Lawmaker News

The more Christie bashes the right, the more voters like him; the more Obama talks without action, the more voters tune him out

There is now a powerful movement within the Republican Party to isolate the more rightist elements who counsel total obstruction. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and their ilk are increasingly isolated from GOP power brokers who are now dead set against their plan to cause a government shutdown over ObamaCare.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) rises in public opinion polls, and rises with Republican power brokers, every time he picks a fight with the right. The GOP civil war has begun. 

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Cruz's crusade strains GOP

Influential conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer calls it "nuts," while Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) calls it the "dumbest idea" he has heard and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) calls it "dishonest."

It is the idea now pushed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), but more loudly by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), to shut the government down unless a bill defunding ObamaCare is passed to keep the government operating after Sept. 30.

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Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio,Ted Cruz, Karl Rove and the GOP civil war

Don't miss the excellent front-page story in The Hill Wednesday about the Republican civil war over ObamaCare, the latest installment of the GOP civil war that I expect to escalate through the Hillary Clinton inaugural as president in 2017.

While Republicans battle each other over ObamaCare, we now witness the fun (for Democrats and the media) spectacle of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) insulting each other about who is the "king of bacon" while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) insults Democrats, Republicans, liberals, many conservatives and most of his Senate colleagues.

The GOP civil war is getting ugly and personal, and it will become even more ugly and personal until it becomes totally ugly and personal. The ObamaCare GOP civil war pits establishment Republicans, who want to act responsibly while opposing ObamaCare, against the recalcitrant Tea Party Republicans, who want to shut down the government and run around Washington with pitchforks.

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Marco Rubio wimps out on healthcare

Throughout the immigration debate, no one has tried to be more fair and objective about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) than yours truly, which is why I have praised him repeatedly for taking a leading role in support of fair immigration reform.

And now Rubio has capitulated to the right on healthcare, and he advocates threatening to bring the Senate to a halt and triggering a government shutdown over funding of ObamaCare.

Many influential Republicans agree publicly, or privately, that Rubio's position of threatening to shut the government down over healthcare is profoundly unwise policy for America and profoundly unwise politics for the GOP.

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Splits in GOP put spotlight on Pete King

You know the Republican Party is divided when Rep. Pete King (N.Y.) announces he may consider running for president. Why? Not because his party is too conservative on social or fiscal issues, but because it is no longer hawkish on national security.

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The maverick is back: John McCain on the offensive

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has returned to center stage by successfully championing immigration reform in the Senate and successfully helping to broker a deal in the Senate that avoided the "nuclear option" and pulled the GOP back from filibuster abuses.

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Senate Republicans capitulate

Welcome to the new Senate, the formerly august body where the minority used to be able to influence executive branch nominations through a vetting process and the threat of blocking confirmation is no more.

In their quest to “save” the institution, John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his merry band of quislings have given the president carte blanche to submit anyone he wants for confirmation with a guarantee of quick and easy passage.

Incredibly, McCain and friends even appear to have agreed to not filibuster unknown future NLRB nominees, with a return of former pariah Craig Becker even a possibility. After all, it would be a shame to actually do your constitutionally mandated job and stop nominees who have a proven willingness to put personal agenda over the law.

In my reading of the Constitution, it calls this process advice and consent, not advice and concede.

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Why Wendy Davis is the second-most important Democrat in America and Elizabeth Warren is the third

Polls are beginning to suggest that if Hillary Clinton, the most important Democrat in America, does not run for president in 2016, the leading Democratic prospect could well be Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

Meanwhile, Democrats across Texas are thrilled beyond description by the fighting spirit of new political star of the Lone Star State, Sen. Wendy Davis (D). Major donors and Democrats across the nation are taking note of the Davis surge.

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Harry Reid's moment, Mitch McConnell's choice

There are two possible outcomes to the controversy surrounding the unprecedented abuse of the filibuster by Republicans in the Senate.

Either Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will reach and honor a "gentleman's agreement" with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to limit the abuse of filibusters, or Reid will win a "nuclear option" vote to change the rules with a simple majority of senators voting yes.

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