Steve Kornacki

It's Almost Like the Tea Party Won

The Obama administration is doing its best to make Americans aware of – and enraged by – the impact of the sequester, hoping to pressure Republicans into a deal that will undo the cuts and replace them with the “balanced” deficit reduction framework that the president has been seeking for two years now. But several days into the sequester, it’s starting to feel like the critical mass of outrage that the White House is hoping for may not be reached.

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The Tea Party Mindset Still Dominates the GOP

Two stories that might seem to contradict each other ran in the New York Times this week. One declared the Tea Party movement “significantly weakened” in the wake of November’s elections and on its way to becoming “just another political faction.” The othernoted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might be concerned about a potential 2014 primary challenge – enough to filibuster any fiscal cliff plan that President Obama and Democrats draw up, no matter how modest.

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John Boehner Gets Humiliated

Last night was hardly the first public humiliation that John Boehner has suffered at the hands of his fellow Republicans, but it’s probably the most stark. And it raises some very basic questions about the House speaker’s political future – like whether he even has one.

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Don’t Be Afraid, Mr. President -- You Can Take on the Gun Lobby

There’s no disputing that the Democratic Party has regressed dramatically on the issue of gun violence over the past two decades. When a shooting rampage on the Long Island Railroad killed six people and injured 19 others in December 1993, Bill Clinton responded immediately by calling for specific legislative action to prevent future tragedies. Contrast that with the response of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday to a question about whether the carnage in Connecticut might prompt President Obama to pursue gun control measures. “I’m sure there will be another day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,” Carney said, “but I don’t think today is that day.”

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Why Republicans Became Anti-Tax Extremists

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Claire McCaskill pointed outthat she’d met Grover Norquist for the first time backstage, then asked a pretty good question: “Who is he?”

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The Sore Losers Club Welcomes New Members Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

Sometimes, losing national candidates actually manage to enhance their reputations in defeat. The most famous example of this is probably Bob Dole, who growled his way through the 1996 campaign but then turned in a winning performance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” a few days after the election, giving rise to something of a post-political career as a humorist. Al Gore knows something about this too; his concession of the 2000 election earned him respect that had eluded him throughout that campaign.

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This Thing Is Not Over: How Obama Could Still Be Sunk

We will learn soon enough whether Barack Obama’s forceful performance on Long Island will translate into a polling boost.

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Has the GOP Quit on Mitt?

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” David Brooks and Joe Scarborough took turns criticizing Mitt Romney’s messaging and strategy. Bay Buchanan, who has emerged as one of the Romney team’s most public faces, responded by insisting that her campaign is well-positioned to win:

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How Obama Can Pummel the GOP With His Jobs Plan

The biggest secret that’s not actually a secret in American politics is that President Obama realizes his $447 billion jobs bill will never be enacted — and that, as a result, the economy will not benefit from the increased growth and expanded payrolls that economists agree it would produce in advance of the 2012 election. But he’s pushing for it anyway, with unusual adamance and persistence, traveling the country to plead his case for an up/down vote in Congress and directly calling out GOP House leaders for refusing to give him one.

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Rick Perry Is Officially Blowing It

This story was originally published at Salon. 

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