It’s only when the tide goes out, as Warren Buffett famously said, that you learn who’s been swimming naked. Well, 2013 has been a banner year for skinny-dipping among Asian leaders, central banks and business people.
If you want to understand why the government is shut down or why elected Republicans would even consider doing something as reckless as using a debt default to extract policy concessions from the White House -- without necessarily even knowing which policy concessions they want -- Stan Greenberg has a memo for you.
In the 15 minutes Marco Rubio spent speaking to a crowd of anti-tax Tea Party Republicans in Orlando, Florida, he didn’t mention the word “immigration.” Activists at the annual meeting of Americans for Prosperity didn’t hesitate to raise the subject -- loudly.
Tea Party Republicans are, across the board, more conservative than their fellow party members, more likely to be male, more pessimistic about the direction of the country and more antagonistic to President Barack Obama.
We’re used to brinkmanship in Washington resulting from conflict between Democrats and Republicans. But this shutdown is different. It’s a fight between Republicans and Republicans -- or, more specifically, Republicans and the Tea Party.