Is Romney The Reason The Tea Party Won't Fight Over A CR in October?
Patrick Caldwell, a writing fellow from American Prospect, sent several interesting questions in response to my post yesterday about how the need for a continuing resolution by October 1 is causing serious angst for Republicans:
1. Wouldn't it be a nightmare for the Romney campaign if House Republicans shut down the government the same week as the first presidential debate?
2. Wouldn't a fight over a CR provide an opportunity for Obama to tie Romney with a Republican Party controlled by extremists willing to toy with a precarious economy.
3. Won't Romney's folks promise the tea partiers that, if they just maintain the status quo through January, they'll have free reign and can make further changes under a President Romney?
Yes to all three, but that doesn't mean it won't happen or isn't causing chronic heartburn for the GOP leadership...and the Romney campaign. As I point out in my post, the tea partiers have demonstrated repeatedly that they are not as susceptible to the pressures that previous generations of House and Senate members have been and are more than willing to buck their leadership when they see it as necessary.
And, as I also point out in the post, the tea party is still seething over the promises that were made to them in previous budget fights (Fool me 3 or 4 times, shame on me?) and aren't likely to be as trusting as would seem likely this time around.
Politico's Jake Sherman and Manu Raju report this morning (Thank you, Ben White) that the GOP angst is real and very deep seated. They also report, however, that there are serious internal GOP efforts to ward off a fight over a CR that could be politically devastating.
I'd say this will be fun to watch over the ext 10 weeks, but I'm not at all sure that this is how I want to define "fun."