Rarely has a crisis in Washington been both so serious for real people yet so boringly stupid. There are no negotiations. There are no back-and-forths between relevant parties, no daily news of advances and setbacks because there can’t be.
Nothing is really happening because this entire crisis is just waiting for Speaker John Boehner to crack. This shutdown ends the second Boehner puts a clean continuing resolution on the floor. At that point it will be approved overwhelmingly in the House. Until that happens though nothing of meaning is taking place.
There is simply no way Democrats are going to negotiate or bailout Boehner now. The public blames this shutdown on Republicans and every day it lasts the Democrats’ standing in the 2014 election improves. Democrats have a winning hand. They know this is the time to fight these tactics so they won’t face this whole thing again in four months.
It is also too late for Republicans to change tactics, make new demands or deflect blame. If they chose to shutdown the government over spending levels there could be negotiations. They could have been gotten concessions. Instead they chose to make destroying Obamacare their only focus. It is a position deeply unpopular with the public and the one thing Obama was not going to move on. Now Republicans are trapped championing a losing position. Adopting a whole new demand now would look as foolish as just giving up.
So this entire government shutdown comes down to the fact that Boehner isn’t ready to pull the bandaid yet. This whole crisis is simply waiting for Boehner. Which is just a step above watching paint dry.
Photo by Speaker Boehner