National Journal: “Fifty-five percent of Americans say if their member of Congress voted for a proposed strike, it would not affect whether they would support the lawmaker's reelection, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. That's a testament to the issue's overhyped political implications, despite this month's fervent public debate over its merits. … If there's any risk with taking a stance on Syria, it comes from Republican primary voters. Thirty-five percent of GOP members said they would be less inclined to back their lawmaker, while only 13 percent said they'd be more likely to support their reelection. Their antipathy helps explain the rush of many Republicans in office to publicly declare their opposition to the strike. Still, a plurality of respondents, 48 percent, said it wouldn't affect their vote either way.”
Roll Call finds frustration with Heritage and the Club for Growth among aides to House Republican leaders. “Heritage Action and Club for Growth are slowly becoming irrelevant Neanderthals,” one senior GOP aide said.
Said another: “Heritage is working harder to elect Democrats than the DCCC.”
But Grover Norquist at least is giving Republican leaders some cover on the strategy. “The strategy on this one is to start by recognizing that you have to play offense and defense.“While we push for Obamacare, we can’t lose on the sequester.”
NBC’s Frank Thorp finds similar frustration with tea party elected members: “Does Ted Cruz have a plan to get 41 votes? Does he have a strategy he's executing on to get 41 votes? Not that I'm aware of,” a GOP leadership aide told NBC News, “Has he ever come to the House leadership and said, ‘Here's my plan to get 41 votes in the Senate, to hold the line so we can defund Obamacare?’ Never. No. He's just on his twitter account attacking House Republicans.”
Speaking of Cruz, in what was supposed to be a foreign-policy speech before Heritage, he went off on a tangent about Jesse Helms and said this: “We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”
Roll Call on the remarks: “Helms was a leading conservative in the Senate for decades who rose to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was nicknamed “Senator No” for his efforts to hold up nominations and other priorities of the executive branch. He could be a lone voice of opposition, though his final CQ Politics in America profile did note his work in later years with current Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., on foreign affairs. But it was, of course, Helms’ views on social policy and matters of race that were the most contentious.”
“The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday it would continue to look into ethics investigations of Rep. Michele Bachmann and two other lawmakers. The committee also dismissed a potential case against Rep. John Tierney as ‘inconclusive,’” AP reports. “The committee said it would take more time to examine cases referred to it by the outside Office of Congressional Ethics that involve Bachmann, R-Minn., and Reps. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., and Pete Roskam, R-Ill.”