Some time has passed. Passions have cooled. We can now make a level headed assessment of the shutdown strategy pursued by House Republicans.
Objectively speaking it still sucked donkey d**k.
Consider an alternate universe in which House Republicans passed a ‘clean’ CR, upped the debt ceiling for 6 months without conditions, then went on vacation for 2 weeks. In other words, did pretty much what Democrats asked them to do. In this universe the Republican Party has sustained zero reputational damage, the bungled Obamacare rollout has been the undisputed number one news story for a month, the President’s approval ratings are in the toilet, Democratic unity is disintegrating as Democrats in vulnerable seats try desperately to distance themselves from Obamacare, and political world is decisively tipping in a Republican direction.
Compare this to our world where the Republican brand has been thoroughly trashed, Democrats were gifted a talking point for the 2014 elections, divisions in the Republican party have been exacerbated, and the Whitehouse got a two week free pass from scrutiny over the rollout.
In fairness, the Obamacare rollout may end up being such a catastrophe that it swamps memories of the budget shutdown. But it’s very hard to see how Republicans are better off for having pursued the shutdown strategy. Our alternate universe looks much better for the Republican Party
If the results of implementing your strategy were worse than the results of doing what your opponents asked you to do, then, inarguably, your strategy sucked.