Shutdown

Ever since the Tea Party Republicans arrived on the scene in Washington, I’ve cast a wary eye at the notion of them as grass-roots insurgents disconnected from the party’s big business and Wall Street base. Heck, when I went looking for one Tea Party tribune, Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, the night of the August 2011 vote to resolve that summer’s debt-ceiling showdown, I found him at a fundraiser in AT&T’s box at National Stadium.

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For someone who just presided over a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that cost the country an estimated $24 billion and sent his party’s public standing plunging to historic lows, John Boehner is basking in surprisingly mild reviews.

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Scarcely had Mitch McConnell ceased stating his support on the Senate floor for a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling than the Beltway press was already singing his praises as a veteran legislator willing to deal with the Democrats to save the country at the last instant even if hurts him back home. From the Washington Post’s online Fix column:

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Obama Beat the Hostage-Takers. Now He Has to Fight the Fiscal Scolds.

The fecklessness of Washington's professional budget alarmists

Obama successfully beat back the hostage takers. He should do the same to the deficit scolds.

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Regardless of what happens Tuesday night on the Hill, the true dark-comedic nadir of the Big Beltway Brouhaha of 2013 was reached at 2:51 on Tuesday afternoon. That is when the National Review’s estimable Robert Costa reported that the House Republicans’ final proposal to reopen the federal government and avert a national credit default had been tweaked one last time.

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Take the World War II Memorial—Please!

When the government reopens, shut this stuff down

If architecture is, as Goethe put it, frozen music, then which classical opus is suspended within the granite semicircle of Washington’s National World War II memorial?

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The bar has been set pretty high these past few years for clueless hypocrisy among Washington elders offering bipartisan bromides to break the fiscal gridlock. But Leon Panetta just cleared it with a standing jump.

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There was a Dickensian mood at the National Press Club when, on a stormy Wednesday last week, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presided over a dinner fêting the debut of his six-part PBS series on black history and culture, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” which airs on October 22. But in the second week of the government shutdown, the conversation turned to more contemporary matters.

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The Inevitable Republican Collapse That Will End the Shutdown

The grim, angry, loopy, and predetermined conclusion to Washington's crisis

The crisis in Washington is grinding, miserably, to a close. Here's who wins, and how it shakes out. 

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Just because the Republican numbers are in the tank doesn't mean they can't bounce back soon. It happened in 1999 too.

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