Take Two for October 4, 2013

Friday Flashback: Government shutdown edition

Pork and Politics

Timothy D. Easley/AP

Kentucky Sens. Mitch McConnell, left, and Rand Paul speak with reporters following their appearance at the 50th annual Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds in Louisville, Ky.

Time for the government shut-down edition of the Friday Flashback, our weekly analysis of stories in the news. Here with us in the studio, James Rainey of the LA Times, and joining us from the DC, Nancy Cook of National Journal.  

What's the mood in DC and anything like talks or negotiations planned for today or over the weekend?

When you develop a strategy, I think you are supposed to have an end game. What you see as the desired outcome and a plan to get there. What do you think the end game is for each side in this debate, how did they imagine the outcome when the standoff ends?

Earlier this week, Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell were caught between TV appearances doing a little strategy. Let's listen:

 

So far the key players in this have been the President, the House Speaker, John Boehner, and the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Is there someone else in Washington who might be able to step in and mediate to get everybody off the dime and moving toward some sort of compromise?

Let's go back to John Boehner. He went along with his conservative wing, and insisted on the health care language in the House budget bills. But now he's indicating he wants to craft a bill raising the debt ceiling that Democrats will be able to support. That's something that will infuriate the hard right wing of his conference. Seems like a pretty precarious balancing act he's trying here, right?

This brings up this doctrine, the so-called Hastert rule, named for a former Republican speaker, Dennis Hastert. What is the Hastert rule and how does it play into all this? Now Dennis Hastert is denying the Hastert rule never existed. 

Back to the reality of the shut down. Polls seem to be showing that a majority of Americans, even those who don't like the health care law, don't think the government should be shut down because of it. Most blame the GOP. 

Another study this week showed that women don't think the party has done anything that makes it more appealing to them. Here's the big question: Republicans can get elected to the Congress, but can they win the White House?

Just a month ago, the President was getting hammered by his own party over his plan for military strikes in Syria. Now, Democrats are united with him. Couldn't you argue that the budget stalemate has actually been good for him?


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