Reading the comment thread on Anne Laurie’s early morning post, I’m reminded of a friend’s favorite saying, which I used to headline this post. Nobody’s covered in glory after yesterday’s ugly compromise. But, once a government shutdown was on the table, the other alternative was even worse — the only sense in which Democrats “win” if Republicans shut down government is that they would be perceived as the less petulant of the two sets of bedwetting children running DC.
My question is how the Democrats can make the Republicans pay for putting a shutdown on the table, not for trying to defund Planned Parenthood and NPR, or for never wanting to raise taxes. The latter policy issues are worth fighting for, but right now the question is whether we’re going to transition from a DC culture of admittedly dysfunctional debate to a culture of simple hostage taking. I don’t see any Democratic messaging addressing the latter issue, but it’s certainly early days in what appears to be a two year stretch of constant Republican-led hostage situations.