The Obamacare sabotage campaign

The opposition was strategic from the start. | AP Photo

Politico – TODD S. PURDUM

“The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.”

To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step.

That may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory — and the Obama administration itself is so busy defending the indefensible early failings of its signature program that it has barely tried to make this case. But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge.

From the moment the bill was introduced, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress announced their intention to kill it. Republican troops pressed this cause all the way to the Supreme Court — which upheld the law, but weakened a key part of it by giving states the option to reject an expansion of Medicaid. The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.

The opposition was strategic from the start: Derail President Barack Obama’s biggest ambition, and derail Obama himself. Party leaders enforced discipline, withholding any support for the new law — which passed with only Democratic votes, thus undermining its acceptance. Partisan divisions also meant that Democrats could not pass legislation smoothing out some rough language in the draft bill that passed the Senate. That left the administration forced to fill far more gaps through regulation than it otherwise would have had to do, because attempts — usually routine — to re-open the bill for small changes could have led to wholesale debate in the Senate all over again.

But the bitter fight over passage was only the beginning of the war to stop Obamacare. Most Republican governors declined to create their own state insurance exchanges — an option inserted in the bill in the Senate to appeal to the classic conservative preference for local control — forcing the federal government to take at least partial responsibility for creating marketplaces serving 36 states — far more than ever intended.

Then congressional Republicans refused repeatedly to appropriate dedicated funds to do all that extra work, leaving the Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to cobble together by redirecting funds from existing programs. On top of that, nearly half of the states declined to expand their Medicaid programs using federal funds, as the law envisioned.

Then, in the months leading up to the program’s debut, some states refused to do anything at all to educate the public about the law. And congressional Republicans sent so many burdensome queries to local hospitals and nonprofits gearing up to help consumers navigate the new system face-to-face that at least two such groups returned their federal grants and gave up the effort. When the White House let it be known last summer that it was in talks with the National Football League to enlist star athletes to help promote the law, the Senate’s top two Republicans sent the league an ominous letter wondering why it would “risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand.” The NFL backed off.

The drama culminated on the eve of the open enrollment date of Oct. 1. Congressional Republicans shut down the government, disrupting last-minute planning and limiting the administration’s political ability to prepare the public for the likelihood of potential problems, because it was in a last-ditch fight to defend the president’s biggest legislative accomplishment.

“I think my Republican colleagues forget that a lot of people are enrolling through state exchanges, rather than the federal exchange,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) noted last week. “And if it wasn’t for the fact that many Republican governors, including my own,” failed to set up state exchanges, “then we wouldn’t be putting so much burden on the federal system.”

In fact, putting an excessive burden on the federal government was the explicit aim of the law’s opponents. “Congress authorized no funds for federal ‘fallback’ exchanges,” the Tea Party Patriots website noted as long ago as last December. “So Washington may not be able to impose exchanges on states at all.” The group went on to suggest that since Washington was not equipped to handle so many state exchanges, “both financially and otherwise — this means the entire law could implode on itself.”

Continue reading on page 2

Georgia Man Denied Medicaid Due to Governor’s Decision, Blames Obama Anyway

Georgia Man Denied Medicaid Due to Governor’s Decision, Blames Obama Anyway

I shouldn’t be surprised at this man’s attitude toward the president.  After all, he lives in Georgia…


The levels of cognitive dissonance flowing through Conservative circles is at such an absurdly high point that it is surprising that they aren’t literally drowning in it. It is scary how people can ignore what is right in front of their faces just so that they can maintain their narrative that President Obama is the only reason why they’re struggling in any way. Mother Jones contributor Kevin Drum highlights the oppositional defiance of the Tea Party in his piece, “The Real-World Consequences of Obama Derangement Syndrome.”

Drum is referencing an article written by Jim Tankersly at the Washington Post. The article is about the town of Rome, Georgia, and how it has a 10% unemployment rate and businesses are closing. It also discusses how the people being affected, regardless of the real reasons why, all blame Obama. Unfortunately the Washington Post piece isn’t a work of satire, and it doesn’t in any way confront the absurdity behind what the people interviewed are saying.

The negative consequences referenced in the title are in actuality caused by the Republicans, but their constituents are so brain washed that they can’t even blame the right people. It was banking deregulation that lead to the economic collapse, yet the easily misled  in Rome try to say that it is Dodd-Frank causing banks to not lend, and thus forcing them to close their businesses.

The problem with that is Dodd-Frank was written as a response to the irresponsibility of banks, encouraged by Republican policy, that led to the economic collapse in the first place. On top of that, much of the Dodd-Frank bill hasn’t even been put into effect because the people in charge of writing all of the regulations haven’t even finished yet. But of course, because they couldn’t possibly point their finger at the bad policies of their chosen party, they blame Obama.

Meanwhile, on the Affordable Care Act side of things, the last man discussed in the article could go down in history as one of the most blindly oppositional people to ever live if enough of us talk about the ignorance he exudes. Georgian Donald Rizer needs shoulder surgery, but he has no insurance. If his governor, Nathan Deal, hadn’t rejected millions, if not billions, of federal dollars to expand Medicaid in the state out of some misguided spite, then Mr. Rizer would qualify for Medicaid as of January 1st, 2014 and be able to get all of his necessary health services. But this is Conservative illogic at its best.

The Affordable Care Act was passed, granting billions to the states to expand Medicaid so that the poorest in the nation could live healthy lives. But wait, Republicans don’t like the law, so they challenged it in court. What happened?  The Conservative leaning court said that the ACA is Constitutional, the caveat being that the federal government can’t force the states to expand Medicaid if they don’t want to. Georgia’s governor, obviously a Republican, decides that he’s gonna “stick it to the man,” and refuse the money. The Georgia legislature also refuses to expand Medicaid, ultimately meaning that Mr. Rizer makes too much money at his part-time job to qualify for Medicaid.

So, to recap, Republicans fought the law, making it possible for the expansion to be ignored, and Republicans also refused to accept the money, thus not expanding Medicaid, and as such Republicans made Mr. Rizer ineligible for Medicaid. So who does Mr. Rizer blame for his inability to get insurance? You guessed it.  Obama! Wait, what? The Republican party is why he can’t get insurance, but Obama gets blamed? Republicans screwed the economy, but Obama gets blamed?

There’s a joke going around the internet that if Obama came out in favor of air, the Tea Party would all suffocate and die. If that were true, I’d think he would have said it already. Our only hope is that by repeatedly and frequently pointing out the absurd hypocrisy of the Tea Party, perhaps Fox news will be forced to do a report on it and the smarter ones out there might realize how stupid they’re being. Though that’s doubtful.

The consequence not discussed in all of this is how it affects the rest of us. While Democrats repeatedly try to pass legislation that actually helps people, these swaths of Conservative territory continue to push their representatives to oppose absolutely anything that Obama even remotely agrees with, forcing everyone to suffer for their bad judgement.

These are the same jackasses who complain about a few million dollars in welfare fraud, but they’re cool with 24 billion dollars lost to the economy because of the government shutdown. Much good could be done if the government was actually working, but these people would be happier if the government broke down completely — clearly not understanding how it wold affect their lives. Here’s to hoping the 2014 elections lean Left and we can clean up this train wreck.

– See more at:


5 Obamacare Facts Republicans Don’t Want To Talk About

K-Sebelius Resized
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius- Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund via Flickr

If Kathleen Sebelius personally sabotaged Healthcare dot gov, shouldn’t she be the GOP 2016 frontrunner?

The National Memo

1.  People Want To Give It A Chance

2.  If Canceling Insurance Is Bad, Repealing Obamacare Would Be A Nightmare

3.  We Don’t Have Real Sign-Up Numbers And That’s Not A Big Deal — Yet

4.  Republicans Have Made The Problems They’re Complaining About Worse

5.  The Law’s Biggest Disadvantage Is Now Its Biggest Advantage


Kos’ Sunday Talk: Beyond repair

Daily Kos

Monday morning, in an effort to distract America from the technical difficultiesplaguing healthcare.govPresident Obama staged a #FalseFaint operation.

Although he did a heckuva job, Obama’smission was not quite accomplished.

Luckily for him, the website’s problemspale in comparison to those faced by the Republican party.

No doubt, the biggest issue currentlyafflicting the GOP is the virus known as “the tea party“; as shown in poll afterpoll after poll, it’s dragging Republicans down to previously uncharted depths.

Now, I’m no expert, but it seems to me that the GOP’s best bet might just be tostart over from scratch.


Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R); Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D); Rep.Peter King (R-NY); Roundtable: Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress) and Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos.Face the Nation: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Roundtable:Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Former Press Secretary to LBJ Tom JohnsonBob Woodward (Washington Post) and Author Phil Shenon.

This Week: Former Vice President Dick Cheney (R); Sen. John Barasso (R-WY); Sen.Joe Manchin (D-WV); Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna BrazileS.E. Cupp(CNN), Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) and Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard).

Fox News Sunday: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R); Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA); RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Peter Baker (New York Times), George Will (Washington Post) and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Former Obama Health Policy Adviser Dr. Ezekial Emanuel; Rep. John Fleming (R-KA); Ross Douthat (New Yorrk Times);Cornell Belcher (CNN); A.B. Stoddard (The Hill)

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: the first eyewitness account from a Westerner who was on the ground in Benghazi during the deadly al Qaeda attack on the U.S. consulate (preview); an interview with former Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morell (preview); and, a backstage look at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (preview).

GOP’s Obamacare conspiracy: Sabotage from the inside

GOP's Obamacare conspiracy: Sabotage from the inside
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, asks a question during the committee’s hearing with contractors that built the federal government’s health care websites, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. (Credit: AP/Evan Vucci)


Yes, the Affordable Care Act rollout of the exchanges is a mess — and I agree with Brian Beutler and Jonathan Cohn that liberals should be pressing the White House hard to get it fixed, and with Ezra Klein that the ACA’s “success doesn’t depend on spin or solidarity. What matters for the law — and for the people who are depending on it — is how well it actually works.”

So I definitely don’t think the president and his administration should be let off the hook for the very real problems that have plagued the program this month.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that whatever their own responsibility for what’s gone wrong, the White House shares responsibility with the Republicans who have spent three years actively attempting to undermine the law. I’m not talking about repeal votes, which (while silly after a while) were totally legitimate, or about running against the program in subsequent elections, which was again entirely fair. No, I’m talking about actions designed — usually openly — not to make the law work better in their view, but to make it harder for the law to work well.

While some of these had obvious direct effects, most of them did not. And it’s hard, in most cases, to draw a direct causal line between disruptive actions and specific malfunctions in the Web site. Nevertheless, it’s hard to believe that any of these actively helped make the program run smoothly, and very easy to believe that the cumulative effect had at least some part to play in the October fiasco. So with all that said, here’s a very incomplete set of eight ways that Republicans attempted, perhaps successfully, to undermine the ACA:

Filibustering personnel: In particular, Senate Republicans prevented the confirmation of an Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid until May, 2013. That’s the agency that has the lead in getting things running. The general conventional wisdom, almost certainly true, is that neither an acting director or a recess appointed director has the clout within an agency of a properly nominated and confirmed presidential appointee.

Passing on state-run exchanges: With over half the states refusing to set up their own marketplaces, the job of the federal government was much larger than originally envisioned. And this was clearly not done with good intentions: ask 100 Republicans whether they believe the states or the federal government does a better job running things, and at least 99 are going to say the states.

Defunding: While the recent major defunding push failed, House Republicans successfully restricted funding for Health and Human Services and the agencies in charge of implementing the ACA, forcing Secretary Sebelius (and presumably various others at the department and various agencies) to scramble to make up for it.

Myths and lies: How many times since March 2010 has someone at the White House or a Democrat in Congress called over to HHS to ask about some crazy rumor that the press or a constituent was asking about? How much time was dedicated to figuring out what it was all about so that it could be properly refuted?

The big lawsuit: Granted, there’s some legitimacy in challenging the Constitutional status of a law, as long as it’s not frivolous, and the partial success of the lawsuit is sufficient to show it wasn’t entirely frivolous. Still, the type of attack involved in the lawsuit made it clear that reform opponents, if they couldn’t defeat the law, would be happy to leave it dysfunctional.

Other lawsuits: There have been plenty of these, and many of them really have been frivolous. As with the one that reached the Supreme Court, all of these have had the effect of delaying implementation, given that the status of the law was under fire.

Medicaid expansion: Not only did the state-by-state fights over Medicaid expansion mean that the program could not work as intended — the ability of states to opt out opens up a large hole for the not-quite-poor — but again, just dealing with this must have been yet another distraction.

Suppressing outreach: The administration knew that it had a major task in publicizing the rollout. What made that harder (and, presumably, distracted them from the critical task of making everything work smoothly) was a bizarre and perverse effort to undermine outreach: organizations such as the NFL were threatened if they helped to publicize the law, and an advertising campaign attempted to scare young people away from wanting to carry any health insurance.

Again: it’s hard to draw a straight line between any of these efforts and the administration’s failures. What we do know, however, is that time is limited; any day that a department secretary spends on one part of her job is a day she can’t focus on a different part. And then some of these had direct effects of increasing the amount of work the federal government had to do (such as the decisions not to run state exchanges) or to delay when they could do that work (such as the lawsuits). Others restricted the resources available. And some were just distractions.

Which leaves the question: how does the October rollout go if none of this had happened? If there had been aggressive oversight by Republicans in the House, and perhaps a few repeal votes, but otherwise elected Republicans had done their best to carry out the law even if they disagreed with it? We’ll never know the answer, and again this kind of question is definitely not intended to deflect the share of the responsibility that the president and his administration should take. But my guess? It would have been a whole different ballgame.

– Don Babets


North Carolina GOP Official Who Called Blacks ‘Lazy’ In Daily Show Voter ID Interview Resigns

This article was scheduled for posting this morning.  I apologize for the delay…


The guy being interviewed is one of many officials in North Carolina that have given Black students in particular North Carolina precincts, voting problems beyond belief for this day and age.  Good riddance is the nice way of watching this man’s exit from the NC legislation process.

The Huffington Post

A Republican precinct official in North Carolina resigned from his position Thursday, after The Daily Show aired a segment on the state’s voter ID lawin which he criticized “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything.”

Don Yelton stepped down from his position in the Buncombe County Republican Party, Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell told WRAL.

“When I was a young man you didn’t call a black a black,” Yelton said during the interview. “You called him a negro.”

In a press release, the Buncombe GOP — which has the slogan “Moving forward without forgetting our past” on its website — called Yelton’s comments “offensive, uniformed, and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”

“Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell stated. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”

Yelton “did not seek the approval of any party official before accepting the interview request,” officials said.


Kos’ Abbreviated pundit roundup: Analyzing the Tea Party

Daily Kos

Jon Favreau at The Daily Beast:

The Tea Party is the problem.The Tea Party is the most destructive force in American politics today. Over the last few weeks, it has demonstrated again that its intent is not to shake up the establishment but to burn down the village. As a Democrat, I disagree with its policy positions, but its policy positions alone are not what make the Tea Party so dangerous. What makes the Tea Party dangerous is its members’ willful disregard for the most basic tenets of American democracy. They do not believe in the legitimacy of our president. They do not believe in the legitimacy of decisions handed down by our Supreme Court. Unlike President Obama, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or a host of other Democratic and Republican lawmakers who grasp the basic reality of politics, they have never, not once shown a willingness to compromise on anything. Merely uttering the word is enough to draw a primary challenge.

All this, despite the fact that the Tea Party represents the views of a small, ever-shrinking fraction of Americans. Even within the Republican Party, its members’ favorability hovers around 50 percent, the lowest of all time. Their recent legislative strategy, a word that can be used only in its loosest sense, led to 144 Tea Party House members voting against a bipartisan compromise simply to open the government and avert default. But when Reuters polled people who weren’t satisfied with last week’s outcome, only 2 percent said it was because the House passed the Senate’s bipartisan bill. Only 5 percent said it was because Republicans compromised. Only 3 percent said it was because default would have taught our government an important lesson. Most people said their main dissatisfaction was with the ugly process the Tea Party dragged us all through.

And yet, somehow, this small minority of Tea Party House members, who represent less than one half of one legislative body in one branch of government, has been given enormous influence over the national agenda—a situation without precedent in American political history. It’s insanity.

Maria Cardona at CNN:

The problem for Boehner as a leader of a fractured caucus is that he is listening to only a small but loud fraction of the American electorate. The voices of this America are vengeful if they don’t get their way. […] [G]oing to the mat for the tea party might enable Boehner to push them hard to avoid this destructive path next time. It might give him the backbone he will need to stand up to them in the coming months and listen to the other “America” that represents more reasonable middle-of-the-road voices. These also happen to be a majority of the country — Republicans, Democrats and independents. They are the voters that decide presidential elections and are precisely the ones the tea party is alienating. […]The bigger problem for moderate and pragmatic Republicans is that the tea party doesn’t care about the Republican Party’s shrinking White House prospects. But it does care about its own and about keeping control of the House of Representatives. This could be enough to get the tea party to rethink its strategy.

Americans have had it. The most recent CNN poll shows 54% of Americans think it is a bad thing for the country that the GOP controls Congress. For the first time ever, polls show 60% of voters are ready to boot all of Congress out — including their own representatives.

Jules Witcover at The Baltimore Sun:

Today, Mr. Cruz’ one-man assault on President Obama and more significantly on the leadership of his own party, both in the Senate and across the Capitol in the House, personifies a new McCarthyism on the Hill. It requires a similar intervention by the moderate voices among the congressional Republicans if the party is to restore its own reputation as a partner in responsible governance.Some will argue that Mr. Obama, as president, should remain above any personal confrontation with a single senator low on the totem pole as a freshman, leaving it to the Republicans to deal with Mr. Cruz. Such a presidential intervention, it will be said, will only elevate the brash Texan in the national spotlight, encouraging him to engage with Mr. Obama as a political equal.

But in the 1950s, Eisenhower learned the hard way that trying to ignore Joe McCarthy only encouraged him to press on with his phony attacks on communist infiltration of the Eisenhower State Department and elsewhere. Cruzism has not yet sunk to similar depths today. But the looks and smell of it are all too familiar to any observers of the era of McCarthyism still around.

Peter Schweitzer at The New York Times writes about how our campaign contribution system is essentially legalized extortion:

Consider this: of the thousands of bills introduced in Congress each year, only roughly 5 percent become law. Why do legislators bother proposing so many bills? What if many of those bills are written not to be passed but to pressure people into forking over cash?This is exactly what is happening. Politicians have developed a dizzying array of legislative tactics to bring in money.

Take the maneuver known inside the Beltway as the “tollbooth.” Here the speaker of the House or a powerful committee chairperson will create a procedural obstruction or postponement on the eve of an important vote. Campaign contributions are then implicitly solicited. If the tribute offered by those in favor of the bill’s passage is too small (or if the money from opponents is sufficiently high), the bill is delayed and does not proceed down the legislative highway.

Speaking of money, Juan Williams profiles the money war in the GOP:

As a very high-ranking Republican told me last week: “We have a total split between people who give us $30 and the people who give us $30,000.”The $30 donors are the Tea Party donors. The $30,000 donors are business groups. […]
It has long been obvious there is money to be made in catering to right-wing anger by demonizing liberals in general and President Obama in particular. But, as Cruz and Palin demonstrate, the new whipping boy for the Tea Party is the current set of Republican leaders.

It is now Republican against Republican. Specifically, Tea Party Republicans against non-Tea Party Republicans.

The only force available to counter Tea Party dollars is big bucks from big business.

Finally, on the rollout, Chris Jennings, deputy assistant to the president for Health Policy, cuts through the media frenzy and lays out the facts:

The core of the law — health insurance — works just fine.These plans will not sell out. The prices will not change. We’re only three weeks into a six-month open enrollment period. And while the website will ultimately be the easiest way to buy insurance, it isn’t the only way.

You can call 1-800-318-2596 to apply. You can download an application on and mail it in. Or you can check out to find out where you can apply in person. We’re confident you’ll find the new way of buying health insurance much easier than the old way.

The president did not fight so hard for this reform just to build a website. He did it to make health care more secure for people who have it, and more affordable and accessible for people who don’t. That’s what the Affordable Care Act does.

Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

This is is not the only defection the GOP will be facing in the next couple of years…


A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destrying people’s lives.

Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.

Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.

I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.

These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.

I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s of 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.

That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts.   

Texas Democrats welcomed the judge’s decision but said they were not surprised by it.

“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project. “Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won’t do it.”



The Huffington Post

Democrats Have A Shot At Taking Back The House As Republican Popularity Continues To Drop: Poll

A new survey of 25 GOP-held districts shows dwindling favorability for Republican members of the House in the wake of the recent government shutdown.

The survey, conducted by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling and funded by, is the third in a series of polls that indicate Democrats have a shot at taking back the House of Representatives in the 2014 election cycle.

The results of the latest survey show that incumbent Republicans in 15 of the 25 districts polled trail generic Democratic candidates. When combined with the results of the previous surveys, the polls show that generic Democratic candidates lead in 37 of 61 GOP-held districts.

When voters were informed their Republican candidate supported the government shutdown, 11 more districts flipped and one race became a tie.

Democrats in the House only need to see a net increase of 17 seats in order to take back the majority. This poll indicates that Democrats could see an increase of as many as 49 seats.

Public Policy Polling indicated several caveats to the results. The surveys were conducted during a high-profile budget crisis debate, a year before the elections will take place. And incumbent Republican candidates were compared to “generic Democrats,” who may not represent the actual candidates each district will see.

“Democrats must recruit strong candidates and run effective campaigns in individual districts if they are to capitalize on the vulnerability revealed by these surveys,” Public Policy Polling’s Jim Williams said of the caveat, “and they must maintain a significant national advantage over Republicans.”

Recent polls conducted by the Pew Research Center and NBC/Wall Street Journal are consistent with the survey’s claim that the Republican party took a hit from the fiscal crisis. Pew found that more Americans blamed Republicans for the shutdown, and NBC/Wall Street Journal found that the Republican party was “badly damaged” by it.

GOP strategist slams ‘the stupid wing of the Republican Party’

Daily Kos

Good times for the GOP:

Republican strategist Mike Murphy chided what he called “the stupid wing of the Republican Party.””There’s tension and there ought to be a questioning of whether we ought to listen to such bad advice,” Murphy said when asked about the influence of conservative groups. “We took a huge brand hit. It’s self-inflicted. … I’m glad there are no elections tomorrow.”

(snip) “I don’t want to go down this road again,” [Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.] said in an interview with The Associated Press, noting that she disagreed with congressional conservatives’ tactics during the budget fight. “What we take from this experience is that there are obviously common-sense problem solvers, and that’s where the party needs to be.”

Nicer than Murphy, Ayotte only implied that Tea Party Republicans lack common sense. I guess that’s a little less harsh than calling them stupid.

Wait, there’s more. Senator Orrin Hatch strongly criticized groups on the right that “aren’t even Republicans but who think they can control the Republican Party.”

Hatch then spoke about the “radicalness” of some of these groups, and when Chuck Todd asked if he was referring to the Heritage Foundation, led by former Senator Jim DeMint, Hatch said “well, yeah.” He added that he and many other Republicans are asking whether Heritage has become “so political” that it’s “in danger of losing it’s clout and its power.”

As for Murphy’s comment, I think we all remember the line from Forrest Gump about stupidity, right?