After weeks of a needless shutdown the Republican party has folded. It sounds like the bill that will go before the House soon is a complete and total surrender from their original position on defunding Obamacare. There is no other way to frame it. The only “concession” they got from the actual shutdown was beefed up income verification on the exchanges. Basically, they shut down the government to ask President Obama to enforce and implement Obamacare more quickly.
It is unquestionably a big political win for Democrats. Republicans have seen their brand destroyed with regular Americans, and surrendering after achieving nothing makes them look impotent with their base. Democrats now hold a clear edge in the generic ballot as a result and Republicans have an upset base. This also helpfully distracted from the terrible exchange roll out.
More importantly, it is a real procedural victory for President Obama. He proved he can and will stand firm against hostage taking tactics. The moment of truth came and he won. This should reduce the chance this same nonsense will happen every six months for the rest of his term. While Republicans are unlikely to ever compromise with Obama, the fact that extortion failed so miserably might at least make them marginally more open to working under normal procedures.
This is not though a policy win for Democrats or progressives. This is a bad bill to end a bad month. The shutdown itself did real and needless damage to the American people. The government will also be funded at sequester levels, which is terrible for the economy but something Democrats already agreed to weeks before the shutdown started.
The irony is if Republican didn’t overplay their hand they could have been celebrating a real policy win on spending levels. Instead they come away looking crazy, incompetent, and weak.