The Fix Live

Sep 27, 2013

The Fix's Chris Cillizza discussed the latest in political news.

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Happy Friday everyone!

Just days before a government shutdown, there remains a ton of uncertainty about what's next and whether anything can pass before Sept. 30 (Monday).

All sides say they don't want a shutdown but...this is politics and if past is prologue then....

On that upbeat note, let's do it.

Ted Cruz will be invited on every Sunday Show this week and face hard hitting questions like this (Question to Wendy Davis): "Why did you decide to wear your running shoes? And let's take a look at those..... Wow"

True that Ted Cruz will be on a Sunday show...he is on "Meet the Press".

Hi Chris. Love your chats. Can you explain the strategy of the Republicans who seem to want a shutdown no matter what? They can't realistically think they are going to defund the Affordable Care Act and the vast majority of Americans seems to oppose shutdown politics. I don't understand what they think they are going to accomplish.

I think you have to start with the fact that Republicans view the budget showdown and the debt ceiling fight as two of their only leverage points with the Oba,a Administration when it comes to reducing spending.

So, they view these pinch points as a chance to negotiate on the fiscal state of the country going forward.  Democrats, obviously don't see it like that, and President Obama has been firm in insisting he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling.

Who blinks first? 

Have you had the Pumpkin Spice Latte yet?

Have. I have probably had 5 or six to this point in the season. Have to say they aren't what they once were in my life.

Have Ted Cruz repeating from last week with, "The Worst Week in Washington". That 21 hour talkathon wasnt even a real fillibuster, and just highlighted the divisions within the Senate GOP.

Went in a different direction this week:

If this were Vegas, what kind of odds would you be giving a government shutdown and a default? Me, I've only been to Atlantic City, so I can only give short odds to a shutdown, but longer odds to a default.


I think a shutdown is about 60-65% likely right now.

I think a debt ceiling breach is under 10%.

Why do 40 Tea Party Representatives rule the world? Why are their votes more important than the almost 200 House Republicans who don't want to shut down the country just to prove a point? Why does Boehner listen to them? At some point, the parent (Boehner) has to tell the 4 year old child (Tea Party) that he can't have ice cream for dinner every day, no matter how much they cry and scream.

There are some within the GOp who share that view.

But, remember a few things:

1. Boehner is a conservative and I think genuinely believes repealing OBamacare is the right thing to do.

2. He was elected to lead the GOP conference and to do that he is trying to give the 40-45 cast iron conservatives as much leeway as possible.

3. Boehner would like to keep his job (ot at least keep the possibility of keeping his job) and to pass major legislation with mostly Democratic votes isn't the way to do that.

Looking forward to tomorrows battle between the Blues and the Spurs?

Almost as much as I am looking forward to the Catholic U vs Drew U field hockey game...

I'm a conservative Republican and i can't stand Ted Cruz. I watched him speak at CPAC but i don't get his appeal. If he ever ran for President and somehow beat Chris Christie for the nomination I don't see how he can be competitive in the general election. Do you think he would have a shot at becoming the Republican nominee?

I think he might.

Cruz's message -- Washington Republicans are enablers, they aren't willing to fight -- is a nice fit for how lots of GOP grassroots people feel right now. 

And, I think he demonstrated during his talk-a-thon that he can be a charismatic deliverer of that message.

I am not exactly sure where he futs in a field with Rand, Rubio and Christie. But I do think he will think seriously about running.

Cruz's kinda sorta filibuster certainly set him apart from Paul on Obamacare, and the optics f their divergent tactics this week probably weren't what Paul was hoping for. Do you look at it as an early 2016 shot across the bow? And is there room in the 2016 field for both of them?

It's a great question that I don't know the answer to.

I think Rand has the libertarian wing of the GOP all but wrapped up.  Cruz then would have to run as some sort of hybrid between a cast-iron conservative and a social conservative. It's possible but it's less of a clear lane than Rand has at the moment.

Can Boehner exercise any control at all over his caucus? Or does this signal the end of the traditional power held by Speaker and Whip?

I don't think Boehner has the ability to make a decision about what direction the GOP Conference should take and enforce it all the way down the line.

The 40-45 cast-iron conservatives in the House virtually define themselves by their opposition to Boehner.  And, I think they would fight with anyone who was Speaker and tried to tell them what to do.

That's a long way around way of saying being Speaker ain't what it used to be.

Where are you chatting? What is the Soundtrack? And if there's a Governent Shutdown, What will you be Drinking?

I am in the beating heart of Post TV HQ drinking water. (Got to stay hydrated for Mrs. Fix's game tomorrow.)  Soundtrack: "The Missing Years" by John Prine.

Very classy way he is exiting his career. Not a Yankees fan but do admire the way he has played. Even the Red Sox honored him.

He is amazing.

Was it technically not a filibuster?

A filibuster doesn't technically exist. Explained here:

Can we give it to Dr. Seuss this week?

Oooh. Good one.

In 1986 to save 700 jobs in Upstate Alfonse D'Amato spoke for nearly 24 hours, which included him singing "South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) and reading from the DC telephone book.

Here's a write-up of it. Amazing.

Have you already started telling your FixUnderlings which ones are "Non-essential staff?" Or will you designate yourself as NES in order to shift over to more field hockey reporting?

ALL Members of the Fix are essential. It's like the entire city of DC. (

If they're not your thing anymore, you could always use my fallback: the cinnamon dolce latte.

I have been a mocha man for a while now.

But does anyone honestly think Obama is ever going to sign the bill that repeals Obamacare? Boehner needs to tell Republicans to start winning some elections if they want to get rid of Obamacare. Shutting down the government sends the cause in the wrong direction.

I am CERTAIN Boehner has tried to explain to the cast-iron conservatives that no matter how much they hate the law, it is the law and repealing it isn't going to happen.

But, many of these people are motivated solely by principle and believe that history is chock full of times when things that weren't supposed to happen would up happening after enough pressure. That, in essence, is the Ted Cruz argument.

How long until Boehner goes to Pelosi and they (all the sane people) band together?

Well, he's not cutting a deal where the CR passes with mostly D votes. That would lead to open insurrection in his ranks and make his already difficult job totally impossible.

The question is whether Boehner can cut some deal in which a handful of Democrats vote for a GOP-led bill to make up for the cast-iron conservatives who will likely vote against the CR without the defunding Obamacare provision.

But isn't that the failure of leadership - to telegraph that you want to keep your job more than you want to be effective at it?

I suppose but only if you believe it is possible for anyone, Boehner included, to lead this GOP conference. And I don't.

I thought we were through the looking glass before, but this settles it.

"We're through the looking glass here, people." -- Milhouse van Houten.

Is Fix Aaron "essential" staff. I thought he was looking at ways to taking over The Fix Empire.

Fix Aaron is working toward making me non-essential.

Recognizing that The Fix is a relative youngster, does anyone recall if there was this much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Social Security and Medicare legislation was passed?

I tend to think we glorify the past when, allegedly, everything worked the way government was supposed to work.

That said, there is data evidence that we are living in some of the most political polarized times in American history. 

Read this:

I know the gentle jabs at Syracuse are all tongue in cheek, mostly, but I feel I must come to the defense of some of the comments from last week. 1- No one does more for cancer research fund raising than Jim Boeheim. Prickly as he might be, the man is a hero in the eyes of many for that. 2- While we do lay claim to the most polluted lake in the US we also lay claim to the cleanest: Skaneateles Lake, one of the gorgeous Finger Lakes and it is where we get our drinking water. Unfiltered by the way 3- The current Miss America hails from Syracuse and is the first contestant of Indian decent to wear the crown. And finally, Dinosaur Barbecue. We invented it. 'Nuff said.

Points taken.

Still, Eric Devendorf.

Cruz your way into savings with Spirit's Filibuster Sale!


Did I read on past chats that you are a fan of Broadchurch? If so, have you seen the finale yet? Incredibly gut wrenching. Heard there will be a second season but the powers that be said it won't be anything like the first...


Watched the finale last night. Wrenching. Remarkably acted, filmed and scored. Some of the best TV I have seen in years.

Boehner will have to choose between a mostly Dem-supported CR or a shutdown. He's done it before. He might as well do it again since a revolt is coming if he runs again anyway.

It may be that is his choice. I am not as sure as you about which way he would decide.

While I agree with Senator Corker wholeheartedly, I'm afraid he lost his spat with Cruz on the senate floor yesterday. Moderate Republicans seems unwilling to admit that voting to invoke cloture is essentially a vote to enable Obamacare. My question is, why won't the moderates just say what they know to be true: this isn't the time or place to have this fight.

Right.  Idea being that politics is all about picking fights you believe you are likely to win and this ain't one.

Is in which GoT house? Which king are you?

Six words: The Fix always pays its debts.

The Landmark Conference. Now that the non-conference portion of the schedule is over, every other team has to dread a meeting with the mighty Cardinals.

My gosh this is GENIUS.  

Not for nothing: Mrs. Fix led CUA Cardinals are back to back regular season and tournament conference champs.


I'm also a conservative Republican and I LOVE Ted Cruz. Finally, a man who does what he think is right and puts his constituents above his party officials. I didn't vote for Cruz (not a Texan), but I wish I could vote for a representative how puts representing voters over doing the bidding of party bigwigs.

Thanks for the thought. I think Cruz's populism is appealing t lots of people.

Chris, is it possible to insult Ted Cruz, or do the insults just roll off his back.

I do believe he is like that Marvel Comics character..wjho absorbs energy directed at him and gets stronger.

John McCain attacking Ted Cruz? Cruz loves it. He wishes it would happen every day.

Can I crash at the Cillizza household for the weekend?


Will this question appear in italics? :(

I believe that glitch on The Fix has been fixed (ahem).

Winner is Cory Booker: Anthony Weiner ruined his ability to tweet "adult dance performance artist" in peace.


Seems like Drudge doesn't like Christie? Any particular reason you're aware of?

I agree and have noticed that too. I am not sure why...but Drudge definitely highlights stories that make Christie lool something short of conservative.

O'Malley is underrated right now by the press even though he'll appeal to primary voters. Kaine has been mentioned as a dark horse. When will Mark Warner make a move? He seems like the most electable in a general election.

Is O'Malley undeerrated or is he the Democratic version of Tim Pawlenty circa 2012? Asking because I genuinely don't know.

Agree on Kaine.

And I don't see how Mark Warner could win a Democratic primary.

You live in Falls Church Virginia. You have to vote in at least some of the elections right? Right?!

I do not vote.

Which are the odds of Wendy Davis winning #TXGOV race? 20%?


Just wondering what the reaction you've gotten (both from general readers and people you know in real life) for your takedown of American remake of "House of Cards"?

Lots on both sides. Some people thanked me profusely. Others insisted my brain stopped working.

Please hug Aaron Blake for me-Christian Ponder gets benched and the alternative is...Matt Cassel. *sad trombone*

Yeah, the Minnesota sports scene isn't so great these days for ole Aaron.

CUA freshman here! Whens the next field hockey game The Fix will be at?


I am the definition of a super fan.

Regardless of who wins, its pretty much set that he won't receive 50% correct? If so, will that weaken him enough in Richmond to dull any agenda?

It could be particularly given the libertarian candidate is getting between 7-10 percent. Typically, the third party vote fades as the election gets closer because people don't want to throw away their vote on someone who can't win.  Not sure if that will happen this time around

Powerful. Gripping. Incredible story. Have you watched the final episode yet?

Yes.  Last night. Inredibly moving show. Lead actor and actress are absolutely amazing.

In all of the profiles of Cruz I read this week, they all seemed to stress the fact that Cruz always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. Given that, do you see him as being long for the Senate, where he has to put up with 99 other people who think that about themselves? I know he'll run for POTUS, but if that doesn't work, is there a chance he heads back to Texas to run for Governor?

I don't think he stays in the Senate all that long. I think a presidential bid is most likely but governor of Texas is also a possibility down the line.

Have you sampled any of the new TV shows...I have a lot of hope for the Michael J Fox Show and The Crazy Ones.

Not yet. Watched season premiere of "Nashville" last night. I love me some Rayna James.

Hasn't the lack of comparable hoopla over Ted Cruz when compared to the fawning adoration surrounding Wendy Davis exposed, once and for all, the liberal media bias?

I don't get this critique.

We did a HUGE number of Fix posts on Cruz AND Davis. Both were newsworthy events that we covered as such.

Look, I get all the praise from true conservatives and understand how he might appeal to primary voters, buuuuut...there's absolutely no way he wins a general election for president when he's this far to the right. That seems to be overlooked in most analyses.

I think ted Cruz (and any one else thinking about running for president) isn't spending one second thinking about the general election.

That's a we'll cross that bridge when we come to it situation.

You still think Cruz and Paul are viable candidates in a nationwide race? Could I interest you in some beachfront property in Nebraska?

Again, I am talking about a Republican presidential primary. And, if you don't think they are viable in that context, you haven't been paying much attention lately.

Why is she reluctant to run for governor? Is she more interested in the senate, or does she simply not want to go to prison?

I am not sure what she is waiting for. She could have walked into the Senate in 2010 or the governors mansion in 2014. She passed on both. 

Only thing I can think of is she is watiing for her father (he is the Speaker of the state House) to leave politics before she tries for a higher profile statewide office.

OK, I finished Season 1, and I've finally identified the difference. Francis is much more compelling in the original because he's having so much fun with his plans. In the remake, Spacey's version of the character is having zero fun. (Also, the original is MUCH shorter. Make it next after "Breaking Bad." And "The Wire.")

I will. I will.

ON CAMERA ASIDE (in voice of Frank Reynolds)"

"I am saying I will but I won't. They think they've convinced me but they haven't. I am so smart."

Wilbon is always bragging about the Northwestern field hockey team. Who wins between the two of you in a field hockey match/game/showdown (I don't know what they are actually called)?

Oh, Northwestern is REALLY good. So, them.

But I think Mrs Fix's is as good a field hockey coach as anyone in the country. Not just because I am maried to her but because I have watched how she has built the program at Catholic into a national force at the Division III level.

I will start using your phrase "cast iron conservatives," but only if you will pay me $1,000 to do so. Are you up to that?

This is political hostage-taking!

Who amongst us didn't direct message a exotic dancer from the other side of the country when we were single ;-)

I mean if that's against the law....

Did you read thae GQ article about Ted Cruz? I loved the phrase: "he wears his resume like a sandwich board." That's one of Cruz's problems...he thinks he's the smartest person in the room and those egotists usually flame out. I smell smoke!


Chris Cillizza

Georgetown University, class of 1998.

Is voting considered a no-no for journalists in "the biz?"

I think it's a personal preference thing.

Have to say Fix Sean is doing a great job.


Presume Hillary runs & wins the Dem nomination. At this point, who would she least like to face from the GOP?

Christie or Jeb.

When is the last time one of these "maverick" candidates won the nomination? The cowboys gets inordinate amounts of press and the actual nomination goes with the middle-of-the-roader.

Barry Goldwater? Reagan (sort of).

That's it for this week!

We do this thing every Friday at 11 am so spread the word. And go watch "BroadChurch". You won't regret it.


In This Chat
Chris Cillizza
Chris Cillizza is the managing editor of PostPolitics and he writes "The Fix," a politics blog for The Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. Chris has appeared as a guest on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN to talk politics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and sons.
Recent Chats
  • Next: