The Public Sure Doesn’t Seem to Be on the GOP’s Side


I’m about the 500th person to mention this, but it’s really kind of gobsmacking that the latest “strategy” from the House GOP caucus regarding the budget is to demand a conference committee with the Senate. These are the same guys who have been resolutely refusing to go to conference for months—despite plenty of begging from Patty Murray—because they were afraid that a conference committee might not guarantee that they’d get 100 percent of their demands met.

But now they suddenly think a conference is a great idea. Why? Who knows. I imagine they’ve decided (a) they don’t have a lot of other options left, and (b) now they want a compromise. They must be figuring that if they go to conference with defunding Obamacare as their demand and passing a budget as the Democrats’ demand, then the public will buy the idea that, say, delaying Obamacare for a year is a reasonable halfway compromise. Or something.

But the latest Quinnipiac poll sure doesn’t seem to back that up. The only thing more unpopular than defunding Obamacare outright is to use a shutdown or a debt ceiling crisis as extortion to defund Obamacare. Whether they like the law or not, the vast majority of the public just flatly doesn’t approve of hostage taking to accomplish something that Republicans couldn’t accomplish by winning elections.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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