, Why Not With Congress?" One hopes that behind the scenes negotiations are ongoing. On the other hand, if one subscribes to the proposition that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi think that they are making votes hand over fist, there is no reason to negotiate.
On the other hand, NPR, yesterday, had an Associated Press poll which showed President Obama's approval rating at 37%. The Daily Caller♠ says that even "W", Hurricane KATRINA notwithstanding, was doing better at this point in his Administration than President Obama is in his.
The Washington Post, with some strange graphs, tells us that the size of the annual deficits is decreasing and that the Republican Party's signature issue, which won them the US House of Representatives in 2010, is going away. This may well be so.
While one generally hates to go to the Jesuits for insight, at times like this it might be in order. Over at the magazine America, what appears to be a blogger, Mr Robert David Sullivan,♥ asks about the prospects of the Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in 2014.
The actions of the Republican House in shutting down the federal government and threatening to default on the national debt unless the Obama administration makes unprecedented concessions (like defunding Obamacare) have some pundits re-evaluating the Democrats’ chances next year. In a Quinnipiac poll released last week, “voters pick a generic Democrat over a generic Republican candidate 43 - 34 percent, the widest Democratic margin measured so far.” And Rep. Steve Israel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that “GOP shutdown shenanigans were giving Dems a big recruiting boost, by prompting reluctant Dem candidates to express renewed interest in running in very tough GOP-held districts.”The first line of the next paragraph asks "But can such candidates survive Democratic primaries?" There is a good question. Some blame redistricting, something required every ten years, but I am not so sure. How many "Republican" districts could one create in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, even with Gerrymandering? If "Republicans" were a racial group, wouldn't there be a demand for Gerrymandering to give them a voice on Beacon Hill and a place in the Mass delegation to Capitol Hill?
So far, I put more stock in the skeptics like Nate Cohn, who claims that the Democrats are “not on-track to make the most of the potentially competitive districts.”
One reason for my skepticism is the topic of yesterday’s post, which is the near-disappearance of the moderate and conservative wings of the Democratic Party (following the purging of liberals and moderates in the Republican Party). In order to raise the odds of capturing enough seats to take back the House, the Democrats will need some conservative candidates capable of winning in districts that voted for Mitt Romney. In some cases, the most electable Democrats would be anti-abortion and against same-sex marriage. Ideal candidates may include Republicans persuaded to switch parties—not because they’ve suddenly renounced conservative views, but because they disagree with Tea Party tactics on achieving conservative goals.
Regards — Cliff
♠ I wonder what happened to the small fishing trawler logo they used to have?
♥ "Robert David Sullivan is a freelance writer and editor living in the Boston area. A native of Malden, Mass., he earned a B.A. in political science from Boston University. He has served as a copy-editor at the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Business Journal and as managing editor of CommonWealth magazine. He is also a contributor to the A.V. Club website and has written for publications including the Boston Globe. As a copy-editor and proofreader, his clients include the communications office of Boston College and Jesuits magazine."