• A group called House Majority PAC is running ads in the districts of "at risk" Republicans, making sure their constituents know where their Congressman stands in regards to the shutdown. You can find samples of them here.
• You might remember Wendy Davis, the photogenic state senator from Fort Worth, who filibustered the Texas legislature right up to its constitutional closing time to prevent an anti-abortion bill from passing. Davis got such a name recognition boost out of it that she's decided to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. She'd be a long-shot even if she got it, though. Her Republican opponent has money out the wazoo.
• From Politico [yech], a hint that Texas Senator Ted Cruz will not be named Most Popular by his Senate class:
... [A]s the government shutdown heads into day three, a number of Republican senators privately blame the Texas freshman for contributing to the mess their party finds itself in. And now that they’re in it, they say it’s up to Cruz to help find a solution.
“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” said one senator who attended the meeting. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.” [My emphasis]• I've written before that I am convinced the core principle of the post-1964 Republican Party is racism. Everything else – "smaller government," opposition to Obamacare, taxation issues – has its roots in that.
Kevin Drum has an interesting post that does not support my thesis, though it doesn't refute it either. It turns out that a unifying fear of the loons that listen to right-wing radio is: being called a racist.
• Not far of that mark, a new book called Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America reports:
We also ask if people think Obama is destroying the country. We asked this question of all self-identified conservatives. If you look at all conservatives, 35 percent believe that. If you look at tea party conservatives and non-tea party conservatives, only six percent of non-tea party conservatives believe that vs. 71 percent of tea party conservatives.To which Ed Kilgore responds:
71% think Obama is “destroying the country.” Wow. So is it any great surprise that these same people, and the House members who identify with them, are willing to go to dangerous lengths to mess up Obama’s signature policy achievement and force a significant change in the federal government’s direction? Who cares about the risk of destroying the economy if the destruction of the country itself is the current trajectory?