Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz (C-L) chats with Republican Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions (C-R) as the Senate finalizes plans for a vote on the Budget Bill in Washington DC, USA, 16 October 2013. The federal shutdown in the US is in its third week; Congress and the White House are struggling with a solution to end their budget standoff. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO Senators Cruz and Sessions, getting it done(?) (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)

It is a truly rare occurrence that politics gets to this point — where basically everyone agrees that this whole tea party shutdown/debt ceiling/defund Obamacare gambit was silly and dangerous and absurd and scary and pointless and a big ol failure and waste of time. Dana Milbank writes that it’s a dead end for Republicans, since they couldn’t get their own bill out of the House yesterday and, in order to stave off default, will have to ally with Democrats (!!!) against the tea party faction.

But in the comments, among the chest-thumping triumph and we-told-you-sos of the Democrats et al., we have some representatives of the estimated 21 percent of the population that still approves of the tea party — a faction getting sold out as we speak. How are they taking it? Rage? Betrayal? Despair? Are they angry at House Speaker John Boehner, the Kochs, etc., for selling them out? Are they regrouping for the next fight? Trying to figure out what went wrong?

Mostly, it turns out, nothing went wrong at all — conservative principles might have been betrayed, but they still win just for being conservative principles. Check it out:

blert just straight up does not buy that imminent default forced Boehner’s hand, no matter how many experts would disagree:

A default only occurs if we miss debt repayments, and the daily revenues are many times more than what is needed to meet those debt obligations. In fact, most of the daily revenues would be left over to fund most other government operations. Yes, a substantial amount of spending would have to be deferred or cut until a debt ceiling deal is reached, but since there is no budget yet for the current fiscal year, there are no discretionary spending promises that the government is obliged to meet yet.

rodhug agrees, with a side of Obama deception. Had the GOP stood firm, the president would be forced to defund Obamacare himself:

The 13th Amendment, Section 4 requires the president pay the nation’s bills. Interest on the debt is tiny compared to income tax revenues. Obama can easily shift money to pay the bills. How about the expenses of implementing Obamacare for a starter. So why is he blowing smoke about default?

BestandBrightest sweeps the whole episode under the rug:

I almost feel sorry for the left at this point. Desperately smearing Ted Cruz to distract from the worst Presidency in history. Don’t blame us for your failures. In a year, no one will remember the “shutdown.” They will, however, still be dealing with Trainwreckcare. And that my friends, is change WE can believe in.

And two commenters wouldn’t change a thing about the whole process.


As it is, no new laws being passed, our creditors seeing how unserious DC is about the debt, and people noticing a dysfunctional govt add up to wins. But that’s just me.


Sorry Milbank, you’ve got it all wrong. I would call it responsible behavior by Republicans. Would that the opposite party recognize personal responsibility.

jimwalkerwhitefishmontana might be a troll, but if not is just about ready to withdraw Milbank’s License to Opine:

I’m sorry, Sir, but what right do you have to comment on Republicans in any manner? You who have spent your entire last five years “carrying the water bucket” for a Kenyan, Muslim Communist here to destroy our way of life.

And that concludes our trip to the land where the tea party is still just swell. PostScript hopes it has been informative.