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September 12, 2013

Top Headline Comments 9-12-13

Happy Thursday.

Where to start? The hits just keep on coming. You have to read the whole thing to get the total, horrifying sense of just how hard Putin has bitchslapped President Obama and the United States, but at the very least be sure to read that last paragraph. One gets the sense that most of the op-ed was written days ago, with the last paragraph tacked on after Obama's big "We Must Hurry Up And Wait" flop of a speech.

FLASHBACK, courtesy JohnE.

Oh, and while folks mull Putin's Potemkin reverence for international law, have a gander at the State Department's latest Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Russia (PDF).

Obama's Syria mess has eclipsed September's domestic concerns, including the CR, immigration reform, and Obamacare, but Congress is slowly getting back to business. In the Senate, Sen. McConnell is attaching individual and employer mandate delays to bipartisan energy legislation. On the House side, the GOP is busy tearing itself apart over how to lock the sequester in place in a CR and approach Obamacare defunding.

The House discord is the same old tune we've come to know over the past few years. Leadership says it wants to pick its battles. Rank-and-file conservatives say we must fight every battle, even ones we'll lose.

You know where I come down on this. Not even conservatives believe Obamacare is actually going to be defunded this month. Even conservatives admit (or lament) that what's going to happen if the House provokes a shutdown is that Republican congressmen from purple districts (aka RINOs, squishes, traitors who just want to keep their seats) will peel away to side with Democrats to avert both the shutdown and, incidentally, Obamacare defunding, which makes conservative insistence that the House try it anyway utterly insane. If we're all agreed that this course of action is doomed to failure and likely to make Republicans look bad, I'd just as soon avoid that course of action. No, "principle" does not require that we publicly shoot ourselves in the face. Neither is that a good strategy for taking back the Senate next year.

Meanwhile, what had been low-level mutterings from disaffected aides spilled over into the politics blogs, something else unlikely to improve the situation. These children need a time-out.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:53 AM

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