Grand Canyon Some bad PR for the shutdown from Thursday. More than 400 national parks are closed as Congress remains deadlocked over federal government funding. (Brian Skoloff/Associated Press)

Happy first Friday of this particular shutdown, all! Yesterday we concluded that what Congress is mostly fighting over is who gets blamed for all this lack of government. America, therefore, just needs to blame one side or the other decisively enough that the politicians accept that they have lost.

As we all know, whose fault the shutdown actually is is irrelevant, since both sides see themselves as winning the fight. What matters is whom the public blames. At the moment, the blame is sticking to Republicans and the Tea Party. But Charles Krauthammer argues that this perception is unfair. He doesn’t think Republican actions here were smart, but they were, he says, justified. It’s only the liberal media who are keeping the fight going by obscuring the party at fault.

Attaching a glob of blame to the Democrats sets off another volley of blame game in the comments. But commenters already know who is to blame (though they disagree); the factor that can change is public opinion.

FORWARNED hopes for Republicans outside of Congress to take up the charge:

I’d like to see someone such as Mitt Romney show up at the gates of these national parks and reprise Reagan’s famous Berlin Wall speech: “Mr. Obama, tear down this wall.”
Actually, I’d like to see protesters by the thousands at each of these national parks demanding the President tear down the walls.
The Republicans have already voted to fund the National Park Service, NIH, etc. It’s Harry Reid and Barack Obama who are thumbing their noses at the American people.

mnjam wants to attach a poison pill to Obamacare defunding:

Why not trade the ACA for the Second Amendment. Both get repealed — everyone’s happy. Getting rid of guns might bring our health care costs into line.

SteveR1 would promote the argument that Obama has had the power to fix the whole thing, but didn’t want to:

Obama can beat the Clinton political machine to win the primary. Obama wins two presidential elections. Obama bullies the Congress into adopting the ACA. Now the Obama sycophants would somehow have us believe that the messiah is the “victim” of a few stupid Republicans who can’t agree on anything. Passing a budget before October 1st should have been an easy task based on the messiah’s fantastic accomplishments and superior intellect. Based on this evidence it is clear that Obama wanted the government shutdown.

And jpslon1 wants to ruin everybody’s blame fun by implying that we somehow don’t know what we’re talking about:

A few years ago I attended a 4 day class on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) or to be more accurate on one section and part of another section of SOX. We didn’t do anything else for those 4 days. The class was taught by professionals and they charged a lot for it. At the end of the class, I was knowledgeable about that part of SOX. The problem was that to be totally knowledgeable about the entire law would have taken 6 mos. (Plus another 6-12 mos. to find out how it worked in practice.) I would expect the ACA to be no less complex.
The real problem is the people that are expressing opinions about the ACA have not been trained nor have they spent the time necessary to have an informed opinion. I would bet, although I do not know, that the louder the opinions are expressed the less informed they are. The list of the uninformed is quite long; it includes 95+% of bloggers, nearly all our Congressman, and nearly all the pundits. You cannot get this from a couple of hours on the Internet!
I do not claim to know the correct answer to the ACA but it is pretty easy to spot the wrong answers.

Since it’s a Friday and that wasn’t fun at all, PostScript will end with the possibility that our humble comments page is turning into the kind of Shutdown Craigslist action Alexandra Petri columned on.


No one hates government. We do not like wasteful government. We do not like our government to lie to us. We do not like our government to spy on us. We do not like government officials who try to usurp extra constitutional power.
We do not like our government claiming to help the poor but making policies that make the poor more poor and making some who were not poor, poor because of their policy.


Wave your stumpy arms when you say that so your rattle makes noise.


6’7″ 235

On the other hand, it might just be another way to move the needle. Several studies have shown tall people are more persuasive than the average-heighted.