The memorable line from Monday's debate about Obamacare?
The president's astonishing declaration that "I shouldn't have to offer anything." Thus did the American public get a very candid glimpse of the president whose contempt for duly elected Republican opponents is exceeded only by his fecklessness in the face of America's enemies abroad. To Putin and the Iranians come offers of all sorts. To the Speaker of the House, only ultimatums.
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi also had spectacularly bad days for anyone who was watching. Some pundits don't think Harry's gracelessness and Nancy's strident incoherence don't matter, but they are wrong. Americans notice everything, even if they say very little. They are consumers, making up their minds over time.
We forget just how lousy the Big Three Ds are when it comes to communicating, and today's series of pratfalls should remind every Republican why there is great hope for winning the public opinion battle decisively in the days and weeks ahead, and ultimately for 2014.
As I explained over and over on Monday's show, this week's drama over the shutdown is just one chapter in a book titled "November, 2014." We won't know for a long time if the chapter will be pivotal to the end of the story, but we do know that the chapter's title --"I shouldn't have to offer anything"-- is a great ROI for the first day's effort. The president's stunning display of arrogance in his NPR interview is certain to repeat itself again and again if the House GOP holds the line against the combined forces of the Manhattan-Beltway media elite and a handful of GOP pundits who have talked themselves into believing that all the polls about Obamcare will somehow be magically reversed because 4,000 workers at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration don't report for work Tuesday.
I have long been an opponent of a purposeful shutdown strategy and have been predicting for weeks that this is what the president wanted, especially after the Syrian fiasco exposed him as a bumbler abroad as well as at home. Everything he has touched this year has turned to mud, and his hopes for retaking the House in 2014 are all but gone. Many Republicans including me didn't want any strategy that risked losing the political momentum that the president's ineptitude has created.