Kathryn, I think there are at least two separate questions here. First, is it in Republicans’ interest to take the House? Up until Obamacare passed, I would have said no for some of the reasons Seib lays out. But I think passage raised the stakes. Not taking the House would make it much harder ever to repeal Obamacare, and not repealing it would in the long run be very bad for Republicans.
Second, do House Republicans actually want to take the majority? I have asked that of nearly every House Republican I have met since January 2007. Life in the minority is just as satisfying if you’re in it for the perks; more satisfying, actually, since you don’t have to make appropriations bills go out on time, run committee hearings, etc. Only once, a few weeks ago, have I heard anyone say that more than half of the conference wants the majority. That congressman said that his colleagues do want to be in the majority but are not yet ready to do what it would take. But he thinks they’re getting there.