The public is angry. That much is clear after a week of polls since the government shutdown. But it’s harder to dissect how the public is apportioning blame between the two parties—let alone whether the GOP will suffer for it at the ballot box.
Isaac Chotiner: There are these faceless Republicans on the Hill, this Tea Party Caucus, and we see them saying crazy things in the newspaper. But who are they? I was just wondering how much interaction you had with them when you were in Congress.
If the government shutdown is going to end any time soon, it seems likely that the vehicle of its demise will be a clean continuing resolution, a bill that would fund the government temporarily without defunding Obamacare. The Senate has already passed such a bill; the vast majority of House Democrats support the plan, as do 22 moderate Republicans.
Imagine if the Democrats in 2007, having just regained control of the Congress, had decided to go to the mat against the Bush tax cuts. Imagine that they voted repeatedly to repeal them. They tried to delay implementation. They linked repeal to debt ceiling legislation. And while most of them knew better than to shut down the government over marginal tax rates, for a group critical to Nancy Pelosi’s majority, repeal had become a matter of religion.
There’s nothing Democrats can do about gerrymandering, so here’s a radical proposal: Let’s turn our attention to whether Democrats are poised to capitalize on the opportunities that do exist in the House. Because for all the talk about gerrymandering, there are still 17 House Republicans in districts carried by President Obama. And there are another 17 districts that Romney carried by less than 3 points, and still a handful more of even redder districts where weak GOP incumbents won reelection by a narrow margin.
The controversial, risky options if Congress doesn't act
A law professor lays out the least unconstitutional options for resolving a national crisis
Is anyone else bummed out by the shutdown? I'm not referring to the 800,000 government employees watching "The Price is Right" from their couches, or even to the 30 kids shut out of NIH clinical trials so that Republicans can prove that Harry Reid's not the boss of them. It's the anti-climax that's getting me down.
House Speaker John Boehner went on ABC News “This Week” to make clear his position: Republicans won’t give the government new borrowing authority until Democrats agree to negotiate about Obamacare and fiscal priorities. When host George Stephanopoulos asked Boehner directly whether Republicans would let the government default if Obama won’t talk, Boehner said: “That's the path we're on. … I don't want the United States to default on its debt.
The Tonight Show host's jokes about the shutdown are laughably bad
The government shutdown is obviously a ripe target for comedians, but who knew that Jay Leno would use the opportunity to make a bunch of jokes that were both unfunny and imbued with right-wing populism? (The former was perhaps predictable.) The gist of his monologues this week was essentially as follows: both parties are to blame for the shutdown, Washington is a horrible swamp, politicians are terrible, and oh, by the way, the government doesn't do anything anyway, and thus this whole shtudown thing is not so bad.