Ezra Klein on the increasingly likely government shutdown:
Here’s the Republican Party’s problem, in two sentences: It would be a disaster for the party to shut down the government over Obamacare. But it’s good for every individual Republican politician to support shutting down the government over Obamacare.
It’s a good summary, but there’s more to it: part of the reason Republicans may cause a shutdown is that a shutdown won’t be that much of a disaster for the Republican party. First of all, the media will say both sides did it and why can’t Obama lead. Secondly, about 40% of the country will stick by Republicans no matter what, about 45% of the country will hate Republicans no matter what, and a big proportion of the remaining 15% believes the both-sides-do-it cant, so the needle won’t move much regardless of what they do.
Let’s say the shutdown moves the country 2% away from the Republican and towards the Democratic party. Is that such a disaster? No, not in and of itself. It’s when you start to pile the fuck-ups on top of more fuck-ups that the GOP starts to bleed, and, yes, a shutdown will add to the pile. But by itself, it’s not a big deal politically.
That’s the Republicans’ problem. Their imperviousness to any single blow makes them more likely to suffer death by a thousand cuts.