Some of the 2009 guests are breaking off into their own Monday night dinner groups (“We’ll find some Mexican restaurant somewhere,” said Coburn, who plans to discuss the debt limit with his friends, GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Richard Burr of North Carolina). Others are legally barred from breaking bread (“The crazy ethics rules will keep me from meeting with any members,” said Republican former senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who now heads up the Heritage Foundation. “We’ll just stay away for now.”).(Note to Washington, D.C., Mexican restaurant waiters: If you see Tom Coburn, Saxby Chambliss and Richard Burr being seated in your section, remember how grateful we all were to the person who made the Mitt Romney 47 percent video.)
(Note to Jim DeMint: I guess you are an expert on crazy, embodying it as you do, but whining about ethics rules right after you've headed off to make piles of money at Heritage is ... maybe a little on the nose?)
But on a policy level, what comes through loud and clear is that Republicans are sticking to the same basic game plan: try to run the country into a ditch for short-term partisan political gain.