I am just floored at the political incompetence of the Republicans in Congress. Conservatives are arguing that it is all about how the media unfairly makes Republicans the bad guys in all budget fights, and I think there is some truth in that. But this was something that was known in advance, and which could be planned for. I am not a political expert, but if the press really creates a messaging headwind for Republicans, then that means that they need to begin early and push often on a consistent message.
I thought the attempt to roll back Obamacare altogether was an absurd overreach that was merely attempted to help Congressmen head off primary challenges from the Right. But even so, the GOP only settled on this approach to the budget battle at the absolute last minute. What they really needed to do was pick a realistic item they were going to fight for, all agree to it 3-4 weeks ago, and then press like hell at every opportunity on the message for that one thing.
Now even political insiders can't name what is in the mish mash bill the House sent yesterday to the Senate. I know it has a one year individual mandate delay (just in time to bail the Administration out of dire implementation issues) and a few other random things. Of COURSE Republicans are going to lose the messaging war when they have not even bothered to message at all, even to those of us who could be convinced to start cutting government almost anywhere.