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A narrative is emerging in the Beltway. Republicans are leaking like sieves and Democrats are opening the taps to full the flow. The political media, always eager for The Scoop, are jumping on board. Christ on a crutch, even Jennifer Rubin's on board, and the storyline is set:

It was that awful Ted Cruz! He did this!

Bull to the S.

Unless you can prove to me that Ted Cruz has the powers of Mesmer and the irresistible personality of Aleister Crowley, this meme is as dead as both.

Every Republican in the House of Representatives voted for both soiled CRs sent to the Senate. Every single one.

Now, in the gale force winds of severely pissed off public opinion, they are scrambling to find cover, and seeking same behind the form of one freshman senator from Texas. Well, little Teddy just ain't that big, boys, and, despite the assist of people like Chuck Schumer, you gonna run to the Cruz for refuge and there will be no Cruz.

This was not a one-nut show. ALL of you jumped on the train, and now that you find the route ran over the shark, your mewling protest that it was that awful guy from Lone Star Looneyville rings as false as a gold anodized commemorative coin.

To be clear: this is NOT Ted Cruz's shutdown. This is the Republicans' shutdown. Should this madness last another fortnight, this will be the Republicans' default (though I suspect the Democratic president will likely exercise his entirely constitutional options to prevent same).

My friends, my colleagues, my letter-to-the-editor-writing fellow fanatics, I beg you, do not allow this trial balloon to soar. This is NOT a Ted Cruz problem. This is not even a Tea Party problem. This is the logical end result of a party looking for advantage in the ugliest, basest, most id-pricking messaging since the Civil War.

We simply cannot let the people who have brought the once-great United States to the level of a 1960s South American regime get off with just a pointing finger and an Eve's plaint that the serpent made me do it.

The Republicans shut down the government of the United States. Period. Not Ted Cruz. Not Mike Lee. Not even Rand "I'm a Statesman, Really" Paul. Every Republican in the US House of Representatives voted for those CRs. Every. Single. One.

Look, I want the government back up and semi-functioning as fast as anyone else does.

But I will be good and goddamned if I'm going to let this royal behind-fucking be blamed on one mentally ill man from Texas. This is the work of many mentally ill people.

And their names all end in "R."

Update: Not all of them twice. I stand stand corrected. Other than that, I stand by my story. Or it was somebody who looked like me.

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