The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The shutdown won’t end anytime soon. Here’s why.

If Day 1 of the government shutdown told us anything, it's that this situation isn't going to resolve itself anytime terribly soon.

President Obama held a press event in which he accused Republicans of pursuing "

," adding: "In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job."

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote in an op-ed in USA Today on Tuesday that "this is part of a larger pattern: the president's scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit."

Then there was this from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Tuesday: "It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games, think about the people he is hurting, and let the House pass the Senate's bill to re-open the government with Republican and Democratic votes."

Putting aside the rhetoric, Boehner and Obama have not spoken since a brief conversation Monday evening and Boehner and Reid aren't speaking either, according to WaPo's Karen Tumulty and Lori Montgomery.

The clear takeaway? Entrenchment in established positions is the name of the game at the moment. And, you don't dig in deeper when you are looking for ways to move on.

The reality is that both sides are leaning heavily on principle when it comes to defending their current stance on the shutdown. For Boehner, this is about standing up for the people who don't like Obamacare and want it gone. For Obama/Reid, it's about not re-litigating a law that the Supreme Court upheld and, they believe, the 2012 election affirmed.

And, you don't cave on principle in 24 or 48 hours. The only way you do move off of a principled stand in politics is for a damn good reason -- as in a deal that you can sell to your side as going far enough to make it worth compromising.

The two sides are nowhere close to that at the moment. And it's hard to see them getting to such a "principled" compromise any time all that soon.


The House GOP's piecemeal spending strategy failed Tuesday.

Twelve House Republicans now say they would back a clean CR.

The Navy-Air Force football game is in jeopardy because of the shutdown. "The apocalypse is upon us," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) released his first negative ad against Republican Steve Lonegan.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) is exploring a run against Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.).

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) suggested his wife misspoke when she said over the weekend that abortion is a "woman's right."

Ron Paul is auctioning off his 1979 Chevrolet Chevette.


"This time, it’s different: Negotiations have no place in latest fiscal crisis" -- Paul Kane, Washington Post

"Collision course: CR and debt ceiling" -- Manu Raju, Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico

"Amid government shutdown, Obama under pressure to cancel week-long Asia trip" -- David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post