Wednesday Open Thread [2.18.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 19, 2014

Jonathan Chait on how the House Republicans really screwed their Presidential candidates and doomed their hopes for 2016. Seriously, these guys are such experts at foot shooting, they should teach courses.

“The decisive case for inaction that Republicans made to Boehner has been that moving an immigration bill would divide the party in advance of the midterm elections. Republicans are anticipating a favorable midterm election, with a shrunken and more demographically favorable electorate, along with a Senate map tilted heavily toward red states. They don’t want to instigate right-wing infighting when they can instead spend every day harping on the multitudinous evils of Obamacare.”

“Yet, once the midterms pass, the presidential primary will quickly command attention. Republicans again will be competing for the loyalty of a heavily white, distinctly anti-immigrant electoral base, and the candidates will again face pressure to lock themselves into positions that will alienate Latino and Asian voters. They could still win anyway if the economy is weak enough, or some other major scandal envelopes the Obama administration. But in an electorate that is both increasingly hardened in its partisan inclinations, and growing steadily more Democratic-leaning in its basic shape, the GOP’s outlook is, if not hopeless, decidedly grim.”

Meanwhile, the ACA or Obamacare is here to stay, and guess what, it is working and succeeding, much to the chagrin of the America-hating job-lock loving GOP surrender monkeys. Eugene Robinson:

Cumulatively, 3.3 million people had chosen insurance plans through the state and federal exchanges by the end of January. That is fewer than the administration had originally hoped but well above the predictions of critics who believed — or hoped — that the program would never succeed. The Congressional Budget Office projects that 6 million people will have chosen plans through Obamacare when the initial enrollment period ends March 31, down from a pre-launch estimate of 7 million. Not bad at all.

The numbers are even more encouraging when you look more closely. The proportion of young people — from 18 and 34 — who chose insurance plans through the exchanges increased slightly to 27 percent, compared with an average of 24 percent in previous months. This is important because premiums would have to rise if not enough young, healthy people enrolled.

January was also the first month since the health exchanges were launched in which the number of new enrollees in ObamaCare actually exceeded the administration’s projections.

Forbes has an interesting article that includes a chart that shows how states are doing in terms of enrolling people compared to what the administration needs in order to reach their goal of six million enrollees. California is already at 118% of the goal, and Washington state is at 94%. Idaho(!) is at 98% of the goal. Alabama(!) is at (60%). Meanwhile, New York is only at 39%. Hey Cuomo, you lazy bum, wake up. Yes, it helps to have the state government committed to the law (though the governments of Idaho and Alabama are not what I call committed). For example, the most committed and outspoken Governor is Kentucky’s Steve Beshear, and his state is at 77% while another state with a Democratic governor who might as well be a Republican since they and he cowardly run away from anything Democratic, West Virginia, is at 30%.

LOUISIANA–GOVERNOR–APPROVAL–Public Policy Polling: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is among the least popular governors in the U.S with a 53% disapproval rating.

OHIO–GOVERNOR–Quinnipiac: Gov. John Kasich (R) 43, Ed FitzGerald (D) 38.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The race to become Ohio’s next governor is a five-point game, little changed from the seven-point spread in Quinnipiac University’s last survey in November. Also unchanged, however, is how relatively few Ohioans – less than three in ten – know enough about Democratic favorite Ed Fitzgerald to have an opinion about him. That is a double-edged sword for the challenger: It indicates he has not made much headway in the past three months, but it provides him an opportunity to make up ground among the vast number of voters who are unfamiliar with him.”

MINNESOTA–U.S. SENATE–Star Tribune Minnesota Poll: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has a 55% to 34% approval rating.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    The case for inaction… has been that moving an immigration bill would divide the party….

    While Rush Limbaugh is on the air, and people like Eric Ericson have a following, the GOP’s pursuit of party unity seem pointless. Can the GOP be more divided? It is hard to imagine it.