Jacob "Jack" Lew, U.S. treasury secretary, testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct.10, 2013. Lew warned that the congressional deadlock over the U.S. debt ceiling is "beginning to stress the financial markets," and failing to raise it by Oct. 17 could put SocialSecurity and Medicare payments at risk. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that failing to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 could put Social Security and Medicare payments at risk. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

It’s Day Many of the government shutdown/possible economic collapse of everything, and while Charles Krauthammer concedes President Obama is winning so far, it’s only for the short term. When the public sees Republicans willing to negotiate with Obama and being rebuffed, blame will transfer to Obama and the Democrats.

But also, he says, Republicans need to figure out what they are/have been fighting for. So far it’s been one thing, then another thing, then another. Krauthammer suggests making shutdownade by deciding the whole fight is about entitlement reform, which needs doing and would give the Republicans a chance to do the right, important, mature thing for the country.

But commenters cheering the Republicans in this battle are not always willing to concede Obama and the Democrats are kicking their butts. Polls, schmolls.

The Dark Knight comes out of his post-faked-death Italian vacation to warn the Democrats:

Hey libs–political correctness won’t get you out of this one. This ruse called “shutdown,” will hurt Obama and the Dems more than the GOP–or even Boehner.


Closing that WWII memorial and not allowing aging vets to visit, not burying our dead vets, and at the same time allowing illegals to demonstrate on the mall with Obama’s blessing and additional park police will not be forgotten soon. What lowlifes these politicians are and Americans are starting to see it.

Were followups permitted in PostScript, PostScript would ask for the evidence of the “starting to see it” thing. But they are not.

Further commenters don’t see why Obama should make peace when he’s winning:

mljr quotes Krauthammer:

“The president’s real intent is to score a humiliating victory over the GOP.” No, the president is letting the GOP do it all by themselves. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

And camasca argues that wherever this ends up, its beginning was so poorly messaged that the Republicans are going to need a memory-zapping machine to create a win:

It really was a major fiasco to FIRST try to shutdown the government over the ACA. Now they are talking like Plan B is all reasonable, trying to sweep under the rug the absolute folly that has gotten us to this point.

sschneid1 agrees:

The GOP shut down the government to protest Obamacare. Now the GOP’s great intellectual guru speaks—-and not a single word about Obamacare. The GOP is winning? Yeah, right.

jarstfer thinks the problem is that whatever the outcome, “compromising” reads like defeat to the GOP base:

The problem is the GOP is not trying to govern. They are trying to defeat Obama. Their priorities are whacked.

An idea exemplified in this exchange:


The simplest, most direct and most democratic way out is for the Speaker of the House to stop ignoring the existence of 200 House Democrat congressmen (and, thereby, their millions of constituents) and ALLOW THE ENTIRE HOUSE TO VOTE on the Senate’s standing continuing resolution.


Your idea will simply hand Obama a victory that he will shove in everyone’s face from now until the midterms. That’s why most of the GOP won’t just go along.


Reopening the government to serve the people is “victory” for Obama? Is that a “prize” for Obama that simply can’t be swallowed by Republicans? Opening the government and getting furloughed employees back to work is DEFEAT? What is happening to the Republican party — and to this country??

And Bold Bigflank turns Krauthammer’s idea on its head. Entitlements are very popular, and if the GOP uses their maximum leverage to cut them, the polls are going to look bad for them for a long time:

Has Krauthammer paused to think that the Republicans are being baited into suggesting cuts to Social Security and Medicare before he pulls out his pocket Constitution and points to the 14th Amendment? That will forever end the debt ceiling hostage AND pull the horrid policies of the Randian Right into the spotlight.

A useful trick for writing long articles is to start with what you found and work backward to make the piece about the question your reporting answered. It will be good to find out when this is all over what the fight was actually about.