When is he ever out of a bind? The tea-baggers (it's the official name now, apparently, thanks to Obama) run the House even as that chamber looks more like an Italian legislature than an American branch of governance. Boehner seems morose and badly weakened, the tan more and more manufactured.
Now he's stuck with the NSA mess.
House Republican leaders are under pressure to allow a vote on legislation that would curb the National Security Agency (NSA).
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has defended the NSA's spying programs, but a growing bloc of his conference is signing on to a bill that would end the NSA's practice of collecting records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, which was revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden.
One House Democratic aide argued that the Republican leaders are boxed in. If they don't allow a vote on standalone NSA reform legislation, the aide said, members will demand NSA-related amendments to must-pass legislation like the defense and intelligence authorization bills.
"They're stuck. They would deal with this in the way they deal with a lot of things — by just not moving the legislation," the Democratic aide said. "Except how are they going to get other important pieces of legislation that they want to move unless they move this first?" ...TheHill
Of course, the vote is complicated by the relatively sane position of the baggers. Republicans brought us aggravated, even vicious tribal warfare. Tribal cohesion, strengthened by an obscene amount of money, is what gives Republicans, a minority party, the political strength to win elections. But cohesion is a thing of the past and the money seems less certain. The breakdown will (we hope) give them a hard time in 2014 and beyond.
The race for governor and lieutenant governor in Texas is getting really interesting. The Republicans have owned Texas for a long while. Their 2o14 candidates are deep in muck. And now the Dems are running filibuster hero, Wendy Davis, and a Hispanic -- albeit with a Belgian name -- for governor and lieutenant gov. Meet long-time legislator, Letitia Van de Putte.
Van de Putte might be able to put some money together, especially if she and Davis can capitalize on the excitement displayed during last summer’s filibuster on abortion and women’s health.
Intangibles could help. Van de Putte is more charismatic than her putative running mate, and the race for lieutenant governor could draw some attention. ...
... The synergy might work. This is the first time either party has run two women at the top of a Texas ticket, and Van de Putte opened her campaign with a line designed to hit that note: “Mama isn’t happy. When mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.” TexasTribune
A lot of Republican women seem to be unhappy with their party nationwide. David Brooks talked about it in the run-up to Ken Culcinelli's defeat in Virginia.
...The Republican Party has become more and more a white male party. And this is another sign of that. Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics did a very good analysis of where the vote have moved. His argument is not so much because of the government shutdown. It's not even changing demographics.
The Republicans have done quite well in the governor's races not too long ago, but just getting clobbered on gender issues, contraception issues and particularly on stridency. He's not only taking these positions, which other Republicans have won on. He's taken them in a very hard-line, strident manner. He's campaigned in a more strident manner. And it's just done him a disservice and opened up this gigantic gender gap. ...RealPolitics
Just try and imagine how well Ted Cruz, say, would do among Republican women.