Before the government shutdown, I wrote a piece here titled "Ezra Klein is Wrong!" You can read it here:
To sum it up, he thought that a government shutdown would allow Republicans to get it out of their system so that when the debt ceiling came up, they would come around. I had seen no evidence of this level of rational thought on the right. Something happened along the way that I never saw coming- Democratic intransigence!
I say this with pride. The hallmark of the Obama administration, and the frustration of the left, had been its desire to reach consensus. As a result, it would enter into negotiations with Republicans with a deal they thought would be palatable to the Right.
The truth below the fold.
Here is an example; Republicans are talking about entitlement reform by saying that we should pass the things we all agree on when they refer to chained CPI (Consumer Price Index). This is effectively a cut to Social Security. Republicans point out that it is in President Obama's proposed budget. It is only in there as a concession to Republicans in hopes they will agree to more tax revenue.
Republicans have been saying do it our way in the interest of bipartisanship for years. Polls have shown time and again that a plurality of Democratic voters want their elected officials to compromise and a majority of Republican voters want their elected officials to stand on principle.
Two years ago, Republicans brought the government to the brink of default. They demanded budget cuts. It brought us the sequester, which everyone said they did not want to go into effect. Speaker Boehner said at the time that he had gotten 98% of what he wanted. When flights were delayed, he started calling it the result of the Obamaquester. Senate Minority Leader called the Debt Ceiling a hostage worth taking.
When President Obama won re-election, he announced that he would not be bullied into things he did not believe. This line in the sand, as pundits like to say, was not drawn by Bugs Bunny in front of Yosemite Sam. This was the nun in The DaVinci Code quoting Job 38:11 "This far may you come but no farther." This was Gandalf on the bridge in "The Fellowship of the Ring" saying, "You shall not pass!"
In the end, the shutdown was a good thing which allowed us to avoid default, NOT because the Right got it out of its system, but because the Left got it into its system. We lost $24 billion dollars in economic activity during the shutdown. Who knows how much more we will have lost in increased borrowing costs due to the default threat. If sanity returns to politics as a result, it will turn out to be a bargain.