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"What we're seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power."
You know about the Quinnipiac poll that suggests the GOP is on the wrong side of public opinion:
American voters oppose 72 - 22 percent Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
But see also PPP:
Similar to a Quinnipiac poll released this morning, we find Democrats improving their position on the generic Congressional ballot in the wake of all the controversy about the government shutdown. Democrats lead 45/40 on it, up from a 43/42 spread in July. Two things have caused that shift- Republicans had a 39/27 advantage with independents over the summer but have blown that and now there's a tie with them at 34% each. Republicans have also become less supportive of their own party, going from an 82/10 intention to vote GOP to 78/13. That shift has come largely among moderate Republicans who supported their own party 72/17 in July but now do so by only a 59/22 spread.
Follow Robert Costa from National Review to get a sense of where the GOP is coming from. Costa is a solid reporter with good sources. For example here:
The same question keeps popping up: Why doesn’t Speaker John Boehner just pass a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government? It’s a ubiquitous query at the Capitol, and it was asked many times this afternoon as House Republicans left their closed-door conference meeting. But most Republicans, when pressed by reporters, rolled their eyes. They know what Boehner knows: A clean CR has never been an option. Peter King of New York and his allies may want one, but the leadership privately believes it’d almost certainly raise tensions within the ranks and cripple their negotiating position.
.@AriMelber @robertcostaNRO @TheLastWord More importantly, GOPs only plan (there is no other) is hope Reid breaks before the House does? Oy.
Reality (you know, that thing that Republicans can't deal with) from CNN:
Surveys indicate that most Americans didn't think shutting down the government in an attempt to dismantle the new health care law was a good idea.

They apparently feel the same way about blocking an increase in the nation's debt ceiling to stop Obamacare, according to a new national poll released on Wednesday.
A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that a majority of the public would point fingers at Republicans in Congress if the nation's ability to borrow more money is not increased.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Ezra Klein interviews Costa here:

EK: How much of this is a Boehner problem and how much of this is a House Republicans problem? Which is to say, if Boehner decided to retire tomorrow, is there another House Republican who has enough trust and allegiance in the conference that he or she could manage the institution more effectively?

RC: What we're seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power. It’s not so much about Boehner. It’s things like the end of earmarks. They move away from Tom DeLay and they think they're improving the House, but now they have nothing to offer their members. The outside groups don't always move votes directly but they create an atmosphere of fear among the members. And so many of these members now live in the conservative world of talk radio and tea party conventions and Fox News invitations. And so the conservative strategy of the moment, no matter how unrealistic it might be, catches fire. The members begin to believe they can achieve things in divided government that most objective observers would believe is impossible. Leaders are dealing with these expectations that wouldn't exist in a normal environment.

More shutdown fallout from Sam Stein:  
Just hours into the government shutdown on Monday, the world of scientific research began feeling the pain.

Across the country, federal agencies shut their doors and required non-essential personnel to drop their work. The result was something akin to short-term paralysis, not just for officials in those institutions but also for the large community of researchers and academics that depends on them.

@NASA @ThePlumLineGS Due to the gov't shutdown, anyone in space will have to walk home tonight. Sorry about that.
The nation's first government shutdown in 17 years could have major impacts on the nation's ability to prepare for and respond to disease threats such as the approaching flu season and new viruses overseas such as H7N9 influenza and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to federal contingency plans.
Mark Schmitt:
In fact, “partisanship” isn’t the cause of the shutdown. And we’d probably be better off if politicians—that is, Republicans—were thinking more about the interests of their own party. Consider that Republicans led themselves into the fever swamp of the shutdown even as many of its advocates said out loud that it would hurt the party, harm their election chances in 2014, and embarrass them, all without any possibility of achieving their objective of ending the Affordable Care Act.

Politicians motivated by the interests of a political party wouldn’t do this.

In fact, far right conservatives truly believe the people will rise up and support them. NYT:
In contrast to 1995, when Speaker Newt Gingrich led his band of “revolutionary” Republicans into the last battle that shuttered the federal government, this time a small but powerful group of outspoken conservative hard-liners is leading its leaders — and increasingly angering a widening group of fellow Republicans.

“We’ve passed the witching hour of midnight, and the sky didn’t fall, nothing caved in,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who still believes Republicans can achieve “the end of Obamacare.” “Now the pressure will build on both sides, and the American people will weigh in.”

Reporting says they're pissing off their R colleagues in pursuit of a Fox News myth. When Republicans vote for a clear CR, I'll believe it.

Sean Trende on the politics of shutdown:

But the Democrats didn’t actually use the shutdown itself as their main line of attack on Republicans. It was part of it, but the real attacks came over the Republicans’ motivation for the shutdown. Because of the expansive nature of the GOP’s cuts, the Democrats were able to focus on several unpopular portions of the GOP budget: the so-called M2E2 strategy. They commenced a mantra-like repetition of their opposition to Republican attempts to gut “Medicare, Medicaid, Education and the Environment” in favor of a “risky tax scheme” that benefited the rich.

In other words, in evaluating 1996 as an illustration of what will happen to the GOP today, we probably have to separate the tactic of a shutdown from the substance of what motivates it. And today, the GOP is focused on defunding Obamacare, a law that isn’t particularly popular. For the analogy to 1995-96 to really stick, the GOP will probably have had to try something along the lines of shutting down government to implement the Paul Ryan balance-budget plan.

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