Shutdown looms: Everyone loses, but some lose more than others

For those of you have been waiting for the Obama backbone to show, this seems to be your time. At last. It seems that he and Senate Dems weren’t playing at brinkmanship. The Senate’s latest bill sent to the House looked just like the rest — a “clean” continuing resolution that funds the government for all of two months. This is the real thing.

If the House’s return shot, which should be the last before today’s midnight deadline, insists on delaying, defunding, denuding or in any way de-minishing Obamacare — was that a quadruple-d dare? — that means a shutdown. For all the realists and pragmatists in the room who thought this wouldn’t happen – that would include me —  it’s time to see that we’re now playing by new rules. Pro tip: It might be time to get your bets in on whether default follows shutdown, as surely as demagoguery follows Obamacare.

My guess is that Obama isn’t going to fold after the shutdown. If that’s, in fact, true, the options for the GOP are pretty clear: Fold now, fold pretty soon or be prepared for the long siege, in which a major annoyance turns into an actual crisis and, with the default fight looming, potential catastrophe.

The political ramifications would all favor the Democrats, whose only chance to win back the House in 2014 is to nationalize the elections. Amazingly, Republicans seem intent on helping out. They’ve stalled the immigration bill, ensuring that the Latino vote will remain solidly Democratic. If the shutdown happens, Republicans will almost certainly get most of the blame, because, well, they are to blame. And that’s what every Democrat in every remotely swing House district will campaign on — Washington dysfunction, as presented to you by the House Tea Party GOP “extremists.” Even Barry Goldwater couldn’t defend these extremists.

Of course, if this were just politics, it wouldn’t be all that important. But shutting down the government has real costs with, as far as I can see, not a single benefit. I’m betting Mike Coffman and maybe Scott Tipton can’t see one either.

On the other hand, on a happier note, I’m starting to think the Broncos are pretty much unbeatable. And John Elway is a Republican. So, there’s that.

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