The closed Lincoln Memorial For the first time, the Lincoln Memorial has been totally closed to visitors during a government shutdown. (Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse)

Day three of the shutdown, guys. It’s getting pretty silly. How silly, PostScript? So silly that, as Dana Milbank chronicles, the tea party members of Congress are fiercely trying to remind us why we like the federal government.

Seriously, though. The new Republican strategy is to bemoan this stupid shutdown and the harm it is doing to things people like, such as treating children with cancer, national memorials and, erm, the city of Washington D.C., which actually hasn’t closed down yet — much to PostScript’s relief since she has to get her car inspected next week and has no clue if, for example, Virginia will give you tickets for not having the correct stickers when D.C. has stopped giving out the correct stickers. It’s a cruel world.

But anyway, the District is somehow on the list of photogenic things people like and Republicans are loudly attempting to fund, only to be stymied by Democrats. Or anyway that’s the rhetoric, since everyone knows the piecemeal funding bills aren’t going to pass and this is all about who gets blamed for the children that we all agree shouldn’t be allowed to die, but they will because we’re arguing about whose fault it is. Man, this situation makes PostScript clausey.

But the Republican argument right now relies on the fact that there are some things, like cancer research and national memorials, that are very important and that the federal government is the best way to get these things done. Things like host a Leonardo da Vinci notebook, for example, which rarely gets exhibited outside Italy but is sitting right now in the National Air and Space Museum, running out its time in this country, unseen. It leaves Oct. 23, by the way.

Okay! Now that we all agree it’s nice to have a federal government sometimes, even for things that aren’t strictly necessary, where can we go from here?

Dave Harris0413 wonders how this style of getting things done will affect negotiations in the future, if this tactic succeeds, which it won’t:

If Republicans get to decide what parts of the government can function, they’ve pretty much achieved their goal of nullifying the last election and taking over the country. They don’t even have to get elected or be able to pass any laws, they just have to threaten to hurt somebody if they don’t get their way. Who wants to “negotiate” with hostage-takers?

chaos1551 argues that this negotiating strategy is all the Republicans have left, so they’re not going to give it up:

And, once again, the party at fault is blaming the other side for what the party at fault is guilty. Republicans may be able to shift some of their blame onto Democrats with this ploy, but it doesn’t change the fact that demographics is destroying the party, and this short-term power grab isn’t going to do them any good at all over time.

And vatownsend says ownership of the dying children isn’t on the Republicans at all:

The Republican party did not shut down the government, Obama and Reid did. The Republican Party didn’t defund the NIH, Obama and Reid did.

Presumably this will all go on until the American people figure out decisively whom to blame. So get on it, America.