Jennifer Bendery has been collecting names and statements of House Republicans who now say they'll vote for a clean CR. She's up to 10.
A couple of things. First...this isn't exactly genius-level political skills, is it? Some of this group already flipped yesterday, so I suppose they're off the hook, but for the rest -- how is it possibly better for them to go along with the rush off the cliff, only to change their minds halfway down? Now, granted, I suppose it's better to do it today than three weeks from today (although even then, maybe not; that's a hard call to make). But really: how do they not see that eventually they would be voting against the crazy caucus? And if they did see that, how is staying loyal to the party right up until the point where the party gets in big trouble because of their votes wind up as a winning move? I'd sure like someone to explain that to me.
Second...Bendery says that it takes 17 to end the shutdown, but that's not quite right, is it? After all, there supposedly were plenty who would have voted for a clean CR if given a straight vote on one for some time now, but there hasn't been any such vote. So the question would be, if there were 17, what exactly would they be willing to do to press the point, which could be anything from nothing at all unless the bill came to the floor all the way up to Jonathan Chait's fantasy of a bipartisan coup against Boehner and the Republicans (see my response at PP).
There's nothing magic about identifying enough people to make a majority, if they don't control the floor. At some point, however, I do think that enough public votes for a clean CR would probably tip the balance. 25? 40? Surely if 60 Republicans were to say they wanted to vote for a clean CR, Boehner's position would be untenable, wouldn't it? My guess is the line would be some number greater than 25 and fewer than 60. Then again, there's also the question about whether hitting 17 would make it easier for others who privately want the shutdown to end to join them (because they wouldn't be as obvious targets in the larger group) or more difficult (because it's probably true that there are a very large group who want a clean CR to pass over their dissent, and once enough votes are found they might hope to stay off the hook). I really don't know what the answer to that one is.
Meanwhile, public dissent certainly makes it harder for Republicans to blame Democrats for the shutdown and to claim they're winning the shutdown. No surprise there; the shutdown is structurally heavily against their spin.