As Margaret Hartmann suggests at Daily Intel, it's about time for Senator McConnell to become a visible part of the Republican effort to drown government -- and all of us -- in the Republicans' bathtub. We'll be seeing more of that doughy face even though McConnell is trying to hide behind his staff.
An Obama administration official said the issue is now "up to two people: the Senate minority leader to not block a vote and the House speaker to allow a vote." In a joint statement, Boehner and other House Republican leaders pointed to the Senate. “The House will take ... action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act," they said. A Senate Democratic leadership aide told the Huffington Post that they can't move a plan through Congress because "We need cooperation from Republicans ... and that hasn't materialized yet." If McConnell is planning to swoop in and save the day, his staff wasn't letting on. ...Daily Intel
McConnell risks becoming another Boehner. And now he has the Ashley Judd thing to worry about -- and he is worried.
Politically, McConnell finds himself between a Judd and a hard place, the hard place being another rival -- a way-right tea partyer also planning to run against the Senator in 2014.
Being hailed as the man who saved America from the fiscal cliff doesn't sound so bad, but it could make trouble for McConnell back home in Kentucky. The Club for Growth has vowed to oppose any compromise that includes a tax hike, and if the group gets behind a primary challenger, McConnell could lose before he even gets a chance to use his dirt on Judd. ...Daily Intel
Judd may have a flirt or a nude photo in her background. But nowadays there's nothing as repulsive as a Republican. And Kentucky may well defy stereotyping. Most states do these days.
Still, it's worth looking behind the scenes to see if maybe -- maybe -- McConnell will get off his duff and do his job. Doesn't look as though he will.
Jim Manley, a former top aide to Reid, said Senate Democratic leaders aren't likely to bring any fiscal package to the floor without a sign from McConnell that he’s prepared to help pass it. And for now, it doesn’t look like McConnell is willing to do that, said Manley, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.
“Unless Sen. McConnell radically changes his tune and agrees to substantive compromises, we are headed over the cliff,” he said. “But Sen. McConnell wants to ensure that whatever happens doesn't have his fingerprints on it.”
Manley said McConnell is someone who is already “a very cautious politician,” but given that he is also likely to face a Tea Party challenger in 2014, the chances are even slimmer that he’ll support a deal that involves taxes going up on anyone.
“We've got a potentially toxic situation,” Manley said. ...HuffPo
Phoning it in:
House Republican leaders are meeting Wednesday via a conference call as both parties continue to strategize over the "fiscal cliff."
A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed Wednesday that GOP leaders were chatting via phone, describing such calls as "routine."...The Hill